Monday, October 31, 2011

Pheaturing Johnny Beauford From Bravo, Max!

Hello, Happy Monday, welcome back to the Phile. How are you? Man, it's wet and miserable outside. I want to start off with a story that happened at work on Saturday. So, Saturday at work there was this guy with sparkling Converse sneakers. I told him I liked them and almost told him my dad used to wear shoes like that on stage. I asked where he got them and he said New York City and he got them because his favorite singer and performer wore them, Lonesome Dave Peverett from Foghat who I probably never heard of. I stood there speechless, and no, I didn't tell him. That's not all, two hours before that this guy said to me, "You're from Port Jeff? I lived in Port Jeff". We had a small conversation about Port Jeff and he said he and his friends used to hang outside the pink house in Belle Terre where Foghat lived. Up in Belle Terre there's this huge pink house that once belonged to the Genovese Family, but a lot of the teenagers and kids in that area knew Foghat all loved around there and thought Foghat lived in the pink house and used to hang outside it waiting for Foghat to come out. Why would the band and their families all live in one house? Anyway, I heard that story a number of times over the years, and I am sure my dad did when he was alive and other member's of Foghat. Alright, what else is going on in the world? The world was supposed to end already. I don't think it did, though. Harold Camping also predicted the apocalypse was going to happen back in May and I don't think that one happened either. Well, you know what they say, the third apocalypse is the charm. This is reported to be the 12th time Camping has predicted the end of the world, the first time being in 1978. Not only is he bad at predicting things but he's kind of a bummer to hang out with. I wonder if he could predict when the Phile is gonna end. Getting up early to do this thing is a killer. Well, Halloween is today. Or should that be today is Halloween? If you're going to a party, you’d better figure out a costume or you'll be stuck wearing a salad bowl on your head and calling yourself Justin Bieber. They turn these abandoned Blockbuster video stores into Halloween costume cities. And the costumes are all stupid. And the employees in the store do not care because they know they're fired on Nov. 1. I miss the days when Halloween was a simple holiday about making ritual sacrifices to evil spirits to ensure a plentiful harvest. Rick Perry is now saying he thinks that Barack Obama's birth certificate is fake. I think Perry may have faked his driver's license. Perry started out like a ball of fire from Texas and then he started to drop and now he's retooling. He's adding advisers to his campaign team. This guy had advisers? Really? Perry has now accused Mitt Romney of hiring illegal aliens to work on his hair. Rick Perry is now behind in the polls and he's not taking it well. Today he executed his pollster. There is a God... 'Playboy' magazine is excited to announce Lindsay Lohan will appear in an upcoming issue. However, due to legal requirements, they are required to photograph both Lindsay and her parole officer. Man, I want to get that issue. I have been wanting to see her naked ever since I saw her in Parent Trap. THAT'S A JOKE, PEOPLE! It wasn't Parent Trap, it was Herbie. Yesterday I mentioned that last week we went to D.C., and at Ford's Theater where Lincoln was shot they had a picture of Lincoln that I have never seen before. Take a look.

Before we flew home we stopped at Hershey's Chocolate World and they were selling an inspirational poster. I was so excited. Here it is, kids.

I did think it was weird they were saying that about their own company, but it's their business. 

That's a picture that I took in Philly. I couldn't figure out how to get in. By the way, I have to show you this before I continue. Take a look at the bus name in Philly.

I took it from the car so it's a little hard to see, but the name of the bus transportation is Phlash. I loved it they used Ph to start instead of an F. I am not the only idiot that does that. Okay, now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Slogans for the Occupy Wall Street Movement
10. "Hell No! Something, Something, Something!"
9. "Down With The Corporations!" -- Tweeted from my iPhone.
8. "Just Like Woodstock, But Without The Music!"
7. "Will Stop Protesting For A Job!"
6. "Why Should Libya, Egypt And Syria Have All The Fun?"
5. "Just Like The Tea Party, Only Younger, Less Grouchy And We Don't Vote!"
4. "Give Us A Hundred Each And We'll Go Home."
3. "We Aren't Just Occupying Wall Street, We're Also In Line For The New iPhone. Multitasking."
2. "Who Better To Tell Us How To Run Our Country Than Those With So Few Personal Responsibilities That They Can Sleep In A Park For A Month?"
And the number one slogan for the Occupy Wall Street Movement...
1. "What Do We Want? We Don't Know! When Do We Want It? Now!"

The sixth artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Jasmine Becket-Griffith and this is one of her pieces of art.

Jasmine will be a guest on the Phile next week. 
Okay, today's guest is the lead singer for the great band Bravo. Max! whose great new CD "Dog's Light" is now available on iTunes and Amazon. They'll be next appearing at Prophet Bar in Dallas, Texas on November 11th. Please welcome to the Phile... Johnny Beauford. 

Me: Hello, Johnny, welcome to the Phile. First I have to say, I love the band. How are you?

Johnny: Good, and yourself?

Me: Not bad, even though it's raining. There's no one in the band named Max, am I right? Who is Max, and what did he do to get a bravo?

Johnny: Max is a character in the movie Rushmore by Wes Anderson. We, as a band, love his movie's especially the one with Max in it. Bravo, Max! was inscribed on a typewriter the character used to write plays on in the film. You should watch the movie if you haven't yet. And any by Anderson, for that matter.

Me: I love his movie The Royal Tenenbaum's.  Who is in the band, Johnny?

Johnny: Me, my cousin Ben, our producer friend JJ, and the newly weds Bob and Ellie.

Me: Have you known each other for long? You're a very talented bunch of musicians, you know that, right?

Johnny: Some longer than others, but we've been hanging out and playing music for a few years now.

Me: Is there any of you that's in charge of the band, writing the songs and everything, or do you all do equal parts?

Johnny: I write the songs, and then pass them off to cousin Ben to produce a full sound around the frame's I've built.

Me: Let's talk about your fantastic album, "Dog's Light". What does dog's light mean?

Johnny: Dog's Light is like a porch light. The song is about moving on in life while leaving your best wishes behind for the person you are leaving. The dog's light is just the setting for one person leaving a house where the other person must stay behind there.

Me: How did that song get to be the album title?

Johnny: The song turned out to be the kind of song that we re-invented 100 times. Re-working the vibe of the whole thing so many times that we nearly lost faith in what it was in the first place. Eventually, it turned into a song that highlighted every member of the band in a way that we each grew to like very much. As a group, it became our favorite, without question.

Me: Are there any covers on the album? I don't think so, are there?

Johnny: No shout outs on the album, you're right. We thought about adding this tune, "Pump It Up" by Costello, we've played it live for a while now, but we had plenty of originals to pick from in the end, so it wasn't even recorded the week we were in Cotati.

