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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 11, 2016 0 comments
Sir George Martin passed away at the age of 90 in Wiltshire, England on March 8, 2016. Best known for his indelible, enduring, and daringly innovative studio work with The Beatles from 1962–70, Martin also produced a wide swath of artists including Peter Sellers, Gerry and The Pacemakers, Shirley Bassey, Ella Fitzgerald, The Bee Gees, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, America, Jeff Beck, and Cheap Trick. (The list could indeed go on and on and on...) Perhaps ELO mastermind Jeff Lynne (and onetime latter-day Beatles producer himself) said it best: “His productions were brilliant. He created his own sound.” I reached out to a number of musicians and producers to get their impressions of Sir George’s legacy from behind the board, as a trusted collaborator, and as someone who forever changed the way we listen to pop and rock music.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 29, 2011 0 comments

"Who is Don Draper?" That’s the opening line—and the crux—of Mad Men’s Season 4 arc, something that show creator Matthew Weiner confirms multiple times over the course his welcome appearance this three-disc Lionsgate Blu-ray set’s commentary tracks.

Mike Mettler Posted: Mar 08, 2011 0 comments

Ah, zombies. It's a word that either gets your blood pumping or you skin crawling, or maybe it does both. Regardless, I come to praise The Walking Dead, not bury it - far, far from the latter, in fact.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Feb 28, 2012 0 comments

Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason and I have previously discussed the band’s pioneering live quad shows of the late 1960s and the amazing Immersion box sets for Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon (the subject of our November 2011 cover stor

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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 05, 2016 0 comments
Rickey Medlocke's latest pet project has been to shepherd the next-generation incarnation of his beloved Blackfoot, who have committed their hard-charging sound to the grooves of a new album, Southern Native (Loud & Proud Records), that beautifully meshes traditional tones with modern sensibilities. I got on the horn with Medlocke to discuss the genesis of Southern Native, keeping true to his analog-centric inclinations, and what it was like working with his grandfather Shorty Medlocke back in the early days. It’s a highway song that keeps going on and on...
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Mike Mettler Posted: Oct 19, 2016 0 comments
Rik Emmett is an artist who’s always reveled in the creative benefits of teamwork and collaboration. The former guitarist/vocalist of Canadian power trio Triumph has forged quite the formidable and far-reaching solo career since he left the band in 1988, but he’s quite adamant about the all-for-one, band-centric, and exhilaratingly electrifying flavor of RES 9 (Provogue Records), the forthcoming album from his new four-man collective that’s been appropriately dubbed Rik Emmett & RESolution9. I called Emmett, 63, to discuss the sonic impetus behind RES 9’s audio identity, how life experience informs his songwriting, and the ongoing impact of Triumph’s Allied Forces, which was released 35 years ago this past September. “I got a burning heart/I got a hungry soul,” Emmett sings on “Human Race.” RES 9 more than RESolves the pangs of those cravings.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Apr 04, 2011 0 comments

When Robbie Robertson met Jimi Hendrix in New York’s Greenwich Village in 1966, Hendrix (then going by the name of Jimmy James) was intent on learning about a subject crucial to his future as an artist. “He only wanted to talk about songwriting,” revealed Robertson. “Because I was playing with Bob Dylan then, he thought I might know something about those secrets.” What was the best advice Robertson shared with Jimi? “If everybody is writing about one particular thing, then I would not go in that particular direction, because it’s crowded over there.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Aug 26, 2015 0 comments
It’s hard to believe, but the eternally youthful blues maestro Robert Cray is celebrating five decades of plying his craft with the imminent release of 4 Nights of 40 Years Live. So, uh, Robert, do you mind if we call you an “elder statesman” at this point in your career? “Well, we’re doing what we do, and I’m having fun doing it. To me, that’s the most important thing,” says Cray. “It’s funny; whenever it’s mentioned that we’re ‘getting up there,’ I always revert back to my heroes — John Lee [Hooker], and B.B. [King] — and I just think about those guys as being ‘the guys.’ I never consider myself as being on the same ship.” Sorry to disagree with the man, but Cray is most definitely onboard with being on par with the masters of the blues art form. I called Cray, 62, at his hotel during a tour stop in the Pacific Northwest to discuss the sonics of 4 Nights, the ongoing merits of vinyl, and why live woodshedding is vital for bands who want to improve. “Oh yeah, there’s been a lot of change over the years,” Cray observes about his storied career. I guess he showed us.
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Mike Mettler Posted: Jul 09, 2012 0 comments

With speakers strategically positioned all the way around The House That Ruth Built — a.k.a. Yankee Stadium — and buttressed by a multimedia visual presentation second to none, Roger Waters and his ace band tore through Pink Floyd’s seminal 1979 masterpiece The Wall in full on July 7 in the Bronx.

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Mike Mettler Posted: Sep 29, 2008 0 comments

Ah, sweet home Chicago. I remember partaking in a number of great local traditions when I used to call the Windy City my backyard: Going to Buddy Guy's Legends club for a late night of tasty blues. Seeing the Chicago River dyed green for St. Patrick's Day. Taking in a Chicago Cubs game in the bleachers at Wrigley Field.

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