Monday, November 28, 2011

Pheaturing Broni

Hello, and welcome to Cyber Monday here on the Phile, where everything is 75% off. Everything is normally off here anyway, if you know what I mean. A Fox News reporter asked Herman Cain what he thought of President Obama's easing of travel restrictions to Cuba, and Cain accused him of asking a “gotcha” question. That's when you know things are bad: When you're attacking Fox News for being part of the liberal media. Energy Secretary Stephen Chu testified before Congress the other day that he thought it was a good idea to lend $535 million of our tax dollars to the solar panel company Solyndra right before they went bankrupt. If he'd taken all of that money, put it in a big pile and set it on fire, it would have produced more energy than Solyndra. There are 249 millionaires in Congress. Remember a couple of years ago when this new Congress told us they had the solution to the recession? Apparently, they didn't share it with the rest of us. The latest fashion trend in Hong Kong is eyeglasses without any lenses in them. People just wear the frames. The feeling is that they make you intelligent, even though they're totally useless. Kind of like the congressional supercommittee. Speaking of the it looks like the supercommittee chosen by President Obama to come up with a plan to solve the deficit has failed. The best idea they came up with? A bake sale. Don't worry, President Obama has announced a new plan. Next week, he's appointing a super duper committee. Officials in New York City have arrested an al-Qaida sympathizer for allegedly planning a terrorist attack. You know, I hope al-Qaida gets the message. If we want to be terrorized over Thanksgiving, we have our relatives come visit us. Police say the suspect is a citizen who was originally from the Dominican Republic. Apparently, officials became suspicious when they found someone from the Dominican Republic living in New York and not playing for the Yankees. Herman Cain is the first Republican presidential candidate to get secret service protection. The level of protection a candidate gets depends on how well-known they are. For example, Jon Huntsman gets a 10-minute judo lesson and a plastic whistle. Did you hear this, Bernie Fine was fired Sunday by Syracuse University after a third man accused the assistant basketball coach of molesting him nine years ago? Guess he wasn't so Fine after all. Well, yesterday we wen to see The Muppets and I am glad to say it didn't make me cry like Toy Story 3 did. I am glad to say that there's a Kermit inspirational poster available. Take a look...

People keep telling me I should see the show "The Walking Dead". I haven't but when I saw this poster I might start watching it.

Today's guest is from Australia and that makes me think, if you look at the concave side of spoon in Australia will everything be normal? 

There is a plot. And it's an old one. A new character comes along and joins an established team, everybody learns to appreciate the new character and, in a moment of crisis, he helps save the day. The new character is Walter, the world's biggest Muppet fan who also happens to be a Muppet even if he hasn't yet learned to see himself the way he sees his heroes. Walter's brother Gary (Jason Segel, not adopted by the way, they're just brothers, because Muppets aren't puppets, they're real, got it?) and Gary's girlfriend Mary (Amy Adams) leave their home of Smalltown, after an elaborate, buoyant, bar-setting musical number involving the entire town, for a vacation in Los Angeles. They're on a Muppet pilgrimage, but what they don't understand is that the Muppets aren't exactly living as a happy, unified gang anymore. For unknown reasons, the most entertaining group in the world has gone their separate ways. Kermit is holed up in his mansion, Fozzy works at a casino in a sketchy Muppet tribute band, Gonzo sells plumbing fixtures, Rowlf lies around in a hammock and Piggy is, naturellement, the editor of 'Paris Vogue'. Walter's job? Get everybody in the same room again, preferably telling jokes and singing "Rainbow Connection." The dissolution of the clan is a nod to a lot of factors that have plagued the off-screen Muppets over the past decade: the death of Jim Henson, a diminished overall presence in popular culture and, when projects do come along, a worried sense that they aren't firing on all cylinders, that their glory days are behind them. By the way, at the end of the movie when they are all dancing in the street outside the Muppet theater there's a banner with a picture of Jim Henson on it. But that's over. They're back in excellent form, honoring the legacy built by Henson, and moviegoers and longtime Muppet nerds owe a debt of gratitude to Muppet superfan Segel for having the nerve to keep asking for a shot at making a film with them. Because all old-timer grumbling aside (Frank Oz is, from all accounts, not pleased) this is not only the perfect Muppet reunion, it feels like a shot of happiness vitamins.
The Muppets job is a tricky one. They have to make you laugh, whether you're an adult or a child, and they have to do it with gags that operate on a level of kid innocence and adult sophistication without pandering, inappropriate innuendo or double-entendre. And the creative team behind the felt and fake fur, both the veterans and the newcomers, feel perfectly in tune with each other, not only effectively rebooting these characters but also re-earning all the love that fans feel for them. They work clean, they work smart and they do it all with a crazy enthusiasm that, instead of wearing you down or grating on your nerves, leaves you feeling energized. Putting it plainly, it's the best family film and one of the best mainstream American films of this year. It's genuinely witty, funny and moving, a reminder that flying solo is fine but that friends are the ones who love you, teach you about yourself and help you find your way. It's also a lesson in how a big "event" movie can deliver real joy, something they often forget to do in the rush to "brand" and sell whatever tie-in products the studio has lined up in its ancillary revenue campaign. So no worries. Old Muppet fans will do cartwheels, new kid fans will learn the magic of that felt and fake fur, and they'll all want to see it again. I know I do. From 1 to 10 it gets a 10, and I will be buying it on Blu-ray. I already got the soundtrack.

This is the 16th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C....

Jack Boulware will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. 

Okay, today's guest is a singer-songwriter from Australia whose new CD "To Get Her Together Now" is now available from iTunes. He'll be next appearing tomorrow at Open Mic at The Wesley Anne Melbourne, Australia. So, if you're in town. Shit, why can't it be Melbourne, Florida? Anyway, please welcome to the Phile... Broni.

Me: Hello, Broni, welcome to the Phile, sir. How are you?

Broni: Hello. thank you for having me... and I'm okay. The chocolate milk I just consumed may have had too much chocolate in it... which I didn't think was possible.

Me: You're from Melbourne, Australia, right? Have you heard of the bands from there called The On Fires or Little Red? The On Fires were on the Phile before and I am trying to get Little Red here.

Broni: I know Little Red, yeah. A bunch of my friends are super in love with them... claim to have "known them before they were successful". Haha. But The On Fires unfortunately no...

Me: I have to ask, is Broni your first name or last name?

Broni: Well... It's my first name. Well, my only name really if I had it my way I'd be like Madonna and Cher... why don't they get questioned?

Me: They would if they were here. Alright, let's talk about your music, which I love. Your first album was called "Every Thought I've Had Since I Was 10". Wow, what a long album name. That must of been a lot of thoughts, Broni. How old were you when that album came out?

Broni: Oh thank you. Super glad you like it. I was 24 when that album was released. I started making it at 23, but the oldest song on it I wrote when I was 14. It has that name because it certainly felt like I was finally exhaling from my teens. All that pent up adolescence and the tiny life moments that meant the world to me. The title comes from the first line of the last song which was referring to the whole album "I've thrown this together to try and retrace every thought i've had since I was 10". I wanted to tip my hat to the period of life that made me want to write songs.

