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Rhonda Smith, the Future is Female: September 2020 Issue



Bassist Rhonda Smith

Bassist Rhonda Smith…

It is with great pleasure that I got to interview bassist Rhonda Smith, one of the world’s hottest, most accomplished bass players for this month’s September 2020 cover issue.

She’s so cool that I had to turn her into a cartoon that would represent her personal female power.

Rhonda Smith - Bass Musician Magazine - September 2020.jpg

In these back-to-back interviews, we cover her journey from her past into the future and where we are today in music. And side-note… she will also be the official First Morley girl icon in over 50 years!

The little girl from Halifax, Canada moved to Montreal in order to conquer her musical desires as a female bass player, which was still pretty rare in those days.

 It didn’t take long before she climbed to the top of the Canadian music ladder, working with the top artists that were in the spotlight at the time.

I remember meeting her in her early beginnings and already I could see that she was special, very well-spoken, highly motivated, totally professional, as well as being at the top of her game from the very start.

That attitude, combined with hard work and showing up for her destiny, encountered a meeting with the great Sheila E.

This led to an over ten-year relationship as Prince’s ‘main lady of bass’, where she would get put through the personal boot camp, led by Prince himself.

This was followed by another 10 (and ongoing) years as the bottom-end bass drive of the infamous Jeff Beck.

In this two-part interview, you will really get a deep understanding of all the ins and outs of the beyond-amazing journey of Rhonda Smith. Her advice that comes from decades of persistence and showing up for your true life’s calling, which is exactly what Rhonda is all about – all the time.

In this first part of the interview, we will be discussing what it’s like to be in the veteran camp as well as Rhonda’s early beginnings and her first all-girl band.

We also talk about what it takes to develop trust and loyalty from the world’s most successful artists of all time, followed by a deep dive into what it was like working by Prince’s side for over a decade.

Part 1 of this interview finishes on the note of what is the difference between working with Prince vs Jeff Beck.

This interview has a truly fantastic flow, like two old friends talking that you happen to be able to listen in on. It has some of the most inspiring and unheard stories and advice by the queen of bass herself: Rhonda Smith.

Rhonda Smith | “RS2” : Recommended Listening

Do not forget to watch part 2 as you will be blown away by all that Rhonda Smith has to share with you in this intimate 1-on-1 interview with bass player and artist extraordinaire.

In Part 2 of the interview, we will be discussing how Rhonda’s disciplined approach is very similar to martial arts, as well as adapting to the new world situation as an artist.

We will also find out what Rhonda’s life is all about when she is not playing bass, including embracing technologies within her writing and creative process.

From her love of effects for live and recording, her love of her Prs Private Stock Bass to what she thinks of the power of fashion within her creative expression: it’s all here in glorious detail.

The talk continues with some amazing heartfelt advice for aspiring women and artists alike to live by, in order to achieve their true life’s calling.

The interview concludes with what’s going on with Rhonda Smith right now and moving forward into the future.

I want to thank Rhonda Smith for a beyond-amazing interview and wish her the best on her bass and creative journey in continuing to inspire women and the world with her multiple talents.

Be sure to follow her on all her social media:
Instagram: @rhondasmithbass
Facebook: @Rhonda Smith

Bassist Rhonda Smith Featured Videos:





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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser



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: 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book



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:
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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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 CDs

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



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



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:
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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