Mutlu joins Eric in conversation to discuss the beginnings of his musical career, coming up in the Philly singer-songwriter and soul scene, how he connected with the likes of Daryl Hall and John Oates, T-Bone Wolk, Amos Lee, and The Hooters, life on the road, his arc of being signed to a major label, getting lost in one of those all-too-familiar major label shuffles, and most importantly some of the origins and meanings behind the songs on his new independently released EP, Good Trouble.
Mutlu is at heart a soul singer and songwriter, but his work ranges from super sexy songs complete with a wink and nod to 70s and 90s R&B, fun songs, songs with important social commentary, tips of the cap to styles like reggae and rap, songs about emotions we all feel like depression and loss, and even mixing in some traditional and pop influences from his Turkish heritage.
Dave Leslie of Baby Animals returns to join Eric in conversation to take a track by track look back at the 1993 Shaved and Dangerous, the follow-up to their wildly successful 1991 self-titled debut album. Recorded once again at Bearsville Studios in New York and at Compass Point in The Bahamas, the Shaved and Dangerous album was produced by Ed Stasium with a few songs produced by Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt. This would mark the first time the band worked with Nuno, which we get into.
This album didn’t perform as well commercially, the band went through some struggles creatively with the label, and eventually on the road. Litigation followed and the band dissolved shortly thereafter. They’ve since returned with a new studio album, an unplugged album, a live album, a greatest hits, new tracks, tours and much more. But this marked the end of their initial run for all intents and purposes.
Having said that, it’s a FANTASTICALLY creative album with some truly stellar tracks and performances by all members of the band, which we get in to. If you’re familiar with Baby Animals, you’ll enjoy this in-depth discussion of this classic record. If you’re new to the band, hopefully you’ll listen and discover some truly incredible songs for an under-recognized band.
Zak Rizvi of Kansas joins Eric in conversation to discuss the beginnings of his musical career, how he initially connected with Phil Ehart as a fan, his work with New Jersey based prog-rock band 4Front, how they landed dates opening for Kansas, Phil introducing Zak to longtime Kansas producer Jeff Glixman, how he went from fan to producer to songwriter to band member, his first gig with the band, the songwriting process and trying to do justice to the legacy of Kerry Livgren and Steve Walsh, how the Kansas sound has changed now that the second guitar has returned, how he works out the parts with Rich Williams and David Ragsdale, receiving a private video guitar lesson from Steve Morse, plans for the next album, what’s next for him and the band, and much more!
Mike Portnoy shares his 10 Essential Neal Morse songs. Mike Portnoy and Neal Morse have been friends and collaborators for 20+ years through four bands. They first connected while Mike was in Dream Theater and while Neal was in Spock’s Beard. In this monster FOUR HOUR episode, Mike shares his personal list of Neal’s essential songs – spanning from Spock’s Beard through Neal’s solo work, Transatlantic, and The Neal Morse Band. Mike also shares some great stories about how they first connected, how they work together, what about Neal’s music inspires him personally and professionally, and he shares some great insights to their working relationship as well as their personal friendship. Nothing beats one friend celebrating the work of another!
Andy Timmons shares his 10 Essential Brian May and Queen songs. Andy has been a lifelong Queen fan, even crediting Brian May with his discovery of harmony while studying songs from A Day At The Races as a young guitarist (a story he shares in this episode for the first time), but it was the recent success of the Bohemian Rhapsody film that inspired him to revisit the entire Queen catalog for a very serious, deep dive. Through sharing his ten essential Brian May/Queen songs, Andy tells great stories about connecting with these songs personally, the talent behind them and what sets these songs apart, the unique qualities of Brian’s guitar tone, playing, and singing, even personal experiences of playing with a 1947 King George Sixpence – the same coin Brian famously uses to play his Red Special.
We close out the episode with Andy’s gorgeous solo guitar rendition of Queen’s You Take My Breathe Away/Bohemian Rhapsody – a MUST hear!!
Chris Trapper of The Push Stars shares his 10 Essential Colin Hay songs. Chris has gone from being a fan of Colin’s solo work to a longtime partner on the road and a dear friend to the legendary Men At Work frontman. Through sharing his ten essential Colin Hay songs, Chris tells great personal stories about how he first discovered Colin’s solo work, how he first starting performing with him at festivals and as an opening act, firsthand memories of Colin’s struggles with lawsuits, death, life, career ups and downs, and what about Colin’s work, humility, humor and spirit inspires and influences him.
Oh, and which of Colin’s songs does Chris consider a classic on par with Imagine and A Change Is Gonna Come? Listen and find out.. it’s a good one.
Danny Vaughn of Tyketto joins Eric in conversation to take a track by track look back at the band’s 1994 sophomore release, Strength In Numbers. Produced by legendary producer Kevin Elson, their follow-up to Don’t Come Easy had a difficult journey making it’s way onto shelves following the whole wave of grunge that displaced many bands of the time. Danny shares his personal memories and all the details behind the album’s creation and journey.
A solid fan favorite, Strength In Numbers features some songs that were should-have-been monstrous AOR hits of the day – Rescue Me, Catch My Fall, Standing Alone. But the album also demonstrated the band was interested in growing and branching out. They were writing deeper, smarter, and more varied songs at the time. There are some healthy and authentic dashes of blues, Springsteen-esque singer-songwriter, mandolins, harmonicas, Bo Diddly beats, sweeping almost-progressive rockers and so much more.
For the 25th anniversary of the album, Tyketto will be doing some touring where they’ll perform the full album in its entirety – get those details here. They also have a new live CD and DVD that captures and ambitious performance featuring horns and strings. On the solo front, Danny has a new super-interesting solo album of “odd songs” in the works and well as his duet project with Dan Reed of Dan Reed Network.
If you’re familiar with Tyketto, you’ll enjoy this in-depth discussion of this classic album. If you’re new to the band, hopefully you’ll listen and discover a truly solid rock album from 1994 that you may have missed the first time around.