Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Pheaturing Eric Erdman

Angus T. Jones just advised against reading this blog.  Hello, and welcome to another entry of the Phile, how are you? I'm surviving, I'm down to taking my meds every 12 hours, so there's a lot of pain in between.  President Obama has wrapped up his four-day, three-country trip to Asia. And insiders say the last 96 hours were very productive. The president said he may have found a country in Asia that can make Twinkies for us.  So, we're headed for a fiscal cliff and President Obama is in a tough spot. Because the Democrats did so well on Election Day, he's running out of Republicans he can blame this on.  Mitt Romney was photographed at a gas station in San Diego filling up his car, then he was spotted later in the day at Disneyland. See, that's when you know you're rich... when you can afford to fill up your car with gas and go to Disneyland on the same day.  France says the U.S. hacked its government computers. Cyberwar is new to them. France has never surrendered online before.  Israel’s Iron Dome defense is intercepting 90% of Hamas' missiles. Usually to see that many interceptions you have to watch Tony Romo play.   So, at the start of this entry I made a reference to Angus T. Young. He's the kid from "Two and a Half Men" and he called his show "filth" and said not to watch it. I'm calling it now... in next season's "Two and a Half Men premiere", the Angus T. Young character will be pushed in front of a train. Angus T. Jones also apologizes to AC/DC's Angus Young for besmirching the name Angus. I have this to say, dear young adults, shoot for ANYWHERE between Angus T. Jones & Lindsay Lohan. Between biblical literalism & dirty hypodermic.  Well, yesterday would of been Jimi Hendrix's 70th irthday, and I am so happy there's a Jimi inspirational poster out there... or something like that.

Well, it's the time of year when people are making gingerbread houses, but do you know what I think is cooler?

A friend sent me this next photo. Guess what was spotted in Winter Park here in Central Florida?

Well, here on the Phile I try to help out, and as it's Christmas in like twenty days you might be having problems trying to find something to buy for a loved one, family member, friend, or... me. So, once again, here is a pheature I call...

Gaming on the phone or iPad can be nice, but it's just never as satisfying as it could be, in part thanks to the limited mobile controls. Fortunately, now you can rock the mobile like an old-school gamer thanks to the Joystick-IT. Just stick the suction cup on to the control panel of your favorite mobile game and joystick your way onto the high score list. You can buy it right here:

The moon makes everything happen. That's the first thing you need to know. Everything supernatural in this world is chosen and set into motion by the Man in the Moon... except for God and Jesus and Allah and all the other religious figures, which are never mentioned here and, for the sake of this narrative, simply don't exist. In their places are Santa Claus (the voice of Alec Baldwin), The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), Sandman (a silent little gnome who creates golden dust storms of drowsiness and subsequent sweet dreams) and fledgling "guardian" Jack Frost (Chris Pine), who has yet to understand his own powers or believe in himself and is, therefore, invisible and not really a guardian yet. You'd think he'd never seen a kid's movie before; if there's one thing you're not allowed to be in a film aimed at the elementary school demographic it's someone who doesn't believe in himself. It's law.  The guardians, all four and a half of them, have the same job, to make their respective holidays and special events happen and, more importantly for their own job security, to make sure kids maintain their belief in the guardians. They also have complicated personas. The Easter Bunny is a huge, aggressive, Australian thing, mistaken for a kangaroo at least once, a Crocodile Dundee-meets-Donnie Darko lepus creature and somewhat stressed-out CEO of egg-dyeing. The Tooth Fairy is semi-retired, choosing instead to send thousands of tiny little employees out each night in her stead, dispensing money for teeth and banking children's dreams. See, your dreams are stored in your teeth which are, in turn, collected, arranged, cataloged and archived in personalized decorative tooth safes. She's more of a delegator in a feathered outfit you might have seen 1979 wearing to the roller-disco. Santa Claus is a giant Russian taskmaster with a Sons of Anarchy beard, hilarious elves and yetis as his personal slaves and "NAUGHTY" and "NICE" tattooed on his forearms, not unlike a lot of men you would find in any urban leather bar. And Jack Frost, as I mentioned, has no defined purpose. Yet.  Meanwhile, the film's purpose, it seems, is to prep children for their own inevitable disappointment with life as they grow older and realize that myths are just that, nice stories your parents told you to make everything in the world seem magical. But in the meantime the film's other job is to confuse its audience and dazzle them with swooping, soaring, adventure-spectacle so that too many questions don't get in the way of the "believe in yourself" thing and the other belief-based message of happiness through obedient, unquestioning assurance in stuff outside of yourself that isn't real at all. Oh, wait, except for the Boogeyman (Jude Law). He's real. Except you can also make him not real by not believing in him. Except he's still real and all you did was keep him at bay. Something like that. It's a contradictory exercise in discerning just what children are supposed to buy as solid and what they're supposed to wish away. Good thing it's fun to watch.  And while we're weighing what's real and what's not, did the movie just tell us [note: you might consider the next bit of information a spoiler if you think that a brand new origin story for longtime childhood fantasy figures can be wrecked with advance plot information at all] that Jack Frost, whose main superpower seems to be creating icy patterns on windows, drowned as a child? He's dead? And that's what made the moon pick him to make it snow? Sure, whatever. There isn't enough death depicted in kid's movies and not enough moon-based theology. And it pads this otherwise sort of pointless... yes still entertaining swirl of strange... with extra weirdness details. Points for that. From 1 to 10, it gets an 8 and I might buy it when it comes out next year.

Alright, it's Wednesday, and you know what that means, kids. Yes, it's time to bring my friend Jeff on the Phile and talk some football.

Me: Hey, Jeff, welcome back. What does an Eagle fan do after his team wins the Super Bowl? He turns off "Madden" and goes to bed. So, you were in the lead by 6 points last week. Groan. We'll talk about that in a sec.

Jeff: It's always great to be back on the Phile. Hope you are on the road to recovery.

Me: It's a very bumpy road. So, what's the big news in the NFL world?

Jeff: There really want any news other then Pittsburgh signing a former player named Plexico Burress who a few years ago literally shot himself in the leg and went to jail for it. A lot of good games on Thanksgiving plus the Jets continue to suck.

Me: Speaking of the Jets, did you see the Jets poster the NFL put out? I have a it here in case you didn't.

Jeff: That's funny.

Me: Okay, you were in the lead, how did we do last week? My Giants won, what about your Steelers?

Jeff: I went 2-1 with a Steeler lose to pitiful Cleveland. You went 1-2 with a Giants win, but I gain a point and lead by 7 now!

Me: You're winning still?! This is not good, Jeff, not for me. Okay, this weeks picks... I say Minnesota will win by three, Indianapolis by three and Oakland by 6.

