Friday, April 15, 2022

Gimme 5 - Troy Redfern does the Desert Island thing

Troy Redfern, who heads out on tour as special guest to When Rivers Meet from 21 April, is the latest guest for Blues Enthused's Gimme 5 feature, sharing 5 songs, old or new, that have been on his radar lately; 5 key influences on his music; and 5 people he'd like to hang out with for a long lunch.  And Troy dares to be different with an eclectic range of interesting selections.  So whaddya got for us, Troy?

Troy Redfern tunes up his Resonator in readiness to go on tour
Pic by Halek Gurer

Gimme 5 songs, old or new, that have been on your radar recently.  [Check out the links to hear all Troy's selections.]

'Taking Me Back' by Jack White:  "Jack White has always put out great records, but his lead single from his new album Fear of the Dawn really caught my ear. What I like about it is the combination of the old school garage vibe meets futuristic production." 

'Halfway Home' by Royston Langdon:  "Royston is one of my all-time favourite writers and vocalist, I absolutely loved his work with Spacehog. This single from his new Chains EP really hits the mark for me." 

'Scarlet Town' by Gillian Welch:  "The Harrow and the Harvest is such a beautiful album, the interplay between Gillian's vocals and Dave Rawlings guitar work is sublime. 'Scarlet Town' is as about as perfect as a song can be, stunning songcraft."

'Preaching Blues' by Son House:  "The newly released Forever On My Mind is astonishing in its primal beauty capturing Son in his later years. Son is the grandfather of the blues and was the guy that really made me want to play resonator guitar. 'Preaching Blues' is one of my favourite Son House tunes so it's great to hear this new version."

'Tension and Release' by Joe Satriani:  "Growing up Joe's albums Surfing With The Alien and The Extremist were on heavy rotation, I've always followed his releases. His new release The Elephants Of Mars is fantastic. Satriani continues to write amazing instrumentals with his unique voice on the guitar.

Gimme 5 artists or bands who have had a big influence on your work.

Son House:  "I discovered Son when I was about 14, it was a real turning point for me. Before then I'd been listening to later blues artists like Hendrix and Buddy Guy but getting back to the source was a revelation. His visceral, honest approach to the guitar really affected me, it really informed the mindset that I still have today every time I pick up the guitar."

Frank Zappa:  "Zappa's catalogue is whole musical universe unto itself.  From the early avant-
Cosmically colourful and complex Frank Zappa
garde, the blues influence, extended solos, beautifully complex compositions, and all executed with fierce originality. His music, from when I first heard it as a teenager has had a profound influence on me, and still does. It has everything that I love about music."

Queen:  "The very first band I got into when I was 6 was Queen. I would incessantly listen to A Night At The Opera and Sheer Heart Attack, loving the detail in the production. Brian May's guitar tones and harmonies are some of the best guitar parts ever recorded in my opinion." 

Mississippi Fred McDowell:  "Fred's slide guitar playing is as honest and raw as you can get.  I've always been a huge fan of hill country blues, it always felt more honest than the slick Chicago style. Fred's lead phrasing, touch and vibrato really speaks to me. There's a beauty in the rawness."

Bill Frisell:  "The sound scape, out of focus style of Bill Frisell is special. He's a master of weaving beautiful guitar melodies into a tapestry of unique textures and compositions. His approach really influenced me in the way you can build layers, especially using loops which I like to do live in my solo set."

Gimme 5 guests you’d love to invite to your ideal long lunch.

Graham Hancock:  "Graham's a British writer whose best-known work is Fingerprints of the Gods. It would be great to talk ancient civilisations with him, I've always loved the fascinating subject of early megolithic cultures and the strange anomalies that exist around the world, like
Bill Harkleroad shocked at lunch invite
that of Gobekli Tepe.

Jacques Vallée:  "Now that the once taboo subject of UFO's has had a paradigm shift with the recent Pentagon report delivered to Congress last year, it would be great to talk to one of the leading authorities on the subject. The case reports of military encounters since the 40s are mind-blowing."

Vinnie Colauita:  "Vinnie is one of my all-time favourite drummers. I'd love to talk polyrhythms and nested tuplets with him (nerd alert!), especially about his work during the years he spent working with Zappa." 

Gianni Russo:  "Now this guy has lived a life! His stories about his time with the mafia, his fling with Marilyn Monroe and singing lessons with Sinatra would be great to hear."

Bill Harkleroad:  "Bill played guitar for Captain Beefheart, I absolutely love his angular slide guitar playing. It would be ace to hear his stories of working under the iron fist of the good Captain and the process of constructing the parts for the Trout Mask Replica album.

Just one track – pick one of your tracks that you’d share with a new listener to introduce your music.

If I had to pick one track it would probably be 'Ghosts' from my 2021 album The Fire Cosmic.  It has all the elements that define my style.  

Check out the Blues Enthused review of The Fire Cosmic here.

Troy Redfern is special guest on When Rivers Meet's UK tour, which starts on 21 April.  Tickets are available from The Gig Cartel here.

If you want to read the Gimme 5 feature with When Rivers Meet's Aaron Bond, you can find it here.

If you want to listen to all of Troy Redfern's selected tracks at once, then check out the playlist on the Blues Enthused YouTube channel, here.

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