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Don Airey - keybordist for Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Rainbow, Ozzy, Whitesnake and more!

Don Airey

by Jeff Muendel
December 2008

Don Airey isn’t a name that many people know well, but his keyboards have been heard by most anyone listening to American radio in the last twenty-some years. The pipe organ intro to Ozzy Osbourne’s “Mr. Crowley?” That’s him. The slick strings in Whitesnake’s “Still of the Night” or the glassy electric piano on “Here I Go Again?” That’s him, too. How about the freaky synthesizers on Black Sabbaths’ Never Say Die album? Yeah, that’s Don Airey again.

The list if bands that Airey has either recorded with or been a member of is long, but includes (besides those already mentioned) Jethro Tull, Judas Priest, Gary Moore, The Michael Schenker Group, Rainbow, Thin Lizzy, and UFO.  He has come to be the most prolific keyboardist in hard rock. He is also the current organist in Deep Purple, perhaps one of the most keyboard-intensive bands in the history of rock.


Ian Anderson

Ian Anderson

An Interview With Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson On The 2013 Thick As A Brick Tour And July 22 Stop At Ravinia
by Gregory Harutunian
June 2013

Ian Anderson is best known as the frontman, singer-songwriter, musician, flute player, engineer, producer, and whatever other duties he will tell you regarding the legendary band, Jethro Tull. With more than four decades of performing under his belt, the last decade has seen him step out on his own projects. Distinctly Anderson, the music slides to the more melodic avenues in discovering instrumental nuances to dally with.

His own touring group consisting of bassist David Goodier, keyboardist John O’Hara, drummer Scott Hammond, and wunderkind guitarist Florian Opahle have performed with Ian on his solo dates, as well as having performed at various times as members of Jethro Tull. They all participated on the recent release, “Thick As A Brick 2,” an update companion to the original 1972 release which answers the question,” What ever happened to Gerald Bostock,” TAAB’s supposed writer.

Audiences got to find out firsthand last year, as the original TAAB was performed in its entirety for the first time since 1972 including the weather report and prostate awareness skits, that bookend with TAAB2. The 2013 tour extends the fun stateside through the month of July, concluding with a performance at the Highland Park (IL)’s Ravinia Festival ( on the 22nd. British singer Ryan O’Donnell, who has been active in the UK theatrical scene, was added to sing difficult vocal parts. Anderson wants to perform vocals and instrument parts as they appeared on the original THICK AS A BRICK.

A phone interview, conducted with Anderson, touched on the tour itself, the TAAB sequel, and what’s on his plate for future endeavors. What follows is an edited transcript of the conversation.

Maximum Ink: We last spoke three years ago, and I must update the more serious inquiries… what is your favorite color, and if you could be any tree, what would you be?
Ian Anderson: Still gray, a nice battleship gray. As for tree, still an oak. They’re slow growing, slow to mature, a bit grand, solid and decorative. Plus, they are quite useful, if you want to build a ship, sail around, and attack a small country far away, or something like that.


Jon Anderson  - photo by

Jon Anderson

Ever The Starship Trooper
by Gregory Harutunian
July 2011

During a phone conversation, Jon Anderson sounds just the way one would expect: exuberant, gracious, eschewing the mundane…in short, he is consistent with the description given by former Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman, “The only man we know of, who is trying to save this planet while living on an entirely different one.”

This makes asking even simple questions an adventure.

“What kind of tree would I be, and why? I would be a weeping willow because the branches look so beautiful as they caress the water of the river going by. And my favorite color? Turquoise. The blue is peaceful, serene…and fuschia because of the pink. That’s a nice color.”

Anderson is also an avid painter of flowers, when relaxing, as his color choices betray. “I just finished one yesterday, and I’ve kept it up all along.”

The last two years have been uncharted territory for him, following a life-threatening pulmonary illness which necessitated a hiatus from lead singing duties with the band he co-founded, Yes. The other members filled his position with Benoit David, from a Yes tribute band, and went out on tour, leaving Anderson to recoup and question their actions and loyalties.


