... a solo show that would put many performers half his age to shame ... superstar..Locorriere demonstrated the true meaning of the word ... instantly recognisable, spine-tingling, sexy vocals wowed the audience ... a truly magnificent singing voice ... rising from the tenderest emotionial whisper to a powerful roar, his voice is one of the most distinctive sounds in popular music ... Dennis Locorriere, fully lived up to his world-wide reputation a one of the most enduring musical legends of our time.... he enthralled a capacity audience... oozed star quality and charisma... held his appreciative audience spell-bound... truly memorable night... ranking alongside the appearances by other legends such as Johnny Cash... I was totally swept away by the power and emotion in his voice... It was one of the greatest one-man shows I have ever seen... Not many singers could sing like that for two hours on their own with just a guitar...Absolutely brilliant top performance!!!!... such a generous performer with bags of charisma and a terrific sense of humour ... pure brilliance ... Long may he tour ...
Dennis LocorriereDennis LocorriereDennis LocorriereDennis LocorriereDennis Locorriere
Comments, Interviews, DL Meets His Fans & More.....
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8 Ball Bullet New Hot Press - DL's pre Dublin gig Interview - April 2013
8 Ball Bullet New Mark Powlett on BBC Radio - DL's Radio Interview on 25.03.12 - Click Here
8 Ball Bullet New Cragg Live - DL's Radio Interview on Cult Radio 19.01.03
8 Ball Bullet New Cragg Live - The entire show - including DJ comments, pre and post interview, as well as many wonderful tracks from DL's entire career, Hook and solo.
8 Ball Bullet Open Mic - DL's Interview In R2 Rock'n'Reel Magazine Nov/Dec 2012 Issue
8 Ball Bullet DL On Radio Wirral 4/11
8 Ball Bullet DL On Radio Teeside 4/11
8 Ball Bullet DL On Brooklands Radio
8 Ball Bullet DL Face to Face with Rick Wakeman - Aired on Sky 378
8 Ball Bullet DL Talks to Debbie Rial for the International Songwriters Association magazine
8 Ball Bullet DL Talks to Sean P. Feeny at the Donegal Life - Adobe reader required to view
8 Ball Bullet DL Live on TalkSport with Mike Mendoza Oct 07 - Includes live performance of the much talked about new track 'I'm Impressed with Myself'
8 Ball Bullet DL talks to aspiring young writer, Jack Gibson
8 Ball Bullet Rock'n'Reel Xtra - Maurice Hope talks to DL
8 Ball Bullet DL Live on LBC 97.3 with Iain Lee (Sept'06)
8 Ball Bullet Audio version of the DVD Interview with Johnny Black that accompanies the 'Live in Liverpool' CD
8 Ball Bullet A 'candid' interview with John Moore
8 Ball Bullet What DL Listens to While You Listen to DL! & What He Reads When He's Not Listening (and sometimes while he is!)
8 Ball Bullet Messages From Dennis
8 Ball Bullet DL's Favourite Songs
8 Ball Bullet DL's Tribute to Shel Silverstein
8 Ball Bullet Dennis Meets His Fans - Your Photos
DL with Johnny Black
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Live on LBC 97.3 with Iain Lee
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Hot Press

Dennis Locorriere speaks to Hot Press ahead of Irish visit

Dennis Locorriere's association with Dr. Hook is recognised the world over. But the man from Union City, New Jersey is now so much more than his former band. Dr Hook really was only the early part of Locorriere’s story and he's gone on to release solo albums, a book of poetry and even starred on the big screen since. Hot Press caught up with Locorriere shortly after he announced his Irish return this April...

The Hot Press Newsdesk, 04 Apr 2013

Dennis Locorriere

Dennis Locorriere has just kicked-off his Point Zero tour when he agreed to take a call from Hot Press. It's a cold, blustery morning on the Sussex coast, which is where the former Doctor Hook frontman now calls home. Locorriere is easing himself back into tour mode, but already has plenty on his mind...

You’re in the early stages of the tour at the moment?

Yeah it kind of starts with a few weekend things, were I go out and I play and then I have a week to get stupid again.

What do you get up to then during that week then?

Last year was kind of an idle year for me and I didn’t do a lot of playing, so for the first couple of dates I was like "Oh God, do I remember everything.” Then when I came off stage I thought “Good, that’s all back in my head now.” But then I had another week, so I’d see how much of it I’d lose again. But once it’s back, it’s there.

How long have you been living in the UK then?

I’ve been over here for a while. I’ve been back and forth for the last ten or twelve years, but I’ve had residency for the last couple.

Well you haven’t lost any of your New Jersey accent anyway.

(laughs) I lived in Nashville too for 25 years and you never heard me talking like Hank Williams either.

What do you think of the music scene in the UK at the moment?

Oh, you know man, I don’t even really feel like I’m in the music business anymore. I feel like I’m in the Denis Locorriere business. I’m not particularly disillusioned by it because it has very little to do with me. I mean I don’t feel like I’m in competition with Ed Sheeran and Maroon 5, I’m just doing what I do, and letting water seek it’s own level. And there’s good music out there, and there’s not.

What changes do you see in it?

The business has changed so much. You watch the X Factor and you see these 18 year-olds who are suicidal because they didn’t become superstars in twelve weeks. And they think that their lives are over. You know I’m 64 and I’m still plugging along. The game has just changed so much. I never expected to make a nickle in this business when I started. People go into the music business now like it’s the medical profession expecting to get famous and rich, but it’s a different world. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen any of the old interviews with the Beatles and the Stones in the early ‘60s, and the question that they were always asked was “How long do you think this is all going to last?” And they’d all say “I don’t know, two years.” Nobody ever thought that they’d be doing it for twenty or thirty years. Everybody was thinking that if they could get a year out of it they’d be lucky.

So would that be your advice to kids starting out now?

It’s almost like paying your dues is a non-existent thing because it gets in the way of your overnight success. It’s just that they’re made to feel worthless immediately. There’s something that really irks me about singing competitions anyway. It just doesn’t make any sense. They’ve introduced this competition aspect to it that was never there before. I’ve learned over the years to compete with only myself. But I don’t really know what goes on in the business, it has very little to do with me. And I get asked all the time to be a judge on competitions. I can’t believe that’s an actual profession now. It’s a profession to tell other people to go the fuck home, that’s a gig?! What’s next? Become an executioner. I can’t believe it’s a job to sit there and break somebodies heart. But really if I had any advice for young people, it would be to run. Fucking run. Run as far as you can into the woods and write a song and come back out when you think that you like it. I don’t know what else I would tell them.

Retrospection is out at the minute. Can you tell us a bit about that?

Yeah that’s a compilation of my first two albums that I got back. They were licensed for a while, but they’re mine now. So I released them both in a package with some bonus tracks and liner notes and stuff lke that.

So is your solo work and the stuff you done with Hook like two separate lives?

The solo stuff means the world to me. I’m happy about my history. Obviously I know that you and I are talking because it all started a long time ago. I understand where it stems from, but there’s just something professionally botox about never moving passed that. Incorporating it into your life and stuff is good but I mean to just atrophy at a certain age is just not something I could do. I don’t think I’d still be doing it if that was the only option open to me.

You must get a lot of offers to play the Hook stuff though...

I get a lot of offers to play casinos, and nightclubs. I would play ‘Sexy Eyes’ and you would order a prime-rib and a drink. No thanks. I’m sorry. And the funny thing is that people think that I don’t care about my past and that I’m not greatful for it. But quite honestly, I’m more reverent than you think, and that’s why I’m not singing ‘Sylvia’s Mother’ in a chicken in a basket place. Is that how you would show reverence to something that meant a lot to you? And I take a lot of flack for that. But here’s the deal. There are two kind of Doctor Hook fans. There are the kind who come up to me and say “I’ve been a huge fan since forever,” and I find out that they only have the greatest hits album, and bless them for buying it. Hook made 13 studio albums. And then there’s the Hook fans who know all these records, and all the b-sides, and those are the fans that I kind of address myself to in concert and everything.

