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Articles in Reverse

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Robert Randolph & the Family Band on the cover of Maxmum Ink in June 2003

Robert Randolph and the Family Band

by Brett Lemke
June 2003

With the entrancing sound of Robert Randolph’s 13 string Pedal Steel, a brutally tight rhythm section, and a dynamic Hammond organ, Robert Randolph & The Family Band have blasted through the jamband scene. Their combination of Gospel, Blues, and relentless passion explodes with a burning fury onstage. All in all, they justly deserved their recent W.C. Handy award for Best New Artist. “We know what to play when it comes to gospel, and how you’re supposed to play it,” said Robert Randolph during a recent interview with Maximum Ink.

Years spent growing up in church in Orange, New Jersey and staying active in the musical community of his congregation helped 24 year-old Robert develop his skill playing the lap steel guitar. His two cousins, Bassist Danyell Morgan and drummer Marcus Randolph, along with longtime friend/organist John Ginty make the Family Band. “We used to play Ted’s Jam in church all the time,” said Robert, “The music at our church is truly unique. Everybody gets involved. They call it ‘dancing under the holy spirit.’ “


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Fingertight

Fingertight

by Conor Kuzdas
July 2003

When people tell Scott Rose that his band doesn’t sound enough like something else, he typically just nods and smiles. The topic comes up a lot because Fingertight’s sound tends to vary. At times they’ll be as crunchy and aggressive as any nu-metal band while at others they sound as melodic and contemplative as fellow Californians, Incubus. While some might see this as a fault, it’s always refreshing to find a band willing to take two different areas of metal and explore the soundscape in-between in the way that Fingertight does.


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Kristin Hersh

Kristin Hersh

by John Noyd
July 2003

When songs come to Kristin Hersh she has found it best not to ignore them. Fronting rafter-cracking banshee rockers the Throwing Muses, she depended on her muse to provide the band songs. So, even though she made the band a “non-functioning entity” seven years ago, when some songs came to Kristin she couldn’t get a handle on, she packed off the solo demos along with a batch of homemade cookies affectionately known as the Devil’s Feedbag, to Muse bassist Bernard Georges. His solution was obvious. These were band tunes. Thus was born the temporarily reformed Throwing Muses. Uncannily, it came back as it always should have been.  The record was recorded quickly over three weekends while they were still learning their parts. Kristin says the nervous energy had them all on fire and new classics like, “Mercury,” and, “Pandora’s Box,” show her point.  The sessions were planned around the band member’s schedules instead of intruding on pre-existing routines.  Kristin says the main reason she broke up the band was because she couldn’t ask her friends to go through the rigors of holding it all together.  They were no longer teenagers and everyone was looking to settling down.


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Canned Heat circa 2003

Canned Heat

by Brett Lemke
August 2003

They were the Scotch-and-Marlboro Blues voice of the Summer Of Love. Canned Heat’s story endures with their cross-generational appeal as the dynamic blues band that played the theme song to Woodstock and backed up John Lee Hooker. From Woodstock and the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival to Hell’s Angels club tours to festivals and bike rallies, drummer and founding member Adolfo “Fito” De La Parra has re-formed Canned Heat a dozen times with reoccurring members, blues legends, and new faces. He has been touring constantly and releasing new records for 37 years, and is currently promoting the new album Friends In The Can. Fito spoke with Maximum Ink about the new line up, his autobiography Living The Blues, and pushing forward in the mission of delivering boogie music to people who will listen.

In 1969, Canned Heat manager Skip Taylor was booking the band nightly on opposite coasts. “We were [sleeping] in the cargo area of the planes between gigs,” said Fito, “I was sleeping on the floor of the airplane hangar while the helicopters were taking off.” They had to commandeer a helicopter from a news crew to get to the festival. “Fuck you, we’re going to MAKE the news!!” Bear was quoted in Living The Blues. He then hurled the reporter through the door, “We are The Canned Heat. It is more important that we get there than you, so we’re taking this helicopter!” When finally in the air, Taylor shot off a random photo of the crowd as they flew onto the grounds. Later, it became the cover of Ravi Shankar’s Woodstock album. The roadies made it through the sea of people and met the band with their gear as they landed. Later while on LSD, Taylor negotiated an on-site contract for royalties and film rights, and stole a limo for their gig in Atlantic City the next night. Going Up The Country was forever after the theme song for Woodstock. “We’re more infamous than famous,” said Fito, “But we really don’t care.”


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Jackie Green on the cover of Maximum Ink in August 2003

Jackie Greene

by David A. Kulczyk
August 2003

Jackie Greene has often been called an overnight sensation, but his overnight success took six years. “I don’t want to say that I’ve paid my dues, but I kind of have,” said Greene.  “I’ve played since I was 16 in stupid little clubs, just myself, and got paid shit to do it. I had to go outside on breaks because I wasn’t 21.”

Now 22, Jackie started playing piano when he was very young, took a few lessons, but eventually quit and taught himself. Then, after a Metallica-Guns and Roses-Nirvana preteen stage, he started listening to the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and The Beatles .  Working his way backwards, he went through his parent’s record collection and discovered Ray Charles, Muddy Waters and Mississippi John Hurt. His life changed completely. He dove into American roots music and never looked back. Inspired by Tom Waits and Bob Dylan, Greene decided to start writing his own material.


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vocalist Neil Fallon of Clutch - photo by Andrew Frey

Clutch - Neil Fallon

by Andrew Frey
August 2003

“I suppose anything, whether you like it or not, is an influence,” begins Clutch front man and vocalist Neil Fallon when queried about where the band’s inspiration comes from. “We try to be wide open to many different types of music. I think we find non-rock music the most interesting. After all, one can only do so much with drums, bass, guitar, and vocals. Most music in the world doesn’t use that setup and for us, those are the most interesting musics.  But of course, Led Zeppelin never fails.”

So how about the style of music then? Why has Clutch chosen play the style of music that they play? “Because we are the products of our time and environment,” replies Fallon matter of factly.


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