TREY GUNN

Musical inspirations:

My inspirations are more than musical. On my wall of heroes are:

    James Turrell (artist who works with light, space and the earth
    August Wilson (playwrite)
    Peter Brooke (theater director)
    Muriel Rukeyser (poet)
    Jan Swankmeyer (animator/film director)

 Favorite musicians:
 
    Nusrat Fatah Ali Khan
    Arvo Part
    Iggy Pop

Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

ALL of the creative arts have helped me: music, film, poetry, photographer, literature, theater.....

Trey Gunn BIO

My earliest fascinations with music came from hearing my grandfather play harmonica and sing old western songs to me. We used to listen to Hank Williams records together and I quickly found the urge to play an instrument.

Piano was where I began at age 7. I studied the classics enough to unlock the magic and power of the West's great composers. But, I also learned that I would never be a master of this instrument. And, after six years (with a brief interlude on the violin), I found an electric bass under my hands. This was pure bliss - the power, and volume of such deep and strong strings.

In early adolescence, I formed a local rock group in my hometown of San Antonio, Texas. "Regent, King Lords of Rock and Roll" were essentially a hard rock cover band. But, to our own detriment, our facility as players outshone our good taste and we found ourselves isolating the poor audients who came to have a good time by inflicting Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck and Mahavishnu Orchestra upon them.

In 1980 I decided that if I was going to be a great musician then I should learn the language of music, and learn it well. This was contrary to the conventional wisdom of rock musicians at the time, but I didn't care. I figured that if you were going to be a writer then you, certainly, should learn the fundamentals of spelling and grammar. So it should be no different for musicians. Even rock musicians.

I had a short stint of studying jazz guitar with Jackie King in Texas. Jackie is a ridiculous player with an even more ridiculous ear. He soars on bebop, but he has also played with Willie Nelson for years. Jackie has a very perverse sense of humor with music, and you would often see him laughing hysterically during one of his solos. Basically, I had no idea what was so funny; however, I did sense 'musical jokes' under the current of the solo - small expectations setup and dissolved in the unexpected. This was the most valuable thing I learned from being with Jackie.

The next solution of my 'musical education' came in the form of moving to Eugene, Oregon where I completed a classical composition degree at the University of Oregon. In order to balance out the academic aspects of musical study, I took it upon myself to play in as many punk rock bands as I could manage. "Punishment Farm" was the first, and possibly the greatest among them. We toured around the Northwest and made several recordings.

It was also at the University where I began to bump into some of the serious artists who had, and continue to have, a strong impact on my artistic life: James Joyce, James Turrell and Peter Brooke. It was through these, and others, that the seeds for new multi-leveled art forms were planted in my creative world.

When I was nearing the end of my academic life, I still found myself thirsting for more. I figured that the best way to learn about doing something was to go to the 'people who knew.' So, I made up a list of all of the great (and living) musicians that I had respect for. Then I would contact them to see if they would teach me. My list included David Bowie, Peter Gabriel, Laurie Anderson, John McLaughlin, David Byrne and Brian Eno, amongst many others. But it was the last one on my list that gave off the highest voltage. The only one who seemed like he could really explain what it was that he did. This man was Robert Fripp.

But I never had to contact anyone. For, only a few months later, in 1985, I saw a small article in Downbeat magazine mentioning Fripp was going to teach guitar. I contacted him immediately and soon found myself involved in a highly charged, eccentric, circle of guitars under the moniker of Guitar Craft.

Essentially, my music life changed forever during the first week in Guitar Craft. I saw that Music, itself, was a living breathing organism. And that talking about musicians creating music was completely off the mark. I began to become witness to how my own musical/creative/artistic life had been very carefully crafted by a power beyond myself. A power that wanted to be articulated. And in very specific ways.

This quickly led me to the family of touch guitars. These instruments are strung like guitars but played like pianos. The first moment my hands touched one of these, I realized that everything that I had been trying to do with guitar or keyboards was meant for this kind of playing - that I had, previously, been working with the wrong instruments. My new voice was born and the fullness of my professional life blossomed.

Fripp and I quickly became involved as professionals, beginning with a group called Sunday All Over the World, then on to The Robert Fripp Quintet (Fripp, myself and the three guitarist of the California Guitar Trio.)

