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Interview: Terry Bozzio

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It’s well known that Frank Zappa had the highest standards for musicians in his band, so drummer Terry Bozzio’s membership in that select group starting in 1975 is a true badge of honor. Bozzio can be heard on Zappa albums including Bongo Fury, Zoot Allures, Zappa in New York, and Shut Up ‘n Play Yer Guitar.

Bozzio went on to co-found the band Missing Persons, which fused top-notch musicianship with New Wave sensibilities to give us songs like “Words”, “Destination Unknown”, and “Walking in L.A.” A quintessential ’80’s band, they released three albums before breaking up in 1986.

Another notable gig for Bozzio was playing on Jeff Beck’s Guitar Shop album, which is widely regarded as one of the guitarist’s best.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Bozzio’s collaborative performance on 7/1/17 with poet Todd Griese at Studio Channel Islands in Camarillo, California. It was done by phone on 6/5/17.

Interview: Walter “Clyde” Orange

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Formed in the late ’60’s in Tuskegee, Alabama, The Commodores toured with The Jackson 5 before finding their own songwriting voices. Their early music was super funky, for example the songs “Machine Gun” and “Slippery When Wet”. Later on, they still could funk it up in songs like “Brick House”, but they also became known for their ballads like “Easy” and “Three Times a Lady”, and smooth R&B like “Nightshift”.

Drummer/singer Walter “Clyde” Orange has been part of The Commodores since the early days of the band, and sang lead vocals on “Brick House” and “Nightshift”, both of which he co-wrote. This interview with Orange was for for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The Commodores on 6/9/17 at the Chumash Casino. It was done by phone on 6/2/17.

Interview: Gary Pihl

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Guitarist Gary Pihl’s musical resume extends back to the 1960’s with the San Francisco band Day Blindness, which opened for notable artists including Janis Joplin, Quicksilver Messenger Service, and Eric Burdon and War. He later joined Sammy Hagar’s band, playing with him from 1977 until 1985 including on the songs “I Can’t Drive 55” and “There’s Only One Way to Rock”.

After Hagar joined Van Halen, Pihl got a call from Tom Scholz from the band Boston to lay down some guitar on the song “I Think I Like It”, which was released on the Third Stage album. This was the beginning of Pihl’s tenure with that band, which continues to this day. Pihl’s guitar can also be heard on the Boston albums Walk On, Corporate America, and Life, Love & Hope.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Boston’s concert on 6/11/17 at the Santa Barbara Bowl. It was done by phone on 5/12/17. (Kamal Asar photo)

Interview: Brian Wilson

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The story by now is well known: genius songwriter has a panic attack and stops touring with his acclaimed band, then retreats to the studio and writes and records one of the greatest albums of all time. That, in a nutshell, is the story of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys album Pet Sounds, an album that Wilson is currently revisiting on tour.

With a songbook that includes the likes of “Good Vibrations”, “California Girls”, “God Only Knows”, “I Get Around”, “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “Surfin’ Safari”, and “Help Me, Rhonda”, there can be no dispute that Brian Wilson is a musical genius, and many believe that Pet Sounds was his crowning achievement. For example, Rolling Stone Magazine ranks it as the second best album of all time, behind only The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which itself drew inspiration from Pet Sounds.

The rest of the story is also by now well known: genius songwriter tries to follow up Pet Sounds with an ambitious album called Smile, but can’t because of deteriorating mental health, an issue that plagues him for the rest of his life. Happily, Wilson did revisit Smile with a new recording in 2004 and the release of the original sessions in 2011. Even more happily, he is still performing his songs in concert.

This interview was done for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Brian Wilson concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 5/28/17. It was done by phone on 5/12/17.

Interview: Rodriguez

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Until 2012, Detroit singer-songwriter Rodriguez was largely unknown in the United States – but then the Academy Award-winning documentary Searching for Sugar Man was released. It turns out that, unbeknownst to Rodriguez, his music had become extremely popular in Apartheid-era South Africa, at the level of bands like The Rolling Stones. A highlight of the film is the footage of his triumphant first tour of Australia in 1998.

