Earl Thomas is a blues master, two time Grammy Award nominee, and a man on a mission! He's helping raise funds in support of The Blues Foundation's dream of opening a physical Blues Hall of Fame Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. The Raise the Roof Concert Series is a result of Earl wanting to help get the job done. Word got out among Earl's musician friends, and their friends, and this idea has snowballed into a very cool tour.
The Raise the Roof Concert Series comes to Portland's Alberta Rose Theater on Sunday, October 27th featuring talents such as Duffy Bishop, China Forbes from Pink Martini, Karen Lovely, The Strange Tones, Liv Warfield, and many more.
I had the chance to talk to Earl about the show, how the whole thing started and more. He's a wonderful man with an amazing story of his own. I can't wait to see this show! Thanks to Joey Scruggs for giving us the opportunity to support this show. We believe in the cause, because if there wasn't the blues, there would be no rock and roll!
One of the best things about my job has to be the opportunity to talk to so many amazing people! From listeners on the phone in the studio to rock stars, and even the Ringmaster of the Ringling Bros/ & Barnum & Bailey Circus…The Greatest Show on Earth! David Shipman learned about the auditions through Facebook, but completely missed the audition. He called Ringling Bros. directly to see if there was any chance he could still try out... and look where he is now! He talks about the circus, how he got the gig, his favorite act, and how the childhood dream of running away to join the circus came true.
I was thinking about my cool doc that rocks, Dr. Will Winter of N.E.D. (No Evidence of Disease) and found this cool picture on Google of the two of us. I can't remember when it was taken. Maybe at the party before their first Portland gig at the Crystal Ballroom. They owe Portland another show soon. I love the band...for their music, and for what they do. Here's a link to their web page.
Every Friday on KGON, I have the pleasure of speaking with our "man on the inside" Sal Cirrincione who dishes on the latest news in the world of classic rock. Today Sal talked about the fact that it's Roger Waters 70th birthday, and also about the Rolling Stones exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. Good information. A gentleman called me while I was on the air and missed part of the report so I told him I would post it on my blog so he could hear it. Great idea! So now, due to that man's question, I will continue to post the weekly rock reports here on my blog. Here's today's report! And a picture of Sal with Keith Richards....just because! Enjoy...
I love it when someone who is not only very talented, but also so down to earth makes it big! Really big! Larry the Cable Guy is an example of what happens when talent and hard work comes together. He's everywhere. Movies, gold records, a book, TV show, and part of the Pixar "Cars" franchise as "Mater," it all seems like an overnight success after the Blue Collar Comedy Tour hit the circuit...but Larry worked hard getting his stand up routine right, and he did radio commentary for several stations that got the word out about this funny man! We talked about our mutual friend, the late Dick Sheetz, who was at one of the stations that had him on the radio in Florida. He's a dad, and we talked about his kids reaction to the Mater character from Cars. Larry's just a great guy. Simple as that. He's coming to the Schnitzer on September 18th, and if you need some funny in your life, then you should get there and laugh along with the rest of us! Cheers, and enjoy the conversation.
Waking up in the morning and knowing that I’m going to be talking to Carlos Santana is so uplifting. He is not only one of the most gifted guitar players, but he’s a light in the universe that shines bright. He’s devoted himself to a lifelong commitment to social activism and humanitarian causes, including the Milagro Foundation which he and his family established in 1998. Right now he’s doing shows at The House of Blues at Mandlay Bay in Vegas, and will be through spring of 2014. A portion of all tickets sold will go to charitable causes. Here’s our conversation, and a wonderful answer to my ending question of who he would like to play music with in the future.
1Seeing REO Speedwagon at the Memorial Coliseum in the 70’s was amazing. They were one of the most energetic bands I had ever seen, and the songs transcended the studio versions. Neal Doughty, founding member, and the keyboard player was a big part of what I loved and still love about the band. In all the years of being at KGON, I never interviewed anyone from REO before, and this was a true pleasure. Neal talks about the very beginning of the band and how they got their name, the Midwest work ethic that helped them get that first record deal, and their endless touring. Down to earth, and a pleasure to talk to, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! ~Iris
Summer in the Great Pacific Northwest is the best! This summer the weather has been fantastic. There’s so much to do, and in fact too much to do at times. Much like it was this past weekend. We had 2 days of HareFest, Blue Oyster Cult at the Clark County Fair, Great White at the Yamhill County Fair, there was a two day local celebration going on in Vernonia (I was there to visit my cousin, so I ran into the downtown festivities), and probably several other fairs and festivals that I didn’t know about.
This is all great, and it’s really fun to go out and see live music, eat things that you shouldn’t, enjoy the great weather, etc…but it’s tough to make a decision on where to go and what to see.
There’s still a lot of events and fun left in the weeks ahead. The Oregon State Fair is always a good time, with REO and Loverboy providing the rock this year. Heart and Jason Bonham are at the Sleep Country Amphitheater on that same Friday night. The Zombies play the night before those shows. So, I’m looking at another case of “Iris needs a clone” as we approach the end of the month. Oh, and then College Football season starts that Saturday, August 31st.
This coming weekend is The Bite of Oregon, Tualatin Crawfish Festival, Rock the Runway at the Benson Hotel, Cold Blood at the Roseland, and Leon Russell at the Aladdin. Make a decision, some plans, have fun and enjoy the summer!
Friday afternoon. Usually people are looking forward to heading out the door and on to the weekend. I was spending today looking forward to talking to the legendary Grammy Award winning guitarist, Albert Lee. He’s played with everyone you can imagine…Eric Clapton, the Everley Brothers, Willie Nelson, Bill Wyman, Dave Edmunds, Rodney Crowell, Emmylou Harris, and so many more that he mentions in this interview.
Albert Lee will be appearing at the Alberta Rose Theater with Portland’s own Terry Robb on Tuesday, July 16th.
A documentary is being made of his amazing career in celebration of his upcoming 70th birthday in December, and a couple of great concerts with many of the people he’s played with are coming up in 2014. One in London, and one in California.
Enjoy the interview. He even talks about the time he went fishing in Portland with Eric Clapton, no joke!!
Interviewing a legend, and one of my heroes, tends to make the night before the interview a bit restless. I prepared a boat load of questions, and due to time issues, I didn't get to so many things that I wanted to know about. Well, next time, right?
I've had a big crush on Stephen Stills since I first heard Buffalo Springfield's "Sit Down I Think I Love You" and "Bluebird." I was hooked on that voice. Then came Crosby Stills Nash...and Young, and all the combinations thereof, the Supersessions album with Bloomfield and Kooper, and Manassas! Whew! All great stuff, and all in my collection.
Now if you don't have all that in your music library, then you will want to get yourself the 4 CD set, "Carry On." There's the songs you know, rarities, previously unreleased stuff, and a huge book of liner notes for geeks like me!
I'm looking forward to a chance to talk to this amazing man again, becuase I have a whole page of questions that never got asked. But just having a conversation with him was pure bliss. I hope you enjoy the conversation.