Jeff: I'm going with Texans by 10, San Fran by 7 and Carolina by 3. See you next week!

Me: Thanks, Jeff, good job as always, see ya next week.

The 27th artist to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Art Gallery is Matthew Daley, and this is one of his pieces.

Matthew will be a guest on the Phile this Sunday.

Today's pheatured guest is the lead singer for the band The Ugli Stick who has his own solo album out which is available on iTunes called "My Brother's Keepers". He will be next appearing tomorrow at Veet’s Bar & Grill in Mobile, Alabama. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented... Eric Erdman.

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

Eric: I'm great. Currently finishing a cross country tour. Since I'm always gone I don't get a lot of family time. So my folks decided to make this tour a family vacation. So I'm enjoying seeing the country with my mom and step dad.

Me: You are in a band called The Ugli Stick and now you have a solo album out called "My Brother's Keepers"? What made you decide to record a solo CD?

Eric: I was initially drawn to music by artists like James Taylor and Jim Croce. There was something in their thought provoking lyrics and simple acoustic presentation that felt "right". Once I began creating my own music, the singer/song writer, folky style of music was what I naturally produced. Early on in my career I was fortunate enough to gain the attention of some incredible musicians that wanted to back me up. But with their accompaniment our music took a drastic turn from what I had been creating. This music seemed fresh and wonderful to me, so I saw how deep the rabbit hole went. We have recorded 4 albums and continue to perform, write and record. I am very proud of the music The Ugli Stick has created. The music we created took me to places I never dreamed of and opened many doors for me. A couple of those doors were procuring a publishing deal (where I wrote songs for other artists) and becoming a producer (where I produced albums for other artists). It was during one of those productions that I realized I had put out tons of funk/rock music with my band, I had written and produced tons of singer song writer style music for others but I had never released a singer songwriter style album for myself. The more I thought about it, the more I realized this was a travesty. I had invested my entire life to music, yet I still didn't have an album of my own that was elementally, ME. Now I Do.

Me: Your solo music is very different then The Ugli Stick's music, right? Correct me if I am wrong, but The Ugli Stick is more like a rock band.

Eric: Yes. The Ugli Stick can bring the pain. The Ugli Stick is a funky rock band that dabbles in hip hop, jazz, and country. It is high energy music.I love going on stage with those guys. Quintin Berry, Dale Drinkard Jr., and Tim Stanton (the other members of Ugli Stick) are all world class musicians. It is so much fun to play along side them. The songs on "My Brothers Keepers" are more lyric driven, subtle songs. There is no doubt the Ugli Stick could perform the songs from my album, but I felt like they were best served by stripping them down to their softer, more basic form. I am very happy with the result.

Me: Is rock your favorite type of music, Eric? Your music can also be considered country.

Eric: I still love to play rock from time to time. There is a unique connection you feel with the music and the audience when you are moving and sweating . But as I said above, for me the most natural musical feelings I have is when I have an acoustic guitar and I can interact with a quiet attentive crowd. I love telling the stories and playing the songs inspired by them. There is a special connection I feel in those quiet "listening room" environments that is impossible to capture at "The Rock Show".

Me: What bands are you into and who are your influences?

Eric: Oh man. I listen a lot to the classic song writer stuff (James Taylor, Jim Croce, Jackson Browne) but I always have David Wilcox (my favorite), Ross Newell, Josh Ewing, Kristy Lee, the Hussy Hicks, Lisa Mills, Gregg Fells, Ryan Balthrop, Mac MacAnally, Wes Loper, Les Hall, Amanda Williams, Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, Gamble Brothers, Bottletree... on rotation. (I had to stop myself. I am a music lover of extreme levels. I could list bands I love and that influence me for days).

Me: Where did the name The Ugli Stick come from?

Eric: Well, we were in search of a band name. None of the names we came up with made us happy. One day I woke up and went to the store to buy something. I was having a particularly unshaven, haggard, disheveled looking morning. Of course that was the moment I ran into a friend. They said, "Damn, You look like you got beatdown by the ugly stick!" The words ugly stick set off a bell in my brain. Perfect band name. The friend was confused when my response to the insult was thank you. I often wondered if they smiled when they saw our first album title. "Beatdown"... by The Ugli Stick.

Me: I downloaded The Ugli Sticks latest album "Live From Mobile, Alabama" off from iTunes and liked it a lot. Will you be recording a new studio album with that band?

Eric: Aw man. Thank you. I really appreciate that. That was a record put out by Fishbowl Records. It's raw and gritty but it gets the essence of the "Rock Show" I spoke of above. And yes, The Ugli Stick currently has 12-14 new songs. We have not set a date to record them yet, but that is definitely in the plans.

Me: You're from Mobile, Alabama, am I right? I don't know a lot from Alabama, Eric. What is the music scene like there?

Eric: I am indeed from Mobile, Alabama. I'll find out if my house is still intact when I return from this tour (my house is in the mandatory evac zone always. Although I think this hurricane has taken enough of a westerly turn to keep my stuff undestroyed). But when we aren't under mandated evacuation, we have a bustling music scene. There are more incredible performers/writers along the Alabama Gulf Coast than pretty much anywhere I have traveled. There is virtually zero opportunity for upward mobility in the music world from Mobile but there are tons of steady gigs. Therefore there has been generation after generation of insanely talented musicians that were born in Mobile or come to Mobile but never leave. The fact that there are tons of gigs means that there are tons of people wanting to fill those gigs (Lots of competition. Althought it should be noted the competition is friendly not vicious). This leads to a whole community of versatile, seasoned musicians. I am always proud to bring my musician friend from elsewhere to Mobile. They inevitably get their mind blown by the amount of talent (and the fact that it is all concentrated in a small area.) The community has a strong family feel to it. There isn't as much negativity and negative competition as I've seen in other scenes. It feels like all the artists are united. In case you can't tell I'm proud of Mobile music.

Me: Okay, let's talk about "My Brother's Keepers"? Where did that album title come from? Do you have a brother? Who are his keepers?

Eric: I do have a brother. His name is Wendell. I always followed in Wendell's footsteps (well up to the point he went to med school and became a professional musician). Wendell had started writing songs at a very early age and therefore so did I. We both always wrote. But we rarely wrote together. Well, when I finally decided I wanted to make my singer songwriter album I knew Wendell would "get it". I thought it would be fun to write the whole album together with him since I was getting back to my musical roots and he was integral in inspiring me to write in the first place. I said, "Let me look thru your stack of half songs, pick out 'the keepers' and complete them. You look through MY half songs and pick out 'the keepers' and finish them, and we will call the album "My Brother's Keepers.""