Searching for Sugar Man effectively relaunched Rodriguez’s career, and finally he was appreciated in his home country – over four decades after his original recordings were released. His albums are now considered lost-and-found classics, and he sells out large venues in the U.S. and around the world.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by Rodriguez on 5/20/17 at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 5/10/17. (Doug Seymour photo)

Interview: Dale Bozzio

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The band Missing Persons grew out of Frank Zappa’s stable of musicians after being part of his rock opera Joe’s Garage, fusing top-notch musicianship with New Wave sensibilities to give us songs like “Words”, “Destination Unknown”, and “Walking in L.A.” A quintessential ’80’s band, their music came paired with a revolutionary image courtesy of singer Dale Bozzio, whose crazy hairstyles, over-the-top make-up, and outrageous outfits have led many to call her the original Lady Gaga. The band – with founding members Terry Bozzio and drums and Warren Cuccurullo on guitar – released three albums before breaking up in 1986. In 1988, Dale released a solo album on Prince’s Paisley Park record label.

Dale is back in action, with a new Missing Persons album being released a couple years ago and a new line-up which revisits the band’s glorious catalog in concert. This interview was for a preview article for the 5/20/17 concert by Missing Persons at the California Strawberry Festival in Oxnard, California. It was done by phone on 4/26/17.

Interview: Robin Trower

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Robin Trower first gained fame as the guitarist for Procol Harum, playing on their classic late ’60’s and early ’70’s prog-tinged albums. When he left after 1971’s Broken Barricades, he followed the direction hinted at on that album’s “Song for a Dreamer” and his earlier Procol Harum song “Whisky Train”, namely Jimi Hendrix-inspired blues-based rock.

He has gone on to release more than 20 albums in this vein, including 1974’s acclaimed Bridge of Sighs – with songs like “Too Rolling Stoned”, “Day of the Eagle”, and the title track – and the brand new album Time and Emotion.

This interview was for the Robin Trower concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara, California on 5/17/17. It was done by phone on 5/10/17.

Interview: Gerry Beckley

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The band America had an amazing string of harmony-rich hits including “Horse With No Name”, “I Need You”, “Ventura Highway”, “Tin Man”, “Lonely People”, “Sister Golden Hair”, and “You Can Do Magic”.

America formed in England while the members’ fathers were there as Air Force personnel. The core of today’s America is original members Gerry Beckley (vocals, guitar, keyboard) and Dewey Bunnell (vocals, guitar); the other original bandmember Dan Peek left the line-up in 1977, and passed away in 2011. By now the band has released over 20 albums, starting with their debut in 1972.

This interview with Gerry Beckley was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the America concert on 4/21/17 at Chumash Casino in Santa Ynez, California. It was done by phone on 4/11/17. (Travis Schneider photo)

Interview: Eric Andersen

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Singer-songwriter Eric Andersen got his start over 50 years ago as a folk musician performing in the legendary venues of Greenwich Village and writing classic songs like “Thirsty Boots”, “Violets of Dawn”, and “Close the Door Lightly When You Go”. Since then his style evolved in various interesting directions, and many of his albums are highly acclaimed, including his 1972 album Blue River which is a somewhat hidden gem of the singer-songwriter genre.

Andersen has also intersected with many notable musicians and artists over the years, including Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, Lou Reed, Janis Joplin, Patti Smith, Phil Ochs, and Townes Van Zandt. Aesop told us that “a man is known by the company he keeps,” and by that measure singer-songwriter Eric Andersen is clearly one cool dude!

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Andersen’s concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 4/22/17, as part of the Sings Like Hell concert series. It was done by phone on 4/7/17. (Paolo Brillo photo)

Interview: Robby Krieger

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Robby Krieger is best known for being the co-founder and guitarist for the legendary band The Doors, and his eclectic playing and songwriting were key components of the band’s sound.

The first Doors album, which turned 50 years old earlier this year, is a landmark in rock music, and contains such classics as “Break On Through (To the Other Side)”, “Soul Kitchen”, “The Crystal Ship”, “The End”, and “Light My Fire”, the latter of which was written by Krieger.

The Doors went on to record five more acclaimed studio albums before singer Jim Morrison died, including the songs “When the Music’s Over”, “Hello, I Love You”, “L.A. Woman”, “Riders on the Storm”, and others with particularly significant Krieger songwriting contributions like “People Are Strange”, “Peace Frog”, “Touch Me”, “Love Her Madly”, and “Love Me Two Times”.

