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Interview with Bassist Mark Egan

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Interview with Bassist Mark Egan

Bassist Mark Egan…

Many of you will remember the interview Steve Gregory did with iconic bassist Mark Egan back in 2018.

Since then Mark has been incredibly busy touring (pre-COVID), and has just launched his new album for our listening pleasure. “Electric Blue” is the culmination of an ongoing musical relationship that has lasted nearly half a century between Mark and drummer Danny Gottlieb. (See track by track breakdown below!)

Electric Blue

Available now on CD and vinyl on Wavetone Records

We got a chance to give this fabulous collection a listen before the September release and you can see what we thought about it in our “Music On Our Radar” feature.

Join us as Mark shares the interesting details around this project, his gear, record label Wavetone Records, and plans for the future.

A Track by Track Breakdown of Electric Blue by Mark Egan:

1. “Back and Forth” — This song started with a multi-tracked drum/percussion groove. We then added a groove fretted bass line, a fretted bass comping bass part, then a soloing fretless bass. The form was derived from the Fibonacci Sequence also known as the Golden ratio, a special number approximately equal to 1.618 that appears many times in geometry, art, architecture and nature. By taking the total number of measures and multiplying by the golden ratio and repeating that process several times, we came up with different sections where we placed the chord changes.

2. “Cabareté” — This is a song that was previously recorded on my trio record, About Now, with Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Mitch Forman. It’s a song that was inspired by a trip to the Dominican Republic to perform with Elements in the town of Cabareté and it captures the spirit of the people and scene there. We thought it would be a good vehicle for improvisation and have always enjoyed playing it as a duo.

3. “Down The Road” — Danny started this laid back groove on brushes and drum kit with overdubbed cymbals and we came up with this chord form with me playing a fretless groove part for the basic track. An additional fretless solo bass part was overdubbed.

4. “Electric Blue” — The title track of the project is an improvisation with a drum feature that was first recorded as duo with just drums and bass. Danny overdubbed two tracks of shakers. The track has a very wide dynamic range and features Danny’s powerful open groove playing.

5. “Come What May” — The basic groove was recorded with drums and bass as an improvisation. A fretless solo was overdubbed as well as bass harmonics.

6. “Blue Sound Bath” — This is another example of our duo improvising where we discuss a general mood and direction and then just go…. The last part features Danny’s signature cymbal playing with bass harmonics.

7. “Hookey” — This is a short and playful groove that we put together in the studio. It starts and ends with an 8th note bass line that serves as a melody than is a vehicle for a bass solo and interplay in a punky sort of groove.

8. “Offering” — The closing track is a multi-tracked improvised piece. The original tracks are drums and double-neck bass with digital delayed loops. Another bass melody track on double-neck bass was overdubbed along with cymbals and percussion. We have recorded tracks like this with our group Elements and we wanted to record a similar mood as a duo. 

Electric Blue available now on CD and vinyl on Wavetone Records

For more information, visit online at markegan.com

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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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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

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024

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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:

www.Styxworld.com
FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass CDs

New Album: Ross Valory Debut Solo Album, All Of The Above + First Single

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New Album: Ross Valory Debut Solo Album, All Of The Above + First Single

Ross Valory, All Of The Above + First Single…

ROSS VALORY, regarded as one of rock’s best bass guitarists and an original member of the multi-platinum band Journey until his 2020 departure, returns today (January 17) with the video for “Tomland.” It’s the hypnotic first single from the bassist and songwriter’s debut solo album ALL OF THE ABOVE due out this April (exact date TBA) on OID Music. Watch the movingly atmospheric video, directed by Michael CottenHERE for the single which is out this Friday (January 19).

Penned by VALORY, the all-instrumental “Tomland” marks the second piece recorded for the project—and the first done entirely at his new studio in the East Bay area of Northern California. The track builds to a ripping, climactic solo by red-hot guitarist Miles Schon, drummer Prairie Prince and keyboardist Eric Levy. VALORY had the basic parts kicking around since shortly after leaving the Steve Miller Band in 1972, a bluesy set of chords that roll into each other mellifluously, something he had jammed on a lot over the years. He pulled it out to fashion a piece that not only recalls the passing of collaboratorTom Size (accomplished engineer known for his work with Mr. Big, Y&T, and Aerosmith), but also offers an affirmation of resolve to move forward, the sunlight of optimism illuminating the process.  

ROSS VALORY always had pieces of music tucked away that he had written, although songwriting contributions to Journey slipped away after the first three “experimental” albums. As a member of Journey, VALORY concentrated on shaping the rhythm section and contributing his baritone vocals to the background blend.

During the band’s second coming following the 1995 reunion album Trial By Fire, VALORY began sorting through his files and polishing up some of his old notes. In between tour dates, he pulled together a tight-knit group of collaborators and slowly began to finish what he started. After a lifetime in music, VALORY scrupulously etched ALL OF THE ABOVE. The album was produced by VALORY and co-produced by Jacob Stowe and Eric Levy.

VALORY developed a repertory company of musicians over the years that came together at his studio. He cultivated individual numbers like sprawling projects, experimenting with different arrangements played by an assortment of musicians. Sometimes spending years jamming on these ideas, the pieces took shape slowly. Different ideas were tried and discarded, remodeled and refurbished. The basic concept was to find the heart of the material and expand upon it until VALORY could refine and shape the music’s path to his supreme satisfaction. He cast specific musicians to specific parts. The studio became his laboratory and the compositions his experiments.

From the Latin-fired intensity of “Wild Kingdom” to the ethereal dirge of “No One Wins a War,” the raucous party on “Low Rider” or the brilliant reprise ofSantana’s “Incident of Neshabur,” the album presents an evolved artist fully in command of his vision, a lifetime of experience behind the project, augmenting his core associates with guest musicians such as Gregg Errico ofSly & the Family Stone, drummer Steve Smith, and saxophonist Marc Russo. The nine tracks on the album represent the full maturity of VALORY’s musical gifts, cutting a broad swath through the instrumental territory the music travels. He plays keyboards, guitar, and, of course, many basses in a display of cultivated virtuosity across a palette far broader than could be found in his work with Journey. He is stepping out from behind his bass and, for the first time in his more than half-century as a professional musician, representing his vision and his compositions.

VALORY left Journey in 2020 and the band members worked out their issues in a peaceful mediated settlement. VALORY, who spent most of his life as a member of Journey, has no regrets. He counts his blessings at having spent an amazing career with a remarkable group of musicians who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

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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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