Song Chronicles header image 1
July 7, 2022 @ 8:32 pm

Season 2, Episode 12: Lady Blackbird and Chris Seefried

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 12 of Song Chronicles. Our special guests today are the bewitching jazz vocalist Marley Munroe, better known as Lady Blackbird, and the award-winning producer, writer and musician Chris Seefried. Together, the two created the incredible Lady Blackbird debut album Black Acid Soul, which they describe as a genre all its own they almost invented. As Chris explains, the word "jazz" could have been limiting, but he reassured Marley "you can still wear your outfits."

Lady Blackbird performing live

Lady Blackbird’s vocals are often compared to legends like Nina Simone or Billie Holiday, two vocalists she feels trained her. Chris describes what it’s like to have new audiences see Marley perform — it’s almost as if she’s a star they just haven’t heard yet.


As well as being a renowned producer, writer, and musician, Chris is an artist in his own right. We talk about what it’s like for him to be a part of another artist’s project as an artist himself. There’s no conflict for him because, as he says, "We get to play everything we love and listen to the greatest singer in the world sing it."

Black Acid Soul

Black Acid Soul might seem like an overnight success, but many years of work have gone into it.

Marley and Chris in 2014

And releasing a debut record in 2020 was no easy feat — Marley and Chris couldn’t support the record with the standard touring because of the pandemic. 


The project was eventually embraced first by the UK, as often happens with American artists, and Lady Blackbird was invited to play Jools Holland — which Marley and Chris pushed through not realizing they both had COVID.

Lady Blackbird on Jules Holland

Listen to a most joyful conversation and hear about Marley and Chris's incredible journey writing, recording and performing this world-class, era-defying music that's worthy of becoming part of serious music fans' most loved artists.


March 3, 2022 @ 10:58 pm

Season 2, Episode 11: Thomas Walsh

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 11 of Song Chronicles. Our special guest today is Thomas Walsh, an Ivor Novello-nominated songwriter who is the front person and songwriter behind the Irish pop-rock project Pugwash.

Thomas Walsh

As a band, Pugwash released six albums and toured through the UK and Ireland before Thomas returned Pugwash to its roots as a solo project with the most recent album Silverlake. He's currently at work on a new solo album.

Pugwash in 2015

Pugwash in 2015

We also talk about The Duckworth Lewis Method, his collaboration with Neil Hannon of The Divine Comedy, and what it's like working with a true partner in co-writing. 

Duckworth Lewis Method

The Duckworth Lewis Method

Thomas is an incredible writer of melodies. We talk about the songwriting process, how he often dreads the process but loves the result, and how he usually writes from his own experience. Though he feels the need to be modest about his own songwriting, I get him to share his favorites of his own songs that he's written throughout his career. As he shares, it's often the songs that come to you quickly that turn out the best.

Thomas Walsh in 2015

Thomas performing in 2015

Thomas is a walking encyclopedia of music with the biggest record collection I've ever seen. He shares his obsession with the labels printed on records and the sense memories he associates with 70s music.

He talks about getting to work with many of his influences, including Jeff Lynne, co-founder of Electric Light Orchestra, who told him a funny story about how George Harrison found his awards to be highly valuable — in the garden. You'll also hear a fun story about singing Kinks songs with Ray Davies in the pub.

Jeff Lynne and Thomas Walsh

Thomas with Jeff Lynne

Enjoy this in depth conversation with a true lover of music.

December 9, 2021 @ 8:29 pm

Season 2, Episode 10: Billy Steinberg


Season 2: Episode 10

Billy Steinberg



Welcome to Season 2, Episode 10 of Song Chronicles. Our special guest is Songwriter Hall of Fame member Billy Steinberg, who with collaborator Tom Kelly wrote many Number 1 hits including "Like a Virgin" by Madonna, "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper, "So Emotional" by Whitney Houston, "Alone" by Heart, and "Eternal Flame" by The Bangles. The duo also co-wrote "I’ll Stand By You" with Chrissie Hynde and "I Touch Myself" with Christine Amphlett and Mark McEntee of The Divinyls.

Billy Steinberg and Cyndi Lauper

Billy Steinberg and Cyndi Lauper in Finland, 1988.

