|1. What are you currently up
I am currently home in Los Angeles writing and preparing a new
album set to be recorded in October 2005, also getting ready for our
extensive 4 month summer tour that starts in a few weeks..
|2. Could you take us through some highlights of your new album, `A New
On " A New Day Yesterday Live" I would say that the real
highlight of the album is the fact is was recorded live with no
overdubs and fixes of any kind. In a age of music when you really
don't know who's singing and who's not, I thought it would be cool to put
out something that captured a "Moment of Time" so to speak. What
you hear is what really happened that day in December 2001. Also I am
particularly proud of our version of " If Heartaches Where Nickels".
|3. You started playing the guitar at a very early age. Do you think
guitar playing comes naturally or can you be taught to be a top player? What made you interested in the blues guitar players?
I think being a top player requires the both being highly
technical, and natural talent. I also see players like BB King, who
can play one or two notes and communicate volumes with a range of
emotions that can bring a audience to tears in seconds. It was that
very point that made me interested in Blues guitar in the first
place. It was how they spoke words of joy and sorrow through their
|4. When you compose a song where do you get your ideas from and how does
a song evolve?
A song in my case evolves through my interpretation of something
already written or a riff I hear somewhere. But when I listen to the
way I play versus the original, it's completely different. I have
never been one to learn things note for note. I think it has helped my
writing a lot.
|5. You won awards from Blues Wax last year. What does it feel like to
get such accolades?
When you complete a album, in this case my fifth solo album, you
are so close to the project that you cant objectively say it's good or
bad.. You hope that it's good, 'cause you spent a lot of time and put a
lot of yourself into it. Not to mention a lot of money. So to answer
the question it was so great and humbling to receive album of the
year in 2004. It feels like this long journey I embarked on 16
years ago means something to people. Something to tell the kids you
|6. What do you enjoy most about performing live and who would you like
to share a stage with if given the chance?
Eric Clapton...is to me as Robert Johnson is to him...He was the one
that introduced me to the blues. I heard John Mayall and the
Bluesbreakers and was floored. I would love to share the stage with
him just to show him what he taught me.
As far as what I like about live performances: It's the spur of the
moment interaction between myself and the band. Kenny and Eric are
brilliant musicians and challenge me everyday.. It's that walking the
tightrope with no net... Either it's brilliant or you fall to your
demise... That's thrilling to me.
|7. How do you view the current blues scene – has the Internet and
smaller, specialist labels helped get your music out there more? What would say to someone thinking of coming along to see one of your gigs
for the first time?
I think the internet has helped and hurt blues artist equally. In
one sense people have access to so many artists that would never have
been discovered otherwise. Consequently blues artists that have
records out, that used to sell 50,000 copies, now sell 30,000 or
If Eminem goes from selling 8 million to 4 million due to
downloading or otherwise... He still sold 4 million. Not bad. It
hurts the blues artist on major labels always on the verge of getting
dropped. It's pure economics.
As far as the blues scene in general... I think its either on the
verge of something new and exciting or on the verge of a slow steady
We have to reach the youth to have a fighting chance at
being around in the next 30 years ..That's why I do the Blues in the
Schools, and other things in the US to try to reach a new audience.
Also I think the artists themselves have to be more creative and draw
from other influences to keep the music fresh. Most blues concerts
bore me to be honest... There are exceptions like BB King, Buddy Guy,
Jonny Lang, Dr. John, Etta James, Fabulous Thunderbirds and George
Thorogood, I am leaving some people as well... those mentioned know
what their doing.. Many others don't.
|8. How do you think you have developed as a musician down the years?
Anything you would go back and change it you had the chance?
I would change many things, I would study jazz a lot more. I
can play over changes but I definitely have a scared look on my face
Knowledge opens so many doors...My grandfather taught me
that a long time ago. I didn't realise what it meant until now. As
a musician I should know Leonard Bernstein just as well as Howlin
Wolf...John Philip Sousa as well as the Jeff Beck Group. I don't,
that's what I would change.....and that's how I have changed.
|9. What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I spend a lot of time collecting guitars, I have been collecting
for 15 years. It's so much fun for me.. It the subject I am the most
well read in. I also have been known to smoke a cigar or two as
well. Another reason I love touring Europe.. We can't get the Havanas
|10. Message to your fans?
My message to my fans would be...Thank you...It has been such a honor to come to Europe and play for everybody here. I grew up on
European Blues and to come here and give back is such a honor..So the best I can come up with is truly...Thank You...