1992 Fripp, David Sylvian and myself began working together as a trio. I couldn't have wished for better company. I was a huge fan of David's work, and honored that he chose to take me into his musical world. We toured three continents before going into the studio to record "The First Day". Eventually we would put out a live recording called "Damage" recorded at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Of all of the 100 plus recordings I have made, this one still ranks as one of the finest.

In 1994, Robert asked to me join King Crimson. This band, which first began in 1969, had taken long breaks between working periods. The previous break had been a full 10-year hiatus. This new version of the group came to be known as the double-trio. There were six musicians: Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford, Pat Mastelotto and myself. We were essentially two bands in one - each with a drummer, a bass player and a guitarist. In actual practice we functioned like a modern electric ensemble playing tightly composed and arranged material. Here, I finally found myself in the midst of the great musicians.

The life of this band corresponded to the full blossoming of the new way of the independent musician. Meaning, musicians who record and release their own material on their own record labels. That gave this Crimson, for the first time, the power to release volumes of live and improvised material that never had an avenue in the past.

It was during this time period that I released the first three of my solo recordings.

Beginning with "One Thousand Years" my own way of combining the auditory elements of sound, music and text found it's voice. I love to sing and have done so periodically. I have a unique voice - I don't think I have a great one, and my confidence in it is marginal. However, I jumped forward with this recording by delving into my own way of songwriting. It has never appealed to me to step into the role of the singer/songwriter who stands on a box with 'something to say.' So my challenge was to find new ways to use the voice. Through the help of several other singers, all women, this led me to the discovery of a 'voiced' inner monologue or dream narrator. This would become a significant key in my future work.

I followed up this debut with "The Third Star" and "The Joy of Molybdenum." With each recording I veered further away from the voice and took on the challenges of writing instrumental music. I had great partners, most notably, the percussionist/drummer Bob Muller who has played on all of my recordings. But also Tony Geballe and, later, Joe Mendelson. All of these musicians stepped up to the plate, with me, to discover how to do new instrumental music. And instrumental music that was neither jazz or classically based. We were all very attuned to the musics of the non-western worlds and drew on their influence liberally. At the same time we kept hold of the power of a rock band - this made for quite a unique performing group.

Meanwhile, King Crimson mutated and led me to the next leap in my playing life: The King Crimson ProjeKCts. These were "fractalizations" of the larger 6-piece Crimson - smaller groupings of 3 or four players. I participated in each of these 5 spun-off outfits (ProjeKCts One, Two, Three, Four and ProjeKCt X.) All of this music was improvised. And not with any type of jazz structure. We, basically, walked onstage with nothing. We played until nothing was left, and then we kept playing. The music, to my ears, embraced the spirit of late John Coltrane, but operated in a highly technological sound field.

It was through the ProjeKCts that I moved into the world of soloist in a full way. My touch guitar has the range of a piano, but generally I found myself filling the role of the bass player. However, now I had discovered my voice in the upper registers. And discovered it in very bizarre settings where melodies were allowed to go wherever they wished - even if two of three of them wished to go in completely different directions simultaneously. These performances were very challenging for both, us as players (we were completely exhausted after many shows) and for the audiences (some of whom, occasionally, seem to experience sheer pain by having to endure what we were feeding them.)

At this point King Crimson shifted gears and we moved to a four-piece unit, with Adrian Belew, Robert Fripp, Pat Mastelotto and myself. I was back to a clear bass role. With my partner, Pat, we carved out a new way of being a rhythm section. This group recorded several records of which the last, "The Power to Believe" also ranks up in the top tiers of my best work.

Simultaneously, through this period, I put out several more solo and solo band recordings, including a live CD of The Trey Gunn Band called "Live Encounter". It was on this tour with the band that my interest in going deeper into a multi-media vocabulary emerged. Joe Mendelson, second touch guitarist in the group, and I began composing video pieces to play along side the live music. We discovered something in this process that led us both to want to combine all of the artistic elements that we believed in, into one whole.