After The Doors’ demise, Krieger and Doors drummer John Densmore founded The Butts Band, which released two mid-Seventies albums. Krieger has also released several solo recordings, including the 1977’s underrated Robbie Krieger & Friends.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Krieger’s concert on 4/8/17 at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai California. It was done by phone on 3/29/17. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Interview: Colin Blunstone

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There aren’t many people who can truthfully say, “I was a teenage Zombie.” Two of them – Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent – were part of British Sixties band that brought us songs like “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”, and “Time of the Season”, and the acclaimed album Odessey and Oracle recorded just before they broke up.

After the break-up, Blunstone launched a solo career that included hit songs “Say You Don’t Mind” and “I Don’t Believe in Miracles”. The Zombies eventually reunited, and have released several new albums, most recently 2015’s Still Got That Hunger.

This was a quick unplanned interview on 9/4/16, conducted backstage before The Zombies performed at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California. (Andrew Eccles photo)

Interview: Mike Love and Jeffrey Foskett

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Mike Love has been a Beach Boy since the band began way back in 1961, and wrote lyrics to some of their best-known songs including “Fun, Fun, Fun”, “California Girls”, “I Get Around”, and “Good Vibrations”. And that’s him singing lead vocals on the recordings of the first three of these, plus “Surfin’ U.S.A”, “Little Deuce Coupe”, “When I Grow Up (To Be a Man)”, and more.

Guitarist and singer Jeffrey Foskett first joined The Beach Boys in 1982, and stayed on for about a decade, including for their Live Aid performance and for the recording of the hit song “Kokomo”. He then spent 16 years as the musical director for Brian Wilson’s band, and performed on the Brian Wilson Presents Smile and That Lucky Old Sun albums. He was part of the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour which reunited Brian Wilson and Mike Love, and rejoined The Beach Boys permanently in 2014.

This joint interview with Love and Foskett was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 3/8/17 concert by The Beach Boys at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara, California. It was done by phone on 3/2/17. (Udo Spreitzenbarth photo)

Interview: Glenn Leopold

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Amongst the incredible line-up of movies at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival was the world premiere of a cool documentary about the folk-rock band Gunhill Road, best known for their 1973 Top 40 hit song “Back When My Hair Was Short”. The name of the film, Every 40 Years, is a reference to the 40 year gap between the band’s heyday and their reunion that saw them performing a couple of gigs and recording a fine new album.

The film was co-directed by Eric Goldrich, the son of Gunhill Road’s pianist Steven Goldrich, who wanted to learn more about that phase of his father’s life and also to document the band’s reunion. Mixing vintage footage with new interviews with the band and associates – including Kenny Rogers who produced their first album – Every 40 Years tells the touching story of a band that tasted fleeting success, then got a chance decades later to make music together again.

There’s also a Santa Barbara connection – Gunhill Road’s singer/guitarist/songwriter Glenn Leopold lives in Santa Barbara, having moved here toward the end of a successful career in the animation industry, something he got into after the band petered out. Leopold, Steve and Eric Goldrich, and Gunhill Road bassist Paul Reisch were in town for the premiere, and the band even played their first real West Coast gig at the Red Piano afterwards.

This interview with Glenn Leopold was done by phone on 2/10/17, for an article on noozhawk.com.

Interview: George Thorogood

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George Thorogood has been cranking it up for over four decades, with a catalog that encompasses smokin’ covers of classic songs like “One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer”, “Move It On Over”, and “Who Do You Love?”, and blues-rock originals like “I Drink Alone” and “Bad to the Bone”. Along the way, he has sold over 15 millions albums and performed over 8000 concerts.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the George Thorogood and The Destroyers concert on 3/2/17 at the Chumash Casino. It was done by phone on 2/21/17. (David Dobson photo)

