Artist Interviews & Profiles
Donald Gibson is a freelance music journalist and the publisher of Write on Music (www.writeonmusic.com), whose experience is concentrated in writing and editing artist interviews/profiles along with various other aspects of music criticism.
His byline has appeared in such online publications as No Depression, Spinner, Blinded By Sound (blindedbysound.com), Cinema Blend, The Seattle Post Intelligencer, Something Else! Reviews (somethingelsereviews.com), and Blogcritics.org, where he was the Senior Music Editor (2011-2012) and Assistant Music Editor (2008-2011).
Artist Interviews & Profiles
At the dawn of the '80s, as outlaws and urban cowboys staked their turf on either side of the country and pop fence, Kenny Rogers bridged the divide.
When Now with a new LP, "I think we just wanted it to open out a bit," Sayer said of Write on Music caught up with the Temperance Movement last summer, the nascent British rock band was trudging through the States and Canada on what seemed like an interminable tour.
It's been more than a quarter century since "Too Cold at Home" introduced country music traditionalist Mark Chesnutt to the masses, and the many hits that have followed (including "Brother Jukebox," "Bubba Shot the Jukebox," and "Old Flames Have New Names") have aged as well as the veteran singer's homegrown Texas twang.
Every year, typically in the first few weeks of January, Buzz Cason trades his native Nashville residence and recording studio for a condominium in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The vacation retreat, beyond offering a tropical respite from the often harsh winter conditions back home, serves as a sanctuary of sorts.
Eighteen-year-old singer/songwriter Kylie Odetta emerges from the din of pop stardom to reveal a serious talent with her most recent EP, High Dreamer.
Merle Haggard never said he was immortal. Still, the country music icon, who died this week on his 79th birthday of complications from pneumonia, knew as well as anyone that his music would endure. He'd lived not only to see so many songs he'd written be appreciated as classics, but to perceive his influence on succeeding generations of artists who, frankly, owe him everything.
Country music maverick John Anderson anticipated changes in the industry long before they came to pass.
“To me,” Gene Watson says, “the songs are everything.”
Ever since "What You Won't Do For Love" first catapulted him to stardom in 1978, Bobby Caldwell has cultivated a singular brand of sophisticated soul, culminating in more than a dozen studio albums that have as well embraced aspects of pop, jazz, and big band standards along the way.
More than three decades after disbanding, The Jam continue to inspire a fiercely loyal following as well as a legacy that only magnifies with each passing year.
The book was Petty's idea, but as Zanes tells Write on Music, it's not Petty's book.
Well, that's the thing. It's her style of guitar playing, that's it right there. That's what makes her so special, is that she checks so many boxes that you wouldn't expect. It should be in the same breath. It should be "Chuck Berry and Sister Rosetta Tharpe." You know what I mean?
The Temperance Movement had already opened for the Rolling Stones on a handful of dates last year, but when the nascent British-based band got the nod to do it again this past June at Orlando's Citrus Bowl, age-old anxieties emerged.
In interviewing Rickie Lee Jones about her music, come up with a question that piques her interest and you'll likely end up fielding a few comparable inquiries of your own in return. That Jones should welcome or even seek out such insights from those who admittedly appreciate her music isn't all that surprising, however.
As he concluded the second show of a two-night stand billed as "The Lost Weekend: Last Piano/Vocal Performances" last month at Largo at the Coronet in Los Angeles, seventy-two-year-old Van Dyke Parks bowed and bid farewell to arguably the most conventional aspect of his otherwise unconventional, visionary career.
"Music is freedom," declares veteran singer/songwriter and guitarist Anthony Crawford, calling from his native Gulf Coast Alabama home in the middle of a recent weekday afternoon, the long-distance line at times picking up an idyllic chorus of chirping birds and one of his two young children playing in the yard.
By the time he joined Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1968, David Clayton-Thomas was already a seasoned disciple of the blues, R&B, and soul - music that not only resonated with him as art forms to appreciate but ones which he could sing well and with conviction.
"I'm still kind of pinching myself," says Miel de Botton on her forthcoming debut, Magnetic, whilst offering insights to circumstances that both instigated and hindered its making.
