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Bass Musician Magazine: Dec/Jan 2009-2010 Issue Featuring Christian McBride



Christian McBride Interview by Jake Kot –

When I first did an interview with Christian a couple of years ago, he was about to go on a world tour with Pat Metheny. Not long after that, he went on tour again with, as Christian states, one of the best bands he has ever worked with, The 5 Piece Band featuring Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Kenny Garret, and Vinnie Colaiuta.

Following that, he created his latest to entity called “Inside Straight” featuring Eric Reed, Warren Wolf, Steve Wilson, and Carl Allen, and went on tour with them as well as completing the band’s first CD, Kind of Brown. This prestigious player definitely gets around, not only globally, but musically and artistically in every sense of the word.

His penchant diversity is more than obvious, and his dedication to absolutely any style of music he undertakes is unquestioned. This is truly a 21st century player that has all the capabilities of staying a cutting edge player, and balances that with a deep respect for the jazz traditions laid down by our musical forefathers in that idiom. His compositional prowess is an equal match to his diversity as a player as he has written for everything from the traditional trio format to a big band ensemble, and has received nothing but praise from the jazz community for his efforts.

His reflections on what a younger player should be considering are noteworthy in this interview. It takes someone like Christian to be able to have that kind of perspective; a player that has a history of being able to musically interact with so many icons in so many genres so successfully over the years. And once again I’m reminded that the true greats in our musical community embrace the words humble/egoless almost as an ideology, as well as keeping the perspective of remaining a student of the arts an absolute “ongoing” life quest. These are the qualities of a “consummate” musician, and that’s where he lives.

Jake: How did you come up with the lineup of musicians for the Inside Straight band?

Christian: A couple of years ago I was hanging out at the Village Vanguard and it occurred to me that I hadn’t played there in ten years as a band leader, and that’s a big no-no. If you consider yourself a self-respecting jazz musician, the Village Vanguard is one of those havens where you must perform to ‘check in with the angels’ so to speak. I went to the owner, Loraine Gordon, and said, “it’s been so long since I played here, can I come back?” And she said, absolutely, you can come back, but I know those guys in your current band and we don’t book rock and roll in here. (Laughs) I knew what that meant, that’s hallow-ground for straight-ahead jazz—no fusion in the Vanguard.

Jake: Was that the CMB band that she was referring to?

Christian: That’s right. So I put together some Vanguard regulars. There’s a younger guy, I’ve been in love with his playing for a while, his name is Warren Wolf, a vibes player, and also Steve Wilson, Carl Allen, and Eric Reed. These guys are always playing the Vanguard—they’re like New York staples. So I put that band together thinking we would just play one week at the Vanguard, and then go our own separate ways, back to what we were all doing. But the week was sensational. We did amazing business, and all the guys in the band had fun. A few record industry people came down and they said whatever happens you have to keep this band together. All the guys in the band seemed to agree, and a year later we recorded Kind of Brown, and the year after that it was released, which is this year, and we pretty much have been on the road ever since.

Jake: I know you composed eight of the eleven tracks for the CD and I was wondering if the writing preceded the band. But it looks like it was the other way around.

Christian: There was a song that I had already written, The Shade of the Cedar Tree—that was actually a song from my first CD. I thought it would be a good time to re-record it. Other than that I believe everything else was brand new.

Jake: Who else contributed to the writing for the CD?

Christian: Eric Reed wrote one of the songs, I recorded one of Freddie Hubbard’s lesser-known songs called Theme for Kareem, and we recorded an old standard called, “Where are You.”

Jake: Is it true that you got the name for the band in a “Name that Band” contest?

Christian: That’s correct, at the Monterey Jazz Festival. After we played the Vanguard, we didn’t play together for another year. We had two gigs, one in Brazil, and the Monterey Jazz festival. We played the festival on Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday we announced that we’re having a name the band contest, and everyone could submit a band name to my website, and we would check them overnight and name the winner on Sunday. In that 24 HR period, we had over 3000 entries, and my manager and I knew that there was no way in the world we were going to be able to go through this overnight. We figured we needed about a week to go through everything. We finally settled on Inside Straight. Stylistically speaking, it seemed to sum up the band perfectly.

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

Visit online:
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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Bass Videos

Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023



Suzi Quatro, Eternal Powerhouse – November 2023

Interview With Bassist Suzi Quatro…


It is always exciting to have the opportunity to talk to an artist who has been prolific for decades.