Billy’s first hit song was "How Do I Make You," which Linda Ronstadt decided to record after hearing demos from Steinberg’s band Billy Thermal. In our conversation, Billy shares how he found out Rondstadt would record the song which later reached the Billboard Top 10.

Billy Thermal album

Billy Thermal's unreleased 1980 album

In 1981, Steinberg began a momentous collaboration with songwriter Tom Kelly, with whom he wrote many memorable hits of the 80s and 90s. Billy shares how he and Tom found their groove as co-writers and how they always tried to write to make themselves happy rather than customizing songs for potential artists. Their breakout hit was "Like A Virgin," the title track of Madonna’s second album. You’ll hear Billy’s personal story behind the lyrics to "Like A Virgin" and what it meant for him to hear the song sung by an Italian nun, directed at God.

Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, and Chrissie Hynde

Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, 1992.

Steinberg’s lyrics resonate throughout the years because their themes are universal — which is different from being general or bland, as we discuss. We also talk about how the Brill Building Era inspired him to become a songwriter.


Billy has gone on to write with many other songwriters, including frequent collaborator Josh Alexander with whom he co-write "Give Your Heart a Break" by Demi Lovato and "Too Little Too Late" by Jojo. They have also written numerous songs with the artist LP, whom Steinberg calls "a female Roy Orbison."

LP and Billy Steinberg

Billy Steinberg and LP

Enjoy this interview with Billy Steinberg on what makes songs that stand the test of time. 

August 20, 2021 @ 9:48 am

Season 2: Episode 9: Jon Platt

Season 2: Episode 9

Jon Platt


Welcome to Episode 9, Season 2 of Song Chronicles. Our special guest is Jon Platt, the Chairman and CEO of Sony Music Publishing – a man Jay-Z proclaimed as the “the Obama of the music industry.”




Jon took a quite unusual path to becoming one of the most powerful and influential (music) publishers of the past 25 years," according to Variety. Born in Philadelphia and raised in Oakland, Jon was a high school student in Denver when he took his first step into the music industry. While working in a sporting goods store, he befriended a local DJ named Thomas Edwards, who showed Jon the deejaying basics and he soon became a popular club DJ.



Jon with Chuck D. photo by Desiree Navarro/Wire Image


Jon's next life-changing moment came when Jon was MC’ing a Public Enemy/Ice Cube concert. He got to talking with Public Enemy’s front-man, Chuck D, who told Jon not to settle for just being a DJ. “My music dream started the next day from that day,” Jon reveals in our conversation.



with Jay-Z


Inspired by Chuck D's words, Jon began managing some songwriters and producers in Los Angeles. In 1995, he got a low-rung job in EMI’s A&R department and quickly struck gold by signing Marqueze Etheridge, co-writer of the TLC’s smash, “Waterfalls,” one of the year’s – and the decade’s – mega hits. He credits his “DJ instincts” for his talent for breaking records like “Waterfalls” as well as his role behind the making of the Jay-Z/Alicia Keys smash single, “Empire State of Mind.”



Jon (on the right) with Sean Combs, Jay-Z, and Clarence Avant, one of Platt's mentor figures. Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Image


At EMI Music Publishing, Jon signed Kanye West, Jay-Z, Diddy, Beyoncè, Drake, and Usher, while working his way up to being President of North America, Creative in 2011. He later moved Warner/Chappell, where he was appointed Chairman and CEO in 2015. Then in 2019, he took the same positions at Sony Music Publishing, the world's No. 1 global music publisher with a catalog of over three million songs.




Highly respected inside and outside the music business, Jon has received such honors as SESAC’s Visionary Award, Morehouse College’s Candle Award in Music, Business and Entertainment, and Black Radio Exclusive Magazine’s Man of the Year, and has been a perennial presence on Billboard’s prestigious Power 100 list.



with Pharrell Williams. Photo by Frazer Harrison, Getty Images


Jon’s most cherished honor, however, is the City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award - because the event raised more than $6 million for the hospital. He wholeheartedly believes in the importance of helping people because you can help. This belief is underscored in the story he shares about assisting in getting Kanye West onto Usher’s Confession tour along with his many philanthropic endeavors – such as starting the Big Jon Platt Scholarship Program in 2005 to help Denver high school students go to college.



