Leslie West Discusses Soundcheck Hendrix, and More

Posted March 2016

West Leslie CREDIT JUSTINBORUCKI 001Photo by Justin BoruckiOne of the most talked about performances at Woodstock (but didn’t’ get to make it on the movie) is the eleven song set by Mountain. At the time, the band was mostly noted for it’s cover of the Jack Bruce tune, Theme for an Imaginary Western, as well as blistering guitar solos by the bands founder, Leslie West.

In the years that followed, the band continued to blaze musical trails, ultimately releasing eight studio and three live albums. It’s signature hit became “Mississippi Queen” that has been heard all over the world and used in movies, TV shows and commercials. 

Leslie West also simultaneously launched a successful solo career, marked by fifteen solo albums – sixteen when you include his new monumental effort, “Soundcheck.” It was for “Soundcheck” that I recently contacted West by phone. In fact, I called him on the 45th anniversary of the passing of Jimi Hendrix. I was curious about your thoughts about him.

“Well, it was really sad. He died at almost 28 years old. I’ve since become friends with his sister, Janie. She came through New York recently – within the last year. They’re doing a documentary on the Atlanta Pop Festival – with Jimi there. They were interviewing people that played it. She’s such a sweetheart.”

Circling back to Jimi himself, West continued:

“Too bad he’s not still around. I have very fond memories. I played with him at a club in New York at, like, one in the morning. Just me and him. Him playing bass and me playing guitar. In fact, on MoutainRockBand.com – our website – there’s a picture of Hendrix playing bass and me playing guitar that night. It’s not the greatest picture but you can certainly see that it’s him and me. 

“He went WAY before his time. Yeah, that wasn’t a happy day.”

Bringing the conversation to Leslie’s new CD, I asked him how many solo records this mad for him.

“I think it’s sixteen solo albums, believe it or not. I think. Somebody wrote that the other day. I started to count them but I EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEditedfeel really tired so I’m not going to start to

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Austin Crum And Family

Posted January, 2016

 

Crum Austin 02croppedThe interviews that grace this webzine are normally of iconic, legendary, or up-and-coming artists. Big names, so to speak. This month, you are going to learn about a talent well before the rest of the world is turned on to him.

His name is Austin Crum and believe me when I say that this sixteen year old guitar prodigy is definitely the next Stevie Ray Vaughan or Joe Bonamassa. Rock. Blues. Country. You name it, Austin nails it.

Born to Gina and Chad Crum and raised in Newport, Austin literally cut his teeth on the guitar. To hear Austin’s parents tell it, they discovered that their son was gifted on the guitar at a very early age. Chad said: 

To hear Austin’s parents tell it, they discovered that their son was gifted on the guitar at a very early age. Chad said: 

“We knew he had talent when he was a baby. He could keep rhythm.”

Gina chimed in and said, “Yes! He had a little toy guitar. I’m talking little bitty. He was, probably, one. We gave him a pick and he would play along.”

Chad added, “He always carried a pick. When we would get ready to go to church, he would make sure that he had a pick in his little pocket when he was old enough to walk around.

“At our church we have a lot of music. We have a lot of drums, the bass, guitars, acoustics, piano; we had an organ at one time. We had a lot of music. Austin would watch the guitar player and he would actually have his pick. We’d be singing in the choir and he would be over there playing the guitar player’s licks.

“He sung his first song in church when he was four – ‘There’s Been A Change In Me’ – the old Gospel song.”EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEdited

Gina added, “I sung it to him when he was little – taught it to him. When he was four, he learned the whole song and stand in church and sing it.”

The church they’re talking about is Centerview Free Will Baptist Church in Newport, Tennessee, and is where Chad Crum was “born and raised” in. 

I asked the Crum’s if they thought that pre-natal learning factors

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Beth Hart Discusses Better Than Home

Posted November, 2015

Photo by Greg Watermann

     

To say that Beth Hart is one of the most amazing new female singer/songwriters of the new millennia would be an understatement. 

