Today my guest is Adrian Harpham.Adrian is an excellent drummer based in NYC and Philly. He has played with folks like Leo Nocentelli (of the Meters), Bernie Worrell, Chromeo, Amel Larrieux, Dr. John, Tom Scott, Oz Noy, Screaming Headless Torsos, and so many more.Besides being a stellar drummer, Adrian also has moved into the realm of music production and has produced over 30 records as well as having his own imprint label called Modern Icon Recordings which is part of the Ropeadope label.I first met Adrian back in 2006 on a few gigs that we did together and we’ve been friends ever since. It had been a while since he and I had chatted so it was great to catch up. We had a great conversation and here’s how that went.
This is a special one-off episode where Adam Dorn returns and we discuss the 2020 Election.
My guest today is Lex Sadler.Lex is a bassist, programmer, designer and musical director. Besides being a great electric bass player he’s also a very skilled synth bass player. Lex moved to NYC 13 years ago from Australia and has played with people like Peter Cincotti, Talib Kweli, Michael Bolton, etc. He also is a big part of the many of the great local music nights in NYC including Producer Mondays at NuBlu (featuring all kinds of all-star guests) and the Jelly.He has a great solo album called “Polytronic”, with geniuses like Cory Henry, Nat Townsley, Ari Hoenig, Alex Han and my drum brother Sydney Driver.There’s also Rhythm & Stealth (which also features Sydney Driver on drums) that’s an eclectic mix of electronica, hip hop, samples, live instrumentation and drum’n’bass beats.We talked back at the end of June and talk about all kinds of stuff ranging from vintage basses, video games, NYC in the late 00’s, etc. It was a great conversation and here’s how it went.
My Guest This week is Steven Wolf. (Or Wolf as everyone calls him.) Wolf is a drummer, programmer, songwriter, and music producer. His discography includes numerous gold, platinum, and Grammy winning records. He has worked with a range of artists including Alicia Keys, Katy Perry, Hiram Bullock, Grover Washington Jr., Celine Dion, Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Miley Cyrus, Annie Lennox, David Bowie and many more. We talk about all kinds of things for nearly 2 hours: evolving as a musician, expanding one’s horizons in terms of moving away from chops-oriented playing to more song-oriented playing, dealing with playing related injuries and how to transcend them, the ego and how it relates to making music, and we also talk about the current state of things. This chat was from a few months back and we were a week into the George Floyd protests. Steve’s been in LA for the past few months and here’s how the conversation went.
My guest today is the great guitarist/instructor Chris Buono. I met Chris in 2003 through our mutual friend David Fiuczynski while doing a thing at Berklee College of Music. Chris and I have played music together a lot - a good bit of that music has been with the great drummer Tobias Ralph. I've also played bass on many of Chris’s TrueFire courses including an in-depth interactive course along with Keith Carlock called In The Jam: NYC Funk. In addition to being a kick ass guitar player who’s played with people like Dweezil Zappa, Bumblefoot, Graham Haynes, Karsh Kale, Snarky Puppy, etc., Chris is one helluva guitar instructor. Former students include Bob Lanzetti, Rob Compa, Ben Levin, Aurelien Budynek and Harvey Valdes to name a few. He has over 40 courses through TrueFire, he’s been a contributing writer for Guitar One, Just Jazz Guitar and currently Guitar Player magazine and makes instructional content for Guitarinstructor.com. Chris was also a member of the Guitar Department at Berklee College of Music for a time and has several books published by Alfred & Hal Leonard. We had a great chat back in June where our conversation begins talking about the new challenges in hustling brought on by this pandemic. Be sure to stick around at the end for our thoughts on our mutual hero, Eddie Van Halen.
In this episode
Steve Lawson is my guest today. Steve is a prolific solo bassist who has put out a staggering amount of records and is always working on something. He explores all kinds of sonic landscapes with effects, loopers, MIDI, accompanied by his trusty 6 string bass. I think I first heard about Steve at some point in the late 90’s and then we became friends in real life maybe ten years ago. Steve has been a part social media forever and he has some of the most forward thinking views about music and distribution. Besides he’s recorded musical output, everyone should take some time and read through his blogs. He’s many great things that all independent musicians should think about. Steve and I chatted for a couple of hours back in mid July. It’s a long but fun chat and we cover all kinds of topics from bass playing, to the role social media plays in life now, and so much more.
This week’s guest is Teddy Kumpel. Teddy is an amazing guitar player who lives in Brooklyn. He’s worked with people like Joe Jackson (he been in his touring band for the last few years), Rickie Lee Jones, Phil Lesh, Feist, Marshall Crenshaw, and a ton of other folks. He also has played on soundtracks to movies well all love like Anchorman, Talladega Nights, and he’s also a great engineer.Teddy and I became friends sometime back 2013. He had this cool weekly residency at Rockwood Music Hall between 2011 and 2018 where he did this thing called the Loopestra. Basically, it was Teddy, his guitar, his voice and some looping equipment and he’d have a different rhythm section every week. There were no rehearsals. The idea was just to play. It was awesome to hear great bass players like Tim Lefebvre, Andy Hess, James Genus, Jonathan Maron, Fima Ephron, and great drummers like Aaron Comess, Shawn Pelton, Jojo Mayer, Aaron Steel, Josh Dion do their thing in the context of Teddy’s Loopestra.I had the honor of doing 2 of them. Many of those gigs are on YouTube. It’s a goldmine of stuff to check out.Teddy and I spoke a couple of weeks ago and here’s how our conversation went.
This week I’m talking to the magnificent Julie Slick. Julie is an amazing bass player who I first heard with Adrian Belew’s Power Trio. It was thrilling to hear her play through all the various music Adrian has been a part of whether it’s his newer compositions or classic King Crimson or Frank Zappa stuff. She also has a cool project—or a band (side question: what’s the difference between a band or a project?) called EchoTest and that features 2 bass players. She’s also played with the Crimson ProjeckT which is a cool King Crimson-adjacent band featuring Tony Levin and Pat Mastelotto. The last time I saw Julie was in early 2019 when we both were playing on the Yes “Cruise To the Edge” cruise. We had a great conversation and it was excellent to catch up.
Today I’m talking to the amazing Charlie Hunter. Charlie is an amazing guitar player and has a really unique concept where he plays bass and guitar at the simultaneously—similar to players like Tuck Andress and Joe Pass. It’s the kind of thing you have to hear to believe and if you see him do it live, it feels like your senses are playing tricks on you. If you have the D’Angelo album “Voodoo” album you’ve heard him . Go to the track called “Spanish Joint” and listen to the first 20 seconds. The bass and guitar are Charlie doing his thing in real time. Charlie has been a bandleader in his own right for 2 decades or so. His first record Charlie Hunter Trio was produced by Les Claypool from Primus who also released it on his label. Charlie’s got records on out Blue Note, Ropeadope records, etc. (I think he has one of the greatest titles for an album ever “Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched In The Mouth”. ) He’s also made music with Christian McBride, Snarky Puppy, Frank Ocean, John Mayer, and many others. Charlie and I had a great chat a few weeks back and here’s how that went.