Jon with his wife, Angie, Usher, and Rita Ora


He’s extremely proud too for being able to assist songwriters during the pandemic. Jon, who has championed songwriters throughout his career, helped to have Sony’s COVID Global Relief Fund donate over $2 million to songwriters – and not just Sony Music Publishing songwriters -worldwide. We also discuss the Music Modernization Act, which he believes is a step in the right direction for songwriting compensation. It’s important, Jon says, “to do the right thing by songwriters.”



Photo by Mary Beth Koeth


Please enjoy this very special conversation with Jon Platt as he offers his perceptive personal insights along with talking about his unique place in the music business, and his love for music and music-makers.


July 23, 2021 @ 7:04 am

Season 2 Episode 8: Suzie Brown

Welcome to Season 2, Episode 8 of Song Chronicles. Our special guest this week is cardiologist and singer-songwriter Suzie Brown, whose work has been recognized by NewSong Music Competition, the Great American Songwriting Competition, and the International Acoustic Music Awards.

Suzie Brown

Born in Montreal and raised in Boston, Suzie seemed predestined to follow in her parents’ footsteps to become a doctor and didn’t consider being a musician to be a potential career choice. While pursuing medicine at Harvard Medical School and later at the University of Pennsylvania, she started performing purely for the love of it, joining an a cappella group in college, moonlighting in a production of Hair with other busy grad students, and fronting a cover band during residency.  She wrote her first song during her cardiology fellowship.

Suzie Brown performing

Over time, Suzie became a staple of the Philadelphia music scene, where she released her first three albums. Now living in Nashville with her husband Scot Sax, she is a part-time Vanderbilt cardiologist and a full-time mom.

Suzie Brown and Scot Sax

Suzie and her husband Scot Sax


This full plate of responsibilities caring for others means Suzie has to fiercely defend her own creative time. Her sixth record, Under the Surface, was made by stealing away the hours of 6-10pm each evening with her producer Billy Harvey who lives down the street in Nashville. Making music during the COVID-19 pandemic was the one thing she could do for herself that allowed her to process the heartbreak she felt caring for her patients.

Suzie Brown in the Studio

In this conversation recorded in March 2021, Suzie shares her insights for tapping into inspiration amidst an impossibly busy schedule, wrestling with perfectionism, and how going to med school prepared her for adjusting to the "new normal" of living in a pandemic.

Enjoy this conversation with Suzie Brown about living a full and fulfilling life.

June 4, 2021 @ 9:00 am

Season 2 Episode 7: Aaron Lee Tasjan

Welcome to Episode 7 of Season 2 of Song Chronicles. Our featured special guest is Aaron Lee Tasjan. We spoke back in February, right after the release of his fantastic new album Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan!

Tasjan Tasjan Tasjan album cover

Aaron's newest album


Aaron has led a fascinating life. He's lived in many different corners of the country, and has worked with the New York Dolls, Lucinda Williams, Jack White, and Tony Visconti. In this conversation, Aaron shares insights he learned from the artists he's connected with along the way.

While living in Ohio at age 16, a song of Aaron’s caught the attention of Peter Yarrow, who invited Tasjan onstage to perform with Peter, Paul and Mary. He learned from Yarrow how far songs can go from their intended meaning based on the projection of the listener.

After earning a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music, Aaron dropped out after only one semester to get on with the business of making music. "Learning, that's a two-way street — you have to be open to it," he says.

At the age of 19, he moved to New York City to start living his dream and had to figure out how to become part of the city's network of working musicians. Eventually, he got encouragement from and got to work with some of his Mount Rushmore musical heroes. We talk about the lessons he learned about creative passion and work ethic during that time and how he found community within the NYC music scene.

Aaron met singer-songwriter Justin Tranter and together they formed the glam rock band Semi-Precious Weapons. Tony Visconti produced their debut album. We talk about what makes rock & roll work — Aaron’s take is that rock & roll is slightly embarrassing — and how the band’s manager BP Fallon created rock & roll moments for them, such as connecting them to Kate Moss for a hang that got them on the cover of the Daily Mail.

After Aaron left Semi-Precious Weapons, he spent three years as lead guitarist for the New York Dolls.

