Musician Brings Jazz, Funk and Rock Together
When you first listen to musician Scott McDavid’s music, the Steely Dan influence isn’t hard to miss. Fans of that group will instantly be drawn to McDavid’s soulful sound, which features salient vocal harmonies layered on delicately arranged instrumentations. He is not only a master of the keyboard, but also of writing and producing songs with a smooth, melodic mix of jazz, funk and rock.
In this interview with the O&F Studios, McDavid talks about his musical influences as well as his desire to create the type of songs that nobody else is doing. He discusses how several of his songs were put together, including a new take on the Elvis Presley classic “Don’t Be Cruel,” which could be parenthetically entitled “Steely Dan Meets the King.”
Song clips included in the interview come from two of McDavid’s albums, The View from Here and T.I.M.E. Guys. You can learn more about him at www.ScottMcDavid.com.
Interview with Scott McDavid, Part I (10:45)
Interview with Scott McDavid, Part II (11:39)
Extra: Song “When Your Number Comes Up” from the album The View from Here
Extra: Song “Penelope Carson” from the album T.I.M.E Guys
Extra: Song “Sounds of Love” [not featured in the interview] from the album The View from Here
above three songs: Music by Scott McDavid, Words by Mike Bruce and Scott McDavid
(c) copyright 2016
Contemporary Country Artist Pays Respect to a Classic Star and a Friend
Rising country star Denny Strickland recently recorded a cover of Kris Kristofferson’s 1971 hit “Loving Her was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Every Do Again),” Kristofferson’s first Top 40 hit. Although Strickland is a contemporary artist, he wanted to record the classic tune as a way to pay respect to Kristofferson, who had befriended and watched out for Strickland during a 2011 charity concert that took a sad a traumatic turn.
Strickland’s manager, Marshall Grant, had suffered a brain aneurysm the night before the star-studded event, a benefit to raise money to preserve Johnny Cash‘s boyhood home. Grant had played upright bass as a member of Cash’s original backing trio, who helped created the distinctive rhythmic sound exemplified in hits such as “Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire.”
Grant, who was close friends with Cash, also became the singer’s road manager and later managed the Statler Brothers before eventually deciding to help guide Strickland’s young career.
In this exclusive interview with the O&F Studios, Strickland talks about Kristofferson’s reassuring presence the night of the concert. Additionally, there’s a story about Grant’s prankster nature and how he and Cash inadvertently stopped a concert with a home-made bomb. (There were no injuries, but singer Marty Robbins wasn’t too happy!)
Strickland also talks about his style of music and the current album he is recording. Included in the interview are clips of some of Strickland’s previous hits, including the club favorite “Swerve On.”
Song Clips Included in the Interview:
“Loving Her was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” – Kris Kristofferson
“Loving Her was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again)” – Denny Strickland
“Run” – Denny Strickland
“How Far You Wanna Go” – Denny Strickland
“Swerve On” – Denny Strickland
“Waymore Blues” – Denny Strickland
(c) copyright 2016. All rights reserved
Hey, Hey It’s the Monkees…50 Years Later
Fred Velez is an authority on the group the Monkees, which included members Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork. Valez, wrote the book A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You: The Monkees From A Fan’s Perspective, and he writes a blog for the website Monkees.net.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Monkees debut on television and records, and we wanted to take a look at the four members of the group after the breakup and what their individual careers were like in the 1970s and 1980s.
In Part I, Velez talks about Michael Nesmith, who had the most commercial success following the breakup of the group. Part II focuses on Micky Dolenz and his encounters with the Beatles. Part III looks at the late Davy Jones and his teen heartthrob image. Part IV features stories about Peter Tork, widely considered the best musicians in the band, and some of his well-documented struggles in the early 70s.
Part I – Fred Velez talks about the career of Michael Nesmith (9:39)
Part II – Fred Velez talks about the career of Micky Dolenz (7:39)
Part III – Fred Velez talks about the career of Davy Jones (7:08)
Part IV – Fred Velez talks about the career of Peter Tork as well as the Monkees 1986 reunion (8:18)
(right click the individual titles to download, or stream on the embedded media player)
(c) copyright 2016. All rights reserved
The Smithsonian Institute has launched a new project to gather as many original photographs as possible related to rock and roll (as well as other genes of music), and the organization is soliciting help from the public. A website has been set up, http://rockandroll.si.edu, where anyone can submit photos that will first be verified and then posted on the site, with the goal of creating the largest and most encompassing single source of visual music history.