Interview: Alejandro Escovedo

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Alejandro Escovedo’s amazing musical journey has taken him from being a founding member of early San Francisco punk rock band The Nuns, to the cow-punk pioneers Rank and File, to the rockin’ True Believers, to an acclaimed solo career which has explored various sounds and earned him the title Artist of the Decade for the 1990’s from the alt-country publication No Depression. His latest album, Burn Something Beautiful, came out last year, and was a collaboration with Peter Buck from R.E.M. and Scott McCaughey from The Young Fresh Fellows and Minus 5.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Alejandro Escovedo’s concert at the Lobero Theatre on 2/25/17, as part of the Sings Like Hell concert series. (Nancy Rankin Escovedo photo)

Interview: Paddy Moloney

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The Chieftains have been thrilling audiences with traditional Irish music for an amazing 55 years, with Paddy Moloney on uilleann pipes, tin whistle, and amusing banter for the whole time. The band is filled out by longtime band members Kevin Conneff (bodhran, vocals) and Matt Malloy (flute), with plenty of young talent along for the ride.

They are also known for their collaborations with artists from other musical worlds, including the likes of the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, Sinead O’Connor, Sting, Pavarotti, and many others. Along the way, they have released roughly 50 albums and won six Grammy awards.

This interview with Paddy Moloney was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The Chieftains on 2/21/17. It was done by phone on 1/31/17 (photo courtesy of The Chieftains).

Interview: Uli Jon Roth

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Electric guitar virtuoso Uli Jon Roth got his start with The Scorpions, playing on the band’s early studio albums including Fly to the Rainbow, In Trance, and Virgin Killer, and the live album Tokyo Tapes.

Eager to explore a more expansive direction, Roth left The Scorpions in 1978 to form Electric Sun, which released a trio of albums. His musical journey then took him in a more classical music direction, which continued until he returned to the rock format for the G3 guitar tour in 1998.

More recently, Roth has gone back to his hard rock beginnings with the release of Scorpions Revisited in 2015 and Tokyo Tapes Revisited: Live in Japan in 2016.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Uli’s concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater on 2/19/17. It was done by phone on 1/28/17.

Remembering Musicians Who Died in 2016

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The following is a list of some of the notable musicians who passed away in 2016, including a few who performed in the Santa Barbara area in recent years. Some are well-known, many are not, but all are worthy of our respect. R.I.P. – Rock In Peace.

Interview: Chip Davis

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Christmas music comes in many flavors, from traditional carols like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night”, to secular pop songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock”, to novelty songs like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. And then there’s Mannheim Steamroller, which for the last 30 years has brought an instantly recognizable modern synthesizer-driven spin on traditional Christmas songs and beyond.

The mastermind of Mannheim Steamroller is Chip Davis, who got his start writing music for C.W. McCall of “Convoy” fame, then struck gold with Mannheim Steamroller’s Fresh Aire albums before striking platinum in the Christmas realm. To date, Mannheim Steamroller has sold over 40 million albums, and is the top Christmas music artist of all time.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara, CA on 12/29/16. It was done by phone on 12/20/16. (Scott Dobry photo)

Interview: Jonathan Segel

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Multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Segel is a founding member of the eclectic alternative rock band Camper Van Beethoven. The band’s first album Telephone Free Landslide Victory, which came out in 1985, includes such classic songs as “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon”, “Where the Hell is Bill?”, the Black Flag cover “Wasted”, and “Take the Skinheads Bowling”. He also appeared on the independently-released II & III and self-titled Camper Van Beethoven, and on the band’s major-label debut Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart. Segel has been back with the band since they reformed at the end of the end of the 1990’s, including on their most recent album, 2014’s El Camino Real. Segel has also played with many other bands and artists including Sparklehorse and Eugene Chadbourne.

This interview was for a preview article for the Camper Van Beethoven concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 12/28/16. It was done by email, with answers received 12/14/16.

Review: FestForums

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Review of Fest Forums at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort, Santa Barbara, 11/19/16 – 11/21/16.

Concert Review: Morrissey

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Review of Morrissey at the Santa Barbara Bowl, 11/5/16.