Do you still play some Hook songs in your live show?

If you came to my show you would hear some of those hits, and you would also hear some songs that if you were a Hook fan you would go “Wow, I never thought I would hear him sing that.” It’s like McCartney. I love McCartney and I love the Beatles. I’d take a bullet for the guy. I’ve seem him a bunch of times in concert and I know why he does it because it’s a high dollar ticket and you need production value. But for me, he could can ‘Live And Let Die’ and play two or three songs that I’d be dying to hear him sing. So I conduct myself that way. I play theatres and stuff, and I don’t go out and do the big venues with the greatest hits thing because there’s something awfully sad about not having the where-with-all to move past a certain point of your life. And sure that’s the stuff that was successful, but if I was successful as a baby model should I be touring in nappies?

But things change, you can’t help but change. So I just let water seek it’s own level. And I’ve got great fans. And the ones that interest me are the ones that say “I loved what you did 30 years ago. What are you doing now? And I never understand why that isn’t always the next question. I still love when McCartney puts out new albums, even if I’m not enamoured with every single track, there are usually a couple of things that make me glad that he’s still here. Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan man. I don’t listen to Bob Dylan to be nostalgic, I listen to Bob Dylan because he’s fucking brilliant and I learn something everytime I listen to him. But here’s a guy that’s in his mid-seventies that whether most of the world knows it or not has just had one of the biggest temporary love songs on the charts with Adele. And I bet you most people think that she wrote that. And it tickles the hell out of me that all these kids are going “Yeah, she knows exactly how I feel.” No, a 75 year-old guy knows exactly how you feel, and that’s just unbelievable to me. I love it. And he didn’t pitch that, somebody found that. He didn’t write that because he thought it would be a big hit, he wrote that because he believed it. And there's a really big difference between saying what you think someone wants to hear and saying what you feel and hoping they feel that way too.

What do you think it is that makes the like of Dylan, McCartney, Young and yourself keep writing new music?

Well one of the things I think that helps them is they way they've helped themselves. Look at Neil Young for example. Neil Young has never given a shit about how successful his last thing was. If his next thing is just electric guitar with fuzz on it, or techno, that's what he's going to do. These guys haven't designed their careers worrying about whether people are going to buy the records or not.

Surely it's easier to be that experimental though on the back of so much success...

I suppose yeah. And I think that everyone of them would like every album to be successful, nobody throws anything out there in the hope of nobody liking it.

Do you still listen to the Dr. Hook records?

Not really. I've had to listen to them in the last few years because there's a label (BGO) that's been putting out remastered re-issues. So I hooked up with them and agreed to write some liner notes and a track-by-track to give it a more personal feel. So I've had to listen to it and I've seen how it degradated after a while and I can point to exactly the point where we started guessing as opposed to doing what we felt was right. And when you guess - even if you guess right – you'll slide your chips out on the table and guess again. But what are you going to do with luck?

Aside from music you've acted a little and published a book of poetry. How did the poetry come about?

I'm always writing something down. One day I was talking to somebody and I read them a couple of things and they thought they were great. So I thought 'Great I've got to turn these into songs.' But they told me that they were finished, it's poetry. So I started to put them up on my blog, and my fans liked them. And then I got a call from this guy who had a publishing house and he asked me if I'd like to put together a collection of them. So I had about 60 or 70 of them at the time, and that was that. I've been writing poetry ever since.

Could that writing possibly lead to a new album?

Well it could to anything. But right now I'm calling this tour the Point Zero Tour because every few years I like to reassess and see where I am. And I do really feel like I've done lots. I've done this, I've done the Hook thing, I've got solo albums out, the poetry thing... So this is sort of like Point Zero to me now. It's all about trying to fashion all this into something that helps me to move forward. Because success to me is anything that allows me to do the next thing.

You're coming our way soon I see...

Yeah. I'm going to be in Vicar Street on April 5 I think. I've been trying to get back to Dublin for a long time so I was really happy to see Vicar Street on the schedule. We used to play the big venues in Dublin with Hook, and it's just a great audience. It's a musical audience. And it's an audience that I really miss playing to. So I can't wait to get back there and show them exactly where I've been and who I am.

Open Mic - Dennis Locorriere's Interview In R2 Rock'n'Reel Magazine Nov/Dec 2012 Issue
In this recent interview with Debbie Rial for the International Songwriters Association magazine, The Songwriter, DL opens up about his songwriting and songwriters.

As front man with Dr Hook, Dennis Locorriere enjoyed huge international success with over 60 gold and platinum albums, sell out tours  and no 1 hits in over 42 countries with the likes of “Sylvia‘s Mother” and “When You‘re In Love With A Beautiful Woman“. Famous for their long gruelling tours, performing up to 300 shows a year, Dr Hook is undoubtedly one of America’s most successful acts of the 1970’s and early 80’s . Dennis has gone on to have highly acclaimed solo success and continues to wow audiences with his spine-tingling, sexy vocals. A notable songwriter, he has had songs recorded by Bob Dylan, Southside Johnny and Willie Nelson, to name but three. Still hook-ed on performing, Dennis has just come off tour and found time to answer a few questions for us. 

At what age did you first realise that music was important to you? 

I can't remember a time in my life when music wasn't there in a big way. My mother was very young, 19 years old,  when I was born and she liked her music. Mostly great singers like Dinah Washington, Nat King Cole, Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughn and later, Sam Cooke. It probably helped that I grew up across the river from New York City, home of some of the coolest, most powerful radio stations in the country, playing all the hippest records. My little transistor radio was always glued to my ear. Even in bed, I'd have it on really low, under my pillow, so only I could hear it. I always figured I'd be a music 'fan' for life. It wasn't until I was 14 years old and The Beatles came to America that I started banging and plonking on things, trying to make a similar noise. It felt good to me. Natural. Right. I never really thought about music as a career. It just sort of happened. Probably a good thing. I didn't have anything else in mind at that point...or at this one either.  

Who were your early influences? 

My mom and her records were what peaked my interest. All her favorite singers had such unique voices. Unmistakable from the first word. Sam Cooke was a major influence on so many vocalists, including me. But, The Beatles will always stand as my single biggest motivator because they were the ones that made me wanna do it and not just listen to it.  

How old were you when you wrote your first song? 

It was sometime shortly after the British Invasion started, so 14-15. I can't remember exactly what it sounded like, or what it was about, but I do recall the deflating moment that I realized it was pretty much Tommy Roe's “Sheila“, almost note for note. But, hey! I'll bet a lot of the great artists began with a touch of plagerism. You have to start somewhere. The trick is to move into your own thing. 

Do you write all the time, do you set time apart for writing, what’s your process? 

I have absolutely no process, technique or method that I could tell you about. I write when an idea hits me. The best ones are the ones that hit me hard enough to sit down right then, pick up my guitar and try and find my way into it a little. Of course, that's not always possible, so I do carry a notebook and a pen (usually!), but that's about it. I'm not methodical. I probably forget more ideas than I'll ever follow thru on. I tried co-writing in the past and some nice songs have come of it. But, I've also had a few of what I thought were good ideas taken in the wrong direction by someone else and I, in the spirit of collaboration, just let it happen. I don't do that anymore. I mostly write alone these days. 

It’s a great accolade to have had songs recorded by two of the greatest songwriters in the world,  Willie Nelson and Bob Dylan. How did they come to record one of your songs? 

