Archive for the ‘Interviews’ Category

Interview With Jenny Burton

Monday, November 30th, 2009

Jenny BurtonAs a composer and producer I’ve had a long-standing relationship with vocalist, Jenny Burton.  I’ve often found her erudite in her ability to describe her craft and art. In the following interview I find her no less prescient. Jenny is a singer blessed with an amazing instrument that can shake the heavens and seed the clouds. She also is a performer extraordinaire.  On top of all that, in the studio, she’s a totally experienced pro. I had the chance to interview her lately for Watchfire Music. – PL

Peter Link: Why have you chosen music as your instrument of communication?

Jenny Burton: Without managing to sound too unoriginal or sappy, I must say that it’s more that music chose me — was infused into my bones and my life this time around. I have had the great joy of “just waking up” to it and living in it for these many years. Music is an essential part of who I am. It feeds me on the deepest of levels. I know as well that singing and performing is an honor and affords me the chance to give something back from the highest, most unencumbered parts of my self.

What central idea is most important to you in your communication with your audience?

Truth and clarity are very important to me.  The closer I can get to these two aspects of life, the better.  There is much that can be accomplished with music that is transcending.  I believe one of the reasons “the musical” was conceived is because once the playwright/composer has said all he/she can with the written and spoken word, he then finds it imperative to lay those words atop a groove, give them rhythm, and then a melody.  The composer then gives this to a singer to take the scene the rest of the way home.

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Interview With Bobby Stanton

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Bobby Stanton.

bobby_stantonYou may have heard him featured on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” or playing in one of several Broadway musicals.  You may have also caught his magical fingers strumming with the likes of Mark O’Connor, James Taylor, Richie Havens, Noel Redding, Bo Diddley, Susan Tedeschi, Maureen McGovern, Donny Osmond, The Platters, Fabian, Charlie Daniels, only to name a few.

In his spare time (what spare time could he possible have?) he shares his talent and technique as a teacher of guitar at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he was awarded the first ever “Ovation” Award.

Watchfire Music Artist, Bobby Stanton begins his second Inspirational CD bring his special musical mind and deft guitar playing abilities to a number of world famous hymns.  Due to be released late spring, this album of beloved hymns promises to be a terrific seller for WFM if it’s anything like his first, Shepherd which is one of WFM’s biggest selling CDs of all time.

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Getting To Know You – Terron Brooks

Saturday, September 26th, 2009

9/26/09

If you were to ask, I’d say that my most favorite singer at the moment on WatchfireMuic.com would be Inspirational singer and Broadway actor, Terron Brooks.

I’ve been putting together a database of all the music of the WFM catalog that has required me to listen to every song from every artist we have.  This is a chore that I first met with some trepidation, but has actually resulted in a most wonderful listening experience over the past couple of weeks.  Like the by-line says, “We got great music!”

I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to put together these last few years and impassioned by the experience to find more of the great talent that’s out there.

Terron Brooks

Terron Brooks

One of our major finds is definitely the sweet, musical sound of Terron Brooks.  In the course of my job, it’s always, “Oh good, I get to listen to Terron.”

One of my jobs here at Watchfire is to guide you to the right stuff, so please pay attention because I’m now doing just that.  Baby, this man can sing.  And when the music pours out of his throat and inner being, you’ve just got to listen to the effortless sound.

It’s so clear that Terron is an actor.  He seems to always know what he’s singing about and what he is doing.  I believe that is what makes him so appealing – besides his innate talent and musicality.

I went to his site the other day and found an interesting page on it where he answers some fan’s questions.  I thought I might reprint a few to share with you some insights into this most charming and sincere young man.

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Insight – Peter Link

Friday, November 14th, 2008

I grew up a drummer. My dad gave me my first pair of sticks at the age of seven. He had been a professional drummer before the great depression changed the lives of millions. I had dreamed of a drum set since “don’t remember when”.

But the drum set did not come quickly. Dad said, “You play on this here window ledge for a year – till the paint wears out. If you stick with it, then we’ll see.” For a year, every night after supper, I marched up stairs to our HiFi room and played along with Artie Shaw, Glen Miller, The Dorsey Brothers – on Dad’s old 78s. Nobody had to tell me to go practice, ever. I was just driven to do it.