And this 'whole' was now becoming much bigger - as I had just discovered a world of poetry and storytelling that I had never known before. When my son was born I began telling him stories at night. Where these came from, I have no idea. He would open his ears and listen, and I would open my mouth and speak. And between us (for I believe he brought this gift to me), wild characters and scenes appeared. We would follow several of these characters for months and months. The longest being a full 8-month adventure all across the earth with an African boy named Jawalla. This was partly a way for my son and I to remain connected while I traveled, for we would usually continue our stories every night no matter where I happened to be.

During this same time period I came across a poem that changed the way I felt about what art could be. This poem was written by Gregory Orr and entitled "Orpheus and Eurydice." In the months preceding my discovery of this work I found myself haunted by Orpheus - he was in my dreams, he was written on signs as I crossed the street and his name typed its way out of my hands when I was doing my own creative work. Right at the end of a Trey Gunn Band tour I walked into Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon and standing there, staring right at me was this book of poems. I reached for it and thought to myself, "OK, I give. Let's see what this is all about."

What I encountered inside this text was astounding to me - an amazing bundle of feelings that touched on many of my life's own experience. And articulated with the most beautiful and concise language. Ways that captured the complexities of the world of feelings. This led me to other poets and more stories.

I set to work putting this "Orpheus" text in an audio form. Here again, a new form was born where music, text and sound design merge together in something that is almost like a film score.

But this was only the first wave.

As Joe Mendelson and I continued our experiments with live music and video, we began adding text and storytelling. And now the future of my work has begun to emerge in full. A new multi-dimensional medium with four axes: music, text, image and sound design. The project has taken the name Quodia.

Quodia has been an intense labor of love, as Joe and I live 2000 miles apart from each other. However, over the last two years we have built a huge and powerful piece called "The Arrow." Within "The Arrow" are a handful of symbols that resonate and play off of each other through visuals, music and language - a living poetry. Within this piece I feel the deep pull of imagination that I have always strived for. A type of imagination that doesn't need discussion.

- - - -

I am looking to the future of these multi-dimensional works, as it has become quite clear that my present work is with using music as a frame for 'something else' to happen. That 'something else' may be more mysterious than I have first suspected. My means of getting my chops together for this are more TV and film scoring, video editing, digital animation and playing live (although not touring at the levels I have done in the past.) Fortunately I still have a small collection of awesome percussionist that I get to play with: Pat Mastelotto (with KTU), Matt Chamberlain (his studio is next door to mine), and the inimitable William Rieflin.

Onwards...
www.treygunn.com
www.quodia.com

BRUCE GAITSCH

Photo by Marc Hauser

* Your musical inspirations? 

I was inspired to play guitar by my father. Ray Gaitsch a notable guitar teacher in the Chicagoland area.

I have heard in person most of my idols..Andreas Segovia, Chet Atkins, Eric Clapton with Cream, Jimi Hendrix and the Experience, Mike Bloomfield and more who all inspired me to practice and try harder.

 Bruce Gaitsch BIO

Bruce Gaitsch was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois.  His early inspiration to write and perform came from many sources.  His father was a pedal steel player on the WLS Barndance for years and owned a music store frequented by many up and coming stars of the midwest scene. (Ted Nugent, The Shadows of Knight, The Buckinghams and Chicago)  Bruce's exposure to all this led him to follow the same road.  Bruce paid his dues in grade school, high school and college by playing every possible kind of gig in Chicago.  He joined Jim Petenk's (Ides of March, Survivor) band in 1975 and together they recorded an album for Epic Records.  Touring with Boston and Heart as an opening act further fueled his passion.  He went on to record more than 3000 sessions in Chicago up until he moved to Los Angeles in 1984.

Arriving in LA, he played David Hawk Wolinski ("Ain't Nobody") a few songs.  Hawk was producing Evelyn Champagne King at the time and used two of the songs on her records with Bruce playing the guitars.  Bruce's first cover went to #13 on the soul charts, "Just for the Night."

Another friend from Chicago, Richard Marx, was looking for a record deal at this same time.  Bruce played in Richard's band for the showcases that got him signed.  Then they wrote and recorded Richard's debut single "Don't Mean Nothing," which was Bruce's first song in the top five.  Richard and Bruce continue their friendship as well as their writing and recording relationship to this day.