Me: Your music has been described as a few things, like indie folk, country, pop, Americana. But one description I have to ask you about... pirate ship rock. What the hell is pirate ship rock? And who called you that? You are not pirates, right?

Johnny: We are pirates.

Me: Oh, I didn't think pirates had rock bands. How would you guys describe your music?

Johnny: I think of us as fans of music first, so my description always eludes to the people I like the most. My favorite band is Sun Kil Moon, and although you could argue, we sound nothing like Mark Kozlelek, I think his vibe is mixed in with our music for sure. Mellow-dramatic fantasy is a good way to describe his songs, and I just try to live up as a writer to him and some of my other favorite writers.

Me: "Dog's Light" is your debut album, right? Is it your first release or did you have an EP or something out before?

Johnny: We released an EP called "German Chocolate Cake", produced by our drummer and in house producer JJ Jackson. It's got 3 tracks that are also on the album, so we don't push it on people very often, due to repetition.

Me: I am impressed by who you also have as producer. Oz Fritz, who produced Tom Waits and one of my personal favorites, Elvis Costello who you emntioned. How did you get him to produce the album? Did you approach him?

Johnny: We were hooked up with Oz by our then manager Scott Herbert, who had worked with him several times on other projects. He lives within a couple of hours of Cotati, and considers Prairie Sun his home studio, so it all fell into place pretty quickly once we nailed both of those variables down, the studio and producer that is.

Me: How long did the album take to record?

Johnny: We spent 6 days at Prairie Sun, but only 3 of those were used for recording, and really the first half of day one was spent trying to find some 2" tape that hadn't been used. They had their entire staff scrambling to find tape that one of the assistants was supposed to have bought the week before we got there. Oz was pissed.

Me: Is that how Oz usually works? Recording an album real fast?

Johnny: Oz has been in the business for 20 years now, and has worked on so many different projects, I couldn't tell you what his normal routine is at this point. I'd say, in general, it was one of the faster full length albums he's ever helped put together.

Me: The album sounds like it was recorded live, am I right?

Johnny: All tracks were done live, and then some were over dubbed as needed. You can imagine though with less than 30 hours to work with, we didn't spend too much time over working anything.

Me: You guys remind me a little of The Decemberists. Are you fans of said band?

Johnny: Yeah, I've loved them ever since I saw them play ACL back in 2005, I think. The band definitely loves them, we all like "The King is Dead", but I also really like their older stuff on "Picaresque".

Me: Who are your influences?

Johnny: Got to say, I've been digging this band The Greenhorns a lot. I also love Dr. Dog. At the same time I'm always listening to older stuff like Sam Cooke, Bob Dylan, etc.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Johnny, and I hope you can come back real soon again. Is there a website you wanna plug? Facebook, Twitter?

Johnny: All of our news and show dates are up on our website, would love to have your readers visit and get a copy themselves.

Me: Continued success, you guys are gonna be huge an I hope you will come back to the Phile when your next album comes out. Will you?

Johnny: Would love to, Jason, thanks for having us!

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Johnny Beauford for a great interview. Bravo, Max! is a really good band, and I really want to hear their version of "Pump It Up" now. The Phile will be back tomorrow, yes, tomorrow with musician Chris Nelson. And then Jasmine Becket-Griffith will be a guest next Tuesday on the Phile. I will be on vacation from work so I will be posting a whole week's worth of entries next week. More on that tomorrow. We were going to Legoland today but with the weather so shitty, I think we'll stay in doors. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pheaturing Taye Cannon From Roxy Roca

Hello, and welcome to Occupy Peverett Phile. It's been two weeks since I posted an entry, did you miss me? We went on vacation to Washington D.C. and Philly, and we stopped at Hershey. Do you know how we got to Hershey? We took the Hershey Highway. I think I told that joke a few years ago when we went there before. Anyway, D.C. was great, but next time I want to go to Washington Marvel. We got to see the new Martin Luther King Memorial statue. 

There, that's a picture of me with it. I was wondering, what does it represent, unfinished business? I was surprised to see they made it white as well. And how do they clean it? They can't use a hose, that wouldn't be right. A lot happened in the last few weeks. The Republicans had a debate in Las Vegas. Las Vegas is a weird place for politics. Why would something known for sleazebags, prostitutes, and gambling want to be associated with Las Vegas? Did you see the World Series? I was wondering though why do baseball managers wear uniforms? It doesn't happen in any other sport. Do these managers think they'll get called into the game? I do like baseball, though. There is something incredibly uplifting about it. And I'm not just talking about the tight pants. I love Chuck Norris but he says, “Some people say baseball has become ‘less American’ with the influx of talented Latinos into the game.” These people are called racists. I say that's exactly what makes baseball American. It's like apple pie with salsa verde on top. Lindsay Lohan had to go back to court after showing up more than an hour late for community service. But her lawyer says she's got a good excuse. She forgot to steal a watch.
President Obama was a guest on "The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno. I'm surprised, because his popularity is at an all-time low. And there are people in the streets marching against him. So it's nice of President Obama to help him out. The movie Paranormal Activity 3 came out. They're pumping these movies out really fast. In the new one, the kids are haunted by the ghost of Moammar Gadhafi. Also, the remake of The Three Musketeers came out. I want to see the other movie based on a chocolate bar, Mounds. And Puss in Boots was released... which is not what I think it's about. Well, I mentioned Moammar Gadhafi, which was the biggest news in the last few weeks. A spokesperson for the Libyan rebels said Gadhafi will be replaced soon by Ashton Kutcher. There were no tears shed for him in Williamsport, PA... or Lockerbie, Scotland. He died as he lived... with no one agreeing on how to spell his name. First Osama, now Gaddafi. I think there a very nervous midget in North Korea right about now. Okay, enough about him, let's talk about me again. On the 23rd it was our 14th wedding anniversary. I asked my wife in all of these fourteen years had you ever thought about divorce. "Heavens. no, she replied. "Murder yes, but never divorce." Anyway, On our trip to D.C. we went to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing where they revealed the new five dollar note. Wanna see what it looks like? 

Speaking of Lincoln, which I didn't really do, but speaking of him, we went to Ford's Theater where you know he was shot. I was really happy to see they had a Lincoln inspirational poster there. Here it is, kids. 

I love the Smithsonian, but was more impressed by the ad they have for it. 

And now or some sad and happy news...

Muammar Gaddafi
June 7, 1942 - October 20, 2011
No more Muammar.
Jimmy Savile 
October 31, 1926 - October 29th, 2011
Jim won't fix it. Oh, shit. I just realized tomorrow would of been his birthday. 