Both of those artists recorded the same song, 'A Couple More Years'. That song is down in the books as a co-write between me and my late, great friend, Shel Silverstein, and, I supposed, technically, that's true. The real story is that when I was in the studio, recording the vocal on Hook's version of the song, it was sounding strangely familiar to me. One of my bandmates pointed out to me that the melody was very reminiscent of a song I had written called 'Moon Tune'. I don't think Shel was too happy to hear that and who could blame him?  
And, let's face it, it is a pretty standard country melody that  
we'd both used in our respective songs, but Shel did what he thought was the right thing and made me co-writer on his song. It's been wonderful for me to be associated with the song and, yes, it's been recorded a zillion times.  
The latest cut was Jerry Lee Lewis and Willie Nelson on Jerry Lee's comeback album, “Last Man Standing“. So, Willie recorded the song twice. Wonder if he even knows that? 

Which of your many hits are you most proud of? 

It was never about 'the hits', to tell you the truth. There are some far better songs on the albums. Don't get me wrong, without the radio records Hook might not have had the opportunity to show so many people, all over the  
world what a  great 'live' act we were. And, that's what it was always about for us. The shows. The 'hits' were just like far-reaching explosions that drew the crowds in. Luckily, we had a bunch of them. But, to sort of answer your question, I'm kinda partial to the Shel penned ones, like Sylvia's Mother, Lucy Jordan, More Like The Movies. Very cinematic. Great for a singer to chew on.  

You’ve always spent so much time on the road, including almost year long tours during your time with Dr Hook. What is it about live gigs that appeals to you? 

The worst part of this business to me is having to solicit the opinions of other professional people and then wait for their responses. Sometimes you can wait forever. You write a song, you wonder if it's any good. You record it, present to the label and wait for their opinion...and the song plugger's opinion...and radio's opinion. And, these opinions are usually based on a whole lot more than whether they liked your song or not. You walk out on a stage and play that song for the people and, immediately, you know what you have...or not. It's right there, right then. 'Live' performance is really the only thing that makes me feel like I'm still viable in this business. 

Was a busy touring schedule behind the long gap between the release of your first solo album “Out of the Dark” in 2000 and its follow up “One of the Lucky Ones” in 2005? 

The long gap - four years or more - between albums had more to do with trying to define myself between albums than anything else. “Out Of The Dark” was recorded bit by bit, song by song, just to be doing something with all the songs I was writing. They weren't intended for an album. I hadn't looked for a label before that. Most of the tracks on OOTD were released a couple years prior as “Running With Scissors“, on a small Norwegian dance label. It soon folded and so did the album. When the opportunity arose to rework it a bit and get it out as a proper release I jumped at it and “Out Of The Dark” saw daylight. “One Of The Lucky Ones” was actually recorded and scheduled to be released on a UK label that got weird and dodgy just as I was finishing it. They, without any warning to me,  went bust and left me with a bunch of studio bills that I couldn't pay, including several musicians who were friends of mine. Needless to say I felt like a fucking deadbeat!

The album remained in the studio vaults for quite awhile until I could work and raise the money to pay them all, players and studio, what I owed them. But, even tho I had possession of the master tapes again, they still sat in the drawer next to my bed for a year or so until we could find a home for it. Turned out we went back to Track Records, who had put out OOTD. 

Your musical career has successfully spanned the decades and you’ve worked or guested with many stars including your recent stint with Bill Wyman and The Rhythm Kings. Is there anyone you would like to guest on one of your tours? 

Now, there's a question I've never been asked and something I've never really thought about. Not who I'd like to guest with but who I'd like to have guest with me. Well, off the top of my head, Billy Preston would have upped the soul factor of anybody's band. He played an organ solo on “Isn't It A Pity” at the Concert for George (Harrison) that makes my eyes well up every time I hear it. 
The two fellas with Was (Not Was), 'Sweet Pea' Atkinson and Sir Harry Bowens, would be a kick to sing with. I'll stop there or be forced to go thru my entire record collection for more ideas. But, you have me thinking about it now.  

Anyone who appreciates song writing can’t help but be a Beatles fan. In your list of ten all time fave songs there are three Beatles songs. What is it about their song writing that makes them so special to you? 

The only reason there aren't 10 Beatle songs on the list is because I didn't wanna seem too monotone about it all. But, then, again, you could pick 10 of their songs and hit on as many different styles of music, couldn't you? The Beatles had and did it all and changed the landscape forever. The way artists think, sing, write, dress, look, sound, and on and on. I'm so glad I was 14 when they arrived. It was the perfect age to take it all in. To really 'get it'.

What song do you wish you’d written? 

Any and every Paul Simon song. The man is an artistic treasure.  

Do you follow the current music scene and if so who do you rate?  

I listen to lots of different types of music. Today's manufactured pop music doesn't speak to me at all. It all sounds the same on purpose. It's a shame, really. I still love a great voice, but I'm talking more about the way that voice communicates with you rather than trying to dazzle you with technique and range and a million notes per syllable. An expressive singer doesn't have to hit lots of notes or land every one right on the money on to make you pay attention. Take Jagger, Lennon, Costello. These are not pitch perfect singers (tho Elvis might disagree), but they are 3 of the most distinctive, emotive voices there have ever been. I love to listen to new bands with great songs and nice harmonies too. I rate anyone that sounds like they know how they want to sound.  

What’s your connection with McFly? 

My only connection with McFly is that I have known Tom Fletcher and his lovely family since he was about 5. They came to a solo show of mine and young Tom asked if he could come up and sing something with me. Did I say he was only five??? We did “Cover Of Rolling Stone” together and he was sensational. Knew every word and every note of melody. It sounds very storefront Nostradamus now to say this but I just knew the lad was gonna amount to something. He just had it.

I love the success he and the band are having. He deserves it and his family are some of the nicest people I've ever met. McFly is only the beginning for young Tom. Watch out for Carrie Fletcher next. Tom's little sister. Another extremely talented young person. 
Any tips for aspiring song writers? 

It's so hard for me to give anybody advice because, as I said, I really don't have a process or particular technique. I'm the most unorganized, undisciplined person when it comes to writing. As I said, I write alone these days.  
I'm not saying I'm not open to collaboration with the right person.  
I just spend a lot of time alone. I live alone. Usually tour alone. I find myself with my guitar on my knee more often when no one else is around. The only 'tip' I can give anyone about anything is: Don't do things keep you awake at night. If you find yourself lying on your back one too many nights, looking at the ceiling, wondering if you're doing the right thing, you probably aren't. Hopefully it's not too late to say 'No thanks!' and move on. As far as content, sometimes you write 'what is', sometimes it's about 'what you wish was' and other times you just make it up. As I get older I find I have to make it up less and less. 

And finally, what are you up to at the moment? 

I'm going thru the opening stages of preparing to record my next album. The first step was to play songs for my co-producer. I had specific things I wanted to show him, but, after awhile, I started playing songs that I'd never shown anyone. Songs that were written over the last 25 years of my life. It turned out that he really liked a lot of the ones I hadn't intended to play and it took my head and the album in a totally different direction. The next step will be to decide on a cohesive sound for it all. Then, to find the musicians we think can help us get that sound and rehearse with them for a few days. After that, it's studio time! If I know me, I will want to do a bit of 'live' playing before too long. Maybe a few smaller venues, here and there. I'm not a big fan of doing clubs as part of a tour, but they're useful to break in new material and, generally, keep my hand in,  between tours. I don't like to leave it too long without some 'live' activity. The nice thing these days is that I'm never quite sure what will come up.  
A good example would be the shows with Bill Wyman's band. An unscheduled detour that I really enjoyed. Sometimes the blank page is more exciting than the full one. As long as it doesn't stay blank for too long. 

Prescribed Listening - Maurice Hope talks to ex-Dr Hook frontman turned solo artist, Dennis Locorriere

I was interested to see that on One Of The Lucky Ones there are a couple of co-writes with Michael Snow, a writer I'm quite familiar with due to him co-writing with, among others, Strawbs' lead guitarist Brian Willoughby.
"Yeah, I know Michael. I used to live in Nashville, Tennessee, which is where Michael lives, and I lived there for 25 years so we became pretty close friends and partners over the years, and wrote a lot of songs together. Many of which have still to be heard. He's a good guy and has a great heart. He's from Liverpool originally and has that great old lilting Irish melody in him and is also a wonderful lyricist in his own right. We haven't written anything new for a few years."

