World Class Rock

Midlife Rocker

GRACE POTTER: The Ongoing Journey of the Cosmic Boogie Queen

GRACE POTTER: The Ongoing Journey of the Cosmic Boogie Queen

One of music’s most dynamic performers talks honestly about following her muse no matter what the risk. By Steve Houk   Oh, to be a Grace Potter fan these days. Euphoric. Rapturous. Enchanted. Those words come to mind when you describe how the legion of devoted followers of the 32 year-old gorgeous tornado of a musician largely feel about their girl....

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RISING APPALACHIA: Keepin’ Up the Revolution

RISING APPALACHIA: Keepin’ Up the Revolution

The phenomenon that is Rising Appalachia sets its sights on the future. By Steve Houk It’s hard to believe, but the soaring caravan of righteously cool troubadours that comprises a Rising Appalachia tour has finally pulled into the driveway, and turned off the engine. Home again home again, jiggety jig. Deep breaths and catching up on sleep await. Aside from...

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NRBQ: MONK-Y MAN

NRBQ: MONK-Y MAN

NRBQ’s founder brings his lifelong passion for a legend even more into focus. By Steve Houk Even as a kid, NRBQ founding member and piano man Terry Adams knew what he liked: music. And there was one particular musician that he felt a true kinship with, a kinship that would last a lifetime. And it got serious with a birthday request. “When I first heard...

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Steve Hackett: Dances With Wolves

Steve Hackett: Dances With Wolves

A prog-rock guitar legend turns to a revered & feared creature for inspiration. By Steve Houk There’s something that feels totally appropriate about Steve Hackett dancing with wolves. I can’t put my finger on it, but the thought of one of progressive rock’s greatest guitarists naming his newest record “Wolflight” — and in the...

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Colin Hay: Survive Then Thrive

Colin Hay: Survive Then Thrive

An 80’s superstar finally finds success and solace in a solo career. By Steve Houk In alot of ways, Colin Hay is just lucky to still be around. Like, above ground. It’s an all-too familiar story, fodder for “Behind The Music” that often has a tragic last chapter. After a meteoric rise as the front man of immensely popular Australian...

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JON ANDERSON

JON ANDERSON

Yes’ legendary voice keeps the band’s music alive amidst new landscapes. By Steve Houk Just looking at and listening to him today, even in his early 70’s, you can still see why Jon Anderson was born to be the lead singer for Yes. Physically, he doesn’t look a day over 60, and still has that whole prog-rock thing going on, so ethereal looking,...

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GEORGE WINSTON: DRIVEN TO PLAY

GEORGE WINSTON: DRIVEN TO PLAY

A piano master uses a serious health scare to craft more of his miraculous music. By Steve Houk The last time I interviewed George Winston, he was driving. It was about 4 years or so ago, and he was at the wheel of a rented Nissan heading from San Francisco to Minnesota for his next gig, talking away as he drove. It was amazing. When I called to talk to Winston last...

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DAVE ALVIN

DAVE ALVIN

The brothers who made up The Blasters find common ground after lost time. By Steve Houk Dave Alvin and his brother Phil made up the core of one of the most memorable bands of the 80’s, The Blasters, a whirling dervish of a blues-rockabilly-rock and roll band that would tattoo itself on your brain after you saw one of their rip roaring, hip shakin’ sets,...

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JOAN ARMATRADING

JOAN ARMATRADING

A musical legend puts herself out there in the latter part of her career. By Steve Houk Recently, a friend of mine told me that when he was in college back in the 80’s, he went to his school’s coffee house one evening to see an unknown artist he wasn’t very familiar with, a woman by the name of Joan Armatrading. In no time, she transformed that...

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WILLIE NILE

WILLIE NILE

One of rock’s most gifted songwriters reaps the rewards of patience. By Steve Houk You might not know Willie Nile‘s music. And until you do, well, it’s your loss. Forget that Nile is one of the most prolific and brilliant songwriters anywhere. One critic referred to Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Willie Nile as the “bards and masters of melody and...

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Indigo Girls: Still Soul Sisters

Indigo Girls: Still Soul Sisters

The amazing women who make up one of America’s most successful musical duos of all time always seem to find their way back home. By Steve Houk Good news for Indigo Girls fans: Amy Ray and Emily Saliers are still going strong. The pair that makes up the now-legendary-pretty-much-the-most-perfect-female-singer-songwriter-duo-of-all-time is still together, still...

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AMERICAN AQUARIUM

AMERICAN AQUARIUM

A hard working, talented North Carolina band comes back from the edge to surge into the future. By Steve Houk The mosaic of the gifted songwriter’s art is one that evokes many things, and something that can be a great influence on the listener. It gloriously lays out such a landscape of feelings and emotions that you can’t help but get caught up in the...

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MACMASTER AND LEAHY: FIDDLIN’ STARS ALIGN

MACMASTER AND LEAHY: FIDDLIN’ STARS ALIGN

Working with legendary rock producers and touring the world together is how great it is for this fiddling supercouple. By Steve Houk One amazing fiddle virtuoso in the family is a cool enough thing. But two? Out of this world. And that’s what fiddling dynamos Donnell Leahy and his wife Natalie MacMaster have goin’ on. The pair are not only highly...

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The Magical Musical Mansion on O

The Magical Musical Mansion on O

On several levels, literally, the astounding Mansion on O is something to be experienced. By Steve Houk It’s a mesmerizing and unforgettable cross between, say, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Alice’s Wonderland. With maybe a dose of Downton Abbey thrown in, given its aura of grandness and formal majesty. But as you carefully yet excitedly navigate...

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Gregg Allman: The Road Does Go On

Gregg Allman: The Road Does Go On

Lucky for us, Gregg Allman is largely at peace with his past, present and future. By Steve Houk Last fall, when the sun finally set and the legendary churning rock and roll steam train that was The Allman Brothers Band pulled into its last station, at least Gregg Allman knew it was coming. The band desperately wanted to go out with a bang and not a whimper, and...

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Graham Nash: Just Breathe

Graham Nash: Just Breathe

One of rock music’s quietly powerful geniuses remains both reflective and hopeful. By Steve Houk With the wonderful life that Graham Nash has had to date, there are many things to be thankful for. Being a prolific, revered two time Rock and Roll Hall of Famer is a biggie. Being a talented and respected photographer ain’t bad either. Heck, being Joni...

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