Thoughts

Interview with Jerry Sumner 

Interview with Jerry Sumner

Jerry Sumner is a legend in the Kansas music scene. His band, Clocks, signed to CBS/Boulevard records in the early 80s - releasing a self-titled album which spawned the popular single 'She Looks a Lot Like You' to both the radio airwaves and MTV.

As part of Clocks Jerry was inducted into The Kansas Music Hall of Fame.  He regularly plays with his current band The Invisibles when he is not on the road in a support role touring with Steppenwolf.

Jerry sings on my new release Sally Was Different, Listen here as you read the interview..

Sally Was Different (Feat. Jerry Sumner & John Kinsch)

 

Below are some questions Jerry answered by e-mail in regards to his career.

 

Fulton: How did you first get interested in music? 

Jerry:     I first became interested in music when I was young. Music always made me feel different inside than I usually felt. I like the feeling and wanted to make it myself. I also love the Beatles. 

Fulton:  Who were some of the early local musicians you looked up to? What types of places did you see them? 

Jerry:     Some of my first influences were people my mom and dad listened to, also my brother and sister always had albums. I really liked Mike Finnigan when I was young and still do. There was a drummer around our community center who we all thought was the coolest guy, so I started on drums. Did I mention the Beatles? They had this guy, Ringo.... I didn’t see too many bands live. Mostly on TV and a group of old guys that played at the community center for the golden agers. There weren’t many places to see bands. My dad and his sister both played guitar and my mom sang for Sweet Adeline‘s. My mom’s mom and her sister both played piano at church. We had a piano and organ at our house. Music was always around. My older brother was a pretty good pianist also. He got a guitar when he was at college. I took to sneaking it out and slowly taught myself to play. I have a distinct memory of going to see my mom for Sweet Adeline‘s. Since I was the baby of the family I always went to their shows. They would usually have afterglow parties. I snuck down to one in Tulsa. My mom and my aunt and the rest of the ladies made a big fuss over 5 year old Jerry. They all sang songs to me and were smooching on me. I loved it. That’s when I realized music was the job for me! 

Fulton: Were you a founding member of the Clocks or did you join that band? Can you tell how the original lineup fell into place? 

Jerry: I was an original member of the band. We started out with me and a sound man, Greg DeLancey. I had been in a band with Lance Threet in junior high and high school. The three of us joined a band Gerald Graves was in called Sir Cuss. We decided to go out on the road and two of the guys didn’t really want to go.. We hired some other people over a period of time and eventually talked Steve Swaim into joining the band. That’s when it became Clocks. 

Fulton: How did Clocks record deal happen? 

Jerry: The record deal came through our management, Good Karma Productions. They were a company in KC that had managed Brewer and Shipley and The Ozark Mountain Daredevils. They secured our deal. Shout out to Paul Peterson and Stan Plesser. 

Fulton:  Describe the first time you heard yourself on the radio? How about MTV? 

Jerry:     Seeing yourself on TV and hearing yourself on the radio is when reality sets in. It’s really fantastic but then you realize how much work you have to do. It’s really what we live for in the music business. 

Fulton: You have such a unique rock voice. When did you realize you could sing and who were your biggest influences? 

Jerry:   I always loved To sing and just started singing in bands when I started out. I always loved singers who could sing rough and bluesy. I tried to emulate that sound and what you hear is me trying to do that.. I love John Lennon’s voice and Peter Hamill from Van Der Graaf Generator. 

Fulton: Describe your creative/working relationship with Steve Swaim? 

Jerry: Steve and I were really good friends. I loved his songs. We were very competitive with each other. 

Fulton: You and Conrad Stolze have had an incredible musical partnership for many years. Dogs? And now The Invisibles. How can someone go about getting some of your music with these bands? 

Jerry:  When Lance left the Clocks, Conrad auditioned. He ended up not joining, but we heard his songs. I thought they were great songs. After the Clocks broke apart I was asked to sing with Dogs?. I had been hanging out with them at gigs and jumped at the chance. Con always encouraged me and he still does. Dogs and the Invisibles have Facebook pages. 

Fulton:  For the past several years you’ve also been touring with John Kay and Steppenwolf in a supporting role. Tell us a little about that experience. 

Jerry: I started being a roadie because I needed work. Steppenwolf was a band I liked when I was a kid. John Kay is a great boss and friend. I like the family like vibe of the band and Doug Adams is part of the crew. We are brothers from different mothers. 