Another frequent collaborator (and fellow ex-Chicagoan) is Patrick Leonard.  Together with Madonna they wrote a song for her "True Blue" record and it became Bruce's first number one song: "La Isla Bonita."   This song won Bruce an ASCAP most performed award for 1987.  The song has gone on to be #1 in over 24 countries worldwide.

Timothy B. Schmidt (Eagles), Peter Cetera, Chicago, Kansas, The Fixx, Restless Heart, Poco, Phillip Bailey, Tom Scott, Agnetta Faltskog (ABBA), Lara Fabian, and over 100 other artists have also recorded Bruce's songs.

Most recently Bruce has produced an album for Dutch superstar Ilse DeLange on Warner Bros. Records. The CD entitled “Clean Up” spent 5 weeks at #1 in Holland. Watch for her worldwide release soon. Bruce also appeared in Christopher Guests latest film “A Mighty Wind” Bruce appears in the film as, you guessed it, a guitarist.
www.brucegaitsch.com

JEFF OSTER

* Your musical inspirations?

I have been a Will Ackerman fan, and I mean FAN, since 1978...I have spent countless hours playing my horn along with his records, and the music, the MELODIES, that come from this man have always moved me. I was at my day job, and surfed to Will's site, read that he was offering his services as a producer, and just sent him an email asking him to hear my tracks, etc. etc…

This was August 2003. He wrote back almost immediately, much to my surprise. I have a cabin in Vermont, and as it turns out, Will lives about an hour south of there. I went to his place in August 2003, he liked the music and we began recording in October and December of 2003. I released an EP of those four songs in April 2004, which went on to good success, including being voted by the listeners as one of the Top CDs of 2004 on Echoes.

The only negative feedback I got was that the EP was too short, so, I went back into the studio in October 2004 to record five more songs, which along with the four songs on the EP became RELEASED, which was released in July 2005. One of the greatest blessings from all of this has been that I wrote and recorded two songs with Will, which are on the CD. Part of what I call the “dream come true” series of songs which I hope will continue for a long time to come!

Will has produced some of the most amazing artists of our time. Michael Hedges, George Winston, Mark Isham…on and on. He built Windham Hill into one of the most iconic entities of the past 50 years. He might tell you it was accidental, but don’t kid yourself. Will is a tough businessman. Don’t forget, those hands that make that beautiful soft music have spent years cutting wood and pounding nails. He’s the same way as a producer. Knows what he wants, and is willing to try almost anything to see if it works. And it almost always does.

If you know his music, you’ll know that it’s the notes he DOESN’T play that make him what he is. He has taught me the value of silence, of playing less, of moving beyond the bars into a place of freedom in creating, and sculpting, sound. We have a lot more to do together, I am sure.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

I like to listen to Steely Dan, Bill Chase, Miles, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Prince, Will Ackerman, Balinese Gamelan music, Yes, Michael Jackson, Dead Can Dance, The Orb, Pink Floyd…that's just a few of em...Their influences all show up somewhere in my music I’m sure...or will soon!

Jeff Oster BIO

From the age of eight, when he told his parents that he was choosing the trumpet because he "wanted to play the melody", Jeff has spent the last 40 years doing just that. His father Alan loved to sing the standards...Poor Butterfly, Embraceable You, Stardust...Jeff would play and Al would sing some of the most memorable melodies ever created. Play the horn like Sinatra sings...hear the words as you play...make them cry because of the beauty of that rich warm sound...THAT TONE.

"Oster has an incredible talent for writing lush, visual music and he should do more of it."
- R J Lannan - New Age Reporter May 2004 - www.newagereporter.com

His experiences in high school marching and concert bands in Coral Gables, Florida - concerts under the Eiffel Tower, Orange Bowl halftime shows, trips to State Band finals as a part of one of the best bands in the state under the direction of Bill 'Uncle Willie" Ledue, left a lasting impression.
Music was fun and beautiful, music meant friendship and hard work and compassion, music was the language that crossed all barriers, all nationalities, and would always be a part of his life.

For the two decades Jeff lived in Los Angeles, following his dream, he may have doubted whether those dreams would come true, but he never doubted the truth of the music, and the sound that came out of his horn. THAT was his, no matter how late the rent was, no matter if the band was playing Proud Mary to the backs of the last five regulars sitting at the bar at Sutter's Mill in the Valley.

