October 2021 VOL.10 # 105 ON THE COVER...
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NATURE OF EGO & SELF BY VINCENT FINK PUBLISHER RUSTY HICKS EDITOR TAMMA HICKS COMICS EDITOR ALLENE HICKS STAFF WRITERS TAMMA HICKS, RUSTY HICKS STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS ALLENE HICKS, RUSTY HICKS, HARRISON FUNK CONTRIBUTING WRITERS J MICHAEL DOLAN, ROB DICKENS, RICK J BOWEN, STEVE GOLDSTEIN, KEITH “MUZIKMAN” HANNALECK MUSIC CONSULTANT TONY SARACENE
4 COMICS 5 QUICK READ; ARTIST WINDOW 6 ALBUM COVER OF THE MONTH 7 CD REVIEWS 8 VINCENT FINK: INSPIRED BY LIFE, SCIENCE, & MATH 11 N EW RELEASES : MOVI E S ART & MOVIES; STEAM SPOTLIGHT 12 G OV’T MULE : A HEAVY LOAD OF BLUES 14 DREAMS A T RI B UT E TO FLEETWOOD MAC
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LU SCO KWA EI W IF EA L H T
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.C .CO N IC OM O O M .C AB CO ETI B E Y A R FE D R
Ignore me not! J. Michael Dolan Your fans and followers may shrug at your latest work. But that’s much better than abandoning you. Talent buyers may reject your music, acting, script or art. But that’s much better than rejecting the artist. Your customers and clients may complain about your service or product. But that’s much better than saying good-bye. The way I see it, the more you keep swing’n for the bleachers the more you will be critiqued. But that’s much better than being ignored.
Important because don’t ignore the advice from one who’s been there: “Be so good they can’t ignore you.” —Steve Martin
The shoulders on which you stand J. Michael Dolan You stand on the shoulders of every career choice, every business decision and every showbiz relationship you ever had. You also stand tall on every success you’ve achieved, failure you’ve endured, battle you’ve won, mountain you’ve climbed and pinnacle you finally reached. Not to mention, every bond you broke, every lie you told, every dollar you stole and every soul you hurt has led you to this very moment in your independent, entrepreneurial career. That said, for better or worse, never forget who you are at the core: Your extraordinary talent and acquired skill to create music, write scripts, tell stories, portray characters, direct visuals, lead teams, and produce worthy and extraordinary products and services, overcomes the tug toward the same o’l, every day, unremarkable mediocrity. Your unique youthful enthusiasm to take a risk and enjoy the thrill of grabbing on to a spontaneous idea out of thin air, then developing it, manifesting it, and presenting it to fans, clients and customers, crushes the tug to take it slow and plan ahead. Your eager willingness to stand in front of a camera, small group or huge audience, and entertain, motivate, educate or inspire, upstages the desire for mere acknowledgement. Your insightful awareness to recognize the high road, surpasses the impulse to take the low one. Important because: in my experience, pro artists and entrepreneurs are always smarter than they think, stronger than they seem and braver than they believe. However, with so many uncertain twists & turns and radical ups and downs in your crazy showbiz career, it’s easy to forget who you are, what you’re capable of, where you came from, and where you’re headed.