Aaron playing with the New York Dolls

Aaron playing with the New York Dolls


Since 2013, Aaron has lived in Nashville, writing songs and recording genre-defying solo work. In this time, he has released five solo albums: In The Blazes (2015), Silver Tears (2016), Karma For Cheap (2018), Karma For Cheap: Reincarnated (2019), and Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! (2021). His songwriting can be heard on recordings by Pat Green, Yola, BP Fallon, and JD McPherson. We discuss the good and bad parts of the professional music culture in Nashville.

BP Fallon and Aaron Lee Tasjan

BP Fallon and Aaron Lee Tasjan


Aaron's fashion sense is all his own. He makes some of his own clothes, such as the sweater seen on the cover of Tasjan! Tasjan! Tasjan! We talk about what songwriting has to do with sewing and other ways he finds creative inspiration in non-musical activities.

Aaron in his custom sweater

Aaron in the sweater he made


Enjoy this conversation with Aaron about everything that goes in to a creative life.

April 16, 2021 @ 1:28 am

Season 2: Episode 6: Nicole Atkins

Season 2: Episode 6

Nicole Atkins



Photo by Barbara FG


Episode 6 of Song Chronicles’ second season features a freewheeling conversation with Nicole Atkins, a singer-songwriter NPR Music hailed as “one of those people who is so inventive in everything she does.”




Last April, Nicole released her fifth full-length, Italian Ice, an album she described as to "an acid trip through my record collection." It certainly serves up an exquisite blend of soul, country, rock, blues, and classic pop that showcases her powerful, dramatic voice.




Unable to do her normal touring for her new album, Nicole got creative and hosted an online record release event. She also started presenting a weekly livestream variety show, We’re All In This Together. During the summer, Nicole switched to doing a live streaming series, Live From the Steel Porch, initially based out of Asbury Park’s Langosta Lounge (near her hometown of Neptune City, New Jersey) and later from The Dive Motel in East Nashville, her current home.



Nicole performing at the Langosta Lounge


In December, Nicole released the holiday single “Every Single Christmas,” which she co-wrote with JD McPherson. (She quite accurately described her version as “Cyndi Lauper and Brenda Lee, the spirit of the NY Dolls and The Ramones' 'Palisades Park,' all rolled up into a National Lampoon’s Christmas movie"). Endlessly creative, she has already put out via Bandcamp this year covers of Brenda Lee’s “Break It To Me Gently” and Hoagy Carmichael’s “Stardust," as well as a duet with her friend Marissa Nadler on The Fleetwoods’ gem “Mr. Blue.”




The pandemic also gave her the opportunity to spend a lot of time with another of creative loves: painting. In fact, this interview took place while she was creating a mural at the Ivy Manor Studios in Sheffield, Alabama in the legendary Muscle Shoals area.



Nicole points out a detail of the mural she was painting at Ivy Manor Studios


Portraits of the Swampers that Nicole painted


Muscle Shoals has been a favorite destination for Nicole of late. It’s the location for her label, Single Lock Records, which was founded by The Alabama Shakes’ Ben Tanner and the acclaimed singer-songwriter John Paul White. She also recorded Italian Ice at the renowned Muscle Shoals Sound Studio. Featuring contributions from Swampers David Hood and Spooner Oldham, Spoon’s Britt Daniels, the album has garnered much acclaim. Consequence of Sound raved that Italian Ice is “the best thing she’s done so far,” and Elvis Costello stated it proves “once more that you can respect the ‘then’ and still be about the ‘now’.”





Nicole outside and inside the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio


Music has been a major part of Nicole’s life since childhood. She began learning piano when she was nine, taught herself guitar at 13, and was playing in bands by seventh grade. While she went to University of North Carolina at Charlotte to study art, Nicole admits she concentrated more on music. During her time in Charlotte, she played in the popular local band Nitehawk and the alt-country group Los Parasols. She then spent several years bouncing between Charlotte and New York City, sometimes playing in groups and sometimes solo.



Nicole performing on Late Night With David Letterman Show in 2007


Attracting major label interest, Nicole and her band The Sea signed with Columbia in 2006, with their debut, Neptune City, appearing in 2007. Nicole had a new band, dubbed The Black Sea, when she started doing her second album; however, problems with Columbia made her leave the label without the album being released. The record (entitled Mondo Amore) eventually came out on Razor & Tie Records in 2011.



