Where The Living Room Used To Be

A podcast about Rhode Island’s diverse music scene

Sound Advice with Alex MacLeod

September 23rd, 2021

Alex MacLeod passes along some of the wisest advice I've heard about how to connect with an audience and truly be a pro musician. He also gives some tips on how to learn and advance your bluegrass talents.

Also, as you heard in the full episode, Alex had the opportunity to play in one of the most well-known New England bluegrass bands of all time, Northern Lights. And to me... it's just such a wonderful thing that he got to be a part of representing Rhode Island in that way. After being a band for 35 years Northern Lights played their last show on March 13th, 2010. At the end of this mini-episode I've included a song from that evening - "Lonesome Road" (audio credit: steveide59) that featured Alex on rhythm guitar and vocals. I hope you enjoy it!

// Interview recorded September 9th, 2021 via Zoom
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Alex MacLeod (Rock Hearts, Southern Rhode, Northern Lights)

September 15th, 2021

Alex MacLeod has a long history in the RI bluegrass scene! In this episode we talk about his stint playing in the legendary band Northern Lights, how his latest group Rock Hearts got their start, some fun stories recording their debut album, and what events such as the Ocean State Bluegrass Festival - that's happening this weekend, Sept. 18th +19th - can mean for the community of musicians in our area.

Interlude song order:

  • "Whispering Waters" by Rock Hearts (from Starry Southern Nights)
  • "Starry Southern Nights" by Rock Hearts (from Starry Southern Nights)

// Interview recorded September 9th, 2021 via Zoom
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

 

RI 5 with Mark Taber

September 9th, 2021

Mark Taber shares his Rhode Island theory for prolonged health, his experience going to the early days of Newport Jazz Festival, the poetic journey he would take to buy music in his youth, and I call him out for his questionable pizza choice.

 

Includes the song "Gotta Travel On" performed by Two Tabers 

 

// Interview recorded August 3rd, 2021 at Lippitt Park in Providence 
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Alley Trash talks their history and ”New Failures”

September 2nd, 2021

On this special edition episode, I sit down with vocalist Evan Warren and drummer Devin McGrath from Alley Trash to talk about the history of the band and some of their key influences. Plus, we get into their latest release "New Failures" and you're going to want to listen to the end to hear about a couple of very cool things they have in the works as well!

I hope you enjoy and definitely make sure to check out their EP release show on Sept 4th at the Bristol VFW which has an incredible lineup of RI and MA bands that you'll hear more about in this episode.

Interlude track order:

// Interview recorded August 31st, 2021 via Instagram Livestream
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Sound Advice with Mark Taber

August 26th, 2021

Mark Taber shares some very practical advice on how to be a better musician and a better bandmate, as well as what he feels the overall approach should be toward creating art and music

And, as Mark talked about in the full episode, Tombstone was known for their powerful live shows - playing anywhere from small bars to big arenas - which helped lead them to major label record deals. So what I have for you at the end of this mini-episode is a 1987 performance of Ken Lyon and the Tombstone Blues Band live from the Blue Pelican in Newport. The song is "Brownsville" and this was originally broadcast on WOTB radio. Enjoy! 

 

// Interview recorded August 3rd, 2021 at Lippitt Park in Providence 
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Mark Taber (Tombstone Blues Band, Two Tabers, solo pianist)

August 19th, 2021

On this episode, I have the honor of speaking with the legendary, Mark Taber. As you can imagine, we discuss a lot over his 60+ year music career including how he first got into playing the piano, the start of Tombstone Blues Band, how music is a great mechanism to give back to the community, and his experiences playing shows with some of the most acclaimed artists over the last half-century.

Interlude song order:

// Interview recorded August 3rd, 2021 at Lippitt Park in Providence (please excuse any background noise... I did what I could :) )
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Paul Dube Sr. (tribute to this master accordionist)

August 12th, 2021

I've been very fortunate to speak with so many talented musicians over the last few years. One of these people was my father-in-law, Paul Dube, back in February of 2020. As you hopefully heard in that episode, Paul is an accomplished musician, booker, and music educator, but one thing you didn't hear was how his father Paul Dube Sr. was a master accordion player and educator as well.

Paul Dube Sr. passed away on July 4th of this year after a hard-fought battle with cancer. So what I have for you on this mini-episode is a previously unreleased clip of Paul Dube Jr. talking about the skill his father had, and what it was like balancing a third-shift job in a mill and being a working musician in the 60s to support the family.

I hope you enjoy the episode and please listen to the end to hear some recordings of Paul Sr. playing "Waltz Allegro" followed by the song "Sunny Skies" 

 

Previously unreleased clip from our interview recorded February 1st, 2020 at Paul's home in Pawtucket
Intro music by Cedros
Hosted by James Toomey

RI 5 with Jon Hope

August 5th, 2021

Jon Hope takes us back to his favorite RI record store, how his love for engaging with an artist has evolved over the years, where he hangs in the Ocean State, and how becoming the host of Providence College Basketball games at The Dunk came about!

Also, included his track "Rhode Less Traveled", which Jon and I discussed quite a bit in the full episode.

// Interview recorded July 8th, 2021 via Zoom
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Sound Advice with Jon Hope

July 29th, 2021

Jon Hope shares some things he's learned from other hip-hop stars, what he feels you can do to find your truest self, and what it is that moves him down his musical path. 

I've also included a performance of Jon's song "Black Rose" from his appearance on BAMS FEST. He recently did this livestream show and interview and I highly recommend checking out the full event. [CLICK HERE TO WATCH

Also, make sure to catch the album release party for Hope All Is Well to see him live in person with a full band on September 15th at The Met in Pawtucket! [CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS]

 

// Interview recorded July 8th, 2021 via Zoom
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

Jon Hope

July 22nd, 2021

Jon Hope is an acclaimed rapper, entrepreneur, and educator and on this episode, we have a long conversation that delves into all of these. We cover his early years, what he puts into his writing, how he reps Rhode Island, and we spend some time highlighting a couple of tracks from each of the albums he's done

Plus, we talk about his new book "Respect Your Passion" and how his Hope Scholars Initiative came about.

Interlude song order:

 

// Interview recorded July 8th, 2021 via Zoom
// Intro music by Cedros
// Hosted by James Toomey //

/// If you enjoy the episode please leave a rating or review wherever you're listening right now! ///

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