September 19, 2016
“Being a monitor engineer you have to like helping people, it’s not like mixing for yourself” -Steve Walsh
What’s up roadies? This week’s cure for your case of the Monday blues is brought to you by monitor engineer to the stars, Steve Walsh. A 20-year industry veteran, Walsh has worked with some of rocks biggest names including but not limited to; +44, Blink-182, The Foo Fighters, Tommy Lee, and Maroon 5.
Thanks to a little white lie nearly 20 years ago, Steve landed his first gig as a monitor engineer for Moby. After a few years on the road with Moby, Steve packed up, headedwest to Los Angeles, and linked up with none other than Tommy Lee for Never a Dull Moment. Steve has since gone on to work with many other big name bands including one of Roadie Free Radio’s all-time favorites, The Black Crowes. Nowadays, you can find Steve on tour as monitor engineer for Rob Zombie.
Walsh certainly has a knack for combining the artist’s ideal sound with what ultimately is best to come out of the speakers during the show. It's the combination of a great ear and some kick ass people skills that have given him such a respected name in his field.
Kick back and listen to the story from Steve himself, and Pay respect to one hard working roadie.
September 11, 2016
“When other kids were struggling, “Oh do I want to be an astronaut?”, I felt sorry, I knew what I wanted to do. But there is a price you pay for that too” - Charlie Karp
This installment of Roadie Free Radio is coming to you straight from the sound studio of long time Rock 'n Roll veteran, Charlie Karp. A man who has been through it all, Charlie landed his first big gig at the tender age of 16, thanks to a chance encounter at the Filmore East. That fateful night would introduce Karp to Buddy Miles. Charlie would go on to tour, write, and record for Miles over a period of two years. Did we mention all of this happened before his 20th birthday?
After leaving Miles, Karp went on to form White Chocolate with longtime friend David Hull on the bass. It was after the band reformed under the name The Dirty Angels and gained greater success with Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye that they were able to play with Aerosmith on the Double Live Bootleg Tour.
The decades that followed would bring countless other projects his way. He has written songs for the likes of Joan Jett and Joe Perry, and also has the credit of producing one of Rocks great bands, Ram Jam, of Black Betty fame . Additionally Karp is an EMMY award-winning music producer for various sports networks and documentaries.
After all of this time you can still find Charlie playing at local venues with he and Danny Kortchmar’s band, Slo Leak and the Name Droppers. One of my favorite parts about watching this guy perform, is the ear to ear grin that shows he is still having just as much fun playing as he did over 50 years ago.
September 5, 2016
“I had a music professor who told me once not to worry so much about the professional stuff, just be good at something, and opportunities will open.” - David Koltai
Musician. Entrepreneur. Hustler. I think those are three good words to describe David Koltai. And just so we’re clear, I mean hustler in the best sense of the word. When I arrived at the Pigtronix/Supro office in Port Jefferson, NY, David was juggling several calls, pausing shortly in between to confer with any of his staff who poked their head in for a quick word. You don’t get to be the head of not one, but two burgeoning companies by resting on your laurels or resting at all for that matter. Spending time at the office you definitely get the sense that a new idea could be around the next corner and you won’t want to miss it.
Before my interview with David I’d never played a Supro amplifier, and frankly, I knew even less about them. I’d seen some around, and started hearing about them from friends of mine, but the history, tone, and legend, was honestly totally lost on me. I had a chance to spend some time with the Black Magick and I’m totally hooked. It was like a Fender, but not. I can’t quite describe it. It just had a little something extra that made the amp sing.
David and his partners started Pigtronix with the goal of taking classic analog sound and pushing it into the future, and with multiple Guitar Player Editor’s Pick awards and a growing list of endorsements from top bands and musicians, it’s clear there are no signs of slowing down. This is even more evident with the acquisition and manufacturing of the resurrected Supro brand.
David’s love and enthusiasm for what he does is contagious, so buckle-up and enjoy the ride.
