Interview: Bill Frisell (New Album: Valentine)

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Bill Frisell Trio (Photo by Monica Jane Frisell)

Few musicians have demonstrated an eternal devotion to the exploration and discovery of sound like Bill Frisell. The 69-year-old made a name for himself as a studio guitarist for ECM Records in the 1980s and went on to become a tremendously influential presence on the New York City jazz scene working with John Zorn, Paul Motian, John Scofield, and many others on a long list of projects.

Guided by his life-long pursuit of melody, Bill left the City in 1988, intentionally breaking out of the walls of jazz he’d constructed around himself, and moved to the West Coast, but his desire to create new music would take him all over the globe.

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Interview: Peter Godwin (New Single: “You!”)

Illustration_sans_titreThe cover of “You!” by Peter Godwin (Photo courtesy the artist)

Singer-songwriter Peter Godwin is best known for his new wave hit “Images of Heaven,” which continues to fascinate listeners, as shown in its recent power ranking in a Facebook poll called the ’80s Synthpop Singles World Cup 2020. Only weeks ago, Peter released a new single — “You!” — and Johnson Somerset, a regular collaborator, remixed it for release a few days ago.

In the ’70s, Peter began his career in the glam rock outfit Metro, which gained even more notoriety when David Bowie covered the band’s song “Criminal World” on his album Let’s Dance. After Metro, Peter took off on a solo career, although he became a master tunesmith for a variety of other artists, ranging from German synthpoppers Camouflage to fellow Englishman Steve Winwood.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter phoned Peter at home in Nice, France, where he dedicated part of a relaxing evening reminiscing about his career and looking forward to the future.

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Interview: Joe Louis Walker (New Album: Blues Comin’ On)

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Blues Comin’ On, the latest offering from blues guitar legend Joe Louis Walker, was released on June 5, 2020, from Cleopatra Records.)

Blues artist Joe Louis Walker has been making music with his voice and guitar for over a half century. A 2013 Blues Hall of Fame inductee and a four-time Blues Music Award winner, Joe has learned from, been a mentor to, or simply played alongside just about everyone in the business.

His new album, Blues Comin’ On, which was released on June 5 by Cleopatra Records, features guest performances by fellow blues icons Keb’ Mo’, Eric Gales, and Albert Lee, Detroit soul singer Mitch Ryder, harmonica virtuoso Lee Oskar, Hot Tuna’s Jorma Kaukonen, punk rock vocalist Charlie Harper, and legendary session player Waddy Wachtel among others.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had the opportunity recently to speak with Joe by phone to discuss the new album, his career, and the many wonderful artists he’s played with over the years.

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Interview: Shirley King (New Album: Blues for a King)

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Shirley King’s latest album, Blues for a King, releases June 19, 2020, via Cleopatra Records.

Just in time for Father’s Day, Shirley King, the daughter of iconic Blues legend B.B. King, releases a new album, Blues for a King, today via Cleopatra Blues, a division of Los Angeles-based Cleopatra Records.

In this latest offering, Shirley steps out of her musical comfort zone to cover diverse range of musical genre including soul, R&B, rock, and her native Blues. The album also features a roster of legendary guitarists including Steve Cropper (Booker T & the MGs), Duke Robillard (Roomful of Blues/Fabulous Thunderbirds), Elvin Bishop (Paul Butterfield Blues Band), Martin Barre (Jethro Tull), and Junior Wells to name a few.

Parklife DC’s Ari Strauss had an opportunity to speak with Shirley by phone recently to discuss the new album, her career, and what it’s like to be the daughter of Blues royalty.

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Interview: Lauren Calve, DC’s Formidable Americana Artist

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Lauren Calve (Photo by Shane Gardner)

DC Americana and blues artist Lauren Calve releases Wildfire, her new EP, on June 23. She recently released the first single from the album — a song called “Better Angels.” As Lauren has said, she took inspiration for the song from Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address, which prompted her to reflect on the courage of people today dealing with modern challenges like COVID-19.

And, of course, as everyone has been in a pandemic lockdown, Lauren has been a regular performer in livestream concerts, spreading the word about her new music and finding creative outlets where she can. Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter recently caught up with Lauren to ask her about getting music out during the lockdown, her approach to unique arrangements in her music, and her spiritual connections to the places that gave birth to roots and Americana.

Visit Lauren Calve’s website to grab her new single!

