interview Archive

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… Parks recalls a visit to a friend in rural Virginia, nearly 2500 miles due East from southern California. “I went past, Galax, where the Old Fiddlers Convention is held,” Parks remembers. “It inspired me to write ‘My Jeanine,’ [set] in a place that doesn’t exist and a time I haven’t forgotten.”

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… Parks recalls how the germ of the project came about in or around 1990. “I had a piano exercise, and it was fun for me,” he says. “Because I am a pianist, most of my songs derive from the keyboard.” Seeking a name for the exercise, he came up with “Orange

Always Finish What You Started: Van Dyke Parks on ‘Orange Crate Art’ (Part 1 of 3)

Though he never sought the role – nor does he wear it comfortably – Van Dyke Parks is something of a cult figure in music. An idiosyncratic musical storyteller of all he surveys, remembers and imagines, Parks filters his ideas through a distinctly American sensibility, one that exists resolutely outside of the rock and pop

Todd Rundgren’s “Clearly Human” Tour: The Ever Popular Geofenced Artist Effect (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … “We’re doing 25 shows specifically targeted to 25 markets,” Rundgren says. “And everything that we do will be in the pursuit of preserving the experience both for the audience and for the band.” The focus is squarely on making each show a unique event, in a manner as close as

Todd Rundgren’s “Clearly Human” Tour: The Ever Popular Geofenced Artist Effect (Part One)

An edited version of this feature appeared previously in New City. For his latest concert tour, perennial wunderkid Todd Rundgren is revisiting his 1989 album Nearly Human. With an expanded band featuring longtime musical associates Kasim Sulton, Gil Assayas, Prairie Prince, Rundgren’s wife Michele and five others, the “Clearly Human” tour represents the latest in

Not Your Father’s Terry Gross: Post-rock Trio Gears Up for a ‘Soft Opening’

Some of the most innovative and creative recording artists — Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis and Brian Wilson chief among them — have used the recording studio as an instrument. But in the case of Bay Area band Terry Gross, the studio can be said to have created the band. Multi-instrumentalist Phil Manley is a member

Creativity During COVID

Note: This story started as an assignment for Mountain Xpress about one artist — Chris Tullar — and grew into a larger story looking at a wider range of creatives local to Asheville. — bk The ways in which creatives deal with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic vary widely, but many of them

Seth Walker Opens Up

This feature was first published in Bold Life Magazine. Seth Walker was born in a tiny town – really tiny – and was trained from an early age in classical music. So the fact that he ended up playing his own steeped-in-the-blues music is a bit surprising. But to the North Carolina-born songwriter and guitarist,

Vince Herman and Drew Emmitt Play the Music of the People

This interview was first published in December 2019 in Bold Life Magazine. Since forming in the late 1980s, Leftover Salmon had earned a place as a darling of the jam band and music festival scenes. Though nominally a bluegrass band, the Boulder, Colorado-based sextet makes music that draws from a wide variety of American musical

The Making of Wilco’s ‘Summerteeth’ (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One… Jay Bennett had bought a classic Mellotron, Stirratt remembers. The band first came into direct contact with the Chamberlin – a close mechanical relative of the fabled (and temperamental) Mellotron – sometime earlier, when they were visiting famed producer Mitch Easter (R.E.M, Game Theory, Velvet Crush) at his Drive-In Studio outside