I'm not really sure what it means to be a "band on the rise" anymore. There is no proven business model to follow in the music industry these days, but the path that Fruition is on seems to be working for them. With an never-ending tour schedule and a new album to promote, Fruition is making noise all around the country --and the country is listening.
Jay Blakesberg is not just your typical rock photographer -- some of his work has become as iconic as the performers he's capturing. With an archive spanning over 30 years, Jay is about to open up the vault and release his new coffee table book JAM. Take a listen to this week's episode as Jay discusses touring with the Grateful Dead as a teenager, working with Tom Waits, and what it takes to snap those special concert moments.
An old soul is somebody who is described as being wise beyond their years. Some people even believe that they might have acquired their knowledge from past lives and experiences. I'm the kind of person that can be quite skeptical when hearing a term like that, but listening to Natalie talk about her music makes me somewhat of a believer. She speaks both about her music, and the business that she is trying to make it in, with the maturity of a life long musician yet she is only in her very early 20's. Take a listen and hear for yourself.
Jennifer is a superstar to an enormous community of music lovers. With both the sound of her voice and the sound of her trumpet, she has been blowing away the audiences of all of the projects she is involved with, and gaining the fans of the countless other bands she has performed around the country. Let's just say she has a knack for stealing the show.
White Denim performs a very intense brand of progressive and psychedelic rock and roll. Their live shows are full of key changes, tempo shifts, and controlled chaos. The music moves at the speed of a freight train that is about to derail, but never does. It's their trust in each other's musicianship that allows them to pull off their impressive live show. There is also a delicate and melodic side to James Petralli's songwriting. His songs can be catchy just as much as chaotic and I assume that is what helped grab Jeff Tweedy's ear. Not only did he take White Denim out on tour with Wilco, he helped produce their upcoming album Corsicana Lemonade. There seems to be a ton of great momentum behind these guys right now and I highly suggest you catch them live if you can, as much as you can.
Listening to a recording of myself trying to have a conversation with one of my idols has proven to be personally painful. Since I was a teen I've been mentally preparing a list of questions of what I would ask John Scofield if I ever had the chance. Here was my chance and not a single one of those questions came out. Instead my brain went into fight or flight mode. My heart was racing like a teenybopper sitting across from Lady Gaga. All I can hear is how shaky my voice was, and after watching the video how extremely fidgety I can be when I'm nervous.
With that being said, what a dream come true it was for me to actually have a conversation with Scofield. There is not much I could add to the accolades he has already received worldwide from musicians, critics, and fans. With his instantly recognizable guitar tone, out of the box use of harmony, and sound twisting effects he has helped revolutionize electric rock and jazz guitar. The amount of groundbreaking artists he has collaborated with is nearly endless -- Miles Davis, Jaco Pastorius, Pat Metheny, Charles Mingus, Herbie Hancock, MMW, and Bill Frisell are just a few on a list full of legends. The man has been in the top of his profession for over 30 years and after listening to his new release Uberjam Deux, he shows no sign of stepping down any time soon.
Having a conversation with Reed is a lot like playing music with him: you think you might be on the same level but then he starts to speak and you quickly realize that you're dealing with a titan. To illustrate my point, one of the scariest onstage moments I've ever had was a few weeks ago. I was sitting in with Tea Leaf Green at the New Parish in Oakland and Reed steps up to me and says "Lets play something just you and I." Before I could even finish tuning my guitar Reed unleashed a combination of virtuosic bass chops and high-pitched effects that I've never come up against in all my time on stage. I felt like a lightweight stepping into the ring with the heavyweight champion of the world. It felt like I didn't even land a single punch. Similar feelings surfaced as soon as the podcast started. He is quick to answer any question with unapologetic honesty, insight, and wisdom. He talks about how he has nothing to teach anybody, but in my experience just being around Reed is an education.