At STEAM Magazine… Art is in our name! We have been featuring artists for nearly 10 years. In that time we have featured more than 100 artists, hosted 4 Art Shows, and held speed painting events! In September we introduced The Artist Window. STEAM Magazine’s new project to partner with artists. We will be hosting virtual art galleries and art shows as well as featuring specific pieces for sale in the magazine and offering suggestions. For this issue we are tackling one of the biggest issues an artist faces… How to price your work! Just about every artist has their own way to formulate what their art is worth. Here are a few tips on setting a price, sticking to it, and being fair to both you and the buyer …aka your future art collector! Feelings. Feelings are what you want the buyer to have for your work, and yes you may love what you did, but you shouldn’t include your emotional value. To help combat this type of problem we have 2 suggestions: A) Simple sizing formula: Square Inch
x Set Dollar Amount + Doubled Cost of Materials. B) Timed wage. Hourly Wage x Number of Hours + Doubled Cost of Materials. And don’t forget to look at comparative work! Set your Price & Stick to it! Be consistent and remember your price should not change because you are selling in different locations. Your price should not fluctuate whether your piece is in a gallery, at an art fair, or your studio. Doing this makes it easier for buyers, Galleries, and you. And our last suggestion… Offer your work in different price points! Remember not everyone has an art budget, so by offering smaller works and/or prints you increase the number of buyers/collectors. Giclee, lithograph, and posters in a variety of sizes, signed and numbered will make your buyers happy and your wallet fatter. CONTACT US! FOR MORE INFORMATION AND FEATURE CONSIDERATION! ARTSHOW@STEAMTX.COM
“Be so good they can’t ignore you” —Steve Martin
The way we roll J. Michael Dolan You’re an exception, and rules don’t apply to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s stringing your guitar, pitching your idea, or where to invest your money. Rules just don’t apply to you. That’s because artists & treps do their best work in a perpetual state of doubt and uncertainty. Why? Because it’s our job to manifest an extraordinary experience out of nothing, not out of a common formula. That’s just the way we roll! And the only true formula for success for any pro artist or entrepreneur is the one that spontaneously comes to us from in the inner sanctity of our own creative space. Not like magic, more like inspiration that we act on. Important because we are admired more for the way we did it, not the way we were told to do it. STEAMMAGAZINE.NET OCTOBER 2021 STEAM MAGAZINE
The classic 1969 counter-culture film, “Easy Rider” was a rousing success, both critically and financially. The contemporary story by Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Terry Southern about two outlaw bikers on the road, played by Fonda and Hopper, also put Jack Nicholson on the Hollywood A-list map. The music had been carefully selected to compliment the scenes for which they were ultimately chosen. The soundtrack album was released in conjunction with the film and features most of the music, all in the order they appeared, along with a few sound snippets from the movie. The majority of the music appeared on albums by the artists that recorded them. Songs by Little Eva and Electric Flag were omitted, and instead of The Band playing their “The Weight,” as they did in the movie, the album has a version by the L.A. band, Smith. Due to licensing and contracts, the original version by The Band couldn't be used here, so Dunhill Records, who released this album, turned to one of their signed artists when they needed a replacement. Smith, who'd had a hit with Burt Bacharach's “Baby It's You” that same year, did a credible job on the song, but the original is sorely missed. The record is full of what are now Classic Rock standards. “The Pusher” and “Born To Be Wild” by Steppenwolf, “If 6 Was 9” by Jimi Hen-
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drix and Fraternity Of Man's unforgettable “Don't Bogart Me” still stand on their own. Similarly, diverse songs by The Byrds, The Holy Modal Rounders and Electric Prunes worked well within the context of the film. Fonda wanted to use Bob Dylan's “It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)” for the film, but couldn't get clearance. The producers recruited Roger McGuinn of the The Byrds to record it, and that's the version in the movie. McGuinn got together with Dylan and wrote the song that plays out at the end of the film, “Ballad Of Easy Rider.” As a soundtrack, the album does a good job associating itself with the movie, but you can still enjoy this music without having seen it. Okay, time to “Get Your Motor Running!” https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=wWA76KDPz90