Okay, apparently when the Republican debate was in Vegas, Mitt Romney said something about home owner's in Florida. And that's me. Well, not just me, but I am one of the people he talked about. I don't know what he said, so I thought I would someone to the Phile to explain what Romney was talking about. So, once again, here is Executive Director of the Democratic National Committee Ptrick Gaspard in a pheature I like to call...

Me: Hello, sir, welcome back to the Phile. So, am I right to say while campaigning in Las Vegas last week, Mitt Romney outlined what he'd do for struggling homeowners?

Patrick: Yes, you are. He said, "Don't try and stop the foreclosure process. Let it run its course and hit the bottom."

Me: What would that look like for Floridians who have been playing by the rules and paying their mortgages every month? 

Patrick: Mitt would tell them they're on their own. 

Me: That's kinda callous, don't you think, Director, sir? What can anyone who owns a house here in Florida do about this?

Patrick: To call it callous is an understatement. If you're as outraged at this do-nothing approach as we are, and you should be, there's something simple you can do about it right now: Spread the word, and make sure folks in Florida know exactly what they'd be getting with Mitt Romney.

Me: There's a website someone can go to share Mitt's stance?

Patrick: Yes, here is, Jason. We've put together a website to make it easy to share Mitt's stance with your friends and fellow Floridians. It's And if you're on Twitter, join other Democrats from around the country in tweeting what else you think might make a good #romneyplan. We've included a few helpful examples on our site.

Me: I have to ask, sir, how is Mitt's action plan different from President Obama is taking today? 

Patrick: Mitt's housing plan couldn't be further from the action President Obama is taking today, issuing new rules for federal mortgages that would allow responsible people to re-finance their homes, even if they're under water. And in the months to come, he's said he'll continue to make a series of further policy changes at the executive level designed to help middle-class families.

Me: Okay, Mitt's plan will do diddley-squat for me, but I am sure it's gonna help somebody. Who would it help?

Patrick: Here's who Mitt's plan would help: investors looking to turn a profit. They'd buy up foreclosed homes from the banks and sell them off. Your home becomes someone else's make-a-buck-quick plan.

Me: Thank you for clearing things up, and explaining it, sir. It's not right, is it?

Patrick: It's not right, you're right, and you can help hold him accountable by spreading the word.

Me: Thank you, Director, sir.

Patrick: Thanks.

Okay, it's Sunday, which means I invite my friend Jeff Trelewicz to the Phile and we talk football in a pheature called...

Me: Hello, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile. How was your last weekend? I was in D.C. , have you ever been?

Jeff: It is always great to be back on the Phile, even if it's just one week every other week. Yes, I have been to D.C. but I was much younger when I was there. I was there with my parents in the early 90's. I keep meaning to go back.

Me: You should, Jeff. There's so much to do there. Anyway, how did we do with the picks two weeks ago?

Jeff: Both the Steelers and the Giants won in week 6. I went 2-0 while you went 1-1. So you lead by 2 points overall at the almost the halfway point in the season. 

Me: Oh, yeah! Woo-hoo! What has been the latest football news? Everyone seems to be saying how great Tebow was for 2 minutes. I know my brother-in-law Seth, who is a die hard Miami fan is glad Miami lost. Something about a guy named Luck. What is that about?

Jeff: The biggest news is how bad the Colts truly are without Peyton Manning. They lost last week 62-7. That seems like more of a video game score then an actual football game. I am pretty sure I beat a team on Madden by about that score. The other big news is just how the Dolphins snatched defeated from the jaws of victory. I am not sold on Tebow as a starting quarterback. Yes, he beat Miami but that isn't really saying much at this point. So we will see with him. When you hear them talk about Luck, that is Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck who most people think will be the 1st overall pick in next year's draft.

Me: Okay, this weeks picks... I say the Panthers will win over Minnesota by 6 points. And of course the Giants will beat Miami, which is not a pick of mine, just a fact. LOL. And Denver by three.

Jeff: For week 8 I will go 49ers by 7 and Chargers by 3.

Me: Alright, now they'll be they'll be no Phile next weekend again, so I will have you back again in two weeks, but if any of our teams win we'll get points. Take care, and thanks again, Jeff. You rock.

Jeff: See you in two weeks.

Yeah, it's back! The... I don't remember how many artist's were in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery, I think five. Yeah, five. So, the sixth artist to be pheatured in the P.P.A.G. is Jasmine Becket-Griffith. This is one of her pieces...
Jasmine will be a guest on the Phile soon. Now for today's guest...
Today's guest is the lead singer for the nine piece soul band based in Austin, Texas, who are currently working on their first album. They'll be appearing next at Scoot Inn in Austin, Texas. Please welcome to the Phile from Roxy Roca... Taye Cannon.

Me: Hello, Taye, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Taye: Living the dream! Waking up to it... not from it... Thanks for having me on!

Me: I have to say Taye Cannon is a great stage name, my friend. Roxy Roca reminds me of a black woman from a 70's film for some reason. Did you come up with the name?

Taye: Thank you kindly. It's funny when I introduce myself people always think I say Ted Cannon which makes me feel like I should be a cop on a 70's television show like "Hunter" Detective Ted Cannon... LOL. You are on the right track with Roxy Roca though, the band is named after Roxie Roker, best know as her role on "The Jefferson's" as Helen Willis and also known as Lenny Kravitz's mama. "The Jefferson's" was my favorite show growing up watching the reruns on TBS and it had a profound effect on me in terms of treating people equally. I loved that she was married to Tom Willis. 

Me: It works well with the Billy Dee Williams ad I saw. Very funny. Was that your idea? You know I interviewed Billy Dee on the Phile, right?

Taye: YOU INTERVIEWED BILLY DEE!!? Man, he too slick. Billy D and Carl Weathers were my favorite actors when I was a boy. My brother actually interviewed me on cassette tape once when we were kids and I told him that. 

Me: Okay, Taye, let's talk about the band. I read you're on a mission from God... did you story start off in jail as well?

Taye: LOL... well... we do wear suits... and once... well that story is for another time... off the record! :)

Me: Your story reminds me more of The Commitment's than The Blues Brothers. Who is in the band with you, Taye?

Taye: We've got Errol Siegel on guitar, Roger Wuthrich on bass, Bobby Villwock on the keys, and my super dynamite drummer Alex Moralez. The Roca horns consists of Nikolas Bouklas on tenor sax, Thomas Hays on trombone, Mr. Ryan Allen on alto sax and Sir. Tom Robinson on barri sax!! And that my friend is what ya call a lot of Real Estate!!

Me: I imagine you grew up listening to Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson and one of my favorites Wilson Pickett. Did you grow up listening to them, or did the soul thing come later?

