Category: Interview

Mark Mathews – Carrier Bags, Careers and New Music to Heal

It’s a bustling Tuesday lunchtime when I meet Mark Mathews – arguably the hardest working solo artist in the UK right now – for the first time in Camden, North London, the backdrop where Rachel Lipsitz will later take her portraits of Mark. “Over there they used to do an open mic.“ he says gesturing to a stage with an abandoned drum kit. “I’d just moved to London and I played some of my first solo shows here!“ he says with a grin. Back then it was the Oh! Bar and now The Blues Kitchen, a restaurant/bar serving up...

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Keith Christmas Rediscovers His Folk Rebellion

London’s folk music scene was in full bloom by the late 1960s and Keith Christmas was right at its centre, playing not just on David Bowie’s Space Oddity album but at the very first Glastonbury festival. Ahead of his appearance at RockShot Mag’s #BLOGTOBER FEST night at the Finsbury on 19th October, he tells us about those heady days, turning his back on the music industry for decades, and returning with not just a new album but multiple live dates.   In December last year, you released Crazy Dancing Days, your first new album in over a decade. How...

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Flight Brigade, Standing To Attention, An Interview Redux

Back in October 2015, Lauren Patel sat down with Hampshire-based band Flight Brigade for a chat about their roots, their music, multiple Glastonbury Festival sets and their forthcoming album release. Fast forward two years and their debut album Our Friends Our Enemies is complete and out and Flight Brigade are all lined up to bring their record to the stage of north London’s The Finsbury for the RockShot Mag-curated night of Lost In The Manor’s 31-night Blogtober Festival. In preparation, we revisit that 2015 sit-down with Miriam, Ollie, Dorry, Tom, Thomas, Neil and Jonny below. It’s been a great year for Hampshire septet...

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Glenn Hughes Interview: Trust, Openness & No Fear

Glenn Hughes may have lived in California for more than 40 years, but the Black Country will forever be his home. His birthplace of Cannock gave rise to the band Trapeze, which launched a five-decade-and-counting career for the singer and bassist. Stints in Deep Purple and Black Sabbath led to a successful solo career that’s included high-profile collaborations with the likes of Pat Thrall, Tony Iommi, and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith.   But even though he’d long since swapped the West Midlands for the West Coast, when Hughes, singer-guitarist Joe Bonamassa, drummer Jason Bonham, and keyboard...

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The Hart Of Grant, Grant Hart Interview

Grant Hart has sadly passed away. He will always remain a great inspiration. Imelda Michalczyk met him in 2013 to talk about playing live, the new album at the time and how he approached songwriting. Grant Hart has cast an intriguing figure across the musical landscape for more than 30 years. From his early work as one half of the songwriting core of the influential US band Hüsker Dü, through Nova Mob and solo albums, Hart has created a body of work that attracts admiration and curiosity. In anticipation of the new album The Argument, due out next month, Grant...

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Christina Martin, Old Memories New Perspective Interview

Canadian singer-songwriter Christina Martin has spent the past 15 years carving out a solo career that, across six albums, has seen her perfect a musical style that pairs an Americana-rock sound with lyrics that are personal, yet universal. Her latest single, Lungs Are Burning, from her upcoming LP (expected in November 2017) is a case in point. An irrepressibly catchy song with an irresistible chorus, it conveys her reaction to the Fentanyl drug crisis that’s killed thousands of Canadians. It’s one of the songs she’s been performing on her latest UK tour. Just before her recent show at The...

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We’ve Got Good At Making Records, Spoon Interview

It’s almost a cliche how positive Spoon’s reviews are, you could easily think their full name is Spoon 8/10. According to Metacritic, they’re the most acclaimed band of the decade. Not Radiohead, not Arcade Fire, not Kanye or Kendrick Lamar – the band that has the most positive reviews over the past 10 years is Spoon. But the Texas-based group are no studio hermits and once again they’re on the road, playing festivals and gigs across Europe, including three shows in the UK in June, before returning again in November. They were last in the UK in March playing...

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Interview: Chris Shiflett, Honky-Tonk Foo Fighter

Chris Shiflett is probably known to most as the superstar guitar player with American stadium rockers Foo Fighters. But the axe man has been pursuing his own solo career for a number of years now, putting out Country and Americana-influenced records. Ahead of kicking off a summer of madness, hitting up the festival circuit with Foo Fighters, Shiflett took the time out for some tiny London acoustic shows to showcase his other side as well as sitting down with RockShot Music Magazine to chat about his adventures into Country, being a busy dad and his new record West Coast...