"Music is one of those things that brings us together," says bassist Nathan East.
The British guitar legend and founding member of The Smiths reflects on his latest solo LP, 'Playland,' along the way yielding insights to his artistry, his musical foundation, and the abiding pursuit of his next creative move.
The Tulsa pop-rocker discusses his new LP, Always, offering insight to his songwriting and recording processes, as well as how one his classic songs was almost covered by the King of Rock 'N' Roll.
Long before it became his calling, music was Mac Wiseman's greatest passion. In fact, the 89-year-old Nashville legend, who will be inducted on Sunday night to the Country Music Hall of Fame along with Ronnie Milsap and the late Hank Cochran, was fascinated long before he ever learned to pick a guitar or carry a note in tune.
Interview/Q&A: Having already charmed audiences in her native Netherlands with her winsome singing and insightful songwriting, Angela Moyra is poised to likewise beguile a whole new audience in North America with the release of her debut LP, Fickle Island.
Interview/Q&A: Since the 1980 LP, My Home's in Alabama, brought Ft. Payne's favorite sons to national prominence, Alabama has racked up 43 Number One singles — 21 of them consecutively — while selling an estimated 75 million albums and winning every conceivable industry award. In 2005, the band was inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Interview/Q&A: Singer/songwriter Joe Henry, who produced a new all-star tribute to Johnny Cash's landmark 1964 LP 'Bitter Tears,' discusses how and why he sought to reaffirm its fundamental defense of human dignity.
Interview/Q&A: The artist's experimental tendencies are in full flourish on her third and latest LP, Dear You, a song cycle steeped in minimalist, mood-driven electronica.
Interview/Q&A: For over half a century the Chieftains have served as global ambassadors of traditional Irish music. Founding member Paddy Moloney talks about how they continue their mission.
Interview/Q&A: From the late '70s through to the early '90s Dire Straits reigned as British rock royalty, selling over 120 million albums, racking up a stockpile of classic hits (including "Sultans of Swing," "Money For Nothing," "Romeo and Juliet," and "Walk of Life") and forging a permanent residency on radio stations around the world. The band's bassist, John Illsley, produced a string of respectable solo works as well, including his latest LP, Testing the Water.
Interview/Profile: Call it intuition or a sixth sense or just faith in his own perception: Boz Scaggs knows when he's onto something good.
Interview/Q&A: Casey Hood speaks of songwriting like it holds an almost transcendental mystique. "It's something that's coming out of your subconscious and is coming to light," says the lyricist, principal composer, and lead vocalist of Lily and the Tigers, who along with bassist Adam Mincey and guitarist Jared Pepper has crafted a masterpiece of folk and Americana, The Hand You Deal Yourself (due March 4), an album that is as visceral as it is inspired.
Interview/Q&A: If there is a through line to the music of Katie Herzig, it's how she conceives new sonic contexts for deeply perceptive, often fundamental emotions.
Interview/Q&A: The legendary guitarist discusses his new LP with Roger Daltrey, 'Going Home,' while offering insight to his character in contending with a terminal illness.
Interview/Q&A: The renowned and ever-in-demand bassist discusses his self-titled, solo debut, along with his philosophy on music.
Interview/Profile: It wasn't until she moved to Nashville in her early twenties that Shannon LaBrie made up her mind to pursue a career in music, but she was calling on a lifetime to that point spent learning her craft.
Interview/Q&A: The British vocalist discusses her latest album, Hard Rain (The Songs of Bob Dylan & Leonard Cohen).
Interview/Q&A: On the eve of the release of his new live album, Songbook, the music legend discusses matters of songwriting and performance.
Interview/Q&A: "Hit after hit after hit after hit," says Don Felder, pretty well summing up what fans should expect from the just-begun "Soundtrack of Summer" tour, on which the former Eagles' lead guitarist shares the bill with fellow '70s survivors Styx and Foreigner.
Interview/Q&A: The 23-year-old singer/songwriter discusses her new LP, Somewhere Else, and the craft and inspiration behind its making.
