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This interview with Bill Withers, originally conducted years ago, first ran on Rock Cellar in 2015. In light of Withers’ passing, we’re bringing it back as a snapshot of the man’s impeccable legacy of timeless music. Soul. It’s elusive. It’s intangible. It’s a hugely desired commodity. It’s what separates the men from the boys. It’s magic. And you either have it or you don’t. One man who personifies the essence of soul is the legendary Bill Withers, who will (finally) be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next month. Revered in music circles as one of the…

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It’s 2020, and rock and roll icon Robbie Robertson is busier than ever. A new solo album, Sinematic, acclaimed work on the Martin Scorcese’s mobster film The Irishman and a new career-spanning documentary Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band shine a worthy spotlight on his prodigious creative gift as a storyteller. Join us for an illuminating conversation with Robbie Robertson as he touches on his new solo album, storied work with The Band and much more. Rock Cellar: From the new album, Sinematic, to your work as a solo artist, scoring films and with the Band, your songs have…

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John Lodge Takes His Solo Material and Some of his Hits with the Moody Blues “B Yond” on New Album Often, new circumstances and the normal passage of time can change one’s perspective on music and creative works in general — or just infuse those works with new meaning. That’s been the case with John Lodge, who’s had a storied career as bassist, vocalist, and songwriter for the Moody Blues, in addition to his own effervescent solo career. He’s forged ahead with a new album called B Yond – The Very Best Of, which presents re-recordings and remixes of an…

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“It’s about playing from your heart,” Carlos Santana says about why he believes his music, and remarkable guitar playing, has stood the test of time. “It’s about being gut-bucket honest. For real. No shucking and jiving, no slippin’ and slindin’, no making excuses. You’ve got to give it all you got, from the center of your heart, and be true and be true and be true to every note that you play. That is the requirement for cooking this kind of food: Sincerity and trueness, and playing with intense intensity and with intention. That’s how I play my guitar. You…

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Behind the scenes of every great guitar player is a great guitar tech. They are a guitarist’s safety net and security blanket, their advisor, supervisor, and comrade at arms all rolled into one! Without a reliable technician, a guitarist can feel much less secure in his or her abilities to take the stage and perform at peak efficiency. Granted, guitar techs aren’t necessarily household names, but Trace Foster is a well-known name within these circles (who also just so happens to step into the role of guitar player with his own band) and has been the right–hand man for a…

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Rivaling the mighty Beatles in popularity in the mid-60s, The Dave Clark Five records exploded like an atom bomb detonating out of the speakers. Songs like “Glad All Over,” “Bits & Pieces,” and “Anyway You Want” were proto-hard rock anthems that generated massive success for the band all over the world. Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame inductees tallying over 100 million records sold worldwide, The Dave Clark Five are hailed by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and actor Tom Hanks, to name just a few. Gene Simmons of KISS is such a huge fan that…

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Robby Kreiger and John Densmore of the Doors remember 1970, when the fabled Los Angeles band released Morrison Hotel, played some of its most incendiary shows and began one last, great album together. As 1970 dawned, The Doors were imploding. After his arrest in Miami in March 1969 for allegedly exposing himself to an audience, lead singer Jim Morrison was facing a long, sordid trial, and (after an October 1970 guilty verdict) the very real prospect of jail time. The band, a formidable live unit by that time, were effectively banned from performing as a result of the post-Miami fallout,…

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It’s almost impossible to imagine, but before taking the world by storm with Led Zeppelin, or even as a member of the Yardbirds, guitar legend Jimmy Page was just another kid, inspired by his musical heroes to pick up the guitar. As he tells Rock Cellar in this interview about his earliest days, which took place at Fender’s Custom Shop in California — where Page was visiting to put the finishing touches on the line of bespoke guitars based on the Fender Telecaster gifted to him by childhood friend and fellow guitar legend Jeff Beck, as well as the production…

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Having helmed the excellent 2010 Lennon NYC documentary (stylized LennoNYC), director Michael Epstein’s next immersion into the world, life, times and legacy of John Lennon was chronicling John’s rich creative adventures recording 1971’s Imagine album. The resulting documentary, 2018’s Above Us Only Sky, lends a heretofore unseen window into the creative process, offering expansive and revelatory footage of the session themselves at Ascot Studios and John and Yoko’s activities away from the studio during that period of time. Above Us Only Sky is now available on Blu-ray or DVD. We spoke to Epstein, who shared the back story behind the…

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Noel Gallagher is one of the best interviews in rock and roll. In the countless times we’ve met up since he left Oasis, he’s never been less than willing to talk about anything under the sun, and is always hilarious in his inimitably witty, Mancunian way. But today, although he seems relaxed, he’s nursing, he says, either jetlag or a hangover — or both — and thus leaves his sunglasses on as we sit down for coffees in his New York hotel. We’re here to about his new E.P., Blue Moon Rising, the third in a series that couldn’t be…

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