Fulton:  You did an incredible Job singing on the song Sally Was Different. I love some of the low talking stuff you came up with. You also mentioned you liked the song because your mom’s name was Sally “and she was different.” You gave me lots of vocal tracks to play with in putting it together. What is your thought process as you record vocal tracks for a song? 

Jerry: When I sing nowadays, I always want Conrad to be there. He gets the best from me and won’t let me puss out. He comes up with ideas and I try to pull it off. Put his name beside mine on the vocals. We will keep working on new stuff, it’s what we do. Thanks for letting me be part of your musical life. I like the new music.

Purchase the Song Sally Was Different by clicking on the below photo.

 

 

Photo by Stephen Cross.

 

Related Links:

The Invisibles

Clocks

Dogs?

 

Questions for Fulton 


Some Interview questions from readers of my Newsletter:


Mark McKenna: I've known you since you were a "wee lad". How old were you when you first picked up a guitar? 

Fulton: Long before I played a real guitar I used anything I could find to play “make-believe” guitar.  The air guitar had yet to be invented so I had to use ordinary household items.  I strummed a tennis racquet in early grade school along to the rock and roll records of my older sister.  I also recall my younger brother and I nailing a cardboard cutout to a baseball bat and stringing it with rubber bands to make a more advanced make believe guitar.   We also had our share of toy cheap guitars and ukuleles. 

Even though we did not know how to play we would write our own songs and sing them on our front porch.   Our first song we wrote was the theme song for our band “The Pink Elephants” 

I can still hear us singing it on the front porch with our tennis racquet and baseball bat: 

We’re the Pink Elephants 

Pink Elephants 

We’re coming to your town 

The Pink Elephants, Pink Elephants 

The coolest cats around 

My brother Tim and I decided to mow yards to buy our first guitar during the summer between 6th and 7th grade.  It was a nylon string acoustic we had bought at Music Manor in Hays, Kansas.  Mom then paid for us to “Share lessons.”  Tim would go one week – then I would go the next.  The first song I remember learning was “Where Have All The Flowers Gone?” 

The plan was for our teacher to give my brother Tim a lesson one week then me the same lesson the following week.  But Tim and I were too eager to learn.  Whatever he learned he showed me and vice versa.  

So, the first time I laid my hands on a real guitar was at the age of 12. 

Chris Gansel: I've watched you play in Bluebird, Jimmy Dee & the Fab Destinations, Blind Date, and finally Submytion for the first time in Hays last year (or was it early 2016?).  You seem to have a love of all things Beatle, and I love your instrumental Beatles covers, but I've never heard you cover a Beatles tune live with any of the aforementioned bands.  Why not? 

Fulton: Good observation Chris – pretty close to accurate. 

In the early days of Blubird we played “Hold me Tight” by the fab four.  I think in Blind Date we did Twist and Shout, and in Submytion we did Revolution which I sang. 

But you are correct that we did not play as many Beatle songs as I would have liked.  That comes down to many reasons.  If you recall the band Plain Jane did a Beatles medley that they were known for and they played many of the same places we did.   Another factor is that the bands you mention had a harder rock style than most of the Beatles tunes.  Since the Beatle songs are so well known I don’t like to play them in public unless I feel I can do something different to them that catches the ear.  I guess that is why I have done mostly instrumentals of their songs.   For some reason instrumentals of The Beatles are not judged as harshly as a copy song with vocals.   

Tim Schumacher: How many guitars do you own? 

 Fulton: From Left to Right here is a personal story on each one: 

  

2012 Gold Top Electromatic Gretsch (The Love Guitar).  I bought this from Mass Street Music in Lawrence.  It has a nice look and sounds great on clean sounds or slightly dirty blues sounding licks.  I put the Love sticker on it a few months after I bought it.   I have recently started learning slide guitar and have set the action up high and put heavy gauge strings on it.  It has a nice soul to it.  It’s on the cover of my new CD. 

1988 Zion Radicaster.   I bought this new from Profound sound in Andover, Kansas.   I was in the band Blind Date at the time and we had booked a gig to play with the band Kingdome Come.  I was playing a Kramer at the time that sounded real good and played great – but I had a hard time keeping it in tune.  I had been thinking about getting a different guitar and I guess that gig was the catalyst that made me get serious.  I have been a Kerry Livgren fan since the first time I saw him play and he was endorsing Zion at the time.  That was another factor in me zooming in on this brand.   The band was playing Wichita and I had played this guitar a few times while we were in town.  I drove down to Wichita from Hays to purchase it.  It has been my favorite guitar.   Almost plays itself.   It has a humbucker pickup, two single coil pick-ups and a whammy bar. What else do you need?  I have received many compliments on how this guitar looks and sounds.  Going on 28 years and it sounds great. 

