Interview: Lita Ford Discusses Upcoming Quakertown, PA Performance, Gives Update on New Album

Photo: Gary Brown — Shovel Head Studios

Whether it’s her early years as a member of the all-female, proto-punk rock group, The Runaways, her sultry vocal prowess and guitar sexiness on monster hits like “Kiss Me Deadly,” “Close My Eyes Forever,” and “Playin’ With Fire,” or the tenacity on tracks from her emotionally-charged album, “Living Like A Runaway,” there’s no denying that Lita Ford has earned the title of legend.

Never one to rest on her laurels, the reigning Queen of Hard Rock and Heavy Metal has been hard at work on her next project. A concept album being produced by long time friend, and famed guitarist Gary Hoey. Ford is also currently embarked on another round of summer touring, with a killer band that includes bassist Marty O’Brien, drummer Bobby Rock and guitar wizard, Patrick Kennison.

On Wednesday, August 28, Ford will bring her high-energy show to Quakertown’s Univest Performance Center, where she’ll be supporting another of the genre’s most legendary artists, Vince Neil of Mötley Crüe. The event is part of Quakertown’s annual “Sounds of Summer” concert series.

I recently spoke with Ford about her upcoming performance in Quakertown, new music and more in this exclusive new interview.

What can fans expect from your upcoming performance with Vince Neil in Quakertown?

Lita Ford: It’s a high-energy show with great songs and a smoking hot band. The good thing about it is that I’ve been blessed with great musicians and we all feed off each other. It’s a fun show from beginning to end.

What can you tell me about your musical relationship with Vince Neil?

LF: Vince is family. I’ve known him since the early Runaways days and the two of us grew up together in the music industry. He’s had a lot of great and devastating things happen in his life but he’s such a great guy. I just love him.

What do you think makes your music so timeless and special after all these years?

LF: I think it’s because it was real. That’s not to say that today’s music isn’t real, but it’s so sterile these days. Back in the 70s and 80s the music was just so raw. You could have as much hair as you wanted or wear really colorful clothes. It was a really cool vibe. It doesn’t seem like there are a lot of real rock stars anymore. It’s almost like once the 80’s ended they all started disappearing.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Lita Ford by Clicking Here!

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Interview: Singer-Songwriter Brooke Josephson Discusses Her Upcoming New York City Performance, New Music

Brooke Josephson

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Interview with Brooke Josephson by Clicking Here.

Interview: Cherie Currie And Brie Darling Discuss New Collaboration, ‘The Motivator’

Photo: Corey Parks‬

While The Runaways front-woman/solo artist Cherie Currie and Fanny drummer/vocalist Brie Darling had always been members of a mutual admiration society, the pair had never crossed paths until 2017, when Darling invited Currie and several other female powerhouses to contribute to the Fanny reunion album, Fanny Walked The Earth. The duo enjoyed each other’s musical company so much that they’ve forged what’s become one of summer’s most anticipated collaborative releases, The Motivator.

The 12-song album, produced by Grammy-nominated Dave Darling (Brie’s husband), features nine classic covers that not only shed light on Currie and Darling’s vast repetoire of influences but also showcases the duo’s infectious musical prowess. One of the biggest being their emotive take on The Rolling Stones classic, “Gimme Shelter.” Currie and Darling’s take on other hits by Buffalo Springfield, Stevie Wonder, John Lennon and The Kinks hold up equally as well.

The powerful collection is rounded out with three original songs, including the poignant rocker, “Too Bruised” and the groove-ridden and apropos “This Is Our Time.”

The Motivator will be released on Friday, August 2.

I recently spoke with Cherie Currie and Brie Darling about The Motivatorand more in this exclusive new interview.

How did the two of you come together for this project?

Brie Darling: I had done a record a few years ago called Fanny Walks The Earth. It was the first time that June [Millington], Jean [Millington] and I had recorded in forty-five years. During the recording we had the idea of having as many girl-band artists come out and join us as possible. So we had Patti Quatro, Cheri and a few of The Bangles and Go Gos. When Cheri walked through the door I noticed an immediate and undeniable energy. She was just awesome.

Cherie Currie: Even though I had been a fan for years I’d never met any of the gals from Fanny. So when I was asked to come in and do a backup, along with some of the other rocker chicks who’ve broken the ice over the past several decades, I was thrilled, and I was absolutely floored by Brie’s voice.

BD: What happened next was that Cherie had invited me out to do a benefit for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. I played drums with her on a performance of “Cherry Bomb”. The idea of working together was always simmering, and it finally came to be.

How did you determine which covers to include on The Motivator?

CC: Brie and I grew up with 60s and 70s music and have a natural gravitation to it. It was great to pay homage to the music we grew up with.

