Fab's Music Café: Blackberry Smoke's, Charlie Starr - Interview

Fab's Music Café: Blackberry Smoke's, Charlie Starr - Interview

Charlie Starr is the lead vocalist, guitarist and principle songwriter for southern rock band, Blackberry Smoke. Starr was named in Music Radar’s top 23 guitarists, a list that includes “rock guitar gods” like Keith Richards of Rolling Stones, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, among others. He recently took part in Willie Nelsons “Come and Toke It” live stream as well as took over some hosting and DJ duties on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country. Meanwhile, Blackberry Smoke’s released a new rendition of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take The Highway ". “Take The Highway” is the latest song unveiled from Blackberry Smoke’s special new EP, Live From Capricorn Sound Studios, which will be released June 19 with a portion of all proceeds going to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. It was recorded earlier this year at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA. The project consists of six new versions of songs that have special ties to the historic studio and town. It was produced by Starr and Blackberry Smoke, the EP is now available for both CD and vinyl pre-order <https://stem.ffm.to/midnightrider>. The project will be released as a lead up to the band’s anticipated “Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music” this summer, with Allman Betts Band & Wild Feathers. Starr has also been writing new songs for a new full length Blackberry Smoke album, and recently returned to the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb to begin work on their next album, including a new song with Jamey Johnson. The new music follows the release of their latest full-length album, Find A Light, which debuted as the best-selling Country and Americana/Folk album in the country, entered at #3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard Americana/Folk Albums chart in 2018. Of the album, NPR Music praises, “pushes the envelope while providing that famous Blackberry Smoke autonomy, delivered with soulful vocals, haunting harmonies and kick ass songs.” After the release of Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke released two additional projects—a live album and concert film, Homecoming: Live In Atlanta which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Album Sales chart—and a 6-song acoustic EP, The Southern Ground Sessions. Pigeonholing Blackberry Smoke has never been easy. Since emerging from Atlanta in the early '00s, the quintet—vocalist/lead guitarist Charlie Starr, guitarist/vocalist Paul Jackson, bassist/vocalist Richard Turner, drummer Brit Turner and keyboardist Brandon Still—has become known for a singular sound indebted to classic rock, blues, country and folk. This fluidity has paid off handsomely, in the form of two Billboard chart-topping country albums, 2015's Holding All The Roses and 2016's Like An Arrow. (For good measure, the latter also topped Billboard's Americana/Folk album chart.) Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke's sixth studio album, doubles down on diversity. Songs hew toward easygoing roots-rock ("Run Away From It All") and Southern rock stomps ("The Crooked Kind"), as well as stripped-down acoustic numbers ("I've Got This Song") and bruising alt-country ("Nobody Gives A Damn"). Rich instrumental flourishes—keening fiddle, solemn organ and bar-band piano boogie—add further depth and resonance. "That's one of my favorite things about Blackberry Smoke albums—there's a lot of variety," Starr says. "My favorite albums through the years are built that way, too. I love a record that keeps you guessing. I love the fact that our records are sort of a ride, with different types of songs and different vibes." Within Blackberry Smoke's catalog, Find A Light is distinctive in several notable ways. The record sounds heavier than other albums; in fact, Starr characterizes the churning, scorched-blues album opener, "Flesh And Bone," as "maybe the heaviest song we've ever recorded." The title has deep significance to the record's overarching themes. "Most of our albums have been named either for a song on the album or a lyric, and this time I didn't want to do that," Starr says. "I thought, 'What headspace is humanity in as a whole?' That's pretty hard to argue with that. I think everybody is hoping and looking for something better right now." Accordingly, Find A Light's lyrics portray characters weighed down by the pressures of everyday life. "Flesh And Bone" explores the conundrum of temptation; "Run Away From It All" is about seizing the day and trying to leave troubles behind; and "Nobody Gives A Damn" cautions about letting external achievements such as an attractive partner or a hit song go to one's head. "Inspiration comes from so many different places," Starr says. "A lot of inspiration can be drawn from current events these days, and how complicated the world is." Yet Find A Light's hard-luck characters are soldiering forward despite it all, and remain buoyed by optimism—and deep faith in themselves. "One of these days I’ll get the best seat in the house/It’s the measure of a man, of a man," goes the jangly "Best Seat In The House," while the narrator of "I've Got A Song" asserts, "At the end of the day, it’s the one thing they can’t take away: I’ve got this song." The album's final song, "Mother Mountain," focuses on the belief that redemption and rebirth are always within reach. "It felt good to write that song," Starr says of the latter. "I don't write a whole lot of songs like that, the really optimistic, yearning for something better kind of a song. The album's called Find A Light, and that song is sort of a plea, as far as that goes." Starr switched into writing mode for Find A Light thanks to impromptu songwriting sessions he had with his friend Keith Nelson, formerly of the band Buckcherry. The men had never collaborated before, but found an instant creative connection. In fact, Starr ended up using four songs from their time together—including "Run Away From It All," "Nobody Gives A Damn" and "Best Seat In The House"—on Find A Light. "At some point, I told him, 'Man, I really like these songs for Blackberry Smoke. These are Blackberry Smoke songs,'" Starr says. "He didn't disagree. I hadn't really started to write for another album yet, so these lit the fire, so to speak.” Blackberry Smoke spent a little over two weeks recording Find A Light in Atlanta with engineer/mixer Tom Tapley and long-time collaborator Benji Shanks. As with 2016's Like An Arrow, the band self-produced the record. "With these two albums, we really knew what we wanted them to sound like, and what kind of record we wanted to make," Starr says. "It was a pretty easy decision to say, 'Hey, let's do it ourselves.'" That confident vision informed the band's decision to have several guest musicians appear on Find A Light. The brisk, gospel-tinged Southern rocker "I'll Keep Ramblin'" features the song's co-writer, Robert Randolph, adding frantic pedal steel, while the psychedelic-tinted folk elegy "Mother Mountain" blooms with The Wood Brothers' inimitable harmonies. "As we were recording that song, I was singing it, and from the very beginning of that song—even in its embryonic stage—I wanted it to be a three-part harmony all the way through," Starr says. "I asked The Wood Brothers, because I love their vocal blend. They're fantastic harmony singers." Another Keith Nelson co-write, the easygoing "Let Me Down Easy," features Amanda Shires shading Starr's vocals with her clarion twang. "I thought it would be really cool to have a female harmony on this song, sort of a Gram Parsons-Emmylou Harris kind of thing," Starr explains. "And Amanda came to mind. Her voice is so cool, so genuine and unique." At its core, Find A Light illustrates the efficiency and chemistry of Blackberry Smoke's instrumentalists, who have no trouble translating the band's loose live shows into crisp studio recordings. "We always record together," Starr says. "That's what bands do. And you go in and listen, and think, 'Wow. How did that happen? What just happened? That was magic. That was magical. Can we do that again?' "I'm always blown away by my bandmates' sympathy for the song," he adds. "We all agree that that's the way to be in this band is to play for the song—the song is the vehicle." This commitment to putting the music first above all other considerations is one reason Blackberry Smoke has continued to evolve during their time together. And it also explains why Find A Light's sonic progressions and expansions sound so effortless. "We didn't want to repeat ourselves," Starr says. "I don't ever want to make a record that ourselves or are fans are like, 'It's the same old thing.' But I still get a real lift from listening to Find A Light, even after multiple listens. I really am proud of the work that we accomplished."
Duration: 37:03

