Jimmy Carter of The Blind Boys of Alabama joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life connecting with his classmates to form The Blind Boys of Alabama, early memories of touring and recording, memories of contemporaries like Sam Cooke and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, experiencing the Civil Rights movement and the diversification of the Blind Boys’ audiences in the 80s, their appeal in the secular world, touring with Peter Gabriel, what it was like performing at The White House for Obama, memories of his final performance with longtime friend and partner Clarence Fountain, learning that their recording of Way Down In The Hole was used for the TV show The Wire, what his plans are for a new recording spanning the group’s 80 year career, what he plans to do in the second half of his life and much more!
Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life discovering music and growing up with a musical family, how he got into discovering the keyboards via The Beatles, what the working structure was within The Thompson Twins in terms of creativity, are there any songs hidden in their vault, what it’s been like returning to the stage after 20+ years, was he nervous that the audience would still be there, the journey back to pop music in recent years, inspiration behind his song Come So Far, his first self-title debut solo album Science Fiction, will it be another 20 years before his next album, and much more!
The legendary Paul Rodgers of Bad Company, Free, The Firm, The Law, and Queen + Paul Rodgers joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life discovering music and the soul singers that inspired him to find his voice, his early days of songwriting, the success experienced by Free at an early age, was he ever tempted to wade into the Prog waters of the 70s UK scene, where his thoughts were at the time of leaving Bad Company, connecting with Jimmy Page to form The Firm, are there any Firm songs left in the vault, looking back at his time touring with Queen and some of the challenges in performing their material, his thoughts on their Cosmos Rocks album, his current solo band and their latest live CD and DVD release Free Spirit, thoughts on his upcoming tour with Jeff Beck and Ann Wilson, working with animal rescue, his looking forward to us moving into the Age of Aquarius and much more!
Will Turpin of Collective Soul joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early life discovering music, songwriting, and growing up with the family owned Real to Reel Studios in Atlanta, how he first connected with Ed Roland and how he officially joined Collective Soul, memories of their first recording sessions, traveling the world for Music In High Places, finding his own voice lyrically and musically with his solo debut EP Lighthouse, his latest full length debut album Serengeti Drivers, what’s in store for Collective Soul’s upcoming 25th Anniversary (hint: a double album!), and much more!
Legendary drummer Stewart Copeland of The Police and Gizmodrome joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early drumming influences from a trio perspective, switching from drumming to fronting a band, springboarding on the punk scene and evolving his unique style of playing with The Police, tips on how to get on the cover of Modern Drummer Magazine, the conflicts of songwriting in The Police, the sibling bond he shares with Sting and Andy, memories of the reunion tour, his approaches to composing for TV and film, moving on to writing “fancy schmancy” music for opera, working on Spyro video game music, his current project of orchestrating his greatest hits (including some Police) for stage performance, his intriguing day of recording with Tom Waits, performing with Gizmodrome, the future of Oysterhead with Les Claypool and Trey Anastasio, and much more!
Legendary drummer Steve Smith of Journey and Vital Information joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering the drums, his early teachers and training regimes, connecting with Jean Luc Ponty, working with Allan Holdsworth, going from the jazz kit to the rock kit, working with Ronnie Montrose, joining Journey and becoming a band member, what they saw in him from a drumming perspective, thoughts on each of the classic Journey albums, memories of the classic music videos, getting the call to rejoin Journey, working on Y&T’s Ten album, exploring Indian music, his ongoing jazz group Vital Information, doing instructional books and videos and working with students of all skill levels, and much more!
Roger Joseph Manning Jr of Jellyfish, Imperial Drag, The Moog Cookbook, and Beck’s band (among many others) joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering drums and switching to keyboards, what the vision and strengths were of Jellyfish and why he thinks the music has resonated for so many years, what were the plans for the third album that never became a reality, how he shifted from Jellyfish to The Moog Cookbook and Imperial Drag, his collection of vintage instruments, his journey as a freelance musician working with all sorts of artists including David Bowie and Roger Waters, what it was like working with Roger Waters in the studio, the creative process behind his new EP Glamping, connecting with Chris Price, the project he’s currently working on with Eric Dover and Tim Smith, what’s next now that he’s active on PledgeMusic, and much more!
BONUS – This episode also includes an interview from March 1994, about two weeks before Jellyfish officially broke up. Possibly the last interview Roger did as a member of Jellyfish. It features a dopey, young Eric Miller completely devoid of interviewing skills, but it is interesting for historical purposes.
Rod Morgenstein of Dixie Dregs and Winger joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering drums, moving to Miami and his first connections with Steve Morse and the formation of Dixie Dregs, memories of working with Ken Scott and recording the first couple Dregs albums, playing in front of his musical heroes in the 70s, how he first connected with Kip Winger and Reb Beach, what was his experience like moving from jazz fusion to a more straight ahead rock drummer, thoughts on the grunge era and the Winger Pull album, memories of his recently departed friend Pat Torpey of Mr Big, what it’s been like reconnecting with Dixie Dregs for the 2018 reunion tour, what’s next and much more!
Me’Shell Ndegeocello joins Eric in conversation to discuss her early days growing up in a musical home, discovering exciting and varied music in her family’s vast record collection, buying her first Prince record, auditioning for Living Colour just before signing her major label deal, working in the hit-centric music business, thoughts on recent comments regarding female artists from the Grammy world, thoughts on the current political and social climate in the world, the importance of her musical project Can I Get A Witness? The Gospel of James Baldwin and what is ahead for that, her current covers record Ventriloquism and what inspired the interesting song choices she made for that record, what’s next and much more!
Andy Powell of Wishbone Ash joins Eric in conversation to discuss his early days discovering guitar, forming Wishbone Ash in the vibrant British music scene of the early 70s, breaking into America, the success of the band’s classic Argus, some memories of gigs with such interesting opening acts as Bruce Springsteen and KISS, the changing business through the 1980s, the recent deluxe reissues of Twin Barrels Burning and Raw To The Bone, and his honest thoughts on the artwork of the time, what went into assembling The Vintage Years 1970 – 1991, which is a 30 CD massive box set that includes tons of content and contributions from all former band members, what logistics go into putting together a project like that, what’s ahead for their 50th anniversary and much more!