  

2014 Gibson SG.  I had a red SG in the 70s while playing with the band Blackball.  I was also impressed by Topeka guitarist Warren Eisenstein who played with White Clover and then Cocky Fox.  He had a black SG that he made sound very full and fat.   My red SG guitar was dropped and the neck started cracking so I got rid of it.  Through the years I have liked the sound of the SG via Black Sabbth or AC/DC.   I purchased this one on sale at Guitar Center and it gets a great sound that is a little more raw than the Zion.  I have used it to record a few tracks and to double some rhythm tracks with the Zion.  I put a leather strap around the headstock in memory of my guitar teacher Mick McTee.  He used to do that so this piece of leather always reminds me of him.  This is the guitar on the back cover of my new  CD 

1980’s Fender P bass:   This belonged to my brother Tim.  My family gave it to me after he passed away.  I am not sure of the actual year of it.  Tim bought a fretless neck to go along with it but I have never used that.  The guitar strap was the strap Tim had on it when he died.   I use this on all my songs that need bass.  It has Tim’s heart in every note it plays.  

Breedlove Acoustic:  A nice sounding cheaper guitar that I use to write on when just clunking around on some ideas. 

1979 Gibson MK II -  I bought this from Sunshine Sound in Hays Kansas.  It is a factory second.  I got a good deal on it since I worked in the store at the time.  This is the guitar I used to record the song Some Guys on the Blubird album.   I have used it for anything I record that has an acoustic in it.  I drilled two holes in it to hold an electric pickup in the late 80s.  

1986 Kramer:  This is the guitar I won at the T-95 Hottest Guitarist contest.  As a result I met the Van Halen band and they all signed the guitar.  I don’t play this one. 

Tim Schumacher: Can you name all the bands you played in, in order. 

Fulton: No, I can’t… but I will try. I will start with the Bands that were paid because the list of bands that never played a paying gig is reminiscent of a genealogy list in the bible. 

The Pink Elephants begat The London Fuzz.  The London Fuzz begat… - Get the picture. 

Finally, we were good enough to get paid 

Mud - 1972 

Colossus - 1973 

Blackball -1974 

Oakridge 1975 

Eclipse 1976 

Madgic 1976 

Daybreak 1977 

Jimmy Dee and the Fabulous Destinations 1979 

The Boys 1980 

Blubird 1981- 84 

Blind Date 1984- 89 

Submytion 1989-91  

 Tim Schumacher: What has technology done to enhance your music production? 

Fulton:  It has greatly enabled me to write and record music that is at a quality I could never achieve back in the day when I performed for a living.  We wrote some great songs, and played some great stuff back in the day.  Although it sounded great in the studio when we recorded it – once it was mass produced it was weak at best.  It is much easier to make a great sounding recording with today’s technology. 

Tim Schumacher: Do you feel like you're a better guitar player now compared to 25 years ago?   

Fulton: Yes and no.  Yes, because I feel my ideas are better thought out now and my sense of melody has improved.  No, because my dexterity is not what it was in my 20s and 30s.   But overall, the production on my music, songwriting, and melodic content make up for the loss of dexterity I had as a wee lad when I played the baseball bat. 

 Bernie Schulte: What is your personal favorite song you've ever written and what inspired the song? 

Fulton: I really had to think this one over.  My most popular songs ( the ones people ask me about all the time are ( Some Guys, Thunder and Lightning, Major Astro, My Kansas Home – Not to mention The Pink Elephants theme song).  My favorite song on the new CD is Every Day’s A Holiday. 

I’ve never had a “hit” song so I can’t pick that one.  Gosh this is hard. 

I am going to say “My Kansas Home” because lyrically I like the picture it paints and musically I think it has a pretty good goose bump factor. 

What inspired it – I was driving my daughter Melanie to Austin, Texas becasue she was thinking of moving there.  On the way down it seemed like every town in Texas had a song written about it – and the state of Texas also has many songs written about it.  Those people from Texas sure think they are hot stuff.   Yet, when I tried to think of a song about Kansas I was coming up with nothing.  So, on the way back home I decided I was going to write a song about Kansas to show those people from Texas they ain’t as hot as they think they are.  

I first wrote it as more of a rock ballad – similar to Dan Fogelberg or James Taylor.  Then I sent the music to Terry Wright and asked him to do the vocal.  When he sent it back he sang it very "Country" sounding.  I LOVED IT.  I re-recorded all the underlying instruments to make it sound more country and I think it turned out great. 

