Interview with Linda Sickler of The Savannah Morning News 1. How do you describe Rock N Soul? Solomon Burke (Known as The King of Rock 'n' Soul) described it in 1963, "Without soul, there'd be no rock, and without rock, there'd be no soul." For me personally, it’s combining the raw energy of rock music, with the emotion/feel of soul music.
Interview with Linda Sickler of The Savannah Morning News
1. How do you describe Rock N Soul?
Solomon Burke (Known as The King of Rock 'n' Soul) described it in 1963, "Without soul, there'd be no rock, and without rock, there'd be no soul." For me personally, it’s combining the raw energy of rock music, with the emotion/feel of soul music.
2. How did you develop this unique style?
2. How did you develop this unique style?
Early on I listened a lot to artists like Dylan, Springsteen, Van Morrison, Ray Charles, Don Henley, Otis Redding, Tom Waits, Greg Allman, Mavis Staples, Al Green (to name a few). Probably the mixture of all these influences (Rock, Soul, Blues & Gospel), helped create my sound.
3. How long have you been a musician?
I started playing about 20 yrs ago. But to call myself a working musician, probably the past 15 yrs.
4. What inspires you to write a song?
All Life experiences. But I've never sat down and said, "Today I'm gonna write a song." They just randomly come out. I’ll be practicing, an idea will come to me, whichever mood I'm in that day, that's the kind of song I write.
5. Are you called "the Gypsy Troubadour" because you’ve moved so many times?
Sort of…5-6 yrs ago Jerry Jodice, a radio DJ out of Richmond, VA, tagged me with this name on his radio show "The Great American Music Hour." He wrote an article about me, mentioned how I travel so much, move around a lot, and the name just stuck.
6. How did you come to live in Atlanta?
It’s the largest city in the SE and gives me access to a lot of other music cities (Savannah, Greenville, Athens, Asheville, Nashville, etc.) with only a 3-5 hr drive. Its a great way to build a fan base.
7. You do a lot of touring. Do you ever get tired of it?
I wouldn't say tired of it. But it's becoming more and more frustrating with the bouncing gas prices and the current state of the economy. Makes it hard to sustain any momentum. I use to stay out on the road for longer stretches, a few months at a time. Now I pick a specific region, and work from there. But I still enjoy the road.
8. What has been the most memorable experience you’ve had while performing?
When folks have their eyes closed and are either singing along or mouthing the words with me, it's quite the wavelength. Over the years fans have described my show as "spiritual or intense." So nothing feels better than that connection.
9. How did your appearance in Savannah come about?
I was leaving the NW headed for the SE when I contacted Hank Weisman about playing 1st Fridays for the Savannah Folk Music Society. Turns out there was quite a waiting list to play, some 15 months out. But he still booked me (Thanks Hank). And here we are. Savannah is a great city...I love it. Looking forward to my upcoming shows!
10. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
To thank all of the listeners/fans who have stuck with me over the years. So many have become great friends and it's getting harder and harder to get back to see them, play for them, but they're always on my mind. And there's little pieces of them all, in my songs.
Thank you, Linda, for this opportunity. I appreciate you taking the time to interview me.
Linda Sickler of The Savannah Morning News (Arts & Entertainment Reporter)
NashvilleRock.Net - Interview with Jeff Hightower
Going down the long winding road of music, you live a double life. It's an angel and a devil. The guys out there that pull the long miles and play endless shows are few and far between in today's scene. But every so often you find a true road warrior who keeps pushing forward because it is what he is meant to do. Through the good times and the bad these events have forged the unsung heroes who still have soul. And with that, I give you Lee Tyler Post
HM - Would you ever sign with a major label at this stage in your career?
LTP - Maybe. They would have to give me complete control of the creative process (songs I pick for the album etc) and whom I choose to work with. And allow me to produce or pick who I want to co-produce with. Usually it does not work this way unless you're a proven breadwinner already. (Like Dave Matthews did) I guess if the right situation arose, I would. But getting signed does not mean what it use to. So yeah, I guess it's possible but highly unlikely.
HM - What's it like to keep up the rigorous touring schedule that keeps you on the road most all the time?