Interview: Zakir Hussain

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Tabla master Zakir Hussain has had an incredible career in Indian music and as a pioneer of world music. For those of us in the West, his notable and wildly diverse credits include collaborating with George Harrison, Mickey Hart, Yo-Yo Ma, Van Morrison, Bill Laswell, Kenny Loggins, David Grisman, the Kronos Quartet, Charles Lloyd, and John McLaughlin, with whom he was a founding member of the world fusion band Shakti.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Hussain’s performance with sitar player Niladri Kumar at Campbell Hall at the University of California, Santa Barbara as part of the Arts and Lectures Series on 11/2/16. It was done by email, with answers received on 10/20/16. (Susana Millman photo)

Interview: Rick Burch

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Jimmy Eat World has been cranking it up for over two decades, giving us at least two classic emo albums – 1999’s Clarity and 2001’s Bleed American – and hit songs including “Pain”, “Big Casino”, “My Best Theory”, and the biggest of them all – “The Middle”. They just released a new album called Integrity Blues.

This interview with bassist Rick Burch, who has been with Jimmy Eat World since 1995, was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the Jimmy Eat World concert at the Majestic Ventura Theater on 10/28/16. It was done by phone on 9/29/16, the day that the band performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. (Jimi Giannatti photo)

Interview: Ian Anderson 2016

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Ian Anderson is the frontman / singer / songwriter / flautist / acoustic guitarist for the band Jethro Tull. Jethro Tull’s first album, the bluesy This Was, came out in 1968, and their music rapidly developed with 1969’s Stand Up incorporating elements of English folk music and 1970’s Benefit embracing hard rock.

Next up was Jethro Tull’s classic album Aqualung, released in 1971 and regarded by many to be the band’s best. This included such Jethro Tull mainstays as the title track, “Locomotive Breath”, and “Crosseyed Mary”. The band followed with two concept albums, both of which reached No. 1 in the U.S. concert charts: 1972’s Thick as a Brick, and 1973’s A Passion Play.

Jethro Tull released many more albums, notable ones including the compilation Living in the Past (1972), War Child (1974), Minstrel in the Gallery (1975), Songs from the Wood (1977), and Crest of a Knave (1987) which somewhat controversially beat out Metallica for the Grammy Award for Best Hard Rock/Heavy Metal Performance. Also well worth checking out is Nightcap (1994), which has a different take on the material that ended up in A Passion Play.

Anderson recently decided to use the music of the band Jethro Tull to explore the life of the real Jethro Tull, who was an English agriculturalist who lived from 1674-1741. This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the show billed as “Jethro Tull, Written and Performed by Ian Anderson” at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara on 10/19/16. It was done by phone on 8/4/16. (Nick Harrison photo)

Interview: John Sebastian

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John Sebastian’s musical journey has taken him from Greenwich Village to The Lovin’ Spoonful to Woodstock to a notable solo career, with a lot of hit songs along the way including “Do You Believe in Magic”, “Daydream”, “Summer in the City”, and the theme song for “Welcome Back, Kotter”. A Rock and Roll Hall of Famer as the leader and primary songwriter for The Lovin’ Spoonful, Sebastian at 72 years young continues to write, record, and tour.

This interview was for Sebastian’s concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara on 10/12/16. It was done by phone on 10/4/16. (Photo from johnbsebastian.com)

Review: Concert Across America to End Gun Violence

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Review of Concert Across America to End Gun Violence, Santa Barbara, California, 9/25/16.

Interview: Peter Case

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Peter Case is kind of hard to categorize. For the last 30 years he has primarily been an acclaimed solo artist in the Americana vein, but with a bit more bite than you might expect from that description. That bite probably comes from his earlier musical adventures as a founding member of the short-lived power pop band The Nerves, which toured with The Ramones, and The Plimsouls, whose best-known song “A Million Miles Away” was on the soundtrack to Valley Girl. But however you want to categorize him, he’s been writing great songs for 40-odd years.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Case’s 9/21/16 concert at the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez, California, as part of the Tales from the Tavern concert series. It was done by phone on 9/1/16. (Greg Allen photo)

Bruce Sudano interview link

Interview: Steve Earle

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Steve Earle first made his mark with his debut album Guitar Town, which became a Number One country album but had enough edge to also appeal to many rock ‘n’ roll fans. Since then, he has had other milestone albums including the more rock-inspired Copperhead Road, the acoustic Train a Comin’ recorded after years of drug addiction that left him homeless, the transcendent Transcendental Blues, and a tribute album to his mentor Townes Van Zandt.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for a concert on 9/6/16 by Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara in support of their 2016 album Colvin & Earle. It was done by phone on 8/19/16. (Alexandra Valenti photo)

Interview: Rod Argent

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There aren’t many people who can truthfully say, “I was a teenage Zombie.” Two of them – Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone – are Zombies again, part of the reformed British Sixties band that brought us songs like “She’s Not There”, “Tell Her No”, and “Time of the Season”, and the acclaimed album Odessey and Oracle recorded just before they broke up.

