Showing posts from May, 2009

An Interview with Bill Barnes

Jan.s: Bill, I believe you grew up in the South...? Were they any direct musical influences from growing up there?

Bill: At first, growing up in North Carolina may have been an impediment- as a kid from Pittsburgh, I had some hard times growing up in a community that was still sore over the civil war. I might add that, even though Monk and Coltrane were Carolina-born, they both escaped. There are certain earthy, folksy attributes unique to the south that left a mark on my playing.

Back in the 1950s, radio and TV ran a lot of local artists, mostly in the country or R&B genres, and that had to have rubbed off. Still, there wasn’t much jazz in my life until I was well into my teens. My first jazz guitar influence was Kenny Burrell- prior to him, it was all rock ‘n roll, R & B, the Barkays and, of course, Stax session guitarist Steve Cropper.

Jan.s: By the late sixties you were working with musicians who were driving more than half the teenager population into reckless he…

An Interview with Evie Pikler

Jan.s: Evie, we go back a long time, back to the 1960s but I want to begin at a later period, in 1980 when you invited me to visit you in Paris. I've an image in mind of both you and I on the Champs Elysees and then squeezing backstage into a tiny dressing room where you were preparing to go on stage...tell us about this place and what you were doing in Paris? Why Paris?

Evie: The club you mentioned was called La Villa D'Este.

In 1968 I visited my sister living in Paris to pursue a modelling career and auditioned for a radio/television show called, ‘La Petite Conservatoire’ which had at its healm a formidable Madame Mireille. She invited me to perform on her show regularly and to tour France. These were my first professional singing jobs and the experience and exposure lead me to a woman, Brigitte Bertholier who was a French music publisher.

She gave me original songs to sing and almost a decade later when I returned she signed me to CBS Epic label to record a song written by …