Me: I love the album which I also downloaded, Eric. Did you write all the songs on it?

Eric: Wendell and I wrote everyone. And thank you. I'm proud of it.

Me: Congrats on having your song "Bird On A Powerline" being a Great American Song Contest runner up. Did I get that right?

Eric: Yes, indeed. I am not one to be to into contests. I don't really write songs for prizes. I write because I love to write and I love to see people connect to the final product. That being said, having "Bird On A Powerline" be picked for such a prestigious contest... well, it was very exciting and I am extremely proud to have had it picked.

Me: Who did you lose out to, Eric? They couldn't of been better than you.

Eric: Avi Katz and Renee Eilee. I hadn't heard of them before that. I checked those songs and dug em though.

Me: I noticed that song is on The Ugli Sticks live album. Was it originally written for that band?

Eric: It was actually written for "My Brother's Keepers". I played it for The Ugli Stick guys and they loved it so we worked up a version. We still play a version now. I hated to have that version be released before the solo version at first but I don't think it ended up being a big deal. Although the version on "My Brother's Keepers" was more of the way I heard it in my head initially, I like the Ugli version as well.

Me: Speaking of birds, your nickname is The Birdman. Where did that come from?

Eric: It's a baseball thing. During a game against our rivals a ball was hit in the gap. I ran from center field, jumped as high and hard as I ever have, laid out horizontal and made the crucial catch to end the inning and get us out of a jam. I jumped up and jogged to the dugout. When I arrived I was getting pats on the back and generally thanked by my teammates. The coach loudly yelled, "Boy, if you keep flying like that we are gonna stop calling you ERDman and start calling you BIRDman". It stuck. There are still some people who think that's my last name.

Me: Who plays on the new album with you, Eric? Any of The Ugli Stick guys?

Eric: I brought in some seasoned session guys from around the Mobile area. Rick Hirsch produced it. violin:Tom Morley, drums: Pete Wehner, guitar: Julz Parker, Darryl Huffman, Rick Hirsch, Corky Hughes, vocals: Kristy Lee, Leeza Gentz, Julz Parker, Donna Hall and on bass: Quintin Berry (from the Ugli Stick).

Me: I have to mention this, you went overseas and played three times on the USO tour. What was that like and where did you go?

Eric: I tell every musician that if they get the opportunity to go on a USO tour they should. Playing for the troops is always moving but to do so in those settings is something to remember for a lifetime. It feels good to give back to those heroes but it also reminds you that music is powerful and music makes a difference. Our first tour was in the Middle East (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, Bagram and Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Dubai, Camp As Sayliyah, Al Fujarah, Bahrain) The next two trips were in the Pacific (Guam, Hawaii, Kwajalein, Roi Namur).

Me: How did you get to be involved with the USO?

Eric: Since playing for the military is something we felt strongly about we were persistent. We signed up on for four years before we were selected. Once we went over and played we had some requests from the bases to return.

Me: Was that solo or with the band?

Eric: All the USO tours have been with The Ugli Stick.

Me: Are you planning to go back?

Eric: Absolutely. I will always try to go back. It really isn't in my power to make it happen, but I will submit and resubmit and I will also stay in contact with the bases to let them know my/our services are available when and if they need us. So… hopefully I will be allowed to go back.

Me: Have you ever played down here in the Orlando area yet?

Eric: I actually have not. I need to fix that. Soon.

Me: You have your own Blogspot, Eric. How long have you had it up, and how often do you post? 

Eric: Yeah. I'm not sure what made me decide to start writing the blog. I've just had so many crazy adventures during my 17 years of playing gig that I felt I should recount some of them (as well as just ramble about interesting things I come across during my adventures). I started writing it in the middle of July I think. I write a blog every day ( I was without internet access for a few days while on the last USO tour and subsequently on my Belgian tour, but other than that it has been an everyday thing).

Me: Maybe I could be a guest on your blog sometime. What is the name of your blog? Man. I would love it.

Eric: My address is

Me: Eric, how long have you been playing guitar and song writing?

Eric: I've been playing guitar for 23 years. I've been song writing, serious anyway for about 18-19 years.

Me: I asked you if you were gonna record a new studio album with The Ugli Stick, are you gonna also record another solo album?

Eric: Absolutely. I actually have the material for the next album and most of the following album. I have a tour planned for December-January in Australia. During my time down there I am going to record an album. Once I release that one I will immediately start planning the recording of the next one.

Me: Thanks so much for being here, and when your next release comes out, please come back on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your websites and everything.

Eric: Thank you so much. I greatly appreciate you having me here. It helps a ton. I will definitely contact you about the next release. And keep in touch with me about guest blogging.,,,

Me: All the best, and take care, Eric.

Well, there you go, another entry of the Phile done. Thanks to my guests Jeff Trelewicz and of course Eric Erdman. The Phile will be back on Sunday with artist Matthew Daley. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pheaturing Hannah & Maggie

Hello, boys and girls, welcome to another entry of the Phile on Cyber Monday! How are you? There's gonna be 25% off this entry, and I'll take it from the top. There's gonna be hardly a monologue. It's okay, because they are hardly funny anyway.  Like I said, it’s Cyber Monday, when everyone shops online. As soon as I woke up I pepper sprayed myself. Cyber Monday is like Black Friday, only less stampedes. There are some things that you can get on Black Friday that you can’t on Cyber Monday, like being pepper sprayed in the face. Cyber Monday is a day that every store online puts everything on sale. It's basically Black Friday for people too lazy to put on pants. I'm not sure how I feel about people buying gifts online. If you care about someone, go to Target at midnight and get them pepper spray.  A man was arrested on Black Friday at a Walmart in Palm Beach, Fla. carrying a gun, two knives, and a grenade. Residents of Palm Beach were stunned and said, “We have a Walmart here?”  So, tomorrow it's Identity Theft Tuesday. And thus begin the reports of cutthroat Cyber Monday shoppers trampling people with their message board comments.  You know, I'm more partial to the early days of Cyber Monday, when it just meant Free Porn. If you insist on doing Cyber Monday at the office make sure no one is watching and you have extra tissue and hand lotion. Hey can we think of a different name for Cyber Monday? Our children are gonna be all "what the fuck does that even MEAN?"  According to a study, there are three areas where humans now are getting dumber. High school kids. Retirees. And another group of dumb people? Four-star generals. This David Patraeus scandal is insane and has no signs of stopping. In a weird twist, a jogger recently found the driver's license of Patraeus's mistress, Paula Broadwell, in a park. He knew it was her driver's license because under sex it said, "Lots with David Patraeus".  Who watched the TV movie "Liz and Dick" last night, or was it "Dick and Liz"? It starred Lindsay Lohan playing Elizabeth Taylor. Lindsay Lohan should ask Santa for her old face.  Lindsay Lohan is still playing both accents from The Parent Trap. I didn't see the film as the Giants game was on, but I heard Lohan definitely played the part of a drunk, high, trainwreck hot-mess really well.  So, who out there likes Jager? I never tried it myself, but I laughed when I saw Jager's new ad.

