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Steve Palmer

Steve Palmer Band

an interview with Steve Palmer
by Tina Hall
January 2011

Singer/songwriter/ guitarist Steve Palmer worked for his Blackbird session with Bryan Ewald on lead guitar, Anthony Setola with bass(who is now replaced by Mario Sangermano), Tony Morra provides drums, Larry Hall offers up keyboards and Hammond B3 organ, and Vicki Hampton can be heard on background vocals. The band can be found touring with Blues Traveler and has opened for Sister Hazel and Bob Schneider. With Palmer also playing solo shows. He can be found where he now resides in Nashville, TN where his latest album Apparition was recorded.

Maximum Ink: Since there isn’t much out there on you yet, can you tell our readers a little about where you are from? How has your background influenced your musical stylings? How have you changed most since your early days?
Steve Palmer: The early days are real easy for me to describe. I started playing in Connecticut – I’d pick up a guitar and a pick, open my song book of the sixties and seventies (compiled by the New York Times) – and I played and sang. I sang a lot of different stuff from John Denver, Peter Frampton, Harry Chapin, Rolling Stones to James Taylor. And I listened to Jazz, Oscar Peterson, Joe Sample, Weather Report and John Coltrane. I think that’s where everything starts-the theory and feel of music and minor and major keys.  Jazz is a huge influence for me but so are the greats including Bruce Springsteen, Doobie Brothers, Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens who I played till the book wore out. Classical also opened up my musical mind.

Then after a year of that, I started performing in sixth grade and whenever anyone wanted to hear a tune. I played at talent shows, did some musicals, played at a few bars and restaurants but nothing with a band. My first song went something like, “Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue and . . .”  Now you know that’s probably a fifties jazz number.  Later, I spent a year in England my senior year in High School and started recording. First, it was with a good friend, Paul Hussell, on piano, guitar or even cello and then I came back and went into full-fledged recording sessions with first call New York City musicians at age eighteen. I played with some awesome guys but I never could find anyone who wanted to help me make a contact or sign me. So I just kept writing and writing even in college where I did two more recording projects. 

In 2004-5, I recorded four records with a producer in Virginia but things got finally rolling with my current group when I went down to Nashville and I went on the road. I had a lot of problems with studios and engineers and quality but I am happy with “Apparition” now. It just was very difficult to get to this point. I had to take “do it yourself” to the extreme. So that is how “Apparition” came into being. Out of Virginia and Nashville with some great studio musicians.

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Tyler Preston - photo by Sydney Akagi

Tyler Preston

An interview with singer/songwriter Tyler Preston
by Mike Huberty
August 2014

Recent Madison transplant TYLER PRESTON came all the way from the Last Frontier. Not space, nerd, but Juneau, Alaska. He showed up in 2012 with a guitar in his hand and has been knee deep in the scene ever since. In addition to fronting the KING STREET BAND, he also has played a residency at the Rigby Pub (the place on the Capitol Square with all the Beatles crap all over) and an open mic at the East Side’s Tip Top Tavern. He’s releasing his first album, “Changes”, on September 5th at The Brink Lounge. We talked to Tyler about the new album and what his music is all about.

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Milwaukee's Willy Porter

Willy Porter


by Mike Huberty
August 2009

Wisconsin folk artist WILLY PORTER has been touring around North America for the past two decades, seeing national success that began with the release of his 1995 album, Dog Eared Dream, which led to opening spots for Tori Amos, Jeff Beck, Toad The Wet Sprocket, and The Cranberries and catapulted his style of folk rock meets Dylan-esque wordplay to the top echelon of modern singer-songwriters.

His new album, How To Rob A Bank, just came out in June of this year and he produced it himself, a process that he says was more difficult in some ways and easier in others. “I think that it’s harder in some ways”, he says, “especially when you’re singing to know if you have the right inflection or you’re capturing the feel of what you want to convey. But I’m a big believer in the things that are a mistake today are the things that you love tomorrow. If the musicians played something and the musicians think that it’s cool and if you respect them and trust them, then it’s good. I tried not to use technology to edit or fix things into a state of unrealistic perfection and that was very liberating. I’ve worked with some people who let the machines get in the way and I’m not feeling that at all lately.”

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