My Kansas Home

 

My Kansas Home from the album Silvertone by Fulton

Interview with Chris Brungardt 


Fulton: Tell me about your first attraction the guitar? 

Chris: I was compelled by the power of Johnny Cash as a wee lad - and John Denver. I saw my cousin Randy Brungardt, who's a drummer in Vegas these days, play at the Russell high school when I was pretty young. Gave me an early taste of the power of playing an instrument. 
  
In grade school Kiss and Triumph caught my attention. I had to wait quite a few years before I could talk my folks into finally scoring a guitar at 14. By then I was digging Van Halen, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, Thin Lizzy, Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Ozzy, Scorpions, Accept, Molly Hatchet, Skynyrd, etc. 
  
Once I started learning to play and appreciate guitarists, Randy Rhoads, Eddie Van Halen, Gary Moore, Tony Iommi, Frank Marino, Angus Young, Michael Schenker, Uli Roth, Ritchie Blackmore, John Sykes, Yngwie Malmsteen, George Lynch, Paul Gilbert, Al DiMeola, Steve Lukather, Zakk Wylde, Nuno Bettencourt, Joe Satriani, Steve Vai (probably many more I'm missing) were all required listening and learning. 
  
Always learning, actually. Long answer to a short question, but I'm pushing 50 and this is my first and probably only interview, so... 

Fulton: You are a well-respected guitar instructor and have taught people from around the world.  How did that come about? 
Chris: I started giving lessons at 17 or 18, so I thought why not try to organize a few of my ideas and put an advert in some guitar mags, there was no internet at the time, the PC wasn't commonplace yet. Once I got my first computer, that opened up the whole new world of desktop publishing. Then came the internet, the ability to record quality digital audio, edit video, make your own DVDs, better bandwidth, offer downloadable product. Around 1998 I started making some connections with other guitarists around the US and developing product with them. That led to working with around 30 guys here in the States, a handful from Europe, and a few in South America. This is all making me feel old. 

Fulton: You play guitar on two songs on the CD, one of which you wrote, How would you describe the process and the experience of putting this together? 
Chris: It's been a great experience! Loads of fun to reconnect with you Fulton after so many years and finally get to record some guitar wankage with you! You are actually the source of the name of my website, chopsfromhell.com. I remember hanging at your place ages ago watching a Steve Lukather instructional. Steve rips off this blazing pentatonic lick at the 12th position. I say "man, that guy has got chops!" You say "he's got chops from hell!". There you have it.  (Fulton’s note: I am pretty sure I was referring to some pork chops I had just cooked up and said “These chops taste like hell! ) 
Fulton: You also are mixing all the music on the CD.   How do you approach that differently than adding your guitar to a song? 
Chris: I just use the ears and try to get a mix that I dig personally. Then get it to you. Hope you dig it as well, and wait for your suggestions and changes. Every tune I write, record, play on, or mix for someone else is a always new learning experience! Gotta keep learning and trying to improve, no matter what it is you do!

Interview with Jeff Hansen 


Fulton: What first got you interested in music? 

Jeff: Well, when I was about 14 years old, I got my first guitar. It was a black Gibson Les Paul type guitar. I mostly learned on my own, but the minute I learned my first three chords, I knew I was ready to start my first band. I started my first band with my high school friend Terry Barton. The name of that band was Breakaway. 

Fulton:  You released a CD recently - Tell us about that. 

Jeff: I released my first solo cd about 2 years ago. Heart to Heart. I was going through a difficult time in my life at the time and it's the first time I was able to really put lyrics together along with the music. The CD has 6 songs on it. My favorite song on the CD is Alone.  It was co-written by my friend John Goolsby, he was also the vocalist on the song. Love that song! Still do! 

Fulton: How can people purchase your CD? 

Jeff: I still have copies of the CD in stock. If any one wants a copy they can just email me their address and I will send one to them. If they pay the postage, I will throw the CD in for free! Jhansenku@cox.net 

Fulton: We both played in the band Submytion tell us how that band started. 

Jeff:  Submytion was started as a breakaway from Breakaway. Lol 

Terry Barton, Troy Jeffries, Kelly Ginther and myself started Submytion in 1983 I believe. I played in Submytion 10 full years. Some of the best years of my life! I made lifetime friends from Submytion and experienced some wonderful times! Old Memories! 

Fulton: Tell us about the songs you played on for this CD and your part in that. 

Jeff:  On Fulton's new CD I played acoustic guitar on Two Small Words and electric guitar on Rip My Heart Out. Fulton and I continue to play and write together still looking for that number one hit!  (Fulton's note: I'd settle for a top 10) 

Fulton:  Any new music from Jeff Hansen coming? 

