MM: Sure‚ man‚ I grew up in Albany.
RB: I know man‚ you're a hometown boy.
MM: So what happened to the music scene in Albany? I see Greg Bell (legendary Albany show promoter‚ host of the annual Bellstock festival) all the time and he's like‚ "I'm losing my shirt on this one." (Laughter) I'm like‚ "Man‚ Greg‚ Albany just isn't what it used to be."
RB: I love the guy‚ he's done so much for the scene‚ and he's still out there doing it even though the scene is rough around here right now. He's promoting shows for us and you know‚ I'm all about getting people to support the arts and support Greg Bell Productions. He's been doing it for a long time.
MM: He's been great to us over the years and we always try to return the favor and whatever. That's the way it should be‚ you know? I keep running across people who just never have a bad thing to say about him‚ bands or people that worked in Albany and they've just never had an issue. That's great. It's totally a beautiful thing.
RB: I wish there were more people like him. He works hard for the bands and does a great job.
MM: Yeah‚ he does it for the right reasons. I mean‚ he throws his festival every year...did you guys play this past year?
RB: We did Bellstock and it was a beautiful day and we had a ton of fun.
MM: Man‚ I missed it this past year and I was pissed about it. I always have such a blast at his festival.
RB: I'm sure he'll do again next year‚ he keeps saying that it was his last year‚ but...
MM: (Laughs) Yeah right.
RB: Yeah‚ he's a slave to a good time.
MM: Absolutely...bless his soul‚ bless his soul. That's great. So another thing that I think will be interesting: it's late 2003; what's been in your CD player‚ record player‚ tape deck‚ and what's been kicking your ass lately?
RB: Let me see...over there I have Van Morrison's Hymns to the Silence and I've been listening to a lot Roy Buchanan. I just discovered this album by John Prine entitled‚ Souvenirs‚ in which he plays a lot of his more popular tunes acoustically. You should really check that out Mike‚ I think you'd love it. There's this tune "Storm Windows" and man‚ I think it's just a beautiful song. Let's see...Rachmaninoff's over there‚ great classical stuff. I've been listening to a lot of blues lately like From the Cradle by Eric Clapton‚ the album with Stevie Ray Vaughn and Albert King - I've been listening to that record a lot lately. I love the little speeches Albert King gives between tunes; like he says to Stevie‚ "You got the makings of a pretty good fiddle player." (Laughter) I love that stuff and listen to it over and over again. The Talking Heads - I always come back to them‚ you know‚ throw on Remain in Light or Fear of Music.
MM: It took me a long time to get into them. Growing up as a youngster‚ I just did not get their music at all.
RB: Yeah‚ me too. There were a lot of things I didn't get (laughter). There's a lot of stuff that I hated as a kid that I love now. That's just where I was at the time; you know‚ if it didn't have a screaming guitar in it‚ I didn't want to hear it. The Jazz Series from PBS is over there too.
MM: The Jazz Series from PBS?
RB: Yeah‚ it's actually a DVD but you can play the music to it. What's the guy's name?
MM: The Ken Burns documentary?
RB: Yeah‚ Ken Burns.
MM: Oh man‚ I spent every night watching that when it was on.
RB: Yeah‚ that's great stuff. I listen to a lot of stuff in my car like the Rolling Stones or Bob Marley...I try to skip around and keep it fresh. I always try to get new records and every time I see a band around here I try to pick up their record and take a listen.