Literally discovered in the 90’s while performing on the streets of L.A. by David Wolf (who became her close friend and manager). He managed to land her a record deal with Atlantic in a matter of weeks.

Her talent has landed her on TV (both performing as well as her songs being used on shows) and even in front of our current president (along with the iconic Jeff Beck). 

Because of her openness about her battles with booze, drugs, bad relationships and being bi-polar, Beth Hart has inspired many to fight the good fight against their own personal demons.

I was first turned on to her work four years ago by way of a duet album she recorded with guitar great, Joe Bonamassa, entitled “Don’t Explain”, in 2011. She won me over with her treatment of the Etta James hit, “I’d Rather Go Blind”, making permanent and me an instant fan. A couple of years later, I had the thrill of conducting my first interview with this incredible artist. 

I was recently afforded yet another opportunity to chat with her about her latest CD, “Better Than Home” (an album I absolutely love, by the way), prefaced my first question about it by stating that I felt that it was quite an introspective album from her, then asking if that was an accurate observation.

“Yes, I would say so. I mean, I typically tend to be pretty vulnerable and open in my writing, anyway. But this record, in particular, went a little deeper there. I turned in a lot of songs to Rob Mathes and Michael Stevens. A lot! These are the ones that they felt the strongest about recording.  I think that the chose a collection that just happened to be on a super personal level that they thought would work together for a record.”

I shared with Beth that my favorite cut from the disc is “Tell Them To Hold On” and asked her to share her story behind it.

“Thank you. I love that song! I started writing that a few years ago – several years ago, actually. What inspired me was that I went into the hospital and I really

     

Photo by Greg Watermann

wasn’t doing that well. As I started to come around and feel better, I saw a lot of people there with me that hadn’t started feeling better, yet. I felt so much compassion for them because I had just been through the same thing. So, I was kinda, in part, thinking, ‘I swear to God, it gets better, guys! Just hang on in there! No matter how bad or dark or scary it gets, it always gets better! It’s so worth holding on because it just gets better.’ I think that’s where that came from.”

When I told Beth that I thought that God’s hand was on her when she wrote that song, she said:

“Thank you. I’d like to think that because I really feel like it’s such a spiritual experience writing. It’s such a healing and wonderful experience. I’ve always felt like God and the angels kinda help me out there, you know? Kinda show me the way. I need to believe that, you know?”

Realizing that artists don’t like to pick a favorite song from their albums because it’s like picking a favorite child, I asked Ms. Hart which song she would point people to as a calling card for “Better Than Home”.

“It would be, ‘Tell Her You Belong To Me’.  It was by far the most challenging. It took the longest time to write it. I didn’t know what it was about in the beginning of writing it even though I had lyrics and I had all of the melody. I had all the music done first, which is what I usually do, anyway. But, I had a lot of lyrics and I couldn’t figure out what were the right lyrics. I pondered over it a couple of years. Then, finally, I realized why I was struggling with the lyric because I finally realized who it was about. It was about my dad. That’s why I was afraid to talk about those feelings. Once I figured out what it was about, then I said, ‘Okay, now let’s get this song done!’ I just love it. I love this song so much! I dedicate the album to my dad. I never dedicated a record to my dad before.”

The title song is truly soul stirring. Beth shared with me the story behind it and how it impacted fans.

“I’m close with a few of my fans and, when I say that, I mean that they’ve become really good friends of mine and they’re usually people who deal with similar things from difficulty in childhood or mental difficulties. So, yeah, they’re always a part because I know they’re my sounding board. I get to talk to them and say, ‘Hey, this is how I’m feeling,’ and they say, ‘Yeah, I’ve been going through the same thing, lately! This is what I’m doing to get better and this is what I’m doing that’s making me feel better.’ It’s a fantastic thing – especially when I’m writing a song about that. 

Photo by Greg Watermann

“For me, ‘Better Than Home’ came from a childhood place of having dreams about things being better; things being different; me taking a different course in my life; the way that I looked at myself and the way that I looked at my own family and the way that I looked at life and creating a new family. I like to think that having a band and, then, also getting married and my manager, David, is like my father. He’s like a father figure to me. I like at that as my new family that I created later in life. 