Taye: Well then you've got ya' a sharp imagination there my friend because you just named some of my idols right there!! All three of those were packed in my father's record collection! THE record collection that kicked off my love for soul music at a very young age. Jackie, Otis, Wilson, Jr. Walker, Marvin Gaye, Chuck Jackson, The Temps!, The Tops!, The Tams, Little Anthony and the Imperials, James Brown, Fats, Smokey... they were all in there!

Me: Your band kinda reminds me of a hipper Huey Lewis and the News. What do you think of their soul styleish music?

Taye: I love Huey Lewis and The News! That was one of the first records I bought with my own money in like 3rd grade or something. I thought he was super cool and I loved their videos and style. My brother and I use to stay up late at night and record "Night Tracks" we would put the recorder next to the TV and record the songs we liked onto audio tape. Huey, Prince, all those kats were on those tapes, and we still have them.

Me: I said stylish. Is that even a word? Anyway, one of my favorite singers of all time, Graham Parker, was heavily influenced by soul as well... are you aware of his work?

Taye: The Rumours? Right? I am not super familiar with his work. I do know that they were known for having a pretty powerful live show. I will have to dig into them a little.

Me: Taye, where are you from, sir?

Taye: Born in Alabama... and I will always call Bama home.

Me: Have you always lived there?

Taye: I grew up outside of Nashville, Tenn. as a small kid and the Mississippi Gulf Coast through High School, moved around some more till the music dream finally landed me in lovely Austin, Texas

Me: Is Roxy Roca your first band you have been in?

Taye: Roxy Roca has been a long time coming but it wasn't my first band... rebellion and rock and roll was my poison for a while.

Me: I imagine your shows are hot. Do you just play around the Austin area? You'll do well here in Orlando I bet.

Taye: For now we are just playing Texas, which is vast. You can travel for days and never leave the Lonestar State. Living in a music city like Austin we are spoiled because the world comes to you. Music fans flock to Austin daily but we are looking forward to getting this show on the road and abroad!

Me: So, I heard you're working on a CD, Taye? Is it gonna have all covers, or are you gonna put any originals on it? The songs I heard from Roxy Roca are great, especially your version of "Grits Ain't Groceries" which is one of my favorite songs ever. Who do you think did the best version of that song?

Taye: Thanks. We are layin' down some tracks in Austin at Clock Right Studios... just compiling a vault of tunes right now, both original and covers. I love "Grits", my favorite would have to be Little Milton's version although I have been listening to the original Little Willie John quite a bit lately.

Me: I was hoping you'd say Savoy Brown. Have you ever heard their version?

Taye: That version is killer!! Such amazing vocals and a lot of grit, one of my favs' in fact. I wanna go listen to it right now.

Me: Taye, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back when your CD comes out. All the best, Taye. Oh, go ahead and plug your website and everything as well.

Taye: Thank you so much for having me. It's an honor. You can check us out at We have it set up so you can go from there to all of our media outlets and if you like what you see and here please hook up with us on Facebook!

There you go, another entry done. Thanks to my guests Patrick Gaspard, Jeff Trelewicz and of course Taye Cannon. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Johnny Beauford from the band Bravo, Max! And then again on Tuesday with another entry with musician Chris Nelson. So, until then spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alliagors bite you. Bye, love you, bye. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pheaturing Shelly Fairchild

Hello, and welcome to another entry of the Phile, everybody. How are you? I am grumpy. Every morning when I work on the Phile I drink a bottle of Starbuck's mocha Frappuccino, except this morning. I have fourteen bottles sitting in the pantry in the kitchen and I didn't put one in the fridge for me to drink. I am out of my routine. Oh, well, I can't blame anybody else but me. What else is going on? Officials in Venezuela have hired 120 mimes to help direct traffic. It’s confusing. You can never tell if the mimes are telling you to stop, or if they’re just trapped in a box. A Papa John’s delivery guy called the cops on a man who was using medical marijuana. Yeah, a pizza guy called the cops on a stoner. It’s all part of Papa John’s new business plan... trying to put themselves out of business. A team of American scientists just traveled to Russia to search for the Abominable Snowman. That's right, a mythical creature who probably doesn’t exist. Or as Republicans call that, “a presidential candidate.” New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced that he’s endorsing Mitt Romney for president. It’s good news for Romney. I mean, you always want Chris Christie on your side. Unless you're in a canoe. A new survey found that people in the U.S. will spend a record $50 billion on their pets this year. That's crazy! Fifty billion dollars on pet's. I am so glad we don't have pet's, unless you count my pet rock. A new study found that washing your hands can help you solve problems. Yeah, especially if the problem is, “stuff on hands.” President Obama was in Orlando this past week and had beer with four unemployed construction workers. And Obama asked the guys what was it like to lose their jobs, and they were like, “Oh, you’ll see.” When the check came, Obama was like, “Do you guys want to split this five ways?” Angelina Jolie apparently made a secret trip to Libya, which explains her newest adopted kid, Moammar Gadhafi Pitt Jolie. This is sad, Big Ben is leaning to one side, but they think that it might be able to somehow correct itself. And I thought well, yeah, look at Mitt Romney. He used to lean to the left, now he leans to the right. The Occupy Wall Street protests continued in New York City. Today the protests have been going on for four weeks now. That's longer than most NBC sitcoms last. The CEO of Citigroup said that he can understand why all these Occupy Wall Street protesters are so frustrated. In fact, he felt so bad for them, he gave himself a $10 million sympathy bonus. The White House is apparently pushing to create more Latino-themed landmarks. Now that's in addition to our current Latino-themed landmark, California. The Bronx Zoo has a new Halloween exhibit that features rare bugs and rodents. They're all indigenous to the same exotic location: The dumpster outside a New York Chinese restaurant. I just mentioned the Occupy Wall Street protester's, and I was thinking they really thought hard what to write on their signs. Take this lady for example.

LOL. It looks like she's protesting by herself. Anyway, it's spreading all over, these protester's. The other day "Sesame Street" did a spot about it. Here is a screen shot.

Man, I wish I had a bottle of Starbuck's mocha Frappuccino right now. 

Okay, I feel a little better. Still thirsty though. Alright, from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's...

Top Ten Least Popular Theme Restaurants
10. Snooki's House of Crabs. 
9. The Warren Buffet. 
8. Cheap Plastic Edibles From China. 
7. Anthony's Weiners. 
6. Chuck E. Sheen's. 
5. Red Sox All-You-Can-Eat-Until-You-Collapse Buffet. 
4. Lady Gaga's Recently Worn Meat BBQ. 
3. Michele Bachmann's Let's-Take-The Country-Back-To-Medieval Times. 
2. Rick Perry's Last Meal Bistro.
And the number one least popular theme restaurant is...
1. Chris Christie's All-You-Can-Eat-After-Me Buffet. 

