Sitting in the studio with John Dillard, I realized the magnitude of his talent. He’s smart, creative, original, and constantly evolving. His peers revere him as “an asset”, and “one of the funkiest.” John is humbled by those accolades, and works hard to exceed what’s expected of him. Having been influenced by great artists like Jaco Pastorius, and Marcus Miller, John knows how to infuse multiple styles of playing into his own. He contributes to the local music scene in Charlotte, NC, and was fortunate enough to work on the 2012 pilot track for the Golden Globe Award Winning show Homeland. While collaborating with other artists on various projects, and being the musical director for Stephanie Mills, he’s also stepped into his own spotlight. John is working on his solo project “Let’s Ride” that is scheduled to be released later this year.
Joe Lindsay is a soulful songwriter whose smooth sounds are evident every time you hear him play. Whether on his debut CD “I Wanna Groove”, or on stage with artists such as Stephanie Mills, or Brian Simpson. His music speaks to your emotions, and will always make you feel good. I sat down with Joe and had a conversation about his career.
PBN Joe, tell me when music became your calling.
JOE During my early teenage years when I was inspired by my next door neighbor who would sit outside on his porch and play the bass really loud, Bootsy style. He even had the Bootsy glasses. The funny part of the story is that I actually wanted to play bass guitar, but my parent’s bought the wrong one for Christmas. So it’s their fault I play guitar today.
PBN Did you play in High School?
JOE Yes, I started off playing the saxophone and was first chair every year. In 10th grade I switched to tuba. I switched to tuba because I like to play around a lot. So during band camp, the tuba’s would spot the 50 yard line, and didn’t have to do too much. It also leads back to the whole bass thing. I like being part of the low end.
PBN You attended Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, what were some of the most valuable lessons you learned about music and about yourself?
JOE To be honest, it was a very excellent school. They give you so much information that it doesn’t really click until after you leave. I learned about theory and the music business. Learning is a lifelong journey. I was there with Lalah Hathaway, Delfayo Marsalis, and Roy Hargrove. So it was great being surrounded by music all the time.
PBN What drives you to continuously evolve?
JOE The love of music and keeping up with what’s going on.
PBN What would you say you like the most between songwriting, performing, recording, collaborating, and managing your own career?
JOE Songwriting of course because of the creative part of it. Performing because you want people to feel what you’re doing. If they’re grooving, you’re grooving.
PBN Who are some of the legends in the industry that have inspired you?
JOE On the songwritng side, Curtis Mayfield, and Miles Davis who’s my all time favorite. On the guitar side, my all time favorite guitar player is Hiram Bullock. I love his style and his diversity. He plays and has fun at the same time.
PBN You write your own original music, you co-write, and you collaborate live.
Do you enjoy one of those more so than the others?
JOE I can’t say I like one more than the other. They all tie in together.
PBN When collaborating and co-writing, you’ve worked across different genres of music and artists.
PBN Do you know who you want to collaborate with when you’re writing?
JOE I know who’s sound I want, and I know who can give me that sound, so I call them up.
PBN Who are some of those artists?
JOE Kenneth Leonard, Rischard Jenkins, John Dillard, Marcus Anderson, Adrian Crutchfield, and Calvin Richardson
PBN You are known as a soulful artist, and you create music that is heartfelt and feels good.
How do you connect the soul and the heart together to create the music?
JOE It’s all feeling. Play from the heart and hope the people you’re playing for feel it. I come from the whole blues background. I love that stuff.
PBN When recording your CD “I wanna Groove”, did you draw from personal experiences?
JOE Maybe some. It’s kinda different when you’re doing instrumental music with no lyrics. But the ballads like track 7 “Your Eyes”, that’s for the ladies. That’s a good mood changing song in a good way.
PBN I’m looking forward to interviewing the many talented artists from North Carolina. Having said that, you are the first one, but on your CD you collaborated with some of the other’s.
PBN How was it collaborating with your fellow friends and musicians?
JOE It’s fun to work with your peers on one another’s projects.
PBN Finally, tell me what it feels like to have your debut album be as successful and well received as it has been.
JOE It feels great. It means a lot of my hard work is paying off. It’s doing what I need it to do. I’m planning on doing another smooth jazz CD. First, I have to continue performing and introducing “I WANNA GROOVE.”
PBN How can fans keep up with what you’re doing and where you will be performing?