“But it’s really standing before God and what I see as spiritual healing and something that looks over me and guiding me and having the courage to say, ‘This is what I want for my life.’ I think it’s hard when you have such low self esteem to say, ‘This is what I really want for my life’ because you feel like you don’t deserve it.

“So, ‘Better Than Home’ is getting to that place where you realize, despite my insecurities, despite my warped thinking, I absolutely deserve to have everything that I’ve ever wanted: love and health and being able to be responsible for myself and letting go of feeling sorry for myself. All those kinds of things. Music and experiencing life like when you wake up and you go outside and you’re, like, ‘Wow! I’m alive! I’m really lucky and I’m really thankful!’ Those kinds of things. 

“What I did, though, when I wrote it, was I made it about the road so, that way, I wouldn’t have to explain that personal thing that I add to the song but I could use the road as an example. What the road means to me is just getting out of your house. It doesn’t necessarily have to be singing and doing a show. It just means getting out of where you’re hiding from and experiencing life again. And THAT is better than home – better than hiding.”

I discovered Beth Hart from her first duet album with guitarist, Joe Bonamassa. She’s also worked with the legendary Jeff Beck and others. A Boomerocity reader who knew I was going to be chatting with Beth wanted to know whom else she would like to work with sometime.

“You know? I would really, really love to do something with Tom Waits. I don’t know him and I’m sure he doesn’t know who the frick I am but I adore him! I adore his writing. I adore his whole vibe. He is so vulnerable and, then, the next minute he’s absolutely hysterical. He’s got such a broad sense of being able to find art in every form of emotion and the way he does it is so brilliant. I would love to even be a fly on the wall in his room when he’s working. That would be amazing. It’s always been him. Whenever I get that question, I always say Tom Waits.”

In my interview with Joe Bonamassa last month, I told him that I was going to be chatting with Beth and asked him for a comment about her, to which he said, “I think Beth Hart is probably the most naturally talented singer and musician that I’ve ever been on stage with. She has such a wonderful sense of timing and phasing, vocally, and has an infinite capability, vocally. She commands attention. There’s some people who can really sing. They stand up there and sing. She stomps up there and she takes control of the stage. You can’t teach that kind of stage power and that presence. She’s a very, very, very special individual and I’m very proud of the records that I’ve made with her.”

When I shared those comments with Ms. Hart, her response was bubbly and from deep within her heart.

“Oh, my god! That is so amazing! Oh, my god! I love him! He’s so sweet! This is how I feel about Joe: I think that Joe is one of the most extraordinary people

     

Photo by Greg Watermann

because, like Jeff Beck, he really works at his craft. He doesn’t just assume that he has all this talent and that’s all he needs. He works at it. He’s on the road. He’s practicing at home. He’s making records. He’s writing songs. He’s covering songs in a brilliant way. And he’s got a HUGE vocabulary. 

“I think it’s, obviously, a great talent there, but it’s like Jeff. Jeff’s got a great talent but he works his ass off at it. He doesn’t take it for granted in any way. He’s striving to always learn and takes on new challenges. I mean, you can see what he’s done with his career. He’s someone who’s never had Pop success; tons of radio play Pop stations and look at his career! It’s phenomenal and it’s because he works at it. He puts it out there. He never takes it for granted. That’s something that really inspired me when I met him was that I saw his work ethic and his total commitment – not only being an artist but really being someone that gets out there and works the shit out of it. That inspired me so much!

“Also, he’s incredibly humble and the easiest person to work with. He really inspires the people around him by allowing them to be themselves and showing them that respect and that love. He focuses on his side of the street. I think what that does is you work with people and you let them see that they’re there because you believe in them and you love them and you’re focusing on your thing and you know that they’re going to focus on their thing. And, when you bring it together, it makes it this amazing chemistry. You get the best out of people. That’s another thing I really saw from him and made it a conscious effort to do that in my life, as well. I love his flavors and his styles on things. 