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Mila Falls Interview, Tornados & Glitter

You may not immediately recognise the name Mila Falls, but I guarantee you will have heard her music. She’s one of a special breed of artists whose songwriting talent lies behind the soundtrack to notable adverts and films but whose name remains mostly under the radar. Having supported the likes of Rudimental, Ella Eyre, Ringo Starr and Van Morrison, successfully collaborated with artists such as DJ Mag worldwide resident Marc Vedo and electronic composer and producer Roger Shar and featured on Boy George’s Hotfingers Talks album, 2017 could be the year this vibrant British singer-songwriter gets the wider recognition she...

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Interview: Luke Carey, Acoustic Blueprint Twist.

To prepare for my interview with singer-songwriter and ‘North London cheeky chap’ Luke Carey, I check out his website where he talks about the humble beginnings of his musical odyssey. I learn he was “named after Luke Skywalker (no joke, my brother named me and to be fair to him, you can’t pass up that opportunity!)”, that he is self-taught on the guitar and that by braving an open mic gig one night it led to him catching the music bug. His virtual persona is warm, funny and candid and en route to the meeting, I hoped his real...

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Interview: YolanDa Brown, Vinyl Music With a Crackle.

It’s merely a few days before YolanDa Brown’s performance at London’s Barbican, where she’ll officially close her Reggae Love Songs tour with a bang. As her social media will testify, the award-winning British saxophonist has been rather occupied in the past few weeks, featuring in major British newspapers and participating in a number of press and radio interviews alongside rehearsals. Yet, she answers my questions as if it’s the first interview undertaken and takes it in her stride; being multifarious appears to be in her nature. The British saxophonist, composer and double MOBO winner has been on an upward...

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Interview: Michael Franti, Power To The Peaceful.

Michael Franti walks into the backstage area of London’s Heaven venue with a broad smile on his face and gives me a huge hug. I’m not sure he even realises I’m here to do the interview yet, he just seems genuinely happy to meet everyone. It’s gratifying when, as now, an artist’s on-stage persona and message so exactly match how they are when you sit down and chat to them. Michael’s life-affirming music has long been drenched in political and social comment, but with an increasingly positive and unifying theme over the years. His ninth and latest album, SoulRocker,...

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Interview: Albert Man – Cheap Suit, Expensive Quality

Albert Man has to be the busiest man on the live music scene right now. When he isn’t gigging prolifically, networking, blogging, being interviewed by the BBC or creating merchandise he is hard at work on new material. Phew. So despite an already full day and a schlep across town to a pub in Walthamstow, East London, Albert arrives cheerful and relaxed. Craft beer in hand, he immediately settles in and is ready to be interrogated. Firstly, for those who have yet to discover Albert, an introduction. He is a half-German Mancunian singer-songwriter based in London who has been...

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Interview: Sherika Sherard, Voice of a Generation

“Hi, so sorry for the delay!”, Sherika Sherard says as she plonks her huge guitar down and falls into her seat with an apologetic smile. Travelling in the London heat by public transport and battling delays is a laudable triumph but Sherika looks unperturbed. For me, her courtesy text earlier gave me time to hydrate (today is an absolute scorcher) and watch her duet with Seal again so I’m very content. More on Seal later. So who is Sherika Sherard? A London based singer-songwriter and popular busker with a voice like velvet, known for captivating her audiences with clever rhymes,...

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Interview: William Poyer, Born Talented.

It’s a roasting hot day in South London when William Poyer strolls through the pub’s door, instantly recognisable despite sporting longer hair than on his album cover, and showing absolutely no signs of melting in the heat unlike me. “Hi I’m Will” he says with a grin and extends his hand before taking any drink requests and dashing off to the bar for a cold beer. Right off the bat, it’s clear he’s a genuine guy and that this is going to be a great interview. For the uninitiated, William is a Welsh-born singer-storywriter who recently returned from a three-year stint...

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Butserfest Interview: WSTR, The Next Big Thing.

“I’m not too bad to be fair. It’s not as bad as it looks.”, so says pop-punk  guitarist Danny Swift of WSTR, in spite of being sodden and muddy after their set on the main stage at Butserfest. The press tent isn’t doing a whole lot to keep anybody dry from the terrible weather either, and yet nothing seems to lower WSTR’s spirits. It’s a confident frame of mind needed now that they have released the video their first single in months, Lonely Smiles. Its collision of fun and fury might just be what defines them – a happy-looking montage of fans holding sheets of paper that...

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Interview: Luna Bay, Great Things On The Horizon.

Luna Bay arrive surprisingly fresh faced, as they have all assembled in London from various parts of the country, their guitarist having stepped off a train from Wales moments before.  They are a four piece band consisting of front man Connor O’Mara, lead guitarist Rye Milligan, Sammy Penniston on bass and Alex Ross on drums. They all met during their foundation year at the Chelsea branch of BIMM Institute Music School, when asked how the band started, Conner defers to Alex, “It was all his idea!  I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in a band, I had been...

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Butserfest Interview: Seething Akira, Easy Riders.

Portsmouth-based “electronic, shouty rock” (their words) five-piece Seething Akira are a lively bunch, and in spite of being beaten up in their latest music video for ‘Airstrike’, their live performances are just as energetic. Nick Pollard spoke to Seething Akira backstage after their very soggy and muddy show at Butserfest. Needless to say, this was a conversation that was rather difficult to keep under control, and the quest to find their ‘deeper side’ continues.   You were first on stage today, weren’t you, how did that feel ? Spud (Bass): We had fun. It’s great fun to play the breakfast...

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Dodgy Interview: Good Vibes Is What It’s All About!

Dodgy interview – What Are We Fighting For? ‘Good vibes, that’s what we’ve always been about’ Dodgy’s new album, What Are We Fighting For, is released on 2nd September, on Cherry Red Record. It’s the fifth Dodgy album by the definitive line up of Nigel Clark, Andy Miller and Mathew Priest and comes four years after their critically acclaimed comeback album Stand Upright In A Cool Place. New member Stu Thoy joins them on bass, giving the record a louder, rockier feel than past material. Craig Scott met Nigel and Matt round the corner from BBC Broadcasting House, just before...

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Interview: Ani Glass, Heart of Ani.

Ani Glass is the stage name of Cardiff based electro-pop singer songwriter and musician Ani Saunders. Having begun her musical journey as a member of girl bands Genie Queen and The Pipettes, Ani moved back to her home town of Cardiff to join Indie band The Lovely Wars, before releasing her first solo single, the upbeat Ffol (Foolish) in 2015. In the wake of the release of her latest single Y Ddawns (The Dance), and whilst working on her new EP, Ani talks to Michael Eden about her life, her influences and her music. Did experiences in your early...

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Interview: New Jacobin Club, Theatrical Metal With A Hint Of Fire.

If you are into sounds of 1980s punk and like to keep your mind open to new experiences, then you definitely should check out New Jacobin Club. This six piece band straight from Saskatoon, Canada came to the UK to promote their fifth studio album entitled Soldiers Of The Mark. They have already been around for twenty years and as much as they love to perform, they do protect their identity by hiding behind cryptic characters.  This gothic-punk-theatrical group consist of The Horde (guitar and vocals), Poison Candi (theremin, percussion and vocals), The Ruin (bass), The Luminous (cello), Mistress Nagini (keyboard...

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Interview: Ray Wilson, The Song Inside.

Ray Wilson is a sublime rock vocalist with a rich Scottish edge. He is the long-time  front man of the post-grunge band Stiltskin, who topped the UK charts in 1994 with their hit Inside.  In the last year Ray has written twenty songs that are personally meaningful to him and express the range of his vocal and melodic skills.  He has worked closely with musicians in his band to create two really accomplished albums, Song For A Friend and Makes Me Think of Home. Song For A Friend is sweetly acoustic and deeply moving. In this interview with Shirley Ann...

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Interview: Band Of Skulls, Church-Inspired Phase 2

Taking a step back from relentless touring, Southampton-based rock trio Band Of Skulls have been squirreled away in Monmouthshire recording the follow-up to their well-received 2014 album Himalayan. With the fruits of their labour – fourth studio album By Default – poised for launch later this month and proceeded with first single Killer, the three-piece comprised of Russell Marsden (guitar, vocals), Emma Richardson (bass, vocals) and Matt Hayward (drums) spoke to RockShot Magazine’s Kalpesh Patel about their process, ideas incubated and developed in a church, and working with acclaimed producer Gil Norton (Foo Fighters, Pixies) for the next phase of their...

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Interview: Elisabeth Webb, Beyond The Valley.

  Elisabeth Webb is a folk singer-songwriter brought up in The Valleys of South Wales, currently showcasing music from her debut extended play, Fly, which was released in January 2016. Before a run of upcoming gigs, and a performance on BBC Radio Wales. Michael Eden caught up with Elisabeth to discuss her influences, her love of the guitar, her life experiences and how they have shaped her music. Who were your biggest musical influences growing up? I was brought up around music, mainly from my father, who taught me everything about folk music, and cemented my love for songwriters such as...

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Interview: Jonny Kaplan, Shining Sparkles & The Lazy Stars.

It’s hard to believe that Jonny Kaplan And The Lazy Stars have been around since 1997. Almost three decades of music brought three strong albums and countless shows played all around the globe. Don’t get fooled by the name. They’re not lazy at all. In fact, they are titans of work. They are involved with many different bands and side projects, this pack of friends loves to jam and spend time together. Bonded by the love of music they share passions and influences. Lucky for us they love London and their paths once again crossed with the capital’s streets.  Just like “the...

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Interview: Teleman, A Streamlined Machine.

A Teleman Interview. Teleman formed in 2012 from the ashes of Reading’s acclaimed Pete and the Pirates. The new band took it’s name from composer Georg Philipp Telemann – signalling a shift to a more refined form of pop from their indie guitar-fest early days. Featuring from the original band Tom Sanders on vocals, brother Jonny Sanders on synths and Pete Cattermoul on bass – they were joined by Hiro Amamiya on drums. Teleman’s second album, Brilliant Sanity, was released earlier this year and the band are currently on a UK/European tour. I spoke to bassist Pete shortly before...

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Feature: Joseph Arthur. Welcome To The Family.

It’s almost two years since Joseph Arthur’s last concert in the UK so I’m more than happy to be at The Borderline this Sunday evening to witness his long-awaited return. It’s my twenty-sixth time seeing Joseph, although if time-money-distance were no impediment it would be more. If I’m normally hyped-up with anticipation before these shows, then there’s an added excitement this time after a surprise invitation to write a feature for this magazine. In those two years the multi-talented Joseph Arthur has been busy. Then he was touring his LP of Lou Reed covers with Mike Mills (R.E.M) and Bill...

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Interview: Bandini, Nomadic Jazz and Blues.

Bandini is a singer-songwriter born and bred in Italy and based in London, raised on jazz and blues and the art of storytelling and song-writing from an early age. He began showcasing his talent on the London streets before building a presence on the Open Mic circuit with his individual blend of acoustic jazz and blues and distinctive vocals. He started his performing career working with the collective Bandini & The Taylors, who described themselves as ‘folk gypsy people from all over the world’, before focusing on a solo project and collaborating with his own touring quartet of talented...

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Cage The Elephant Interview: From Bowling Green to Nashville via Leyton.

Cage The Elephant returned to London for an explosive show at The Forum, in support of their latest album Tell Me I’m Pretty. Having transplanted to London for a spell at the start of their career, playing to a packed venue in the city with songs from their fourth album, could be viewed as a rewardingly full circle. Before the show, the brothers Shultz – singer Matt and guitarist Brad – sat down with me (Imelda Michalczyk) and chatted about songwriting, where they find inspiration and the indelible impression England’s capital city made on them. I understand you lived...

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Interview: Federal Charm, Generating Headlines.

Federal Charm are a four-piece blues-edged rock band from Stockport, Greater Manchester. Both their eponymous debut album released in 2013 and the sophomore Across The Divide have received strong critical acclaim, and the band are set to commence their first headline tour later this year. I caught up with the twin guitar pairing of Nick Bowden (who is also vocalist) and Paul Bowe ahead of the final night of the current tour with Australian rockers Tracer at The Talking Heads Southampton. Whilst the band most obviously occupy the Free/Zeppelin part of the musical Venn Diagram, their influences extend some...

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Interview: Shuggie Otis, This Charming Man.

Shuggie Otis Interview Once there was a man who, while really no more than a boy, took the world of blues and soul by storm. That was in late 1960s and early 1970s. He made three great albums with some of the hottest musicians around and then disappeared from view. Shuggie Otis Portrait (Simon Jay Price) I met him at an art deco hotel, just off the Euston Road and over a glass of water our conversation started. He is in a good mood because the night before at Koko, a venue in London, Shuggie Otis and the band...

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Interview: The Rebirth of Kula Shaker

Has it really been 20 years since Kula Shaker released their debut album, K? At the time it was the fastest selling debut since Oasis’s Definitely Maybe, and went on to shift more than 1m copies. Follow up albums performed well and solidified a hardcore fan base, but ultimately failed to match the band’s initial commercial success. Always excelling as a live band, they recently reformed and are currently touring throughout February and March, including a sold-out show at the Roundhouse in London. I recently met with lead singer Crispian Mills and drummer Paul Winterhart in west London where...