The far reaching threads of soul music in the United States weaves its way far and wide, and that includes Dublin, Ireland's working class. Roddy Doyle's humorously engaging story (directed by Alan Parker) about a young, Dublin R&B purist with a dream of managing a first rate ensemble of talent to pay tribute to the soulful sounds of the 1960s accurately nails what happens when egos and attitudes derail those dreams. The music to be used for the film resulted in long deliberations among the production staff before deciding on the songs that would be performed live by the talented cast of singers and musicians. This soundtrack album contains 14 of the 24 tracks the cast recorded, covering Wilson Pickett, Mary Wells, Roy Head, Clarence Carter and Al Green,
among others. (A followup album was released in 1992 combining four more film tracks along with seven others recorded by the cast.) The band is tight and the vocals are spot on, making it all, like the film, a noble testament to classic, American soul music and its original trailblazers. Irish singer Niamh Kavanaugh stands out on The Marvelettes' “Destination Anywhere” and Aretha Franklin's “Do Right Man, Do Right Woman” with an amazing ability and understanding. Likewise, young singer and actress Aneline Ball made her film debut and absolutely crushes it on Ann Peeble's classic “I Can't Stand The Rain.” But, easily, the most amazing musical performance is delivered by Andrew Strong, who was 17 years old when he won the hefty role of Deco Cuffe, the unruly lead singer for The Commitments. Strong's vocals sound like they're coming from a barrel house, road worn veteran of every roadhouse and gin joint in Memphis instead of his Northern Ireland roots. With the force of a cannonball, Strong's powerful delivery on the six songs he fronts pays proper respect to the originals and are a high point in the movie and on this album. Need proof? Just give a ear to the power and energy of this young Irish singer covering Otis Redding's “Mr. Pitiful.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QP2yMIy2pIw
MIRIAM LIEBERMAN JUST TRANSFORMING (SELF RELEASE) BY ROB DICKENS Another case of artistic persistence during the global pandemic. Miriam Lieberman has managed to get crowdfunding, written, recorded (produced by Josh Schuberth) and released Just Transforming in the most difficult of times. In doing so, she has created a soothing mental balm for we troubled souls. The title track inspires us to never stop growing and changing, “Little Bird” reflects on the cycle of life and “Infinite We Are” dares us to use the magic of our imagination. The themes throughout are sweeping, including her new mother status and presented through wonderful string arrangements, led by Lieberman on the kora, a twenty-one stringed African harp and backed by Lara Goodridge and Susie Bishop. In this crazy past year of uncertainty, I’ve come back to my songwriting after a hiatus of becoming a mum. The result is an album of new songs about our incredible and fragile planet, about becoming a mum, about imagination and about our need for each other. It is my intention to empower and uplift people with this music. And gloriously uplifting it is.
LOUISA WISE ALL OF THESE THINGS (SELF RELEASE) BY ROB DICKENS
Just Transforming has recently been nominated as a finalist for Best Album Contemporary in the Australian Folk Music Awards, recipients will be announced 14 October 2021 at a ceremony on-line and in-person in Adelaide. More Music Adventures Await! MIRIAMLIEBERMAN.BANDCAMP.COM ROB DICKENS:: LISTENINGTHROUGHTHE LENS.COM
JOYANNA PARKER OUT OF THE DARK HOPELESS ROMANTICS RECORDS BY RICK J BOWEN Like so many artists this last year, Minneapolis singer songwriter, guitarist Joyanna Parker ran into starts and stops in her recording project. The fortunate result was that Parker took a step back to reevaluate the song selection and dig a little deeper, which resulted in the title track of the album Out of the Dark, released in January of 2021. The collection of 11ooriginal tracks is a mixed bag of rockin’ blues, soul, R&B, and roots influenced pop all designed to showcase her formidable vocal skills. That break in recording must’ve encouraged Parker to flush out the album and add songs with greater depth such as the Southern Gothic “Gone So Long,” and the contemplative “Either Way,” versus the other more straightforward dance tracks. Listeners will enjoy ing the best for last is a strategy that takes fine production and adept performances throughout the discipline and patience, in doing so Parker album like the playful New Orleans flavored “Dirty Rotten proves she may certainly have what it takes. Guy ,” and rocker “Hit Me Like A Train“ and their theatrical JOYANNAPARKER.COM sensibilities. But the big payoff is that final number, as Parker RICK J BOWEN: WABLUES.ORG lays it all on the table finally exposing real raw emotion. Sav-