Talking to Locorriere, there's no hiding his great love affair with music. It doesn't seem to be a money thing with him. That's something that goes back years, such is his passion for both music and songs.

"I tour with an acoustic guitar these days. Just a guitar and me. Once in a while I might have a band, but generally a steady diet of just me, a guitar and lots and lots of great songs. Whether they're old Shel Silverstein songs, or the Hook catalogue or what I've just written. I protect what I do," he states. "I like it. I've told my manager I could have found a job along the way that I hated, but have been lucky enough to do one that I love. The reason I like touring is because there is an immediate connection. Anything else you do, like when you record, you sit around to see what the label think ... what is going to be a single ... who likes this and who likes that. It's like a committee, but when I am on the road there is no committee," he explains. "There is me and the audience. I sing ... they respond. I talk and they talk back and I like that. It makes me feel like I'm still in this business."

Recording albums for him is like a side project. Where he gets the biggest buzz and greatest pleasure is on stage. Up there it's all about entertaining an audience.

"It is for me. I keep it kinda loose so anything can happen. I have a structure to my show. I'm not a fool but it's not so tightly structured that if it veered off somewhere I couldn't let it go there. I like that and the audience knows that. Recording is important because you get a record on the radio and a lot more people get the opportunity to know who you are, but it's not the thing that jazzes me up the most."

Not only the fans have been good to him, but radio (BBC Radio 2) over here has been kind, too, giving him some great airplay.

"Whether it's the old Hook stuff or the new stuff, it's great. To tell you the truth, in today's game folk don't have to go out to be wildly entertained, since you have DVDs ... you have music, and all kinds of stuff. The fact that people will go home after work, shower and put on their nice clothes and then go sit in a different building is a nice thing these days and very flattering for me. It's not like back in the 1970s when Dr Hook were starting. It was a far different scene then ... you had lots of people hungry for music and to get out and sample what was going on out there. It was a vibrant scene; lots of different genres were reaching out.

"Today, kids sit at computers and download an act - there doesn't seem to be that impetus to go find out about an act. Kids like songs, not artists. It's like, they'll listen to a minute of a song and put it on their iPod. With things like Pop Idol and X Factor they throw these things at you. Like Paul Simon said years ago, they throw these pop stars up the charts and leave them up there with no way to get off. You see them on X Factor, like on day one, week one, and see them walk in with t-shirt and jeans and they get through and, 14 weeks later, they win and leave in a big-money suit and Porsche. A week later it's like nobody cares, it's like they've already seen his - or her - career on that show."

Which beggars the question as to where the outstanding musicians of tomorrow are going to come from.

"One of the things that irks me is that you have all these vocal groups calling themselves bands. I believe The Spice Girls started it, talking about themselves as a band. They are not bands. No more than pilots are sky angels; they are up there but are not exactly doing it on their own. Words get changed, though. Times change, but it is a different game, today. Everybody I know who is any age will tell you that when they were a kid people would say, 'The world isn't what it used to be', and now when I've become that age I'm saying the same thing. Like those around today will, in 30 years' time, be saying it too. When you look back it always seems simpler when you're younger."

Talking about the past neatly brings us around to the people who influenced him, growing up back in New Jersey.

"My biggest influence as a music fan was my mom. Her name was Ruth and when I was born she was only 19. A kid. So, when I was four and five years old, she was still a young girl in her early 20s and had lots of young friends, and listened to a lot of music. She liked voices ... people like Chet Baker, Sam Cooke, Dina Washington, Johnny Matthis, Nat King Cole. She loved these great interpretive voices; she wasn't a singer but just loved that stuff. I was raised by her ... and by my grandmother and my mother's two sisters. So I was mostly raised by women and did not have that male aesthetic of sports, fast cars and of drinking beer. I had that aesthetic of ... where I had my mom and two sisters coming home after being to New York City to see a play, and who would come with the soundtrack or the brochure from Camelot or Westside Story and I would see how those live performances affected them.

"I guess it stayed with me. It was my mom who made me realise how music was so entertaining, but The Beatles who made me want to do it. I am still, to this day, a huge Beatles fan. If you came to my place right now and looked at what I am looking at now, you would think that I was in The Beatles! I've a lot of Beatles stuff and probably listen to a lot more of Beatles-related music than anything else, because it centres me," he explains. "It's where I came from. They got to America in 1964. February, 1964, and we had just had the President of the United States have his head unceremoniously blown off only a few months before. Just before Christmas, and the world was in turmoil and America was in shock, and youth didn't know where to go. I was 14 years old and didn't know what the hell that meant. I guess we were looking for something and it didn't hurt that they came from another country.

"It was like they'd landed from another planet, these four little aliens with moptop haircuts landed at Kennedy Airport. [It wasn't Kennedy then, but Idlewild]. Their arrival, strangely, gave everybody some kind of hope. Initially, I think it was because they were from somewhere else, with their strange little accents and good looks. But they wouldn't have lasted as long and grabbed everybody's attention if it wasn't for the music, which was great. The harmonies, the enthusiasm, exuberance and playing their own guitars. There just wasn't anything like that then. They were the first band, ever, who wrote a whole album. Rubber Soul - it was the first album, ever, that was written and conceived by the artists themselves. Nobody, including The Beatles themselves, had ever done it before. They broke things wide open. I just love that. You hear so many things today, musically, that would not have happened if were not for The Beatles."

Guitar-makers must have been rubbing their hands once The Beatles, all the other Liverpool bands, and others, broke onto the music scene.

"Apparently, the old story in the UK was that The Beatles were told that guitar bands were out, because of groups like The Shadows. When people talked about guitar bands, they thought of instrumentals and guys doing dance steps together. They never dreamed that it could be your weapon of choice. The songs, harmonies and enthusiasm of it - all that was heard on the radio and was something people found hard to ignore. Love it or hate it. Fortunately, I embraced it, 200 per cent!"

He initially started playing in bands as a teenager.

"A couple of little bands, where you would rehearse on weekends at somebody's garage, or something. Never anything professionally. There was nowhere for us to play. We were too young for that; maybe the odd high school dance. I started off as a drummer but I hated all the equipment. Then one day a girl came up to me and said I looked like John Lennon, because I was strumming somebody's guitar, so I said 'To hell with the drums'."

So how did he go from that to meeting Ray [Sawyer] and founding the legendary Dr Hook & The Medicine Show, as they were first known.

"Ray, George and Dave (Jay David) were from the deep south, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. Dave came up to New Jersey where I was from, and living. It was near Manhattan ... to the lights of New York; there were a lot of nightclubs up there. They were playing in a little club in my home town. When I got old enough and grew a little facial hair I would sneak in and sit in with a lot of people," he recalls. "Everybody was older than me, including George, and one night I sat in with them, played some bass and guitar and we got talking. They knew all the old country songs and I knew The Beatles and The BeeGees. I guess we were an education to one another and it wasn't long before we got one or two lucky breaks and were recording ourselves, and went out on the road."

One of those lucky breaks, of course, was to record a Shel Silverstein song that would end up used in a movie.

"That has to be the biggest turning point of my life. Meeting Shel Silverstein afforded me some of the biggest things I have done. Like the hits with Dr Hook and then, a few years back, I did a one-man play that Shel wrote, at the Lincoln Centre, New York. It was great to do that and be involved with Shel again. After that I went out on the road. Then, just last year, even though Shel had already passed away, they posthumously released a new children's book, Runny Babbitt, and I read the audio book version. If he had been still alive, Shel would of course have read it himself. It was nice that his family, his estate, came back to me to do it. My involvement with Shel has been life long," he adds. "Like a wave, it keeps coming back on the shore every once in a while. He was a very good lyricist, very good stories that made a point in a big way. When you listened to a Shel song and got it, you'd feel smarter and more worldly, because he always said things in such a clever and an encouraging way. Everybody gets it ... not because he panders, it's just ... plain spoken. Just out now is a new album by Jerry Lee Lewis called Last Man Standing, an album of duets on which he does 'A Couple More Years' with Willie Nelson - a song that Shel and I wrote. That's what I mean, my relationship with Shel just keeps coming around in one form or another."