Nicole singing at La Zona Rosa at 2010's SXSW. Photo by Kirk Stauffer


While preparing to make album three, Nicole suffered the bad luck of having Hurricane Sandy flood her family’s home. Neptune City producer Tore Johansson invited her to record her album at his studio in Sweden. There she cobbled together songs from fragments she had on her iPhone, which resulted in 2014’s Slow Phaser, her self-described “prog-disco” album.



Photo by Brett Winter Lemon



In concert at Red Rocks Photo By Rett Rogers


Teaming up with Single Lock Records, Nicole recorded her fourth album in Fort Worth, Texas with the production trio Niles City Sound (the team behind Leon Bridges’ breakout debut). The stylish Goodnight Rhonda Lee exudes a retro vibe that attracted comparisons to Dusty Springfield, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline, and it’s a sound that evolved into something even more timeless on Italian Ice.





Photo by Barbara FG


Please enjoy our conversation with the multi-talented, thoroughly delightful Nicole Atkins.

March 4, 2021 @ 3:33 pm

Season 2. Episode 5: Bob Ezrin - Part 2

Season 2: Episode 5

Bob Ezrin

Part 2





                         This episode features the second half of our conversation with Bob Ezrin.




Few producers have had careers as Bob Ezrin has had. The award-winning producer has worked with some of rock’s biggest acts (Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Green Day, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Jane’s Addiction, and U2).



Bob worked with Jane's Addiction on 2003's Strays album. Photo by Neil Zlowzower


In the first part of our interview, Bob talked about producing The Wall, one of the greatest concept albums in rock history. In fact, he is well known for his work on concept albums, helming such projects as Kiss’s Music From “The Elder,” Lou Reed’s Berlin, Kansas’ In the Spirit of Things, Nine Inch Nails’ The Fragile, and Alice Cooper’s Welcome To My Nightmare & Welcome 2 My Nightmare.




 Bob in the studio with Kiss in 1976


According to Bob, his love for injecting a sense of theatricality into albums comes from his childhood, and his amusing explanation involves a historic record player, Sir Thomas More, and Spike Jones (the comical 1950s bandleader, not Spike Jonze the filmmaker).



Bob flanked by 2Cellos. Photo by The Canadian Press/Michelle Siu 


Producing all those adventurous albums exemplify Bob’s values in record-making, among which that it’s important to see, as well as hear, the music when creating a record. A record is simply another form of theater. His work impressively has covered a broad range of genres: Americana (Jayhawks), New Wave (Berlin), Country (Johnny Reid), Celtic (Natalie McMasters), Classical (2Cellos), Folk (Murray McLauchlan), Jam Bands (Phish), Pop (Air Supply), and Soundtracks (Heavy Metal 2000).



Bob at work with the band Hanggai


The scope of his massively successful work includes recording acts from all over the world, such as Finland (Hanoi Rocks), France (Téléphone), Italy (Andrea Bocelli), Uganda (Geoffrey Oryema), Spain (Héroes del Silencio) and Mongolia (Hanggai).  He also takes on music projects with iconic musician-actors like Tim Curry, Kristen Chenoweth, Jared Leto (30 Seconds To Mars), and Johnny Depp (Hollywood Vampires).




Paul McCartney stopping by a Hollywood Vampires' recording session. Johnny Depp on the far left with Bob, Alice Cooper and Joe Perry on the right side


Bob is also familiar with mixing for live recording projects such as Taylor Swift’s Speak Now World Tour Live, The Alice Cooper Show, and Roger Daltrey’s A Celebration: The Music of Pete Townshend and The Who.



Donovan (far left) visits with Glen Buxton, Alice Cooper, and Bob, circa 1972


Bob’s latest collaboration with Alice Cooper, Detroit Stories, came out shortly after our conversation took place. This project represents a truly special aspect of Bob’s career – his long-running relationships with performers. He’s done over a dozen Alice Cooper albums, going back to 1971’s Love It To Death. His partnership with Kiss spans from 1976’s Destroyer to 2012’s Destroyer Resurrected. It also shows up in his work with Peter Gabriel (Gabriel’s 1977 solo debut and 2010’s Scratch My Back) and Pink Floyd (1979’s The Wall and 1994’s The Division Bells).