I’m kinda thinking I’m living in a special neighborhood. Northcote is an inner northern suburb of Melbourne and recently has featured heavily on the new album City’s Calling Me from Mick Thomas’ Roving Commission (the album cover in fact was shot from the suburb’s most prominent natural feature Ruckers Hill). Now here’s a collection of songs from another Northcote local Louisa Wise. It’s a celebratory folk music event, not just for Northcote either. But indulge me for a moment, please. “Merri Creek In The Morning” is a joyous exclamation of walking round the local verdant waterway and the aforementioned elevation “Ruckers Hill” recounts of warm meetings on New Year’s Eve where the view of the city is stunning. But it is not just familiarity that breeds my lasting respect for All Of These Things. This a wondrous folk statement vividly capturing our lives, traditions and recollections. “Jessie Gardener” is a lament for a grandmother who lost her first family at sea with glorious harmonies and searching violins. “Convict Quilt” lovingly tells of convict women making a quilt on the way to a penal colony and “Delia Fay”
working barefoot in a Massachusetts textile mill. “Black Dog” is a tender and exquisite ode to mental battles and our treatment of Australia’s offshore refugees is covered in the strident “We Have Run From Your War”. But you can also enjoy the whimsy of “Feather” and “Teapot Song”. All Of These Things was released in April 2020 and nominated as Best Folk Album in the Music Victoria Awards. Comprising an impressive seventeen new songs recorded over two years, they are performed by Louisa with family and friends – in particular, Wise plays dulcimer, guitar, fiddle, piano, mouthbow and teapot(?). Collaborators all worthy of mention are Luke Plumb (mandolin, bouzouki), Mischa Herman (piano accordion, Irish whistle), Jim Green (lead guitar), Nick Thorpe (double bass), The Wise Women (Louisa’s three daughters Ruth, Lucy and Rowena), with Niroshan Sathiyamoorthy (ghatam) and Justin Marshall on percussion. It’s a special neighborhood, alright when wonderfully-talented artists like Louisa Wise live nearby . LOUISAWISE.COM ROB DICKENS: LISTENINGTHROUGHTHELENS.COM
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CONTINUED FROM PAGE 9 You have so many sides to your art; another is your clothing designs, where you do more than just t-shirts, right? Exactly, my wife and I are both graphic designers, so we launched the clothing line, Point506. We create designs that are inspired by life, science, and math. What we wanted to build was a design line that is very informative and cool, but not your average geek. You look like you have intelligence and style.
I think people would refer to you as a renaissance man. I hope so. When I was little that was what I wanted to be when I grew up. Above all, my mission is to do good unto the world with my work. I want to help elevate and get people inspired in one way or another.
VINCENTFINK.COM ABOVE: ELK. BELOW: HUNTER 2, 2020, VINCENT FINK
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ROCKPORT CENTER FOR THE ARTS GUY CLARK FESTIVAL Multi-faceted event to celebrate beloved Texas musician and “Rockport Kind of Guy”, a new brand and experience incorporating art, film and music celebrating Guy Clark, the Grammy Award-winning American songwriter and folk singer who spent his teen years living in Rockport. Memorializing Russell’s 16 paintings, the Rockport Kind of Guy Art Book includes historical photographs, information, and personal memories from those who knew Clark best during his formative years in Rockport, as well as commentary by the artist, the 16 musicians/performers who recorded the songs in the CD, as well as local history champions Cheryl Livingston and Ty Husak, of the Aransas County Historical Society. The companion Rockport Kind of Guy CD was produced by John Macy and Coastal Bend Music, featuring the 16 Guy Clark songs represented in the exhibition and book as performed by noted singer and songwriters such as Lyle Lovett, Michael Martin Murphey, Gary P. Nunn, Steve Earle, Verlon Thompson, Shawn Camp and more. To learn more, pre-order merchandise, and book tickets, visit GuyClarkFestival.com. GUY CLARK FESTIVAL DATES Oct. 15 Exhibit Opens — Rockport Kind of Guy, new work by Steve Russell Oct. 21 Rockport Kind of Guy Book and CD Release and Signing with Steve Russell Nov. 7-8 An Evening with Verlon Thompson & Shawn Camp – A Musical Performance Nov. 12 Film Screening — Without Getting Killed or Caught, directed by Tamara Saviano and Paul Whitfield