Jeff:  I currently have a studio set up in my house. I have started writing again and collaborating with Fulton Calvery, John Goolsby and Chris Brungardt. I have two songs written and working on new material. I hope to have a new CD released sometime in 2017!

Interview with Terry Wright 



Fulton:  When did you realize you had a talent for singing? 

Terry Wright:  When I was in junior high, I used to go to the skating rink on the weekends, and sit on the railing next to the Jukebox. The large collection of songs in the Jukebox appealed to me more than skating did. While others were skating, they would come up and ask "what's a good song?", and I would say "Play the Eagles", or "play this song by Journey". So in a sense, I guess a lot of my friends helped pay for my musical education with their money in the Jukebox, while I would sit on the railing and sing the songs! It was in listening to those songs that I would hear characteristics and stylings of vocal ability, and try to emulate them. 

A few years later, when I was in High School, a rock band from Hays, KS came to play at a Senior Party for the graduating class, and although I was only a Freshman, I hung out by the sound board with Dad (Terry) Pfeifer as Blubird rocked the house. The next year, I made it a point to meet the guys in the band at another local gig, and from that day, Fulton was someone I looked up to. It wasn't until 2007, that I finally had the privilege of performing with the Man, the Myth, The Legend, Fulton Calvery. I'm beyond blessed that you've asked me to work with you on these songs! 

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Fulton: You sang on two songs on the CD.  Those Crazy Things You Do, and Baby Blue.   How did you approach those songs? 

Terry Wright: I have to admit, that when I received the demos for "Baby Blue", and "Those Crazy Things You Do", a lot of the work had already been done by you, Fulton, which made my job a lot easier. I would basically drop the demo track into my Studio software, pull in the instrumental track alongside it, and go through the song phrase by phrase, working on each of the parts as needed, and then mute the demo track when I sang my multi-track recorded parts. 

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Fulton: You have been involved in Christian ministry and music for many years.  How did that come about and where can people find out more about it? 

Terry Wright: In 1996, I was traveling in a country cover band, named 'Midnite Run'. We were traveling quite a bit around the US as a full-time Road Band. 

In June of '96, I went to a Christian men's Promise Keepers conference at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado, and realized that the road that I was on, was self-serving, self-seeking, and eventually was going to run out as I would lose interest in musical styles and things that would change in the business over the next several years. 

When I walked into that stadium, and heard 70,000 men singing "How Great Thou Art", "Amazing Grace", and other songs that I knew from my early years of going to church, it was the most awesome sound I had ever heard! And the applause wasn't because the Broncos had just scored a touchdown, but because these men were praising God for what he had already done for them, and in advance of what is yet to come. It was on that Saturday that I re-committed my life to Jesus, and began allowing Him to help me identify and replace what was missing from my life, and I began looking for ways to serve Him and His people, by using the gifts and abilities He had given to me. 

In 2000, my brother Jeff and I started a band called 'Solar Eclipse', which was a Christian alternative rock group aimed at music that would appeal to teens and young adults. With a 10-foot projection screen, and a monster PA and lights, we played large youth conferences, Church events, Community concerts, and even became the full-time worship team for a church plant in Olathe, KS, known as Frontline Ministries for the better part of seven years. 

'Solar Eclipse' ministered in the Midwest for 13 years, finally dissolving that Ministry in 2013, as we had all become busy with raising families and becoming more involved in our individual churches. 

My wife Melissa and I began our own traveling music Ministry in 2011, which has turned into a full-time Ministry for both of us, including our children, who travel with us on the road, known as 'The Wrights'. We just celebrated our 5th Year in Ministry this past October, and by Year's End, we will have been in more than 150 churches and communities since January. Our schedule continues to grow exponentially, with anywhere from 2 to 5 events per week. You can find our schedule at www.TheWrightsMinistries.com. And if we're ever in your area (Yes, You who is reading this), we would love to see you, and if not, contact us come to your church/community. 

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Fulton:  I love your song Written In Red.  How did that song come to you? 

Terry Wright: The song "Written In Red" actually has a great story, and we usually share it at each of our concerts and services before we sing the song. It has become our trademark song, If you will, and has been the one most remembered at all of the places that we've been. The story goes like this: 

"I believe God still speaks to us these days--in many ways, including through music, which sometimes speaks to us in a way that regular ol' words don't quite get it done. I believe He also speaks to us through His Word, the Bible. For instance, you may have read the same passage of Scripture 23 times, and on the 24th time, it finally makes sense! It's like he's trying to get His message across to us, and the light bulb comes on and we finally understand. I also believe He can use us as individuals, because He might have us take that Scripture and share it with someone else, who needed it at that exact moment. 