So, who remembers the Star Wars Holiday Special ? I'm hoping now Disney oens the rights to Star Wars they'll release it on Blu-ray. But that got me thinking, if I created the Star Wars Holiday Special it would be 30 minutes of this...

Alright, and now for another Foghat Twitter...

Well, Christmas is just about a month away, and here on the Phile I like to help you decide what gifts you should get fir your loved ones, and me. So, here's a new pheature called...

If you aren't up to hacking your own droid to bring your brews, you can always just buy a remote controlled cooler instead. Just fill with ice, batteries and beverages and you'll be the king of the New Year's party. You can buy it for me here:

Alright, it's time again for singer, surfer, patriot, renaissance man, and Peverett Phile phriend Laird Jim in a pheature we call...

Ugggggh... that time of year when all you hear on the radio is Christmas music. I'm sorry, if I gotta hear The Chipmunks and "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer" for the next 40 days... I'm taking hostages. I'm sorry... but I have to say this... I'm seeing and hearing alot of people complaining that their cable is out and their kids can't watch "Yo Gabba Gabba"... they're complaining that the Starbucks is closed and they can't get a 7 dollar double mocca cafe latte... really? There are people who lost everything, people who died, 90+ homes lost to a wildfire in Breezy Point, people lost pets, businesses, lost cars, boats and priceless motorcycles, Jones Beach and many other beaches are simply GONE. I'm sorry your kids are bored and you can't make coffee for yourself... but there are people with REAL FUCKING PROBLEMS HERE! Sorry... I needed to get that out of me, without flicking somebody in the beak.

The 27th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's art gallery is Matthew Daley, and this is one of his pieces of work...

Matthew will be a guest on the Phile this Sunday.

Today's pheatured guest are a singing duo from New York whose new great album "Muscle and Bone" is now on iTunes. They'll be next appearing at Caffe Vivaldi in New York on December 8th. Please welcome to the Phile... Hannah Hickok and Maggie Kraus.

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

Hannah: We’re great! Very psyched to be included on the Peverett Phile blog!

Me: So, before we get started I have to ask you which one of you is Hannah and which one of you is Maggie?

Hannah: I'm is the brunette with glasses and Maggie is the blonde scruffy one.

Me: Hannah, how did you get to have your name first?

Hannah: Well, we gave that more thought than you might imagine.

Maggie: We chose to put Hannah’s name first because we thought if it was second our band name would sound a bit too much like Tegan and Sara, who we like well enough but have no interest in being confused with. Maggie & HannAH Tegan & SarA it’s just a little too similar.

Me: You girls have been described as a a few different acts. Simon and Garfunkel, Indigo Girls and Tegan and Sara. What do you think of these comparisons?

Hannah: We often say in performances that the comparison to the Indigo Girls/Tegan and Sara, while very flattering, is perhaps a little uncreative. People see two lesbians with acoustic guitars and their minds immediately go to those two bands. Of course we have no problem being lumped in with them, but we like to think that our sound is a bit different than theirs. We like to tell ourselves that our sound is a bit closer to Simon and Garfunkel, particularly because of our interest in harmony. But people can obviously decide for themselves who we sound most like.

Me: I would describe you as a hot looking Simon and Garfunkel. Why do you think you are compared to those acts? I mean, just because you are two girls playing guitar and singing, you shouldn't be compared to Indigo Girls.

Maggie: Ha! We’ll certainly take that description. In fact, we might steal it. As we mentioned, we’re often compared to other female (read: lesbian) duos with guitar. Sometimes we joke that Simon and Garfunkel were themselves a couple of lesbians with guitars. But anyway, we think (or certainly hope) that those comparisons come from a positive place. We have a lot of respect for duos that can take two voices and guitars and turn them into something greater than the sum of those parts. Ideally, that’s what we do with our own music and it’s certainly what The Indigo Girls/Simon and Garfunkel did.

Me: You have a song called "Sara", is that about anyone in particular? It can't be Sara as in Tegan and Sara, right?

Hannah: No, not a Tegan and Sara reference. And yes, it is about a particular person (though not named Sara. Definitely confusing).

Me: So, where are you two from?

Maggie: I grew up in Maplewood NJ, a suburb not far to the West of Manhattan.

Hannah: I grew up in Westchester, a suburb just North of Manhattan in Dobbs Ferry.

Me: Where did you two meet?

Maggie: We met at Smith College (which we both attended) in an a cappella group called The Smiffenpoofs.

Me: Were you both musicians when you met?

Maggie: It depends on what you mean by musicians. We both had a strong interest in singing and had invested ourselves in our a cappella group. Hannah was also in the chorus and chamber choir briefly. But, it would be safe to say that neither of us was strongly considering a career as a musician.

Me: Which one of you approached the other to be a duo first?

Hannah: Well, Maggie had entered an online competition to perform at the NYC stop of Lillith Fair when it was briefly revived (somewhat unsuccessfully) in the summer of 2010.

Maggie: Hannah was overcome with jealousy when she realized how cool the competition was and how exciting the prize was (performing at the festival). We had dinner together one night and Hannah approached me and said “Listen, I think we can help each other out with this if we do it together”. And so we opted to enter together as a duo and subsequently won the fan voting portion of the competition (though we were not chosen by the judges to perform at the festival).

Me: I downloaded both of your albums "Fine Being Here" and "Muscle & Bone" from iTunes and really enjoyed them both. "Muscle & Bone" is your latest, how would you compare both albums?

Maggie: “Fine Being Here” was our first real studio effort as a duo. We recorded it in a week and really had no idea what to expect going into the studio. The songs on that CD, for the most part, are ones that we’d written separately, prior to meeting one another, that we’d then re-worked with harmonies expanded for the sake of us as a duo. With “Muscle & Bone” we had a much better idea of how best to use the time in the studio. We mapped out each song on paper, thinking about what instruments we would need, how best to incorporate other musicians etc. We had two full weeks of studio time and hired a cellist, trumpet player, drum player (the first CD was all pre-recorded drum loops), percussionist, bass player, and even brought in Hannah’s mom to sing on the track "Ghost". It was much more layered, thought out, and (for the most part) the songs were all developed by the two of us rather than written entirely by one of us or the other.