Interview/Q&A: As far as songwriting was concerned the way it worked in Squeeze had always suited Glenn Tilbrook just fine, namely that he'd compose the music after co-conspirator Chris Difford had penned the lyrics.
Interview/Q&A: Scott H. Biram didn't set out to achieve any radical breakthroughs (musically speaking, at least) with his latest studio LP, Nothin' But Blood, but creative stability seems to suit him just fine.
Interview/Q&A: Establishing a style and sticking with it may work for emerging musicians looking to build a loyal following but it can prove stifling for the artists themselves. At least that's the belief which seems to guide Von Grey.
Interview/Q&A: On the eve of her first North American headlining tour, the burgeoning British singer/songwriter gets candid about her debut LP, True Romance, and her musical future.
Interview/Q&A: For more than five decades McClinton, 72, has patented his own brand of roadhouse blues, R&B, rockabilly, and country with a hellraiser's passion and a troubadour's introspective soul.
Interview/Q&A: The Zombies are in demand now more than ever, and founding member Rod Argent explains why.
Interview/Profile: Put another dime in the jukebox, baby: The former lead guitarist for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts makes his first stand as a solo artist.
Interview/Q&A: For more than three decades Italy's own Zucchero has bridged the musical boundaries and styles of his native country with those of American blues, rock, and soul to become one of the world's most celebrated superstars.
Interview/Q&A: Bogguss discusses her latest album, Lucky, on which she covers twelve classics written by Merle Haggard.
Interview/Profile: On her current LP, the American Idol alum reflects the serenity of someone who has contended with some heavy adversity in her life, and at times still does, but has nevertheless come to appreciate her own resilience.
Interview/Q&A: The Moody Blues legend discusses his new solo album while offering insights on his songwriting from throughout his career.
Interview Q&A: It turns out that reality doesn't bite after all. At least it doesn't for Lisa Loeb, who on her latest album, No Fairy Tale, maintains that everyday blessings are ultimately more fulfilling than any fanciful illusions.
Interview/Profile: 30 years after the Bangles hit it big, Susanna Hoffs is making the finest music of her career as a solo artist.
Interview/Profile: For the 32-year-old singer/songwriter, the qualities that largely inform her aesthetic are also those which reveal her at her most vulnerable.
Interview/Q&A: The former Eagles' lead guitarist talks about flying solo with a new album and a positive outlook on his life and legendary career.
Interview/Profile: With her debut LP, 'Til the Casket Drops, the singer/songwriter deftly imbues elements of blues, hip/hop, and pop with juke-joint earthiness and some serious pipes.
Interview/Q&A: The Zombies' lead singer discusses his new solo album, his old band, and how he's remained one of pop music's most evocative voices for 50 years.
Interview/Q&A: The music legend discusses his latest album, Viva Duets, and his deep appreciation of his craft.
Interview/Profile: Sebastian Mikael didn't write his first song until he was 18, but the now-24-year-old singer/songwriter is emerging as a versatile artist of significant talent and promise. "I still feel like I'm always learning, always developing," says Mikael, whose debut album is slated for release on Slip-N-Slide/Vested in Culture/Epic Records in the coming year.
As the ‘80s were winding down Cinderella were on a heavy-metal high, but frontman Tom Keifer had no idea how prophetic the title of the band’s hit power ballad, “Don't Know What You Got (Till It's Gone),” would become.
Interview/Profile: Adam Cohen comes across as having struggled less with the notion of living in Leonard Cohen’s shadow than with living up to his own artistic potential.
Interview/Q&A: The funk/rock legend offers insights to her timely new album, Mutatis Mutandis, her first solo effort in 20 years.
Interview/Q&A: Upon the release of a comprehensive, five-disc boxed set, the English Beat's Dave Wakeling talks music, politics, and how both have coexisted in his career.
Interview/Profile: “It’s kind of scary,” says Buddy Guy, his voice quivering with ominous unease. “Blues music is like an endangered species almost."
Interview/Q&A: REO Speedwagon is gearing up for a new round of dates as part of the ongoing Midwest Rock ‘N’ Roll Express tour, and founding keyboardist Neal Doughty couldn’t be happier.