Related

Fab's Music Café: 'Live': Charlie Starr
Fab's Music Café 'Live'
VintageCountryRockBluesAcousticFab's Music CaféFab's Movie Night

Fab's Music Café: 'Live': Charlie Starr

Charlie Starr is the lead vocalist, guitarist and principle songwriter for southern rock band, Blackberry Smoke. Starr was named in Music Radar’s top 23 guitarists, a list that includes “rock guitar gods” like Keith Richards of Rolling Stones, Slash of Guns N’ Roses, and Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top, among others. He recently took part in Willie Nelsons “Come and Toke It” live stream as well as took over some hosting and DJ duties on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country. Meanwhile, Blackberry Smoke’s released a new rendition of The Marshall Tucker Band’s “Take The Highway ". “Take The Highway” is the latest song unveiled from Blackberry Smoke’s special new EP, Live From Capricorn Sound Studios, which will be released June 19 with a portion of all proceeds going to the Recording Academy’s MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. It was recorded earlier this year at Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, GA. The project consists of six new versions of songs that have special ties to the historic studio and town. It was produced by Starr and Blackberry Smoke, the EP is now available for both CD and vinyl pre-order <https://stem.ffm.to/midnightrider>. The project will be released as a lead up to the band’s anticipated “Spirit of the South Tour: A Celebration of Southern Rock and Roll Music” this summer, with Allman Betts Band & Wild Feathers. Starr has also been writing new songs for a new full length Blackberry Smoke album, and recently returned to the studio with Grammy Award-winning producer Dave Cobb to begin work on their next album, including a new song with Jamey Johnson. The new music follows the release of their latest full-length album, Find A Light, which debuted as the best-selling Country and Americana/Folk album in the country, entered at #3 on the Billboard Top Country Albums chart and #2 on the Billboard Americana/Folk Albums chart in 2018. Of the album, NPR Music praises, “pushes the envelope while providing that famous Blackberry Smoke autonomy, delivered with soulful vocals, haunting harmonies and kick ass songs.” After the release of Find A Light, Blackberry Smoke released two additional projects—a live album and concert film, Homecoming: Live In Atlanta which debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Americana/Folk Album Sales chart—and a 6-song acoustic EP, The Southern Ground Sessions.
28:3317 months ago
Fab's Music Café: Fab interviews Blues guitar legend, Josh Smith
Fab's Music Café
Tim PierceJosh SmithNorman's Rare GuitarsNewsVintageTips, Tech & RepairsKirk FletcherGuitar Of The DayJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticFab's Music Café