This Mark Rothko-looking blotch of color is the Grand Prismatic Spring, which supposedly gets its colors from bacteria that grow around the water. Since this explanation seems far too simple for something so brilliant, I'll go ahead and assume it's really an alien spacecraft landing site being covered up by the government.

You know, some interviews I do are so-so, and lots of times I never heard of the band or musician before I interview them, but today's interview is different. She is an American music recording artist who signed to Columbia Records in 2004, releasing her debut album "Ride" in early 2005. It produced the single "You Don't Lie Here Anymore", a #35 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks. Her new album "Ruby' Money" is out now available on iTunes and she'll be next appearing tomorrow at The Shrine Bar and Restaurant in New York City. Please welcome to the Phile, the lovely and talented... Shelly Fairchild.

Me: Hello, Shelly, welcome to the Phile. I am very excited that you're here and a bit nervous. How are you?

Shelly: ARE YOU KIDDING!?!!?! I am so happy to be chatting with you! I'm doing fantastic!!!! And... NERVOUS... what do you mean NERVOUS?!?! That's crazy talk. ;-)

Me: I have been a big fan of yours ever since I first heard the single "Tiny Town" and saw your first video. My wife even gave me a hall pass if I ever met you. Anyway, I have been following your career ever since, and am so happy you finally have a new album out. It took awhile, right?

Shelly: Well, LORDDDD YESSS!! It seems like it has taken FOREVER since I've put music out. It kinda has... it's been 6 YEARS!!!! WELL, I sold some EP's out of the trunk of my car in 2007. That counts for a tiny something. Ok, well #1 let me address you being a big fan of mine since "Tiny Town"... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THHHANKKK YOU! I so loved that little record of mine and I hoped it would reach a whole whole lot of people! It did reach a faithful few and for that I am SUPER grateful! So, thank you for listening and supporting me from the beginning! As for the hall pass... yeah, let me just say... I'm a SINGER/SONGWRITER... SERIOUSLY... RUN!!!!!! .... kidding... NOW... about the NEW RECORD... I am so so so so happy to have this new music out! I hope the world LOVES it as much as I do. It has been a true labor of love and a true collaborative effort... no lie... each of my co-writers, my producer, my band members, friends, family, fans... literally I feel like EVERYONE I've ever met had something to do with this record in some way. It's been an emotional journey over the past few years and I'm ready to get this phase of my musical life OUT TO DA WORRRLLDDDD!!!! SO thanks for askin' about it...

Me: I was surprised and pissed off when I found out that Columbia dropped you, Shelly. Fuck 'em, you are better off. Your first album, which was really good, called "Ride" was one of my favorite albums to come out in 2005, when I was really into country music. Did you want to be a country musician originally, or did you just fall into that?

Shelly: Hey look, Columbia dropped Johnny Cash!!!!!! What more can I say...??!?! I mean, not that I'm comparing myself to Johnny Cash... I'm simply stating a fact that could possibly make one decide that record labels sometimes don't, well... (insert your own thought here). As for me making a country record as my first album... I see it kinda like I was in high school and I graduated to college (which would be the EP phase) and now I'm out in the FREE WORLD!!! So, I def believe this new record is ME... WHOLEHEARTEDLY! 100% where I'm headed... I reserve the right to grow and change and put out whatever kinda of record I'm feeling at the moment... so, who knows what you will hear over the years... I just hope people dig it... ya know??!

Me: Did Columbia give you a good reason to drop you, or was it just a load of bullshit?

Shelly: As for being dropped... there are a few things you gotta know... I mean, I was touring with a 4 piece band at the time and there were ZERO country instruments involved. I used basically a ROCK setup, so everywhere I went people would tell me that it sounded more like rock than country. So, I was already leaning in that direction from the start. So, after a few failed radio singles ("Tiny Town" and "Kiss Me") the label had to evaluate whether or not they really wanted to keep me. They had spent a lot of money on me and I'm sure they were questioning whether or not I was truly a "country" artist. So, we parted ways. It's really all about business at some point. I get that. I must say, at that point, I was ready to move on. I had SOOOO much more to say and be. So, all is well... no hard feelings. Word.

Me: Anyway, like I said, I am glad you have a new album out and a new band. I purchased the new album "Ruby's Money" from iTunes and really enjoyed it. It's a lot different then "Ride" is. Was your goal to break away from the country mold and release a hard rocking soul album?

Shelly: You know what... my goal was just to find ME. Find my voice, what I really really wanted to say and be. It was a musical journey for sure. I have always had soul music in my soul. I have always loved to entertain and rock onstage. I just went with what I thought I did best and how I wanted to be presented to the world... and it translated to songs like "Love Everybody" (first single released to iTunes). I'm sure I will be releasing singles over the next few years... that say what I'm wanting to say, ya know?! I'm super excited that the music world is so OPEN now. I mean, people say that the music biz has gone to shit... I think it's AMAZING that we have so so many opportunities now! I mean, I can control ALL OF ME! Wooohoo!!! Nice...

Me: How would you describe your new music?

Shelly: My new music... to me... is a mix between EARLY Ike and Tina, Sly and the Family Stone, Steven Tyler, and Alicia Keys. It's like "Rock Funkin' Soul Music"...hahaha.

Me: With this album you almost didn't release it under Shelly Fairchild, but under a band name Ruby's Money. Is that to differenate from your country past, or did you plan to form a band?

Shelly: I actually went back and forth on that a bit. I had a band for a while called Shelly Fairchild & The People. After finding a few new members, my bass player came up with this killer name for our band... "Ruby Go Go". THAT name then changed to Ruby's Money. I've now decided to release the record under my name "Shelly Fairchild"... and call the record "Ruby's Money"... yeah. Seems cool to me. Seems full circle. Have I confused you yet??? Ahhahaa....

Me: Who else is in the band with you, Shelly?

Shelly: Well, we play LIVE in a few different configurations... BUT, on the record... we have: Myron Howell on DRUMS, Rob Cureton on BASS, Cade Doyle on GUITAR (electric and acoustic), Kenny Greenberg on GUITAR (electric and acoustic), Philip "Philthy" Lassiter on KEYS and HORN ARRANGER and STRING ARRANGER, Vinnie Ciesielski on TRUMPET, Mike Haynes on TRUMPET, Rahsaan Barber on SAX, Jimmy Bowland on BARI-SAX, Roy Agee on TROMBONE, Randy Cantor on SOME CRAZY STRINGS and PROGRAMMING, Eric Darkin and Branden Newson on PERCUSSION, Chip Davis and myself on BACKGROUND VOCALS. Oh, and Stephony Smith produced the whole thing and also partnered with Philip on string arrangements.