The guys behind Detroit Stories Courtesy Detroit Free Press


Notable too is Bob’s lengthy work associations with two revered rock guitarists: Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter. He met each guitarist on two of his earliest production jobs: Hunter was in the Mitch Ryder-fronted band Detroit while Wagner played in the short-lived group Ursa Major. Over the years, Bob tapped Dick and Steve for other many projects, most prominently were the times the two played guitar together in Alice Cooper’s and Lou Reed’s bands. Not surprisingly, Bob also produced solo albums for each guitarist.



Bob with Steve Hunter


In recent years, Bob has helmed two rather unique projects: working for the first time with a veteran group that hasn’t done a studio album in many years. In 2008, he produced Bauhaus’s Go Away White, their first studio album in 25 years. Then, in 2013, Bob did Now What!?!, the album Deep Purple made after an eight-year hiatus. Both projects were well received, and Bob went on to produce Deep Purple’s next two albums.



Bob produced Deep Purple's Now What?!


With his wealth of studio experience, Bob has developed some guiding principles regarding the producer’s role. One involves challenging the musicians to create something they are capable of creating, and he talks about how this “setting the bar” approach played a central role in his collaboration with Peter Gabriel on the former Genesis frontman’s first solo album.



 Peter Gabriel doing the recording of his first solo album. Photo by Larry Fast



Bob producing the legendary Canadian band Lighthouse in 2017


Outside of the recording studio, Bob has been involved in many significant multi-media endeavors. Early in the 1990s, he co-founded 7th Level, a pioneering computer software company that put out educational and entertainment CD-ROMs, including many highly successful Monty Python titles. At the end of the 90s, Bob co-founded the innovative internet radio provider Enigma Digital; Clear Channel later purchased the company and Bob served as vice-chairman of Clear Channel Interactive.



Bob being honored with a star for Canada's Walk of Fame. Photo by Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press


A Toronto native, Bob is a member of both the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame along with having a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Deeply believing in the importance of community service, Bob started the charity organization Music Rising with U2's The Edge and he also is a board member of the Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, two non-profits whose work involves providing children the opportunity to make music.



Bob with his Music Rising co-founder The Edge



Louise Goffin with Bob at a MusiCares tribute to Carole King




Please enjoy Part Two of our illuminating conversation with the amazing Bob Ezrin.




February 25, 2021 @ 5:52 pm

Season 2: Episode 4: Bob Ezrin

Season 2: Episode 4

Bob Ezrin




Episode 4 of Song Chronicles Season 2 presents the first of our two-part interview with the renowned producer Bob Ezrin.

Since the 1970s, Bob has been the producer of some of the biggest albums in rock history. Here are some of  the albums he did during his first decade as a producer: KISS’s record Destroyer, Lou Reed’s Berlin, Peter Gabriel’s solo debut, Pink Floyd’s landmark record The Wall, and seven hit albums with Alice Cooper. 



Bob with Alice Cooper circa 1975



A Toronto native, Bob launched his career at the age of 19 when he got a job with Jack Richardson, a top Canadian producer. In this episode, he reveals the funny circumstances involved with his first producer’s gig: Alice Cooper’s breakout record Love It To Death.

The important mentorship he received from Jack was a reason behind Bob starting the Nimbus School of Recording & Media, a school he co-founded with Jack’s son, Garth.

During our conversation, Bob touches on what he sees his job is as a producer, and why he feels it is vital “to keep the passion and wonder of youth for as long as you can.”



Bob in the studio with Phish's Page McConnell


Bob has produced albums for Deep Purple, Rod Stewart, Jane’s Addiction, The Deftones, The Catherine Wheel, Hanoi Rocks, The Jayhawks, Phish and more. 



Bob and Deep Purple's Roger Glover 


He also has made soundtrack albums, produced classical acts like 2CELLOS and the Canadian Tenors, and made opera superstar Andrea Bocelli’s first #1 album, Si.