Jazz singer-songwriter teams with Jeff Lorber for a deeply personal album about the demise of her marriage
Los Angeles, California (22 May 2013): Thinking that everything had fallen apart, the tears streamed down Carol Duboc’s face as she wrote the lyrics to “Smile,” the title track to the soulful jazz vocalist’s stunning sixth album that was released Tuesday (May 21) by Gold Note Music. She gazed at her young daughter’s smile and found hope. Hope infuses the painfully honest and courageously candid collection Duboc penned and produced with fusion pioneer Jeff Lorber about coming to terms with the end of her marriage. The shuffling beats of the funky first single, “Elephant,” one of Billboard BDSradio’s most added tracks this week, elusively dances around the realization that she and her husband faced: the amassed problems in the marriage were the elephant that could no longer be ignored.
Duboc and Lorber have a history of writing songs together that spans more than a decade yet became more frequent a few years ago when the chanteuse with the candied voice moved into a Los Angeles, Calif. neighborhood near Lorber’s home studio. They complement each other’s strengths as songwriters organically with Duboc coming up with catchy melodies and compelling storytelling lyrics for Lorber’s jazz-funk rhythms and grooves. Naturally turning to her own life for lyrical themes, Duboc delved into the flood of feelings that she was experiencing at the time in the troubled relationship. She intimately chronicled utilizing the process as a form of therapy allowing her to work through the morass. Despite the difficult subject matter, the songs are not bitter as Duboc instills a sense of hope into her melodies – perhaps because of her daughter’s presence. She remains poised throughout her cathartic emotional exploration.
“Smile” was recorded in the studio live with Duboc accompanied by a stellar ensemble consisting of Lorber (keyboards, Moog & guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Grammy-nominee Brian Bromberg (acoustic bass), Jimmy Haslip (electric bass), 3-time Grammy nominee Hubert Laws (flute), Michael Thompson (guitars), Luis Conte (percussion) and Tim Carmon (piano). Her graceful, caressing and expressive voice nestles into the plush contemporary jazz rhythm beds, rides the R&B grooves, and adds depth to the urbane pop confections.
After “Elephant” opens Duboc’s diary, the comforting and inspiring title track emits radiant light in the face of challenging times as captured in the uplifting video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIPYZRYApRc). The sultry “Unpredictable” is a tantalizing fantasy about a stranger on which Thompson’s cool jazz guitar riffs admonish the dangers of acting on the daydream. Duboc realizes her dream of scatting along with one of Laws’ solos on “Telepathy” although at the time she was preoccupied trying to read her husband’s mind. The sensual “Atmosphere” sets the mood for romance in the hope of rekindling the love. A brisk Latin jazz adventure, Duboc puts her fear of flying aside to offer a pledge of faith and trust on “Parachute.” An ethereal sonicscape spotlighting Bromberg’s nuanced acoustic bass heightens the sex appeal of Duboc’s enticing purrs and prowls on “Behind A Kiss,” which finds physical love on the other side of the tumult. On the jazzy “Gliding,” the singer yearns to fly free from her troubles underscored by Laws’ soaring and fanciful flute. Begging to know what “Nobody Knows,” Duboc’s marriage was rocked unexpectedly after she returned home from the studio one day to learn something shocking about her partner, which proved to be the beginning of the end. Duboc describes the buoyant “Mythological” as being a “great closer for this musical and emotional journey.”
To help launch “Smile,” Duboc will perform a pair of album release gigs backed by Lorber, Haslip, drummer Tony Moore and guitarist Adam Hawley this Sunday (May 26) at Spaghettini in Seal Beach, Calif. and in Hollywood on May 29th at the Catalina Jazz Club.
Ever since her 2001 debut album, “With All That I Am,” Duboc has consistently set the bar high for her critically-acclaimed sophisticated urban-jazz tunes that have garnered gushing praise from the likes of the Los Angeles Times and JazzTimes. Laws appeared on that first album and remains a fixture on her recordings that over the years have spawned multiple Top 5 airplay singles at Radio & Records and included collaborations with Lorber, Gerald Albright and Patrice Rushen. Duboc’s gift for composing and arranging has enabled her to author songs on gold and platinum-selling albums by Patti LaBelle, Chante Moore, Tom Jones, Stephanie Mills, Jade, George Duke, Maurice White, and Fine Young Cannibals. Duboc was tapped as a special guest on several of the all-star Ladies’ Jazz series alongside Sarah Vaughan, Jane Monheit, Diana Krall and Dinah Washington. The beautiful blond Kansas City, Missouri native made her motion picture debut in 2005’s “Be Cool,” which starred John Travolta, Uma Thurman and Danny DeVito. Additional information is available at http://www.carolduboc.com.