'You Will Remember Me - The Dave Fields Story'
Simply put, Dave Fields is an electrifying rocker with a blues soul. He is a genre-busting guitarist and virtuoso whose performances are always awe inspiring and intensely passionate. He has been stunning audiences on The Legendary Blues Cruises, various venues throughout the East Coast, as well as Norway and Moscow.
Dave has performed with the likes of Hubert Sumlin, U2, Aretha Franklin and won Best Self-Produced CD 2006 at the IBC for producing BACK IN BLUESVILLE. Both his previus CDs - TIME’S A WASTIN’ and ALL WOUND UP - have been an international success in France, Italy, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Russia and Australia.
This past September 18th, the blues-rock guitarist/singer-songwriter released his new studio album, Detonation on Fields Of Roses Records. Expanding upon the premise of his two earlier blues-rock albums, Detonation incorporates a more rock-oriented approach, while still remaining true to his blues roots.
Exclusive Magazine recently sat down with Dave Fields and we chatted about life growing up with his famous father, his work with Ahmet Ertegen, his addiction, and yes ... even Penguins!
Taking it from the top, and what can you remember most from those early days learning musical composition, arranging and production from your father, Sammy Fields? "Here’s a story that I haven’t shared with anybody. From a young age (6 or 7) I would watch my father write out scores in the living room for a full orchestra or a big band or a rhythm section (whatever he was writing for at the time). Then I would go to the recording session with him and watch, listen to what he had written. It was invaluable experience. I also got to take in the whole recording process."
"When I was 16 I wrote my first score. It was a song I wrote called THE SARCASTIC SNAIL. I brought it to my High School Jazz Band and we played it. Writing that score was 100% inspired from watching my father. Also, he was very helpful with how to voice the instruments and how to transpose everything 2) Indeed, Sammy was a well known composer/arranger/producer of great American standards as well as a collaborator with the great Hollywood, Broadway and standards writer, Sammy Cahn."
To this day, which of his musical achievements would you say you, as his son, are most proud of? "There are so many! One of the top would be, as you’ve mentioned, that he worked with Sammy Cahn. I was lucky enough to actually do a session with my Dad and Sammy before Sammy Cahn passed away. He was quite a character. I was a teenager at the time. He didn’t say a word to me until the end of the session. He turned to me and said (rather loudly, might I add), “Do you know who my sons is?” I replied meekly, “Yes Steve Cahn the great guitarist”. He barked back, “YES! The greatest guitarist in the world!” I slithered away!"
You discovered your love for the guitar at thirteen and was soon playing on sessions with your dad thereafter. Having studied piano at an earlier age, what was it about the guitar that instigated your change of instrument? "Truthfully, from the time I was an infant I knew I wanted to be a guitarist. I would watch my uncles play (who are both professional musicians) when I was still in diapers and I thought to myself, that is the coolest thing EVER! I’ve never swayed in that thought! It was my father who insisted that I play piano first before he would buy me a guitar."
Indeed, you later went on to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where a lot of people go to discover themselves musically. Where you there at the same time as any other now-famous people and if so did you hang out with them? "Interestingly enough, I didn’t make those lifelong Berklee musical connections that many people make when they go there. It was a place where I was able to polish my craft. I’m still polishing!!!!"
And, for the record, as you have worked with renowned artists such as Aretha Franklin, Sean Lennon, Lenny Kravitz and also The Drifters, who comes to mind first as one of the most incredible sessions that you've ever been involved with in that one-on-one manner? "Do I have to pick one?! I’ve been blessed to have worked with many amazing people. One of the top was I worked with Ahmet Ertegen on a record date. I remember he was telling what to play on guitar and I had to hold back a HUGE smile. The whole time I was thinking to myself, “Wow, this is amazing. I’m playing in front of the man who brought so many of my hero’s music to the world”!"
