I can’t tell you how incredible it was to sit with Phil Dudderidge at my first AES show, and listen to him reflect on his career.
Today, Phil is the Chairman of Focusrite Audio Engineering, a highly successful company known for its audio interfaces, preamps, and consoles, but at seventeen, he was just a kid in North London with a van, and a willingness to seize every opportunity that came his way.
For close to thirty years, Jay Blakesberg has photographed and befriended the most incredible roster of artists, musicians, tech giants, hippies, rockers, punkers, and concert-goers. He’s published close to 15 books, runs his own publishing company, gives back to his community, and generally leads a pretty cool life.
This week’s guest is guitar/bass tech Aron Michalski, a New England native who has toured the world a few times over with the likes of Paul Simon, Metallica, the Indigo Girls, Norah Jones, Babyface, Bruce Springsteen, Weezer, and Little Feat, just to name a few.
I caught up with Aron via Skype, while he was on a short break a few weeks ago in-between runs with the Indigo girls. Given the depth of his resume, you can only imagine how deep his story runs, and I’m very excited to share it with you.
One could argue that if it were not for an unfortunate mishap at Joni Mitchell's home studio, Toni Fishman may never have had the opportunity to re-launch the Telefunken brand. By reverse-engineering the guts of a badly burned microphone from Mitchell's home studio, Toni was able to not only bring the mic back to life, but realized there was a market for people who owned the same microphones and needed them serviced. It all came down to one small plastic switch.
For over 30 years, multi-instrumentalist Michael Lardie has traveled the world and rocked stage after stage as the keyboardist and guitarist for the band Great White. He's ridden every high and low that comes with rock stardom, and through it all he's kept the same passion and love for music that prompted him to move to Southern California in the late '70's.
Singer-songwriter Jeff Slate is an internationally recognized recording artist and music journalist. He co-founded the band the Mindless Thinkers, founded The Badge and has performed and worked with countless other rock luminaries, including Pete Townshend of The Who, Sheryl Crow and others. His band with David Bowie sideman Earl Slick, and his current band Jeff Slate & Friends, are both mainstays of the Northeast music scene.
Robert Compton is no stranger to life-changing events. As you'll hear in our interview, he's had quite a few. In fact, Compton's knack for surviving a few of those events is what's led him to focus his passion and channel his creativity into building guitars out of his home in New Jersey.
With twenty-five years of touring experience under his belt, Production manager/Tour Manager Chris Wrightsman certainly know his way around a venue or two. The Cleveland native is also not afraid to mix FOH, monitors, or even lend his hand as a lighting Designer. At the end of the day, it’s about putting on a great show, keeping a level head, and getting to the next gig.
Welcome to our 65th episode! In this special installment I thought I would honor famed booking agent Ian Copeland, who not only changed my life, but changed the lives of countless artists and musicians, and forever left his imprint on the music industry.
There are many mantras to help you survive life on the road. For Stage Manager Bobby Carroll, there is only one that counts, and that is the Golden of the Road: "Do Unto Roadies, As You Would Have Them Do Unto You." For him, being nice isn't a tactic simply to get the job done, but rather, a way of life impressed upon him by those that taught him the ropes.
Greg Howard’s first tour on the road started a little later than most, but it certainly hasn’t stopped him from making up time along the way. A Florida native, Greg has called Raleigh, N.C. his home for most of his adult life, and it’s where he started working in a music store, fresh out of college, never imagining he’d have the career he does now.
I've used the word passion many times to describe several of my previous guests. Some are passionate about their careers, others about their instruments, and still others care deeply about doing the best that they can at any given moment to achieve the absolute best outcome. Production Manager & Front of House Engineer Brian Speiser fits most comfortably in this last category.
Music journalist Katherine Turman has certainly earned her stripes in the industry, documenting and sharing the stories and profiles of countless artists, in a long list of magazines, newspapers, and radio shows, such as Rockline, and Nights with Alice Cooper.
Michael Musburger knows what it’s like to be at the epicenter of something incredible. As a Seattle native, he not only witnessed the rise of the Grunge scene, but as a member of the Posies, and subsequent Production and Stage Manager for the Presidents of the United States of America, he was one of the scene’s first ambassadors.
For over fifty years Chris Adamson has led the kind of career most people would dream of. As one of the most sought after Production Manager’s in the business, he’s the guy who makes sure every piece of gear and all personnel gets from one part of the world to the other safely, on time, and that the show will certainly go on.
Fresh from graduating from the University of Hartford, Alan Venitosh promptly landed a job at Telefunken Elektroakustik in South Windsor, CT. A touring musician with a degree in music production and a keen interest in recording techniques, Alan joined owner Toni Fishman in their modest office space, never imagining where this turn of events would lead him.
