Joseph Hasty: Learning, Teaching, Working and Playing

Originally from Hickory and currently settled in Morganton, multi-genre multi-instrumentalist Joseph Hasty is immersed in a life of music. By day he’s a schoolteacher, but when class lets out, he’s off to a gig. Audiences might find him playing guitar or upright bass, and – depending on the venue – the sounds they’ll hear could

Let’s Talk About ‘Nuggets’ with Lenny Kaye (Part Two)

Continued from Part One … You had moved on by then, right? I only lasted like five or six months at Elektra. And about six months after I was gone and forgotten about it, somebody called me up from there and said, “We have the rights to all these records, these songs. What do we

Let’s Talk About ‘Nuggets’ with Lenny Kaye (Part One)

On this day of Thanksgiving I’d like to give thanks to Lenny Kaye for creating Nuggets. It’s not hyperbole to assert that Nuggets affected the course of popular music. In its own way, the 2LP set released on Elektra Records in the early ’70s influenced an entire generation of musicians. The compilation curated by Lenny

Emotional Content is Dream Theater’s Secret Ingredient

Over the course of its three decades, progressive metal band Dream Theater has periodically created albums centered about thematic concepts. 1999’s Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory was the band’s first concept album, and also marked the debut of Jordan Rudess and the group’s keyboardist. In 2002, the Boston-based band released Six Degrees of

Fifty-plus Years On, REO Speedwagon Keeps the Fire Burnin’

Midwestern rockers REO Speedwagon had been together for more than 13 years before the band scored its first top ten single. That song, “Keep On Lovin’ You” marked a new beginning for the group. And REO Speedwagon’s durability has been proven over and over again ever since: nearly 40 years after that single (and several

So Bad They’re … Still Bad

Part of my role as a music journalist is to be a critic. While these days I focus more on features, interviews and essays, I still review quite a lot of music. And I’ve done so since the very beginning. But my approach to the task has gone through a number of stages. In my

Brian Wilson: Do It Again

The standard take on Brian Wilson is also the most accurate one. It can be neatly divided into two parts. First part: The man is a genius. There’s simply no denying that Wilson is a force of nature; his command of the recording studio-as-instrument is almost beyond compare, which itself is fascinating in light of

Weird of Scotland: Jack Bruce’s ‘Songs for a Tailor’ at 50

Sixties supergroup Cream had at least five things that made it special: guitarist Eric Clapton, drummer Ginger Baker and bassist-vocalist Jack Bruce were the three most obvious assets. But producer Felix Pappalardi and Bruce’s lyricist Pete Brown deserve major credit as well. For all of Cream’s excesses onstage – seemingly endless guitar soloing and “Toad”

Righteous Jazz: A Conversation with Jeff Lorber and Mike Stern (Part 2 of 2)

Continued from Part One … [To Jeff Lorber] What is the most significant difference between your approach to your instrument today as compared to the way you played at or near the beginning of your career? Jeff: It’s funny you should mention that because I’ve just been listening a bunch lately to this recording I

Righteous Jazz: A Conversation with Jeff Lorber and Mike Stern (Part 1 of 2)

Nominally a jazz fusion keyboardist and composer, Jeff Lorber is known for a particular kind of highly melodic and accessible jazz. Detractors might cal lit “smooth jazz,” a term that – unsurprisingly – Lorber dislikes. But there’s no denying the wide appeal of Lober’s music; his debut, 1977’s The Jeff Lorber Fusion, reached #30 on