Me: How did you choose the song "Muscle & Bone" as the album title? The song is not about what I think it's about, is it?

Hannah: That was a very long discussion that had no obvious answer. We threw around a lot of concepts for the title and ended up landing at “Muscle & Bone” both because it has a nice ring to it as a title and because that was one of the songs that we were very excited about. As for what you think it’s about, we have NO idea what you might be thinking.

Me: Um... a... never mind. You have a song called "Burlington, VT", but you are not from there. Did you spend time there?

Maggie: Last summer we embarked on a two week Northeast tour that took us to Burlington for a couple of days. Through a series of coincidental events, we ended up being holed up in a small, charming house for the duration of Hurricane Irene with another band called Kindlewood. They performed after us in Burlington the night before the hurricane blew in and were looking for a place to park their (leaking, old, barely-functional) tour RV. We loved their sound and ended up inviting them to park in the driveway of the aforementioned house. All of us spent the weekend together jamming, drinking, laughing, telling stories, and having an all-around lovely time as the storm raged outside. The song is our take on that weekend.

Me: I have to ask you about the album cover. I like the drawings of the houses, but it has nothing to do with muscles or bones. I know there's a reason there's blue houses on the cover.

Maggie: Well yes, there’s definitely a reason. The houses on the cover are all homes that we’ve lived in. On the upper left there’s Hannah’s childhood home. We also have both of the houses where we lived at Smith, my home, the house where we wrote the Burlington song, and other important homes that have meant a lot to us over the years. To us, the album title and art are more related than they might seem. The concept (in our minds at least) is that our homes and the people we share them with, even after we leave them and move on to other things, always remain a part of us, as crucial as the very things which make us up... "Muscle & Bone". A lot of the songs on the album are our attempts to make sense of the difficulties that come from leaving the place and people you love most.

Me: When I first saw it I thought of "Bear in the Big Blue House". Anyway, like I said, I like the art work, did any of you two do it?

Maggie: Actually Hannah drew all the homes on the cover (and all the drawings on the inside cover that you can see if you have the physical CD). A wonderful animator/graphic designer/all-around visual genius named Ned Wenlock ( took Hannah’s drawings and helped us put the design together in a professional looking way.

Me: Do you both take turns songwriting or does one of you write the music and the other the lyrics? 

Hannah: We tend to work separately on songs at first and then approach one another for help/ideas when we get stuck. Usually one of us will come up with a pretty solid idea for a verse or chorus, or a particularly exciting guitar part or lyrical concept then try to involve the other to flesh that idea out. That said, there’s no hard and fast rule as to how we do it. Some songs are entirely written by one of us and then just taught to the other.

Me: Maggie, you went off and traveled Ecuador. That's in South America, am I right? How did you pick there of all places?

Maggie: I certainly did! I had a seemingly endless number of options to choose from as I began to make plans for my semester abroad. I knew that I wanted to do something a little off the beaten path and get away from everything I was comfortable with. I heard about the Ecuador study abroad program through a friend who had found it to be a perfect match for her. I always admired her and her pursuit for the tiny beautiful things in the universe so I took her advice with almost no hesitation. Six months later I found myself landing in Quito (the capital city) at midnight with absolutely no idea of what I was getting myself into.

Me: What was that experience like?

Maggie: Each day was a totally different adventure in itself, whether it was getting lost on my bus ride home or taking a week-long trip through a cloud forest. It was good to get away from everything I was used to but I quickly found that keeping in touch with people back home was heartbreakingly difficult. I was constantly worried that I wasn’t making the most of my trip, but at the same time I often felt very content with locking myself in my room and writing music for nine hours straight (I think my host mother thought I was crazy). I actively sought to find a balance but ultimately realized that creating a life from scratch, knowing it will be over in a few months, was among the hardest tasks I’ve ever been given. One of the best things about my trip was how much time I had to write music... there are about 20 half-finished songs on my computer that document me fumbling around in a little room with a crappy guitar and the sounds of airplanes flying overhead (we lived by the airport). So if nothing else, some music came of it.

Me: Hannah, have you ever traveled anywhere exotic?

Hannah: Yeah, I come from a line of women who love to explore the world. One of my mom’s main beliefs in life is that there are few better ways to spend money than on experiences. So I’ve been very lucky to have her support traveling to places like New Zealand, Vietnam, and throughout Europe among other places.

Me: I have to ask you about the Smiffenpoofs... did I spell that right? That's a band you're both involved with you said, right?

Hannah: Not a band, but a collegiate a cappella group, which is a whole other beast entirely. If you’ve ever seen "The Office", the character Andy is always going on about Cornell and particularly his a cappella group there. We loved the Smiffenpoofs and it gave us an opportunity to develop our skills singing as part of a group, in harmony.

Me: What is a Smiffenpoof? It sounds like something outta Harry Potter.

Maggie: It does! We wish we could tell you it was some bizarre little creature that farts magic potions. But, in fact the name comes from the Yale singing group the Whiffenpoofs. As the story goes, long ago a Smith student heard them singing and got the idea to start a group of her own and so the Smiffenpoofs were born.

Me: You toured with Dar Williams, am I right? She's great. How was that experience? Was she cool? 

Hannah: We didn’t tour with her, but have met her on a couple of occasions and open for her at a relatively large show in Western Mass. The first time we met her actually we had the chance to sit down and have dinner with her and talk one-on-one quite a bit. She was incredibly kind, smart, and filled with useful tidbits of advice about the industry. We had thought she’d forgotten all about us after that evening, but ended up contacting us to open for her, which we were ecstatic about. That night was a blast and she was beyond cool.

Me: Thanks so much for being on the Phile, girls, and I hope you come back when your next CD comes out. Go ahead and plug your website and I wish you lots and lots of continued success. Take care.

Maggie: Thank you! We feel honored to show up on your blog and really appreciate your support. Folks can find us online at or and we hope they will!

Hannah: Spend $10 on a Hannah & Maggie CD for a friend this holiday season and the shipping is on us & they get a holiday card!

Me: Cool. Thanks again, girls.

