Category Archives: Music

Red Dragon Cartel’s Darren James Smith

Darren James Smith is the vocalist for Red Dragon Cartel, the new project of ex-Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Jake E. Lee. He stops by TheShoe to talk about his career.

Smith says that he had “been in the business long enough to have pretty much met everybody,” and came in contact with Lee that way. Smith recently encountered some controversy when he gave what he admitted to be a subpar performance at Los Angeles’ Whiskey A Go Go club. Smith explains that the band was practicing  “seven hours a night ending at four in the morning for four nights… I maybe got two hours’ sleep.”

Listen to the full episode here.

U2’s Bono and The Edge

The 2013 film Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom has been garnering a fair amount of awards buzz, and U2’s song “Ordinary Love,” written specifically for the film, has not gone unnoticed either. They’ve been nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Song. SnowbizNow talks to vocalist Bono and guitarist The Edge.

Bono says that “when you’re writing music for a film you’re trying to connect to the emotions of the scene.” Of the particular scene that he wrote for, he says that “it could be quite a triumphant moment because he’s finally become president… we didn’t want to write a triumph; we wanted to bring it back to the relationship” between Mandela and wife Winnie.

Listen to the full episode here.

Boyz II Men’s Shawn Stockman

Tammy Jones-Gibbs talks to Shawn Stockman of R&B group Boyz II Men. Boyz II Men has been performing since 1988 and had a string of hits in the 1990s including “I’ll Make Love To You” and “One Sweet Day.” Stockman is also a judge on NBC’s a capella competition show The Sing-Off along with singer-songwriters Jewel and Ben Folds.

Stockman talks about a new development on the show that allows eliminated contestants “another chance to fight for their position on the show,” and actual sing-off in which they face another contestant singing the same selection of music. Stockman credits the show’s success with “the fact that it doesn’t have Auto-Tune or any of those things… it’s fresh.”

Listen to the full episode here.

Ben Folds interviewed

Matty P’s Radio Hour talks to singer-songwriter Ben Folds, known for his work with the Ben Folds Five as well as appearing in NBC’s Sing-Off.

He talks about his work writing songs for actor William Shatner, saying that their album was a “cult classic.” He also discusses being a judge on Sing-Off, saying that he admired Simon Cowell’s work as a judge on American Idol, calling him “honest.”  He also talks about the importance of song choice on these competition shows, saying that it’s “sometimes really unfortunate when a group plays a song that’s the worst thing they could have done.”

Also interviewed are rapper Bushwick Bill and fitness guru Richard Simmons.

Listen to the full episode here.

Musician and actor Brian McKnight on acting and country music

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Tavis Smiley talks to Brian McKnight, Grammy-nominated musician and star of the Lifetime television movie A Country Christmas Story, also starring Dolly Parton.

McKnight claims that he is “not actively trying to be a movie star,” but takes roles when they come his way. A Country Christmas Story attracted him because of its story about a biracial woman, and because “there are a lot of lessons to be learned there.” McKnight, who plays an absentee father who is also a musician, thinks that the film affectingly portrays the conflict between career and family. He also talks about his history with country music, starting with Ray Charles’ country albums, and the history of black country musicians.

Listen to the full episode here.

Tuffus Zimbabwe, Saturday Night Live pianist

Bill Banfield talks to Tuffus Zimbabwe, keyboardist for the Saturday Night Live band on NBC. Zimbabwe talks about his career, calling the opportunity to play on SNL “a blessing.” He says that he never expected or planned to land the job, but was recommended for an audition.

Zimbabwe also talks about the process of playing on the show, including playing with guest artists. Despite the pressures of playing live on television, he sees it as “just a gig” and says that the band can easily recover from mistakes without the audience noticing. He discusses his beginnings, his parents getting him piano lessons after finding him playing his grandmother’s electric organ.

Listen to the full episode here.

Jamaican dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry

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Lee “Scratch” Perry is a major musical innovator, having been instrumental in the development of reggae and dub music. Active for almost fifty years, his latest album was last year’s collaboration with electronic producer The Orb, The Orbserver in the Starhouse. Perry stops by CrsRadio to talk about his career and worldview.

Perry talks about his personal inspirations, including his belief in the evils of tobacco and the importance of moderation in substance use. He also discusses the current state of Jamaican society, saying that violence and “judgement” are too prevalent.

Listen to the full episode here.

Cyrus Webb and Billy Ray Cyrus

Cyrus Webb talks to famed country musician Billy Ray Cyrus about his new memoir Hillbilly Heart. Cyrus talks about his reasoning behind writing the book, saying that he “wanted to bring the truth” and describing the writing process as a search for purpose, saying that “if I can write it down and read it myself, maybe somewhere along the line it might find purpose in helping others too.”

They also discuss Cyrus’s background in baseball and his decision to move toward music, saying that “I thought I was going to be the next Johnny Bench… but I had always prayed that God would give me the wisdom and the vision to do the things I was supposed to do and be the person I was supposed to be.”

Listen to the full episode here.