Interview/Profile: The American Idol standout dishes on the making of her retro-flavored debut album.
Interview/Profile: Fearless and free, Brooklyn singer/songwriter Leah Siegel charges out of the gate as Firehorse, illustrating a vivid collision of songcraft and imagination.
Interview/Q&A: Still bad to the bone, the blues rocker talks about his latest album, 2120 South Michigan Ave., and why he still believes in FM radio.
Interview/Q&A: The renowned guitarist discusses his upcoming album in tribute to John Lennon as well as his ongoing explorations in music.
Interview/Q&A: The Crowded House frontman talks about his latest project, Pajama Club, as well as offering insights on songwriting.
Interview/Q&A: The legendary guitarist discusses his new solo album, his musical influences, and his groundbreaking achievements at Stax Records.
Interview/Q&A: Guitar great Derek Trucks and soul-stirring vocalist/musician Susan Tedeschi discuss their new band and its debut album, Revelator.
Interview/Q&A: The three-time GRAMMY® winner discusses his new live album, yielding insight as to the spontaneous, intuitive nature of his concerts.
Interview/Q&A: His songs are like character sketches of the human condition, and in a career spanning thirty years-first with Wall of Voodoo, the band most known for its 1982 hit, "Mexican Radio," then as a solo artist-On his latest, Stan Ridgway has produced a string of adventurous works that have endeared him to discerning critics and fans alike.
Interview/Profile: With her remarkable debut album, These Open Roads, singer/songwriter Haroula Rose has found her defining purpose.
Interview/Q&A: Stuart wasn’t about to stand idly by while witnessing what he saw as the integrity of country music's heritage being compromised.
Interview/Q&A: The legendary guitarist for Iggy and the Stooges talks Kill City, Raw Power, and the band's seminal influence.
Interview/Q&A: The Scottish singer/songwriter talks about her third studio album, Tiger Suit, and of her adventures in electronica.
Interview/Q&A: Upon the release of her latest LP, Blessed, Lucinda Williams reflects on her life and career.
Interview/Q&A: The GRAMMY®-winning producer (U2, Bob Dylan) talks about working with Neil Young on his latest album, Le Noise.
Interview/Profile: The songstress discusses her current album, The House, and how she appreciates music.
Interview/Q&A: The singer/guitarist talks music, faith, and how he reconciles the two.
Interview/Q&A: The songwriting legend discusses his craft while offering insights on The Beatles, Eminem, and what he's learned from mentors in his career.
Interview/Profile: Parsons discusses his most ambitious project to date while offering insight on digital music and Dark Side of the Moon.
Interview/Q&A: The singer/songwriter shares her thoughts on songwriting while yielding insight to her most recent works, Crows and Crows Acoustic.
Interview/Q&A: While her latest LP, This Charming Life, earns rave reviews, the legendary Joan Armatrading discusses her songwriting in depth.
Interview/Q&A: Straight outta Auckland, Gin Wigmore talks about the making of her debut album, Holy Smoke.
Interview/Q&A: Jakob Dylan discusses his new solo album, Women and Country, touching on its themes and how his songwriting manifested in its songs.
Interview/Q&A: In a little bit over half an hour and through ten eclectic, well-crafted songs, Beth Thornley illustrates the possibilities and creative sweep of pop on her latest album, Wash U Clean.
Interview/Q&A: The artist otherwise named Clarence Greenwood reveals how following his muse led him to his latest work, The Rainwater LP.
Interview/Q&A: The jazz bassist, whose 40-year career includes projects with Miles Davis (In A Silent Way, Bitches Brew), Herbie Hancock, and Wayne Shorter, discusses making 'Pathways' with his eponymous Octet.
Interview/Q&A: "As a songwriter," says McClelland, shedding light on her latest LP, Victoria Day, "we have all the freedom in the world. We can write fiction. We can write non-fiction. We can write about our dreams, our travels."
Interview/Q&A: At 22, singer/songwriter Robert Francis evokes the wayward spirit of a much older soul.
Interview/Q&A: As her promising debut EP makes clear, Anna Rose is set to break on through.