“Obviously, as a player and as a singer - love him as a singer! I love his voice. I love how he doesn’t push and do that whole showboating bullshit thing. He really has faith in the material and he allows those songs to be played and to be sung for the sake of the song instead of for the sake of showboating and showboating is bullshit. We know that, you know? That only goes so far. After three or four songs, you’re done. You’ve seen the showboating. It’s over. With him, you don’t get that. You can watch him for two hours and it’s always special and it’s always something that is humble and comes from a real place of love for music instead of having to show you how amazing he is. His amazement is in how respects the music and at it from that place.”

In addition to what she had shared earlier, Beth shared what else is on her radar for the next year.

Photo by Greg Watermann

     

“Well, you know, what I decided is doing nine months on the road a year is just too much. It’s getting in the way of my relationships with family, with friends, with being able to be a wife to my husband, and it’s getting in the way of writing. Even thought I work with my husband on the road, it’s still all about the Beth Hart Show. At home, I want to be able to cook for him and go to the beach and ride bikes with him. 

“I was telling this to my manager recently. I was saying as a writer, I’m not going to write about airplanes and hotels. Who gives a shit about that? I gotta write about real life and in order to write about real life, I have to be connected to real life. 

“So, I think what’s on the focus for me is, like, seven months out of the year on the road, living a real life and being able to write from that place. Being really healthy. Really balanced. I’m forty-three, now. This is the time where you’ve really got to take care of yourself if you want to live to be old and I want to live to be old! I want to have a long life. I want to be able to be there to take care of my husband when he gets really old the way he’s taken such amazing care of me through all my difficulties. So, I’m kinda reprioritizing things and I think it’s a good thing! I feel really good about that.”

If Beth’s future is as full of life as she sounded during our call, then, happily, we should be hearing from this beautiful and amazingly talented woman for many years to come . . . and that’s a wonderful thing.

Marty Balin Discusses New Releases And Current Career

Posted December 2015

Balin Marty 001 JoyBalinPhoto by Joy BalinIt’s hard to believe that the iconic San Francisco band, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, took off fifty years ago but it’s true.  To commemorate this big anniversary this month, the band’s co-founder and key songwriter, Marty Balin, is releasing a two CD set of newly arranged old hits spanning the entire life and mutation of the band.  It’s entitled, “Good Memories. Then, in February, he’s releasing a CD of all new songs that he’s written, “The Greatest Love.”

I recently called up Marty at his Florida home to chat about both CDs, whether or not there would be any new work from his former band mates, and what his future plans are. 

We started off by talking about whether he had any idea the band would be remembered and listened to for fifty years and counting.

“No, I had no idea. Who would’ve ever thought that far ahead, anyway? It was fun to redo them all. I’ve been doing some of these things live. The audiences loved it and have wanted it on a record. It happened to be the 50th anniversary and it was a good idea. Put ‘em on a record. Why not? And it was a good set up for my next, new record, you know?”

With, “Good Memories”, Balin tackles the classics with some different spins, arrangement wise. I asked him if these are variations that existed back when he originally wrote the songs or are if they are relatively new.

“They’re not new ideas. They’re how I do them now, live. I don’t have all these instrumental breaks and everything - none of EverythingKnoxvilleLogoEditedthe musical interludes. I give them the body of the

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Tommy Emmanuel Discusses It's Never Too Late

Posted October 2015

 

     

If you’ve been a Boomerocity reader any time at all, you already know what huge Tommy Emmanuel fans we are here. You can find our positive concert, CD and DVD reviews on Boomerocity as well as two great interviews with the legendary Australian born guitarist.

Ooppss! Strike that. This makes the third great interview with the man.

In our interview with Tommy last year, his wife was expecting a baby at any time. That healthy bundle of joy did, in fact, arrive – a beautiful baby girl they named Rachel - and our chat started off talking about her.

“That’s right! She’s eight months old. Can you believe it? She’s eight months, already! Incredible! Where has the time gone? Unbelievable.