Dad taught me my rudiments, my double paradiddles, my triple ratamacues. I learned to play these complex beats so fast that they became rhythmic drum rolls. I played the paint off that old window ledge. At the end of the year there was a dent a quarter of an inch deep in the wood and a brand new Gretsch mother of pearl snare drum under the Christmas tree – the best that money could buy.

“This is great, Dad, but where’s the drum set?” Dad wisely answered, “You learn to play the snare drum this year and if you’re still interested next Christmas, there’ll be a matching bass drum under the tree.”

And so it went. Each Christmas there was another matching mother of pearl Gretsch drum, a floor tom, a side tom, a high hat cymbal, etc. under the tree – the best that money could buy.

I graduated from Buddy Rich and Gene Krupa to Elvis, Little Richard and Chuck Berry and then on to The Beatles and the Beach Boys. In the seventh grade I began to play with the best college dance band in St. Louis. I was many different things as a child, but always a drummer. There was always that rock band, always the Pete Link drum solo – little kid wailing on the toms.

In college I picked up the guitar. I knew there needed to be more to music than just the beat. For me it was the same thing all over again. Nobody ever had to tell me to practice. I played till the pain from my fingers went up my arm. Folk music, Rock n’ Roll, Big Band, Jazz – there were no favorites. It was all just music.

In the seventies I put the guitar down. I finally found an instrument that could fulfill my musical imagination – the computer. It’s been my life ever since. (Ten years later I did pick up that guitar again and resume my love affair with my Martin D-35S.) But the computer could do it all, not at first, but as it grew in its incredible abilities, I grew along with it, staying up with the mad advance of technology and trying to hold on to the natural talent within.

Today, still, nobody has to tell me to go practice. I’m still driven. If a day goes by and I don’t get into my studio, I feel robbed, I get ornery, I’m hard to live with. I’m becoming a bit of a recluse. I feel like I’m finally getting this thing called music by the tail and I really don’t much care about anything else. Oh, I love people, I love my wife and my son and my friends, etc., but what I live for is that studio. I am the best of me and truly in the moment of now, the power of now, when I’m playing my Dual Quad 3.0 Intel 16GB Ram Mac. This is heaven on earth. This, for me, is the height of creative expression. Mine is a life in music.

This album, this CD, Ode To Joy, is simply the latest culmination of that life. I grew up a Pop musician, an eclectic popular music creator. A decade ago I met, fell in love with and married Julia Wade, an opera singer. Musically, I pulled her my way, but along the way, she pulled me hers. We spent three glorious years with season tickets to Carnegie Hall studying and having our minds blown by our favorite orchestra – The Philadelphia. This experience gave me something to hope for, something to dream.

This CD is the first iteration of that dream. I plan to continue down this road for the rest of my life. This is not an album of songs, rather, a series of impressions on the theme of joy. With each movement, I started with a loved melody from my life, stated it and then let the musings take it from there. Sometimes I even dropped the original theme after it had given me a start.

I mixed the musical styles of my life joyfully, not caring who I might offend, but just going with what I heard, drawing from the diverse musical styles of the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. My intention in the beginning was to create a purely instrumental album. That’s not the way it worked out. Along the way I kept finding things I wanted to say, and so I said them, or sang them, or had my friends sing them.

The experience of making this CD was one of the best of my life. I am ever grateful for the technological tools at my disposal – my computer and its constantly expanding software. I am ever grateful for the flip side, my talent, my connection with the Source of creativity, with the God given light of joy in my life. It is this light, this joy that I sing about, in all its ramifications. It is my Ode To Joy.

Watchfire Music Interview with Lew Doty

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

Lew Doty, Watchfire Music artist Watchfire Music: Why have you chosen music as your instrument of communication?

Lew Doty: I don’t think I chose it; it chose me. I expected to make music my career, but in my twenties I lost my passion for it, and totally gave up playing and writing, even sold the guitar, and pursued another career.

Twelve years ago when I became involved in the New Thought movement, God, disguised as an aging hippie musician, entered my life and handed me a guitar and told me to start playing and writing again.

Soon music became the means by which I could process the information I was learning and express my own understanding of it. Suddenly there was no way I could stop writing and playing. The passion had returned.

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