Blues Guitarist Fields discusses His New Album, Detonation

Good morning, everyone.  As promised, I’ve got a second interview to share with you this morning.  Those of you that read my blog each day will remember that I recently reviewed the new album from bluesman Dave Fields.  Well I was lucky enough to interview Dave and discuss his new album.  Now you get to check out our conversation for yourselves.  His new album, “Detonation” is out now, by the way!  Enjoy!

RR –Let’s focus on this new album to start things off.  In comparison to your first two records, this one has definitely seen you branch out and really show your chops more than ever.  When or how did the change come about on this album?  Was it a conscious choice, or was it just something natural that happened?

DF — People would come up to me after seeing one of my shows and tell me that they loved my recordings but my live shows had a certain fire that the recordings lack. This CD is for the most part “live” in the studio with very little overdubs. My hope was that it would capture the fire of a “live” Dave Fields show.

RR — Staying on “Detonation”, I think my personal favorite song is ‘Bad Hair Day.’  You’ve gone from blues early on in the record to reggae. Speaking of branching out, this is definitely a far cry from your previous material.  Yet you really aced it.  Can you talk to me about how this song came to life? 

DF — HA! This is a funny story. This song is 100% about going to a hair stylist and having them cut my hair in an unexpected way! The day after I had this unexpected haircut, I woke up and really looked at my hair. I was very upset. Upon examining my feelings and seeing how silly it was that I would get that upset over a hair cut I decided to write ‘Bad Hair Day’! I guess we all over react over silly things in our lives. This song was all about poking fun at myself!

RR — One of your influences noted on this record is Jimi Hendrix.  That’s especially the case with the album’s opener, ‘Addicted to your Fire.’  To me personally, I do hear a hint of Jimmy.  But I hear more Stevie Ray Vaughan than Jimi.  Were you going for one or the other specifically?

DF — Jimi Hendrix is one of my biggest influences and there are many musical moments on this CD that pay homage to him. I love Stevie Ray Vaughan but if I sound like him on this CD its because we both listened to Jimi!

RR — I really enjoyed your song ‘Doing Hard Time.’  That is such a great old school twelve bar blues style song.  The inclusion of Joe Louis Walker was a great addition to it, too.  Can you talk to me about how that partnership came about? 

DF — When I met Joe on The Legendary Blues Cruise a few years back, I felt an instant connection with him. It seems like every time I see him that connection grows. When we hang out or when we play I always feel like I know what’s in his soul. He’s a kindred spirit. That’s why I wanted him to be included on this CD.

RR — Did you personally have one song that you really enjoyed writing more than any other on this record?

DF — They all come from a personal place and personal experiences in my life. There are two songs: ‘You Will Remember Me’. This song sounds like a love song but it’s really written to my mother who disappeared from my life when I was 4 and ‘Same Old Me’ which is written for my father who was my greatest musical influence.

RR — I want to change gears for just a moment.  In doing my research for this interview, I noticed you recently had a big honor.  You were inducted into the New York Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame.  What was your reaction when you were told that you were going to be inducted?

DF — Wow…! It was such a great, great honor to be included…. Not to mention I was inducted the same day as some of my hero’s: Will Lee, Jon Paris and Gary US Bonds (just to name a few).

RR — Looking at your tour schedule, you’ve got lots of dates in the northeast.  I’m probably sounding a bit naive here, but I’m kind of curious about this.  You’re also touring in Europe.  Blues is a popular genre here in the U.S.  But not mainstream popular.  What’s the general take on the blues overseas?  Have you seen any difference?

DF — It’s an amazing thing to play shows over seas and see in the audience both young kids in the early 20’s AND people in their 60’s really into this music and in the same club. Blues music has a universal appeal. Also there’s a certain electricity that happens in the audience at shows overseas. In Europe they grow up listening to blues and American music so when they see someone from the US they go crazy!

RR — Staying on the tour topic, looking at your tour dates, for your fans out there.  Are the dates listed on your website, http://www.davefields.com, your full slate of tour dates, or can fans expect more dates to be announced?

DF — New dates keep popping up. We’re in a booking frenzy now! Stayed tuned to the website to keep updated!