Well, that does it for this entry. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim and of course Hannah & Maggie. The Phile will be back on Wednesday with singer songwriter Eric Erdman, so spread the word, not the turd. don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Pheaturing Chris Daniels

Hello, kids, and welcome to yet another entry of the most updated blog on the planet... the Phile. How are you? You know how I'm feeling, so I won't talk about it. I will tell you this though. Yesterday after I took a shower I was in a lot of pain and I said to wife I can't take it anymore. Do you know she said? Tough, you don't have a choice. She has a good point. You know, I have the most patient and understanding wife ever. Jen had to hear me whine and bitch for over a month now.  There are now reports that President Obama will name Massachusetts Senator John Kerry to be the next secretary of defense. Apparently this is part of America's new defense strategy to bore our enemies to death.  The economy is so bad, MSNBC had to lay off 300 Obama spokesmen. The economy is so bad, President Obama sent Susan Rice out to defend it.  Have you heard about this new movie? A decorated war hero has an affair with his own sexy biographer, who thinks the spy master is stepping out on her with a second girlfriend. So she sends an email from a secret account saying "step off or I will cut a bi-atch." And the second hottie freaks out and contacts her friends, FBI agents, who launch an investigation, but gets pulled off the case because he sexed her a shirtless photo. The spy master protege, also a general, has sent thousands of e-mails to the second woman. This isn't just a love triangle, folks. It's A Love Pentagon. I'll get to work working on a script. So, I was told laughter is the best medicine. Except for treating diarrhea. Luckily I don't have that. I'm sure that's coming with all the meds I've been taking.  Well, as you probably know, Hostess is going out of business. But did you see this poster? I think it might be a Little Debbie ad.

A few days ago was Thanksgiving, and everybody thinks the Pilgrims discovered Plymouth Rock. I saw a picture that is over a hundred years old that tells a different story...

So, Christmas is one month away, so if you'e wondering what you should get the kids, here's a suggestion...

The guy and the horse don't come apart. You know, I don't remember seeing this scene in Sleeping Beauty.   Okay, seriously, Christmas is coming right up in a month so for the next few weeks I am gonna show you some really cool gift ideas, that you might want to get for a friend, family member, or myself. So, here's a new pheature called...

Who hasn't wanted a robot butler at one time or another? While it would require a little hacking to actually get him to carry you a beer, this voice-controlled R2-D2 is already programmed to respond to 50 commands. He even has his own personality, which although generally joyful, can occasionally be bratty. With a simple “R2, behave yourself” though, he'll snap back into his usual cheerful demeanor.  I want it, kids. You can but it for me at

Hector "Macho" Camacho
May 24, 1962 - Nov 24, 2012
You think that Village People song is about this little weirdo? Yeah, so do I.

Larry Hagman
Sep 21, 1931 - Nov 23, 2012
"I Dream of Breathing".

Okay, now for one of the most popular pheatures on the Phile. Please welcome back singer, surfer, patriot, renaissance man, and phriend of the Phile... Laird Jim in a pheature we call...

I was one of those annoying kids who had to be good at everything I did... if I couldn't master it quickly, I moved on. I gave up on guitar because I sucked at it and focused on singing because I was told I was good... so I busted my ass trying to be great. Same with the other arts... I became fairly good as a photographer because I sucked as a painter... only one problem... I always wanted to be a guitar playing painter. C'est La Vie. We go with what we're given as that gift and show grace for it... protect it... and share it with the world. Capeesh ?

Capeesh, Laird. Now the other day I mentioned a group Laird was a part of called Tara's Silent Angels. A few of you e-mailed me asking me what exactly is that. Well, out of tragedy, rose the Silent Angels, uniting and bring compassion and caring to every effort pursued. Tara ‘Smiles’ Crawley and crew have proactively mustered, organizing New York’s Finest ‘Silent Angels’ who have banded together from all walks of life to bring much needed relief to those most in-need post Hurricane Sandy. They are doing amazing work. Anyway, I thought I would invite Tara onto the Phile and give us some news and an update on what they have been doing. So, please welcome to the Phile for the phirst time, Tara Crawley.

So, the other day was one where in a moment of pause we realize that the work we do is bigger than us. That moment when strangers come together and become family. Where family and friends reunite for a higher calling. I was honored to be amongst some of the best Angels on earth. Angels in Network united together through the years for a better tomorrow. We have an urgent situation. We have a family with 5 children in Sayville that has lost everything and there home is destroyed. They were promised help by TWO separate volunteer crews and on both occasions, NOT ONE person showed up or even had the decency to call. Needless, to say it crushed them further and they have truly lost all hope. We are the Silent Angels, their hope and their voice. The family will be at the home in Sayville this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in hopes help will come to their rescue. Here's the situation: Sayville hurricane Family with 5 children including 10 month old twin baby girls. They live down near the water and need help with a clean out/rip out. Their home suffered 3 feet of water throughout, all the children's rooms were ruined and they are not able to live in the home currently due to damages. Help rip out carpets, removed soaked drywall, remove ruined furniture, move any salvaged furniture, non demo help invited to help box up and move salvageable items. They have power to the property so power tools can be used. Bring your own tools and gear, a dust mask, warm clothing and work gloves are recommended. I would bring a utility knife, hammer, pry bar/wonderbar, crowbar. Friends, please hit Like for our page and encourage friends on Facebook to also do the same. Let us together build our ranks and network in order to assist those most in need of our assistance post Hurricane Sandy today, as no one knows what tomorrow brings. Thank you. Also follow us on Twitter @SilentAngelsNY. We would love to see you there as well.

Thanks, Tara, I will have her back over time to see how they are doing. And not only are they mentioned in today's Phile, but also in Newsday in New York apparently. Alright, now for something different. You all know I love comics, well, Phile reader and my friend loves comics more than I do. After all, he works at Coliseum of Comics in Orlando. Please welcome back to the Phile, Jim Mello, to give us some reviews in a pheature called...