Jean-Luc Ponty & Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson

Finding renewed strength with the Anderson Ponty Band
by Sal Serio
October 2015

Mystic, sage, poet, ringleader of prog-rock pageantry, Jon Anderson certainly has been an enigmatic figure in recent music history, but as this new interview clearly illustrates, the world-renowned singer is back with renewed vigor, and an eagerness to create new musical experiences along his endless journeys, which will bring The Anderson Ponty Band to play the South Milwaukee PAC on Wed. Nov. 4.


guitarist Mike Adkins (Uncle Kracker) - photo by Chris Levitan

Mike Adkins

An interview with guitarist Mike Adkins (Uncle Kracker)
by Tina Ayres
February 2015

Best known as the guitarist for Uncle Kracker, Mike Adkins has shared the stage with such iconic musicians as B.B King, Jeff Beck, and Eric Clapton. He has also played numerous shows with Kenny Chesney, Kid Rock, ZZ Top, Train, and others.

Maximum Ink: What did you love most about growing up in Detroit?
Mike Adkins: I guess one of the best things about growing up in Michigan, is that you get to experience all the seasons, in a proper fashion. Fall has to be my favorite, it’s hard to beat the beauty of Northern MI in Fall. On the other hand, there is over a foot of snow on the ground here right now, as I look out my window. Which, I’ll be honest, the older I get definitely makes me question why I haven’t left yet (laughs). But, I just love it here, not just because of the change of seasons, but because Detroit has soul…it has personality, and it has heart! The Detroit music scene molded me into the person/player that I am today, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ll leave it at that.

MI: What was it like to train in classical piano at the age of 8?
MA: It was interesting…I definitely wasn’t that great at first. And, I despised reading the music, which I still do today(smiles). Actually, most of the piano recitals that I remember doing, you would be sat at the piano with the sheet music displayed in front of you, and you were supposed to read the music as you played. Looking back at it now, I’m nearly positive that I just memorized all the songs and looked at the sheet music to appease my teacher. But, in the end piano helped me learn music theory, and eventually led me to guitar. So, I’m definitely thankful my Mom pushed me in that direction.

MI: What music did you first love? Do you happen to remember what your favorite first song was?
MA: Gosh, that’s a really tough one. I guess one of the first songs I can really remember loving was I Heard It Through The Grapevine by Marvin Gaye. The reason for that is, I was super into the California Raisins at the time, and that was their theme song. I remember I had the cassette and I would walk around my house singing and blaring it outta my mini boombox! Funny enough, I just started performing that song in my acoustic duo…so things have really just came full-circle so to speak(laughs).


Saliva closing out the night at Music Fights Back - photo by Tricia Starr- TStarr Photography

Music Fights Back

Post Show Follow-Up
by Al Brzostowski
June 2018

This past weekend, I had the experience to be at an amazing benefit, “Music Fights Back”.  It was not only the bands rocking a stage, but the overall energy that was almost tangible here. From the moment we walked up to the security area and mentioned why we were there, we were treated like family. Not because we were there to do an interview, and take photos.

Jeremy Cuff, the founder and president, along with Julie Simon, the VP


David Atwood, namesake of Atwood Avenue in Madison

Russian Hackers Break into AtwoodFest Servers and Leak Music Schedule

by Tom Butler
May 2017

As summer music festivals in the Madison market release their music schedules, AtwoodFest typically waits until Memorial Day to release its anticipated line up of local, regional, and national artists.

This year, it looks like the Russians have intervened and hacked into the AtwoodFest servers and leaked the live music schedule on

View the schedule here in its entriety:

Never before has this happened in small town America, but apparently Vladimir is trying to plan his summer fun schedule and could not wait until the holiday release.

Local authorities are calling for an independent investigation into the leaks but legislators in the capitol are using little known rules to block any attempts.

For now it looks like we’ll all have to wait for the official website to be released and trust that the leaks are accurate.


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