LTP - Just a feeling of self-pride. Exhausting at times but more rewarding than not. Something happens when you live on the road all the time. It becomes such a way of life, that when I stop and stay idle for a few months, I feel a sort of emptiness. To be honest, I miss a lot of the people I meet on tour. I can't wait to return and hang out, or have a good laugh (like the ones with you) and play the new tunes I got, and the old ones they like. It usually takes about 100 miles out of the gate each time to get that "ahhhhhhhh' feeling back. I just love the road. It's home to me. So it's very hard for me to stop and say, "Time for a break, to record, shut it down." I should add though the positive side of being in one place is the hometown fans. That really helps.
HM - What is the high point of your career and why does it mean so much to you?
LTP - I can't pinpoint one specific moment but I would have to say this past run of 24 months or so has been special. A lot has happened. Every night has been an adventure. Many of the people who have written me over the years and said what a huge impact my music's been to them, I have gotten to meet and play for. It's an awesome feeling hearing fans sing along, then afterwards telling you how much they enjoyed it live. That's probably the greatest feeling I get on the road. Makes the miles seem like walking across the street for a paper. I can't even explain what it feels like. That high point probably can't be matched. It's magic. Addicting.
HM - You've lived the life most musicians can only dream of. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
LTP - Lower gas prices … ha ha. They're killing me. Seriously, not much. I'm on course with exactly what I set out to do. Sponsorship is next, as well as a nice tour bus. But truly, if I wanted things to be easier, quicker, I could have made it happen. I've taken every high road and hard way to avoid big success … I think it's working dont you! (Ha Ha) Seriously, To be able to fund a small band to back me up and add a little extra dimension live… that I would change I guess. But hopefully, that will all happen eventually. It's the journey, not the destination that matters. I'm all about the quest.
HM - Giving back to the community seems to be a big thing with you. How is it that you feel the need to give back so much and expect nothing in return?
LTP - Music in general seems to have such a huge impact on people's lives and it's always a great and humbling experience when charities ask you to perform for a worthy cause. (Cancer Benefits, homeless benefits, mental health facilities, child abuse etc.) I think eventually everyone is affected by one of these tragic events, either personally, or through a family member or friend. So when you have a talent or gift that can help lift the spirits of others in need, whether musically, a hospice worker, social worker, or comic - I feel you have an obligation to help. Not to mention the incredible feeling of satisfaction and elation you get from the smiles of those you're helping. And since I make a living playing my music, that basically other people fund by buying my albums, I feel like I owe much more than I give. My wife Jackie and I want to do so many things for the less fortunate. More hands on. We just need to get the funding and make it happen - and we will. I just think it comes natural to help others. Feels so good. We all need help. You're helping me right now man… and I thank you brother - big time!!!
HM - I'm sure we haven't heard the highest point of LTP yet. What do we have to look forward to from you in the future?
LTP - Oh, I'll be out there wandering the highways until they cart me off. (Ha ha) Hopefully I can keep making music that people want to hear. And reach new heights as far as touching people's lives. I feel like I'm just beginning really. And I mean that in a very "non-egotistical" way. We have plans to open a camp for terminally ill children, abused children, a safe haven where other artists can come and hide out, rediscover what it was they loved in the first place about their art. Because sometimes that line gets blurred. I also feel I'm just starting to understand what this all means. The journey. As long as people like what I do, and want to hear me … I'll be there. That's really my only musical goal. Venues getting bigger, making more money, bigger record sales, being more known, that stuff just happens the longer you're in the whirlwind. I don't really pay too much attention to all that. Of course I'd like to be financially comfortable. But not at the price of selling out. If I'm basically still an unknown down the line, I'm cool with that. I don't think I'm great, or all that; so I don't waste time thinking I deserve things because "I've paid my dues" so-to-speak. I'm a blue-collar dude; I'll go out and earn it … like I always do. It's just a job in the end, and I believe if you give it your all, you can't go wrong. And I love my job. I get to do what I like the most for a living. With the one I love, my most favorite person on the planet right next to me - Jackie. She makes everyday feel like the first. I'm already rich brother. The rest is gravy.
HM - What's it like knowing that the 49ers can't beat the Bengal's anymore?
LTP - Ya had to go there didn't you …HA HA! Man, what a crying shame. I guess it would hurt worse if the Bengals were the old Bengals, but since they're really good now… nah … I hate it. LOL. Not cool …not cool. I know you're smiling.
HM - We've sat and talked many times about the hearts of true musicians. In your own words, what is it that drives a musician such as yourself?