“I have a twenty-seven year old and a sixteen year old, as well. All girls. Just the way I like it. We learn so much from them, that’s the thing.”

Wanting to not exclude his wife, he adds:

“My wife, Clara, is such an inspiration to me at all times. She’s such a good mother. She’s a hard worker and so dedicated and so helpful in significant ways, you know? She constantly shares the load with me – even when I’m not saying anything about it. She just always shares everything with me so that I can go on and do the best I can. She knows how important that is. So that’s a good partnership.”

Sharing even more about his life, Emmanuel said:

“I was divorced in 2002 and I kind of made an agreement with myself that I would not get married again. Then, I met Clara and three years after we met I just knew there was no point in me prolonging it any longer. I don’t want to be with anybody else. I can’t imagine anybody else in my life. So, I asked her to marry me and she said, ‘Oh. Okay.’ 

“We got married privately and then called all of our friends and family up to tell them what we’d done. My other two daughters – it took them awhile to get used to the idea. Then, Rachel came along and it took them awhile to get used to that, as well. It’s been an interesting ride the last few years, you know, just personally. I think it’s helped me focus better on my playing, my writing and all that sort of stuff. And I’ve got new management, new business management. Everything has made a big turn and I’m really looking forward to this next couple of years; with a new album out and some great shows coming up.”

A Boomerocity reader said that he saw that that Emmanuel established a new record company, CGP Sounds and wanted to know if it’s for Nashville based and/or American artists or was he looking to open up opportunities for Australian based country bands who may be hoping to knock on doors in the U.S.

“Definitely, I’m looking for real talent around the world. CGP Sounds, at the moment, we have released two albums, so far. One is called, ‘Just Passing Through”. That’s’ some duets with another guitar player and a violin player. It’s in the Django Reinhardt style – like the swing/gypsy jazz style – which I recorded ages ago. We decided to put that out. Then, my new album, ‘It’s Never Too Late’ – via Thirty Tigers – it’s on my label, CGP Sounds. So, that’s the first two products.

“I’m not planning on rushing into too much too soon. I’m just going to kinda ease into it and then make some decisions on who I’ll sign and what I want to do with them as we get more organized down the track. 

“My managers are in on the label, as well. They’re the ones really driving everything. We all have to be unanimously in agreement on who we want to record and put out, promote and all of that sort of stuff.”

Knowing that Tommy had been on the Steve Vai owned label,  Favored Nations, I asked if CGP Sounds is modeled in the same fashion.

“Steve’s label is Favored Nations and Favored Nations is underwritten by Warner Bros. It’s a big company and he’s got a little bit of it. It has a niche market, you know?

     

We wanted to have a much better situation. I’ve got Jensen Communications as my promotion team and Thirty Tigers and Red are the label and the distributor. Red is Sony Company. They’re all over the world. Thirty Tigers is going to be driving this album for me and Red will make sure that the distribution is done right. But it’s the first time that I’ve had a product that’s had this much and kind of people behind it and people actually doing their job. It’s been fantastic! 

“Already, this is the first week in and we got the Americana chart yesterday and I’m number two as the most added artist on the Americana format. So, it’s really, really exciting for me. We’re hoping for a Grammy nomination in several categories, including Best Instrumental Composition. So, keep your fingers crossed, brother!

“It just feels that we’ve got a great team, now. I feel like we can all really move forward and really go for it!”

We at Boomerocity LOVE LOVE LOVE the new album. I asked Tommy to tell me a little bit about what this particular album means to and for you and what you hope fans will get out of it.

“Well, first thing, I recorded it in bits and pieces because I had a really hectic schedule last year. When I was home in Nashville, I had to get back in the studio and record some of the songs. Then, I wrote more songs when I was away. 

“When we knew that Rachel was coming, I wrote, ‘It’s Never Too Late’. I thought it was exactly what I needed for my album. That song and that saying – that’s why it ended up being there. It’s never too late to live happily ever after. That’s what the saying is. 

