Know Your No-Stars

Gregg Juke:

1) How did you get started playing music?

Drum lessons in Elementary school… Then we started a band (“Red Cellar”) in High School.

2) What attracted you to Blues and roots music?

The sound, the emotionality, and the African connection to all of the rest of American music…

3) Who is your favorite Blues musician?

Far too many to choose one from. Vocalists— A few I love are Johnny Adams, Brook Benton, Kim Wilson, Joe Williams and Lucky Peterson. Harp players—There are too many great ones!

4) Who is your overall favorite musician?

Again, that question is basically “unanswerable,” but a few I really dig in various categories: Vocalists—Paul Carrack, Betty Carter, Toots Hibbert, Don Henley, Johnny Hartman, Sting, Israel Houghton, Bryan Duncan, Jonathan Maracle, John Wetton, Ruben Blades, Paul Williams and David Ruffin (the Temptations)… Percussionists—Alex Acuna, Ralph MacDonald. Drummers—Too many to choose from. Local favorites include Louis Marino, Ted Reinhardt, Mike Caputy, Howard Wilson, Frank Briggs, and Danny Hull. My most favorite musicians are the guys in the band!

5) If you had to pick one “desert island” album, which would it be? (Blues or any other...)

Blues—“James ‘Blood’ Ulmer; Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions.” Overall—I’ll have to get back to you!

6) What’s in your CD player/I-Pod/personal music listening device right now?

The soundtrack from “Spider-Man I.”

7) What’s your favorite movie?

“Tombstone.” (That could change tomorrow… I love good movies).

8) TV show?

Currently? “Lost.” Also a big “Star Trek” fan.

9) How do you like to spend your down time? What are your favorite things to do besides playing music?

Time to spend with my family and friends is as precious as gold. I enjoy sitting down every once in awhile… I like to read (history, classics, novels, musicology, theology), watch films, read my comic books, ride my Yamaha, go camping… Songwriting is both work and recreation for me (uh-oh, I broke the rules and snuck some music in there). And did I mention the sitting part?

10) What is the most important thing that you think people should know about you and your music?

The guys in the band and I are “lifers;” we’re not into music simply for kicks-- we mean everything that we play and sing. We like to have fun, but there is a message in the music underneath all of the showbiz hoopla… We’d like our audience to have a great time at our gigs, but also to listen for the deeper meaning. We want to expand the territory of “Blues” music.


Bruce Rounds:

1) How did you get started playing music?

The Saxophone in 5th grade…

2) What attracted you to Blues and roots music?

A dreamy singer and harp player named Juke…

3) Who is your favorite Blues guitarist?

Robben Ford.

4) Who is your favorite overall electric guitarist?

Larry Carlton.

5) If you had to pick one “desert island” album, which would it be? (Blues or any other...)

“Songlines” by Derek Trucks.

6) What’s in your CD player/I-Pod/personal music listening device right now?

Too many to name, and styles all over the map!

7) What’s your favorite movie?

“This Is Spinal Tap.”

8) TV show?

“Prison Break.”

9) How do you like to spend your down time? What are your favorite things to do besides playing music?

Playing catch with my kids.

10) What is the most important thing that you think people should know about you and your music?

I'm a musician with a passion and fire to explore new sounds and the perfect solo!

 


Joel Thomas:

1) How did you get started playing music?

My parents started me on piano at age nine.

2) What attracted you to Blues and roots music?

I have loved all kinds of music my whole life but became more interested in roots music while working in a 50's band…

3) Who is your favorite Blues or R&B bass player?

James Jamerson.

4) Who is your favorite overall electric bassist?

Victor Wooten.

5) If you had to pick one “desert island” album, which would it be? (Blues or any other...)

Marvin Gaye’s Greatest hits.

6) What’s in your CD player/I-Pod/personal music listening device right now?

“Collin James: Little Big Band II.”

7) What’s your favorite movie?

“Return to Me.”

8) TV show?

“Andy Griffith.”

9) How do you like to spend your down time? What are your favorite things to do besides playing music?

Hunting, fishing.

10) What is the most important thing that you think people should know about you and your music?

That I mean every note that I play.


Bret Norvilitis:

1) How did you get started playing music?

My mom made me take piano lessons when I was in 2nd grade. When I got to middle school, though, and heard the senior drummer playing in the band room, my path was laid out before me.

2) What attracted you to blues and roots music?

I love setting up a groove that forces people to dance. That’s one of my greatest satisfactions as a drummer.

3) Who is your favorite blues drummer?

Well, I don’t know too many of them. I know who my wife’s favorite is!

4) Who is your overall favorite musician?

Neil Peart, Phil Collins, Mike Portnoy, David LaBruyere, Matt Malley, Greg Richling to name but a few.

5) If you had to pick a “desert island” record what would it be?

Rush “Moving Pictures” or Joe Jackson “Big World”

6) What’s in your MP3 player right now?

Dream Theater, Marillion, Mandy Moore, John Hiatt, “Wicked”, Gregg Juke, Big Country, Vanessa Carlton, The Police, classic Motown.

7) What’s your favorite movie?

"That Thing You Do"  It’s about a drummer, after all.

8) TV Show?

"The Office" or "Lost".

9) How do you like spending your down time?

Down time? What’s that? Seriously, I like spending time with my wife and two kids wherever. Hanging out in the back yard, swimming, going on bike rides, church. You know, the usual.

10) What is the most important thing people should know about you?

When you hear me play, you are hearing my personality. Music isn’t just something that I do. It’s who I am and informs every part of my life.


 


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