At their peak, Dr Hook were a regular fixture in the charts at home and abroad with hits like 'Sylvia's Mother', 'The Cover Of The Rolling Stone' and 'Only Sixteen', prior to their slicker cuts - 'Sharing The Night Together', 'When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman' and 'Sexy Eyes'

"We were an international success in the days before there were videos, so if people wanted to see us we packed our bags and went out on the road. Today, you don't go out on the road until you are famous. It's flip-flopped a little bit, to where you do it the other way round. When you're having as much international success as that, it's all forward motion. You don't stop to congratulate yourself much. It's only now, years later, that I have had time to take a deliberate look at how well Dr Hook actually did and how the music affected people."

Apparently the first few Dr Hook albums didn't take a lot of time to record.

"In the earlier days we had a little more of a sloppier sound. A little more slapdash [their 1972 album was called Sloppy Seconds; their second, on Columbia, was entirely written by Shel] because that was the image of the band. Then, later on, to be competitive for radio airplay, we had to get a little slicker ... songs like 'When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman'. They always took a lot longer, especially bringing studio players in to play on the albums. But today you hear of people taking years to make a record; there was nothing like that! Maybe a month. But after our first album we were making records in between tour dates, or we would have to block out time and come off the road. It became a different consideration, totally."

Via Silverstein and the band's deep south roots, they'll forever be associated with country music.

"Again, that was all down to Shel. He persuaded us to come to Nashville. He was coming from those heady times when it was him and [Kris] Kristofferson and Waylon Jennings, and it was very much a music community. People would sleep on each other's floors, and write songs together. Nashville isn't like that anymore. Today, people are coming from all across America and the world. It was very much a songwriting community, then, and I would venture that it may still be so. But also I think it is just as much a producer's environment today. Back then it was more a songwriter's town. Shel suggested we should go down there - and it worked out for us. I'm pretty sure I would never have had an inroad into country music if it had not been for Shel. The country music I listened to as a kid was George Jones, the real hard-core, and it's the stuff that I still listen to. Today, it has all become blurred, but my kind of country is Jones, Merle Haggard and Buck Owens, who I am still listening to, right now."

In this candid interview with John Moore, Dennis tells how he REALLY feels about where he’s been, where he is today and where’s he’s going.

When you know Dennis Locorriere, you realise he’s the kind of person who has been through enough to not let his ego be bruised by such trivialities as transient stardom. He greets it all with a wonderful, playful sense of knowing amusement - the same jovial characteristic that is endearing him to audiences all around the world once again. Well, that coupled with a killer back catalogue of his own material, a host of Shel Silverstein tracks…and two LPs worth of solo material – including the endearing new LP,

One Of The Lucky Ones…

As you would expect from a man who toured bars, clubs, theatres and then arenas with Dr Hook over the course of 17 years – it is on stage where he truly shines. He was one of the undoubted stars of last year Glastonbury, given the unenviable task of a solo set on the enormous main pyramid stage immediately after the bravura histrionics of the English National Opera. In a slot that went up against the lure of Sunday lunch he triumphed winning the hearts and minds of the main stage crowd – leaving to a rapturous ovation, and converting many new fans…My significant other included.

So Glastonbury last year was a bit of a big thing for you yeah?

“It was cool…You know what? The most relaxed I was for the whole weekend was when I was on stage – ‘cause then I knew what I was doing. You cant just sit around thinking about fighting the bull, you gotta f**king get out there and see which way it’s gonna charge. But you know, what was nice was that originally they had me on The Other Stage…and if you see who was on that stage…y’know, bands like The Libertines, The Zutons. Great bands, but is was gonna be ‘here’s the Zutons…and now here’s their Dad…”

Have you done any of the big UK festivals before?

“No, not really…We’ve done some but Glastonbury was intimidating, just because of what it is, y’know? It’s almost more valuable to be associated with it and to tell people you’re playing it than the actual performance. ‘Cause there’s so much going on…But if you’re Oasis people have expectations; ‘oh, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be…’, but if I do a good job, they’re like; f**k, we didn’t expect anything from this asshole…”

Is the skill of going out and performing to a crowd alone something that developed over time, or have you always been good at it?

“All I can say is that I’ve been doing this for a long time, so anything I am good at is because I’ve been doing it for a long time…I like performing alone, and I’m so glad that the audiences appreciate it. I almost hate to say it, but I prefer it…I don’t wanna sound like the Howard Hughes of Rock’n’roll, but I prefer it. I think it’s because that with ‘Hook’ I was the sharp end of something, and responsible for it in some way. Y’know, while we were lurching about on stage spilling beer on each other, it was Dr Hook Incorporated back home. There were families and children and an office staff – 40 people were eating on us, it was a business and I felt like the sharp end of that. I knew there was no morning where I was gonna wake up and go; ‘OK, I’d like to leave now…’Cause that wasn’t possible. Ray did…But we went on…”

Yeah, you went on without Ray for what, about 2-3 years? How was that?

“…Yeah about that…And we did pretty well, but I think what happened with that, where we hit the impasse, was that I thought we were starting to tread water – just easing into that;’oh, I remember them’ status. So, that meant securing another record deal, committing to another two or three years of promoting and touring…and didn’t want it…

Oh man I joined that band, that band in a bar – it was a bar band – when I was 35. Ray left in ’82…Ray had a different concern. He had the concern of being a logo, the face of Dr Hook and I think he was looking for something other than that. When he left we were really sorry to lose him – ‘cause Ray and I worked very closely together, and nothing is harder than to do a double act when on of them doesn’t want to be there. Dr Hook had a good run, but – of course – what happens now is that everything gets measured in my life, creatively, against that.”

And is it hard to measure up against a 17 year career?

Y’know, funnily enough, if I just relax a little and don’t focus on what other people see, I more than match up to who I was then, I’m so much better at what I do, I was a kid when I was in Dr Hook…If I don’t do that again…Well, some people don’t do that once…I always wanted to be doing what I’m doing now. I never wanted to be in a band. I met those guys ‘cause I was travelling around Union City – where I was from – playing different bars with different bands. I met those guys that way – they were from down south – and they were making their way to, I guess what they thought was The Big Apple but settled there in New Jersey. And we became good friends; I sang all of the Beatles songs, Ray sang all the country and R&B stuff that I didn’t know. It was cool. And we really complemented each other well…”

You list The Beatles amongst your favourite artists, but it’s not something I’d instantly associate with you, or Dr Hook.

“For me, if you’re influenced by something, that’s not emulating it, but passing it on. For instance, I was watching an interview with Paul McCartney recently, and he was talking about Buddy Holly…He was talking and it sound like me talking about him. He was saying ‘when I saw Buddy Holly, boy I knew what I wanted to do…’ and I was saying ‘YES! Yes…that like me with you’…and then I thought,, if I’ve done that for someone else wouldn’t that be cool. Not that I can have the same influence as Buddy Holly or The Beatles…but anybody, anybody. I just wanna give someone the feeling. Not through the sound – I’m not going to try and sing with a British accent of anything like that (he breathily laughs)…I don’t even know how to play a Beatles song, ‘cause I always thought why? I don’t know any of that stuff. I don’t know Chuck Berry licks or any of that stuff I never sat and learned licks from records ‘cause I thought why? There it is – it doesn’t need me to play it too. So I always tried to do whatever came from me.”

