Posts by Bruce Hilliard

Episode 036–Seattle’s Greet the Sea with Bruce Hilliard

Seattle indie-rock band Greet the Sea emerged in late 2015 as the culmination of sonic expression between four friends. Blending sweeping soundscapes, drum-heavy grooves, anthemic crescendos, and grounded melodic vocals the quartet’s sound is akin to their region of rainy weather, lush earthy colors, and foggy coastal highways. 

Band members are Brett Shelton, lead vocals and guitar; Nik Pfeifer, vocals and guitar; Ross Powell, bass guitar; and Ryan Mulligan on drums. Brett and Ross were present for the interviews and shared insight as to their Pink Floydian tendencies.

The band is working on a new album that promises to be uncharted waters.

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Episode 035–Sonny Landreth Slides Into Second Interview with Bruce Hilliard

Way down in Louisiana, it’s customary to offer a little something extra to friends old and new. “It’s just a little lagniappe,” folks say. It’s a gift or something special just cuz’. It’s pronounced “lan’yap” but it may be easier, although not nearly as authentic to the occasion, to say “bonus” instead.

In that spirit, this second half of Sonny’s inteview has all sorts of good things, bonus thoughts and a little more of the the slide guitar genius of Sonny Landreth.

Slide to Sonny’s Website Here

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Episode 034–Sonny Landreth Is the King of Slydeco with Bruce Hilliard

Clyde Vernon “Sonny” Landreth (born February 1, 1951) is an American blues musician from southwest Louisiana who is especially known as a slide guitar player. He was born in Canton, Mississippi, and settled in Lafayette, Louisiana. He lives in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Landreth is known as “the King of Slydeco” and plays with a strong zydeco influence. Guitarist Eric Clapton has said that Landreth is one of the most advanced guitarists in the world and one of the most under-appreciated.

Landreth is best known for his slide guitar playing, having developed a technique where he also frets notes and plays chords and chord fragments by fretting behind the slide while he plays. Landreth plays with the slide on his little finger, so that his other fingers have more room to fret behind the slide. He is also known for his right-hand technique, which involves tapping, slapping, and picking strings, using all of the fingers on his right hand. He wears a special thumb pick/flat pick hybrid on his thumb so that he can bear down on a pick while simultaneously using his finger-style technique for slide.

Landreth is known for his use of Fender Stratocaster guitars and Dumble Amplifiers. He is also known to use Demeter and Fender amplifiers on occasion. Landreth uses Jim Dunlop 215 heavy glass slides and Dunlop Herco flat thumb picks. His guitars are fitted with DiMarzio and Lindy Fralin pickups, a special Suhr back plate system, and D’Addario medium nickel wound strings gauges 0.13 – 0.56

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Episode 033–Mark Farner Fame, Friends and Gear with Bruce Hilliard

Who played a guitar with customization that included foam rubber, masking tape and glow-in-the-dark paint, watched Janis Joplin massage helicopter seats with chocolate bars and taught Frank Zappa how to shoot a handgun? Hint: Take the obvious answer.

Mark Farner turns 70 on September 29, 2018 and lives life like a rockstar. Well…he is a rockstar. He prides himself on a phenomenal career as a musician, being a family man and a person of love.

After Grand Funk initially disbanded in 1976, Farner released his first self-titled solo album in 1977, and his second, No Frills, in 1978 (both Atlantic Records). In 1981, Farner and Don Brewer launched a new Grand Funk line-up with bassist Dennis Bellinger and recorded two albums, Grand Funk Lives and What’s Funk?. Farner went solo again with 1988’s Just Another Injustice on Frontline Records. His third Frontline release was 1991’s Some Kind of Wonderful, which featured a revamped version of the Grand Funk classic of the same name. Farner enjoyed success with the John Beland composition “Isn’t it Amazing”, which earned him a Dove Award nomination and reached No. 2 on the Contemporary Christian music charts.

In the 1990s, Farner formed Lismark Communications with former Freedom Reader editor Steve Lisuk. Soon after, Farner began reissuing his solo albums on his own record label, LisMark Records.

From 1994 to 1995, Farner toured with Ringo Starr’s Allstars, which also featured Randy Bachman, John Entwistle, Felix Cavaliere, Billy Preston, and Starr’s son, Zak Starkey.[8]

In the late 1990s, Farner reunited with Grand Funk, but left after three years to resume his solo career. He currently tours with his band, N’rG, which plays a mixture of Grand Funk songs and Farner’s solo offerings.

Farner had a pacemaker installed October 22, 2012, having struggled with heart troubles for the prior eight years.

Now he makes his way to the Historic Everett Theatre June 8th.

This episode features a newer song “Take You Out” and a 1975 release “Some Kind of Wonderful” with the shared vocals of drummer Don Brewer and Farner.

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Episode 032–Mark Farner, “I’m Your Captain” and “Footstompin’ Music” with Bruce Hilliard

In this part 2 of 3 interviews with Mark Farner, he talks about the writing of two of Grand Funk Railroad’s biggest hits, I’m Your Captain and Footstompin’ Music. He talks about the inspiration behind both, one from a a prayer and one from being stoked about his new organ, a Hammond B3 that is.

I’m Your Captain/Closer to Home, one of the band’s signature hits, got extensive radio play even though it was 10 minutes long. Some stations played the 5 minute edited version, eliminating most of the orchestral fade out section.

Drummer Don Brewer is quoted as saying: “At the time, rock bands had experimented with orchestras, and we said, ‘Let’s put an orchestra on this thing, we’ll just play endlessly, and we’ll get Tommy Baker, our friend down in Cleveland, to write the score for it, and we’ll put an orchestra on it. It was a new thing for us, kind of new for the day – there hadn’t been too many bands using orchestras. When we recorded the song in Cleveland, we didn’t have the orchestra there, we didn’t know what the final outcome was going to be, we hadn’t even recorded the string arrangements, we just recorded the end of the song on and on and on over and over, knowing they were going to come in and put an orchestra on it later. When we finally heard the song about two weeks later, it just blew us all away. It was a religious experience.”

Farner’s depiction of a Viet Nam War veteran event relates a touching story and gives insight as to what a proud American, a caring person with a cause, he is. He leaves the meaning of the song up to you, the listener.

And as for Footstompin’ Music? That songs speaks for itself.

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