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Nick Pagliari - Hard Lessons

Nick Pagliari Interview Photo Front PageWe have all at some point in life had hard lessons to learn and so we can relate to the title of Austin, Texas singer and songwriter Nick Pagliari’s new album Hard Lessons, which was released on July 22nd. You have to dig much deeper into a conversation with this amiable musician to discover that some of his greatest influences come from his wife Carmen and the jukebox that was in his parents’ home when he was a young boy.

Reflecting upon that jukebox he says, “That is where my early influences in music were from in general. I was probably six or seven years old when my father had that jukebox. We would sit in the living room and he would play little 45s on the jukebox and we would dance around and sing those songs. I was really fortunate and it was really, really cool. My brother who is about three years younger than me has that jukebox. I don’t know if it still works, but I would love to hear some of those songs again someday.

There were all kinds of Motown music and I remember specific artists like The Four Tops, The Beach Boys’ song “Fun, Fun, Fun,” and “Uptown Girl,” by Billy Joel. My mom was a huge fan of Huey Lewis, but that might have been later in her car.

All that music was an influence on me and it stuck with me as an artist. I think when you are that young, in that stage of your development you are like a sponge. Musically I soaked that stuff up and it stuck with me.”

Just as he was about to embark on a month-long residency at Geraldine’s in Austin, Nick Pagliari took time to talk with Riveting Riffs Magazine about Read More

Poco - Rusty Young

Poco Rusty Young Photo Front Page“I really am pleased (with that album). It was a neat experience. I had never done a solo record. I had always focused on Poco records and in 2013 and 2014 I was thinking about retiring and just doing things that I enjoyed, fun shows with friends and that kind of stuff. Jimmy Messina called me, and he said I have five or six shows on the west coast, and it would be great if you came out and played with me. We did old Poco songs and it was a fun thing to do.

We were doing a show in California and this guy Kirk Pasich came up to me afterwards and he said have you ever thought of doing a solo record? I said not really. The opportunity has never presented itself. He said, I have a label Blue Élan and we would love to have you make a record for us. I thought about how everybody who has ever been in Poco have done solo records, Paul Cotton and Richie Furay, Timothy B Schmit and Randy Meisner. I thought it might be an interesting thing for me to do at the end of my career. It was the best way for me to illustrate my part in the sound of Poco. If you listen to Richie Furay’s records you can hear what he contributed to the band and the same with Paul Cotton (and the others). They all have their style and their songs. It was a chance for me to show what I brought to the scene. I thought it was a really good challenge at that point in my life.”

Continuing to talk about the album he says, “The first song that I wrote was “Waiting for the Sun.” After I wrote it, I called Kirk and I said listen let’s do this record.

We live in a cabin or a log home in Missouri in  Read More

Sayonara Sorrow - Ben Brown

Ben Brown Photo Front PageSinger, songwriter and musician Ben Brown from Austin, Texas sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to talk about his new album Sayonara Sorrow a collection of songs whose music is as beautiful as the lyrics are poignant. A common thread throughout these songs is social commentary, which should not be mistaken for being political, because that it is not. Commenting on social issues through music is a familiar theme For Ben Brown as the Pennsylvania born songwriter and his brother Jeff, who tragically passed away a few days after this interview, recorded the song “That’s How the West was Lost,” with their band The Savage Poor.

He says, “The song, “What Will Happen to All that Beauty,” was inspired by novelist and activist James Baldwin. James Baldwin was a writer and activist in the sixties and seventies. I was reading some of his writings a few years ago and the line “What Will Happen to All that Beauty?” is a direct quote from one of his essays called The Fire Next Time. At the end of his essay, he talks about what will happen to the beauty that is blackness. He equates beauty with blackness. He says what will happen to the beauty of blackness, in the United States if we don’t reconcile the racial injustices. He said this in 1968. When I read that line it sounded profound and like a great title. Shortly thereafter I heard music in my head that seemed to fit the mood and the tone, so it went from there. I made a YouTube video with a quote from James Baldwin and some stock footage of 1960s civil rights activism.”