Me: Your new album is called "To Get Her Together Now" which I love. Great album! So, is that title about anyone in particular?

Broni: The most common question I get is "did you get her?" Hehe... which for those who have seen me live would know that the title track of the album was actually about my girlfriend in grade 6... when I was 12. Because I wrote her a letter to win her back but like a silly pre teen I forgot to stamp it, and consequently never got a response. I only realised it was because i didn't stamp it when I was stamping my 18th Birthday invitations, obviously 6 years later. If you wanna hear me tell the story theres a video here:

Me: How did that song get to be the album title, Broni?

Broni: Oh, in terms of the album It's actually supposed to convey a story of a guy who finally feels like he's getting his life together. So 'her' is referring to life... and I just need to get it together. Which I think is demonstrated in the songs. It just happened to be a perfect fit for the song. At least I think so.

Me: Where was that album recorded and how do you compare it to the first album?

Broni: That's an awesome question. The first album to me was a huge leap forward from everything I'd done before, but it's still very immature... Though I love the songs and their sentiments I feel I've outgrown the performances. So it was my mission to perform the second album much better and I think I achieved that. I'm really proud of both for different reasons. Though gun to my head, 'to get her together' is a better, more cohesive record. I'm looking forward to stepping up again though. We recorded the drums at Sing Sing studios in Melbourne, My drummer amazingly nailed them all in about 6 hours. Which was lucky because he left for Europe the very next day. And the rest of the album we completed on a farm about an hour out of the city. It was a splendid experience. Except for the spiderwebs in the kettle.

Me: You are a brilliant songwriter. How long does it take for you to write one song?

Broni: Oh wow, thank you. I'm constantly learning so that means a lot to hear that. Um, I think my 'best' songs or at least the ones I am most proud of tend to fall together pretty quickly. I mean, less than half an hour, which is why I sometimes reference and firmly believe that often the universe is writing it for me. It was a song that needed to exist and I'm just the conduit for that particular tune. Others I've slaved over for hours and days... but you know what happens? People don't tend to hear those ones... The ones you hear came out pretty naturally.

Me: What was the name of the first song you have ever written and ow old were you when you wrote it?

Broni: Haha. It was called "Ugly Face". I was 10 years old in a band with my 8 year old neighbour called TOILET WATER. We sent our tracks on cassette to Triple J because we thought they were hilarious. All they were good for was playing them at my neighbours 21st birthday as he was the winy baby singer. I'll give you a sample. "No offence but I just don't like you, it's not your ugly face, it's the way you talk. actually... I'm just joking... it's your ugly face" (and that's the chorus). I still played it till I was about 20, it got the laughs in high school.

Me: I know you play guitar, but what other instruments do you play?

Broni: Right. I 'dabble' on piano. The piano on the album is me but I'm not very good. I was the bass player in a rock band for about 5 years... so I play bass too. I have a violin, I can play the G major scale on it. I also play Omnichord... if you don't know what that is, you need to look it up... best instrument ever.

Me: Do you have a regular band that backs you up?

Broni: I do yeah. I have my brother Speds perpetually by my side on bass guitar and singing harmonies. And My drummer/percussionist/best friend Easy... and my newest friend Boops on guitar and cello. I've had a rotating roster at times of people filling in... and I'm super grateful for people who are happy to get involved, but that's my crew at the moment, keeping at small for the time being, I used to have a keys player and a trumpet player... but it got a little crazy.
Right now I kinda judge the size of the show before I bring the band along.

Me: Have you been to the States yet to play?

Broni: Yes, 3 times. My second home is San Diego, California. I love doing the coffee house circuit and playing house shows over there.

Me: I have to ask you about this... I read that you do personal singing telegrams. Do you show up to people's houses?

Broni: Haha, Yes I do that. Most of the times it's purchased as a gift for people, I'm rarely doing it for the person who requested it. But basically it is hand delivery of my album. I play a song for them and who ever is home on their doorstep then I hand them whatever merchandise item or CD is being delivered and I leave. It's funny. I love it.

Me: What songs do you perform?

Broni: At their door? 

Me: Yeah.

Broni: Usually whatever is requested, often the person who books me knows that persons favourite and I play that.

Me: Do people enjoy it when you do that?

Broni: Haha I think so. I kinda keep it short and I don't stick around to chat. I just think it's a fun quirky thing to offer. When has a band or artist ever hand delivered that album to you? Haha. I hope they like it. I'm sure it's sometimes awkward.

Me: How far have you traveled to do that?

Broni: Not very far. About 75km. I've only done a handful.

Me: I bet you'll charge a lot, especially if I wanted you to come here to Clermont, Florida to do a personal singing telegram. Have you ever been to Florida?

Broni: Haha... yes, well generally it's only my wallet that stops me... I'd be there to do it for you in a second if I could be, but I've been asked before and unfortunately I have to charge the price of the plane ticket plus more obviously... at which point obviously it never happens because people aren't crazy. I've never been to Florida, no... but find me an audience and we'll do a house show.

Me: I wish Kelly Clarkson would personal singing telegrams. I would order a CD from her every weekend. Broni, who are your influences music wise? Rolf Harris?

Broni: Rolf Harris? Hahaha. I get that a lot in the U.S. His use of the wobble board in particular really shaped my career. My biggest influence is Life... It's crazy! Haha. But seriously, at the moment, Brett Dennen and Ray Lamontagne are blowing my mind. Yet I'm most influenced by those around me who are making incredible music in tiny nooks of the world and no one knows about it... they influence and inspire me the most.

Me: You have a podcast I have to mention. Is that available on iTunes? What is it called?

Broni: It certainly is available on iTunes. It's called "Broni Bothers". It's only just started, and it's basically me talking to other creative and driven folk who are just trying to get by with their art. It's sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always pretty informative I suppose. A great place for young musicians seeking some real stories to draw their ideas from in terms of how to approach getting themselves out there.

Me: Do you sing on it, or just talk? What kinda stuff do you talk about?

Broni: We just talk, and it's mostly about promoting the guest, you won't hear my music on there. I usually do a little update about whats going on in my life and then we get straight into the chat with the guest, we talk about the entertainment industry, and writing songs and all the ebbs and flows that come with our chosen path.

Me: So, what's next for you, Broni? When your next project comes out I hope you'll come back onto the Phile.

Broni: I certainly will, it's been a great in depth interview, I appreciate the effort you went to.... For me I have 2 things in the pipeline besides three small tours I'm doing between now and the end of the year. Firstly, early next year I'll be making a live record and DVD which I'm super excited about. And secondly, we are already rehearsing for the 3rd Studio album and I'm really excited about the songs. 

Me: I hope this was fun, and I am a big fan, sir. Go ahead and plug all your sites like Facebook, Twitter and everything. And please come back again soon. All the best, and continued success.

Broni: Thanks so much, i'm really glad I was interviewed by a fan. And you can find me on Jango radio and Last FM and iTunes and all that nonsense.... Google me it's all there, I'm finally ranked number 1 on Google... beating out the province in Italy named Broni... finally. Haha. Thanks so much, dude!! Keep on smiling!