Bob at work on Andrea Bocelli's album


In the 1990s, Bob helped start the computer software company 7th Level and the internet radio provider Enigma Digital. He co-produced the star-filled 2009 benefit The Clearwater Concert, which celebrated Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday and, more recently, was involved in the stage version of Berlin.



The stage adaptation of Lou Reed's Berlin










You will also hear some fascinating behind-the-scenes stories about the making of The Wall, including the studio technology that Bob introduced to Pink Floyd.



Bob welcomes Alice Cooper, Desmond Child and Louise to his studio. Photo by Kyler Clark


And this is just half of our entertaining interview with Bob Ezrin! You’ll hear more from him in the next edition of Song Chronicles.

But for now, enjoy the first of our two episodes with the one and only Bob Ezrin.  


February 4, 2021 @ 11:29 pm

Season 2: Episode 3. Jeff Trott

Season 2: Episode 3

Jeff Trott





“When you make a record, it's like a snapshot of your life at that time.” Jeff Trott, the guest on this episode of Song Chronicles, certainly knows what he’s talking about when it comes to making records. The songwriter/producer/multi-instrumentalist has appeared on hundreds of albums since he started out playing guitar with the San Francisco-based alt-rock band Wire Train in the mid-80s.



 Wire Train (Left to Right)

Jeff Trott, Kevin Hunter, Anders Rundblad, Brian MacLeod 


Jeff is best known for his long-running work with Sheryl Crow, a collaboration that has earned him a Grammy and BMI’s Songwriter of the Year honors. They first met, in a true case of serendipity, in the early ‘90s. Starting with her second album, he has served as a co-writer, accompanist and producer for Crow straight through her latest full-length, Threads.



Jeff with Sheryl Crow's band, circa 1997


Jeff talks about his songwriting process with Crow – including how her contributions to his early version of “If It Makes You Happy” turned the tune into the Grammy-winning smash hit – as well as why he finds collaborating such as fascinating, mysterious thing to do.



Jeff performing with Sheryl Crow


Now Nashville-based after living most of his life on the west coast, Jeff possesses a lengthy and impressive resume featuring well-known acts that cut across the rock, country, blues, folk, and pop genres. Jeff was awarded Songwriter of the Year by BMI in 1998. Along with hits with Sheryl Crow, such as "If It Makes You Happy”, "Everyday is a Winding Road” ,“A Change”, "My Favorite Mistake” and “Soak Up The Sun”, he's written songs with Counting Crows, G. Love, Clare Dunn, O.A.R., Robert Randolph, and more. He's toured with Tears For Fears, Pete Droge and World Party and recorded with the likes of Aimee Mann, Stevie Nicks, Liz Phair, Wade Bowen and Rob Thomas, to name a few. 



During his days with World Party. Photo by Chris Whitten


As a producer, Jeff’s credits include working with Aaron Lee Tasjan, Fastball, Leighton Meester, Max Gomez, Martha Wainwright, and Pete Yorn. Probably his most prominent production work, outside of the Sheryl Crow albums, was doing Hootie and the Blowfish’s widely-acclaimed recent reunion record, Imperfect Circle. It’s a job he got rather unexpectedly, with a casual get-together with the band to talk songwriting leading to them asking Jeff to produce their album.



Assistant engineer Sean Badum, engineer Buckley Miller and Jeff during the Hootie & The Blowfish recording sessions


Jeff’s production work extends to film and TV too. He did the soundtrack for the Abigail Breslin film Janie Jones and co-produced a couple of Stevie Nicks tracks for the Practical Magic soundtrack. He even got a Daytime Emmy nomination for co-writing and co-producing with Crow the theme song for the Katie Couric talk show.




Despite his seemingly constant stream of work, Jeff did take the time out some years back to do a solo album, Dig Up The Astroturf, which he released on his own label. But even he used this project as a learning experience to discover all the things you need to know about making an album.



Photo by Kim Stringfellow


With his wealth and range of musical experiences, Jeff has accumulated all types of illuminating thoughts on what it takes to be a good collaborator, the tricky line you walk producing a band, and what has kept him enthusiastic about making music.



Photo by Steven Weinberg

Please enjoy listening to songwriter/musician/producer Jeff Trott on episode three of the second season of Song Chronicles.


Song Chronicles


Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App