BD: I think we started off with somewhere around forty songs. It was really had to narrow them down because they’re were so many great ones.

What made you decide to include a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter?”

BD: I’ve always wanted to do that song, and Merry Clayton’s soulful high part. We had to really play with that arrangement to make it happen in a whole different way. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I remember when Cherie came out to put on her vocal she was dealing with some kind of cold. We kept that first take because it was so raspy and cool.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Cheri Currie & Brie Darling by Clicking Here!

Interview: Palmyra Delran Discusses New Female-Powered Super-Group, The Coolies

The Coolies

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Interview with Palmyra Delran by Clicking Here!

Interview: REO Speedwagon’s Dave Amato Discusses His New Signature Les Paul Axcess Standard Guitar

You won’t find any bright yellow or purple guitars on stage with REO Speedwagon. That’s because the band who’s sold millions of records and is synonymous with some of the biggest, most infectious guitar riffs in classic rock history likes to stick with tradition. It’s a big reason why guitarist Dave Amato wanted his new Gibson Custom Shop Dave Amato Les Paul Axcess Standard to be modeled after his favorite guitars.

Amato’s new Axcess Les Paul is sure to appeal to historic Les Paul enthusiasts. It features a two-piece figured maple top with a beautiful “Boston Sunset Fade” finish that pays homage to the guitarist’s hometown. It also boasts the latest in Axcess construction elements, like swept nickel plating and an extra-chunky, contoured heel and Apex headstock. And where Amato’s original Signature HD-TV Axcess model had only one pickup, this new beast offers-up a ferocious pair of ’57 Classic Plus humbuckers as well as a uniquely designed White Ebony fingerboard and Floyd Rose tremolo.

You can currently catch Dave Amato using his new Signature Les Paul Axcess Standard on tour with REO Speedwagon. I recently spoke with him about his new guitar and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did your new Signature Axcess Les Paul come about?

For me, the most popular guitar has always been a Sunburst Les Paul. So when Gibson approached me about doing a two-pickup model, I told them we needed it to be a cool, flaming Sunburst model. Phillip Wharton, the Custom Shop manager who worked with me on my first guitar, also did this one. It’s an upgraded Axcess with a lot of “historic” components and features the best parts that Gibson makes. It has dual ’57 Classic Plus pickups in the bridge and neck with CTS volume pots and Bumblebee capacitors. We did a lot of research to make the best guitar we could and I’m really proud of it.

What’s your ideal set up using this guitar on tour?

I run it through my mid-80s JCM 800 2210 Marshalls and 4×12 cabinets with 35-watt Celestions. Those ’57 Classic Plus pickups just roar. It can get down and dirty with a lot of sustain and then you can back it off and it’s really clean. I actually start the set with it and play the first four or five songs. I have traditional Les Pauls I use on a few songs but I love to sway a little bit with the Floyd Rose on songs like “Back on The Road Again” and “Ridin’ The Storm Out.” I can lay on the bar and it just locks in and stays completely in tune.

You can read the rest of my
Interview with REO’s Dave Amato by Clicking Here!

Interview: Bradley Bredeweg Discusses ‘The Romeo & Juliet Project’, Combining Shakespeare with the Iconic Music of Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo

Photo: Phillip Martin

“The Romeo & Juliet Project,” a new musical featuring the music of Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, with the book by Bradley Bredeweg, will present a free concert-staged reading in Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, NY on August 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. as part of Bay Street Theater and Guild Hall’s “Under the Stars.”

Produced by Jamie Cesa and Bel Chiasso Entertainment and directed by Scott Schwartz, Bay Street Theater’s Artistic Director, “The Romeo & Juliet Project” re-imagines the story of the star-crossed lovers using the power of Benatar and Giraldo’s music to remind us what happens when we forget the impact of love, equality, and acceptance.

The show brings the audience into the modern, war-torn metropolis of Verona and weaves Benatar’s and Giraldo’s arsenal of deeply emotional rock anthems and new songs, all while exploring the question — what does it take to regain a world where peace is possible?

During their four-decade career, Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo have forged one of the most successful and iconic partnerships in music history. A career that spans thirty million in album sales, four Grammy awards and monster hits like “Love Is A Battlefield,” “Invincible,” “We Belong,” “Promises In The Dark,” and “Hell Is For Children.”

Writer Bradley Bredeweg (book) began his career by partnering with Madonna and her Maverick Films. Together, they developed and wrote his first passion project, Alyx. Bredeweg is also one of the creators and executive producers of the critically-acclaimed new television series, “Good Trouble,” a spin-off of the award-winning Freeform series, “The Fosters.”

I recently spoke with Bredeweg about “The Romeo & Juliet Project” and more in this exclusive new interview.

What inspired “The Romeo & Juliet Project”?

As a writer, what I tend to do is pick up the old classics and read them from time to time. I hadn’t read “Romeo & Juliet” since high school and about eight years ago I decided to read it and fell in love with it all over again. A few days later I found myself driving from L.A. to San Francisco and was listening to a Best of compilation of Pat and Neil. Because “Romeo & Juliet” was still in my head I realized that every song that came over the speakers related to the story, and if you put their songs in a certain order it perfectly tells the tale.

Years later, I was back in L.A. watching a show at The Rockwell and pitched the idea of a mash up of Shakespeare and Pat and Neil’s music. They gave us the space and a few months later we tried it out and it was massively successful. That’s when Pat and Neil heard about it and invited me to New York. Turns out, they had been developing a show about their lives and music and we struck up a friendship. That’s when we started talking about creating something that was timeless.

What was it about Pat and Neil’s music that appealed to you?

It was iconic. I grew up on all forms of eighties pop, but there was something special about their partnership and her incredible voice. It pierced my heart in a way that most pop music didn’t do. It was so passionate and epic.

How did you merge Pat & Neil’s music into the classic story of “Romeo & Juliet”?

We’re updating the tale by setting it in a war torn, much more modern world. It’s a tale that blends the modern tone of the theater with the epic musical. This version was inspired by Pat & Neil’s story. Their life and relationship was the real Romeo & Juliet of their era. The industry was constantly trying to keep them apart. They always wanted Pat on one side and Neil on the other, but Pat & Neil have an incredible passion and love for each other, and they weren’t going to let anyone deny it.

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Interview with Bradley Bredeweg by Clicking Here!

Interview: Philippe Saisse Revisits ‘The Body and Soul Sessions’

For the remastered version of his trio’s groove-laden and hit-filled “The Body and Soul Sessions,” renowned maestro Philippe Saisse teamed up with Grammy-winning engineer Colin Leonard for a package that’s nothing short of an over the top listening experience.

The acoustic jazz trio’s eclectic, 12-song collection of pop, R&B and jazz covers spawned no less than four singles when it was originally released in 2006, including #1 interpretations of “Do It Again” (Steely Dan) and “September” (Earth, Wind & Fire). With this fresh update on Saisse’s spirited piano, Fender Rhodes and keyboards, along with David Finck’s probing acoustic bass and Scooter Warner’s percussive rhythm, The Body and Soul Sessions Remastered is an even more fun and enjoyable ride, and the perfect soundtrack for summer.

The Body and Soul Sessions Remastered contains the following songs:

“Do It Again”
“September”
“Lady Madonna”
“Harley Davidson”
“Lovely Day”
“Fire and Rain”
“Constant Rain”
“The Dolphin”
“Comment Te Dire Adieu”
“Body and Soul”
“We’re All Alone”
“If I Ever Lose This Heaven”

I recently spoke with Philippe Saisse about The Body & Soul Sessions and more in this exclusive new interview.

How did the trio come together?

The genesis of the trio was something that happened organically. I had met the bass player, David Fink, when I was working on a George Michael session twenty years ago. I was doing a lot of work for Phil Ramone at the time and David was also in the studio. I’d never heard of him before, but once I heard his sound I knew that if I ever wanted to do a trio he would be the guy to call. Scooter had already been with my electric band for years and I thought it would be an interesting mix to put someone like Scooter, who’s an urban, street drummer, with David. I remember as soon as I counted off and heard that groove for the first time that it was going to be fun. It felt so good.

Do certain songs lend themselves better to jazz interpretation?

The only real trick is that the melody has to be moving and not too repetitious. Melodic songwriters like Michel Legrand, Boz Scaggs and Leon Ware quickly come to mind. Most modern pop music is more lyric-oriented and rhythmic. Those songs don’t translate well. You have to a have song that has a wide range and is harmonically interesting.

Let’s talk about a few tracks from The Body & Soul Sessions, starting with “Do It Again.”

I used to be part of the house band for David Sanborn’s “Night Music Show” and every night we’d play all of this super-complex and great music. Then, for the encore, we’d always play Crusader’s “Put It Where You Want It.” It was such a simple song with a great groove and every time we played it the crowd was jumping off their feet and dancing. I had it in my mind that I wanted to include a song that would have that same feeling and “Do It Again” has exactly that same vibe.

“September.”

I grew up listening to Earth, Wind & Fire so that was always one of my favorite songs. The beat is so great. A lot of songs in those days were more guitar-oriented. So it was interesting to hear the piano/keyboard. I knew it would be a great song to feature. Scooter just nailed that groove, and when you hear David’s upright bass it takes you to a completely different dimension.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Philippe Saisse by Clicking Here!