Martha Reeves on ‘Dancing in the Street,’ the Vandellas Name, the Motown Sound, and 50+ Years in the Music Business
Martha Reeves reflects on the timeless appeal of “Dancing in the Street,” how the social movements of the 1960s compare to today’s Black Lives Matter movement, as well as her storied career with Motown.
Janet Billig Rich on Management (Nirvana, Hole) and Music Supervision (‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘Moulin Rouge’), and More
Janet Billig Rich discusses her long career in the music business, which started in merch sales, grew to an internship at Caroline (where she signed Hole), led to a career in management (where she managed acts like Nirvana and Dinosaur Jr.) and now has settled into music supervision.
Vanessa Carlton on ‘Love Is An Art,’ Pandemics, Psychedelics, and Stevie Nicks
Vanessa Carlton engages in a candid discussion about the seedy underbelly of the music industry, why followups to “A Thousand Miles” were more successful than some of the men on her team wanted her to believe, and why “Love Is An Art” marks a new beginning for her.
Eddy Grant on Arriving at ‘Electric Avenue’ by Heart Problems, Lost Luggage, and More
Eddy Grant began his career in the 1960s with the Equals, and 20 years later he made some of the biggest hits of his life, like “Electric Avenue” and “I Don’t Wanna Dance,” by fusing rock, reggae, and elements of electronic music. He continues to pioneer new sounds like soca and ringbang.
M. Ward on ‘Migration Stories,’ Collaborating with Zooey Deschanel in She & Him, Songwriting, and Cheap Guitars
Matt Ward shares how a Beatles songbook and a closeted $25 guitar helped define his path as a musician, a journey which has led to create the poignant new M. Ward album, ‘Migration Stories.’
Black Belt Eagle Scout on How Working as a Booker Helped Prepare Her for a Deal with Saddle Creek
Katherine Paul (AKA Black Belt Eagle Scout) discusses growing up on the Swinomish Indian Reservation in Washington state, and the changes that happened after she discovered Madonna, emo music, and how to put on a great show.
Spider Stacy Talks Pogues, Playing with Lost Bayou Ramblers of New Orleans, ‘A Fairytale of New York,’ and More
Spider Stacy met Shane MacGowan at a Ramones gig in England when they were both teens. Shortly after, they formed the Pogues, which meant Spider had to learn to play the tin whistle pretty quickly.
Andy Stack Talks Expanded Wye Oak Live Band, Joyero Side-Project, Everclear Covers, and More
You may know Andy Stack as one half of the duo Wye Oak, along with Jenn Wasner. But he’s also one whole of Joyero, whose debut came out on Merge in 2019. He talks about his solo project and the future for Wye Oak.
Soul Rebels Talk New Orleans, High Profile Collaborations, and Challenging What it Means to be a Brass Band
Lumar LeBlanc, Julian Gosin, and Marcus Hubbard, three generations of the New Orleans band Soul Rebels discuss hometown sounds, what it’s like to keep a band together for 30 years, and backing up the likes of Katy Perry, Nas, and Metallica.
Ritzy Bryan of Joy Formidable Talks Music Business, Relationships, and Finding Her Sound
Ritzy Bryan of the Joy Formidable discusses why her Welsh heritage is so important to her music, how her time on Atlantic Records helped inform her understanding of the music business, and how her guitar acrobatics hurt her Fender as well as the forehead of Joy Formidable bassist Rhydian Dafydd.
Jon Kull on Orchestrating Some of Hollywood’s Biggest Blockbuster Movies
You know who Jon Kull is, even if you don’t know that you know who he is. You’ve heard his orchestrations in films like all of the “Hunger Games” movies, “King Kong,” “Avatar,” “Black Panther,” “Mary Poppins Returns,” and so many more.
Songwriter Bonnie Hayes on Sexism, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Bonnie Hayes talks songwriting for Bonnie Raitt (and winning a Grammy for it), touring with Bob Seger, playing keys for Billy Idol, and being blown away by the Sex Pistols in 1978, and how all of that led to her coming to teach at Berklee College of Music and Berklee Online.
Songwriter Chip Taylor Discusses ‘Wild Thing,’ Hendrix, ‘Angel of the Morning,’ Shaggy, and More
Chip Taylor wrote “Wild Thing.” He really doesn’t need to write any more songs. But that doesn’t mean he’s showing any signs of stopping. He’s got a new album out, and is eager to discuss everything leading up to this moment on this edition of the Music Is My Life podcast.