Here's a preview of what came out this week. Not a lot since most stuff has been out for awhile. "Uncanny x-Force", "Hawkeye", "Revival", "Ultimate Spider-Man" are still killing it, and most of the rest of my 18 book were solid. Here's the stuff you may want to know about.
Captain America #1 W. Rick Remender A. John Romita Jr. I don't think I've run into a person for the last few years that hasn't thought JRJR's art wasn't a tad bit antiquated. His eye for action is very good, but his anatomy and the fact that a super-soldier has the same body type as a 14 year boy has always thrown me off. Well, ever since I saw the preview pages to this new incarnation of Cap, I have to say, I was very impressed with how JRJR came through this issue. Granted, I think most of it has to do with Klaus Janson on inks and Dean White on colors. They are extremely rich, especially int he first seen, and worth a nice once over. That being said: Cap starts up in medias res as Steve fights a new eco-terrorist who has co-opted the Skull mantle, and turned it green. Cap gets proposed to by Sharon Carter (long time in coming, and he's surprisingly resilient given his Greatest Generation values), before getting transported to Dimension Z... the new lair of evil scientist Dr. Arnim Zola! Great book, and definitely worth the read. Push this with reckless abandon.
Clone #1 W. David Schulner A. Juan Jose Ryp.  The latest from Kirkman's Skybound imprint involves a protagonist who happens to be a soon-to-be father and clone. Yeah, that's in the title and all. A gunshot genetic surrogate seeks him out, informing him of his odd predicament, while another clone seeks to abduct his wife in the hopes of entrapping him. Clones are all over the place, basically. I wouldn't say this blew me away, and I probably won't be picking up the next issue, but you could push it with the name "Kirkman" and certain folks will probably say "Sure."
Comeback #1 W. Ed Brisson A. Michael Walsh.  There is a company that, for a price of course, will travel back through time to fix all your problems. Save a family member from dying? Sure. Kill the folks that made a decision turning your life into a living hell? You got the money... BLAM BLAM or STAB STAB or whatever you want. Comeback is solid tale and decent entry into the time-travel/crime genre. If you know someone whose enjoyed all the recent Sci-Fi ("Manhattan Projects") or crime ("Near Death") Image output, this is a big recommend to them.
Indestructible Hulk #1 W. Mark Waid A. Lenil Yu.  Bruce Banner cannot cure the Hulk and has decided to live with it like one lives with a chronic disease and put the best parts of the Hulk/Banner dichotomy to use for shield. This issue is a solid setup, setting up the idea perfectly with a conversation between Banner and Maria Hill then a fight with the Mad Thinker. Great beginning to a new Hulk series, and another tally in the "Good" column for Marvel Now.
Judge Dredd #1 W. Dwayne Swierczynski A Nelson Daniel & Paul Gulacy. Dredd makes his way back to American shores in this latest IDW incarnation that offers a few vignettes to give those unfamiliar a taste of what Dredd is about. The vague allegory to fascism is in full force here with all the violence and over the top gallows humor that Dredd is famous for. This would be a fun series to start someone up on the character who hasn't read a Dredd book before. The best part is the bullet points from the editor in the back, detailing in concise detail what Dredd is all about and how his character has evolved to what you're reading today. Worth your time just to sample it and see if it's up your dingy, smoke-filled alley.

Thanks, Jim. Man, with all these people contributing to the Phile, I don't have to do much. I like it.

Alright, the 27th artist to be pheatured in the Phile's Art Gallery is Matthew Daley, and this is one of his pieces...

Matthew will be a guest on the Phile next Sunday, kids.

Today's pheatured guest is a very talented singer and songwriter whose new solo album "Better Days" is available on iTunes. "Better Days", I can relate to that. He will be next appearing at 1st Annual Better Days Are Coming Holiday Party at Swallow Hill Music, Denver, Colorado on December 22nd. Please welcome to the Phile, the very talented and snappy dresser... Chris Daniels.

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

Chris: Well I'm hanging in there... and I'm teaching and performing and recording so life is grand.

Me: You know, for a minute, I almost called you Charles. At least I didn't say Jack. Anyway, do you know Charles Daniels? Is he related to you?

Chris: No relation to either. Ralph Emery used to ask me that when I would go on "Nashville Now" some years back.

Me: Chris, you have a band called The Kings, right? But your new album "Better Days" is not with them. Is this a solo album?

Chris: Yes, that's right. My roots are pretty Americana and include blues and bluegrass. The Kings is that great horn-band sounding thing like Booker T & The MGs backing up Sam & Dave ... big horn sound and very blues feel... but for years I played acoustic music with various bands and I toured with Russell Smith from the Amazing Rhythm Aces as the mandolin, banjo, peddle steel, guitar player. The most fun I had doing this music from "Better Days" was doing shows with New Grass Revival with Sam and Bela and John and Pat and that is why I included some live tracks from those show on the CD.

Me: How long have you and The Kings been playing together?

Chris: Lawdy lawdy... 28 years, 12 albums, 18 European tours and we are still performing and loving it... it's like flying a jet. They are the most amazing group of musicians and it is such a treat getting on stage with them... it's like Tom Petty with the Heartbreakers... we just click together.

Me: So, what did they say when you told them you wanted to make a solo album?

Chris: It wasn't a decision like "guys I'm going to do a solo record'. I just started working on it when I got home from the hospital at my friend Jim's studio a few blocks from my house... just me and an acoustic guitar... and then friends started saying hey I'd love to add some mandolin or banjo or whatever and bam, the next thing I knew there was Richie Furay and John Magnie and Mollie O'Brien and holy crap... what an amazing sounding record!

Me: You do have an impressive line-up on this album, Chris. Tell the readers who plays on the album.

Chris: Wow, lets see, okay Richie Fura, (Buffalo Springfield/Poco), Sam Bush (New Grass Revival , AMA & IBMA Stalwart ), Kenny Passarelli (Elton John, Joe Walsh), Mollie O’Brien, (A Prairie Home Companion), Greg Garrison (Punch Brothers and Leftover Salmon), John Magnie (The Subdudes), Lloyd Maines (legendary producer & pedal steel player, Dixie Chicks), Mary Huckins (Dakota Blonde), Hazel Miller, (Big Head Todd) Brad Kopp and Ernie Martinez (Journeyman Austin and Denver pickers) and a host of others.

Me: Your last album was recorded in The Netherlands, right? What made you go all the way there to record an album?

Chris: I've been touring in Europe since 1990 and in the past 10 years I've taken my horn section over and worked with this great Dutch band called the BMaster (it was a very famous radio in Holland that everybody listened to who could afford one in the war years)... so we were doing a tour and decided to record some of the nights... and it turned out to be totally magic.

Me: Where was "Better Days" recorded?

Chris: In Jim Ratts studio here in Denver and also at Bradley Kopp's studio in Austin... we mixed at Coupe studios in Boulder.

Me: When you wrote "Better Days" did you know that was going to be the album title?

Chris: No, when I wrote "Better Days" I knew I'd hit on something that was close to me... personal,  and it turned out to be universal. Everybody has the moment when they are involved in something that is not what they really want... getting sick... and sometimes even good things... falling in love and it's just not the right time or place... and you hope for better days.

Me: I always ask musicians how they named their album, and I think I know how you named yours, and the meaning of that song. We'll talk about that in a minute, Chris. Is the song "Medical Marajuana" pretty much dealing with the same thing?

Chris: No, that was a lark. I was sitting on the bed in the hospital and watching all the news stories about Medical MJ shops in Colorado and laughing (there were not of laughing days there) that now I could finally qualify for smoking pot legally... yes I did inhale when I was a kid but I quit smoking pot about 30 years ago... I have not taken it back up but I realized that I COULD... and it made the nurses laugh when I played it for them.

Me: You have also a song on the album called "South Carolina", right? It's not about me falling and breaking my shoulder though. You're not from there, are you?

