Tag Archives: podcast

Co-writer of Redneck Yacht Club, recorded by Craig Morgan, reached #2 in Billboard, #1 in R and R, and is a certified gold record.

Redneck Yacht Club

Songwriter Steve Williams Redneck Yacht Club imageI was introduced to country music songwriter Steve Williams, through a friend, Myles Kelly, manager and keyboard player for Rockin’ Chair, a band that covers the Laurel Canyon sound of bands like Eagles; Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; Poco and others. Myles contacted me recently after seeing high school buddy, Steve Williams, preforming with Wil Nance at Nashville’s The Listening Room.

Myles told me that Williams would be performing at a now sold out show with Nance in Festus on January 23rd and suggested I interview him for A Concert Pitch, so I did.

I’ve never been a big fan of country music, but I respect the genre for its popularity and production quality. My musical preference leans more toward the acoustic rock of my youth and, for the past 40 years, jazz. Nonetheless, I have a fascination as an amateur musician with how songs are written and how songwriters work with publishers and artists. This interview was a great opportunity to satisfy my curiosity talking to someone who is making a good living from writing songs, and claims two #1 songs (“Redneck Yacht Club” and “I Get To”) and has songs on 3 gold records!

Steve grew up in St. Louis and cut his musical teeth playing in bars in the area. He left town, played with several bands and ended up in Nashville. He describes how he climbed the ladder in that hub of musicians, venues, publishers, and promoters, then shares deep insights about writing, collaborating, and getting your compositions produced.

View the calendar event for the sold out Song Writer’s Showcase with Wil Nance and Steve Williams.

Steve Williams links:

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Romondo Davis and Randy Mayfield image

Romondo Davis and Randy Mayfield

Randy Mayfield uses his gifts as a musician and songwriter to spread the Gospel. As Pastor of Missions and Outreach at Central Presbyterian Church in Clayton, Missouri, Randy leads missions in St. Louis, nationally, and in many foreign countries.

I’ve known and performed with Randy for over 27 years, and I’m proud to be included in his “All Star Band” of musicians in a concert at Central church at 7 p.m. on Friday, January 15th, 2015. In this episode, we discuss the concert, who’ll be performing, Randy’s background as an entertainer, his Christian ministry, and more.

The concert is FREE and is open to everyone! An offering will be taken to support Central’s Missions and Outreach.

A few days after this interview was recorded, Randy announced that Contemporary Christian Music legend, Scott Wesley Brown will also appear in the concert.

The band for the January 15 concert:

Randy Mayfield – Rhythm guitar/vocals
Sandy Weltman – Harmonica/Uke/Mandolin
Carl Sasse – Lead guitar/mandolin
Chris Sasse – Violin/fiddle
Tim Mauldin – guitar/steel/banjo
Mike Bradenstein – Bass
Romondo Davis – Guitar/percussion/background vocals
Pete Johnson – Drums/background vocals

Opening act: Susan & Patrick Crecelius

Randy Mayfield links:

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Tim Callihan of Spectrum Band imageTim Callihan is the leader of Spectrum, one of the premier private bands in the St. Louis Area. I met Tim four years ago at their gig at the Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce Summer Concert Series at Faust Park. I’ve been following and promoting Spectrum ever since.

Spectrum is so successful — they’re booked well into the future — that they have no time or need to play public events — aside from their Faust Park summer concert which they’ve been doing for 17 years. That’s great for corporate party planners and brides and grooms, but a shame for area residents who love quality music performances. The cohesiveness of the band as a unit, the musicianship of the individual members, the song selection, the arrangements, and their technical presentation are all top notch.

Perhaps we can convince Tim to book them for a show in a public venue like the Playhouse at Westport Plaza. No, too small and no dance floor. I’ll have to work on that. I mean these guys are good.

In this nearly 80-minute interview, we cover subjects including Tim’s recording studio, his career and retirement from Boeing, his support of local music — especially at Jazz at the Bistro, the history and makeup of Spectrum, going the extra mile to assure great sound and lighting, his views on the importance of music education, and his motivation for playing free concerts.

Spectrum Band links:

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Joe Mancuso Voices of St. Louis 2015 imageI consider Joe Mancuso an entertainer right out of the fifties, singing jazz standards of Sinatra, Bennet, Torme and the like. His love and mastery of the standards, his passion for performing, and the classical voice training he received at Webster University puts him in an elite class of jazz musicians in St. Louis. He can be heard performing gigs with some of St. Louis’ greatest jazz sidemen, monthly at Thurman Grill and Nathalie’s, and a special Christmas show December 13th at the Duck Room.

Joe Mancuso links:

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Tony Viviano with Sinatra Records imageI’ve known Tony Viviano since 2002 when he approached me to compile videos of his performances and media interviews on a DVD. Shortly after that he asked me to shoot video of free concert he did with his big band at Bluebird Park in Ellisville, Missouri. Since then, I’ve been seeing Tony perform in a variety of venues, and running into him at other performer’s shows.