Well, that about does it. Thanks to Broni for a great interview. I hope he comes back on the Phile soon. Okay, the Phile will be back next Sunday with Amber Nash from the duo Shiny and the Spoon and then on Monday it's Blues legend Pete Brown. Then starting that week the Phile will start to be updated three times a week. Wednesday's, Sunday's and Monday's, and on that Wednesday it's Ron Sexsmith, people. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Pheaturing Reid Paley From Paley & Francis

Hello, and welcome to another entry of the Peverett Phile, I am your host Jason "I Can't Wait To See The Muppets Later Today" Peverett. How are you? Some people like me are excited about the Muppet film, others are excited about that Twilight film. Twilight is not for me. I understand that. I'm too old. That explains the weird looks I get when I shop at Hot Topic. Twilight is for young people, but that's why I don't like it. It sends a bad message. It teaches young people that vampires have feelings and werewolves are sexy. I hate the fact that the Twilight vampires don't turn into bats. That's so unrealistic. Everyone knows in real life, vampires turn into bats. I feel a strong connection to the Muppets because I myself am merely a puppet of the mighty Disney corporation. Ha! I am just kidding. Disney is the greatest company to work for... ever. I do feel like a puppet though. The word "Muppet" is a combination of "marionette" and "puppet,” just like the word “mobster” is a combination of "man" and "lobster.” It means all of us have the capacity to end organized crime by simply dipping our local mafia boss in butter and devouring him. Recently President Obama went on a 9 day trip to Asia. Well, he got to see some stuff he never sees at home, like jobs. Last week in New Hampshire, Herman Cain said that presidents don't need to know every detail of every country in the world and he said he's going to take that message across America to all 30 states. Cain said that we should focus on our neighbor to the south, Mexico, and our neighbor to the north, Cold Mexico. Last week, a Delta pilot caused a security alert after he got stuck in an airplane bathroom. But don't worry. The guy who couldn't figure out a door handle eventually got out and went back to flying a giant airplane. I don't know how many Repubican debates they have been but there's about 12 more to go. The plan, I think, is to keep debating until somebody recognizes Rick Santorum on the street. Mitt Romney admitted in an interview, "I tasted a beer and tried a cigarette once as a wayward teenager and never did it again." This has the makings of the lamest "Behind the Music" special yet. If you think that's bad, Jon Huntsman is now admitting that in college he experimented with parting his hair to the left. The star of the last debate was Herman Cain. He didn't talk much because the debate was about national defense and his area of expertise is pizza. There's talk that Facebook is building its own smart phone. Not to be outdone, there's talk that MySpace is refurbishing an old beeper. Speaking of Facebook, a recent survey showed that the average Facebook user has never met 7 percent of their friends. The article came up in my newsfeed from my friend, the Dalai Lama. Microsoft is apparently designing rooms for a hotel in France. You can tell the rooms are from Microsoft. Every time you open the window, they just freeze and need to be reinstalled. Alright, I mentioned The Muppets, the new movie I cannot wait to see. I was told by friends if I cried at the end of Toy Story 3 I am gonna cry during this film. I thought, what could the Muppets do that could possibly make me cry? And then I saw this screenshot...

Fuck, I am crying already. Speaking of Henson, even though he had passed they are still using him in the ads for the film.

That's so funny. See, this is like the Muppets, we'll make you laugh and cry and laugh again. I am such a big Muppet fan I was excited to see they have an inspirational poster.

I have no idea why the guys from "Mystery Science 3000" are in it. I didn't notice that before. 

Okay, from the home office in Port Jefferson, here is this week's...

Top Ten Muppet Pet Peeves (This one's for you, Leila)
10. Plushies.
9. Kermit's bacon breath. 
8. That annoying buzzer on the cool down cycle. 
7. Velcro.
6. Using the bathroom after Snuffleupagus. 
5. Not being invited to Bert and Ernie's fabulous wedding in the Hamptons. 
4. Competing group of odd creatures: the Republican candidates. 
3. 1% of monsters get 99% of cookies. 
2. That hack Elmo. 
And the number one Muppet pet peeve is...
1. Cold hands.

It's Sunday, and like every Sunday I invite my good friend Jeff to the Phile and we talk football. So, once again, it's time for...

Me: hello, Jeff, welcome back to the Phile, happy belated Thanksgiving.

Jeff: Happy belated Thanksgiving to the Phile as well.

Me: What's the big news for football this week?

Jeff: The biggest news of the week was the QB shuffle that is going on. A lot of QB's got hurt last week, with some of them injured for the year. Kyle Orton was released by Denver thanks to your wife's man, Tebow. The Bears starting QB got injured so a lot of people expected Orton to wind up back in Chicago, instead he was signed by Kansas City to replace injured QB Matt Cassell. Michael Vick missed last week against the Giants, but Vince Young led Philadelphia to victory. The Colts are still winless. It's really amazing how much one man (or in this case one Manning) means to one team. They would be one of the teams to beat if Peyton wasn't injured.

Me: Have you heard of tebowing? You need to Tebow, Jeff. That's what the Phile needs. Okay, how did we do last week? 

Jeff: The Giants lost this week, and the Steelers had the bye week. Meanwhile I went 2-0 while you went 1-1. So I am leading by a score of 26-24.

Me: You're winning? That's not right. LOL. Okay, Jeff,  what are your picks this week?

Jeff:  I am going to pick Houston over Jacksonville by seven points and the Bengals over the Browns by 3.

Me: That was my pick. I am gonna say Houston will beat the Jags by ten, not seven. And the two other NY teams are playing against each other so I say the Jets by 12. This is an elimination game of some sort. The loser will be out of the playoff race.

Jeff: I don't know where you saw the NY teams playing each other but the Giants are playing New Orleans, not New York Jets. The Jets meanwhile play Buffalo, the loser of that game is indeed pretty much out of the playoffs.

Me: That's what I meant, Buffalo against the Jets. Buffalo is in New York, right? Sheesh. The Jets will beat Buffalo by 12.

Jeff: Well yes, Buffalo is in New York. But when you say both New York teams are playing each other... so ha! Nice cover up though.

Me: I thought so. Thanks, Jeff, great job as usual, even though you're winning now. Oh, I have to ask you being a wrestling fan what do you think of the Rock going back in the ring? Were you surprised?

Jeff: I wasn't surprised by the Rock's return to the ring after seven years away from the ring. It should be interesting as the build to the Main Event at Wrestlemania featuring the Rock going one on one with John Cena.

Me: Thanks, Jeff, see you next week.

This is the 16th book to be pheatured in the Peverett Phile Book Club...

Jack Boulware, one of the author's will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Today's guest is an American singer, songwriter, and musician who has been performing and recording both solo and with his trio since the mid 1990s. His latest album "Paley & Francis" a collaboration with Black Francis is available now in stores, Amazon and iTunes. He'll be next appearing at Grey Horse Tavern in Bayport Long Island on January 6th. Please welcome to the Phile... Reid Paley.

Me: Hello, Reid, welcome to the Phile. I have to say what a pleasure it is to have you here, sir. How are you?

Reid: Thanks. Happy to be here.

Me: You're from New York, right? Have you lived there all your life? 

Reid: Much of it. I was born in Brooklyn, and that’s where I live. It’s a paradise.

Me: I just listened to your album "Paley & Francis" which I downloaded from iTunes and I loved it. For the readers that don't know, tell them who Francis is.

Reid: Glad you like it. That’d be Black Francis a.k.a. Frank Black, or as he sometimes puts it, that guy from the Pixies.

Me: How long have you known Frank? 

Reid: A long time.

Me: Where did you first meet him, Reid?

Reid: That’d be at a venue called Green Street Station in Boston. The Pixies were opening for my old band. They were new. And really fucking good.

Me: Before go into the new album, I have to ask you about the band The Five you were in. That band wasn't based in New York, but Boston, right? 

Reid: Pittsburgh, then Boston.

Me: The Five was described as post punk blues band from hell. How long did the band stay together, and what led to the break up?

Reid: That’d be about seven years, and I broke it up. Call it creative differences.

Me: Would you ever do a The Five reunion?

Reid: Nope.

Me: You had a trio band as well, am I right? Who was in the band with you, Reid?

Reid: Let’s put that in the present tense. I have a trio, and who is in the band would be Mr. Eric Eble on the Czechoslovakian upright bass, and Mr. James Murray working the trap kit. The albums “Approximate Hellhound” and “Revival” are trio albums.

Me: Okay, let's talk about "Paley & Francis", the new album. Is this the first that you guys recorded together under the name Paley and Francis?

Reid: Yes it is. It’s the first Paley & Francis album. But it’s by no means the first time we’ve collaborated on songs.

Me: Did both of you write the songs together and take turns singing, Reid?

Reid: That’s one way of putting it. We wrote the music for the songs in my apartment in Brooklyn over three afternoons when he was in New York for a three day run at Joe's Pub. After which we each took half of the songs to finish off with lyrics, and he went off to meet what he sometimes likes to call “the old band” for another tour. A few days later, we were recording at Jon Tiven’s studio in Nashville. We each sang lead on the songs we wrote lyrics for and sang backup on the others.

Me: Frank has been busy with his band Pixies, so how did you work around that schedule?

Reid: He’s a busy guy, so when there’s time we work fast. He had Pixies shows each evening of the two recording days, so we had a curfew.

Me: The album was produced by Jon Tiven like you said. Jon was a good friend of my dad's and who was also interviewed on the Phile in the past. Did you know Jon before hand? My dad would've liked your album by the way.

Reid: Now that’s a compliment. Thank you. I’d met Jon before, through Mr. Francis.

Me: Was the album recorded in his Nashville studio?

Reid: That it was.

Me: Reid, who else plays on the album with you guys?

Reid: The core unit on the album is the two of us singing and playing guitars, with Muscle Shoals legends David Hood on bass and Spooner Oldham on piano.

Me: And will you both be touring together? If so, you have to come down to Orlando.

Reid: Sure, with any luck there’ll be some Paley & Francis roadwork. Time will tell.

Me: I have a few readers who are musicians and like to know about the instruments some of my guests play, and I often fail to ask. You mostly play a Gretsch, right? Is there one certain model you like, and what year is it?

Reid: Live and in the studio, with the trio and solo, I’ve always played the Gretsch. It’s a 1955 Electromatic archtop, like myself born in Brooklyn. For the Paley & Francis stuff, I’m playing the ‘62 Gibson SG. For the guitar geeks out there, cherry finish with a dog-ear p90.

Me: How did you choose that brand of guitar to be the one you like to play?

Reid: I don’t have a lot of guitars. We’re kind of like friends: A combination of common ground, happenstance, and choosing each other. So the decision’s already been made.

Me: Reid, thanks so much for being on the Phile. I hope you will come back when your next project comes out. Tell Frank I said hello and maybe he could be a guest on the Phile. Go ahead and plug your website and I wish you continued success. Take care.

Reid: Thanks. The relevant websites are and And the "Paley & Francis" album is out on Sonic Unyon in the US & Canada, and on Cooking Vinyl in the UK & Europe. Now go get it.

That about does it for another entry of the Phile. Thanks to Jeff and of course to Reid Paley. The Phile will be back tomorrow with Australian singer-songwriter Broni. Then next Sunday it's Amber Nash from the duo Shiny and the Spoon. Then on Monday it's Blues legend Pete Brown. And then starting next week the Phile will be posted three times a week instead of two. It'll be posted on Wednesday, Sunday and Monday. And that Wednesday's guest will be singer Ron Sexsmith. We're in the phinal stretch of the 5th anniversary year, and it's gonna be good. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Bye, love you, bye.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Pheaturing Josh Caterer From Smoking Popes

Out on the street for a living, Picture's only begun, Got you under their thumb, Hit it, Out on the streets for a living, Picture's only begun, Your day is sorrow and madness, Got you under their thumb. Whoo, black Friday, Whoo, black Friday. 

Attention, shoppers, welcome to a Black Friday entry of the Peverett Phile, I am your host Jason Shop-A-Holic and Exhausted Peverett. I just came back from Black Friday shopping, kids, and I am exhausted. How are you doing? Well, Newt Gingrich says he wants to get rid of Social Security. Who is more qualified to give this country financial advice than a guy who ran up a half-million dollar bill at Tiffany. Newt wants to repeal child labor laws. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the man that we need to lead us into the 18th century. Did you guys have a good Thanksgiving? President Obama pardoned the turkeys, which the Republicans stepped in and tried to block it. If you think about it in certain terms, Obama has had a good year. First Bin Laden, then Moammar Gadhafi. Next, Robert Wagner. In olden times, Thanksgiving was the one day of year that people in the country overate. Now we do it all 365 days. When are these Republican debates going to stop? I mean, this would be the very reason to call for a dictatorship, just to put an end to these. Newt Gingrich wants to repeal child labor laws. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the man that we need to lead us into the 18th century. Did you see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade? There were new balloons in the Thanksgiving Day Parade. There was a Pillsbury Dough Boy balloon and a Ronald McDonald balloon. The Pillsbury Dough Boy balloon was big enough to hold 3 million crescent rolls, and the Ronald McDonald balloon can hold over seven McDonald’s customers. There was a Pillsbury Dough Boy balloon and a McDonald’s balloon. My favorite was the one that followed them: the diabetes balloon. Botox has announced that Botox can be used to tighten up breasts. The only problem is, your breasts always looked surprised. Well, when I got home my wife asked me how what did I buy for myself and what did I buy for other people? I couldn't answer so I made this pie chart...
I was very excited to see that the mall was selling a Black Friday inspirational poster. Check it out. 
I went to Toys R Us and I was very confused about their new promotional ad.

did like the Old Navy display they had in the front of the store though.

And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is today's...

Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear While Shopping In The Gap
10. "Hey Larry, we finally sold one of those ugly things."
9. "Don't go in the middle dressing room, I had an accident."
8. "Fifteen minutes ago, this was on a fat, sweaty guy."
7. "I don't feel so good. I just swallowed one of them security alarm tags."
6. "Man, you should hear what they're saying about you over the headset."
5. "You can't truly appreciate corduroys if you're wearing underwear."
4. "Hey buddy, wanna swing dance like in them commercials?"
3. "We paid some foreign kid 20 cents to make this."
2. "Would you like to buy the video we took of you in the dressing room?"
And the number one thing you don't want to hear while shopping in the Gap...
1. "Buy 50 shirts so I can make sales associate of the month, or I'll break your knees."

This is the 16th book to be pheatured on the Peverett Phile Book Club...

Jack Boulware will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks. But his book now at Amazon.

Today's guest is a musician and songwriter. With his brothers, Eli Caterer and Matt Caterer, he was a founding member of one of my favorite bands from the 90's, the Smoking Popes, in which Josh plays lead guitar and sings. Their new only "This Is Only A Test" is available on iTunes and in stores and they'll be next appearing at Turner Hall Ballroom in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 22nd. Please welcome to the Phile... Josh Caterer.

Me: Hello, Josh, welcome to the Phile, how are you all?

Josh: We're doing great, thanks.

Me: I have to say, I am a big fan, so this is a huge honor for me to have you here on the Phile. Before we start, let's talk about your band name, the Smoking Popes. I kinda know where it originated from, but some readers might not. Wanna explain it?

Josh: It's a reference to The Pope of Greenwich Village starring Mickey Rourke. It was one of our favorite movies and Rourke always looked so cool with a cigarette.

Me: I am guessing you'll never play at the Vatican with that name, right? You've guys have been touring for a long time. Is it still fun for you?

Josh: Yes. In fact, I'd say it's more fun now than ever before. We absolutely love playing shows.

Me: You guys are all from the Chicago area. Do you still live there?

Josh: Yes we do. Chicago's such a great city, it would be hard to see living anywhere else. Although the winters are so terrible, I suppose I might throw in the towel at some point.

Me: I always think it's cool when siblings or spouses could be in a band or work together as I cannot imagine being in a band with my sisters or my wife. You guys must of been close growing up, am I right?

Josh: Yeah, we've always been friends and we grew up listening to the same music and jamming together, so it was pretty natural for us to start up a band and start playing out together.

Me: With Matt being the oldest, did he turn you on to his music that he was into, or did you all have your own kinda music you listened to?

Josh: Matt would discover bands and bring their records home and turn us onto the music. He was very much responsible for shaping our musical taste.

Me: Starting out, you went from touring with Green Day and then ELO, two of my favorite bands, but two very different bands as well. I am guessing both tours had a completely different environment. How would you compare both tours?

Josh: I'm guessing you got that information from Wikipedia, but it's not true. We never played with ELO. And we only played one show with Green Day. I don't know who wrote the Wikipedia article about us, but a lot of that stuff isn't true. I can tell you that our show with Green Day was pretty cool. Those guys were a big part of why we got signed in '95. They were talking about us and it got the major labels interested.

Me: Freakin' Wikipedia! I am an idiot. You did tour with the Figgs back then. I interviewed Mike Gent, the lead singer, here on the Phile. He is a very cool guy, isn't he? You guys were label mates with them for awhile, right?

Josh: We did a tour with the Figgs. Jimmy Eat World was the opening band, back when nobody knew who they were. It was a great time. We still run into some of the Figgs when we play out East. They're great guys.

Me: Okay, Josh, I have to bring something up, as I can somewhat relate, my friend. Around 1998 you turned to Christianity, which is well known. I have also turned to Christianity... I think I just heard hundreds of computers either turning off or changing windows. I haven't really talked about it up 'til now, so I think this interview will help.  I wouldn't say I am a religious person, but more spiritual and open-minded. Anyway, this interview is about you. How did you turn and become a Christian, Josh?

Josh: I wasn’t raised in church, so I didn’t know anything about it, but in my late 20’s I got to a very low point in my life where I felt like I couldn’t go on without getting some answers, so I started looking into various religions to try and find God. For about a year I was going to a Buddhist temple near my apartment and I was reading everything I could get my hands on, including the Bible. Eventually, I realized that Jesus was the key, that He is the way to have a relationship with God. Once I embraced Jesus in my life, everything totally changed for me.

Me: Did it effect the other guys and your brothers in the band? Did your songwriting change, making you write about different themes?

Josh: For a while I stopped writing songs because the change in my life was so dramatic that I couldn’t figure out how to communicate it through music. It took me a while to find my voice as a Christian songwriter. Now I write worship songs for my church and I also still write Popes songs.

Me: When you quit the band, the band broke up, right? Did your brothers and friends stop talking to you? Did you tell them you were gonna quit, or did it just happen?

Josh: I stayed in the band for a while, but after about 6 months I told them I was quitting. I think it was the right thing to do at the time. My brothers were upset that the band was ending, but basically supportive of me.

Me: I, like a lot of Smoking Popes fans, was glad that the band reunited in 2005, and I am glad you released a DVD and CD about that time. Was it hard to get back with them, and play? Did the set lists change at all?

Josh: The hard part was deciding to give it a try again. But once we got together to rehearse, it was surprisingly easy and natural to play those songs again. Even though we hadn’t played together in years, we all remembered all the songs, like the chords had been burned into our minds or something. It was a lot of fun. And I think we’ve had this excitement about it ever since we got back together. We’re not taking it for granted this time.

Me: Okay, let's talk about your new album, "This Is Only A Test", which I downloaded from iTunes and think it's great. Explain what the title represents.

Josh: The title track is all about how the world of high school is a false reality, so the people on top shouldn’t be so proud and the people on the bottom shouldn’t be so depressed, because in the real world the situation will be very different.

Me: It's a concept album, right? Concept albums could either be a good thing, like what the Who did, or a bad thing. How did you decide this new album was gonna be a concept album? And while you're at it, explain what the concept is.

Josh: All the songs on this album are written from the point of view of a senior in high school. It’s not a storyline that unfolds as the album progresses, like a rock opera, it’s more like a series of snapshots from this kid’s life. So the songs could really come in any order, but after we were done recording, we chose this sequence because it did seem to flow in a way that made sense.

Me: The last song on the album is called "Letter to Emily". Is Emily someone in particular?

Josh: There were kids from my school who committed suicide, and it’s something that affects everyone who had any contact with that person. You ask yourself if you could have done something to help them, even if you didn’t know them very well. That’s the situation of “Letter to Emily”. It’s an attempt to work through those feelings.

Me: Josh, thanks so much for being here on the Phile. I am a huge fan, and hope you guys will play in Orlando soon, and please come back here again soon, Josh. Why don't you plug World Relief, the charity you support?

Josh: Wow, that’s a blast from the past! I worked at World Relief a long time ago, but I’m not involved with them anymore.

Me: Alright then, two things I got wrong. Anyway, go ahead and mention your website and thanks again for being here. You guys rock.

Josh: Our website is Thanks!

There, that about does it. Thanks to Paul Stanley and to Josh Caterer and Heather West for hooking the interview up. The Phile will be back on Sunday with Reid Paley from the duo Paley & Francis and then on Monday with Australian singer-songwriter Broni. Spread the word, not the turd. Don't let alligators and snakes bite you. Bye, love you, bye. I am not gonna crash. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Pheaturing Eddi Reader

Hi, there and welcome back to the Peverett Phile. How are you? I support gay penguins. There was another Republican debate last Saturday, and listen to this: Ron Paul only got 89 seconds to speak. Seriously? Rick Perry gets more time than that to try to remember something. Presidential candidate Jon Huntsman accused his Republican opponents of coming up with easy sound bites just to get applause. In response, Mitt Romney was like, “That is ridiculous. Clap if you like bacon!" The Republican Presidential candidates have really been fighting for attention this week. In fact, Rick Perry proposed cutting the president’s salary in half. Yeah, Perry was like, “What do I care? It’s not like it’ll affect me!" In a new interview, Herman Cain said that if Rick Perry were an ice cream flavor, he'd be “Rocky Road.” I don’t know, Perry's not really any flavor of ice cream. He's just the brain freeze part. I heard about a new insulin device for diabetics that could test tears instead of blood. That'll be weird when you're like, “Hey, I need to test my blood sugar. Can you put on Marley and Me? Or that movie I rented from Netflix last week... The Trucker. Man, when the dad was dying from cancer and was saying good-bye to his son... I am getting teary eyed just thinking about it. It's up there with Step Mom and Toy Story 3 for movies that are guaranteed to make you cry. There’s legislation on the table in the Netherlands that would ban tourists from visiting coffee shops that sell marijuana. That’s fine, Amsterdam. We’re not letting you into Build-A-Bear. That's so funny, I am wearing my Hard Rock Cafe t-shirt my sister got me from Amsterdam. I have no idea why what's actually funny. Just because there was a joke about Amsterdam the same time I am wearing an Amsterdam t-shirt. I am lame. 'People' magazine has named Bradley Cooper the Sexiest Man Alive. All eyes will be on Bradley to see what kind of sexiest man he’ll be. The first few weeks are very important in setting the tone for your term. Vice President Biden was in New York today for the second time in less than a week, just to see if he left his wallet at the M&M’S Store. There’s apparently an upscale club in New York where members eat beaver tail, hard boiled duck eggs, and lamb eyeballs. Or you could go the cheaper route, and just order a McRib. As you read on the Phile yesterday, the government took action and introduced a bill to classify pizza as a vegetable in schools a few days ago. Mark this down: November 17, 2011: The day America gave up. I guess they figure, “Our approval rating is 7 percent. What the heck, let's go down to 2 percent.” The food industry says the new rules give schools the flexibility to increase nutrition. The same way elastic waistbands give us the flexibility to keep in shape. In a world where Kardashians are celebrities, maybe pizzas can be vegetables. And Twizzlers are a fruit. A new survey found that 33 percent of Americans have broken up with someone using Facebook or a text message. While 33 percent of the Kardashian sisters have broken up with someone using TMZ. A new study found that overweight men are more likely to have children with weight problems. Or in other words, if you get your dad’s genes, you’re also going to get his sweatpants. Officials in Sweden say that pigeons have started riding the subway. I doubt that would happen on New York’s subways. I mean, the rats would never stand for it. PETA released a new Thanksgiving ad aimed at children, that compares eating turkeys to eating their pet dogs. Or as kids in China put it, “So?” Well, Thanksgiving is next Thursday and being British it doesn't mean a whole lot to me, but when I think of Thanksgiving I think of that famous Norman Rockwell painting of the family sitting around the table with the grandparents at the end, and the grandfather holding a large gun of some kind. You know the one I mean, right? Here it is if you don't.

I am so glad they released another Thanksgiving inspirational poster. Take a look at it, kids. 

Last Friday Regis Philbin retired from TV, but I am glad Kelly stayed on. Man, she's hot. If you don't believe me, take a look. 

Regis left this?!

And now for some sad news...

Walt Hazzard
April 15, 1942 - November 18, 2011
He changed his name to Mahdi Abdul-Rahman. Good call. So much cooler than Walt Hazzard.

Karl Slover
September 21, 1918 - November 15, 2011
As coroner, I do decree
I've examined him most thoroughly
Not only is he merely dead
He's really most sincerely dead!

Well, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and being mostly an American holiday I was wondering how some people celebrate it and what it means to them. And when I say some people I mean only one person. So, here again, please welcome back to the Phile to talk about Thanksgiving. It's...

Jesus Jason, its a time of tanks, to celebrate our genocide of the Amerindian to get the good real estate, First I rent that movie whatcha callit... Pocohantas... woo hoow! Wowza! Then we check the pigeon traps, this year we got about a dozen so we didn't invite the Morrisons. We roast half on a spit and make a savory pie with the rest, then we get some chips and Dunkin' Donuts with some cranberry soda. Now, remember your history, Mr. Zit, Presidents Ike Newtons warned of the warming of the military industrial complex, and the American turkey is part of the plot, most turkeys are fitted with silicon implants made in China to enhance breast size and cause disease so that the medical wing of this evil troika can keep raking in that medicare greenback. Thats why we live off the land and make pigeon pie... capiche? Now, whats that great movie where the Union soldiers give all the Indians the blankets filled with smallpox? That was Donald Trump's great grandfather in perhaps the sweetest real estate deal of American history, Agent Orange, time shares, asbestos insulation, it all stems from the same secret meeting of the Trilateral commision and the Vatican bank, also the comedian Buddy Hackett and they hatched a plan where they could perpetuate sickness, steal the land and launch the Fox network, all in one grand fell swoop. So, in essence, my red headed pupil, Thanksgiving is about sweet real estate deals getting rid of most of the indians, and silicon implants from China, but over here at the Riot's, we just like to eat some good grub and watch some westerns. Yee Haw, pardner! Yee Haw! That is except for my baby sister Paris, the vegan, we form a tofu turkey drumstick in a Betty Crocker mold and season it with paprika and ancient Indian spices, and the we all go down to Penn State to play some "snap towel" in the team showers. There's nothing wrong with that. Now remember, next time we will talk about the secret colony on Mars,and the true origins of the underground city beneath New Mexico. Happy tanks giving, pal, and don't forget to give a bum a swift kick in the arse!

Thank you, Pat, as always. And now from the home office in Port Jefferson, New York, here is this week's top ten list...
Top Ten Changes Planned for This Year's Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
10. Anatomically correct Spiderman balloon.
9. Potholes filled with delicious cranberry sauce.
8. Goodbye N.Y.P.D. marching band, hello, fat guy with an A.M. radio.
7. Popeye balloon now sporting several new obscene tattoos.
6. Times Square shop owners marching with helium-filled inflatable dolls.
5. For the first time, parade will feature guys in turkey suits stuffing each other.
4. Instead of waving and smiling, Santa Claus gives spectators the finger.
3. Local schoolchildren ride down Broadway on backs of giant rats.
2. A neutered Underdog balloon.
And the number one changed for this year's Macy's Thanksgiving parade...
1. Donald Trump's brand new gravy-scented hair.

This is the 16th book to be pheatured in the P.P.B.C. (and yes, I know they have been more thrown in but I am not gonna go back and count those).

One of the authors, Jack Boulware, will be a guest on the Phile in a few weeks.

Dad would be proud of this one, people. Today's guest is a Scottish singer-songwriter, known both for her work with Fairground Attraction and for an enduring solo career. She is the recipient of three BRIT Awards and has topped both the album and singles charts. Her latest album "Love is the Way" is available on iTunes and Amazon. Please welcome the one and only... Eddi Reader.

Me: Hello, Eddi, welcome to the Phile. How are you?

Eddi: Hello, I am well.

Me: Okay, I have to start by saying myself and my father were big fans of yours. My dad was a huge fan, and collected pretty much every recording you made. He first became a fan when the first Fairground Attraction album came out. One of his plans before he passed away was to try and contact you and see if you were interested in doing a duet with him. Have you heard of the band Foghat, Eddi?

Eddi: I have not, but that doesn't mean I would not have heard his music. I'm not too good at remembering names but I NEVER forget a sound.

Me: My dads number one favourite bands of all time was Trashcan Sinatras, and I just discovered that your brother is in that band. I wonder if my dad knew that. I am betting a million he did. Anyway, how is your brother and his band?

Eddi: My brother is fine. I do know the band are writing and planning a new record of songs and music.

Me: One of my favourite albums from the 80's when I lived in England was Fairground Attraction's "The First of a Million Kisses". That was the only Attraction album, right, apart from "Ay Fond Kiss" that was an album of b-sides and live tracks. That is a great album as well. Was that album rushed out after the band broke up?

Eddi: Yes, RCA/BMG contracted us to TWO albums. Those kinds of contracts with record companies were common. We signed up with them and they got a TWO for ONE deal. They get two albums and they advance you enough to feed one drummer. Ha ha... So, we split up just as we began recording the second album which was to contain songs we had all worked on and arranged over two years. Because RCA didnt get that second album they grabbed what scraps they could and tried to sell it to our fans as a real second album. The usual capitalist greed ethic of selling something for full price but it being full of songs most fans already had if they had bought the singles. The music was still quality though.

Me: Yes, it was. You had a number one single with the song "Perfect" which is one of my favourite songs of all times. How did that song change your life, Eddi? Do you still perform that song to this day?

Eddi: I do perform it and I was just thinking about how it has affected my life. Blessings came the moment I found that song. I was very driven to find songs and I found a diamond when Mark Nevin came to my home and played me that one. He wasn't clear about its value. I knew it was a classic. The difference between writing and 'interpreting' someone elses writing is very clear with me. I can hear something that even the writer can not hear. I love the look of shock and pleasant surprise on a writers face when I decide to put their words through the instrument of my voice, mind and heart. It can reveal more than the writer heard. But also can give the writer the realisation of what was HOPED when the song began to form.

Me: Why did Fairground Attraction break up after one album, Eddi, and would the band ever get back together for a project?

Eddi: Because the writer of the majority of the songs on that album, Mark Nevin, wanted to control our decisions and musical choices AFTER he realised how successful the band became.
After busking in France and Europe I returned to London and found work with Annie Lennox and a successful punk band called The Gang of Four. I got a reputation for being a fast learner and a good harmonic singer. I stayed in London from 1980-85, I writing and looking for songs and musicians to play with. Paying my way doing little sessions and tours. The drummer and the bassist who became the members of Fairground Attraction were known to Mark Nevin. I was making demos and asked Mark (amongst other writers and co-writers that I met in London), to try and write me songs. I wasnt too confident about my own writing although I certainly was writing all the time. I explained what I wanted , Waltz time, Piaf /Brel Le belle Epoch, etc. Cole Porter was my favourite writer at that time. I was looking for something romantic and akin to story telling rather than dance music. I had heard 2 songs Mark had written: "The Morning After" and another one, (I haven't the title of it in my head this morning). Both those songs were very romantic and reminiscent of the torch songs of the 40's which I loved. I was convinced Mark could write more for me, so I wrote to him to ask him for more and he returned from the States, (were he had gone to make it big with his singer girlfriend Jane Aire), to London, immediately, to write me songs. Mark came up with all those songs on the Fairground Attraction album in a 18 month period. Visiting with me when I would return from tours and gigs with other bands I gotten involved with. The first song Mark gave me was the song Fairground Attraction. This suited my idea of the direction I wanted to go in exactly. A mix of jazz and folk music, reminicent of the songs Edith Piaf would sing. He was an excellent guitar player and I thought I had found my musical partner. I asked him to be my producer and make a demo with me. He called in Roy Dodds and Simon Edwards. It was the first time I met them. It was 1986 or 7. Once we all came together we made a very beautiful demo with money I managed to attract from Polygram Records. I knew it was special and I was offered a contract but Mark decided he wanted to only continue to work with me if I made it a 'band project'. He worried about being removed from working with me, not having power and his songs being lost to him etc. He didn't want me to present it as a solo project. So, keeping the peace and wanting to maintain my friendship with Mark, I agreed to a band, I named the band Fairground Attraction after the first song, and was happy about that as I got on with starting a family and hoped the three others would take the reins. I had only just met Roy Dodds and Simon Edwards, the other two players who were session players in London. From, signing to RCA and recording the album - to singing on "Top of the Pops" the time period was about six months. 

Me: Wow.

Eddi: Unfortunately after the success of the album and single Mark became increasingly more demanding, he disregarded what chemistry was created by me having freedom to describe what I needed and heard in my head and began to force his complete control over what I sung, not respecting the very thing that brought me to finding his songs in the first place. My intuition is paramount when I choose what to sing and invest energy in. Sadly, Mark didn't understand that nor nurture our original arrangement. The chemistry was completely destroyed as I lost all confidence in being able to talk to him and what I wanted was disregarded. I found myself in a contract with someone who had no interest in friendship or mutual concern. Only money and hits. A cautionary tale for people signing contracts without knowing the people they are getting into bed with in business. I had to pick myself up and start again. You see the song was always the most important thing to me. A bunch of monkeys could be standing beside me on stage playing. All I cared and still care about when I am singing is the song. I can't imagine ever putting myself through that again. But I would sing, and HAVE sung, songs written by Mark since our split. "Kiteflyers Hill' on "Angels and Electricity" was the last one. He tried to stop it coming out after giving it to me to sing because I sung "upto" instead of "upon'" costing me thousands of pounds in re-recording the session. Most others would have seen that word as an interpretation thing. But I nearly lost it because of two letters in a word. I wouldn't risk losing songs again like that. They are too precious to me. I guess I learned about not giving my power away ever again.

Me: You did a great duet with Jools Holland called "The Waiting Game". Was he fun to work with? 

Eddi: Jools is a brilliant lover of music. Like me he knows a good tune when he hears it.

Me: Eddi, you're originally from Glasgow, right? Do you still live there?

Eddi: Sometimes.

Me: I was born in London, but for the past twenty plus years have lived in Florida, near Orlando. Have you ever been to Orlando?

Eddi: Yes, I have family in Oviedo.

Me: Do you get here to the States much?

Eddi: No, But now my children are grown I hope to play more over there.

Me: Eddi, when did you first start to play and learn guitar?

Eddi: I begged my father and mother for a guitar when I was 11. They had Seven of us, I was the eldest. My dad loved Rock and Roll and Elvis Presley especially. My mother was a stay at home mum and had a BEAUTIFUL singing voice. Like Doris Day. We all lived in a two roomed flat and I would lock everyone out of the small bathroom we shared, for HOURS, while I practiced with this guitar. Pretty soon I was playing Elvis songs and three chord songs at every party my family had. I used to scour the local news paper adverts for musicians wanted. I was going somewhere fast while holding babies and writing words down and cooking potatoes. My sister Jean reminded me that she can never sing the melody to songs because I forced her to learn the harmony parts only. She makes me laugh when I hear her sing "Bye Bye Love" and only the harmony part comes out. I must have been a good teacher though.

Me: You said you used to be a busker. I interviewed a singer named Natalie Gelman who was a busker in New York City. I imagine that could be scary. Has anything scary ever happened to you while you were busking?

Eddi: To be honest, people were AMAZINGLY kind to me. I think I was very waif like... tall thin and with a sweet voice that carried for miles. I was always given offers of food, shelter... I found that people enjoyed listening and loved to stand around. Once I stopped all the pedestrians in Sauchiehall Street and the police had to come to move the people listening but got so badly jeered that one of them put a five pound note in my guitar case and left me alone to jeers and applause. I was oblivious to why people liked my sounds. I only knew I enjoyed singing and playing guitar. 

Me: How old were you?

Eddi: I was 17.

Me: Did you perform original songs or covers then, Eddi?

Eddi: "Your Cheating Heart". "Brown Eyed Girl". "House of the Rising Sun". "New York Girls". "Lord Franklin". "Lowlands of Holland". "Buckets of Rain". "Dont Think Twice". "Bye Bye Love". Songs sung at family parties. Some I had learned in the folk clubs and from other 'too late to be' hippies and buskers. I had a few of my own but I didn't dare sing them. I was surprisingly shy behind the front of singing in the street.

Me: Eddi, let's talk about your latest album "Love Is The Way". That album came out a few years ago, right?

Eddi: Yup.

Me: Are you currently working on a new album?

Eddi: Yup, driving myself crazy, trying to write, as usual.

Me: I love the album, Eddi. How did the song "Love Is The Way" get to be picked to be the album title?

Eddi: Declan O'Rourke was a writer I met when I prayed for songs. I met him in Dublin and his first album has this song on it. But his version is much more upbeat and jolly. I kind of heard something softer and more gentle in it. He told me he stopped playing his version because he thought it a bit throw away, but since hearing my version he told me I have given it new life for him. He plays it live with a ukelele now. I LOVE it when that happens.

Me: On the album there's a song called "New York City". Were you in New York when you wrote that song? What was the inspiration behind it?

Eddi: That is my partner, John Douglas' song. It was intended for the Trashcan Sinatras but they decided they didnt want to record it. (John plays in the TCS). I fell in love with it. Yes, it totally gets me back to my days in New York when I ran around it falling in love with everything.

Me: Who plays on the album with you, Eddi?

Eddi: Boo Hewerdine who is a great writer and singer in his own right. He came to write with me and for me after the disaster of Fairground Attraction. We have worked together (when he is available) ever since. Roy Dodds, the drummer from Fairground Attraction. We made my first solo record "Mirmama" together. He and I a refugees of Fairground Attraction. Kevin McGuire a fantastic bassist who I met when after recording my Scottish album "The Songs Of Robert Burns". Alan Kelly top traditional Irish accordionist from Roscommon and Galway. One of my very best friends. Jack Maher who wrote a couple of songs on the session and plays guitar with Sharon Shannon. He is one of the best players I've ever worked with. John Douglas from the Trashcan Sinatras. I handed him my ukelele on the first day of recording and told him to play it all over the record. None of us would have sounded good without Mark Freegard who engineered the session. The recording desk and the musicians were all in the same room. We recorded everything as we all sat or stood four feet from each other.

Me: I have to ask you about the album "Eddi Reader Sings The Songs of Robert Burns" which you just mentioned. Tell the readers and myself because I am not quite sure who Robert Burns was. You must be a big fan of his to record that album.

He wrote "Auld Lang Syne", you may have heard of that. "Should auld acquaintance be forgot...." The whole world sings it! I was looking to make an album of traditional songs. As I selected from the ones I knew, I discovered he had written nearly ALL of the ones I wanted to try. So I investigated him and his story. I became fascinated and I felt a real affinity for his life. He is a fantastic poet and songwriter. I began to feel haunted by him so I recorded an album as tribute to him and the spirit of poetry that is very much alive in the part of the country that Robert Burns and I came from: the west of Scotland and Ayrshire. (he died at the age of 37, poor and the father of 13 in 1796), I felt an affinity. I added a song that was written about me, written by my brothers band: Wild Mountainside. I used that bunch of songs and Wild Mountainside in particular to come home to live in Scotland from London, I left when I was 18. It felt cyclic and right to come home.

Me: What other music do you listen to? Is there a new band or singer out right now that you're into?

Eddi: Oh, I don't seek out stuff to hear the way I did but I still fall for sounds and then if it catches my attention I will investigate. I love all the stuff I've loved for years, songs by Ella , Louis, Elvis, Patsy Cline... etc

Me: Your last album my dad got to hear of yours was "Angels & Electricity". There's a song on the album called "On A Whim" that was written by Ron Sexsmith who is gonna be on the Phile in a few weeks. Did he approach you or did you approach him about that song?

Eddi: I met him just after "Secret Heart" started making a little noise amongst us musos here. I went to write with Boo Hewerdine and we noticed Ron was playing Boo's local pub in Cambridge. So we hung out with him there and when he came to Scotland to play in Glasgow and Sweden when we bumped into each other on the road and asked him for a song. He delivered and it suited.

Me: Another musician that you have worked with that I am trying to get on the Phile is Boo Hewerdine. Have you and Boo been friends for a long time?

Eddi: Yes, I am sure Jane can introduce you to him. He would love to talk to ya.

Me: Eddi, thanks a million for being on the Phile. It was a huge honor to have you here, and I wish I could call my dad and say guess who I just interviewed. He probably would have a million questions for you as well. Please come back to the Phile when your next album comes out. Take care, Eddi, and I hope this was fun. Do you wanna mention your website?

Eddi: Thank you. My website is and I am on Twitter, Facebook and Myspace.  

Me: Thanks again, and take care.

Eddi: I shall raise a glass to your dad for introducing you to my work. God bless you and him. Ask him to get us on the guest list in heaven xxx.

Well, that was a long entry. Thanks to Jeff Cameron and of course Eddi Reader and Jane from for hooking it up. Okay, the Phile will be back on Friday with a special Black Friday entry with Josh Caterer, lead guitarist for the band Smoking Popes. Then next Sunday it's musician Reid Paley, one half of the duo Paley & Francis and then next Monday it's Australian singer-songwriter Bromni. So, spread the word, not the turd. Don't let snakes and alligators bite you. Have a save and happy Thanksgiving. Bye, love you, bye.