August 29, 2016
“I honestly would say there’s no way I would be where I am today without all of those relationships with the roadies for the musicians… I owe you a tremendous gratitude and I always will.” - Roger Sadowsky
Roger Sadowsky is very clear that he never wanted his business to feel like a factory. The world in which he builds his instruments should feel more like a workshop than anything else. Wandering through his shop, past the several workstations occupied by his master builders, it's clear that he has succeeded. Since striking out on his own in 1979, Roger has built a loyal and dedicated following who not only seek out and swear by his instruments, but also look to Roger for his expertise and care in making their instrument the best it can be. Marcus Miller, Ben Mckee, Walter becker, John Abercrombie, Willie Weeks, Will lee, Jason Newsted, Tal Wilkenfeld, Darryl Jones, and Verdine White. Those are just a few of the players listed as Sadowsky artists.
I had a the great pleasure of sitting with Roger in his showroom in Brooklyn, and hearing about his incredible journey from his early days apprenticing with luthier Augie LoPrinzi, and the path that has lead to the legendary “Sadowsky Sound."
August 22, 2016
“I’m an engineer who happens to be female, not a female engineer.” – Rachel Ryan
It's no secret that for years the "road" has been a male-dominated workplace. However, that's quickly changing, and women like Rachel Ryan are forging new and indelible paths, demonstrating their might and talent, making way for a new generation of roadies.
Mr. Soundlady, as Rachel is otherwise known, is a force to be reckoned with. As I dug around researching women in the audio field, her name kept popping up, and I couldn't help but be struck by her enthusiasm, her passion, and judging by her resume, her talent. An NYU graduate from California, Rachel has already logged an impressive amount of experience. She had the good fortune to have residencies at both the East and West coast Knitting Factories, Brooklyn Bowl, and has been on the road as both FOH engineer and monitor mixer for the likes of The Tallest Man On Earth, The Strokes, PHOX, Silversun Pickups, and is still the first and only woman to intern at Radio City Music Hall. In between the endless hours and concert halls Rachel has decided to go back to Graduate school to study Library Sciences. Badass indeed.
August 15, 2016
“There’s no entitlement to this job. You have to be willing to put in the work. You have to want to be in the studio 14hrs a day, everyday, for the whole year.” – Mike Fratantuno
I've known Mike Fratantuno for a while now. We met as he was making the transition from founding member and bass player with the Black Eyed Peas, to scoring music for various high-profile film and television productions with his bandmates Brian Lapin and Terence Yoshiaki, also former members of the Peas.
The Black Eyed Peas was a fruitful time for Mike, Brian, and Terence, as they honed their skills and forged a bond together that would eventually lead to the creation of their company, Transcenders.tv. “Let’s Get It Started”,"Request + Line", and “Where Is The Love”, featuring Justin Timberlake, are but a few of the #1 hits for the Peas that the trio collaborated on.
Since then, they have worked extremely hard building a formidable reputation in the entertainment business from their studio in Marina Del Ray, where they create original, innovative scores to accompany such television shows as GOSSIP GIRL, MADAME SECRETARY, BLACKISH, and popular films SUPERBAD, THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN, AND FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.
Mike was kind enough to join me in the barn and share his love of the bass guitar, hip-hop, and stories from the road.
Special Mentions: Bill Walton – Back From the Dead, RUSH – Permanent Waves, Black Eyed Peas - Bridging The Gap, Black Eyed Peas - Elephunk, Black Eyed Peas – Behind the Front, Fender American Vintage '63 P Bass, Charles Mingus - Mingus Ah Um Remastered
August 8, 2016
“One thing the book taught me is that I regret nothing.” - Steve Katz
Growing up in the '70's, Blood, Sweat, & Tears was definitely on heavy rotation in our house. "Spinning Wheel," "What Goes Up," "Sometimes in Winter"; these tunes are etched in my memory. I can't even tell you how many times my mom sang verse after verse of "God Bless the Child" to both my sister and I. The fusion of Jazz, Rock, and a horn section may not seem like that big a deal today, but back in the late '60's it was certainly a novel idea, and the legacy that Blood, Sweat, & Tears have left in their wake is nothing short of phenomenal. Steve Katz was at the center of it all. Not only was he a founding member of the Blues Project, he studied guitar with none other than Dave Van Ronk and the Rev. Gary Davis. He crossed paths with Bob Dylan, produced seminal albums for Lou Reed, and his love affairs are too numerous to mention. His amazing journey is all chronicled in his current book; BLOOD, SWEAT, AND TEARS, MY ROCK 'N ROLL YEARS, IS STEVE KATZ A ROCK STAR? I sat with Steve on the porch of his home in Kent, CT., where he shared his tale of love, heartbreak, and redemption, in a career that spans over 50 years.
