1.0 What are you working on presently? Getting this album, by a fellow named JD McPherson, out on my small label, Hi-Style Records. We recorded the album in my analog recording studio over the last year. The sound is killer. JD’s singing, performance, and song writing are great. I produced the Album. I’m really proud of this one. It should be out by late September. Getting the studio tightened up and fine tuned. There are still some loose ends I want to take care of. I created the studio as kind of a piece of art. So I still have some more building and creating custom installations to finish.
Also finishing the Hi-Style Records website (www.hi-stylerecords.com) and getting all my other internet platforms squared away. Being internet savvy is always a bit of a challenge for me. I’m also working on some over seas licensing of both the Del Moroccos and The JD McPherson material. Looks like there will be a Japanese CD release of the Del Moroccos’ “Blue Black Hair Album” and also a 10 inch vinyl release of that album too. The 10 inch is going to be released by a record label out of Finland. There are also a couple of tunes off of the upcoming JD McPherson release that are making it onto a 45 RPM 7-inch being released by Witchcraft out of Germany.
2.0 – What kind of gear are you using in your studio? Imagine wanting to record and release records (45s) back in 1961. Well, this is the studio and the equipment that this person would have put together. The studio is one live room and a control room. We start with capturing the performance through tube and ribbon microphones, which are mixed through Ampex MX-10 mic mixers, then the signal passes through a couple of Berlant preamp tube amplifiers and then onto 1/4 inch tape. We’re able to dump all this into the computer where we’re able to overdub and edit, process, etc.. The sound is incredible!
3.0 – Are you on the look out for new talent to record? I’m always on the look out. I still have a bunch of projects that I haven’t even started. One of them being a kind of Chicago compilation of local blues, rockabilly, roots type artist. It’s in the works.
4.0 – How is the midwest jump blues scene today, any fav’s? Mmmmmmm…….I dont really know of any midwest jump blues scene today, but some of my favorites who might not be described as “Jump Blues” would be The Mordern Sounds, and, I must say, The Del Moroccos.
5.0 – Do you ever miss the rowdy Moon Dogs? Nah. I have wonderful memories of the Moondog days, but it’s more interesting and fun for me to look forward. How come you didn’t ask me about the Mighty Blues Kings? I still have plenty of fond memories for that band too.
6.0 – Is it difficult to play a stand-up bass on stage? any tips? No, it’s not difficult for me to do what I do. I have my ups and downs show to show, but for the most part it’s second nature for me. My tip would be to get your stand up acoustic bass sounding and feeling good acoustically. As the old gas station man sez: you can’t polish a turd.
7.0 – Has a song title or idea ever come to you in your sleep? Yeah, a song once came to me in my sleep but later I realized it was already a song out there in the world.
8.0 – What was the first record you ever bought? “Rocket to Russia” – The Ramones.
9.0 – You are a sharp dressed man and have a defined image, when did that all start for you? Oh geez, I don’t know. Maybe when I was a young lad coming to age. Then again, you’ve never run into me at the hardware store? It’s not a pretty sight.
10.0 – Dream gig for Jimmy Sutton; you are on stage and playing with who? Wow, that’s a tricky one. Though you know, I felt like I really did play a dream gig when I was playing bass down at the Pandarosa Stomp about five years ago. James Burton was on guitar, DJ Fontana on drums, and Dale Hawkins was singing his 50’s hit Susie Q. It was great! The old Rockin’ n’ Bowl venue was packed and I was hoping DJ would do one of those crazy SUN records’ drum rolls were the drummer would come out of the roll with the beat flipped upside down. Sure enough, DJ didn’t let me down. I looked across the stage at Mr. Burton, and as cool as a cucumber he looked at DJ, then looked at me and rolled his eyes. I said under my breath, “Thank you God”. These cats were the real deal, and could mess up and it still sounded killer!