"Quiet and reflective, the title tune "At Last" brings to a close this all-too-brief taste of some of the nicest horn and trumpet music I've heard in a long time."
Michael Woodhead www.windandwire.com - April, 2004

He always knew that the only way to really SAY something with his music was to create his own. And now, a wife,two beautiful children and 20 years slaving away at the day job later, not to mention the invention of Pro Tools, Sonic Acid and Fruity Loops, he is telling his story. It's not one of hard bop, or deep funk, not of Purcell or William Tell, what it is can be described as Chet Baker meets Dead Can Dance, as Miles meets The Orb, as Jeff Oster meets his Muse.


I'm glad that Oster followed up his critically acclaimed EP with this full-length recording and I'm even more delighted to highly recommend it with room to spare!

- Bill Binkelman - Wind and Wire, August 2005 - www.windandwire.com

Jeff's story is about living a dream, about hard work and taking risks.For years, Jeff listened to and played along with the music of Will Ackerman, Grammy Award winning guitarist and founder of Windham Hill Records. In his one room apartment in L.A., in the hills of Big Sur, on the road in the hotel, Jeff would dream of actually finding a way to truly harmonize with Will. So, one August afternoon in 2003, Jeff decided to do something about it. He just asked..asked Will to produce his music, to write and perform a song or two with him. And Will said yes.

The results have been as close to a dream come true as Jeff ever could have imagined. Beautiful music, collaborations with artists like Philip Aaberg, Happy Rhodes, T. Bone Wolk, Charlie Bisharat, and the beginnings of a body of work that Jeff takes pride in sharing with the world.

"His horn playing, though, is rooted in a deep love and respect for jazz. It's straight ahead playing; no gimmicks, no flash. It's about melody and harmony and how that simple expressive instrument can make you feel. Jeff is blending these two worlds with a grace which is lovely to behold."
Will Ackerman - Windham County, VT
From "Conversations with Jamie Bonk - Artist to Artist Series" on www.newagereporter.com

This is only the beginning...there is much more music to come, much more melody to play, the next loop to be created that blends perfectly with the flugelhorn. Jeff's story proves that it's never too late to follow your dream, never too late to try, never too hard to imagine what's possible if you only ask for what you want.

As you listen, imagine...
www.jeffoster.com

LITTLE TEXAS

* Your musical inspirations?  

Musical Influences: ZZ Top, Van Halen, Kiss, Kansas,  Boston  J. S. Bach, Ray Charles, Motown, Journey,  AC/DC, The Eagles, .38 Special, Jaco Pastorius, The Scorpions, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Sting, Styx   

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?  

ZZ Top - Deguello & El Loco, Van Halen - Fair Warning, Kiss - Alive! and Destroyer, Styx - Paradise Theatre, Queen - Live Killers, Brad Paisley - Time Well Wasted 

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

It helps me through every time of my life. I have to either play music or take Prozac. I choose music.

Duane Propes

Little Texas was conceived in 1988, in Nashville, Tennessee, by a handful of guys in their early twenties who were willing to do just about anything to bring their brand of rockin' county to the forefront of the music industry.  Before hitting the big time, the band crisscrossed America for three long years, playing every bar and honky tonk from Myrtle Beach, SC, to Los Angeles, CA, all the while writing songs that were destined to change the sound of modern country, and perfecting a stage show that has been critically acclaimed worldwide as one of the best in the business.

Known at one time as " the hardest working band in country music," it was not uncommon for the band to play over 300 shows a year, without a bus, without a driver, without tour support from a label.  They simply made it on their own, and that seasoning shows up even today, almost 17 years later.  "There isn't a person in this band who has ever met a stranger," says drummer Del Gray.  "We have never adopted the 'star' mentality. We're just hard working guys who love what we do, and we're blessed that people seem to enjoy it.  We've always been accessible to our fans, simply because there's no reason not to be. It's just not in us to be any other way. We're fans of a lot of different artists ourselves, so we know first hand what it's like to be able to meet our heroes, and how special it makes us feel."