Special Mentions: Blood, Sweat, and My Rock 'n' Roll Years: Is Steve Katz a Rock Star?, Blood, Sweat & Tears CD, Child Is Father to the Man [Vinyl], The Blues Project Anthology, Rock 'n' Roll Animal (Live)
August 1, 2016
“I’m a designer first and foremost. My life as a builder of guitars and basses has been a quest for discovering new palettes of sound from which my customers can express themselves.” - Harvey Citron
In all honesty, I didn’t know much about Harvey Citron before our interview. I had met him at a few random events in Woodstock, NY, but we never had an opportunity to get to know each other. And, I knew nothing about his guitars or basses. As I prepped to sit down with him, I quickly picked-up on the care, precision, and thought that he brings to each instrument and to each new design endeavor that he approaches. We had an opportunity to meet at his home, and later, I got to strum a few of Harvey’s guitars. Needless to say, I am now a huge fan! Harvey has been building guitars, basses, and pickups since 1974. In 1975, he co-founded Veillette-Citron, and was a frequent reviewer for Guitar Player, Bass Player, and Guitar World magazines. These are just a few of the players that use Harvey's instruments: Jimmy Vivino, Donovan, John Sebastian, Steve Swallow, and Bo Bice, to name a few.
July 25, 2016
"Record with John Lennon." That was Alex's response when I asked him what the future holds for him. Thing is, if he had the chance, he would probably be the kind of producer Lennon would want. I've seen Alex in action in his studio Starr Ridge, in Brewster, NY., and he never stopped moving during the entire session. It was inspiring to say the least.
In this episode, producer, engineer, composer, and mixer, Alex Salzman shares his unique upbringing in Russia, and the incredible musical journey that has led him to work with the likes of Broadway composer Alan Menkin, Arlen Roth, Ace Frehly, and Sam Butler, to name a few.
Special Mentions: Brass, Glass, & Steel: The Making Of Arlen Roth’s Slide Guitar Summit, Ace Frehly - Origins, Vol.1, Ingersoll, Dark Side of the Moon, TC Electronics Ditto Looper Effects Pedal, The Smith Tapes: Lost Interviews with Rock Stars and Icons.
"Oh I had the best seat in the house…Dylan on the right. Jim Keltner, and Tony Garnier on my left on bass. It was wonderful. Great people.”
-Cindy Cashdollar on recording with Bob Dylan during the Time Out Of Mind sessions.
I first met Cindy Cashdollar when I was shooting the documentary film BRASS, GLASS, & STEEL: THE MAKING OF ARLEN ROTH’S SLIDE GUITAR SUMMIT. She was in the middle of a small tour with Sonny Landreth, and they were stopping in to record a few tunes with Arlen at Starr Ridge Studios in Brewster, NY. She was gracious, professional, and incredibly focused. A few months later, I saw Cindy was at a small club in Vermont, The Red Foxx Inn. She was still on tour with Sonny, and seeing her live was incredible. If you haven’t caught her yet, find the next gig and get to it.
Special Mentions: : Time Out Of Mind, Asleep at the Wheel, Brass, Glass, & Steel: The Making Of Arlen Roth’s Slide Guitar Summit, Learn to Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #1, Learn to Play Western Swing Steel Guitar #2
July 11, 2016
When I told people Peter Moshay was a guest on the show, the immediate reaction was "WOW!" Right away it was evident that Peter has earned the respect of his peers and colleagues in the industry, and that he is held in high esteem by those that have crossed paths with him. Either as a producer, mixer, engineer, tech or consultant, Peter has worked with everyone from Barry Manilow to Journey, Kenny Loggins, Quiet Riot, The Cars, Fishbone, and Curtis Mayfield. But most notably, he has spent the last 25 years as an integral part of the Hall & Oates powerhouse duo.
I caught up with Peter at Daryl's House Club in Pawling, NY where we sat at the bar and talked about life, his lessons learned from three years of touring with Barry Manilow, and his longstanding friendship and tenure with Daryl Hall. Oh yeah, and how much he hates when Hollywood glamourizes Roadies!