If “Argent” sounds familiar, it’s also the name of the successful band that Argent founded after The Zombies, which is best known for the hit song “Hold Your Head Up”. Over the years, Argent has also recorded with other artists, most notably The Who on their 1978 album Who Are You.

This interview with Rod Argent was done for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 9/4/16 concert by The Zombies at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California. It was done by phone on 8/23/16. (Andrew Eccles photo)

Interview: Bruce Sudano

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Bruce Sudano has had a varied and interesting musical career, from co-writing the song “Ball of Fire” with Tommy James, to recording James’ song “Tighter, Tighter” with Alive N Kickin’, to co-founding Brooklyn Dreams and recording the song “Music, Harmony and Rhythm”, to marrying and managing and co-writing with Donna Summer including the hit “Bad Girls”, to writing “Starting Over Again” which was a hit for Dolly Parton and “Tell Me I’m Not Dreamin’ (Too Good to Be True)” which was recorded by Jermaine and Michael Jackson, to a recent active solo career.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Sudano’s performance at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai, California on 9/4/16, as the opening act for The Zombies. It was done by phone on 8/22/16. (Darren Lau photo)

Concert Review: Jeff Beck

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Review of Jeff Beck at the Chumash Casino, Santa Ynez, California, 8/11/16.

Interview: Dave Mason

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Guitarist/singer/songwriter Dave Mason was a co-founder of the English psychedelic/folk rock band Traffic, and he stuck around for their first two albums, the second of which contains his original version of “Feelin’ Alright”, a song that became a huge hit for Joe Cocker.

Mason also had a notable solo career, with albums including his 1970 debut Alone Together and 1974’s Let It Flow. Some songs from Mason’s solo career are “Only You Know and I Know”, “We Just Disagree”, and “Let It Go, Let It Flow”.

As if all this wasn’t enough, along the way he also worked with other artists including Jimi Hendrix for his cover of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, George Harrison for his first album All Things Must Pass, Paul McCartney for “Listen to What the Man Says”, and much, much more.

This interview was for Mason’s performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 9/1/16. It was done by email, with answers received on 8/16/16. (Chris Jensen photo)

Interview: Geoff Downes

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When keyboard player Geoff Downes helped to write the song “Video Killed the Radio Star” as part of The Buggles, he didn’t know that it would have the distinction of becoming the first video shown on MTV. He also didn’t know that soon he would be joining prog rockers Yes for their transitional Drama album, or that he would co-found the supergroup Asia, for which he would co-write hit songs including “Heat of the Moment”, “Only Time Will Tell”, and “Don’t Cry”. But that all happened, and it happened in the space of just a few years.

Fastforwarding to the present, Downes is active with all three of these bands. Asia is ramping back up after John Wetton’s battle with cancer, and he is working on new songs with fellow Buggle Trevor Horn. And he rejoined Yes in 2011, which is currently on a tour performing the Drama album in its entirety and Sides 1 and 4 of the epic Yes album Tales from Topographic Oceans.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 8/28/16 Yes concert at the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 8/15/16. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Concert Review: Boz Scaggs

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Review of Boz Scaggs at the Granada Theatre, Santa Barbara, 8/2/16.

Concert Review: Stevie Wonder

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Review of Stevie Wonder at the Chumash Casino, 7/24/16.

Concert Review: The Lumineers

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Review of The Lumineers at the Santa Barbara Bowl, 5/28/16.

Interview: Emmylou Harris

emmylouThe legendary singer Emmylou Harris nicely sums up her approach to music as follows: “For me, obviously, there’s a certain amount of ego, but it’s always about the song. You are the vessel through which the music comes. So it’s a sacred responsibility when you have that gift of being able to sing and being able to perform. I just think that that should be your priority.”