Me: Where was the album recorded and how long did it take to record?

Shelly: The album was recorded in Nashville at a place called LOUD STUDIOS. It really took us about 4 weeks to record all of the tracks and vocals... then we moved to mixing the first half of the record in Los Angeles with the famous Chris Lord-Alge. The second half of the record was mixed in Nashville with my friend, the GREAT Mills Logan. We also mastered in Nashville with my buddy Hank Williams (no...not that one...) All in we probably worked on the record for about 6 months. ;-)

Me: Your first single "Love Everybody" was hand-picked by the fans to be the first single. Did I get that right? How did you decide to let the fan's choose?

Shelly: YES! You are correct sir! I just thought it was important to hear from my friends and fans... like, I had never done that before and I thought it would be super cool to find out what other people thought! You know... what they actually WANTED to hear. That's why I let 'em choose!

Me: I think it's cool when band's and singer's let the fan's help out, and be a part of the whole project. A few times different Phile readers hooked me up with different interviews, so having the fans take part in your career and music is a great idea. Said that, have you had any feedback from your country fan's that wish you would do another countryish album?

Shelly: Well, yes. Most of my fans are going right along with me... and I'm super thankful for that! There are a few people that have expressed their desire to hear me do more country stuff, but mostly people are digging what I'm doing now so it seems to be all good!!

Me: Would you ever do another country album?

Shelly: In the words of the great Justin Beiber..."NEVER SAY NEVER!" hahhahahahah...

Me: There's one song that jumps out from "Ruby's Money" that I have to ask you about, Shelly. "Here's Your Box" is a political song, right? Are you into politics? What is the message behind this song?

Shelly: I learned while I was in cosmetology school to NEVER talk about religion or politics!!! SO... I will keep my political opinions to myself. However, I will say that this song, "Here's Your Box", speaks more to the nature of society's CRAZY way of trying to keep people in boxes. Like, it seems to me that anything new and different is SOOOO SCARY to people. So much so that we have HORRIFIC hate crimes, and discrimination on SOO MANY LEVELS!!!!! I feel like so many leaders (in all different businesses) feel MUCH more comfortable when one just falls right into line and does the very same thing that has ALWAYS been done... never drawing outside of the lines or taking a chance on a new line of thinking. It's quite frightening to me. I think it will be the end of us as a human race if we don't start to respect and honor the gifts and differences in each other.

Me: I have to admit, when I first glanced at the title of said song I thought it said "Here's My Box", and a whole different thought crossed my mind. Anyway, moving on quickly, did you write all the songs on the new album?

Shelly: HAHHAHAHAHAAAHAHAHAHHHAH!!!! Funny... we made jokes (yes those kinds) about that title for hours. YES I did write all of the songs on this record except one. I did a cover of a Mother's Finest song called "Baby Love". I love love love that band and an old drummer of mine actually suggested that we start doing that tune LIVE when I was on the road promoting my country record. So, we worked it up and I've been playing it LIVE since. So, I just couldn't do this record without also recording that song! Other than that one, I co-wrote all of the songs on the record. Stephony Smith (who also produced the record) wrote each of the songs with me and we added a 3rd writer on some of the tunes.

Me: Oh, I didn't get to ask you about the album's name. Where did it come from, and who is Ruby?

Shelly: There IS a bit of a story behind the name, "Ruby's Money". You see, my great grandmother's name was Ruby. She used to be a contractor back in the day that lived a pretty humble existence (meaning... she didn't have much)... and when she passed on... the family found all kinds of money stuffed in her mattresses, purses, holes in walls, etc... to the tune of around $60,000. SO, thus the name "Ruby's Money".

Me: Shelly, you grew up in Mississippi, right? Where do you live now? I am guessing you moved away from Nashville.

Shelly: YES, I grew up in Mississippi. I was born in Jackson, MS. When I was in the 3rd grade we moved to a town called Clinton, MS, and stayed there until I moved to Nashville. I stayed in Nashville for about 10 years and now I'm kinda TRI-COASTAL. I spend about 1/3 of my time in Nashville, 1/3 in Los Angeles, and 1/3 in NYC! That's a new thing for me but I'm enjoying it THOROUGHLY!

Me: What kinda music did you listen to growing up?

Shelly: My daddy always listened to Hank Jr., The Oak Ridge Boys, Chicago, Air Supply, Willy. MY aunt listened to Dolly Parton ALL OF THE TIME!!, and my mama really loved James Taylor, The Beatles, and whatever was super popular on the radio in the 70's. When I got into middle school I was obsessed with listening to Amy Grant and Madonna! HA... I mean, you don't get any more diverse than that, huh? Oh, and then there was high school where I was all about Joplin, Marley, Morrison, Kravitz, Aerosmith, Trisha Yearwood, Garth Brooks, and GOSPEL. College hit and I couldn't get ENOUGH of Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Lauren Hill, The Fugees, Eryka Badu, Missy Elliot, Patty Griffin, Jonatha Brooke, The Dixie Chicks. Now I'm allllll about Drake, JayZ, Eminem, Jessi J, Adele, Amy Winehouse, Alicia Keys, Niki Minaj, and SOOOO much more. Seriously... I LOVE MUSIC!!!! ALL KINDS!!!!!

Me: I read that you were into the blues. My dad, was big time into the Blues. Did you have a favorite singer growing up?

Shelly: Well, as for my FAVORITE... I have to say that I can't really answer that question. I mean, being from Mississippi you're kinda born with the blues, but I wasn't super schooled by the blues or anything. I bought my first Mississippi Fred McDowell record when I was in high school along with some Mahalia Jackson, John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Robert Johnson, and of course Mr. B.B. King. I feel like when you're born in the South, you can't help but have soul. You know, there's just so much in the water. So much in the dirt and clay. A lot of pain... a lot of stuff. It's very hard to explain.

Me: So, Shelly, what's next? Are you planning a tour? Will you be coming down to Florida any time soon? If you play here in Orlando, I am there.

Shelly: WELL... I am hoping to put a string of dates together for SURE! No dates set YET. Stay tuned! And please visit my website ( every now and then to keep up to date on what's goin down in my world. That's where I will post EVERYTHING as it happens.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, Shelly. 

Shelly: THANK YOU SO MUUUUUUUCHHHHH for having me! I have enjoyed answering your questions! I hope they weren't all TOO F'N LONG WINDED... I get that way a lot. I also use WAY TOO MANY CAPS AND EXCLAMATIONS!!! AND PERIODS!!!! Whatever....

Me: So, will you come back again again? Please say yes. All the best, and keep making music!