Fab's Music Café: Fab interviews Blues guitar legend, Josh Smith

In this episode, Fab interviews Blues guitar legend, Josh Smith. Blues rock guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter and producer, Josh Smith, is hailed the world over as a master guitarist with raw talent and power to spare. Blending his signature mix of blues, rock and jazz into dynamic original songs, Smith is known for his incendiary live performances, whether at the Grammy Awards or the Kennedy Center Honors with Mick Jagger, Raphael Saadiq and others. Born in 1979, Josh started playing guitar at age six. Praised as a blues prodigy by the time he was 12 years old, he began playing at professional blues jams in South Florida, sitting in with such greats as Jimmy Thackery, Tinsley Ellis, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, Double Trouble, Joanna Connor and Kim Simmonds, among others. Jimmy Thackery said of the 14-year-old, “Josh is three heartbreaks away from being a true blues guitar genius.” That insight from Jimmy Thackery proved true as Josh began releasing CDs at age 14. His first national tour with his power trio, Josh Smith and the Frost, featured Josh as bandleader, vocalist as well as guitarist. The legendary producer Jim Gaines (Santana, SRV, Luther Allison, Steve Miller, Jimmy Thackery) produced Josh’s third CD, Too Damn Cold and Woman. By 1998, he had completed four national tours with his band. Josh was then asked to support the great B.B. King on a number of shows. Opening for B.B. King was just the beginning for this in-demand artist and lead guitarist for artists such as Taylor Hicks, Ricky Fante (Virgin Records), Raphael Saadiq, actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music Group hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, and more. He has the distinction of inducting Neil Diamond into the Kennedy Center Honors with Raphael Saadiq’s band and honoring Solomon Burke at the Grammys with Mick Jagger. Within a year of moving to L.A. in 2002, Josh was retained by Virgin recording artist Ricky Fante and performed nationally and internationally with Ricky for the next two years. In 2006, Josh recorded his fifth CD, Deep Roots and continued to play with a variety of artists such as actress Taryn Manning, Universal Music hip-hop artists Benny Cassette and Tara Ellis, to name a few. In 2007, Josh was hired by 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks to be his lead guitarist. They completed two national tours before Josh was hired as lead guitarist by Grammy Award winner Raphael Saadiq. Josh continues to tour with Saadiq. In 2009, Josh released his 6th studio CD, Inception and in 2010 he was signed to Crosscut Records based in Germany. Crosscut re-released Josh’s breakout album, Deep Roots as I’m Gonna Be Ready. In 2013, Josh’s CD Don’t Give Up On Me was also released in Germany, followed by Over Your Head in 2014. In 2016, Josh’s jazz album, Still was released to critical acclaim as was Burn To Grow in 2018. Along with touring the world, recording and performing with renowned artists such as Joe Bonamassa, Eric Johnson, Andy Timmons, Kirk Fletcher and others, Smith is also a producer and owns Flat V Studios in Los Angeles. He has produced artists Reese Wynans (Joe Bonamassa), Artur Menezes (winner of the Eric Clapton 2019 Crossroads Festival) Seth Rosenbloom, Jamey Arent and many more. Josh’s latest and 11th album, Live At The Spud, was released January 8, 2020 on Flat V Music, and features Smith and his power trio recorded live over two nights at the legendary Baked Potato in Los Angeles. The new album features Smith on guitar and vocals, Gary Novak on drums and Trevor Carlton on bass. The goal was to present an unedited look at a normal night at the Baked Potato. Compelling, improvisational and explosive. Josh is currently touring worldwide in support of the live album. Josh lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.
18:1012 months ago
AGN News: Get Ya EarPlugs Out...NAMM 2021 gets the green light...!
AGN News
NewsVintageTips, Tech & RepairsNorman's Rare Guitars PodcastGuitar Of The DayJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticMrs SmithFab's Music Café108 Rock Star GuitarsFab's Movie NightRecordingYoutube PicksSong Writing

