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)
Guitarist Danny Kortchmar played on some of the most beloved albums from the 1970’s – Carole King’s Tapestry, James Taylor’s Sweet Baby James, and Jackson Browne’s Running on Empty, to name the most obvious.
But that’s just scratching the surface of his phenomenal career in music, which also included six months with The Fugs, some great fusion albums with The Section, a fruitful collaboration with Don Henley that yielded “Dirty Laundry”, “All She Wants to Do is Dance”, and “Sunset Grill”, producing a Neil Young album, co-writing “Somebody’s Baby” with Jackson Browne, and playing on the Harry Nilsson album Pussy Cats which was produced by John Lennon.
This interview was for a preview article for Kortchmar’s concert at the Maverick Saloon in Santa Ynez with Steve Postell and Dan Navarro on 3/9/16 as part of the Tales From the Tavern concert series. It was done by phone on 2/26/16.
Multi-instrumentalist David Lindley’s musical resume is simply incredible. He was a key member of the 1960’s eclectic psychedelic band Kaleidoscope, which was described by Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page as “my favorite band of all time – my ideal band.” He is arguably best known for his fretwork for Jackson Browne – for example, on the classic albums Late for the Sky and Running on Empty – and he also contributed to music by David Crosby and Graham Nash as part of The Mighty Jitters band, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt and many, many others. Somehow he also found time for his own project, El Rayo-X, in the 1980s.
When you hear Lindley in concert, it’s easy to get the impression that he could pick up any stringed instrument – a saz baglama, a bouzouki, an oud, or a plain old guitar – and his magical fingers would make it sound great. And while he is best known for playing with other artists, his amazing talent particularly shines through when he is on his own.
This interview was done for a preview article for Lindley’s solo concert at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 1/16/15. It was done by phone on 1/9/16.
Karla Bonoff is arguably best known for having several of her songs covered by Linda Ronstadt, including “Someone to Lay Down Beside Me,” “Lose Again” and “If He’s Ever Near” from Ronstadt’s 1976 album Hasten Down The Wind. But to call Bonoff a “songwriter” doesn’t do justice to the fact that she has also released her own wonderful albums over the years, including her 1977 self-titled debut that included the aforementioned songs and had quite a cast of supporting musicians, plus the hit song “Personally”. Before her solo career, she was a member of the folk-rock group Bryndle.
This interview was for a preview article for the concert by Bonoff and Jimmy Webb at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara on 6/7/14. It was done by phone on 5/20/14.
When Jackson Browne assembled the band for his 1977 landmark live album Running on Empty, he chose some of the best musicians in the business. For backing vocals he chose Rosemary Butler. The rest, as they say, is history.
By that point, Butler already had a notable career in music. She was in the all-female band the Ladybirds, which opened for The Rolling Stones in 1964. She later joined the all-female hard rock band Birtha, which released two albums in the early 1970′s. And she had sung backing vocals for Bonnie Raitt and Warren Zevon. She went on to sing backing vocals for many other notable artists including Linda Ronstadt, Ringo Starr, James Taylor, Little Feat, and many more. Butler just released a new album You Just Watch Me.
This interview was done by email for a preview article for her concert at SOhO in Santa Barbara on 12/1/13, with answers received on Thanksgiving Day, 11/28/13. (L. Paul Mann photo)
Multi-instrumentalist John McEuen has been playing music professionally for over forty-five years. A key member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band for much of that time, he was the driving force behind their classic 1972 album Will The Circle Be Unbroken, which had the band collaborating with bluegrass and country-western legends like Maybelle Carter, Doc Watson, Earl Scruggs, and Merle Travis. McEuen has also recorded or performed with a staggering array of other artists over the years, and his production credits include the Grammy-winning Steve Martin album The Crow: New Songs for the 5-string Banjo.
John McEuen and his sons Jonathan and Nathan recently released the wonderful album For All the Good, billed as The McEuen Sessions, which has been praised as amongst the best of the elder McEuen’s career. The following was for a preview article for the performance billed as John McEuen and Sons at the Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara on 11/17/12. It was conducted by phone on 10/27/12.
Review of Hale Milgrim’s Quips and Clips at the Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara, 3/2/12.