ROCKPORT CENTER OF THE ARTS 401 S AUSTIN STREET, ROCKPORT ROCKPORTARTCENTER.COM STEAMMAGAZINE.NET OCTOBER 2021 STEAM MAGAZINE 11
By Rusty Hicks & Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine Photo By Jay Sansone
Gov’t Mule (Warren Haynes [vocals, guitar], Matt Abts [drums],
Danny Louis [keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals], and Jorgen Carlsson [bass]) has galvanized a global fan base with their
honest, organic and daring music and improvisational virtuosity, leading them to be recognized as one of the most timeless, revered and active bands in the world whose spot amongst rock titans remains unshakable. Led by visionary GRAMMY Award-winning artist and guitar legend Warren Haynes the group has showcased its intelligence and breadth over the course of 20+ studio and live albums, thousands of memorable performances and millions of album and track sales. Gov’t Mule’s flexible interplay in the studio and on stage makes them a true living, breathing ensemble and Haynes is lauded as one of the most formidable guitarists and vocalists of the modern era and a creative songwriter and producer. Throughout his prolific career as part of three of the greatest live groups in rock history – Allman Brothers Band, Gov’t Mule and the Dead – and an acclaimed solo artist, Haynes has become one of music’s most treasured storytellers. We talked with Haynes about their upcoming blues album, Heavy Load Blues, and the next Mule album! 12 STEAM MAGAZINE OCTOBER 2021 STEAMMAGAZINE.NET
I hear you've been busy writing and recording! Is this how you spent the pandemic? Well, we decided early on that we weren't getting together until everyone had gotten vaccinated. We wanted to make sure that we were all being as safe as possible, so once that happened we started talking about time and place to get together.
where you can just come in and create. It was very ambitious. We rehearsed the Mule songs for about a week, but we didn't rehearse the blues stuff because those were just on the floor and we were winging it as it would go, you know. Some of the material was original, some of it is covers of classic tunes, but it was all just an inspiration type of thing.
I’m glad to hear you were taking it seriously
How were the rooms different?
and being safe. We all know you and Mule have roots in the blues, but you’ve never done a dedicated album before. How did Heavy Load Blues come about? It was Stephanie, our manager that suggested that we put together a blues album; which has been in the back of my mind for a long time. I'd also been writing tons of Mule songs, so I didn't want to forgo doing a Mule record to do a blues record, but maybe we could do something at the same time. At that point the mission became finding a place where we could set up two different studio rooms where we could record Mule songs during the day and then go to the second room and play the blues at night.
Wow! That is a really ambitious project to do
both recordings at once. For me that would be a dream come true; to be able to play
The studio we used for the blues was a small room with a low ceiling, all vintage gear, and a small drum kit; really, an even smaller set up than normal.
While I was researching you and the Mule I found that you do a lot of live albums vs. studio albums. And, although this blues album is not a live album as in on a stage in front of a crowd it is recorded in a live room including no headphones. Yes, we just set up like we were on a stage in a small Club, so everything went down live as we recorded and I think that's the best way to capture the blues. Once we got to dinner time, 8 or 9, sometimes even as late as midnight, we’d just walk over to the Blues Room plug in and just start playing. We wanted to do it late at night, because well that's the best time to play the blues
and we wanted to do it when we could shut off our brains from having done a lot of thinking earlier on with the Mule songs.
use the horn section on and it sounds like an old-school recording.
Did you take advantage of the vintage
gear you had available or did you stick with your regular setup? Well, I played probably 8 or 10 different vintage guitars and same with the amplifiers. And by vintage I mean almost everything in that room was close to being older than me; there were old Gibson’s, Supros, Dan Electros. Really, we just wanted to have a different sound and a different vibe for each song, so we just kind of picked old guitar and old amplifier combinations and if it sounded like what we were looking for we went for it. That way each song has its own personality. It was a really interesting process because normally I don't switch guitars as much as I did for this record.