AGN News: Get Ya EarPlugs Out...NAMM 2021 gets the green light...!

If you were wondering whether winter NAMM 2021 will go ahead, well at this stage, the organizers are saying, YES, ...!! So, got the mask? CHECK...! got the ear plugs? CHECK...I can't imagine how you could even begin to practice social distancing at NAMM but I guess there'll be a lot less people there if things remain the way they are now. Just imagine a NAMM where you can hear, park the car, get a coffee and go to the bathroom....!? Also, beginning Tuesday, July 7 and running through Friday, July 10, NAMM will present The 2020 NAMM U Virtual Summit: four days of career and business-enhancing webinars and strategies designed to help businesses take advantage of new opportunities and supercharge their future. Presented by NAMM U, TEC Tracks, and Advanced Audio + Applications Exchange, the free, online Summit will offer a suite of sessions across three unique tracks... Business, Audio and Technology. The sessions will cover topics ranging from online marketing strategies to the future of music technology, presented by experts in each area. Session presenters include Doug Stephens (best-selling author & founder of “Retail Prophet”, (customer experience expert) Scott McKain;(sound engineer) Mark Frink, Mr. Bonzai, Mindi Abair, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, and many others. The NAMM U Virtual Summit will offer a dozen Zoom super-sessions that hone in on the most vital topics going forward, along with some fascinating sessions that highlight the changing industry.” The Summit will feature one webinar per day, per track, for a total of 12 sessions. The Summit is free and open to all industry professionals but A NAMM.org account is required to register; click the INFO button to visit NAMM.org.
03:0516 months ago
AGN News: June 21st is "Make Music Day"
AGN News
SlashSarah RogoTim PierceBassJosh SmithNorman's Rare GuitarsUpload Of The DayDeke DickersonLessonsNewsVintageTips, Tech & RepairsKirk FletcherMorning Joe MassNorman's Rare Guitars PodcastMichael LemmoGuitar Of The DayJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticFab's Music Café108 Rock Star GuitarsFab's Movie NightRecordingJohn 5Youtube PicksSong Writing

AGN News: June 21st is "Make Music Day"

AGN News: June 21st is "Make Music Day"....For most of us, June 21st this year is Father’s Day, but it’s also the date for this year's lesser known, Make Music Day. Make Music Day was first launched in 1982 in France as the Fête de la Musique, when the country’s Ministry of Culture conceived an idea for a day where free, live music would be everywhere throughout the country and now nearly 40 years later, it's not only a national holiday in France, but it's celebrated in more than 120 countries around the world. Make Music Day is presented in the U.S. by the NAMM Foundation and is quote, “open to anyone who wants to take part. Every kind of musician – young and old, amateur and professional, of every musical persuasion – pours onto streets, parks, plazas, and porches to share their music with friends, neighbors, and strangers. All of it is free and open to the public.” June 21, the summer solstice, was chosen as the date for the event, and last year, more than 1,000 cities around the world threw citywide music celebrations to make the occasion. To find out about Make Music events in your city and how to get involved, click the INFO button and check out makemusicday.org.
01:2416 months ago
Sidemen: Long Road To Glory: Movie Trailer
'Sidemen: Long Road To Glory' : Exclusive Movie Package
Joe BonamassaTim PierceJosh SmithNorman's Rare GuitarsNewsVintageKirk FletcherJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticFab's Music Café