I also believe He still speaks to us through dreams. I believe that, because one night I awoke from a dream, and heard a song playing in that dream that I had never heard before. I immediately recognized it as an opportunity for us to have a new song to take out to share with people. However, it was 4:30 in the morning, and I don't typically get up at time, so I told the Lord that I would get up to work on it in about 3 or 4 hours when I would be getting into my day. 

So, I went back to sleep, and when I woke up in a few more hours, I was excited and told my wife Melissa about it. She got excited, and I went downstairs to work on the song. Two hours later, my phone rings, and she is asking me to play this new song for her, because I should have it done by now, right? On the contrary, I didn't have anything like what I thought I remembered from the dream, and it wasn't even close to being done. I got pretty discouraged, and my wife reminded me that God is a faithful God. And if he really wants me to have it, he'll give it to me again. 

So, God being the God of 2nd chances, 3rd chances, 4th chances, etc., He woke me up at 4:30 in the morning, two nights later, with the same song in a dream! I immediately jumped out of bed, and in five minutes, from the pen to the paper, He did what I couldn't do in 2 hours on my own, struggling to complete the job. 

When God gives us something to do, He will also give us what we need to accomplish it. Where He gives the VISION, he will be the PROvision. I have trusted in him every day since, and He has been faithful in every way possible. And if He can do it for me, He will do it for you!" 

Hear the song Written in Red

  

Terry Wright 
www.TheWrightsMinistries.com 
Office: 785-289-8905 
Cell: 785-633-3224
 

Interview with Stephen Crane 


Fulton:  What was your first paying gig?   How much were you paid?  Any specific memories about the gig? 

Stephen:  My first gig was at the Catholic youth organizations dance I think we got about 60 bucks and it was quite an experience.   I did quite a few more of those as time went on because my girlfriend actually booked the gigs because she was the director of the Catholic Youth Organization hahaha,   So that was my first gig the band was called the beat boys which is a pretty cool name even to this day.  I don't remember a whole lot about the gig we did a bunch of Beatle covers and Yardbirds covers and things like that back in those days,   Anyway, that was my first gig! 

  

Fulton:  Your album “Kicks” is set for worldwide release December 2nd.  How did that come about the first release?  What brought about the second release 

Stephen: The reissue of kicks came as quite a surprise to me several months ago. I begin to see reviews  
 on the album.  Just rave reviews calling it the best AOR album ever made I wondered at the time who is reviewing a 32 year old record.  About two weeks later I get a call from Sunset Dreams records in Paris they want to release the record.  While talking to the president of the company he informed me that in Europe that album is considered one of the best AOR albums ever made.  So we made a deal and that records coming out on the 2nd of December, not far away,  I'm really excited about it because I used some of the best musicians in the world at the time. We were in Sound Recorders in Los Angeles: 

In-studio “A” Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks were recording Stop Draggin My Heart Around 

Prince was in Studio “B” putting the final touches on Purple Rain 

I was holed up in studio “C” with some of the best musicians in the World. 

Jeff Porcaro on drums, Steve Lukather on guitar, Jay Wyndham on keyboards, Jody Cortez on drums on some tracks, Richard page from Mr. Mister was doing backup vocals as was Tom Kelly who had done lots of studio session work for REO Speedwagon and pretty much every rock act in the eighties…  so it was a labor of love.   MCA records really dropped the ball and it did nothing in the United States however in Europe it was fairly successful, in Panama places like that, it did really well so that's how it all came about and I'm really excited about it
 

Interview with Troy Schuster 


Fulton: What first got you interested in drumming? 

Troy: I cannot remember not being interested in the drums - LOL.  My uncle Max was a big music fan and I think listening to his Beatles albums, etc. from an early age got me excited about music.  I was the toddler with the toddler drum set!   When I was 9 or so,  I saw KISS play on Midnight Special and that was so cool - I just wanted to be a drummer like Peter Criss.   

Fulton: Who are your biggest influences as a drummer and why? 

Troy:  My early influences were Ringo, Keith Moon, Bonham, Ed Shaughnessy (Tonight Show) and of course Mr. Criss.  Too many great drummers to list like Matt Chamberlain who can make any drumbeat groove.  My favorite drummer is Terry Bozzio because he is the ultimate drumming bad ass and continues to push the musical boundary of what is possible behind a drum kit.  When I worked at Explorer's Percussion, we hosted many Bozzio clinics and he such a great guy and class act.  