“I have a sign in my house when you walk in the front door, the first thing you see is a sign saying, ‘It’s never too late to live happily ever after’. It’s a very positive message to put out there to people and to remind them to get on and find what makes you happy and run at it with all your energy.

“Every song on the album means a lot to me. A lot of people have commented that they felt that these songs are some of the best that I’ve come up with. That’s nice to hear people saying stuff like that. My songs are like children to me and they’re always precious to me. They’re like little jewels and I try to keep polishing them. 

“The other good experience with this album was I decided that I would record some of the songs and mix it with a guy named Mark DeSisto. He’s in Los Angeles. He used to work for me back in the nineties. He specializes in mixing and mastering but he’s a great recording engineer, as well. I thought it would be good for me to have a change of pace so I came here to L.A. for a week and I recorded, I think, four or five songs with him. Then we spent a couple of days mixing and mastering the album. I was really pleased with the work. 

     

“The actual artwork and the photos were put together by my management team. They just did a great job. The cover of the album has little clues to all the song titles in the artwork. If you look at the cover, you’ll see that I’m standing there, looking at a clock. I’m inside the clock. The clock actually goes to thirteen, so you can never be too late. 

“My shadow that comes off my figure – my shadow is actually wearing a cowboy hat so that’s El Vaquero, which is Spanish for ‘the cowboy’. It could also be for The Duke. There’s a song on there called The Duke which is John Wayne. I’ve been a John Wayne fan all my life. I just imagined that, if I went back in a time machine back in the forties and somebody asked me to write a theme for a John Wayne movie, that was my operandi. It was my modus operandi that gave myself that challenge. That’s what I wrote. 

“Blood Brother was a song – I had a very powerful dream that was just like a movie. I woke up from the dream with that song in my head. I wrote it when I was in Spain. It tells a story, really. It’s a double-edged sword. It’s about brothers who watch each other - who watch out for each other – in the military. They’re fighting a war and they’ve got each other’s back. So, there’s that part of it and, then, the other part of the story is I read a story about a guy who was helped by a very poor Mexican family and he went to try and pay them for their help. They gave him food and they helped him get back on the road again, finally. He tried to pay them and they wouldn’t take anything. The old guy said, ‘Today you, tomorrow me. Today, it’s your turn for an act of kindness. Tomorrow, it might be me who needs it.’ There’s that kind of message in the song, as well.

“It’s Never Too Late, I wrote for Rachel because I turn sixty this year and I have an eight month old daughter. I just never thought that this would ever happen to me. It’s, actually, the best thing that’s ever happened to me and I can’t believe how she’s changed my life. Talk about a reason to get going and to get on with things. You’ve got a baby to bring up and to enjoy. It just reminds you that family is what it’s all about.”

What song from the disc would Emmanuel suggest as a “calling card,” if you will, to entice people to pick up the album?

“It’s Never Too Late – the title song. Definitely.”

Two other tunes from the album that Boomerocity absolutely loves are, “Hellos and Goodbyes”, and “Old Photographs”. Tommy shared the stories behind those songs.

“Hellos and Goodbyes, I did the rhythm guitar and then just played the song over the top. I co-wrote that song with a friend of mine back in the nineties. I arrived here in L.A. and I had a dream and in the dream this voice said, ‘Life is just hellos and goodbyes’.  When I woke up, the song that I had been writing, I somehow knew that that was the right title for that song. That is what that song is about. 

“So, the guy that I co-wrote it with, I rang him, firstly, to tell him about the title and, secondly, to say that it’s on my album; that he could break out the champagne now. Ha! Ha! I said to him, ‘The song is called Hellos and Goodbyes’ and there was silence on the phone. I said, ‘What’s up?’ and he said, ‘I just came from the hospital this morning. My father passed away last night in one part of the hospital and my sister had a baby, this morning, in the same hospital.’  He had a hello and a goodbye. It was powerful. It gave me chills. 