Music industry veteran Bill Bentley has been brought in to help with the project and to put together a planned book that will feature some of the most significant photos submitted to the site. In this conversation with the O&F Studios, Bentley describes the scope of the project and offers a story about Neil Young that illustrates how some of the best photos don’t necessarily need to come from expensive professional photography sessions.
Interview with Bill Bentley (17:02)
(right click to download: O&F Studios’ Conversation with Bill Bentley or stream the interview on the embedded media player)
(c) copyright 2016. All rights reserved.
Ginger Gilmour has had successful careers as a model and an artist; however, the rock world will know her best as the former wife of Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour, with whom she had four children. Ginger has written her autobiography, Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon, filled with stories about her life with David and the Floyd, as well as her inner journey to understanding beauty.
In Part I, Ginger talks to the O&F Studios about first meeting David and of being captivated by the sound of the band’s music, which took her to a “world where peace and beauty united us all.”
In Part II, Ginger recalls the bliss of love she enjoyed with David in their first two weeks together. She also discusses some of the hard times the Floyd faced as they rose in popularity. Included in her thoughts are how the acclaimed WALL project was a critical success, yet it proved to be taxing on the group.
In Part III, Ginger talks about her son Matthew Gilmour and the launch of his musical career. (We preview one of Matthew’s songs from his album the Grey.) She also explains her journey as an artist and the truly inspired nature of her works as well as her revelation about beauty.
In the Bonus excerpt, Ginger starts by recalling two amusing stories involving the band and pigs — one instance was a planned tug-of-war backstage at a concert, and the other centers on creating the cover of the album Animals.
Part I – Meeting David and the Beauty and Magic of the Floyd’s Sound (13:22)
Part II – The Bliss of Love and Hard Times for the Floyd (18:57)
Part III – Matthew Gilmour, and Ginger’s Journey (20:22)
Bonus – When Pigs Fly (10:50)
More about Memoirs of the Bright Side of the Moon can be found at www.angelscript.com
More about Matthew Gilmour and his album the Grey can be found at www.matthewgilmour.com
(c) copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Having played with some of the greats on the big band scene, saxophonist Ron Aprea has carved out a long and successful career as a jazz musician, and his abilities have even allowed him to leave his mark on a bit of rock and roll history. In 1974, Aprea was one of several jazz musicians asked take part in recording with John Lennon for the former Beatle’s classic Walls and Bridges album, which went on to be Lennon’s second #1 album and produced the #1 single “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.” Aprea has just released a tribute album to Lennon and the Beatles that offers new jazz treatments of some of the most memorable tunes written by Lennon and Paul McCartney. In this interview with the O&F Studios, Aprea talks about the new album and about working with Lennon, who Aprea says had a great deal of respect for musicians. The tribute album features a version of “Imagine,” where Aprea is joined by trumpeter Steve Madaio, another one of the original musicians from the Walls and Bridges sessions. (More information about Aprea and the new album can be found at RonAprea.com.)
(c) copyright 2015. All rights reserved.
Interview with Ron Aprea, Part I (27:48)
Interview with Ron Aprea, Part II (23:09)
Ambrosia’s Doug Jackson
Doug Jackson is the guitarist for the progressive rock group Ambrosia, which hit the singles and albums charts in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The bands biggest hits include “How Much I Feel” from the 1978 album Life Beyond L.A., and “Biggest Part of Me” and “You’re the Only Woman (You and I)” from the 1980 album One Eighty. Jackson permanently joined the group in 2000 after founding member David Pack left to work on other projects. In this conversation with the O&F Studios, Jackson talks about his musical roots as well as how his training as a jazz musician has enabled him to play alongside some of the best classic rock artists in the industry.
Interview with Doug Jackson of Ambrosia (17:54)
(right click here to download: O&F Studios’ Conversation with Ambrosia’s Doug Jackson, or stream it on the embedded media player)