FYI, Leo Kelly is an amazing artist.
Most people consider Derek and Susan the first family of Southern-fried blues/rock. They have the lineage, the talent, and the sound. The combination of Derek’s slide and Susan’s voice is a rare combo that maybe hasn’t been seen since the days of Ike and Tina.
I know that most of the time when I interview artists I’m usually just another phone call on their lengthy to-do list for the day. But I never felt that at all when talking to Derek and Susan. It was mid-morning and they both were as funny, interesting, and as willing to talk as anyone I’ve interviewed. Hearing Derek talk about Duane’s “Fillmore” amp was historic—and Susan is no slouch about gear, either.
Talking to musicians on the level of Guthrie and Bryan can be quite eye opening. You see, they are technically at the top of their game and are in-demand sideman. Yet, they both have a certain charm that makes them very easy to talk to. Thinking back to Gladwell’s theory: These guys have put in their 10K hours and are now enjoying the musical freedom all of us strive for.
As you can tell from the pull quotes in the piece, they don’t take themselves too seriously but yet they are serious about their craft. The art of making music is near and dear to their hearts and it comes out in every note.
A few months ago – during one of those “free trial” weekends – I came across the extensive new documentary about everyone’s favorite SoCal country-rock group, The Eagles. Like most everyone born post-1980, my only real connection through them was through classic rock radio and my parents spinning their second greatest hits album (because, as GH albums should, it is their greatest work. Plus, who didn’t have that album).
I am such a homer for music docs. Even if I have a marginal interest in the band I get sucked into the story. The who, what, and why behind how different artists and bands did what they did. The new Eagles doc did just that – it opened a curtain and put everything out on the table. It was obvious, both due to the length and detail of the flick, that this was aimed straight at the diehards. Those who could name the guitarist before Joe Walsh (Bernie Leadon) and owned every Glenn Frey solo album.
Recently, Bill Simmons wrote an excellent overview of the documentary (since the NBA season is over) and expertly described 20 key moments and themes he noticed after five intense viewings.He actually only watched Part 1 five times, he explains why in the piece.
My favorite Simmons-ism about the Tao of Joe Walsh:
Walsh’s most underrated strength? He has a knack for capturing the band’s problems and pressures in the most Joe Walshian ways. For instance …
Joe Walsh on fame: “The first thing that happens is that you get some kind of label, and you gotta live up in it, and you just get caught up in that, and I forget what the second thing is.”
(Note to everyone entering senior year in high school: There’s your yearbook quote. You’re welcome.)