Parnelli award-winning monitor engineer Greg Looper knows firsthand the role fate can play in a career. For the last several years he has been with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, first as a systems tech for FOH engineer Robert Scovill, but eventually stepping-in at monitors, where he has proven to be an invaluable asset.
Bobby Tis, guitar tech and monitor engineer for the Tedeschi Trucks Band, has fostered that trust for close 10 years. I spent an evening with Bobby at a recent gig in Simsbury, CT, and the level of camaraderie and closeness among the band and crew was certainly palpable.
It was at a Supertramp concert when he was 13 years old where Robert Scovill got his first glimpse of a FOH soundboard, and since that day, he’s followed his insatiable passion for live music all the way the top of his field.
This week I sit down with guitarist/producer Eric Ambel in Brooklyn to mine through the finer points of a career built on desire, attitude, and talent. After all, you don't get to play with the likes of Joan Jett or Steve Earl by pigeon-holing yourself into one style.
Paul Marcarelli has done it twice. For fourteen years he was the iconic face of Verizon who asked the question “can you hear me now?” and now, in a historic and unprecedented move, he’s back, representing mobile phone giant Sprint.
After thirty-plus years in the film business as a highly sought-after commercial director, John is now crossing over and back to his first love; music and songwriting. Along with singer Abby Layne, he’s chasing the muse, one song at a time.
It only takes a few seconds of watching Mike Bram play drums to know how much joy it brings him. The same can be said of talking to him about music and the incredible journey he’s been on since he climbed behind his first kit at just five years old.
What do all great songs have in common? Most likely they tell a great story. So it’s no wonder Chas Sandford is an award-winning, multi-platinum selling songwriter and producer, he also happens to be an amazing storyteller.
FOH engineer and 2 x Grammy Nominee producer Courtney Taylor is a hard man to track down. Every other week he flies from his home in Southern Florida to work overseas, and in between, he's either working for someone else, DJ'ing, or planning his next move.
It’s not uncommon for someone to start their career working at a place like SIR in New York City and end up on the road. That’s exactly what happened to Randy Brown. He met Roberta Flack while manning the stages at SIR, and the next thing he knew, he was travelling the country.
Joe Rudge was born to be a music supervisor. It's literally in his DNA. His father is famed Rolling Stones tour manager Pete Rudge, and his step-father was the iconic film director Elia Kazan. So you see, the apple most certainly has not fallen far from the tree.
I first met Joe Magistro and Katrine Ottosen in the Summer of 2014 while they were both on tour with Rich Robinson. The gig was in Patchogue, NY, and the trailer hauling all of their gear had broken down in New Jersey on the way to Long Island.
My guest this week is friend and filmmaker Bob Sarles of Ravin’ Films. Editor, producer, and rock music historian with some incredible credits to his name, Bob and his business partner Christina Keating, work on a variety of unique projects throughout the year
Tanya has carved an incredible international career for herself as an in-demand artist in the studio and on the road. These are just a few of the amazing artists she’s played with: Maynard James Keenan, Joshua Eustis, Orianthi, Ronnie Wood, and The Coors.
Becky Pell is one of the lucky people who is able to follow two of her passions and turn them into thriving careers. As a monitor mixer she has worked with an incredible range of artist’s including the Black Crowes, A-ha, Anastacia, Take That, Westlife, Kylie, Muse, and Natalie Imbruglia.
Passion. Heartbreak. Angels. Devils. Duende, And of course, Jazz. These are the things that keep guitarist Anthony Purrone driving and striving for the truth in his playing and just a few of the things that we mined through during our time together.
My guests today are songwriting and performing duo Lucinda Rowe and Michael Connelly. Based in the idyllic hills of Sherman, CT and forged out of the iconic rock sounds of the ‘70’s, these two have paid their dues and then some.
When I think of Jazz, the violin is not usually the first instrument that comes to mind, but today’s guest has set me straight. Zach Brock is a monster of his instrument and I’m so glad we found a break in his schedule to have him on the show.
To kick-off 2017 with style and grace my first guest in the studio is the smart and talented Fawn Segerson, otherwise known as Lullaby Girl. We talk about growing up in small town Connecticut, touring Paris, and her love of Elvis and Dolly Parton.
With 16 books to his name, Howard is a man of many talents; engineer, producer, songwriter, and musician. Howard's deep knowledge and love of the business is rivaled only by the incredible respect his peers have for him.
For this weeks episode I had the pleasure of sitting down via skype with Mike Bloomfield historian, David Dann. We recently spent time together up in Portland Maine for a screening of the film that I co-produced called Sweet Blues where Dann served as a moderator for the panel discussion.
How does one go from folding airbags for Honda and deboning chickens in South Carolina, to being Christian McBrides FOH audio engineer? To answer that question you are going to have to check out today’s interview featuring Fela Davis.
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...
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.