Is that a group that
I thought it was interesting that you did-
I do like that one a
n't use the headphones because that really makes it live. I love recording with no headphones, because it really frees you up but it also means that you have to keep everything that you do. You can't go back and fix things or change them, you get what you get.
lot and another one I think is really good is If Heartaches Were Nickels. Oh yeah, that's another one of my songs. I wrote that a long time ago and it was recorded by Joe Bonamassa, when he was really young. This is the first time I’ve released my version of it.
I'm sure you had a groove and you knew it. Yeah, and you know the blues were always that way. There's supposed to be mistakes and blemishes. If you fix every tiny mistake in a blues record, you would have no more record.
You know I love some of the stuff that that wasn't really supposed to be there anyway and when you're playing live sometimes you have to come up with something on the spot. Absolutely! You know growing up that was always my favorite parts on the record. I remember listening to Johnny Winter’s Second Winter and there was this one part of this song that I was learning to play guitar on. And I'm thinking “what the hell is he playing there, it's just so cool” and as I got
you brought in for the horns or did Danny play those parts? We brought some friends in to do it. Danny does play the horn stuff on some of our other recordings, but for this one we wanted a full horn section. I’ll bet you like Ain't No Love In The Heart Of The City?
older, and a little better at playing guitar, I realized he was just playing in the wrong key for a minute. And you know it sounded awesome!
Just proves there are no wrong notes.
That's right. No wrong notes just missed opportunities. I know you've been doing a few shows, are you planning a large tour in support of Heavy Load Blues? Not yet. The record comes out on November 12th and we'll take a little break between now and then. We’ve played a few of the songs on stage but not many. The first time we will debut the whole album is our Halloween show in Atlanta and that will really kick off the official tour of Heavy Load Blues. That will be a great show. I know there's a lot of anticipation for this album. I have listened to the album a few times and I think my favorite song is Black Horizon. I really like your voice and that it's not too bluesy. Do you have a favorite off of this album? That's great, I wrote that in the spirit of old delta blues but not completely in that fashion and I really like the way it was captured. I really love all of them. We recorded a lot of material and it was very tough cutting it down to 13. I love Make It Rain which is a Tom Waits cover. Hole In My Soul is one of my songs that we
Like I said, it’s really good
so thanks for releasing it. I really like the cover artwork; the image is really fitting for the music. Who is the artist? Y o u k n o w that's a f u n n y story. A friend of mine, Jeff Anders is a guitar player and songwriter in my hometown, and we've written a few together; but he's also a painter. Now he usually sends me his stuff as he finishes it, just so I can check it out. Anyway, he had no idea we were doing a blues record or that it was going to be called Heavy Load Blues. He just sent me this painting and I said that is just perfect for this album, so I called him up and said you won't believe this but we're doing a blues record and I think we're going to use that painting for the cover.
Back at the beginning of this you told us
that in one room you were working on Mule songs while the second was for the blues record. So did you end up with a Mule album as well? Yes and that will be coming out sometime next year as it’s just about finished too. I think we recorded about 17 songs. We’re looking at this one as the follow up to our last studio record Revolution Come, Revolu-
tion Go, because Heavy Load Blues is definitely the first blues album we've ever done and we don’t consider it as a follow up. That's one of the good things about the pandemic; since we couldn't go on the road during lockdown I just wrote so many songs. And I was dying to record, so this was one of the longest recording sessions we've ever done! Yeah, I think everybody and their brother wrote, painted or crafted something. For us? Our yard looks really good! Hey, you have to do what you have to do or you’re going to go crazy. I think historically creativity is what happens, so I think we're in store for some great stuff in the near future. I think so too. Every December you hold the Christmas Jam and in January you have a show in Jamaica. Last year of course they were cancelled, so are these on your upcoming schedule? Well, the Christmas Jam is still up in the air and I'm hoping we can pull it off. Indoor shows are a little bit more of a challenge still. But as long as nothing changes we’re planning on the Jamaica show. Of course that's outdoors so that makes a big difference.