It took a while for you to begin writing for ‘Hook – you only have a single co-credit on the first LP. Was that something that you were still learning, or did you make a decision to defer to the established songwriters?

“Well, you said it poetically, but what really happens is – when you start having hits – you come back off the road, and gotta box of songs from all these great songwriters, and they’re pitching’ you stuff. So, what happens is you start mining for the good stuff rather than writing one better. Also when you’re making a decision for the good of everyone, what do you do? Do you say; ‘Hmmm, I think all you folks, and all your kids, should gamble on one of my songs’? Or do you go with the common denominator. ‘oh, this is a good songwriter, he’s had some hits, maybe we should do one of his?’ The decisions aren’t creative decisions anymore – when it becomes Dr Hook Inc, instead of Dr Hook the bar band. The night they landed on the moon y’know – ‘cause we used to play six forty-five minute sets a night from 9 – 3am, every night – we had a break and we went to this diner over the road and had some food and watched them land on the moon and then went back to the bar, and the next 45 minutes set was us just f***ing around. We called it A Tribute To The Moon (begins making weird feedback noises and squeaks then laughs). We were getting request for that for months ‘play A Tribute To The Moon!’ You don’t do that when you become Dr Hook Inc. You don’t say ‘Let’s do Tribute To the Moon at Hammersmith’. You do the hits…and I just felt like the only way to not have to feel that pressure was to not have to lead everybody else down the garden path with me. If I get an album out now and I wanna tour, there’s nobody going; ‘Oh well, I don’t know…The bass player’s kid’s not feeling well.”

The new LP has one cover – Misty Blue, the old Dorothy Moore number that always used to kill me.

“ Obviously I don’t do it like Dorothy Moore – ‘cause then I’d have to wear a sequined dress (laughs)…But now I’m only making decisions for me, and I like that, I’m comfortable with it – probably because I always felt like part of a committee.”

There’s a lot of soul influence across all of the album…

“ Yeah, and there always will be. But that doesn’t mean I wanna do a whole album of that stuff – like I’m gonna slip on the Shark-skin suit and all of that…That’s one thing I did like about ‘Hook – It’s pretty eclectic if you listen to the albums. If we needed or wanted a steel guitar on one track – for the emotion – we’d do it and they weren’t like, ‘aaahhh country’ It would be now. There’s a steel guitar on the new album and it’s the same guy that played on the ‘Hook stuff – Doyle Grisham, and I like that, because if you use it right, a steel guitar is a great instrument…Don’t tell me I shouldn’t use that, or that I should wear a hat whilst I’m doing it. And music is sooo much like that now; ‘it has to sound a certain way and you’ve got to wear that jacket on the album cover, and that’s the jacket for the interviews on TV because there are a million things and we have to focus…I’m pretty sure I am never gonna be a major success because I don’t think I would care to do half the shit you have to do. But that’s cool…knowing that, it’s fine…I don’t have anyone else to blame. Not that there’s anyone trying to drag me up and I’m bucking it every step of the way!

For years, I stayed home, there was one thing I found out – nobody comes lookin’ for you. They were crying when I left, on the farewell tour, but once you’ve left, nobody comes looking for you.”

There’s a big gap – 10 years – between the farewell tour and your solo material, what happened?

“Well, it’s actually a bigger gap than that…well Running With Scissors came out in ’96 on a little Norwegian label that went broke after about three months. I guess it was the great ‘lost album’ – and three Norwegians bought it. So I fleshed it out a little bit, and it came out as Out Of The Dark. So there’s like, three pissed off Norwegians going, ‘hey I have that already!’

In ’99 I did a tour for the Love Songs Dr Hook compilation – to which I contributed a couple of new songs as Dennis Locorriere – The Voice of Dr Hook …which sounds like a ventriloquist act. It was cool I had a band and we did the gigs and there was a record label support and I did 2 and a half hours of all Hook stuff, apart from one song, Shine Son – from Out Of The Dark, and the new tracks. But then at the end of it I was kinda wondering ‘so I really just wanna do this now?’ Y’know the ‘please remember me’gigs? It was fine to just remind everyone that I still had a pulse but I didn’t know so…

But then the one song, Shine Son, got me this record deal, and people were emailing me and saying ‘aaah, new songs – does that mean?’ and that’s what I wanted to hear. It’s nice to hear I used to love you…but I want the next thing to be ‘what are you doing now?’ I love having the history, but it’s those glimmers of ‘Oh does that mean there’s something new?’ that made me wanna come back again. And if this album is successful…well I don’t know what it’ll do…It’s like I told the audience last night; ‘it’s like a blank page…’ You don’t have to tell me something’s gonna happen, just that it could, that it might, if this album goes through the roof, ideal…if it gets me another album…that’s cool”

 What DL Listens to While You Listen to DL! & What He Reads When He's Not Listening (and sometimes while he is!)

December 2005 ~

I wasn't gonna do this. I was going to talk about some of the great new music I've found over the past months, by artists like Clem Snide, Supergrass and Joseph Arthur, to name a few, but what can a guy my age say but 'Hallelujah!' AND 'Amen!' when a bunch of 'the originals' - the artists who made it possible for anything/anyone else to happen - release great albums, do sellout business and are recognized, once again, as the most influential artists our time.
Dylan (from The Byrds to David Gray), The Rolling Stones (from Aerosmith to Razorlight), Stevie Wonder (from Prince to Kanye West) and, my main man, Paul McCartney (Let's not even get started, OK?) are the subjects of this installment.

The Martin Scorcese directed Bob Dylan documentary, 'No Direction Home', is absolutely wonderful. It chronicles the early years of Dylan's unbelievably rapid and dramatic rise, from a dusty interpreter of the great American folksong to the most enigmatic spokesman of his generation, a role he never wanted and actively tried to discourage. The film takes you from his acoustic beginnings to his later electrified concerts that some purists called a shocking betrayal of his folk roots.
Rare footage, spectacular performances and in depth interviews with some of the people who were closest to Dylan, including a really entertaining chat with the man, himself, make this film one for the ages. If you have followed Dylan's career, even fanatically, there is something here you haven't seen or heard. If you want to learn about him, this is an excellent place to begin.
The film was shown in two parts on BBC's Arena in September, but it's worth having the DVD for the extras ( including some great complete performances, used in part in the film) and, besides, you might just want to pop this in and watch it again. It's that entertaining!
The 2 CD soundtrack of the film is killer too. Rarities, both studio and 'live'. Some of the outtakes are as compelling as the versions that were used.

The Rolling Stones new CD, 'A Bigger Bang' is a true return to form. Loose, nasty and still driven by those great 'Keef' licks and the Jagger swagger.
Charlie Watts, the Stones' drummer, was diagnosed with throat cancer soon after the plans were in motion for the new album to be recorded and a major tour was to follow.
The good news is that Charlie is well and out on the road, kicking ass, but probably NOT taking names. He doesn't seem as if he would care to know anyone else.
The other good news is that whatever jolt their longtime comrade's sudden serious health condition gave Jagger/Richards, it certainly got them together, head to head, writing and laying down some real Stones classics. In some instances, only Mick and Keith were involved in the initial demo recordings, with Jagger playing drums, bass and some excellent slide guitar that even received a few glowing comments from Mr Richards in interviews I've read.
The result is the best Stones album since...naaaah, won't go there. I love The Stones. Always have. Never was a Stones OR Beatles kid. Loved 'em both! Tough!
Their latest tour is doing record business too! Whatzat tell ya?

