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Into the Great Wide Open, Tom Petty Tribute

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In October, the music world was shaken to its core over the unexpected loss of a truly great songwriter, Tom Petty.

Like so many others, I grew up listening to Tom’s music. One of the first songs I learned on acoustic guitar was “Runnin’ Down a Dream” so his music was a very big part of my musical journey from the beginning and I’ve never forgotten that.

September 25 of this year, my band celebrated my birthday and my drummer Clark’s birthday by going to see Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers at the Hollywood Bowl together. Being a longtime fan, I was thrilled to finally see him in concert. Hitting you with classic song after classic song, Tom’s setlist read almost like a greatest hits album with no filler to run to the concession stand or take a break. It was at that point that I realized what an incredible talent he was to have such a strong and quality catalog to pull from. It’s no wonder he was celebrating a 40 year long career on this tour.

As Tom took a moment to introduce the Heartbreakers towards the end of the show, he shared a quick story how each individual member came to be part of the band.

It felt almost like your uncle or grandfather retelling the glory days of his youth, everyone in the crowd captivated and entertained by these very personal and sometimes humorous tales of how the band came to be. You could sense a very deep respect and brotherhood amongst everyone in the band that as a musician, I appreciated and admired seeing.

As the band came back to the stage for their encore, they first played “Wreck Me” and ended the night and the tour with the fan favorite “American Girl”. When they took their final bows after a successful tour and 3 night residency at the Bowl, the crowd roared and applauded an incredible night of music, not knowing that would be his last.

One week later, the news hits that Tom Petty had passed away and the world responded in a big way.

Tributes poured out from artist and fan alike celebrating Tom’s life and his music. While various artists (including my band Love and a .38) paid our respects in song during concerts, Mary Soracco of Sherman Oaks put together a memorial walk to honor Tom in the San Fernando Valley. As the lyrics of “Free Fallin’” go, “all the vampires walking through the valley move west down Ventura Boulevard.” And that’s exactly what we did. On October 19, a few hundred people gathered at the Sherman Oaks Galleria to celebrate his music. After a moment of silence was taken, myself and a few other guitarists including Tom Petty tribute artist Erik Szabo led the crowd in song as we played and sung “Free Fallin” while we walked together down Ventura.

Once we got back to the Galleria, the crowd didn’t want to leave so we continued to go through Tom’s catalog and performed for two hours. The unity and community I felt with everyone that gathered there was reminiscent of the Beatles’ famous rooftop performance or the U2 video for “Streets With No Name.” There was something so incredibly moving and powerful about all these strangers coming together to laugh, cry and heal through music.

Even as the musicians were interviewed by the LA Weekly about what Tom’s music meant to us and what brought us to come out to the event that night, two of the guitarists introduced themselves to each other to which the reporter quickly asked, “You guys didn’t know each other before this?” I replied “none of us did, and that is the power and beauty of music. It brought us together to play and create together and allow this mass of people the ability to heal and feel a little bit better about this loss.”

While race, religion and other factors may otherwise divide people, we can always count on music to break down those barriers.

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

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Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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