Fulton: You play on two songs on my CD.   What was your approach to these songs? 

Troy: I was so excited to go to the studio and hang with you guys and be part of the experience!  I wanted to put some stuff down that fit, sounded good and you guys could build upon. 

Rip My Heart out is a rocker with a great riff that I just tried to drive and play with energy. I really like how the song turned out.  

Two Small Words is a more laid back in the pocket tune.  I really like the message of this song - good work Fulton!  I also like the different music elements that make up this song - catchy chorus, driving bridge and kind of an "outside the box" drumbeat for the guitar solo. An honor to be part of the project - thanks Fulton! 

Fulton:  What are doing these days musically?   

Troy:  2016 has been quite a musical year for me. The year stated with our Submytion reunion show at Voodoo Lounge in Kansas City.   It is so special for me reunite with the Submytion family and play music with the guys I have played music with forever. In addition, I have performed with eight different bands this year - my Set list maker app is full! One highlight was playing on the Pompous Jack rotating drum riser - kinda like drumming on a carnival ride - impossible not to smile. 


I am currently playing drums for the talented country songwriter/artist Drew Six and cover band Parachute Adams.  The other bands I played with are Big Time Grain Company, Funk Syndicate, Fast Times and Counterfeit Twenty.  

I also started taking drum lessons again from drumming legend Todd Strait.   We picked things up right where we left off 23 years ago!  Todd is so great to work with - it is so intimidating to play in front of guy who is a master drummer - but he is gracious and does not ever laugh!   

 

Interview with Jake Livgren 

 

Fulton Calvery:  When did you first realize you had a talent for singing? 

Jake Livgren:   From the earliest ages, my Grandmother, who was amazing human being as well as a singer and pianist, would sit with my sisters and I and play old songs from her era, as well as Disney songs and such, and have us sing them with her. She taught us so much about singing and music in general. To be honest, my sisters were much more diligent about it and as a result, are much better singers than me today. I was usually too busy playing with my GIJoes, but I joined in often enough to learn a few things. I didn’t start taking it seriously until around middle school when I discovered rock music. I sat for hours a day putting on Kansas and Toto albums and used guys like Steve Walsh, Bobby Kimball, and Steve Lukather as my personal vocal coaches. 

Fulton Calvery: You sing two songs on the CD - Two Small Words, and Every Day's A Holiday. How did you approach each song when recording your vocals? 

Jake Livgren: On Holiday, I used the attitude on your demo as an inspiration. I really liked the kind of raw, post punk feel that it had. On Two Small Words I felt like there were some real emotive lyrics that inspired a more soulful approach. I just kind of let my spirit run with that one. 

Fulton Calvery: Do you have other musical projects you are currently working on? 

Jake Livgren:   I have a few irons in the fire. I’ve done some work with Kerry here and there lately on some upcoming stuff of his. I am also continuously working on an upcoming album with my long time partner Bill Evans. I also co-wrote and sang a track this year on the new Time Horizon album. Always looking for more opportunities though. 

Fulton Calvery: You have recorded vocals on songs for your uncle - Kerry Livgren.  How does he convey to you what he is envisioning for the vocal part since he is not a vocalist? How has that experience been for you? 

Jake Livgren: Well first of all, I’ve learned so much about what I know from Kerry. Particularly studio techniques, most of which I had down by the time I was 20. I’ve been singing for him since I was 15 years old. By now we work like a well-oiled machine whenever we get together. 

The thing I find really funny about how we operate, which is unlike how I work in any other capacity, is that I almost never go into the studio to record his songs having heard them before. It’s really amazing some of the stuff we’ve done that way. I go in, he plays me the music track, then again and he sings the vocal part along with it until I’ve got a basic idea of the melody. From there, I go into the booth with a lyric sheet and we just create. I do a lot of my own interpretations and ad libs and he’s usually very positive and receptive to what I do. We also usually write the harmony parts on the spot and sometimes create entirely new stuff as we go. It’s a ton of fun. It’s been one of my truest joys in life to say that I’ve been able to learn from and work with such a genius and at the same time, spend time with my uncle who is my hero. I love that man and owe him so much. 

Thanks Jake!  You always deliver when it comes time to step up to the microphone and sing.   Fantastic job!

New CD Lineup 

As Promised! Here is the lineup for the new Fulton Calvery CD.  I am still tossing around a few titles for the CD still but I do have the songs and the players.  These are some great players who have mastered the secret of playing music that puts a smile on your face, a tear in your eye, and can rock your socks off.   I haven’t had a matching pair of socks since I started recording with these guys.  My sock budget is completely blown.

