It is extremely impressive that a writer with your credentials would find time to conduct a masterclass with students/members at the Stax Academy. What do you hope to share with the audience: songwriting tips, the pros and cons of pursuing a career in an artistic field, your thoughts about the state of the recording business, etc.?
"As for doing the master class, I really don't consider myself in those terms because I continue to learn and evolve as an artist and songwriter and I believe this is how it should be. I quite possibly could learn something from a novice. You never know...
Do you think you enjoy being a guest on Elvis Radio? Are you a big fan of Elvis Presley and the other Sun Records artists (Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, etc.)?
Yes, of course I'm a big fan of Elvis, he was the tipping point of everything that we still do in the music business and Sun records is the blueprint.
What are your thoughts about Willie Mitchell and the Hi Records/Royal Studio (Al Greene, Ann Peebles, etc.) sound? Did your group Brooklyn Dreams ever consider the music from Stax influential to what you were doing?
Yes, Brooklyn Dreams was definitely inspired by the Willie Mitchell, Al Green sound as well as everything that came out of Stax. We were and continue to be big fans of R&B music.
Are you very much of a blues music aficionado?
I wouldn't say I'm a blues aficionado but it is at the core of every song that I write.
Do you stil live in Nashville?
I no longer live in Nashville although I still do have a house there.
There was a huge and positive response to the "Donna Summer: Four Seasons of Love Exhibit" at the Grammy museum in Los Angeles. Is there a chance the presentation (or another new one) could find it's way to another venue? Perhaps the Grammy museum in Cleveland, Mississippi or the Rock and Soul museum in Memphis?
I think it would be great to do a Donna Summer exhibit at the rock and soul museum.
When you write a song--what is your approach? Do you find a chord structure and then place a melody on top and then find lyrics to fit the melody? Or just the opposite?
My approach for writing songs is varied.
You have taken a very political approach with "It Ain't Cool". Rush Limbaugh once told listeners on his his show that after (he is a huge fan) meeting you and Donna Summer on a plane and that you identify yourselves as capitalists/conservatives... do you subscribe to any one political ideology?
I don't subscribe to any one particular political ideology.
What can listeners expect from the new "21st century World" album?
21st Century World is a record I wrote to reflect the current cultural climate. It's about self serving governments, greed and capitalism, the homeless population, hypocrisy and religion. It's about a potential revolution, it's about the wounded ness we all possess. It's about the responsibility of the generation coming up, to preserve the things worth preserving and to embrace the new with measure and wisdom."
This world-class musician/songwriter has crafted songs for Brooklyn Dreams, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, Reba McEntire and his late wife, Donna Summer.