You have now released your new recording, Detonation, so please tell us a bit more about where the title originated for this fantastic new album? "My manager Sandi Rose and I had been throwing around a lot of different titles. One day I performed at the legendary blues club THE STANHOPE HOUSE and the owner Jon Klein made this comment about my show. He said it “Detonated”. At that moment it hit me. That should be the name of the title. Also, this CD is intended to bring out more of the rock side of Dave Fields which is definitely more explosive that my first two CD’s “All Wound Up” and “Times A Wastin’”
Please also tell us more about the cover art shot, which has you standing in an alley, guitar in hand, the sun either rising or setting behind you. "That shot was taken by legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen in NYC on the corner Charles Lane and the West Side Highway. My wife Judy Tucker Fields (who did the artwork for the CD) retouched the sky to make it look that way. That was another amazing day in my life, to be photographed by Bob Gruen. What a cool guy!"
What was it like working with such incredible artists as Joe Louis Walker and Delmar Brown on Detonation? "Wow... ! First of all Joe Louis Walker is my guitar brother. Every time I see him I have a blast and I always walk away with this great feeling inside my soul. He’s one of those special guys of whom I felt an instant connection with and hopefully you can hear it on ‘Doin Hard Time’. Delmar Brown has been a NYC child hood hero of mine since I heard his song ‘Wide Receiver’. I’ve played with his band and numerous times at THE BITTER END. He’s an out right genius. I had to include him on this CD! He’s NY and this is a NY CD! I miss those guys just thinking about them."
OK, time to have some fun with these 4 tracks from the new album:
a) 'Addicted To Your Fire' - What one thing in this world are you most addicted to? And why?! "HA! You’re trying to put me on the spot here! Playing guitar and music has been this biggest addiction. Number two would be love!!!!"
b) 'Doin' Hard Time' - Have you ever been arrested for anything in your life - and if so, what? "Nope! I never made it to Rikers Island other than passing it on my way to see the Mets at Citifield and I don’t plan to go to there! Interestingly, ‘Doin Hard Time’ is the one tune on the CD that is the most crafted."
c) 'Bad Hair Day' - When you get bad hair days, what is your go-to item of head wear to hide it?! "HA! LOL!!!!! Great question! I put A LOT of hair product in my hair!!!!"
d) 'You Will Remember Me' - What five words would you like people to associate with you everytime they think of you? "This is more than five: The awe of being alive, passion and love."
As we are not called Exclusive Magazine for nothing, tell me something about yourself, a real fact that you don't often get to reveal in interviews! "In a strange twist of fate, my sister Launa a gifted musician in her own right, lost her hearing by the time she was 14. Witnessing her struggles in a hearing world profoundly affected me. After seeing my sister’s agony from being discriminated against for her condition I was determined to never let that kind of injustice happen again in my presence. I always felt that one of my missions in life was to be able to communicate with people and to listen to them. It’s one of the beautiful things about being a human being. We all want to connect with one another."
You were recently inducted into the NY Chapter of the Blues Hall of Fame! Was this a shock event to you or did you see it coming? "I had no idea it was coming! I’m so honored to be included within the ranks of so many great NY musicians. It's the kind of thing one would of."
Being that you have now got this new album into the stores, what is next for you? Being a musician, can you ever take time off from your guitar and just hang out with friends? "I can’t wait to start touring and playing the songs from this new CD to people. Plugging my guitar in and performing is the most exciting thing in the world to me. You asked me before about ‘Addicted To Your Fire’, well playing my music for people is truly addicting."
"I’ve been blessed with a wonderful band: Andy Huenerberg (Bass), Kenny Soule (Drums) and Vladimir Barsky (Keys). I get so pumped up before we go on I have to consciously calm myself down! We will be in Norway Oct 16th-29th and we are in a booking frenzy for next year. I’m also really looking forward to start working on my next CD. When I relax I love being with my lovely wife Judy and my six year old son Jasper. They are the light of my life."
Are you a "tweeter" ... and/or are you a Facebook poster? If so, on either, is it more for promotional use or personal? "Facebook for me has always been promotional. I’ve never been one to use it as a forum for personal means. HOWEVER I’m all about my music and my music is definitely personal to me and my songs are about personal things that have happened to me. I plan to be a “tweeter” in the near future."
And finally, and throwing you a journalistic curve ball, we here at Exclusive Magazine LOVE penguins (the birds) ... what's your opinion on them?! "ARE YOU KIDDING? I LOVE PENGUINS!!!! My son Jasper has SIX!"
Interview: Russell A. Trunk
Photo Credit (main): Judy Tucker Fields
Dave Fields on Facebook
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