From front to back: Kim Rancourt, Don Fleming, Steve Shelley, Joe Bouchard, and Gary Lucas
Interviewed by Harry Kaplan
Kim Rancourt may not be a household name, but he should be. Not only did he release one of the best albums of 2017 so far in Plum Plum, but Kim has always been in the right place at the right time. He grew up in Detroit and had the opportunity to see the MC5, The Stooges, and Sun Ra. He moved to New York and became a regular at CBGBs during the salad days in the mid to late 70s. Then Kim became hooked up with Sonic Youth and the 80s post punk bands of New York. Kim is also a tour guide at Lincoln Center and Coney Island. Most importantly, Kim is a super nice guy and incredibly humble. His stories are captivating and he gives a great interview.
I was incredibly fortunate to score an interview with the two founding members of the Blackfoot Gypsies, Matthew Paige (guitar and vocals) and Zach Murphy (drums). The name of their new album is To The Top and that is where these guys are headed. Their material and live performances are so good that their trajectory is only moving in one direction. In addition to incredible talent, all of the band members are incredibly humble, genuinely nice guys. It is easy to root for people like that. They talk about the new album, playing live, and many other interesting topics.
The best interviews are not those laborious Q & A sessions, but the ones that are like two people just shooting the breeze. That’s the way it was talking to Matt North. For a guy with a very impressive career and a new album on the way, he is incredibly down to earth. He made the interview so easy because he is so honest and open. We were able to talk about his album that comes out on February 21st, Above Ground Fools. Matt also talked about the musicians that played on his albums and his unique songwriting style. It is a very insightful look into a great singer songwriter.
MN = Matt North – TL = Twangri-La
MN: I’ve got to ask you a question first. Did you come up with the name Twangri-La?
Slim Cessna’s Auto Club from left to right: Todd “The Peeler” Moore (standing), Dwight Pentecost (standing), Rebecca Vera, Slim Cessna, Munly Munly, Ian O’Dougherty
Interview by Harry Kaplan
I had the great fortune of sitting down with Slim Cessna, who is one of the front men for Slim Cessna’s Auto Club (SCAC). They have been together for going on 25 years now. The Commandments According To SCAC is their 10th studio album. One thing they pride themselves on is that none of their studio albums sound like the others. Also, they pride themselves on their live performances. After seeing them for the first time, I can see why. It was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was part concert, part performance art, and part Broadway musical. I have never seen a person use a violin bow on a pedal steel or see someone get feedback out of a banjo. I saw both for the first time that night. It was an enlightening experience seeing SCAC live. It was also enlightening speaking to the man the band is named after, Slim Cessna.
I had a chance to sit down with Jesse Dayton on the final stop of his tour with The Supersuckers and Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. He has had quite a career already, playing with the likes of Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, John Doe, and Rob Zombie. He is also a producer, actor, and writer. On top of that, he is a great performer and just released an incredible album called The Revealer. Our interview was like a conversation between two friends, rather than an interview.
For brevity’s sake: TL = Twangri-La and JD = Jesse Dayton(more…)
Mandolin Orange are an Americana duo out of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The group is comprised of Andrew Marlin (vocals, mandolin, guitar, and banjo) and Emily Frantz (vocals, violin, and guitar). They were gracious enough to speak to me before their show in Portland Oregon on their fall tour. This was less than a week after the release of their stellar album Blindfaller. They speak about playing, recording, and life on the road.(more…)
I spoke to Mia Doi Todd about her latest album Songbook, touring, recording and her plans for the future. She is a very accomplished composer and musician and Songbook is her 10th studio album containing standards from other artists such as Prince, The Cure, and Neil Young.(more…)