Sidemen: Long Road To Glory: Movie Trailer

Sidemen: Long Road to Glory: the movie package with over 40 minutes of bonus never before seen interviews is available NOW to rent or buy in Fab's Movie Night in AGN On Demand: Sidemen is an intimate look into the incredible lives of three of the last Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf sidemen, piano player Pinetop Perkins, drummer Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith and guitarist Hubert Sumlin. These legendary bluesmen, who performed and recorded into their 80's and 90's, played a significant role in shaping modern popular music. The film features some of the last interviews conducted with all three men as well as their final live performances together. These memorable live performances, vividly capture these blues legends with the blues and rock stars they have inspired including, Robby Krieger of The Doors, Elvin Bishop (recent rock ‘n’ Roll Hall inductee with The Paul Butterfield Blues Band), and Tim Reynolds of The Dave Matthews Band. Personal insights from artists such as, Bonnie Raitt, Gregg Allman, Derek Trucks, Shemekia Copeland, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Joe Perry, Joe Bonamassa and Johnny Winter offer heartfelt accounts of how these three legendary sidemen helped shape their careers as well as rock ‘n’ roll. Sidemen takes us on the road with Pinetop, Willie and Hubert, three of our last direct links to the origins of the blues, as they share the incredible stories about each of their personal histories. From their upbringings on Delta plantations of the Jim Crow south to lives spent on the road in the shadow of two of the biggest figures in music history, their stories are not only a part of music history, but American history as well. As we ride along, we can’t help but fall in love with these three endearing men as we experience all the trials and triumphs of these remarkable lives. In the summer of 2008, a group of legendary bluesmen, some of the last surviving members of the Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters bands, were brought together by director Scott Rosenbaum for a cameo appearance in his feature film, The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll.  Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Hubert Sumlin were cast for their authenticity and ability to underscore the film’s critical subplot, the evolution of rock ‘n’ roll through the blues.  During breaks in production, these bluesmen thrilled Rosenbaum with their tales of a lifetime spent on the road.  Firsthand accounts of experiences with the mythical Robert Johnson, the larger-than-life Howlin’ Wolf, the seminal Muddy Waters and disciples such as Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones got the director’s creative wheels spinning.  Between takes, Sumlin called Rosenbaum over to the bandstand and prophetically told him of his feeling that they would be working together again.  In an instant, an idea that had been germinating with the director for years took root.     When the bluesmen’s booking agent, Hugh Southard approached Rosenbaum, asking him to lend the film’s name to help galvanize a world tour featuring these legendary musicians, a concept had fully blossomed.  Having grown up on Martin Scorsese’s valediction to The Band, The Last Waltz, Rosenbaum wanted to make a film that similarly honored the life and musical legacy of these aging bluesmen. When Pinetop, Hubert and Willie "Big Eyes," along with Sugar Blue, Robert Stroger and Bob Margolin hit the road as The Perfect Age of Rock ‘n’ Roll Blues Band, Rosenbaum, along with producers Jasin Cadic, Tony Grazia and Joe White were determined to capture this important moment and fleeting history. Over the next three years they would follow these blues legends, shooting live performances, an historic Grammy win, dozens of intimate interviews, countless behind-the-scenes moments, and documenting their lives on the road.  Sadly, the 2011 deaths of Willie, Pine and Hubert altered the film’s initial Last Waltz style vision; to capture these legends performing live versions of classic blues songs with the musicians they had so heavily influenced. Luckily, several of these performance pairings were filmed before their deaths. Those treasured moments are complimented by over two dozen subsequent interviews with some of blues and rock’s biggest names, demonstrating the true impact and tremendous respect that these men engendered over the course of their long careers.   Members of The Doors, The Allman Brothers, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Aerosmith, The Dave Matthews Band, as well as artists like Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Bobby Rush and Shemekia Copeland share their personal and professional recollections of these men and the impact that they’ve had on their own careers.  When asked how they hoped to be remembered, Willie, Pine and Hubert consistently expressed their wish to be known for both having kept the blues alive and to serve as an inspiration for the younger generations of musicians. Interviews with blues acolytes Joe Bonamassa, Eric Gales, Warren Haynes, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Derek Trucks affirm that their legacies are alive and well. Several of these musicians have even contributed searing on-camera solo performances in tribute to these late blues legends.  Haunting imagery of the Mississippi Delta region, the birthplace of the blues and these legendary bluesmen, punctuates this powerful piece of history. This film succeeds in capturing the personal triumphs, tragedies and tremendous perseverance of three of the last original Delta and Chicago bluesmen while preserving a critical legacy that is nothing short of our last links to the origins of all popular music.
02:4415 months ago
Fab's Music Café: An Interview with one of the world's most influential and in-demand drummers, Kenny Aronoff
Fab's Music Café
LessonsNewsJazzCountryRockBluesAcousticFab's Music Café

Fab's Music Café: An Interview with one of the world's most influential and in-demand drummers, Kenny Aronoff