Tony was influenced at a young age by his older brothers who brought home and memorized records of the great singers like Frank Sinatra, Louis Prima, Tony Bennet and others. He started performing in high school and soon began getting booked in small clubs around the area. I no time, Tony was doing bigger and more prominent local venues, as well as getting booked into other cities. His versatility in musical styles is impressive as he mixes swing and big band arrangements with popular songs from the fifties to the present.

Tony Viviano links:

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Rocklin' Chair at the Live Room image

Chuck Wade, Myles Kelly, Mike Ehrhard, and Romondo Davis

Featured guests on episode 7 of A Concert Pitch are Myles Kelly, Chuck Wade, and Mike Ehrhard, members of the band, Rockin’ Chair, a band made up of members of two St. Louis bands from the seventies, Mesa and Nickles. Rocklin’ Chair is a reunion band that celebrates the music of bands like Buffalo Springfield, the Byrds, the Band, the Allman Brothers Band, and coming up this Thanksgiving weekend, they’ll be playing two concerts showcasing the music of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Eagles. On Friday, November 27th they’ll be doing a tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. On Saturday evening, the 28th, the show will be a tribute to The Eagles.

Win tickets to Rockin’ Chair’s Thanksgiving weekend concerts at the Playhouse at Westport Plaza (Enter before 8 a.m. Wednesday, November 25th):

Rockin’ Chair links:

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Javier Menoza on A Concert PitchSinger/Songwriter Javier Mendoza was born in Virginia and raised in Spain, but started his career as a musician in St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after began he focusing on writing and performing, he was playing small venues with a fellow musician, Tony Brinkworth. Eventually, Ken Hensley, a founding member of Uriah Heep, discovered Javier while listing to Tony’s demo tape which included songs featuring Javier. When Ken heard Javier on the tape, he wanted to meet him. That led to Javier being signed to a publishing deal with Warner/Chappell. His career was off and running and he walks us through it in this episode of A Concert Pitch.

Javier Mendoza links:

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Dave Beardsley is Co-founder of the National Blues Museum

Dave Beardsley is arguably the greatest advocate for Blues music in the St. Louis area. In my interview with Dave, he tells the story of his rapid climb to the top of Blues promotions that began with him being asked to provide medical services for a Blues festival. Dave is co-founder of the National Blues Museum in St. Louis, the opening date for which was announced a few days after this interview was recorded. We’ll also hear Dave tell about the museum’s genesis and what we can expect to see when it opens on April 2nd at 615 Washington Avenue in downtown St. Louis.

The interview also covers his involvement in Blues education in public schools, St.Louis’ rich Blues history, and how that legacy is being carried on by young Blues musicians.

Relevant Links:

Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Terry Jones Rogers of the duo Rogers & Nienhaus has a long and storied 40-year career that included a stint playing with The Byrds and collaboration with many notable acoustic musicians. In addition to regular performances these days with Rogers & Nienhaus, his performances include tribute concerts featuring the music of CSNY and The Byrds, and in the band The Real Macaws with Supe Granda of the Ozark Mountain Daredevils and Tim Politte of The Byrds.

More information about Terry Jones Rogers:

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This episode of A Concert Pitch features two interviews. The first is with St. Louis born and raised actress, Natalie Wisdom who is currently touring with the musical theater production Matilda at the Fox Theater in St. Louis. She began the interview describing the story which is about a little girl who wasn’t appreciate by her parents but thrived when she connected with her school teacher who became her friend and mother-figure.

Regarding her role in Matilda, Natalie explains that she is a swing, an understudy of all the women in the ensemble, filling in for others adult female actors on personal and sick days.

Natalie graduated from Webster University in 2007 with BFA in Musical Theater. Since then moved to New York and started auditioning and acting in regional theaters. The eventually joined the cast of Billy Elliot the musical for a few years, and had other regional acting jobs before starting on the current Matilda tour.

In the interview we also discussed her dream of opening her own theater company some day, what it means to return to perform in the Fox Theater, and some memories of her experience acting as a child and youth at The Muny.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical runs at the Fox Theater from October 21st to November 1st. Tickets are available on the Fox Theater website.

Stan Gill and Bob Walther Kingdom BrothrsThe second interview segment in this episode features a conversation with Stan Gill, keyboard player with St. Louis-based blues band Kingdom Brothers.

The interview begins with Stan introducing the members of the band, and then describes his development as a musician and how he got started playing in bands right after high school. Then he takes us through his early college years when he spent more time playing music than studying, and ending up being a roadie for seventies rock band Head East. He describes his six years with the band when he eventually had the important responsibilities of stage manager, including interesting points about what takes place behind-the-scenes with a touring band.

The interview continues with Stan recalling bands he played with after his time with Head East, his return to college to graduate and his career as a school teacher. The remainder of the conversation includes a more in-depth look at Kingdom Brothers, their participation and the 2015 International Blues Challenge and his views on St. Louis as a blues town.

More information about Kingdom Brothers:

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