Emmylou first made waves singing, touring, and recording with country-rock pioneer Gram Parsons for the two years before his untimely death, including on his solo albums GP and Grievous Angel. She then launched an acclaimed solo career which has won her Grammy awards, Gold Records, and the hearts of fans for over four decades.

Mixed in was the smash hit Trio album with Linda Ronstadt and Dolly Parton, and her heavenly harmony vocals on recordings with artists such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Lucinda Williams, Leo Kottke, Steve Earle, and Guy Clark. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2008.

This inteview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Emmylou’s performance at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 7/8/16. It was done by phone on 7/5/16. (Mark Sliger photo)

Interview: Dean Roland

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Collective Soul’s first single, “Shine”, introduced the world to their heavy but melodic post-grunge sound. No one hit wonder, they followed-up with a self-titled album which included “December” and “The World I Know”. Fast-forwarding twenty years with other hit songs along the way, 2015 brought their 9th album See What You Started By Continuing.

This interview with Collective Soul rhythm guitarist Dean Roland was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Collective Soul’s concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 7/16/16. It was done by phone on 7/1/16. (Photo: Concord Music Group)

Interview: Robby Takac

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The Goo Goo Dolls have been making music for thirty years, starting as a rough and raw hard-rockin’ band and eventually becoming more accessible and hitting it big with songs like “Name”, “Iris”, and “Slide”. Over the years, they have sold over 10 millions albums, including 1995’s A Boy Named Goo and 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl; their latest album Boxes came out in May 2016.

The partners throughout this journey have been guitarist/singer John Rzeznik and bassist/singer Robby Takac. This interview with Takac was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for their concert on 7/16/16. It was done by phone on 6/9/16. (Bob Mussel photo)

Interview: Spencer Davis

spencer_davis_small“Everything happened in 1966 for The Spencer Davis Group,” says someone who would know – Spencer Davis himself. And what a year it was for the band. They started off with a UK Number One song “Keep On Running”, which knocked The Beatles’ single “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out” off the top spot. Another UK Number One song, “Somebody Help Me”, followed a few months later.

But the highlight of the year for the band was the release of the timeless classic “Gimme Some Lovin'”, co-written by Davis, Muff Winwood, and Muff’s kid brother Steve, the band’s lead singer who also played organ and a bit of guitar.

Now, 1966 wasn’t actually the only year that things happened for The Spencer Davis Group. Their song “I’m A Man” was released in early 1967 and hit the Top Ten; a couple years later it was memorably covered by Chicago. But Steve Winwood left the band in 1967 to form Traffic, and as Spencer Davis puts it, they “lost a huge amount of momentum”.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The Spencer Davis Group as part of the Happy Together Tour at the Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara on 7/13/16. It was done by phone on 6/29/16. (Liz Barry photo)

Interview: Rick Springfield

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The early 1980’s were very good to Rick Springfield. He had a Number One song with “Jessie’s Girl”, plus other hits including “I’ve Done Everything for You”, “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, and “Affair of the Heart”. And MTV wasn’t the only place where you could catch him on TV – he was also the fan-favorite Noah Drake on the soap opera General Hospital.

Although that was his period of highest visibility, Springfield has continued to act on the small screen (High Tide, Californication, True Detective, and a return to General Hospital) and the big screen (Ricki and the Flash), and to record music, most recently his 2016 album Rocket Science. And as we saw on Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City from a few years ago, he can still rock out!

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Rick Springfield’s concert at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai on 7/10/16. It was done by email, with answers received on 6/17/16. (Publicity photo)

Interview: George Clinton

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George Clinton is widely regarded as one of the most important figures in the development of funk music, along with James Brown and Sly Stone. Clinton was the mastermind of the bands Parliament and Funkadelic, whose notable 1970’s albums include Mothership Connection, The Clones of Dr. Funkenstein, Maggot Brain, and One Nation Under a Groove, and whose songs include “Flash Light” and “One Nation Under A Groove” (both of which reached No. 1 in the US R&B charts), “Give Up The Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker)”, “P-Funk (Wants to Get Funked Up)”, and “Dr. Funkenstein”. Clinton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, and continues to tour.

