Better Than Ezra first broke on the scene in 1995 with “Good” from their album Deluxe. Several other hits on alternative radio would follow. The band is currently on their “Road to Mardi Gras” tour which caps off with the “Krewe of Rockus” 3-day event, the first weekend in March. The band is offering a destination package for Mardi Gras where Better Than Ezra are your hosts during the festivities, including hotel and food. Icon Fetch talks with lead singer Kevin Griffin about the event, having written a recent smash for Sugarland on the Country charts, and his band’s classic album Deluxe, celebrating 15 years.
Donnie Iris had a monster hit in 1981 with “Ah! Leah!.” Now’s he’s just released his first-ever holiday-themed record, “Ah! Leluiah!” One of the disc’s highlights is a take on Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in which Iris overdubbed every single vocal part himself – a total of 81 Donnie’s on that single track! We also chat with him about his new venture King Cool Light beer.
You hope it never happens, but there are times when things go horribly wrong during a show. Patricia Shih has compiled some of the best stories in her new book, “Truly Rotten Gigs From Hell.” We talk with her about tracking down these great tales from a wide array of performers. Especially entertaining is her own story of playing Woodstock ’99.
Shelby Lynne is back with her first-ever holiday disc, “Merry Christmas.” The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter recorded the disc earlier in the summer. Among the eleven tracks are two new songs penned by Lynne. She talks to Icon Fetch about choosing the holiday songs, how she still loves listening to vinyl, and what she wants under the tree this year.
Lennon Tribute Week concludes with Pianist David Lanz, who has just released “Liverpool – Re-imagining the Beatles.” Hardly a straight covers album, the nine songs on the set instead take certain elements of each Fab Four song and expound on it with piano, cello and flute. The result is a collection that is both fresh and familiar. Lanz talks with Icon Fetch about choosing songs from the vast Beatles’ library and coming up with unique arrangements for each track. He also talks about his recent visit to Liverpool, where he toured the childhood homes of both Lennon and McCartney.
Thursday night marked the 31th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. We pay tribute to one of the most influential musicians in the history of music through a special 2-hour edition of Icon Fetch. The show will feature live calls from listeners and recorded interviews with a wide array of musicians who were affected by Lennon’s talent. Among the guests are May Pang, who was Lennon’s girlfriend during the year and a half “Lost Weekend;” Delbert McClinton, who taught Lennon how to play the harmonica in the early days of the Beatles; and Tommy James, Gary Wright and Wally Bryson of the Raspberries, who all had a chance to meet Lennon during his lifetime.
Other artists include Grammy winners Shelby Lynne and David Lanz; rockers Dwight Twilley and Donnie Iris; melodic songwriters Marshall Crenshaw and Jason Falkner; and underground veterans Peter Case and Steve Wynn. Several authors who have written recent books about the singer, including Robert Rodriguez, Ken Sharp and Keith Elliot Greenberg, will also weigh in with their thoughts.
The John Lennon Tribute airs Wednesday night at 9pm EST at www.iconfetch.com. The show will be simulcast through www.blogtalkradio.com/iconfetch. For those unable to hear the program live, it will be available through either address as an online stream immediately following the live broadcast.
John Lennon Tribute Week continues as we talk with Keith Elliot Greenberg, author of “December 8, 1980 – The Day John Lennon Died” (Backbeat Books). Greenberg digs deep into that day, chronicling not only what Lennon was doing, but also what the other Beatles did during that day. In addition, he profiles each person who played a role in that day, from the photographer and journalist who were in his Dakota apartment in the morning, to the producer who was working in the studio in the afternoon, to policemen, doctors and others who were all directly involved. He also gives an extensive background of Mark David Chapman, who would ultimately murder Lennon outside his apartment.
John Lennon Tribute Week kicks off with author Ken Sharp, who has just penned “Starting Over – the Making of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy” (MTV books). Sharp talks with a wide array of people who were involved with Lennon’s comeback album, including Yoko Ono, David Geffen, the session musicians, the producer, engineer and photographer. All of them paint an interesting picture of what would end up being the singer’s final studio album released during his lifetime. We also talk to Sharp about his own infectious music.
In the Art of the LP, author Johnny Morgan explores a time when the vinyl record was king. Although it wasn’t portable and scratched easily, the LP created a great opportunity for visual expression, because of it’s large 12 x12 inch size. Now, of course, no one bothers with clever cover art, since it’s only going to be squished into your teeny Ipod viewscreen. But, as Morgan’s book suggests, there was a time when what was on the cover, was just as important as the music inside. Hear the Art of the LP Johnny Morgan interview by clicking below.
Australia’s Hoodoo Gurus have mixed garage rock, psychedelia, Motown and punk into their own brand of catchy tuneage for the last 30 years. Some of their alternative-rock hits include “Come Anytime,” and “Miss Freelove ’69”. They’ve just released their first new album in six years. Purity of Essence finds them doing what they do best: rocking out and having fun. Icon Fetch talks with singer Dave Faulkner about the new CD, managing to keep the same group of guys together, and recording one of their classic songs with the Bangles.