Suzi Quatro has been rocking our world since the sixties and has been super-creative as a bassist, musician, actress, singer, songwriter, author, radio show host and so much more. Most recently, Suzi released a new album titled “Face to Face” where she joined forces with KT Tunstall and together they are a force of nature. (See our video with Suzi about the album release)

Join me as we hear about Suzi’s musical journey, her many projects, how she gets her sound and her plans for the future.

Here is Suzi Quatro…

Suzi Quatro & KT Tunstall – “Truth As My Weapon” (Official Music Video)

“Shine A Light” music video (from the upcoming album)

“Bad Moon Rising” music video (from 2022):

Bass-Solo / Live in Prah? 1979

Glyserine Queen / Bass solo – Tampere Finland

Follow Online:
IG @suziquatroreal
FB @Suziquatrorocks
TW @Suzi_Quatro

Video – Andrew Whitton
Cover and Header Photo – Courtesy of Suzi Quatro

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Bass Videos

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023



Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End - October 2023

Zach Fowler, Not Just Laying Down the Low End – October 2023

I have been hearing about Zach Fowler’s bass playing since he was in New Mexico. Now, based out of Nashville, Zach is very busy laying down the low end, acting as musical director, writing songs and producing music. He has been very active doing studio work as well as touring with LoCash.

Join me as we hear about Zach’s journey, how he gets his sound, all the details about his new Lakland bass and his plans for the future.

Here is Zach Fowler!

Photos Credits  – Cover, Allee Visuals / In Video –  Matthew Allen, Max Muehlhausen

Typical, run-of-the-mill, slap happy bass solo taken during LOCASH’s performance at the Suwannee River Jam in Live Oak, Florida on May 4, 2018.  Video was shot by David Lehr.

This was part of a series of acoustic performances filmed at the famous Blackbird Studios in Nashville.

LOCASH performs a song from “The Fighters” album called “Shipwrecked.”  This was filmed not long after I joined LOCASH, and I’m using a Carvin PB5 plugged straight into the board via a Countryman DI.

LOCASH performs “One Big Country Song” at the Grand Ole Opry in May 2022.  

We performed the song along with Opry House Band, and the performance was in conjunction with The Beach Boys’ first performance at the Opry (which explains why we’re wearing leis around our necks). I used one of my two PRS Grainger 5-strings plugged directly into the Opry’s house rig, which is made by Aguilar.

One of only two times that I’ve recorded myself playing bass.  

I arranged John Legend’s “Ordinary People” for solo bass, and used my PRS Gary Grainger 5-string plugged into a Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp.  I added a little reverb in Logic to give it a little ambience.  I recorded this right after the COVID shutdown happened.  I’m not too big on recording myself playing bass, so this was somewhat of a rarity, but considering my job had shut down, it felt like a good outlet to keep my name on the radar.  There’s a little gratuitous slapping in there, but mostly because I didn’t have an arrangement for the bridge section that I liked, so I just let loose.

During my time in Albuquerque, I was blessed to perform on two albums by a progressive rock trio by the name of Illustrated Man.  

This song is off of their second album, “Zebra Hotel,” and is coincidentally called “Zebra.”  I recorded this song using a Fender 5-string Precision Bass plugged into an Avalon U5 direct box.

I was with a band called The James Douglas Show for eleven years.  

We put out four studio albums, and this track is off the final album we put out called “9.”  The track, called “Can’t Stop,” was written by our guitar player, Jesse Martinez, and produced by Mike Cee.  As is typical with a lot of R&B tracks, I overdubbed a bass track over an already-existing synth bass line.  I used a Carvin JB5 run into an Avalon U5 direct box.

“Kissing a Girl” is a track off of LOCASH’s album, “Brothers.”  

We recorded a live version of the song at a venue in Minnesota during soundcheck.  The video was shot by David Lehr, and the sound was edited and mixed by our production manager at the time, Evan (“Turbo”) Owen.  It was negative 12 degrees outside in February, which explains why most of the people in the band are wearing beanies on their heads.  I used my main road bass on this track, my white PRS Gary Grainger 5-string, plugged into my Gallien-Krueger PLEX preamp, then into a Radial FireFly direct box.  I used a little bit of compression from my Origin Effects Cali76 compressor pedal, as well as a little bit of added chorus effect from an EBS UniChorus pedal to give it a little bit of a fretless sound.

Follow Online:
IG @zachfowlerbass
FB @ groovemaster82

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