LTP - I'm glad you asked this and I hope my response is not too long or too "out there." 1st Part of my answer; Desperation I guess, a "here today, gone tomorrow" mentality. Carpe diem. Love of what I do, passion for life. To fill that void, or hole inside that seems to get bigger when I don't write songs or play. To always redeem myself after I feel like I played a sub-par show. Seems I'm always chasing a "ghost" of what I can be, but haven't got there yet. I also relate it to some kind of haunting waters you're afraid to go into, but you know the answers you seek are in there. Do you run and hide your whole life? Just write/live from the surface. Or dive in and face the music so to speak. I guess what drives me is the quest for the truth - Who am I? What can I become? My music is the looking glass to this. 2nd Part of my answer; When I hear things like "your music moves me, feels like you're talking about my life", it's very humbling and overwhelming. To this day, I still find it hard to believe people actually feel this way about my music. That I matter this way even to one person, floors me. It truly means the world to me, honest to God. It brings such purpose to my life knowing that it takes another persons help, to create this. The song, the listener. Like in any relationship, it can't be one sided and work. It's got to be an equal partnership. It's heavy stuff when listeners say they used one of my tunes as the theme song at their wedding, for "the dance." Or my music being the only thing that calms their child down when the baby is teething or what not, that's pretty cool. Recovering addicts saying the music helps them with sobriety. Lifts their spirits. My doctor actually says he listens to my music while he performs surgeries. Helps keep him relax – that's unreal! Hearing these stories, I feel compelled to travel where they are and perform. I feel like it's the only way to really thank them. This drives me. And thankfully along the way others hear me, connect, then I have another stop or place to visit. It seems I gather one listener at a time. Springsteen once said, "If you want an audience, get off your ass and go get one!" So I did. Over the years I have built a nice fan base I'm loyal too – and visa versa. It's hard to explain but it's a debt I can't repay.
HM - When all is said and done and you look back, what do you hope they'll say about Lee Tyler Post?
LTP - Musically; that I had A Big heart and sang with my Soul … pure and simple. That I gave it everything I had every time I took the stage - no matter what. Whether there was 1 person in the audience or 500. Sick or tired. That I stayed true to the roots - foundation laid before me. And was old school and did not use today's tricks and gimmicks to make it sound better in the studio. That I earned my way, and never took my listeners for granted. Personally; That I walked the talk. Always did what I said. Did not have things handed to me. And always-made time for someone in need of help. If they say this, then for my parents and everyone I ever learned from, that made an impression on me, I'm just a reflection of what I was taught. The cycle was complete. I'm sure that sounds hokey but I take pride in coming from a blue-collar background and neighborhood. Bottom line; I just hope people say, "that dude gave it everything he had, and money, accolades - never drove him. Passion did!" … That would make me happy.
All merchandise and music can be found through the following: www.leetylerpost.com
From the nest…
Jeff "HornetMan" Hightower
Interview on Nashvillerock.net
Q & A With Musiconair.biz
• How would you define/describe your music? Raw, organic and honest. I always say, "I try to Write when I'm Blue, Sing with my Soul, and Rock when I Roll!" So I call it Rock N Soul.
• Where were you born? In a little rustic town called Poway just North/Inland of San Diego, CA. Roads were mainly dirt and had only one gas station and grocery store when I was a child. Now it's 10x the size, and it takes 15 mins what use to take 5 to go through town. It's pretty suburban these days.
• How has your hometown changed (Musically)? Well Zappa I think was first, but that was way before my time (my parents went to school with him). When I was really young I remember hearing a lot about Tom Waits. By the time I was a teenager, it was more known as a rock town. That's when RAT and The Beat Farmers were big. Then Jewel came along and it went through a folkie stage. Then a brief punk-pop stage with Blink 182. I guess it's changed like everywhere else, but it's never been known as a "music city." Or for a particular "genre" or sound - like say Seattle was for grunge, Nashville for Country, Austin or Chicago for the blues, etc. It's had some big names and moments though.
• What are you doing at the moment (Musically)? I'm in the process of recording 3 new Albums. Also getting ready to Tour the US this Summer and Fall. Looks to be a crazy year again but I love it.
• What would make a great 2007 for you? To finish up these projects (Albums), perform for all those who have requested me to come to their city. And get back home alive! Ha ha. That's always a successful Tour. And that's always the goal.
• What has been your most defining moment? Probably when I heard Dylan's 'Knockin' on Heaven's Doors' one day on the way to work. I'm still not sure why all of a sudden "I got it," but that day sticks in my head. I didn't play yet but began very soon after. I guess it was my calling.