Shelly: I will always come back... as long as I'm invited! Thanks again for your support. You have no idea what that means to me. From the bottom of my heart... thank you! ;-)

Well, that about does it for another entry. Thanks to Shelly for a great interview. I really do hope she'll come back onto the Phile again. Speaking of, I will be on vacation, so next weekend they'll be no entries. The Phile will be back on October 30th with the lead singer for the soul band Roxy Roca and then on the 31st, it's Johnny Beauford from the band Bravo, Max! So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pheaturing Rich Halley

Hello, welcome to another Sunday entry of the Phile, everybody. How are you? Man, have you been following the Occupy Wall Street protests? Or as it's also known as the largest homeless slumber party in the world. Some protesters brought their kids to the demonstrations. Some of the kids got bored and decided to occupy Sesame Street instead. The Occupy Wall Street protesters traveled around New York to stand outside the mansions of the most wealthy people in New York. Is that protesting or tourism? Police were using pepper spray on the Wall Street protesters. That’s scary. What if they’re spraying them with condiments so the rich people can enjoy eating them? The protesters stood outside the homes of five rich dudes. Michael Moore was actually able to stand outside all five homes at the same time. The protests are getting pretty rowdy. This morning, they overturned Donald Trump’s hair and set it on fire. If I was in New York, I’d probably participate in this. Well, first I’d see “Jersey Boys.” Paul McCartney married a truck heiress. You know the economy is bad when Paul McCartney is marrying for money. The Washington Post says that President Obama is not a people person, and is a neurotic loner without any friends. It’s like I have a twin. Happy belated-birthday to Bo, the White House dog. It looks like he may be a one-term dog. Michelle Obama attempted to set a world record for jumping jacks. I think that will make unemployment a little easier to tolerate. Herman Cain was in 2nd place in most of the national polls, behind Mitt Romney. Apparently his message of “less government, more toppings” has been well received. The SAT is the standardized achievement test, and the PSAT is the same thing, but with pizza. BlackBerry service disruptions have spread to the United States from the Middle East and Africa. Millions of people were forced to check their email from a computer like wild cave savages. It’s embarrassing for BlackBerry, but it could have been worse. The new iPhone could be coming out at the end of the week — oh, wait a minute. Teenagers are amazing, aren't they? Apparently, teenagers are soaking Gummy bears in vodka and then eating them to get drunk. It does make me somewhat proud to be living in America, because we finally found a way to get fat and drunk at the same time. I think “vodka-soaked Gummy bear” might be my new nickname for Snooki. Hey, did you see new missing photo's of Marilyn Monroe have been found? If you haven't, I have one of those photo's here on the Phile. Check it out.

Lucky bastard that Chewie is. A Hollywood company is producing a movie based on the Facebook game “Farmville.” Finally, Hollywood is making a movie about something we care about. Speaking of "Farmville", wanna see what my farm looks like? Take a look.

Well, it's Sunday, and every Sunday on the Phile during football season I invite my friend Jeff to come on and talk football and we make football picks. As of last week I am winning by the way. So, here is Jeff again for a pheature I like to call...

Me: Welcome back, Jeff. So did you hear Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer wants a football team in Orlando? What do you think about that?

Jeff: I think there are all ready three teams in Florida and Jacksonville has the worst attendance in the NFL right now, so I am not sure it would work. Plus the Citrus Bowl is hardly prepared to host NFL games for a whole season! Other then that I fully support the decision! 

Me: I agree one hundred percent, plus we don't have the space for all those people. Anyway, what's the big football news this week?

Jeff: The big news of the football week is the Denver Broncos switching quarterbacks from Kyle Orton to former Florida Gator Tim Tebow. They claim he will give them a better chance to win. I say if that's the case why didn't you start him first? Oh wait, I am thinking outside the box.

Me: Alright, let's get down to business? How did our teams do and how did we do with last week's picks?

Jeff: The Steelers won last week while the Giants lost. Meanwhile I went 0-2 last week while you went 2-0. So as it stands you are leading by 4 points.

Me: Okay, I am still winning! Now, next weekend I will be on vacation so they'll be no Phile entries so we'll have a by week. But if our teams win, we'll still get the point. Okay, what are your picks this week? 

Jeff: I will go with Raiders by 3 and Ravens by a point.

Me: My picks I say your Steelers by 8 and Green Bay by a touchdown. Come back in two week's, Jeff. Great job as always.

Jeff: See you in two weeks!

Today's guest is a composer and saxophonist whose new album "Requiem for a Pit Viper" is now available at iTunes and Amazon. He will be next appearing The Earshot Jazz Festival, Seattle, Washington on October 18th. Please welcome to the Phile... Rich Halley. 

Me: Hello, Rich, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Rich: I'm doing great, especially since it has stopped raining for a few days here in Portland.

Me: You, like a lot of other jazz musicians, perform in more then one band, am I right? You have a quartet and a trio?

Rich: I have done everything from solo performances to large groups but mostly I perform with my trio or quartet. Small groups provide a lot of freedom for improvised music, and when you're playing with the right people the music can go all kinds of places.

Me: Only jazz musicians do that I think, or so it seems. Rock musicians don't do that. They normally get a band together with so many people and stick to it, replacing band members if they have to. Am I making sense? Why do you think a lot of jazz musicians have a few different bands?

Rich: Well, in some ways I approach this like the rock guys in that I tend to have long term playing relationships. But you're right that jazz musicians tend to have multiple "projects" that they present. This provides an opportunity to perform different music with different players and different instrumentation. Since jazz tends to put more emphasis on individual skills it's easier for jazz musicians to get together with folks they haven't played with before and make music. But group improvisation plays a big role in my music and to do that well it really helps to play with people you have some history with and who have a similar concept.

Me: You also have a band called Outside Music Ensemble for outdoor gigs, am I right? You do acoustic shows? Isn't most jazz acoustic?

Rich: The Outside Music Ensemble is acoustic in the sense that there is no amplification of any kind. In jazz, usually you have a bass player and they use an amplifier. This band is four horns and two drummers. For the last 13 years we've been doing annual hike-in concerts of original music on top of Powell Butte east of Portland. We set up in a grassy meadow area and the audience kind of clusters around. There are no electrical outlets up there. You can see all the snow capped volcanoes and you're out in nature. It's pretty cool.

Me: You probably think I am an idiot, but really I am not. LOL. I played your latest album "Requiem for a Pit Viper" and enjoyed it. You do know a pit viper is a snake, right?

Rich: Yes, I was thinking about rattlesnakes which are pit vipers. They have heat sensing pits on their head that help them hunt rodents. I think they are very interesting animals and their populations have been wiped out or greatly reduced in many places.

Me: Where did that song title and album title come from? Don't tell me you like snakes.