Stevie Wonder's album 'A Time 2 Love' was initially rejected by the record label, deemed as not competitive enough for today's market. Imagine that?
Every single million selling, oversinging, 'too many syllables on every word' R&B stud or diva has Stevie Wonder to thank for their, uh, technique.
Oddly enough, when Stevie employs the same lavish style, it sounds soulful and exactly right. Why is that?
The new CD's release was postponed a few times, from May 3rd to July 4th. I remember. I was waiting for it to come out, based on the single I'd heard, 'So What Da Fuss?'. Hadn't heard anything like that on the radio in quite some time. Very funky, in that 'Superstition' kind of way.
The album finally came out in early October and, while I must admit I don't care for all of it, what does grab me I LOVE!
There are a few too many sappy sentiments and dated chord changes for my taste, but Stevie has always had a streak of that in him.
Uptempo, rhythmic tracks like, 'If Your Love Cannot Be Moved', 'Positivity' and the unbelievably groovy 'So What Da Fuss?' are worth the price of the entire CD.
Wonder, like McCartney, can sometimes seem to lose the plot a bit. But, over the years, they have gotten it right more times than not and look what we get
when they do!!!

'Chaos and Creation in the Backyard' is Paul McCartney's latest. I'm not gonna go on and on about the man. I will say that anyone who underrates this guy has no concept of why music is as big an influence on society as it is today.
Q: 'Why did McCartney headline the Live 8 concert when there were artists like Pink Floyd, Madonna and U2 on the bill?'
Stop and think about it. Before Macca and his little 60s pop combo came along music was a confection.
The uniqueness of The Beatles made music hip, relevant and IMPORTANT...without a cause. It was it's own cause and catalyst.
Today everyone knows the power of music and how it can bring people together for a common cause...but that was not the case before 'the lads'.
There would have been no Live 8 without McCartney's and his mates' influence on the culture.
Having said that (and OK, so I went on a little...), the new CD is really a wonderful thing. Great vocals, emotional, memorable melodies and yes, even the sometimes glossed over lyric is deeper, thoughtful and more personal than anything McCartney has given us in a long while, maybe ever.
I won't try and pick favorite tracks. Buy the album...and if he tours anywhere near you. GO! I hear the show is even better than his last tour...or the one before that...or the one before that! Can't wait, myself!

Honorable mentions:

'Prairie Wind' - Neil Young
'Live' at the Albert Hall' - Cream
(DVD and CD)

One book tip:

'Blink - The Power Of Thinking Without Thinking' - Malcolm Caldwell

Ever have a gut feeling? A first impression? Did you know that there is no less validity in acting on that hunch than there is in stewing over your
decision for days, maybe weeks or longer?
'Blink' is about, as the author says, 'those first two seconds', when you very well may have gathered all the information you need to form a solid, logical
opinion or decision on, well, anything. As a matter of fact, you can obscure that information by waiting and thinking too much.
Written in an engaging, conversational style, Caldwell tells you just how this all works through entertaining stories and anecdotes, as well as
revealing some of the case studies and experiments that have been done to support or disprove the theory that you can decide in a 'blink' just as confidently
as you can with a lot of deliberation.
A non-fiction page turner! Really!

OK...that's it from me for now.
Happy Holidays to you all. I'll see alot of you in 2006!



Ray LaMontagne - "Trouble"

Every once in awhile an artist just shows up, out of, seemingly, nowhere, and you immediately can't imagine how your record collection evvvver felt complete without him...like he'd been around forever!
This artist and his first CD causes that exact reaction. Completely original and hauntingly 'familiar' at the same time.
Soulful voice, natural, gritty songwriting.
If you like The Band, Van Morrison, Steve Forbert (who's 'Alive on Arrival' album, many years ago, was one of those killer debuts), Stephen Stills...well, you still have to hear this album to appreciate what I'm on about.
Your only regret will be that you won't be able to rush out and buy his other CDs. This is his debut.

"(The Secret Life of) The Milk and Honey Band"

These guys are from Brighton and I would loooove to catch them 'live'. Ringing guitars, great harmonies, lovely, memorable melodies...
I dare you to get them out of your head! They have a couple earlier CDs out, 'Boy From The Moon' (the title track was re-recorded for 'Secret Life')and 'Round The Sun' - the latter being pretty hard to find...but I'm trying! The band has recently been taken under the wing of Andy Partridge (of XTC/Dukes of The Stratosphear' fame) and their new one is released on his own APE label, which, so far, has only released Andy's 'Fuzzy Warbles' Vols 1-6 - (Note* there will be 10 volumes in all, they say. If you are an XTC fan, as I am, these CDs are a must. Demos, rarities, unreleased things, all very entertaining). But, back to the M and H B. Great stuff!

Rufus Wainwright - "Want Two"

Elton John recently said he thought the Rufus Wainwright was the best songwriter in the world right now. That, as he was picking up
his own Ivor Novello Award for a lifetime of songwriting excellence. Not a bad endorsement.
The son of singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright, RW has a unique style of singing and writing. His voice, while spot on, tends to be rather nasal and can take a little getting used to, but it works perfectly with his sense of drama and range-y melodies. His songs are really like no one else's.
'Want Two' is the follow-up to 2003's 'Want One', but is as good a place to discover this artist as any. Another one you will be back-researching.

Candy Staton (eponymous)

With her beginnings in family church groups and gospel music, like so many soulful R&B singers of the day, Candi Staton is that singer that 'should have been' a household name, mentioned in the same circles and conversations as Aretha Franklin, Patti LaBelle and Gladys Knight, but, fate, bad breaks, motherhood at a young age and whatever else life can throw at you, conspired to make sure that would not be the case.
On this long overdue collection of Ms Staton's 'best', you can hear what she had and how she used it. Twenty-six wonderful tracks, recorded at the legendary Fame studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama with producer, Rick Hall, each one sweeter and funkier than the last.
It's never too late to 'find' a voice like this. Today and this CD. Sound good? Trust me, it does.

Quick mention:

The Beatles - "The Capitol Albums, Volume I"
This boxed set contains the first 4 Beatle albums that us poor, deprived American kids got to hear. No, they are not the 'original' albums, released in the UK...and, yes, they include less tracks than the UK versions...and, yes, they contain the singles that The Beatles felt were a disgraceful ripoff to include on their albums, since most of their fans had bought them already...and yes, they had reverb added to them, so they would sound more exciting on bigtime, commercial US radio...BUT... they are the very albums that we, in America, bought, loved and listened to over and over and over...and, may I add OVER!
'Meet The Beatles', The Beatles Second Album', Something New' and 'Beatles '65'...both the mono and, in some cases for the first time, stereo versions of each album on the discs. Come on...how can you resist?

"The Librarian" - Larry Beinhart

I hate giving a book synopsis. It's bound to sound more contrived and uninteresting than the wonderful book I'm trying to 'explain'.
This political thriller (See? Already!) was written by the same author who penned 'American Hero', the novel on which the controversial film, 'Wag The Dog' was based. The plot is very comtemporary. So much so that you will 'recognize' certain key characters by their personalty traits rather than their fictitious names. That's all I will say...except that the book is fast-paced, funny and exciting.
Oh, OK...it's about the attempted hi-jacking and theft of a US election, if you must know. Siiiiigh...
A great read!

"Very Naughty Boys" - Robert Sellers

The incredible true story of HandMade Films, the successful independent film company that produced some of the best British films of the 80s ('Withnail & I', 'A Private Function', 'Time Bandits', 'Mona Lisa' and, of course, Monty Python's 'Life Of Brian', to name only a few).
HandMade Films started when then Beatle, George Harrison, bailed out his friends in Python by coming up with the money they needed to finish 'Brian', after EMI pulled out at the last minute on 'religious grounds', and ended in a £25m lawsuit and much acrimony between Harrison and business partner Denis O'Brien.
Lots of informative, amusing interviews with such luminaries as John Cleese, Michael Plain, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Robbie Coltrane, Sean Connery and others tell the
entertaining, but frustrating, rags to riches story of the company that changed British film forever.