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Interview: Limahl

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Limahl (Photo courtesy ReyBee Inc.)

In 1983, singer Limahl released an album with the band Kajagoogoo. It was titled White Feathers, and I probably don’t need to tell you much about it because the lead single “Too Shy” never went away. You can hear the smash hit everywhere! Soon after, Limahl cemented his place in our collective pop consciousness as a solo performer with the majestic “NeverEnding Story,” the title theme to the movie of the same name.

“NeverEnding Story” and “Too Shy” have withstood the test of time and even went through a rejuvenation in 2019 after being featured on hit television series Black Mirror (Episode: “Bandersnatch”), American Horror Story (Season Nine: “1984”), and Stranger Things (Season Three). Now, Limahl enters a pop culture renaissance with the release of “Still in Love,” his first new solo release in eight years, on June 5, 2020.

Parklife DC’s Mickey McCarter was very pleased to chat with Limahl, born Chris Hamill, about the new single and his landmark ’80s tunes in a recent phone call.

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Interview: Vinny Appice (of Black Sabbath, Dio, and Last in Line)

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Vinny Appice (Photo courtesy John Lappen Enterprises)

Saturday, May 16, marked the 10th anniversary of the death of legendary singer Ronnie James Dio from cancer. Tributes poured out across the internet from his contemporaries like Rob Halford and artists he influenced such as Lzzy Hale and Scott Ian to his former bandmates in Black Sabbath.

Vinny Appice, the drummer for Ronnie James Dio in both Black Sabbath and Dio, along with his older brother Carmine, took their tribute a step further and released “Monsters & Heroes,” a tribute video honoring their departed band mate and friend.

Earlier this week, Vinny Appice spoke with Parklife DC’s Chris Smyth about why the brothers decided to make the tribute video and his memories of Dio.

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Livestream Preview: Stone Love Bass Odyssey with John Taylor of Duran Duran @ Instagram, 5/20/20

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John Taylor (left) performs with Simon LeBon in Duran Duran at The Fillmore New Orleans on Feb. 19, 2019. (Photo by Mickey McCarter)

During the national COVID-19 crisis, many musicians have found ways to connect with their audiences virtually, using platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube to present concerts or interactive experiences.

In my opinion, bassist John Taylor of Duran Duran has developed one of the most joyful, uplifting, and thoroughly entertaining of these virtual performances with his Stone Love Bass Odyssey series, which he broadcasts via Duran Duran’s Instagram on Wednesdays. In the two-part program, John first shares an iconic baseline from a classic Duran Duran song and then he chats with a fellow musician about their careers and shared interests.

The result is must-see Instagram TV!

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Interview: Jesper Anderberg of The Sounds

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The Sounds (Photo courtesy Reybee Inc.)

The Sounds burst out of Sweden in 2002 with Living in America, blowing us away with fantastic new wave. The five-member band, fronted by Maja Ivarsson, then became the toast of the town with their hip second record, Dying to Say This to You.

Over the past 20 years, The Sounds have remained very busy while maintaining a consistent lineup. Key to that lineup is Jesper Anderberg, keyboardist, pianist, and guitar player — a versatile contributor and a thoughtful presence during The Sounds’ kinetic performances.

Mickey McCarter of Parklife DC caught up with Jesper to chat about Things We Do For Love, the upcoming sixth full-length album by The Sounds, scheduled for release on June 12, and about what he’s been up to the past few years.

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Interview: iNTeLL (of GFTD and 2nd Generation Wu)

GFTD - Photo Courtesy of 2nd Generation Wu
GFTD during a pre-pandemic performance (from left, iNTeLL, PXWER)

“My seeds grow with his seeds, marry his seeds/ That’s how we keep Wu-Tang money all up in the family,” Ghostface Killah rhymed on “Glaciers of Ice,” off Raekwon’s classic solo album Only Built for Cuban Linx. That was in 1995. Twenty-five years later, the words from the Wu-Tang Clan rapper has proven prophetic.

Will Colbert of Parklife DC recently spoke with iNTeLL, who is the son of Wu-Tang Clan member U-God, and one of half of the group GFTD. His partner in rhyme is PXWER, a fellow Staten Islander and son of Method Man. The pair are part of the 2nd Generation Wu rap collective whose members include Sun God (son of Ghostface Killah) and YDB (son of the late ODB).

The progeny of hip hop royalty constitutes the new Tao of Wu. Enter the next chamber!

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