RR — You still consider yourself “a student” of music and guitar, despite your popularity,  that’s rare among musicians today.  I’d love to know how you keep yourself so grounded in a business that’s all about ego.

DF — I’m not just a student of music I’m a student of life and it can be very humbling when you’re a student! I’ve tried live my life in an inquisitive way. I feel there’s always so much to learn from life and other people. To me, that’s one of the joys of living, discovering new exciting things and new ways to express them. Hey, I’m excited about what I will learn in the future!

RR — I’ve just got one last question before I have to go.  You’re a very popular artist, as we’ve already discussed.  So for those listeners who have yet to hear your music, what one thing would you want them to know more than anything that you hope would get them interested in your music?

DF — I want the new listeners to know they will go on a musical journey that will wind through a myriad of emotions, feelings and thoughts and in the end I would want them to feel inspired, uplifted and like they had a fun time listening to the CD.

DF — P.s. These are GREAT questions! Thanks for asking them!

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Bluesman’s New LP Some Of His Best Yet

Courtesy: Field of Roses Records

Guitarist Dave Fields’ new record, “Detonation”, is a good listen for any fan of the blues or just generally enjoyable music.  On his third release—due out Tuesday, September 18th–Fields has decided to branch out more from his blues roots, and try his hand at something more experimental.  That experiment has produced some very good musical fruit, so to speak.  While “Detonation” does still have elements of Fields’ previous blues heavy records, it also goes in a little more mainstream direction, showing even more of his ability and talent.  The music isn’t all that makes this album a success.  “Detonation” also succeeds because of the album’s packaging.  Rather than using the standard plastic casing, he has opted for a much easier way to contain the disc.  And making the song lyrics part of the packaging only adds to the overall success of this album, making it a release that his fans new and old will enjoy with each listen.

Fields is said to channel his “inner Hendrix” in the album’s opener, ‘Addicted To Your Fire.’  But a closer listen makes this song much more comparable to the likes of fellow guitar legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan.  That’s not to say that there isn’t at least some Hendrix influence there, too.  Regardless, the energy of the song does a good job mirroring the song’s lyrical content.  Fields sings on this song, “I’m addicted to your fire/Need to feel all your attraction/Got that 9-1-1 attraction/Your passion is like a nuclear reaction.”  That chorus conjures images of two people getting down, dancing, sweat pouring over each of them, the shared energy and feelings obvious as they dance.  That’s the clean version of course.  The music helps to enhance that image too, making it that much clearer.

‘In The Night’ is a little bit slower, but still just as funky.  It almost sort of picks up where ‘Addicted To Your Fire’ leaves off.  He sings about something a little more than a couple just meeting and feeling some sparks to say the least.  He sings, ‘Gonna make it right/and make it new/Won’t stop ‘til the sun comes up/There’s nothing that can hold back love/When angels fly on the wings of a dove.”  It’s pretty obvious what he means with this.

Fields has some really good bluesy material on this new LP.  But what makes it worth the listen isn’t just the blues songs included in the sequencing.  Fields branches out on this album.  And fans will love it, too.  He gets in a Bob Marley style song in ‘Bad Hair Day.’  The irony of the song is as much as it jams, it’s still very much a blues song.  He sings literally about a bad hair day.  He sings, “When the sun won’t shine/When I feel like I’m/Going out of my mind/There’s nothing really worse than a/Bad Hair Day/Bad Hair Day.”  Yes, it seems silly for a song topic.  But somehow he makes it work for what is one of the standout songs on “Detonation.”

“Detonation” has lots of good music for Fields’ fans throughout.  There’s a little bit of a rock feel, along with plenty of old school twelve bar blues pieces, and other styles, too.  It all combines to make for a good multi-purpose record that can be enjoyed any time of the year.  The music isn’t all that makes this a good record, though.  That each song’s lyrics would be included in the “case” itself is another positive.  Instead of making listeners have to thumb through a booklet, the lyrics are right there for listeners.  This might come across as a minor factor in the overall effect of an album.  But for those wanting the full effect of an artist’s music, this is a very good addition.  It all combines to make for an album that any true music lover will want to check out. 

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