1st September 2004

Tim Finn was one of the cofounding members of the wildly left of center New Zealand groups, SPLIT ENZ, in the late 70s, into the 80s. His younger brother, Neil, eventually joined the band as lead guitarist.
After the split of the 'Enz' (sorry), Neil went on to form CROWDED HOUSE, which his older brother, Tim, joined for a while. This is the siblings second collaborative effort, under their own name ... and a wonderful thing it is ! If you know anything about the Finn Brothers, you'll know that they write some gorgeously catchy stuff.
This CD is no exception and even 'ups' the ante, considerably. Stand out track: 'Nothing Wrong With You'

Lately, I find myself enjoying music without caring what kind it is and have been drawn, more and more, to music that I can't really define or, for that matter, describe. The Earlies are a new band whose members are from both the UK and US...Manchester and Houston, if I remember correctly.
I'm not gonna even bother trying to explain, in words, what this CD sounds like. Just that I absolutely love it and can't stop playing it. It's psychedelic, atmospheric, very melodic and I find myself wanting to go back, frequently, to where ever this music takes me.

What can you say about John Martyn ? He's a true original. A musician, songwriter, vocalist that sounds
like no one else.
He's a survivor. He's been there for along time, making great, inspirational music, usually from the eye of
his personal hurricane of a life.
His new album comes at the end of a couple (more) rough years, culminating in the loss of a leg, from the
knee down. Everything you love about the man is on this CD, in spades. The slinky, funky guitar and that
voice; sometimes a roar, sometimes as whisper, but always expressive.
If you don't know JM's stuff, there are alot of places to start from. I'd suggest 'Solid Air' or
'Grace and Danger'...tho I want to keep listing them, including the little mentioned, hard to find
'masterpiece','Well Kept Secret'...an appropriate title, for sure.

Quick mention:

Two CDs of J.J.'s best stuff. This stuff is exciting without ever getting too excited. Great lazy grooves
and the laid back vocals of one of the most relaxed rockers EVER !


I listen to everything!
Whenever I find a something 'new' that I like it makes my whole day...week...month!

If you don't mind I'd like to share/suggest some of the music I have come across in the last 6 months
or so that I keep returning to, time and time again.

JOSH RITTER -'HELLO STARLING' - Young singer/songwriter in the Dylan 'Troubador' style (without
sounding like Bob). First song on the CD, 'Bright Smile, Dark Eyes', hooks you straight away. Saw him
'live' in Brighton. Lovely stage presence.

JOHN WESLEY HARDING - 'ADAM'S APPLE' - Wonderful singer/songwriter. Been doing it for a while but
this is the album he's been leading up to. Every song is extremely infectious. Great melodies and lo
and behold! great lyrics to match (you can have both you know). You will be singing every song second
time thru...well the 'hooks' anyway.

SAM PHILLIPS - 'A BOOT AND A SHOE' - Sam is a 'she' (just like 'our' Sam). This is her 6-7th (?) album.
Mostly acoustic instruments. Interesting songs and I love her delivery. She's been on my pre-show
music tape a few times!
*** Her first album 'The Incredible Wow'' is worth finding too..

A sweet album of some of her favourite songs, from Jackie DeShannon's 'When You Walk In The Room'
to the cocktail standard 'Fly Me To The Moon'. Hard to put my finger on it. Just a really nice CD.

THE BEES - 'SUNSHINE HIT ME' and 'FREE THE BEES' - Just 'discovered' this band a couple of days ago.
From the Isle of Wight, if I'm not mistaken.
Very eclectic group. Musically they don't stay in the same place long. One of those that you'll be
enjoying and, after a while, you ask 'is this the same album?' and when you find out it is you say 'Wow!
Cool. I like this band'.
'SUNSHINE...'Is their 1st and 'FREE THE BEES' was only released today..
They're hard to explain. That's probably why they are so much fun to listen to.

Quick Mentions:

N*E*R*D* - 'FLU OR DIE' -
Rockin', smokin', guitar based R&B.

JOLIE HOLLAND - 'CATALPA' - Rootsy, swingy, cool. She sounds years older than she must be.

EDIE BRICKELL - 'VOLCANO' - Originally had a couple of US hits as Edie Brickell and 'New Bohemians' a few
years back, this is her second solo album. Memorable songs, different voice. She's Paul Simon's wife (not
that it counts for much here except as a point of interest). Her first CD 'Picture Perfect Day' is really nice

OK, that's all for me
Have no fear. I will keep listening to everything I can wrap an ear around and report back again in a while.
Of course, if anybody finds anything they think I should hear, email me and let me know.
Later... D.L.~

Messages From Dennis
Dennis Locorriere with Tom Fletcher from Mcfly

Went to see Young Tom and 'McFly' play at Guildhall in Portsmouth on October 8th. All I can say is - the 'girls' looooooooooooove those boys !
Tom sure knows how to work his audience into a frenzy (tho I must say they START pretty 'up there').
It's lovely to see the lads doing so well and it's only the beginning.
Japan next..and, America, watch out in 2005 !

Here's a shot of me and Tom, taken after his show, back at the hotel, in a quick break from signing autographs and being totally adored. HIM, that is. Not ME !
The kids probably all thought I was some 'anorak geezer', getting pickies and autographs to sell on eBay.

P.S. When the boys played 'The Beatles' "She Loves You", it sounded sooooo right with all the screaming that was going on.

Just have to say a biiiiig 'CONGRATULATIONS' from the bottom of my heart to Tom Fletcher and his buddies in the sensational new band, McFLY !
Not only are they a talented bunch of fellas, but 'Young Thomas' gives 'yours truly' a mention on their first CD's 'thanks' page.
Tom and I sang a song together during one of my shows, several years ago, WHEN HE WAS 5 YEARS OLD !...'Cover of Rolling Stone' to be exact.
He was dynamite then...seriously...hit every note, perfectly, and knew every word (except he did think it was 'on the cover of The Rolling Stones'...sorry, Tom...but hey, I said he was 5 !) and he's a wonderful singer/sonwriter now !
Anyway, the McFly CD 'Room On The Third Floor' reached #1, as have been all their singles.
I couldn't be prouder...unless, of course, I was his folks.
Nice people. Happy for all their success.
D.L. ~ July 29th 2004

Tom Fletcher - Mcfly Mcfly
DL's Favourite Songs

As featured on BBC Radio 2 with Ken Bruce

1: Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying - Gerry and the Pacemakers

2: This Boy - The Beatles

3: Caroline No - The Beach Boys

4: The Trouble With Love - Any Trouble

5: Oh Darling - The Beatles

6: Having a Party - Sam Cooke

7: That Lucky Old Sun - Ray Charles

8: Come Tomorrow - Manfred Mann

9: Wuthering Heights - Kate Bush

10: I Will - The Beatles

DL's Tribute to Shel Siverstein

MOJO Magazine Aug/99:
Shel Silverstein Storyteller

A PERSONAL NOTE OF THANKS FOR THE Real Gone story on Shel Silverstein (MOJO 68).
As a young man, I was fortunate enough to get to know and work with Shel. He wrote such wonderful songs, stories really, and as lead vocalist with Dr. Hook I got to sing many of them....Sylvia's Mother, More Like The Movies, and The Ballard of Lucy Jordan, to name a few. I remember a tape being played to us and someone sayin, "Learn these songs, but pay no attention to the singer....He's not very good." Well, when they rolled the tape I immediately recognised the scratchy but oh so expressive voice and I flipped out. It was Shel - and the songs were great. Dr. Hook recorded three albums of mostly Shel's material and had huge singles success with a few of the songs.
Happily my association with Shel continued after the break up of Dr. Hook in 1985. In 1989 Shel asked me to perform a one-man play he'd written. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. I know I shall miss Shel more and more as time goes on and I wont be the only one - he was so well loved.
Dennis Locorriere

DL Meets His Fans
Here are a few photos to help you put faces to some of the names on the Guest Book! (Thanks to Val, Catherine and everyone for supplying their photos)
... and if you wanna see yourself on this page, click here send us your photos!! (please do not alter the email subject text!)

More Images can be found on Ray Pooles site - Click Here

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