interview Archive

Ukraine Benefit in Hendersonville NC

Horrified by Russian aggression in Eastern Europe and inspired by the fortitude and determination of the Ukranian people, two Western North Carolina residents looked for a way to provide some support to the besieged people of the Ukraine. John Ariaitti and musician friend Tom Fisch teamed up to stage a Benefit Concert for Ukraine on

Blue Ridge Guitar Camp with Bryan Sutton

Note: This is the second of two features (originally written for two different publications) focusing on the June 2022 Blue Ridge Guitar Camp and Celebration. — bk Though he’s closely associated with the Nashville session scene, bluegrass/Americana musician and songwriter Bryan Sutton is a Western North Carolina native. He’s also a Grammy nominee and ten-time

For Primus’ Les Claypool, Rush is ‘Closer to the Heart’

Formed in 1984 by bassist Les Claypool, Bay Area prog/metal/alternative band Primus has long since established its own bonafides as an original outfit, with nine albums of original music to the group’s credit. And Claypool’s creative impulses extend beyond Primus: he has toured and released albums by and with Oysterhead, The Frog Brigade, The Claypool

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 3 of 3)

Continued from Part Two… The electric fusion group drew inspiration from across the musical landscape, combining sounds the likes of which one might find on a Miles Davis album of the era with a funky soul and r&b sensibility. Among the Oblivion Express’ most beloved recordings is a scintillating Auger original, “Happiness is Just Around

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 2 of 3)

Continued from Part One… Not long thereafter, Auger was leading an organ trio at a Manchester club called The Twisted Wheel. There he was approached by a “rather tall guy.” Long John Baldry, as he was known, was a household figure in British music, having been a guest on two Beatles TV programs. Baldry asked

Whenever You’re Ready: Brian Auger Celebrates 60 Years in Music (Part 1 of 3)

New collection of classic and rarities from the celebrated music figure Organist, composer, vocalist and band leader Brian Auger is best known for his work leading two bands: in the ‘60s he launched The Trinity, a pioneering soul/jazz/rock outfit featuring powerhouse vocalist Julie Driscoll. And in the early ‘70s Auger pursued ambitious yet accessible jazz

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Four)

Continued from Part Three… The other three dB’s are even more direct on the matter. “I hate power pop,” says Gene Holder. “The dB’s were more experimental [than that]. Chris’s songs, especially, were always pretty odd, which was really cool.” Will Rigby agrees, noting that in his estimation, The dB’s had “a little more intellectual

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… By the time the quartet’s first single, “Black and White” b/w “Soul Kiss” was released in 1980, Rigby says that Stamey and Holsapple (who had moved to second guitar) “were on an equal basis in the band.” Gene Holder agrees, noting that there was never anything like a power struggle in

The dB’s in Black and White (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… A single credited to Chris Stamey and The dB’s featured an a-side (“(I Thought) You Wanted to Know”) played by Stamey with Television’s’ Richard Lloyd, who wrote the tune. “Chris wanted to have a band to promote that,” recalls Holder. Individually, he and Rigby had both recently moved from North Carolina

The dB’s in Black and White (Part One)

Four musicians from North Carolina came together in the 1970s as The dB’s. Perennial critics’ darlings, the group never hit the big time on the level of their friends, kindred spirits and fellow southerners R.E.M. But The dB’s influenced a generation of indie rockers who would follow in their wake, and they left behind an