The band debuted on the charts in 1991 with the song "Some Guys Have All The Love," which became their first top ten hit. It was soon followed up with another top ten, "First Time For Everything."  The only problem was, with two top ten singles, the band still didn't have a full album in the can.  "Our label wasn't really sure about us from the beginning," said bassist Duane Propes in a 1995 interview.  "Who could blame them? At that time there had never been a country act that young signed to a label.  There was no individual artist of that age, and of course, no bands like Little Texas that really looked and performed like a rock act.  They took a big chance just putting singles and videos out there.  We wound up jumping in the studio during a small break in our schedule and hammering out the first album in a matter of days. Porter and Dwayne were literally writing lyrics in the TGI Friday's up the street from the studio in Memphis just to get the thing done."

History proves it worked. The album First Time For Everything contained five singles, all making it into the upper echelon of the charts.  The next album, Big Time, proved that Little Texas was not going to suffer from the "sophomore slump."  Guitarist and writer Porter Howell explains, "Someone once told me that you have your whole life to write your first album, and then you have to figure out a way to write another album that can meet or beat the standards set by yourself in a matter of months.  That's some heavy pressure."  But the band didn't have time to think about that.  They had quickly moved from clubs to an opening slot on an arena tour headlined by Clint Black.  Once again, they found themselves writing on the road, trying out songs during sound checks and running into the studio at a moment's notice during a short tour break.  This time truly was the big time for Little Texas, as the Big Time album spawned three number 1 singles with "What Might Have Been," "God Blessed Texas" and "My Love," capturing a CMT award, a Billboard award, a Radio & Records award and a Grammy nomination, and to date has sold almost three million copies.

Still, there was no time to enjoy the success.  Little Texas immediately went from one arena tour to another, this time with label mate Travis Tritt and Tricia Yearwood on a tour sponsored by Budweiser.  The tour lasted the better part of the year 1993, and the band then found themselves on the road for more, first with Kenny Rogers on his prestigious Christmas tour, then headlining the 1994 Crown Royal tour. During this time, the band played a part in Common Thread: A Tribute To The Eagles, which later earned their first CMA Award for "Album Of The Year."  The song, "Peaceful Easy Feeling," charted well albeit without an official release, and with that, Little Texas broke another record in music history: 3 different songs on 3 different charts with 3 different lead singers, all at the same time; a feat that has never been repeated since by any band.  The year 1994 also brought them the ACM Award for "Vocal Group of the Year."

In the fall of 1994, Little Texas released the album Kick A Little, and their first true headlining arena tour began, supported by Tim McGraw and Blackhawk.  The tour and the album were huge successes, highlighted by shows in Detroit and Minneapolis fully selling out the arenas just days after their heroes, The Eagles, had played the same venues.  "There is nothing like the feeling of walking into a truly FULL arena, with no backdrop down behind the stage, wide open, and knowing there are people all around you 360 degrees; beside you, behind you, just everywhere," said guitarist Dwayne O'Brien.  "It took a lot of work to make sure all those people who paid for tickets and were sitting behind the stages had as much fun as the people who were in front."  The tour continued on through 1995, finishing as the fifth largest grossing tour of the year, and over the course of '94 and '95 the band received two more Grammy nominations.

By late 1995, Little Texas - Greatest Hits was released, and Little Texas decided that it was time to take a break and reach out into Nashville to see what could be created with outside writers.  Thus, 1996 was set aside to take some time off the road for some relaxation, family time and songwriting.  During this "break," they still played around 100 shows, but it was a vacation by comparison to the last seven years of constant touring.  The result of the year was Little Texas, which would prove to be the last album from the band for some time.

The years of hard work had cemented Little Texas in the minds and hearts of country music fans worldwide, with hit songs and constant tours through the USA, Canada and Europe, but the heavy touring schedules had taken their toll.  The group decided to simply leave the scene while still on top in late 1997. "It was a decision that was incredibly hard to make," says bassist Duane Propes. "We lost our twenties to the road while our friends were living in reality. We never really had time to grow up, and there were now families, babies and wives, all needing us to be there for them.  Looking back, we probably could have done things differently, but at the same time the years we spent being real people and living real lives gave us a better sense of who we are, what we do and why we do it.  We're doing this again because we love it, and we love to see people having a good time and enjoying the show.  There is a time for everything, and at that point it was time for our loved ones to have us back for a while.  It all happened for a reason."

