Mike Mettler

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Mike Mettler  |  Jul 19, 2017  |  0 comments
Believe it or not, even Little Steven—Bruce Springsteen’s longtime guitar foil and songwriting soundboard in The E Street Band, and the decorated Godfather of the Underground Garage and Outlaw Country radio formats—feels the need to recharge the creative batteries every now and then. “This record turned out to be a really wonderful reset, reintroduction, and rebirth of myself,” Little Steven admits about his first solo album in 18 years, Soulfire (Wicked Cool/UMe). “It was a wonderful opportunity to start again, and really show my roots in a way I had never done before. I mean, I never put a blues song on a record before, I never did a doo-wop song before, and I never did a cover of anybody before I did this thing!”
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 12, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
“Outside, it’s America.” That’s U2 vocalist Bono, setting the stage for the explosive climax of “Bullet the Blue Sky,” one of the pivotal tracks on the band’s 1987 masterpiece, The Joshua Tree. As Bono purposefully charges his way through the denouement of the narrative, ace guitarist The Edge literally dive-bombs the aural equivalent of the lyrical floodlights—let’s call them “flood-licks”—through a series of unrelenting scorched-earth riffs while the track careens to its final U.S. caress.
Mike Mettler  |  Jul 05, 2017  |  0 comments
Sonny Landreth is the consummate slide player’s slide player. His smoky, swampy, down-home, Nawlins-certified slide playing carries such a unique blend of influences and originality that the phrase “slydeco” was coined just to describe it. I got on the horn with Landreth to discuss his SQ aspirations for the double LP Recorded Live in Lafayette, respecting and building on music history, and how learning to play wind instruments influenced his guitar style.
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 14, 2017  |  0 comments
John Mellencamp has never been known to pull his punches. “I saw through the music business very early, with the ‘Johnny Cougar’ thing,” he says, referring to the cringeworthy stage name given to him by a former manager in the 1970s. “I had the reputation of being very difficult—but I’m not, really. I’m just doing what most guys don’t do, which is stand up for yourself.”
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 07, 2017  |  0 comments
Performance
Sound
Paul McCartney was on quite the rollercoaster ride as an artist in the 1980s. He started the decade strong with the mostly one-man effort McCartney II and its on-the-mark hits like the pure pop perfection of “Coming Up” and the still influential electronica of “Temporary Secretary.” (I can also confirm firsthand that the latter track has been an early-set highlight of Sir Paul’s recent 2015-16 Out There! and One on One tour outings.)
Mike Mettler  |  Jun 01, 2017  |  0 comments
It was 50 years ago today that. . . well, you, of course, know the rest, don’t you? For on this storied day of June 1, 1967, The Beatles transformed the album format into an artform virtually overnight when they released the long-anticipated Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. To get a relatively balanced perspective on Sgt. Pepper at age 50, I spoke with both producer Giles Martin and Little Steven Van Zandt about the album's impact on both sides of the Pond.
Mike Mettler  |  May 18, 2017  |  0 comments
Richie Kotzen is a human dynamo. The prolific triple-threat songwriter/guitarist/vocalist has just released his, yes, 21st solo album, Salting Earth, on his own custom label, Headroom-Inc., but he doesn’t view that somewhat stunning stat as any kind of milestone. “I started making records when I was 18 [circa 1988], so it all makes sense to me. I’m persistent and consistent.” I got on the horn with Kotzen, 47, to discuss how microphones and preamp choices are critical for getting the sounds you want in the studio, why compression is a good thing, and his views on streaming.
Mike Mettler  |  May 04, 2017  |  2 comments
“It’s just part of our audio culture,” believes Saturday Night Fever director John Badham, who supervised the 4K 1080p print restoration and English 5.1 Dolby TrueHD surround sound updates for the film's Director’s Cut, which was released by Paramount on Blu-ray on May 2 in celebration of the film’s imminent 40th anniversary. Badham, 77, called in from Southern California to discuss how to maintain a gritty look in 4K, matching song tempo to what was being filmed, and the song originally used during the infamous dance-contest rehearsal that had to be replaced at the literal last minute.
Mike Mettler  |  Apr 19, 2017  |  2 comments
Though “A Whiter Shade Pale” singlehandedly sealed their position in rock history 50 years ago this May, Procol Harum continued to make sonic waves from the late ’60s on into the ’70s. Fast-forward to the present day, where Procol Harum continues to shine brightly as evidenced by the sweet and salty sounds of Novum, out on April 21. I called I called PH vocalist/pianist Gary Brooker across the Pond to discuss the live approach to cutting Novum, the ongoing impact of “A Whiter Shade of Pale,” and why he still likes playing with orchestras.
Mike Mettler  |  Apr 05, 2017  |  0 comments
With Genesis essentially in the rearview mirror save for reissues and other archival material, Mike Rutherford, the consummate songwriter/guitarist/bassist, has focused his energies on ensuring Mike + The Mechanics remains a going concern. To that end, Rutherford and his Mechanics have collectively tinkered under the hood to engineer the quite-fine-indeed-sounding Let Me Fly (The End/BMG), out on April 7. Rutherford, 66, called in to discuss his approach to Fly, how he thinks you should listen to it, and why he no longer sings his own material.

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