July 4, 2016
Sometimes I have to pinch myself at how lucky I am to spend time with my guests and Jim Weider is no exception to that rule. Jim’s roots in American music run deep, and his fifteen-year tenure with the Band helped to cement his status as a Master of the Telecaster guitar. Come hang with Jim and I in his man-cave as I learn more about his amazing career. Go to Jim's website to check his current tour schedule with the Weight Band:jimweider.com.
Special Mentions: Miles to Go Before I Sleep, Dreadtown: The Steel Pulse Story, Recording Studio Rockstars, Song Exploder, Get That Classic Fender Sound! Licks and Styles of the Greats, Camp Cripple Creek, The Weight Band
June 27, 2016
This week’s guest is artist Mike Dubois, from Woodstock, NY. He has created some of the most iconic rock posters, album covers, tour merchandise and special event products of his generation. Mike’s unique vision has blazed a trail from his years as an art student at SUNY New Paltz, to working for the likes of the Grateful Dead, the Allman Brothers Band, Levon Helm, Hot Tuna, the Jerry Garcia Band, Michael Hedges, Gov't Mule, The Wailers, Phil Lesh and Friends, Bob Weir and RatDog, Santana and the Rolling Stones. I caught up with Mike at his studio in the lush, Catskill mountains, where we talked about music, life, and the meditative rewards of his craft.
June 20, 2016
Mike "aNaLoGman" Piera is a true renaissance man. Not only is he a devoted husband and father, he's also a record-setting Porsche racing driver, a top-ranked tennis player, and most famously, the man behind one of the most sought after effects pedals today; the King of Tone. He's also very cool, and extremely humble. Join me in this episode as I catch up with Mike at his studio in Bethel, CT.
June 13, 2016
Erin Greenwell and Erin Harper are the filmmaking team behind the film MY BEST DAY, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. They are insightful, passionate, and know what it takes to persevere as filmmakers against tough odds, and the continuous ups and downs of a creative life. In this episode they’ll guide me through the process of making their film on a tight budget and schedule, getting into Sundance, and what lies ahead. If you’re a starry-eyed filmmaker, tune in, listen up, and learn!
June 6, 2016
Doug Redler is one of the most well respected guitar techs in his field. He has spent countless hours and thousands of miles with the likes of K.D. Lang, Paul Simon, Slash, Peter Gabriel, The Counting Crows, the Dixie Chicks, The Black Crowes, Rich Robinson, and most recently, Daryl Hall. In his book, Guitarist's Guide to Maintenance & Repair, he shares his insight and knowledge from a life on the road oiling some of rock-n-rolls most valued machines.
May 30, 2016
Mitch Colby is a true veteran of the music industry. After spending an amazing thirty years with Korg USA, Mitch has not only gone on to launch his own successful line of handmade boutique amplifiers, he's resurrected the classic Park amplifier and put his incredible attention to detail into every circuit. Sit back and listen to his wild journey!
May 23, 2016
Drew Consalvo has been in the business for over 30 years and has been a monitor mixer for the likes of Moby, K.D. Lang, Pat Benatar, and toured with the Black Crowes for the better part of 15 years. Join me in the back of his tour bus as we talk about life on the road, his beginnings in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and how his Buddhist beliefs temper his daily life.
May 16, 2016
“When it comes to music for some reason, if you add music to some information, it sticks to my head, I remember it."
- Brian Gerosa
In our inaugural episode we sit down Brian Gerosa, the owner and proprietor of Gerosa Records. Located in Brookfield, Ct., the shop has been up and running since 1986. It is a rare breed of people like Brian that can have a customer walk through his doors with little to no direction as to what they are looking for, and end up leaving equipped with a new favorite record.
Brian has managed to keep a successful record store open for the past 30 years throughout the constant changes within the music industry. The ability to remain active and relevant through countless format changes, multiple recessions, the explosion of pirated media, and the introduction of free streaming services should be enough to land him a spot in the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
It was an incredible experience having recorded this episode in the same shop that I once rummaged through for hours as a young audiophile. If you ever need to satisfy a craving for that smell of record crates, or are interested in reclaiming your once killer collection, make sure you pay a visit to Brian and his incredible store.