OK, last question. What or who do you
listen to? Or are you one of those musicians that doesn't listen to anyone's music so not to influence your own? I know some people who are like that and don't listen to anyone or anything; I'm the opposite, I listen to everything! Lately I've been listening to a lot of a Lukas Nelson and his new album. I really like what Micah and Willie Nelson’s group is doing. We just got off stage at a festival and Nathaniel Rateliff is on stage and I’m really enjoy his stuff too. You know there's just a ton of great stuff out there.
MULE.NET | ISLANDEXODUS.COM GOV’T MULE TOUR DATES Oct 3 – Tampa, FL @ Gasparilla Music Festival Oct 15 – Phoenix, AZ @ Ak-Chin Pavilion Oct 16 – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheatre Oct 18 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Belasco Oct 20 – Napa, CA @ Uptown Theater Oct 22 – Placerville, CA @ Hangtown Music Festival Oct 23 – Mountainview, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheater Oct 24 – Wheatland, CA @ Toyota Amphitheatre Oct 29 & 30 – Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle January 16-20 2022 – Runaway Bay, Jamaica @ Island Exodus 12
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By Tamma Hicks, STEAM Magazine Photo via Adam Stern
Corpus Christi’s own Dreams A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac features a talented group of musicians dedicated to reproducing the sights and sounds of Fleetwood Mac and bringing it to the stage for your enjoyment. I sat down with Adam Stern and Lori Stern of Dreams and talked about how this project started and where you can experience the magic of one of the most legendary bands of the seventies and eighties, Fleetwood Mac.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with
me Lori and Adam! I really want to talk about your new project Dreams A Tribute To Fleetwood Mac. How did this project begin? Well, you've known us for a number of years now and we've been playing with Voodoo logic our rock band. During our shows we've always played two or three Fleetwood Mac songs and afterwards people would come up to Lori and tell her how much she sounds and looks like Stevie Nicks.
That is a wonderful compliment!
Yes, it really is! One night we were playing at the Executive Surf Club in downtown Corpus Christi and a young lady came up to Lori with stars in her eyes and asked if she could have her picture taken with Lori. And really when you looked at her she was so lost in the moment and in her gaze she was talking with
Stevie Nicks. I think that's when we really realized that we could do something special for people that are not able to go see Fleetwood Mac. It was about two years ago that we came up with this concept. We had been working so much in the studio with Voodoo Logic, so when Lori (lead vocals), George Woods (rhythm guitar, vocals), and I (lead guitar, vocals) had a bit of idle time we started thinking about Dreams as a new project and we realized early on that we would need different players because it was asking a lot; it's different music with a lot of vocals and harmonies.
Isn’t Fleetwood Mac a synonym for harmonies? Yes, we refer to it as the flower of the band. We started with two guitar players and a singer, so we began scouring to find the right people to fill the other positions. I had been in a Techno-Pop project with a classically trained pianist and piano instructor, Jennifer Gayle Bradley (lead vocals, keyboards). She's been around for a while and very into the classical scene, solo performances, and things like that. But her heart lies in classic rock; she even likes metal. When I reached out to her, and before I could finish the Fleetwood Mac invite, she was already saying yes. After that we needed to find a bassist and a drummer in the same mindset as the four of us.
That doesn’t sound like a very easy task.
Easier than we thought it would be. Another musician referred us to bassist and singer Glynn Garcia (lead vocals, bass guitar), who is also a music instructor. Turned out he
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really likes Fleetwood Mac and said he would be interested. At this point we had found a drummer as well, but he opted out of the band because he said it was out of his comfort zone.
Hey that's great that he was honest with
you and didn't leave you in a bind. Yes, he was brutally honest and got us his replacement, Anton Perez (drums, vocals). Anton is the quintessential Mick Fleetwood. In the eight months since we put all the pieces together we all thought we sounded pretty darn good. Then Glynn made the statement that, “if we can sound good why not just go for perfect?” He’s a tough taskmaster but I’ll tell you it has definitely been worth it! His aspirations are extremely high for everyone, and it's been frustrating for all of us at some point, but the good thing is we've all persevered! Honestly, we just came from a practice this afternoon and I would say we are objectively the most accurate sounding Fleetwood Mac tribute band in the United States.