• Who do people say your music most reminds them of? Well, I don't usually hear many comparisons to anyone. But over the years I've heard names like Springsteen, Van Morrison, Don Henley, Otis Redding, Bob Seger, Greg Allman, Edwin McCain & Chris Cornell. But usually it's a feeling, words like Soul and Passion.
• What advice would you give to up and coming artists based on your experience? I'm not famous so this comes from an "indie-grunt" point of view. It's a tough racket. Be very thick skinned. And very patient. There's no real "logic" in this business. Things just happen and nobody knows why. What you're doing musically may be the farthest thing from what's happening at the moment, then a year later, be happening! I've seen a lot of artists change their sound to fit the latest trend, only for that sound to go out of style, and the style they were doing, become the trend. So my advice is - stick to your guns and just keep developing your own sound. Your time may come, it may not, but you're getting to live a life doing what you love. It's a win–win situation. If it's all about money & fame, well that's a whole other beast.
• What is your favourite instrument and why? I love the Cello and Bagpipes. The most haunting, beautiful sounds to me.
• Have you ever taken singing lessons? None to date. Just found my voice and kept challenging it.
• How long have you been singing for? Almost 20 yrs now. 17 to be exact.
• Are you a political act, if so what is your view on Iraq? I'm not a political act, nor an expert on the subject. But there's got to be a better solution then sending over soldiers to die on foreign land. I understand sometimes it can't be helped. When a Country is directly being attacked and they're defending themselves. But this is getting out of hand. Nobody wins when you get right down to it.
• How important is it that artist and musicians take a political stance? I think for some, it's very important. Especially if the artist in question has a powerful say. Meaning folks will listen. Like Sean Penn for example. He got involved, and speaks out. I may not agree with everything he says, but I respect him. If Springsteen jumps in, I listen. I can only imagine what Lennon and Marley would say if they were alive.
• Who in music would you most like to meet – (Dead or Alive)? Dylan, Springsteen, Van Morrison, Bob Marley, Prince & Tom Waits. Too many to mention, but those for sure.
• How has the music industry changed since you began playing? When I first started out in the early to mid '90s Seattle was exploding, Guns N Roses were still around, and everywhere the singer songwriter was becoming more and more prominent (guys like Edwin McCain and Dave Matthews). There were a lot of different styles and sounds happening. Unknowns getting signed. That's what I walked into. Now days, more than ever, it seems like the music/sound that's out there - is being pushed on us. And it all sounds the same. Cookie cutter format. This has forced artists everywhere to unite and create INDIE Music. You now can have a career without being well known or signed to a big label. Thanks mainly to the Internet. And technology has really leaped forward with all these digital aids allowing artists to do more. But it's creating this tight slick sound (and not necessarily better). That's the biggest change I see. I guess there's a reason they call the '60s and '70s – Classic Rock, It was pure.
• Do you ever collaborate or work with different writers? I have a couple times but it was more like I was inspired by an idea. Then I went off and totally changed what I heard. But I would have never come up with the song, had I not heard that person's version first. Those are rare occasions though. I write so much, I'm usually way too busy to even go that route.
• You have given us an MP3 to play – could you tell us about the song and why you have chosen to display this particular track? It's about a guy who never thought he'd find "the one." But took one last chance and got lucky. And I think the song represents me pretty good as an artist. My style and sound. I like to record everything in one take in the studio, and this came off almost the way I do it live at a show. I'm never happy though and I pick it apart. Plus, I know a lot of my listeners really like this tune, so I took that into account. It's about them as well.
• In this country we now call black music, urban music – what is your opinion on this change of description? I'm not sure why they "label" or "re-genre" certain styles like this. I remember growing up the "Motown sound" being called "Soul music." I never really gave it much thought why until I started singing and realized, the key ingredient we all seek as artists - is soul. And "Black Music" as it was called, defined that word. So to me, "Black Music/Urban Music" will always mean "Soul music."
• Who in your opinion is the most important person in US? Every one of us. We all have a voice.
• Who in your opinion is the most important person in the world? Same as above. I think when we all stop putting each other down (or on a pedestal), and start listening and seeing each other equally … we'll be a lot closer to a unified world.
• What is your quote for the day? Carpe Diem. Live everyday like it's your last. Live for those who have past. We have an obligation to the dead to do so. That's my quote everyday!
Gods of Music Interview
When I first came to the internet in search of new music, I never expected to find a sound so explosive that it would light sparks in my very soul just to hear a few minutes of it. But I did... I found the music of Lee Tyler Post. It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to interview this amazingly gifted artist.