Ben Brown takes the lead vocals on the song, “What Will Happen to All that Beauty,” Read More

Doug "Cosmo" Clifford - New Album

Doug Clifford 2021 album photo front pageThe album Clifford / Wright: For All the Money in the World opens with the title song and it sets the table for a fabulous collection of never before released songs from the 1980s recorded by Doug “Cosmo” Clifford and featuring guitarist Steve Wright who like many of the fabulous musicians who appear on this album, was once a member of the Greg Kihn Band. Keith England’s vocals lead the way and are well-suited to straddle the genres of Rock and Pop.

Doug Clifford is always a welcome guest at Riveting Riffs Magazine and he sat down with us from his home in Nevada to talk about this new / old album or if we may a record that should quickly become a hot collector’s item, not just because of the people playing on it or the fact Doug Clifford produced it, but the songs are also very good! Keep reading and we will soon reveal why this album took so long to see the light of day.

He says, “There are some really talented guys on this album and needless to say I’ve got some pedigreed guitar players. Clifford / Wright started with Steve Wright and I writing songs together and then all of a sudden, we were pretty prolific together. I said we better record these things or we are going to forget them. When I do that, I do what I call a finished master that would be put out in the marketplace. I was making records that sound professional and sound like what this record sounds like with the intention that someone is going to hear it (editor’s note: instead of an unfinished demo, that is usually very bare bones). I never wanted to put it out with just an acoustic guitar, dry vocal and say use your imagination. I don’t want people using their imagination, I want them to say wow that sounds good. Well yeah, we are making records here, we are not putting out junk. That has always Read More

Electronic Firefly from Spain

Electronic Firefly Photo Front PageElectronic Firefly combines the extraordinary talents of violinist Silvia Carbajal, cellist Carlos Perez-Íñigo, and keyboardist Rebeca Nayla who all now live in Madrid, Spain, but at one time lived in different parts of the country. Recently, Carlos who prefers to be called Charlie and Silvia sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine over a Skype call during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and talked about their careers, the formation of Electronic Firefly and the future. For the purposes of this interview, as we often do we are going to dispense for the most part with referring to them by their last names and stick to first names.

The pandemic and for almost three months having to stay inside their homes, put the debut Electronic Firefly album on pause. Sylvia and Charlie have recorded music together aside from Electronic Firefly.  

Silvia begins by talking about their music, “We do different types of music and some covers, because people want to hear something that they know like electronica, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and AC / DC are our favorite types of music. This music is for events and concerts, because people want to hear something that they know. We also do our own compositions. We work with a pianist (Rebeca Nayla) and we do a mix of electronic music and music for films. We are doing our first album and it will be an album with our songs.”

Charlie continues, “We have quite a lot of songs recorded, but this project with the electronica is new. There are three of us in the group and it is completely different than anything we have done before.  We have recorded five or six songs already.” Read More

Katja Rieckermann - Double Release

Katja Rieckermann Front Page PhotoYou know the song “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” from when Rod Stewart recorded it on his 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun, but you have never heard it played like this before. Saxophonist, arranger and composer Katja Rieckermann and TMTQ turn in a stunning dance version of the song, with new vocals by Sir Rod Stewart. Rieckermann who toured with Stewart for fourteen years and during that time she began her solo career, which to date has produced three albums, the self-titled Katja (2007), Horn Star (2010) and Never Stand Still (2014). Katja Rieckermann has performed with a diverse group of artists, which include, Carole King, Brooks and Dunn, David Foster, Mary J. Blige, Al Green and Jeff Goldblum.

Katja Rieckerman first started thinking of recording “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” “about two and one-half years ago. Originally it was going to be an instrumental version of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and it was going to be very close to the original with the tempo and the vibe of it. I wrote a couple of horn sections for it and we recorded it.

I sent it to Rod for approval and said what do you think? I said hey Rod what do you think? I am thinking about releasing this version. Do you like it? He wrote back, yes I love it. How about I sing on it? I was like wow! That is crazy. Of course, that would be fantastic. He ended up singing over the original track that I sent to him.

I thought now I have these newly recorded vocals of Rod and it is too close to sounding like the original, so I should do Read More

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