That’s a pretty big statement.
There is one band, Rumors Of Fleetwood Mac, who are in the UK that I believe are better than us, however they also have 10 people in the band.
I see is that this music is multi-generational like the Stones, The Who, The Beatles, and so on. I would definitely say that. Fleetwood Mac is one of those groups with fans of all generations and ages. Their songs just touch every-
one. The other thing that's really cool, and George and I were just discussing this, is that as musicians we like to play their music. Really, it’s how Fleetwood Mac’s music resonates with people in their life history and their experiences. So from the first note they hear they're transformed to a different place and that's something that I don't see happening with a lot of contemporary music. It’s wonderful being able to see the effect this music has on people.
your opinion what makes a tribute band different than a cover band if they're playing the same music? From my personal experience with a tribute band; from clothes to singing styles to famous moves, I might as well have been watching the original band. Fortunately with Fleetwood Mac a lot of people don't know what Mick Fleetwood or John McVie look like. The key to being a tribute band is to bring the experience so close to the original that the audience not only hears and sees those people, but they believe it too. If you really think about it tribute bands are not competing with the original bands because the fans that are going to see them can afford it and are lucky enough to do so. I don't know if you've seen the cost of going to some of these concerts now, but the ticket prices are crazy! $300 to $400 for decent seats, not great just good. Now on top of that add parking and depending on where it is you may have to stay the night somewhere, so for a couple going to see a big concert you're looking at close to $1,000. And that’s what makes a tribute band so much more
GARY N BLUM, DDS MS 2021
doing Lindsay’s and me, so we all have our time in the limelight. There are a few songs that we have changed the lead vocal assignments on, but otherwise we're pretty true to the albums.
I’ve got to ask… are you doing Tusk?
NO. (In case you are wondering, that was in stereo.)
I heard you say that you had an interest-
ing way developing your song list? We did it very mathematically. We went to Billboard’s Top 100 and picked out Fleetwood Mac’s most popular songs. The lines were in the road, we didn't have to guess, and then of those songs we also had to eliminate the ones we didn't feel we could do justice to; such as Tusk. There's just no way we could do that without bringing in a whole marching band. approachable for the average person.
I've seen and read enough that I feel I can say that going out on tour is not on the top of Fleetwood Mac’s list, so I appreciate that you are carrying on their music. Lori, how do you like being compared to Stevie Nicks? Personally, it would make me nervous being on that stage. Well, I think it's very flattering and hum-
bling. I definitely don't feel that I'm as good as she is and those are big shoes to fill. You know I grew up in the 70s and Landslide has always been one of those songs I hold dear, so really most of her music is easy for me to sing. New for me is learning to sing backup as this is the first band I've been in where I've done that. It’s exciting that everyone in the band sings and that three of us do the lead vocals. Jennifer does Christine's parts, Glynn is
Well, you know we do have a lot of high
schools with marching bands. I think that would be a really cool way to get another generation of people attending your shows. And of course all their parents too. You know that might be a cool thing to try in the future.
Do you do covers from other bands?
Well, from this point forward no. We've always got a few songs in the back that we
can pull out if needed, but at this point everything is straight off Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors, The Dance, and Tusk. There are a couple Stevie Nicks duets that people always request like Tom Petty’s Stop Dragging My Heart and Don Henley's Leather and Lace.
Let's talk about your upcoming show; I
know it's a big one! Yes! It's at House of Rock on November 19th and tickets have already gone on sale! There will be an opening band but as of right now we don't know who that is. Our show is 90 minutes long with no breaks and we have a special list for encores. We are thinking it's going to be a sell-out, so you should probably get your tickets soon!
As we wrap up I want to touch on Voodoo Logic and what’s happening there. We are a band in transition! Being an indie band has its own set of challenges, so right now we are looking for a bassist and a drummer. We burnt ourselves playing out, but Voodoo Logic is definitely alive; we're just evolving!
STEAMMAGAZINE.NET OCTOBER 2021 STEAM MAGAZINE 15 .