Chris: Well sort of. I was born in Minnesota but my mother's side of the family was all from Oklahoma and South Carolina so I spent a lot of my childhood at my grandparents home in Camden SC and that is what the song was about.

Me: Where are you originally from, Chris?

Chris: Minnesota BUT I have lived in Colorado since 1970.

Me: I guess that's why you were inducted in the Colorado Music Hall of Fame along with Judy Collins and the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. You must know those guys, right?

Chris: I know the Dirt Band folks but not Judy. Her mother lives close to me but I do not know Judy. 

Me: It's beautiful there, isn't it? I interviewed quite a few musicians from there and always wanted to go. What's the music scene like there?

Chris: Yes, but it is also a big ol city too. But the music scene here is amazing. I teach at the University of Colorado in the College of Arts & Media which is our version of Berklee College of music and we have had amazing artists coming out of the program that include The Fray, DeVotchKa, Air Dubai etc etc.

Me: Over the years, Chris, you have performed with Sonny Landreth (who I have been trying to get here on the Phile for years), Al Kooper, Bela Fleck and Bo Diddley. Bo Diddley? What was that like? 

Chris: Each was different. Backing Al Kooper is one of those industry legends but he's also just an amazing player and songwriter and getting to play "More Than You'll Ever Know" and "Season of the Witch" with him... the guy who's records I was buying and listening to as a kid... pretty amazing. Same thing with Bo... he'd walk over to you and just look at you and you had to give him everything you had... and Sam Bush is amazing, it's like riding a bike with Lance Armstrong... he comes up and looks at you while you are taking a solo like "yeah kid, that's pretty good..." and wizzzzz takes off and it's breath taking.

Me: I don't have a whole lot of regrets in my life, Chris, but one I do have is I have lived in Central Florida for 25 years or so, and so did Bo. He used to play around here all the time and I never went to see him, and then he passed. You also played with David Johansen, right? Is this before New York Dolls?

Chris: Yes, it was only about 2 months in New York but I do remember it.

Me: When he came out with the whole Buster Poindexter shtick, what did you think?

Chris: I loved it... the song "Hot Hot Hot" was written by the Mighty Mighty Arrow... it is SOCA music and David gave that music a stage... just amazing party music. You should hear the Mighty Mighty Arrow version... just wonderful.

Me: Okay, let's talk about something serious, and why I think your new album is called "Better Days". Both of my parents  passed away from cancer in 2000. You, Chris, are a Leukemia survivor. Congratulations! When were you diagnosed and how long did you have to stop playing music, or did you? How are you feeling now?

Chris: Hey, any day above ground is grand... I feel okay but know that at any moment it all gets taken away so I have today and that is no joke or Hallmark card... that is what we have... make the most of it... or as the song says "We have got some work to do... right down here."

Me: So, am I right, is "Better Days" named after you are having better days since all that for real? 

Chris: Partly... mostly it's about things that happen to all of us... stuff that is not what we planned and making what you can out of that.

Me: Do you have a wife and family, Chris? I betcha they helped you with your recovery.

Chris: I have an amazing family. My sister Jane was my bone marrow donor... my blood is now made by her bone marrow in my body. My son Cedar was amazing... I'm pretty lucky.

Me: Okay, here in Florida there is no medical marajuana... I would of got some for my dad otherwise. Did you get any?

Chris: No, but a lot of my friends with cancer use it, especially when they are going through chemo... it works pretty damn well for helping them out.

Me: Let's talk about Telluride After Hours Jam... that is a music festival you founded?

Chris: Well sort of... it was the 'after hours' show for the bluegrass musicians (who are mostly closet rock n rollers) to come out and jam with a full fledged horn-section band. It was the first time Bela used his electric banjo in public, Edgar Meyer and the Wooten brothers, Vince Gill. One of the most fun was Lyle Lovett coming and sitting in and 6 months later he goes out with the Large Band... I mean it is truly infections fun playing with the Kings.

Me: Is Telluride a place?

Chris: Yes, an amazing town in Colorado.

Me: I interviewed hundred and hundreds of musicians, Chris, but I think you are the first that played before the Queen of England! When and where was this?

Chris: Well, it was the Queen of Holland and it was part of Queen's Night which is an annual bash they have in The Hague.

Me: Oh, Holland. I'm an idiot. Anyway, how was she?

Chris: She was fantastic and truly an amazing person... very into alt energy solutions like wind, etc.

Me: Was that when you were with the Kings?

Chris: Yes, we did that a few times, also for the big VE Day Celebration... the 50th I think.

Me: Did you get to meet her? Any pictures?

Chris: Yeah, for about 2 seconds... no photo... but she was really kind and loved the band.

Me: Apart from being a musician you are also a professor? I interviewed another musician/professor named Lee Negin a few times, but he teaches in Seoul. Where do you teach and what do you teach?

Chris: I am an Assistant Professor of Music Business at the University of Colorado in the College of Arts & Media, but I teach music history and all sorts of music business classes.

Me: How long have you been doing that, Chris?

Chris: Six years with CU and 4 years with Arapahoe Community College. I've won awards for my teaching at both schools.

Me: What do you like best? Playing music or teaching?

Chris: They are totally different and totally the same, it is a performance art, but with teaching you have to know what you are talking about (that Google thing will catch you up if you BS with your class... got to have the facts!!!)

Me: And you sing on jingles? Anything I would of heard?

Chris: Probably, Pizza Hut, Coors, McDonald's... it's an art form in and of itself. How do you make a vocal sound like you are smiling??? It's a good trick but you have to learn to do it. And you have to get over that thing about hearing your own voice... get over it, learn to use it... it is a tool.

Me: Before I let you go, and plug your website I have to ask you about your sticker covered guitar. Where are those stickers from, and what kinda guitar is it? Man, if I had a Phile sticker I would send you one. I have a picture of the guitar here.

Chris: I would love that, go right on the front... It's got all kinds of stuff on it. There is a house number from Italy, lots of stickers from US troops and their units, radio shows, festivals. I don't remember how it started but it is fun.

Me: Someone make me Phile stickers... stat. Chris, thanks so much for being on the Phile. Please come back when your next album comes out. Go ahead and plug your website and anything else you wish, sir.

Chris: YOU BET thanks for asking... this was a blast. Thanks so much!!!! The website is easy

Me: Take care of yourself, and next time you talk to Al Kooper, see if he'd wanna be interviewed.

Chris: Take care. You too, and yes I will put in a good word.

There, that about does it for another entry. Check out "Better Days" from Chris Daniels, it is a great album. Thanks to my guests Laird Jim, Tara Crawley and of course Chris Daniels. The Phile will be back tomorrow with the duo Hannah & Maggie. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.