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Sonny Knight & the Lakers

Sonny Knight & the Lakers

An interview with Sonny Knight
by Teri Barr
July 2014

Wow. It’s all I can say following my conversation with Sonny Knight. The Twin Cities-based musician will be playing AtwoodFest 2014 in Madison on Sunday, July 27th, and I have more than just circled the date. It’s not just the incredible talent of Knight and his band, but his enthusiasm won me over. And here’s what makes you want to support what’s happening with Knight—who tells ms he wakes up every morning, grateful for another day. Though agile, and young looking, Knight is 66 years old. Yup, 66 and just getting his first taste of what it’s like to find success in the music business. He took time to tell me more about what kept him connected to music all these years, and why he’s looking forward to playing his first Madison-area show. And it will be one you won’t want to miss.

Maximum Ink: You are getting a lot of attention for this current project, how does it feel to be recognized for your music?
Sonny: It feels great! I am hanging out, jammin’ with cats half my age, and I love it. I’m finally getting this chance to pursue my lifetime dream.

MI: So music has always been your goal?
Sonny: As a kid growing up in the South, it was always about Gospel. I was little but already on a big stage at church. And as I grew up I played with different bands; but was most interested in funk and soul. There was some success here and there, but nothing like this!

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vintage Blood, Sweat & Tears

Steve Katz of Blood Sweat And Tears


by Sal Serio
September 2009

Steve Katz’ initial guitar motivation came from folky blues great Dave Van Ronk and the Reverend Gary Davis. I asked Katz about his first guitar and his connection to Van Ronk. “(It) was a Gibson J200 acoustic. I never even played electric until I joined The Blues Project. I took lessons from Dave when I was just a beginner. Both Van Ronk and Rev. Davis will always be major influences on me.”

Inspired by the folk and jug band music that was popular in the early/mid 60s Greenwich Village scene, Katz found himself in a group of like-minded friends and musicians, including Stefan Grossman, Maria Muldaur, John Sebastian, and David Grisman, forming the Even Dozen Jug Band and recording a self-titled album in 1964 for Elektra Records. Steve commented to me on this early group of eventually high profile performers, “The great thing about the jug band was the diversity of styles of all the members. There was a blues, bluegrass, and a ragtime contingent. We were all friends and it was a great way to bring all our musical interests together. We performed at Carnegie Hall, on The Tonight Show, and a TV show called Hootenanny.”

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Guitarist Wayne Krantz - photo by Vikas Nambiar

Wayne Krantz

An interview with Guitarist Wayne Krantz
by Tina Hall
April 2012

Guitarist Wayne Krantz is best known for his work as a solo artist. He has also graced the stage with such artists as Steely Dan,  Billy Cobham, and Michael Brecker. His tenth album Howie 61 offers up
blues inspired rock riffs that appeal to fans of both genres. Joining him on the album are such iconic artists as Vinnie Colaiuta (Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, Sting), Tal Wilkenfeld (Jeff Beck, Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock), Pino Palladino (Jeff Beck, The Who, Eric Clapton), and Anton Fig of The Letterman Show’s “World’s Most Dangerous Band”, and many others (Keith Carlock, James Genus, Nate Wood, Henry Hey, Owen Biddle, Charley Drayton, John Patitucci, John Beasley, Jeremy Stacey, Paul Stacey, Yasushi Miura, David Binney, Kenny Wollesen and Gabriela Anders.

Maximum Ink: Can you tell us a little about your background? What were you like as child?
Wayne Krantz: Young, mostly. I hear when I was brought home from the hospital my dad cranked Beethoven on the stereo all day long. That basically never stopped.

MI: Who were some of your earliest influences?
WK: Early on it was Beatles, Monkeese, Debussy, Herb Alpert, Dionne Warwick, James Bond themes. Then came Led Zeppelin, Jethro Tull, Santana, Sons of Champlin. Then Miles Davis, John Mclaughlin, George Benson, Joe Pass, Herbie Hancock, Jim Hall. Then Pat Metheny, Mike Stern, Prince. Finally, Hendrix. Then nobody. Well, this guy Yasushi Miura has been knocking me out lately. Not really an influence, but someone who confirms what I’m doing in some way.

MI: When did you first know that you wanted to be a musician?
WK: When I was 16. I was listening to a Sons record called “Follow Your Heart” and decided to take their advice.

MI: What was your very first guitar? Do you remember what was running through your head when you got it?
WK: I started on a Framus acoustic my Dad had in the attic. I was really intrigued by it for some reason, even though it only had two strings on it at the time.

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Wiz Khalifa

Wiz Khalifa

Keepin' it on the Level
by John Noyd
May 2011

Washed in champagne and sensimillia bravado, smooth-talking rapper, pop upstart and lifestyle compiler, Wiz Khalifa slings off-putting epithets, suave posse politics and pussyfooting bragging rights glamorizing a cushy life of sleeping in and going out.  As a son of two military parents Wiz is no stranger to discipline or duty but his allegiance to his fan base, the Taylor Gang, and his, success is the best revenge, work ethic are a far cry from dawn patrols and reveille.

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