GOM: How long have you been performing for live audiences?
Lee Tyler Post: For about 10 years or so. I did'nt start singing or playing guitar until i was around 22 yrs. old. I just turned 34 so i got a late start.
GOM: What inspires you to write a song?
Lee Tyler Post: I honestly have to say moods. I've never really sat down to write a song. Usually i fall into a mood and grab my guitar and a song falls out. Almost always the song is pretty much done in a few hours. Very rarely do I have to go back and fix it. I never have a topic or subject, I write probably 5 songs a week and they pretty much have their own life. Meaning, they dictate to me how they will come out. I feel more or less like a translater then a songwriter. Many times it takes months to figure out what the song was about in the first place - it's weird !
GOM: What was the name of the first song you ever wrote?
Lee Tyler Post: "I'm Fading Away", I think. "New Day Rising" would be my second guess.
GOM: Which of your songs is the most important to you?
Lee Tyler Post: Probably "Kindred." It's not my favorite song I've wrote, or even in my top 10, but it was written at a very hard time, and life in general appeared bleek. And for some reason this song has become a sentimental favorite to my fans. I guess people relate to it more.
GOM: If you were given a $100,000 grant from the government right now to use in aiding you and your band in your music career, what would be the first thing on which you would spend it?
Lee Tyler Post: Take this band on the road. Use all the money to finance the whole thing, and go find out what you're made of. This really is what every artist/band dreams of, playing in different cities every night. You hear more that it's for the money and fame, but you must take it on the road to either get there, or maintain it. So one way or another, you must take it on the road. But hey, that's just me!
GOM: Which of your albums is your favorite?
Lee Tyler Post: That's a tough one. "If Hope Had Reason" was written more less as a demo to take to Nashville. Alot of the songs intended for this record were tossed out because i could not put my heart into them. Songs like "Almost Over You" and "Salvation Manor" were literally written the day I recorded them. Plus, I was never an acoustic artist before this CD so singing and playing alone under a microscope in the studio was new to me. "Under The Strained Umbrella" was put together and rushed in a band format. Only 7 tunes, was suppose to have 12, but all the songs that are on this disc go together. That really is hard to do. The 5 that were left off I think in some ways were better than the 7 on it, but they did not go well together. So, to answer your question finally, I think "Strained" is better, but I like "Hope" more. It has a vibe that "Strained" doesn't. Plus, it was the first time i truly felt that I might have a shot at songwriting.
GOM: Who are some of your major influences?
Lee Tyler Post: Van Morrison & Bob Dylan -period! I have found every kind of music that appeals to me between the two. But I do listen to John Hiatt, Tom Waits, Don Henley, Bob Marley and John Lennon also.
GOM: Do you ever feel like throwing in the towel?
Lee Tyler Post: I used to, but not anymore. I don't mean quitting though, I mean pursuing it as a career. ( I could never not play). As a songwriter/artist it's very frustrating to see what they're pawning off on us as music these days. You really have to put your ego in the trash and just focus on what you do as an artist and beat to your own drum. I can honestly say, I have not listened to the radio or watched cable TV in almost 4 years - I don't see the point. You won't find the real talent there. (just my opinion I don't want to anger anyone) In the clubs and coffee houses across America there are some fantastic artist's/Bands, and that's where they will stay until someone changes the invitation to the party.
GOM: Where do you see yourself in the future?
Lee Tyler Post: Hopefully successful. I do not play or write for the sole intention of money or fame, or alter my approach to the latest trend that's happening. But, I do have a family and things in which I would like to accomplish. I would like a ranch in Montana, and enough yearly income to expand the Marshall Saint Mission Foundation, which is to serve sexually abused children and child abuse in general. And also act as a halfway house for recovering addicts of all kinds. I'm not a needy kind of of person, my wife, guitar & shelter does me just fine. I'm very driven, but content as well. So maybe content & driven, with alot more money!
GOM: What advice would you give to artists who have only recently picked up an instrument and decided to pursue a career in the music business?
Lee Tyler Post: Go back and learn the history of music. Study the roots. It is here that will give you direction. And never, i mean never, let anyone pursuade you off your path. And when everyone is telling you you're no good, or give it up you'll never figure it out, dig deeper and remember, music is a matter of taste, there is no right or wrong. Some people like apples, some like oranges. Just play and you'll fall somewhere in between.
You can listen to the music of Lee Tyler Post, (or buy his albums) at www.leetylerpost.com