Interview/Q&A: Singer/songwriter Meiko discusses her self-titled debut album, inspirations, and ongoing evolution as an artist.
Interview/Q&A: The singer/songwriter/producer and longtime collaborator to Leonard Cohen, discusses her debut album and what she's learned from her esteemed mentor.
Interview/Q&A: The singer/songwriter discusses her sophomore effort, Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart, a song cycle that explores emotions and instincts contemplated amid and following a personal relationship.
Author, Filmmaker, Photographer Interviews & Profiles
Interview/Q&A: “I realized this was something very special,” says Boyd, “and this was something that needed more people to be able to read about.”
Interview/Q&A: The legendary photographer looks back on his seminal work with Led Zeppelin, which is illustrated in the new digital book, Led Zeppelin: Sound and Fury.
Interview/Q&A: The journalist and author discusses his latest book, I Would Die 4 U: Why Prince Became An Icon.
Interview/Q&A: In his new book, Clapton: The Ultimate Illustrated History, the veteran British music journalist and author surveys Slowhand’s life and career while offering firsthand reflections along the way.
Interview/Q&A: The esteemed critic and historian discusses his latest book, When That Rough God Goes Riding - Listening To Van Morrison.
Interview/Q&A: Upon the publication of his latest book, The Road To Woodstock, Lang goes back to the garden to reflect on the genesis and legacy of those seminal "3 Days of Peace & Love."
Interview/Q&A: The Rolling Stone contributing editor discusses his editing of Blues & Chaos - The Music Writing of Robert Palmer, while sharing his own insights on rock criticism.
Interview/Q&A: The former L.A. Times Chief Pop Music Critic discusses his memoir, Cornflakes with John Lennon, and the craft of music criticism.
Interview/Q&A: The Academy Award-winning filmmaker discusses his latest film, Leonard Cohen: Live at The Isle of Wight 1970.
Joel could've played it safe by simply grinding out his greatest hits. He has enough of them to choose from, of course, but he instead delivered a two-hour set that was heavy on rare or rarely played material.
At 73 Robinson still exudes a singular passion and, with his falsetto in fine form this past Wednesday night in St. Petersburg, he seduced a sold-out Mahaffey Theater audience for two solid hours.
The iconic singer/songwriter delivers a masterclass of heartbreak, remorse, and redemption.
The house was anything but crowded, but Neil Finn and company delivered a stirring performance.
Love is a battlefield, but Mayer wins one in Tampa.
In his first American concert in 15 years, Cohen was enthralling, living up to his legend by selflessly serving his songs.
While his showmanship was superb, what Michael didn't sing seemed more prevalent than what he did perform.
He's got the fire and the fury at his command.
Perhaps it's ironic that Bob Dylan, who revolutionized the craft of popular songwriting in the Sixties onward and thus delineated it from that of the standards so prevalent in prior generations, should on Dylan sustains a noirish, pensive conceit from the opening strains of "I'm a Fool to Want You" to the closing crescendo of "That Lucky Old Sun," underscoring this, his thirty-sixth studio effort, like a solemn cinematic motif.
Priscilla Ahn sings with such gorgeous, unaffected grace that any extravagant or otherwise cluttered production would only undermine one of the loveliest voices to emerge in the past decade.
Beyonce is at her most creatively daring to date.
There's no denying her kinship with country music, but considering Caitlin Rose solely as a country singer neglects the breadth of her resourcefulness.
The Mac will hit the road next week, and this 1977 classic is mostly why they still generate a buzz and draw arena-sized audiences.
More than just an album, Tell Tale Signs is a revelation.
With her debut album, Nomad, singer/songwriter Anna Rose begins her journey on solid ground.
While not for the casual fan, Archives, Vol. 1 yields a mind-bending, magnificent portrait of the artist as a young man.
Kitchell reflects a uniquely exceptional talent operating within a realm entirely of her own making.
On his fifth solo album, the music legend is at his most reflective and affecting.
These recordings reveal an emerging artist on the threshold of her sweet spot, an icon on the cusp of history.
Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Ronnie Wood opts to rock.
The 17-year-old starlet not only lacks any hint of individuality here, but substance as well.