Kenny Aronoff is one of the world’s most influential and in demand session and live drummers. Rolling Stone Magazine, in fact, cited him as one of the “100 Greatest Drummers of All Time” and Modern Drummer named him #1 Pop/Rock Drummer and #1 Studio Drummer for five consecutive years. The list of artists he’s worked with on the road and/or in the studio reads like a who’s who of the music industry, and includes: John Mellencamp, The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Sting, The Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Gibbons, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Bob Seger, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Jon Bon Jovi, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Joe Cocker, Steven Tyler, Dave Grohl, Chris Cornell, Garth Brooks, Don Henley, Melissa Etheridge, Keith Urban, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Beyonce, Mick Jagger, Slash, Bonnie Raitt, Ricky Martin, Santana, Crosby Stills and Nash, Celine Dion, Lenny Kravitz, Vince Gill, The Buddy Rich Big Band, Leonard Berstein, Aaron Copeland and many others. With a style of playing that combines power and finesse, his unique and versatile sound has been instrumental on over 60 Grammy-nominated or awarded recordings representing over 300 million in sales, with more than 1300 that were RIAA certified Gold, Platinum or Diamond. Kenny’s winning approach to drumming and to life has given him the ability to sustain a successful career for four decades. In addition to performing and creating amazing music, Kenny is an inspirational speaker. He talks about Living Your Life by Your Purpose, Teamwork Skills, Innovation, Creativity, Hard Work, Self Discipline, Perseverance, and staying Relevant in your career and life. Striving to always be better have been the tools that have kept Kenny at the top of his game for four decades. Author is the most recent addition to his long line of credits. Sex, Drums, Rock ‘n’ Roll! The Hardest Hitting Man in Show Business (Backbeat Books, November 15, 2016). This is not about sex; it is about the same passion that drives us all to be the best we can be doing what we love with those with whom we want to share our talents.
31:4917 months ago
Fab's Music café: Fab talks to Alastair Greene
Fab's Music Café
RockBluesAcousticFab's Music CaféFab's Movie Night

Fab's Music café: Fab talks to Alastair Greene

Guitarist, singer, and songwriter Alastair Greene has been a mainstay of the Southern California music scene for close to 3 decades. Alastair was born April 18th, 1971 in Santa Barbara, CA. He discovered music through his mother's piano playing at home and whose record collection included classics by The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Elton John, while his father's tastes at the time leaned toward Bach and Beethoven. Alastair was inspired to pursue music as a career by his grandfather, the late Chico Alvarez, who played trumpet as a member of the Stan Kenton Band in the '40s and '50s. Growing up, Alastair took piano lessons and played the saxophone before discovering the guitar in high school. Originally interested in hard rock bands and guitar players, he was exposed to blues and roots music through some records loaned to him by a friend of his father. Those records included: B.B. King ‘Live at the Regal’, Buddy Guy ‘A Man and the Blues’, Johnny Winter ‘Second Winter’, The Allman Brother Band ‘Live at Fillmore East’ and Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble ‘Couldn’t Stand the Weather’. After High School Alastair received a scholarship to attend the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where he studied for two years before returning to southern California to begin playing with blues and rock bands in the early ‘90s. Alastair formed the Alastair Greene Band in 1997 and celebrated the 20 anniversary with a live concert recording in early 2018. Alastair has released 8 solo albums (including 2 live records and a compilation record) the most recent of which is LIVE FROM THE 805 (released in 2018). LIVE FROM THE 805 was nominated for Rock Blues Album of the Year by Blues Blast Magazine in addition to being included on many ‘Best Of 2018” year-end lists by multiple publications. His most recent studio album DREAM TRAIN (2017) features guest appearances by Walter Trout, Debbie Davies, Mike Finnigan, Mike Zito and Dennis Gruenling. DREAM TRAIN was given 4 stars by Down Beat Magazine and was included as one of their ‘Best Albums of the Year’. Alastair was lead guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the Alan Parsons Live Project from 2010 - 2017 with whom he literally toured the world. Greene has also toured with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, Blues legends Debbie Davies, Mitch Kashmar, and most recently as a member of powerhouse vocalist and Blues Music Award winner Sugaray Rayford’s band from 2018 - 2019. In 2019 Alastair signed with Tab Benoit's Whiskey Bayou Records and will have a new CD released in the summer of 2020 produced by Benoit titled THE NEW WORLD BLUES.
20:2419 months ago

New