While the true reasons of their extended hiatus are quietly kept in a shroud of mystery, one fact remains: Little Texas is back.  With a fresh perspective, the band is on the road again, selling out shows and creating new music that can only be described as inspired.  "From the very beginning, Little Texas was an attitude. Nothing about that has changed.  It's STILL an attitude. We're here to have fun, entertain, and make some great music."

The sound is blissfully familiar, the stage shows are electric, and one can only say that America's favorite rockin' country band, Little Texas, is poised for a return to prominence with their feet firmly planted on the ground, loud and proud.
www.littletexasonline.com

BEN ARNOLD

Photo by Lauren Lyons

* Your musical inspirations?

THE PEOPLE AND PLACES THAT HAVE SURROUNDED ME, MY FRIENDS AND PHILLY MUSIC COMPADRES WHO ARE SOME OF THE MOST PROLIFIC AND TALENTED PEOPLE I KNOW.

* Favorite CD's, songs, or musicians?

FROM THE BEATLES TO BACHRACH TO TOWNES VAN ZANDT AND DYLAN. VAN MORRISONS "ASTRALS WEEKS", EARLY SPRINGSTEEN, TIN PAN ALEEY AND BRILL BUILDING SONGWRITERS. ZEPPELIN, ZAPPA, ZEVON....MILES, BILLIE HOLIDAY, AL GREEN...HOW MUCH SPACE DO I HAVE HERE!?!

* Has music helped you thru a difficult time in your life?

THE TIMES WHEN I HAVE BEEN MOST PROLIFIC AND HAD THE UTMOST CONCENTRATION ON MY ART HAVE BEEN THOSE TIMES WHICH ARE EITHER DARK AND DIFFICULT OR EUPHORIC AND ENLIGHTENED. YES, TYPICALLY BI-POLAR AND MANIC.

Don't mistake Ben Arnold for the same old singer-songwriter story: Listen to Ben Arnold's music and you'll find an artist who is unwittingly dreamy, delightfully impetuous and uniquely human. Drawing from the history of Dylan, the cantankerous spirit of Randy Newman and the soulful singing and showmanship of Van Morrison, Ben has been compared to all of them yet he continues to evolve and and retain his own singular style.

Ben Arnold's music has been reaching people for over a decade. After releasing 2 independent collections for local fans only, Ben first arrived on the national scene in 1995 with his high profile Ruffhouse/Columbia release, Almost Speechless. Despite rave reviews, like so many major label deals during that time, the relationship was short-lived. Since then, Ben has been keeping busy with a slew of legitimate projects. Most notably, his critically acclaimed 2000 independent release In Case I'm Gone Tomorrow which was cited in the Top 10 Indy Releases by Performing Songwriter Magazine for that year. In the last couple years, Ben recorded and toured with longtime friends and musical buddies Jim Boggia, Scott Bricklin and Joseph Parsons as 4 Way Street, whose album Pretzel Park was released in 2003 on Sanctuary/BMG. Ben's song "Maze" was the album's first single.

Early this year saw the release of Calico, on SCI Fidelity Records which is owned and operated by the band String Cheese Incident. Of which Rolling Stone say's "Arnold's rangy melodies make Calico a real keeper." And The Washington Post said "(Calico) recalls Bob Dylan's hauntingly textured collaborations with Daniel Lanois...all of the songs come off without a hitch or a lull."

Over the last year Ben has had 5 of those songs appear on the soundtrack to CBS' Joan Of Arcadia. As well, he has made live on-air appearances on such high profile radio shows as The World Cafe, E Town and XM Cafe.

Ben has toured throughout the country and in Europe with various line-ups both solo and with his rollicking live band. He has shared a stage with everyone from David Gray, Ben Folds and Lucinda Williams to Moxy Fruvous, Randy Newman and even a strangely magical tour in Holland with Townes Van Zandt on one of his last few shows on the planet.

Ben is currently recording his newest batch of songs in Los Angeles with members of The Rickie Lee Jones Band and Pete Thomas from Elvis Costellos' The Attractions for a winter release.
www.benarnold.com

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