Jake Livgren - Vocals 

Jake sings 2 songs on the CD - Two Small Words and Every Day's A Holiday

From Topeka, Kansas Jake has made a name for himself in the band Proto~kaw and Jabberwockie. 

You can find music from Proto~Kaw on iTunes or numavox.com 

  

Itunes Protokaw

Stephen Crane - Vocals  

Stephen sings the song Rip My Heart Out.   From Austin, Texas He is currently a member of The Texas Blues Runners. He recorded an album in the 80s called KICKS that was produced by Steve Lukather of Toto.  Many people also may remember him from the band BABY that toured the Midwest relentlessly in the ‘70s.  Steve can belt out some rock and roll.


TexasBluesRunners CDBaby

Terry Wright- Vocals 

Terry rocks the vocals on Those Crazy Things You Do.  Currently living in Topeka, Terry is very active with his music ministry.

Most of my friends will remember Terry from the band Submtyion and he also sang on my last two CDs.

Jeff Hansen-  Guitars 

Jeff lends his acoustic guitar coolness to the song Two Small Words and rocks out the electric on Rip My Heart Out

  

I played with Jeff in the band Submytion and we have been great friends since. 

  

Jeff has a CD called Heart To Heart that he released last year.  The CDs can be purchased by sending an e-mail to jhansenku@cox.net

Troy Schuster – Drums 

Troy lays down the groove for the songs Two Small Words and Rip My Heart Out

  

Troy lives in KC and recorded his drums at Miller Recording Studio.  Troy can be seen either playing in several KC bands or lending his drumming chops to the local Musical Production Into The Woods

Chris Brungardt – Guitars, Post Production 

Chris plays a hot guitar solo on the song Into The Twilight. We are also performing one of Chris’ songs called A Lie Becomes The Truth 

Chris lives in Hays, Kansas and manages the guitar web site Chops From Hell

Fulton Calvery – Guitars, Songs 

I hope you agree we have a great group of musicians lined up to rock this music and let the music take over. 

  

This will be my 4th solo CD and it promises to deliver with some great songs, excellent musicians, and rock’n fun.


I hope you’re as excited as we are to get this music out to the music fans.

Musical Influences - Warren 

As a musician there are many people that have influenced my guitar playing and songwriting.   Most of them have influenced me in other ways to - sense of humor, outlook on life,  and sometimes for good or bad - lifestyle choices.

To me, someone that can move me with their music is like some kind of superhero.  I can't put my finger on it but I want what they got.   I want to play music like them - I want to wear my hair like them - I want to wear clothes like them - I want to be laid back like them - I want to be intense like them.  When I was a kid - I wanted to be them.

Many of my musical influences were local musicians.  I got to watch them up-close and study them.  One such musician was Warren Eisenstien who played guitar bands with White Clover and Cocky Fox.  Both bands were out of Topeka.   Being from Hays, Kansas it was a treat to see musicians from Topeka come play our small town.  I always thought Topeka musians had the funniest sense of humor and seemed to have "that something special" when it came to music.  Warren was from New York but moved to Kansas to attend college and play music.  

Warren played a black Gibson SG through a Marshall amp.  I only saw him with White Clover a few times but saw him with Cocky Fox many times.  He played loud, He played with attitude, and he played with style.  I used to stand in front of the stage as a teen ager and watch how we played.  Cocky Fox also put out a 45 vinyl record called "And When."  I learned that song note-for-note and we covered it in our band.  It was the 70's and not just anybody could record and produce a record like today. It was a cool thing to know a band that made a record.

Cocky Fox had the coolest poster.  It portrayed the band standing in front of a magazine rack and each member was reading a magazine that had some funny feature article.  It remains the coolest band poster I have ever seen.

That is Warren - second to the left.    3rd from the right is Jeff Glixman - He went on to be the sound engineer and the producer for the band Kansas.  On the right is Greg Curry - besides dressing like a girl he went on to work in some cool recording studios in New York.  On the far left is Dave Wilson - I am not sure of his whereabouts.

But -  This shows the kind of band I liked.  They played great music, and the had a great sense of humor.

Well - as history would have it - White Clover went on to become the band Kansas.  Warren kept in school and became an ophthalmic optician.  And recently this month.  He was able to play with his old band mates once again.  and he continues to impress me.  Check him out on the video below.  He has a solo towards the end.  Not bad for a teen age werewolf.


Check him out: