British art-punks Wire breezed into Auckland on January 15th for a gig at The Kings Arms. I happened to stop into the pub during the afternoon and was lucky enough to catch the band doing their sound check. Bass player Graham Lewis took a shine to my Can T-shirt and we got to be fast friends (at least temporarily). I sat down at the bar with Lewis and guitarist/singer Colin Newman for a chat about their excellent new album, Red Barked Tree. They also disclosed a few details about the departure of guitarist Bruce Gilbert.
The band played a blinding set later that evening with new guitarist Matt Simms adding a bit of youthful energy.
You can hear my conversation with Colin Newman and Graham Lewis here:
And check out a bit of their show at the Kings Arms here:
It seems like Lucinda Williams’ Little Honey album was just released…but its been more than two years and now she’s ready with another new album entitled Blessed. This time around she’s added Don Was to the production along with great players like Greg Leisz and Elvis Costello, who chimes in with some rocking guitar playing. I spoke to Lucinda about the new album.
Listen in as she talks about her friend Vic Chestnutt, who died a year ago, and collaborating with Ray Davies, Amos Lee and Over The Rhine.
This is Lucinda doing a duet with Jimmy Webb of the Glen Campbell classic Galveston, from Jimmy’s new album, Just Across The River.
It seems like Lucinda Williams’ Little Honey album was just
released…but its been more than two years and now she’s ready with
another new album entitled Blessed.
This time around she’s added Don Was to the production along with
great players like Greg Leisz and Elvis Costello, who chimes in with
some rocking guitar playing. I spoke to Lucinda about the new album.
Listen in as she talks about her friend Vic Chestnutt, who died a
year ago, and collaborating with Ray Davies, Amos Lee and Over The Rhine.
Jessica Lea Mayfield has been a touring musician since she was 8
years old. Her family was a band of travelling bluegrass musicians.
After two independent releases, the 21 year old Ohio native has just
signed with Nonesuch and released her new album, Tell Me. Like her
previous record, it was produced by Black Keys‘ guitarist Dan Auerbach.
I spoke to Jessica by phone just as she was about to embark on a
promo tour for the record in the U.S. During our chat she reveals her
white trash roots and talks about her ex-boyfriend, now doing hard
time for murder. Oh yeah, then there’s the music.
Listen here to Blue Skies Again, one of the tracks from the new album:
Killing Joke front man Jaz Coleman was in New Zealand a couple of months ago, just before the release of the band’s new album, Absolute Dissent, the first album the original band has recorded since 1982. Although he was born in the UK, Jaz is also a New Zealand citizen. He founded York Street studios in Auckland way back in the day.
In addition to his work with Killing Joke, Jaz has an ongoing career as a classical artist. He was just about to be made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture for his contribution to contemporary music when I spoke to him at the Radio New Zealand studios. The interview aired in an edited form on Radio New Zealand. Listen here to hear the unedited, always-entertaining Jaz Coleman.
The Melvins have been rocking out with their own brand of sludgy punk since 1983. The band still features two original members, guitarist/vocalist Buzz Osborne and drummer Dale Crover. I spoke to Dale just after the new year and talked to him about the new album, The Bride Screamed Murder, and their upcoming tour of New Zealand where they will be in Auckland on February 19th, Dunedin on the 20th and Christchurch on the 21st.
Photo thanks to Mike Bunyard. Click for more of Mike's images of the Mott the Hoople reunion shows.
Verden Allen was the original keyboard player for Mott The Hoople and the catalyst for their 2009 reunion. While I was in London for the reunion I spoke to Verden on the phone. Here’s what he had to say:
Acknowledged as one of rock’s greatest songwriters, former Kinks front man Ray Davies has just released an album of collaborations with folks like Bruce Springsteen, Metallica and (oh no) Bon Jovi. It’s called See My Friends and features old Kinks Klassics like You Really Got Me, Lola and Waterloo Sunset re-recorded with Jackson Browne, Billy Corgan and Lucinda Williams (among others).
Some tracks work better than others, and I would much rather hear Davies recording some new material, rather than rehashing the past.
Anyway, I spoke to a rather worn out Ray Davies about the new album late last year. Here’s what he had to say:
As many of you know, my all-time favourite band is Mott The Hoople. So one of my biggest musical thrills was travelling to London in October of 2009 to witness the 5 Mott reunion shows at the Hammersmith.
Just before the reunion I had a chance to talk to Mott front man Ian Hunter. Listen in as he talks about the impending reunion and his latest solo album, Man Overboard.
And listen here for a bit of the glory that was the Mott The Hoople reunion:
Philadelphia native Amos Lee has just released his fourth album on Blue Note titled Mission Bell. This one finds him collaborating in the studio with the guys in Calexico who helped produce the record. The album also features contributions from Willie Nelson and Lucinda Williams.
I interviewed Amos Lee in January (you can read the feature story in the upcoming issue of Next Magazine). Click here to listen in on our conversation:
Listen here to Cup Of Sorrow, the song Amos refers to in the interview: