* Your musical inspirations?
RANDY NEWMAN, LITTLE FEAT, SAM BUSH, DAVID BROMBERG, KERNER/RAY/and GLOVER, MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT, KEB MO,JAMES TAYLOR, TOWER OF POWER, JOHN HIATT, BONNIE RAITT, SONNY LANDRETH
* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
SAM BUSH -- "LATE AS USUAL" AND LITTLE FEAT, "WAITING FOR COLUMBUS" AND RANDY NEWMAN "POLITICAL SCIENCE" AND JAMES TAYLOR "FROZEN MAN"
* How has music inspired you?
ODD QUESTION -- MUSIC DOESN'T INSPIRE ME. VAN GOGH INSPIRES ME TO MAKE MUSIC, AND MAYBE LISTENING TO JOHN HIATT INSPIRES ME TO WRITE LIKE JOHN, BUT THAT IS NOT A GOOD THING -- TO WRITE LIKE SOMEBODY ELSE -- LIFE INSPIRES ME TO WRITE MUSIC AND MUSIC INSPIRES ME TO LIVE A BETTER LIFE.
* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?
ALWAYS -- BILLIE HOLIDAY -- "IN MY SOLITUDE" OR ANY OF HER EARLY 1930'S BLUES OR LOUIS ARMSTRONG'S "WEST END BLUES" -- SO BLUE BUT SO WONDERFUL --
Chris Daniels & the Kings
Chris has toured Europe more than a dozen times and played in the States fromAtlanta to Seattle, New York to LA. The seven piece rockin' band called "funky-blues" by the Europeans an all out "horn band" by BILLBOARD is celebrating their 20th year of making great R&B,Funk, "jump blues" and rock n roll. They have been compared to"Little Feat with horns" and "John Hiatt meets Tower ofPower." Since 1991 the band has made a name for themselves touring Europe: playing for the Queen of Holland at the 50 Year VE DayCelebration and for 450,000 at Parkpop in Den Hague. They have had number one hits inHolland with their critically acclaimed CDs, Is My Love Enough ,That's What I Like About The South, and InYour Face Their newest CD, " THE SPARK " has just been released in Europe, will come out in Japan in 2004 and is also available in South America. Their last CD on K-Tel (yes the same guys that do late night TV ads for Slim Whittmen) was a best-of CD called"CHOICE CUTS" and it became atop 5 hit on AC stations all across the USA .
Their newest CD "THE SPARK "features a remarkable list of "special guests" including Sonny Landreth, Sam Bush, Bill Payne, Mollie O'Brien, Hazel Miler, Ritchie Furay, Tony Furtado, Steve Riley, Sam Broussard plus many many more. The CD is available in Benelux on Music & Words blues label "red White and Blues" in Japan on Buffalo Records, home of Hot Cub of Cow Town and the Asylum Street Spankers, on PKS in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and through DJK compilations in Buenos Ares, Argentina.
Their jump blues tribute cd, Louie Louie, dedicated to famed Dutch radio personality "Big Al," is an award winning tribute tothe music of Louie Jordan, Louie Prima, and Louie Armstrong. Now in its third pressing that CD was released in the States and oversees in 1999 (distributed by BMGGermany) and has won awards from Colorado to New York and LA.
The band is starting work on their next CD tentatively titled Stealin' The Covers and scheduled for release in the fall of 2004.
ChrisDaniels & the Kings have toured over two continents and have been asked to appear in South America in fall of 2004. Chris has appeared with the B.B. Kings, Uncle Cracker, Blues Traveler, The Neville Brothers, DelbertMcClinton, Sister Hazel, Sheryl Crow, Robert Cray, Taj Mahal, Al Kooper, BonnieRaitt, ZiggyMarley, The Fixx, to name only a few. They are headliners on international festivals, like Ribs & Blues Festival with their buddies THE BLUES MASTERS, at Marktrock, Berchem Blues,* and the Lokeren festivals in Belgium, and they have also toured as the band for Sonny Landreth, David Bromberg, Al Kooper, and Dutch guitarist Jan Rijbroek inplaces like Paris andAmsterdam, and Francine Reed, Bonnie Raitt, members of Little Feat, and Was Not Was to name only a few they have worked with in the States. Die hard fans from Italy to Holland rocked with this remarkable artist who has appeared on HDnet all High definition TV, VH-1, TNN, Much Music/Canada, NIppon TV/Japan, Crooked RiverGrove, KUSA, and on Onhe Filter, AVRO, KAVRO, Paris MTV, andBrussles 1, in Europe, and on Swing TV in Buenos Ares, Argentina.
The Kings Are:
Chris Daniels, rhythm guitar, vocals
Colin "Bones" Jones, lead guitar
Chris Stongle, drums, vocals
Kevin "Bro" Lege, bass, vocals
Dean LeDoux, keys, vocals
Darryl "Doody" Abrahamson, trumpet, vocals
Jim Waddell, alto, tenor sax, flute, vocals
Chris Daniels is not related to Charlie or Jack so he's had to bust his ass with his guitar -- starting as a 17 year old song writer and guitarist back in the 70s when he played with KateTaylor, David Johansen, (before the New York Dolls) and later with Russell Smith (after theRhythm Aces). Chris has preformed thousands of shows, touring 46 out of every 52 weeks,and has worked with some of the most respected musicians in the business including DavidBromberg, Al Kooper, Bill Payne, and Don Was to name only a few. As a singer, guitarist,song writer, and band leader Chris has served as musical director with his band when theKings backed Francine Reed, The Coaster, Drifters, Platters, Bo Diddly, Was Not Was, MaryWilson, Bonnie Raitt and many others.
HERE'S WHAT SOME FOLKS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CHRIS DANIELS
"ONE OF THEFEW ACTS WITH ENOUGH BRASS IN ITS GORGONZOLA" Bruce Haring of Billboard
"THE MOST EXCITING BLUES BASED/R&B TO COME OUT IN YEARS" Brussels/AntwerpExtra
"IF YOU LIKE GOOD OLD FUNKY MUSIC, CHECK OUT CHRIS DANIELS" The Los AngelesTimes
"CHRIS DANIELS: IK BEN LEIDER OMDAT IK NIET KAN VOLGEN" Amsterdam/De Telegraaf/Jip Golsteijn
"YOU LOOK JUST LIKE ME ONLY YOUR NOSE IS STRAIGHT" Patrick Roy - Colorado Avalanche
* Your musical inspirations?
Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, DJ Fontana, Earl Palmer, Hal Blaine.
Drummer Bev Bevan’s music career began in the group ‘Denny Laine and the Diplomats’, until Denny left to form 'The Moody Blues’ in 1964.
In 1965, Bev joined ‘Carl Wayne and the Vikings’, which toured the German club circuit.
The following year, he co-founded ‘The Move’, who enjoyed great success over the next 6 years. The band had 10 hit singles in the UK, including the chart-topping ‘Blackberry Way’.
In 1972, Bev co-founded the ‘Electric Light Orchestra’, which went on to phenomenal worldwide success, selling millions of records, and toured all across the world - particularly in the USA - until 1986 when the band split. During his time with ELO, Bev also drummed with ‘Black Sabbath’ in the early 80s, and has drummed with Jools Holland, Lisa Stansfield, Bobby Womack and Rick Astley.
In the 1990s, he worked with ELO Part Two, a group which again toured the world, including South America and Eastern Europe.
Over the last three years, Bev has hosted his own radio show ‘Bev Bevan’s Jukebox’ on Saga 105.7 fm, and writes album reviews in the Midlands ‘Sunday Mercury’ newspaper.
In March 2004, he formed his new group the 'Bev Bevan Band’.
American-influenced Phil Tree began his music career playing keyboards and singing for the flower power group ‘The Orange Garden’ in Germany.
He later returned to Germany with the soul band ‘Whiskey Mac’, performing at the Star Club and the Top Ten Club in Hamburg, both made famous by The Beatles.
On return to the UK, Phil played in several local bands before joining Mike Sheridan’s Band on the bass guitar.
Following this, he formed the group ‘The Poorboys’ which recorded sessions for Radio 1, and featured on the Brumbeat album ‘Live At The Barrel’.
After this, Phil joined the ‘infamous’ Belch, which included Jasper Carrott, Tony Iommi and Bev Bevan. The group played some memorable gigs including the NEC and a TV broadcast of ‘Jasper Carrott Live’.
During his work with his bands, Phil has performed with Roy Wood, Nigel Kennedy and Kim Wylde.
Phil played with a local four-piece band called ‘Locomo’, before joining the 'Bev Bevan Band' in 2004.
Welsh-born Neil Lockwood is a singer, musician and songwriter. For the last 20 years, he has lived and worked in London before returning to his homeland to live in Cardiff.
In 1983, he released his debut solo single ‘Tell Tale Heart’, which became a dance floor hit. 1985 then saw his band ‘The Shine’ release ‘Shadow Dancing’ and ‘I Dream In Blue’, as well as playing on numerous Radio 1 sessions, and appearing on television.
In 1987, he left the band and performed with various artists including Elaine Paige and Mica Paris. Lockwood then made three albums with Pete Bardens (ex-Camel), and toured the states with the ‘Speed Of Light’ band, which included Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac.
In 1990, Neil joined ‘ELO Part Two’ on keyboards, guitar and vocals. He toured with them until 1993, when he split from the band to pursue a solo career.
From 1996 to 1999 he played with the ‘Alan Parson's Project’, producing the albums ‘On Air’ and ‘The Time Machine’. He toured the world extensively during this time, and made numerous radio and TV appearances. He also performed with Ringo Starr and Jack Bruce in Munich’s Olympic stadium in front of 70,000 people.
Recently, Lockwood has worked with Asia, performing backing vocals on the ‘Aura’ album. He has also completed his solo album ‘You Can’t Get There From Here'.
In 2004, Neil joined the 'Bev Bevan Band'.
Phil’s career in music began in 1976, when he formed the band ‘Trickster’.
In 1977, he released two albums ‘Find The Lady’, and ‘Back to Zero’. During the late 70s, he also toured Europe and the USA with ELO on their ‘Spaceship’ tour.
Between 1981–1986, Phil worked with his wife Jo as part of the band ‘Don’t Panic’. He also did extensive session work with Tony Viscount and Colin Thurston.
In 1986, he left the UK to live and work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as a musician, and then a pub manager. He also had a weekly show on Capital Radio, Abu Dhabi, as well as performing with visiting bands including ‘Glitter Band’ and ‘The Platters’.
On his return in the early 90s, Phil again involved himself in sessions as a guitarist and vocalist, as well as recording the album ‘Hands Of Fate’ for the group ‘Atlantic’. He also made several TV appearances after singing the theme tune to the series ‘Gladiators’.
1993 saw Phil join ‘ELO Part Two’ as lead guitarist and vocalist. Along with Bev Bevan, he wrote several numbers for the album's ‘Moment Of Truth’ and ‘One Night – Live In Australia’.
Since leaving ELO Part Two in 1999, Phil has concentrated on his solo career, touring extensively in Germany where he has a very strong fan base.
He has released three solo CDs – ‘Naked’ (1996); ‘Agony & Ecstacy’ (1998); ‘Alter Ego’ (2003) as well as a release in 2000 with The Eleanor Rigby Experience. His latest solo album is ‘One Sky’.
Prior to joining the ‘Bev Bevan Band’, Phil took time out to study and gain a degree in history from University of Wales, Lampeter.
* Your musical inspirations?
PJ Harvey, Peter Gabriel, U2, Pedro the Lion, Damion Jurado, Patty
Griffin, Kid Dakota, Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Belle & Sebastion,
Elliot Smith, Flaming Lips, Gillian Welch, Iron and Wine, Low, Neutral
Milk Hotel, The Shins, Rufus Wainwright, Sigor Ros, Steve Earle, Tom
Waits...and on and on.
* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?
The musicians listed above are some of my favorite artists.
Paul Simon's "Graceland", Radioheads "The Bends", Peter Gabriel's "So" are
some of my favorite albums.
* How has music inspired you?
Music is such a powerful force for me, whether it's classical or rock or
folk or opera- it makes you feel bigger and more full than you did before
you listened. So many different kinds of music has inspired me- from
playing cello as a kid to playing and writing my own music as an adult. It
makes my life more complete and honest.
* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?
It definitely has. It helped me feel that I was worth something and that I
had something to contribute. I was a fairly shy person growing up, and
still am for the most part, but it helped me come out of my shell and
express myself like I never could before.
What started as putting off college for one year to explore music, snowballed into four critically acclaimed albums, the Minnesota Music Award for Best Singer/Songwriter AND Best Female Vocalist, over 100 live performances a year, and a wide following throughout the country. Now, after signing with independent label Virt Records, Portland-based (via Minneapolis via Fargo) singer/songwriter Brenda Weiler is set to release 'Cold Weather', her long-awaited follow-up to 2001’s 'Fly Me Back' and her first nationally distributed release, on November 4, 2003.
Coming from a family with eight children, each of whom sang or played an instrument, and with a father holding a doctorate in music, Brenda learned early how music could affect people. Although she played cello for ten years and sung in choir, Brenda didn't pick up the guitar until the summer after she graduated from high school. She immediately started writing songs, and that fall, while taking a year off before going to college, started performing in her hometown of Fargo, North Dakota and soon released her first full-length album, Trickle Down. As her musical career rapidly grew, she decided to put off college indefinitely, and began touring full-time. Traveling across the Midwest and eventually, throughout the country, it wasn’t long before Brenda played to packed houses at venues ranging from intimate coffeehouses to larger theaters and performing arts centers. Brenda has shared the stage with such artists as Joan Osborne, Dar Williams, Melissa Ferrick, Greg Brown, and Lucy Kaplansky.
Brenda, 25, has taken home multiple Minnesota Music Awards, was awarded the City Pages "Best of the Twin Cities" Critics Pick for Best Female Vocalist, and her last studio recording, 'Fly Me Back', was designated a Top 12 DIY Pick by Performing Songwriter magazine. Brenda’s previous recordings have also been embraced by college and non-commercial AAA radio stations nationwide. All told, these recordings have now sold close to 20,000 copies, primarily through grass-roots efforts and word-of-mouth. Cold Weather was co-produced by Alex Oana (Semisonic, Alice Peacock; Minnesota Music Award for Producer of the Year) and Brenda, along with John Hermanson and Darren Jackson (aka Kid Dakota).
'Cold Weather' was recorded at CityCabin in Minneapolis (home to recordings by The Replacements and Soul Asylum when the studio was known as Blackberry Way). The album’s eleven tracks, all but one written by Brenda, build on the insightful pop/folk that has won over a legion of dedicated fans, while offering new sonic explorations and a delving into darker territory, both musically and lyrically. Topics range from love and its struggle to war and depression.
* How has music inspired you? / Your musical inspirations --
I was rocked to sleep with my mother singng “You Belong to Me” and
“I’ll be Loving You Always”. All the great songs. I remember hearing
my father singing “Someone to Watch Over Me” and thinking that I was
the luckiest girl in the world---”I’m a little lamb who’s lost in the
wood, oh how I wish somebody could be one who’ll watch over me” in his
gorgeous Nat King Cole-like baritone and I knew that I was that little
lamb and he would watch over me through the night. He played the
trumpet --- he’d sit on the side of his bed and play and then he’d
start singng, something like “I’ll Get By As Long As I Have You” , or
“You Go To My Head”- - great old torch songs.... We played
records--Louis Prima and Keely Smith, Chet Baker, Sinatra, Bennett,
Como, Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan playing in our home --- the great
singers. Someday maybe I’ll do a cd of old torch songs. I’d like to.
Inspired by the hymns in church, my first public performance was at a
neighboring church, a duet with my Dad. Some of those songs will always
be with me. But it was the popular music of my generation that
inspired my musical leanings and was the soundtrack to my very life.
It started with Dusty Springfield, the Beach Boys with their amazing
harmonies,..... Pet Sounds! The Four Tops, The Stylistics, The
Beatles, of course (especially Revolver), and The Stones...to this day!
Bruce Springsteen, unbridled passion. It was Joni Mitchell, though,
and Neil Young, Jimmy Webb, Steve Stills, Kristofferson, Laura Nyro,
and John Prine that made me want to write. I listened to the lyrics of
Jackson Brown, melodies of very early Fogelberg and the music and
production of Todd Rundgren, Annie Lenox, Prince, Ricki Lee Jones, Jane
Siberry and Sting.
Some of my current favorites are Rufus Wainright, Patty Griffin, Regie
Hamm, Stephanie Dosen, Pink, Coldplay, Walt Wilkins, Macy Gray, Swan
Dive, Maroon 5 and Watercolor, which is a really beautiful indie
collaboration comprised of Liz Hodder and Joe Pisapia (who is one of my
*Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your
Sure. I have certain cds that have carried me through a crisis. Some
can instantly take me back to particular episodes of my life. I can
put on something light and breezy like Maxi Priest and there’s no way
you can stay sad. On the other hand, if I feel the need for a good
cry, Barber’s Adagio for Strings will absolutely do the trick.
Guaranteed. And then, writing music is the greatest outlet there is
when you’ve just had your heart broken. Some of my best work has come
out of a break-up or loss. And, yes, it does help. It soothes. It
lets you vent, get it all out. It lets you figure it out, put things
in perspective. And plus, it gives you something constructive to do in
lieu of slashing his tires. And when you’re done, well, maybe you have
something good and productive to show for it. If not, still, you
probably saved a bundle on therapy.
When I was a girl and my parents divorced--- my Dad had moved out, and
it was Brian Wilson’s”God Only Knows” that I listened to over and over
again. I still cover that song in shows today. It still holds
tremendous meaning for me.
I suffered a tragic personal loss this year and writing has been very
instrumental in my healing. The first thing I did in the early hours
after my loved one’s passing was to write a song of tribute, one that
will not ever be on any album, but that provided healing for family and
friends, a testimoy to the impact of the life of this precious person,
and an exhortation to everyone to “take every day and live it”.
* Any CDs or songs that are meaningful to you?
So many. And maybe I’ve already covered this question
sufficiently.......But, to name a few more, (in addition to anything
from Joni’s Blue , or Hejira). Memories of a Color, by Stina is one
of my staples---it’s production is really spare, really beautiful;
every little piece of instrumentation is important, everything else is
space. It makes you lean in and listen. One of her songs, “Soon After
Christmas”, I could listen to forever. I wish I had written it, it’s
so perfect, so emotionally open and innocent and such an honest look at
love and loss. “What A Wonderful World” (especially the Louis
Armstrong version). Hymns, like “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”
and “My Jesus, I Love Thee”. Walt Wilkins’ “Poetry”, “Ruby’s Two
Sad Daughters”, “Seven Hillsides”. Nicole Noredman’s “Every Season”.
Meaningful songs? The list continues to grow, even despite the
dearth of meaningful songs on the commercial airwaves....Please don’t
think I’m saying there is nothing good on commercial radio, because
great stuff does somehow manage to get through from time to time. (and,
for example, if I just want to be happy and dance around for joy and
the heck of it, I put on OutKast or Maroon 5 ---because I think dancing
for joy and the heck of it is meaningful in its way). But I AM very
thankful for the various sites on the internet that can lead us to the
independent artists and music that we would NEVER hear on mainstream
* Discuss the creative or songwriting process --
For me, it’s always a little different every time. The only time I sit
down to write on purpose is on the rare occasion when I co-write. And
then, I gather the songs I’ve already begun that I think that
particular writer might be able to get into with me, and sometimes we
finish one of them. I go to my notebooks of song ideas, or my mini
casstte recorder, where I’ve put down little pieces of something that
came to me in the car while I was driving to the Home Depot.......now I
can use the “memo” tool on my cell phone to lay a melody line down,
since I’ve probably left my mini-cassette recorder on the coffee table.
See, I don’t employ a great deal of discipline, nor any organizational
skills at all. I am trying to write with others more often, because
it’s a good exercise, it’s good networking, and it does make me work.
And, if we write one of my co-writer’s ideas, it gives me a chance to
write on a subject I might never have chosen to write about. So then
it stretches me.
Still, I prefer to write alone mostly. Maybe because, once I get an
inspiration, I feel that I know exactly where it needs to be taken, and
I have a hard time running it by someone else, especially when I’m sure
about what it should say and how it should say it. Thinking about the
songs that I feel most strongly about, that I think are truly great
songs, the majority of those were written by one person.
* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects
that music can have on a person --
A song can make you laugh, it can make you understand someone’s point
of view when other means of communication have failed, it can make you
dance with wild abandon, it can bring back a memory that was buried for
years, it can soothe a hurting heart. Music, well placed, can make a
scene in a movie scare the pants off you, it can make you nervous, it
can turn you on, it can bring out the sentimental softy in us all, it
can make you believe that anything is possible. Music can teach us,
inspire us, it can call us to a place of worship, it can mend
relationships, it can make you pull over to the side of the road and
cry like a baby. A song can save your life. There are heaven-knows
how many stories of people who were ready to end it all, but heard
something in a song that told them they were not alone...something that
gave them hope. Music is powerful stuff. Music is used in therapy
against depression, it is used to reach people with profound types of
autism. I loved, in the movie “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”,
that they used musical tones to communicate with the alien beings way
out there in the cosmos. Music IS the universal language. Music is
what the angels sing. It’s an enormous and wonderful thing.
Becka left home the day after high school graduation to join an acoustic rock band in Colorado, then moved to Austin, TX, sang with a couple of Texas swing bands, taught Middle Eastern dance at Austin Community College, became a child bride, organic gardener and mother of two beautiful daughters. Before long, of a necessity to provide for and properly raise these daughters, she left her artistic life behind and took gainful employment in Dallas with Polygram Records, thus beginning a long run as an "industry" professional.
She moved to Nashville, TN, worked for Warner Bros. Records and a couple of indy publishers and production companies. (During these years she kept her creative heartbeat from flatlining by doing background vocals for other artists, and writing). Then Becka landed up working in performing rights at SESAC, where she discovered, nurtured, educated and networked songwriters, and worked with some great artists and publishers. She was even given an impressive title. This was all very gratifying, but not the desire of her heart. Having accomplished her chief goal, daughters now grown and capable and splendid, Becka was now more than ready to pursue her other true calling. But, was it too late? I mean, everyone in the "industry" knows that one can't begin a career as a pop diva past age sixteen, nineteen -- twenties, tops, right? WRONG.
We respectfully submit that the public at large is longing for real music, good music; great songs performed by artists capable of making us really feel something. Becka Brown, with her debut project Do You Know Me has arrived, providing a very broad demographic with just such music. And, because the music industry taught her so much over the years, she wants to give something back, teach them something important. Two simple things:
They really want the good stuff, and
It's never too late.