“Old Photographs I wrote after I watched the movie, Lincoln. It just transported me, that film. Not the story. Just the movie. It transported me because it’s so authentic. It reminded me of when I used to sit with my grandmother and I’d look at photographs of all my family and of my uncles who never came back from the war and all that kind of thing; and how precious that time was with my grandmother. I wanted to write a piece that sounded like it was from, I don’t know, the thirties or forties. Like some old guy sitting at the piano, playing  for his grand kid. That’s kind of like I wanted to do with that song.

“I heard that everybody who gets the record – I heard that people get a really good feeling from the music and that it brings good feelings to them; good memories. They make of the songs whatever they will. That’s the good thing about a song that has no lyrics. You can, in your own mind; you can imagine what it’s about, yourself. The writer wants you to listen to what he’s writing about through the title. Like Blood Brother. Old Photographs. It’s Never Too Late. Those kinds of titles. 

“Some of my earlier work were songs like Determination, The Journey, Don’t Hold Me Back – they are titles that I come up with years ago that speak a lot about what I’m writing about. It’s telling stories with words.”

When I commented that this is evident of an innate musical genius, Tommy’s genuine humility was unequivocal in his response.

“Well, thanks. I wouldn’t call myself a genius. No way! But I definitely – I channel stuff. When I feel inspired and I know I’ve got an idea that I’m excited about, I don’t quit on it and I use every resource I can possibly can to make sure that I get the right feeling across and the story told in the right way. 

“When I played in Madrid and Barcelona and Valencia in Spain a few years ago when I wrote Blood Brother, a guy I know who is a local flamenco player, Antonio Rey, he knew no English whatsoever. After the first show, he came to my dressing room and he had his guitar in his and he said, ‘Tommy! Tommy!’ and he played a little bit of Blood Brother and he said, ‘It’s flamenco! Your music is flamenco!’ He felt that that song was flamenco song and it totally spoke to him. Yeah! You never know, do you?”

In preparing for my interview with Tommy (and in hopes of seeing if he was going to be performing within driving distance so that I could mooch some tickets from him), I checked out his tour schedule. The guy’s calendar is jam-packed! I asked him if his family was going to be joining him at any time during the tour.

“Yeah. Well, I won’t see my daughters in England until Christmas. But my wife and my new baby will join me. I’ll see them next week in Las Vegas. They’ll then fly on to

     

San Francisco. My wife will be with her sister and her mother will come in from Australia so all of that side of the family will be together in California. Then they’re going to fly ahead and be in Korea. I’ll fly out of San Francisco straight into China and I’ll do China, Taiwan, then Singapore, Hong Kong and then I’ll do Korea. When I do Korea, we’ll all be together there. Then, my wife and my daughter are going to fly with me to the Japan dates. Then, we’ll go home from there.

“The Christmas tour will be with John Knowles, Pat Bergeson, and Pat’s wife, Annie. She’s going to sing, as well. I’m going to do a Christmas tour where the first hour is me solo – all the stuff from the album. Then, the second hour after intermission will be all Christmas music.”

Realizing that his time comes at a premium, I asked if there are any new albums and/or DVD’s in the works.

“There’s a lot of new performances that’s been uploaded in the last couple of weeks. There’s a brand new video for the song, It’s Never Too Late. It’s just been put up about an hour ago. So, yeah, there’s a lot of new stuff to look at. Go to my YouTube channel. There’s a lot of stuff to look at there. 

“We’ve got to do a follow up, instructional DVD for Milestones. I did a course for beginners called, Milestones, which really slowly led you through to becoming a finger style player. I broke everything down into small bits and made it accessible. So, we’re going to do a follow up on that one. That probably won’t be until early next year.

“I’ve got a duets album in the works at the moment. We’re talking to a lot of people. I’m really hoping to get some great artists on my album – that duets project.”

As with past albums from Tommy, Boomerocity eagerly awaits this project. Check out his tour schedule – as well as any news – at www.tommyemmanuel.com. You will definitely want to catch one of his shows. They’ll dazzle and amaze you. Guaranteed.