Featured Artist Interview with Annalise Stalls

It's amazing how some things fall into place with suspicious ease, while others take an inordinate amount of time and effort to complete. I discover this reality again and again in the world of music. Such is the case with my interview with saxophonist, composer, arranger and now writer, Annalise Stalls. We were both determined to make it happen, but life and its many unforeseen or uncontrollable circumstances was just as determined to throw wrenches into our well made plans. Still, the determination on our side finally won out and we were able to sit down recently to talk.

What strikes me most about Annalise, is that while on the outside she appears shy, unassuming and almost demure, she is also confident, passionate, driven and full of ambition to reach new and higher goals personally and professionally. She seems to manage these contradictory personas comfortably and comes across as quite charming. There is no doubt about her love of music, her desire to stretch its boundaries and achieve even greater success - and pleasure - from writing and performing. She speaks of it in matter-of-fact terms as if it has already been decided and done and I like that vision. As is often the case, when we settled into a rhythm, the conversation grew more comfortable, easy and relaxed which is what I am always hoping for. Enjoy!

Many thanks to anonymous donor for graciously hosting us for this interview and to Melody Watson for her inspiration, technical, and blogging expertise.

Featured Artist Interview with Channing & Quinn

While being able to help indie musicians tell their story is humbling and rewarding in its own right, the coolest and most fun thing about doing these interviews is, for me, discovering how many truly hard-working artists there are out there doing their best to be good at their trade and make a name for themselves, while being genuinely down-to-earth people as well. That's a tricky balance to maintain. Maybe it's just me and the path that led me here, but I have dealt with some real shallow characters in my time; ones who bought into the "I'm a star" syndrome and were only in the business for what it could do to massage their egos. I find the musicians I meet today are much more "aware" of themselves and the world around them and look at the bigger picture. Thankfully.

Such is the case with the most recent pair of featured artists, Channing & Quinn. On and off the stage they are warm, welcoming and comfortably-approachable. Now if you've been to a party where you might have known only the host or maybe no-one at all, you can understand what a challenge it is to be in unfamiliar surroundings and amidst a sea of strange faces. Imagine doing that night after night in places far removed from the comfort of home. It says a lot about these two that they have found a way to keep travelling on the road fun and fresh enough to go at it with heart-felt smiles and renewed energy night after night, making new friends everywhere they stop. I left our interview feeling like a friend myself. So much so that I entertained crashing their wedding in September, until I was coaxed out of that notionby the Lady in my life... heh.

From their meeting in Boone, NC while working on theater productions, through Amtrak train tours, Airstream tours, countless bars, coffee shops, festivals and house concerts, Channing & Quinn have been focused on writing and performing music to the delight of all of us who have had the chance to experience them live. Here's to many more years of their quirky brand of fun and entertainemt. Please sit back and enjoy the chat.

And now for some links to occupy you:

Many thanks to The Creative Center for graciously hosting us for this interview and to Melody Watson for her inspiration, technical, and blogging expertise.

Featured Artist Interview with "A Mad Affair",

Back in January of 2013 my Collabative partner and I had the pleasure of traveling to Reidsville, NC. to spend an evening at Brad and Tammy's Listening Loft. It was the first time we had been in their space and we were enthralled with what we found, including "A Mad Affair", the band that performed there that night. We had a great time and enjoyed meeting and chatting with band members Valerie Wood, Garth Robertson and Eric Smith. Towards the end of the evening, I mentioned that I did interviews with indie musicians and would like to have them if they were interested, to which there was expressed some mild interest. Over the course of the weeks that followed, guitarist / vocalist Garth Robertson and I began communicating back and forth via e-mails, which led not only to my being able to interview them, but having them perform at The Showcase of Original Music.

The day of the interview, the interaction was casual, animated and lively as the band members kept the banter flowing, while answering questions insightfully, mixing subtle humor and careful thougtfulness at different moments throughout our time together. We ended up with almost 45 minutes of material; far more than we had at any previous time. And even then I knew there were things that we didn't get to touch on, which made it hard to stop.

In the opening segment we talk about their commitment to being full time musicians, some of their history as friends and as musicians, their song writing process and how they present their music, among other things. We moved from there on to talking about the different types of venues they play and if they had any preference. There's also a lot of discussion about the business side of being a full-time musician these days and how the internet has affected the way bands go about booking, promoting and interacting with followers. We even got into some more personal taste and philosophic topics in the last segment before wrapping things up. Never has it been easier for me, as the interviewer, to get comfortable and into the flow, allowing an organic exchange to take place. Thanks to their relaxed personalities and demeanor, once we all sat down, the next hour or so seemed to fly by and was most enjoyable. I hope you get that sense when watching.

Part 2:

Part 3:

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Many thanks to The Creative Center for graciously hosting us for this interview in the Showcase Gallery. And to Melody Watson for her inspiration, technical, and blogging expertise.


on 2013-05-03 19:21 by Kris Ferris

In case you live in the Greensboro area and want to see "A mad Affair" tonight - Friday May 3rd, 2013 - in down town Greensboro at "First Friday", click here. Scroll down the page to Chakras and you will find some info. See you there!