Rich: Yeah, I like snakes and have been interested in them since childhood. I was educated as a biologist and I did research with rattlesnakes as a graduate student. As far as the title goes, I was thinking about pit vipers and how there are a lot fewer of them these days. And I saw an analogy between pit vipers and free improvisational jazz musicians: they both are somewhat uncommon, have some bite to what they do and are not universally loved by the masses.

Me: On the album you have a song called "Circumambulation" and I have to admit, I am an idiot. What does that mean?

Rich: Circumambulation is the act of walking in a circle around a sacred place. I was familiar with this from Buddhist literature and from being in India and Nepal. This particular tune has a certain flow to it that reminded me of walking in that way.

Me: Who plays on the album with you, Rich?

Rich: Michael Vlatkovich is based in Los Angeles and is one of the finest improvising trombonists playing today. Vancouver B.C. bassist Clyde Reed plays with great warmth and plays a key connective role in the group. The drummer is Carson Halley, my son, who plays with strength and musicality. I've been playing with these guys in various groups for about fifteen years. Actually, I have a photo of Carson playing drums at age two so that goes back even further. They're all wonderful players and we all share similar musical concepts.

Me: So, it's the quartet album?

Rich: It's a quartet album which in this case means there are two horns for contrasting voices as well as for counterpoint and harmony. And bass and drums provide a fairly open rhythmic and harmonic underpinning and direction. It's still a small group which allows us to be nimble and go all kinds of places when we improvise. But the people in the band are the real key because everyone really listens and improvises with the group in mind. And everyone puts the music first, ahead of displaying individual chops etc. When we perform we don't know in advance where the music will go. We trust in the group intelligence to take the music to new and exciting places. I also released another quartet recording last fall. That was "Live at the Penofin Jazz Festival" which was the same band but with Bobby Bradford on cornet instead of Michael Vlatkovich.

Me: I often wonder how composers that write instrumentals come up with song titles. How do you do it? It must be the easiest part of the process, right?

Rich: The title is probably the easiest part. Generally I write most or all of the music before I come up with a title. By then I usually have an image or idea in my mind that seems right for a title.

Me: Let's talk about the saxophone, which you play, Rich. How old were you when you took up playing the sax?

Rich: I started playing saxophone when I was fourteen. I had this idea I could work my way through college by playing in a band and not have to work a regular job. Boy, was I dreaming! Then I discovered jazz and eventually got to the point where I only wanted to play music I really believed in.

Me: What made you decide to play that instrument? I took sax in school and hated it. Those stupid reeds kept on breaking.

Rich: I started on clarinet at school when I was eleven. I wanted to play trombone but they said my arm was too short and there were already too many trumpet players. So I ended up with the clarinet. That led to the saxophone.

Me: You play tenor, sax, right? Do you like playing that better, opposed to playing say alto?

Rich: Many people start on alto but I started on tenor and have always played that horn. I really like the flexibility and sound of the tenor. It seems very vocal to me and it's amazing how different players get totally different sounds. For example Sonny Rollins, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Ben Webster: their sounds are so different they could be playing different instruments. Sometimes I also play soprano but I haven't been doing that recently.

Me: Who did you listen to sax playing growing up and now? The only sax players I could think of I like is Alto Reed and Sonny Rollins.

Rich: I have enjoyed listening to many different saxophonists. The list of people I admire and consider influences is long and would include Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Lester Young, Ben Webster, Charlie Parker, Gene Ammons, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, John Gilmore, Clifford Jordan, Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy, Jr Walker, King Curtis, Wayne Shorter and Fred Anderson. I've probably forgotten somebody. There are a lot of great saxophonists!

Me: Do you play any other instruments, Rich?

Rich: I play wood flutes, mostly a hand made bamboo flute I got locally. I also play a bit of percussion in the group. I used to play flute and clarinet but have not done so for some time. I use the piano for writing but would never claim to be able to play piano.

Me: Where are you from? Do you still live there?

Rich: I was born and raised in Portland, Oregon. I've lived in a number of other places including Chicago, Egypt, New Mexico and San Francisco but I returned to Portland and it's my home.

Me: I imagine you get to play in a lot of cool jazz fest's. Which festival is your favorite to play at? Or are they all pretty much the same?

Rich: I've played at a number of jazz festivals and they vary quite a bit but it's always fun. For me, the most rewarding experience is being musical director of the Penofin Jazz Festival which is a small private festival in Northern California. I am able to bring in groups that I like musically and that is really satisfying. 

Me: Here in Orlando they put on a pretty good one I hear. I've never been personally, but I heard it was good. Ever play here?

Rich: I've never played in Orlando. Maybe someday though.

Me: You founded Oregon's Creative Music Guild, which sounds cool. How did you come about doing that, and explain what it is.

Rich: The Creative Music Guild is a non-profit organization we started in Portland to support and present creative improvised music. A lot of times there aren't many commercial venues available for this so we tried to be a force to help the music happen. Over the years the CMG has done a couple hundred concerts featuring musicians from all over the US and abroad.

Me: Do other city's have music guild's as well?

Rich: I don't think there are any others with that exact name but there are similar organizations in many different cities.

Me: Rich, I have to ask you about this, you studied field biology. Do you still do anything with that, apart from naming your album after a snake?

Rich: I did a Masters in Biology at the University of New Mexico. Primarily in herpetology and terrestrial ecology. But I don't work as a biologist. At this point I'm mostly playing music, and I head out to the mountains, rivers, deserts or the coast when I can.

Me: You must really love nature, right? And the outdoors? Not me, sir. I like it indoors. No rain, hot sun, bugs and animals. Not much anyway.

Rich: Aside from my family, music and nature have been my big interests. I've been able to travel a good deal and have visited wilderness regions around the world. That's been a wonderful experience. Living here in the Northwest there are lots of great things to do outdoors and I try to go out and do them as much as possible. Last week I was hiking in the Columbia Gorge. Right now the salmon fly hatch is on at the Deschutes River and I'm hoping to get out there with my fly rod.

Me: Rich, thanks so much for being on the Phile, sir. I hope it was fun. Go ahead and mention your website and anything else you wanna. Take care, and keep blowing.

Rich: Thank you! I really enjoyed it. My website is My music is available through CDbaby and iTunes as well as via my website.  

Keep blowing?! That's the first time I ever said that to a guy. Anyway, thanks to Rich Halley for a great interview and to Jeff Trelewicz of course. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Shelly Fairchild who I had a crush on back in 2005 when I first saw her album and saw her on TV. Then like I said, next week there's not gonna be any entries, but Sunday after that on the 30th the Phile will be back with Taye Cannon, lead singer for the soul band Roxy Roca. So, spread he word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.