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Feature: John Helps. Introduction To Handmade Festival.

An introduction to Handmade Festival, a forward-thinking and totally independent music and arts festival in Leicester curated by some of the city’s best loved venues and promoters. Nicola Greenbrook is in conversation with John Helps – one of the Festival Directors, a member of the band Maybeshewill and part of the music management collective Robot Needs Home. We hear about how John has worked with his team to grow the project for the last four years and about his exciting plans for the 2016 festival. For the uninitiated, how would you describe Handmade in your own words? It’s a...

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Feature: Bror Forsgren. Solo Narcissus.

Bror Forsgren (The Lionheart Brothers, Jaga Jazzist, Silence The Foe) is making his solo debut at the age of thirty-four and he doesn’t go easy on anything. As the title on the great art deco-inspired cover indicates at first sight, Narcissus is a grandiose and uncompromising piece of pop music. The album’s theme is centered on the big questions. Lost love, innocence and faith in God are all important elements in the universe Bror Forsgren has created for Narcissus. The arrangements are grandiose and intricate. Despite its “wall of sound” approach and several prominent musical guests (Lars Horntveth, Mathias...

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Interview: Frankie Lee. American Dreamer.

Frankie Lee interview: American Dreamer Reading the bio of American singer Frankie Lee can leave you feeling like you’ve just been fed a pitch from a scriptwriter: he was born on the banks of the Mississippi; aged 12, he moved to Minneapolis following the death of his father and ended up hanging out with local musicians, drinking cokes and learning chords from the side of their stage; he dropped out of college, bought a station wagon and travelled the US; at 22, he was diagnosed with narcolepsy for which he was prescribed methamphetamines, resulting in a drug habit now...

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Interview: Nad Sylvan. Vampirate.

Interview with Nad Sylvan Nad Sylvan took time out of his busy tour schedule with Steve Hackett to talk with Tim Price from RockShot magazine. His new solo album Courting The Widow has just been released on Inside Out Music. He spoke about family, cats, quitting his full time job and John Wayne. Nad, thank you for meeting with us here just two hours before you go on stage for the Genesis Revisited Tour. These Steve Hackett show’s sell out year after year, on worldwide tours, so how long how long do you see yourself being active as the...

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Interview: Buck & Evans. Slow Train Coming.

Buck and Evans Interview. Slow Train Coming. Formed in the valley’s of South Wales, quartet Buck & Evans have been honing their own brand of ‘rock ‘n’ soul’ since forming for what was expected to be a one off gig in London’s Soho in 2013. The ‘Buck’ is Chris Buck, a guitarist of sublime talent who has been endorsed as a player by none other than Guns N’ Roses’ Slash. The ‘Evans’ is Sally Ann Evans, a pianist and vocalist of extraordinary power and soul. An obvious and somewhat lazy comparison is Janis Joplin, but it’s hard to make...

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Interview: Flight Brigade. Standing To Attention.

Flight Brigade Interview. Standing To Attention! It’s been a great year for Hampshire septet Flight Brigade.  I met up with them at the aptly named Rainbow House on Portobello Road, designed by top Architect AB Rogers and featuring a rather crazy slide in the living room, before their recent gig at Notting Hill Arts Club where the band held their new EP Stealing Fire’s celebratory launch party. Formed in 2010, the alternative/indie collective comprises a mixture of family and childhood friends all with differing backgrounds and musical tastes.  Lead singer Ollie Baines is married to Miriam who supports her...

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Interview: The Shires. Fish ‘n’ Chips & Country Licks.

Interview: The Shires. It’s hard to have missed the relatively recent upsurge of interest in Country music in the UK. Be that huge American Country music stars touring in the UK more and more and the establishment of the UK’s very own Country music festival, to home-grown talents making their mark. And leading the wave of British Country music acts are English duo The Shires. Formed in 2013, the duo of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ben Earle and singer Crissie Rhodes have gone from opening support slots at tiny venues to a number ten-charting debut album, a packed-out Glastonbury...

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Interview: Nils Lofgren. Powerful, Intimate & Emotional.

Nils Lofgren Interview. Passionate, Intimate & Emotional. Nils Lofgren has flipped in front of 100,000 people supporting The Who, ran joint headline tours with Tom Petty, at eighteen years old he played piano with Neil Young and has been guitar sideman for thirty years as part of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band. With a new UK tour coming up throughout October and November 2015 and memories of forty-seven years on the road there was a lot to get through. I asked about 6 questions in a forty minute interview. Nils is just so alert and his recall tack sharp...

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