interview Archive

Ex Hex is Bigger and Better Than Ever

It’s best not to read too much into the fact that eclectic musician and songwriter Mary Timony’s band Ex Hex took its name from a solo album she made back in 2005. “Honestly, I just saw Ex Hex as a cool name for a band a long time ago, and since I didn’t really have

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… Of all the sessions you’ve played on, is there one that really stands out as a particularly disastrous or unpleasant? No. I’ve never had any unpleasant sessions, because you’re there to make the music and play the music. Every one had sort of attributes. Going back to very enjoyable ones. I

A Session with the Session Man: Rick Wakeman (Part One)

Mention the name Rick Wakeman to a fan of ’70s rock and they’ll immediately think of Yes, the band he has joined and quit more than five times. Dig further and you’ll learn that he’s an impossibly prolific recording artist who has released more than 90 albums. Perhaps less known is his work as a

The Midnight Hour: Looking Back to Move Forward

Evoking the spirit of the Harlem Renaissance while exploring modern musical territory, The Midnight Hour combines jazz arrangements with a decidedly hip hop aesthetic. Led by two leading lights of American music, the group makes carefully orchestrated yet beat-centric music. Both Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad got their start in music making use of

Moses Jones: Chakra and Jive

The colorfully-named Moses Jones & the Dirty Southern Soul came together a few years ago with a goal of making its own style of music. The band’s sound recalls the Southern flavor of Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers, with Robert Johnson’s slide guitar at the center of the mix. Johnson had previously released a

Hope Griffin: A Shining Light of a Singer-songwriter

Hope Griffin is a Western North Carolina-based singer-songwriter. She sings and plays acoustic guitar in a soulful, rootsy style. But she arrived at that singular style via a somewhat unconventional route; her background isn’t at all typical of Appalachian songsmiths. Griffin was born in Alaska, and that state’s “nomadic quality of life” influenced her eventual

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Fun: the Men and the Journey of RPWL

German keyboardist/vocalist Yogi Lang first encountered guitarist Karlheinz “Kalle” Wallner in 1988 when the latter was playing in a band called Incubus. Eventually renamed Violet District, the group released its sole album, Terminal Breath in 1992, with Lang producing. Based 40 km north of Munich in Freising, that group met with only modest success, disbanding

Ian McDonald: From Prog to Arena Rock to Alt-country, All in Style

Most people will know the name Ian McDonald from his work with King Crimson and Foreigner. But his body of work extends well beyond pioneering progressive rock and ’70s arena rock. His current project is, in fact, a far cry from both of those styles. A superb multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, McDonald lends his talents to

The Mule Comes Alive: A Conversation with Warren Haynes

Among many music fans, there exists an unshakable belief: No matter how good the musicians, no matter how sophisticated the recording gear, no matter how skilled the recording engineers, a studio recording simply cannot capture the essence of a performer the way a live show can. For those fans and those who want a souvenir

Penny and Sparrow: Rosé Rock vs. Emo-country

The crystalline instrumentation and emotionally resonant vocal harmonies of Penny and Sparrow have earned the Austin, Texas folk duo both critical plaudits and a dedicated following. But Penny and Sparrow are about much more than indie-folk: their latest album, Finch, draws from a wide (and perhaps unexpected) array of styles, most notably rhythm and blues.