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A Dirty Dozen with JASON DEGEORGE – March 2020

| 13 March 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Renowned instrumental guitarist Jason DeGeorge, who is best known for his work with Country sensation Leanne Weiss and recently touring with Kenny Rogers, has unveiled a riveting version of the Ben Harper / Charlie Musselwhite’s blues hit “Nothing At All” that Harper has hailed as “A masterful cover.” Available on all digital platforms, the single is the first from a collection of songs that DeGeorge will release throughout the year. Describing the track as a “super passionate instrumental interpretation of the original,” DeGeorge’s version has already amassed attraction after Harper featured the single and video on his official Facebook page last week. The single features DeGeorge on guitar, piano and organ as well as Bassist Mike Klemish and Drummer Chris Badami, who also produced, engineered and mixed the song at Portrait Recording Studios in Pompton Plains, NJ. It was mastered by Grammy® Award Winning Engineer Ted Jensen (Norah Jones, Green Day, Guns N’ Roses) at Sterling Sound in Nashville, TN.” We get Jason to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

I think the detail I put into the phrasing of the melody. I really worked hard on trying to make the guitar as vocal as I could. If someone listens to the original and mine a few times you’ll get that. We are really proud of making it feel intimate. Like the original.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

6th grade. I was hanging out at a friend’s house. He was a great pianist so he would play for me all the time. One day, he comes out with this guitar amp and a fender Strat. He starts playing all these songs that we listened to all the time. I was amazed! When picking a instrument to play in school band, I didn’t ever think of playing a rock instrument. I begged my parents for 6 months for a guitar. Once you play an E power chord with distortion… it just has this satisfying feeling. I just knew it was what I was looking for in my life. Like a direction line from heart, mind, and soul. That’s when I knew this was what I wanted to do.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

These are the question that are so tough ha. In general, I look for artists that sound like they sing, or play from the soul. Like they are giving it all to you! I want to be moved. There are so many artists that have given that to me.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

I hate cutting it to 5 in fact I can’t. So hard. Next question haha. Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eddie Van Halen, Dream Theater, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, and Steve Vai.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

Lzzy Hale. She has a power house of a voice! And I think her vocals would get me pumped to do a great solo. You hear that voice, and you know you gotta bring your A game.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

Instrumental, emotive, from the heart. Shred…….I think a lot people think of guitarists as doing fancy fast stuff. Take Steve Vai’s “For the Love of God.” Steve’s playing is breathtakingly melodic and emotive on that track. He doesn’t erupt into fast stuff until three minutes into the track. And yes, it is amazing! His playing is flawless! But, to say it’s just shredding misses the rest of the song! It’s sooooo much for than shred.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

Closing your eyes, putting your head back, and opening up your soul.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

My band is all about lunch! When we are recording, rehearsing, or playing a gig, Mike (Bassist Mike Klemish) will ask where we are going for lunch. After that has been established, we discuss the music. Priorities. Chris (Chris Badami drummer, producer) and Scott (Scott Vincent Keyboards) speak in movie quotes. And I really don’t stop playing the guitar. I generally have my electric out and practicing scales. Gotta keep the hands loose! So imagine a convo over junk food, 80s comedy quotes, with a little unplugged scale work going in the back round. That’s pretty much the picture.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

I’m pretty comfortable around other musicians. We are all really the same. So one time I was in a building when Bill Clinton walked by! That was crazy to me! Ex President……..Secret service around………intense.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

Pilot. What a perspective they must have on the world and cultures etc.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

This is the first time I’m putting my own music. I was a side man/ session player for many years. It took a lot of courage to be the center of a project. But it’s been very liberating.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

1978 Van Halen I. Some guitarists are amazing musicians. Capable of learning so many styles. And they sort of blend all of that and come up with a sort of style or sound. EVH is one of those truly rare guitarists that doesn’t play like anyone but himself. So distinctive. Guitar changed with every note he recorded on that record.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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