Evan Dando of the Lemonheads Talks Songwriting, Guitar Preferences, and That Simon & Garfunkel Song That He Doesn’t Hate Anymore
Evan Dando has been releasing music for more than 30 years, reaching a commercial high point in the early and mid 90s with the Lemonheads albums “It’s a Shame about Ray” and “Come on Feel the Lemonheads.”
Red Sox and Patriots DJ TJ Connelly on Playing Music for the Masses
TJ Connelly is the DJ for the 2018 World Series Champs, the Boston Red Sox, the 2019 Super Bowl Champs, the New England Patriots, and more recently the Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. He got his start as a DJ at a comedy club!
Tony Trischka Talks Banjo, Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, and Bruce Springsteen
Tony Trischka’s list of collaborators includes Pete Seeger, Bela Fleck, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers, so it’s no surprise that he has been called “perhaps the most influential banjo player in the roots music world.”
Darlene Love Talks Holidays, Phil Spector, and ‘20 Feet from Stardom’
Whether you know Darlene Love from her smash hit, “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on the Phil Spector holiday album, or from her profile in the film, “20 Feet From Stardom,” this Rock & Roll Hall of Famer is a force to be reckoned with.
Tanya Donelly on Belly, Breeders, and Throwing Muses
Tanya Donelly discusses her life in music, including her beginnings with Throwing Muses and the Breeders, and her major breakthrough with Belly, a band she’s currently enjoying a reunion with.
Taj Mahal on Working with Everybody from Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters to the Rolling Stones to Bob Marley
Taj Mahal has spent his 50-year career bending genres to his own signature style. His work includes moving explorations in jazz, funk, reggae, country, rock ‘n’ roll, and more.
Marlon Williams on Finding American Country Music in New Zealand
In the US, you probably know Marlon Williams for his contribution to the “Wild Wild Country” soundtrack. But in New Zealand, you know him for his consistent output of great music since his teen years.
Trevor Horn Talks Music Production, Buggles, Yes, and Berklee Bass Lessons
Trevor Horn is not only a co-writer of “Video Killed the Radio Star” and a producer of mega-hits for Yes, John Legend, ABC, and more. He’s also a Berklee Online student!
Dean Ween (AKA Mickey Melchiondo) on the Guitarists the Shaped Him
If the name Michael Melchiondo does not ring a bell, it’s because he is known professionally by his stage name of Dean Ween. Click to check out what Deaner was talking about. (That’s a Ween reference!)
The War on Drugs Drummer Charlie Hall on Vocal Harmony and Helping Realize Adam Granduciel’s Vision
The War on Drugs drummer Charlie Hall discusses his musical upbringing, Grammy competition, and the importance of a grade school teacher on his development.
DJ Mike Henderson (ENDO) on Learning to DJ with Traktor and the DJs that Shaped Him
Mike Henderson (also known as ENDO) is a DJ who has pioneered harmonic mixing, developed DJ-friendly apps, worked in tour management for other DJs, and developed Berklee Online’s first DJ course.
Stephen Davis on Writing about Zeppelin, Michael Jackson, Stevie Nicks, and More
Stephen Davis has written nearly 20 books about music, including the Led Zeppelin book, “Hammer of the Gods” and the brand new “Gold Dust Woman: The Biography of Stevie Nicks.”
Cindy Wilson of the B-52’s Talks Solo Debut, ‘Rock Lobster,’ and More
After 40 years in the music business, as one of the leaders of the B-52’s, Cindy Wilson is finally releasing her solo debut! “Change,” on the Kill Rock Stars label marks a drastic, er, um, change.
Lisa Roth on Rockabye Baby Series and Growing up with Van Halen’s David Lee Roth
Lisa Roth’s first job at a record label was as a nutritionist! She eventually invented a wildly successful series of musical releases that would make baby showers a lot more fun.
Nathan East on Playing Bass with Absolutely Everyone
If you haven’t heard the name Nathan East before, you’ve heard his bass. He’s played on upwards of 10,000 songs by the likes of Beyoncé, MJ, Lionel, Clapton, Phil Collins, and thousands more!
Prince Charles Alexander on Transitioning to Bad Boy Entertainment
In PT II of this podcast, Prince Charles Alexander shares how he walked away from fame (but not fortune) and how his path eventually led to Diddy, and engineering iconic albums.
Glenn Kotche Talks Wilco, Solo Projects, and Soundtrack Work
Music is Glenn Kotche’s life. From the age of three through his study of classical percussion in college to playing with Wilco, music has always been a part of this drummer’s narrative. Hear his story.