From sweet and smooth classics, to new names, to old names with new music...the focus here, is to shine a little light on some damn fine music.

I'll find it. You can listen, review, or tell me I wouldn't know good music if it kicked me in the ass. I personally don't give a shit.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Harmonies, Interviews, and Asking the Question

Over the past two+ years, I've had the pleasure of interviewing some interesting people. Some were easier to interview than others, some were more compelling than others, and some have done so many, it's a battle to keep the interview going in the direction you want, and not get pulled into their comfort zone.

Mostly I've done interviews with musicians because, duh... music. There is usually one question I always ask, and having read hundreds of interviews done by journalists more seasoned than I, it is one which seems to be asked in a vast majority of them. "What are your musical influences?" Sometimes the answers are predictable as to a specific genre, band or artist. But every once in a while, and this is why it's such a fascinating question, the answer just blows you away.

Saturday, as I was in the car, I caught some bits and pieces of an interview done with Stephen Stills, David Crosby and Graham Nash, which took place on the Deep Tracks station of Sirius Radio. As we all know, the CS&N sound is based not only on their excellent song catalog, but on the harmonies between the three, and especially between David Crosby and Graham Nash. The whole interview was an easy back and forth, when the influence question arose. Croz and Nash talked about an album they've had for over 40 years, and how the harmonies on it continue to influence them to this day. What group could possibly impact the two singers so thoroughly? The 1954 recording of the Women's Choir of Bulgaria. Wait, what?

Yep. Go figure.

Nash went on to tell the story about how, some years back, the present-day Choir was appearing in the United States, had heard about his love for their harmonies, and was asked to introduce them at a show. Though he lived in Hawaii, there was no way he wasn't going to do it. He was told the Choir wanted to meet him, and he expected they would sing a song to him as a thank you.  What he didn't expect was the choir to gather round him and sing the end to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes." You know the "doo, doo, doo, doo,doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo." Done in perfect harmony. Can you even imagine?

And that's why, even if you don't end up using it in the interview, you always ask the influence question.

So here's a taste of an old recording of the Bulgarian Women's Choir. I'm not sure if it's part of the album that influenced Crosby and Nash, but you'll get the idea.

And a little taste of "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

Absolutely love that story.



  1. That was not the first group that came to mind! Great harmonies though!

    1. Really? I'm shocked you didn't think of them... though it was a few years before your time. :)

  2. Have to look up the rest of that interview. That was very interesting, too bad we were jumping in and out of the car.