This interview was done by phone on 6/9/16. (L. Paul Mann photo)

Interview: Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Lee “Scratch” Perry’s productions were amongst the first to feature and popularize the reggae sound, including Bob Marley’s pivotal early singles and first album – after Perry threatened to kill Marley for stealing his best musicians. All told, he produced hundreds of songs by various artists spread over multiple labels, many at his Black Ark studio. (Later bad vibes at the studio caused Perry to burn it down, according to his own claim at least.) He also wrote and recorded his own songs, and along with King Tubby pioneered the dub genre. A genius, and perhaps a bit of a madman, Perry’s importance to the development of reggae music cannot be overstated.

This interview was for a preview article for Perry’s concert on 6/19/16 at Discovery Ventura. It was done by phone on 6/9/16. (Thanks to Arnold Smith for heroic assistance in transcribing this interview. L. Paul Mann photo)

Interview: David Bromberg

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Singer and stringed-instrument virtuoso David Bromberg has quite a musical resume. He got his start in the Greenwich Village folk music scene, accompanying artists like Tom Paxton, Richie Havens, and Jerry Jeff Walker. His breakthrough (and unbilled) solo performance at the Isle of Wight Music Festival led to a recording contract which produced much fine music in a range of styles during the 1970’s. During this time he was also an in-demand session musician, with contributions to recordings by Bob Dylan, Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Ringo Starr, The Eagles, and many, many more.

After a 22 year break from music, Bromberg returned to the stage and the studio. This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for his 6/23/16 performance at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. It was done by phone on 5/27/16.

Interview: Micah Pueschel (Iration)

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There are many great things about Santa Barbara – the weather, the beach, the mountains, the lifestyle… And you can add Iration to this list, the popular Santa Barbara-based reggae band. Most of the current members of Iration met growing up in Hawaii, but they reconnected and formed the band in Santa Barbara, with their first release – the New Roots EP – coming out in 2006. Other recordings followed, including 2013’s Automatic and 2015’s Hotting Up which both hit the top of the U.S. Reggae chart.

This interview is with Iration guitarist and lead singer Micah Pueschel. It was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for their headlining performance at the 12th Annual KJEE Summer Round Up at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 6/3/16. It was done by email, with answers received 5/20/16. (Josue Rivas photo)

Interview: Dave Wakeling

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Dave Wakeling is the lead singer for The English Beat, one of the key bands in the British ska revival during the late 70’s and early 80’s, along with The Specials and Madness. The English Beat’s songs included the hits “Mirror in the Bathroom”, “Save it for Later”, “Too Nice to Talk To”, and covers of “Tears of a Clown” and “Can’t Get Used to Losing You”, all of which still sound fresh some thirty-odd years after their first release. After The English Beat broke up, Wakeling co-founded General Public, which released the hit songs “Tenderness” and “I’ll Take You There”.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the concert by The English Beat at SOhO in Santa Barbara on 6/4/16. It was done by phone on 5/16/16. (Eugenio Iglesias photo)

Interview: Jack Grisham

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Jack Grisham is the lead singer for T.S.O.L., which stands for True Sounds of Liberty, a band that was at the forefront of the L.A. hardcore punk movement in the early 1980’s along with Black Flag, Circle Jerks and Social Distortion. T.S.O.L.’s sound evolved from anti-government hardcore punk to goth punk to art punk before Grisham left the band in 1983. He returned to the band in 1999, and in 2003 he ran for governor of California in the recall election – he lost the election, but he still tours with T.S.O.L. He has also written several books, including his memoirs An American Demon and a book on recovery.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for the 5/13/16 concert by T.S.O.L. at The Garage in Ventura. It was done by phone on 4/29/16.

Interview: Charlie Musselwhite

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Charlie Musselwhite is a blues-harp player who got his start in Chicago before moving to San Francisco and being embraced by the counterculture scene. His 1967 debut album Stand Back! is considered a classic, and he has released over twenty more albums since then. A Blues Hall of Fame inductee, Musselwhite has also recorded with INXS, Ben Harper, Cyndi Lauper, and John Lee Hooker. Plus, he provided inspiration for Dan Aykroyd’s character in the Blues Brothers.

This interview was for a preview article for noozhawk.com for Musselwhite’s concert with John Mayall at Discovery Ventura on 5/8/16. It was done by phone on 4/30/16. (L. Paul Mann photo)