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Doug Clifford's Magic Window

Doug Cosmo Clifford Photo Front PageDoug “Cosmo” Clifford the drummer for Creedence Clearwater Revival and the drummer and co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revisited (with Stu Cook) took time to sit down with Riveting Riffs Magazine recently to discuss his new / old album Magic Window. The record is old in the sense it was first recorded in the mid 1980s and he seems to recall 1985 as the year, was forgotten about (we will get to that in a minute) and then digitized when it was rediscovered by Clifford. We need to be honest here, before getting into the album and tell you we were equally fascinated by his alternate life and career in forestry and fire management, which unfortunately for this article we only have time to touch upon briefly.

“The mid-eighties is when I was most active as a songwriter and when I had material that I thought would be an album’s worth and then I started working on my vocals. I am not really known for either one of those things and it is kind of fun. I have been getting really good reviews (and you can add Riveting Riffs Magazine to the list of good reviewers Doug!). It makes you feel good, because at the time you put your heart and soul into it,” he says.

He goes on to talk about why the record is only seeing the light of day now, “We were in a huge drought situation up at Lake Tahoe. I had a biological background and I had a firefighting background, minimal, but enough. I put together a program that would deal with fuels and what to do with a forest to try to get it back to a normal environment. Fire is a culling factor in a forest, but when you put the fires out the fuels continue to build up. That is why we have cataclysmic fires when they hit now, because the fuels haven’t been  Read More

Poco - Rusty Young

Poco Rusty Young Photo Front Page“I really am pleased (with that album). It was a neat experience. I had never done a solo record. I had always focused on Poco records and in 2013 and 2014 I was thinking about retiring and just doing things that I enjoyed, fun shows with friends and that kind of stuff. Jimmy Messina called me, and he said I have five or six shows on the west coast, and it would be great if you came out and played with me. We did old Poco songs and it was a fun thing to do.

We were doing a show in California and this guy Kirk Pasich came up to me afterwards and he said have you ever thought of doing a solo record? I said not really. The opportunity has never presented itself. He said, I have a label Blue Élan and we would love to have you make a record for us. I thought about how everybody who has ever been in Poco have done solo records, Paul Cotton and Richie Furay, Timothy B Schmit and Randy Meisner. I thought it might be an interesting thing for me to do at the end of my career. It was the best way for me to illustrate my part in the sound of Poco. If you listen to Richie Furay’s records you can hear what he contributed to the band and the same with Paul Cotton (and the others). They all have their style and their songs. It was a chance for me to show what I brought to the scene. I thought it was a really good challenge at that point in my life.”

Continuing to talk about the album he says, “The first song that I wrote was “Waiting for the Sun.” After I wrote it, I called Kirk and I said listen let’s do this record.

We live in a cabin or a log home in Missouri in  Read More

Sweet Lizzy Project - What A Band!

Sweet Lizzy Project Photo Front PageImagine living in a country where you become a microbiologist and when you graduated you were at the top of the class and began a career as a university professor and you performed music on the side, as a hobby. You were probably thinking at the time even though you enjoyed being a singer what was the point, considering a broken guitar string was a tragedy, as there were not any places to buy more guitar strings and if a piece of your equipment failed well good luck on replacing that. Combine that with the challenges you faced with forging a music career in Cuba and no it made much more sense to keep teaching at the University of Havana and one certainly would never have imagined then moving to the United States to pursue a music career. It sounds like quite the adventure or someone has an active imagination, except these are the real life adventures of Sweet Lizzy Project.

Lisset Díaz is the lead singer for the Cuban band Sweet Lizzy Project a group that plays a mixture of Rock, Pop and Americana music and they do all of it well. The electric guitar work by Miguel Comas is stunning and echoes Eric Clapton in the days of Cream (with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker) and as another musician suggested to us there are also shades of David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) in his playing. The rest of the musicians Angel Luis Millet (drums and percussion), bass player Alejandro González, Wilfred Gatell on synthesizer, Lenard Delgado the other electric guitarist (as well as acoustic and backing vocals) and cellist Yanet Moreira are all fabulous. Comas, also provides background vocals. Although, the music  Read More

Peter Himmelman - No Calamity

Peter Himmelman Photo Front PagePeter Himmelman is a lot of things and he does them all very well, he is a guitarist, film and television scorer, a composer, a lyricist, an author and he is also a motivational speaker to corporate America. Peter Himmelman is also a husband and a father and we do not want to lose sight of that, because early in his career Himmelman had a very realistic opportunity to explode globally and become part of the very upper stratosphere of Rock artists, but he chose to redefine his career and placed his family as the first priority in his life.

Fast forward and Peter Himmelman is the go to guy for Fortune 500 companies who are looking for a way to refresh and to renew their corporate vision and to expand the vision of their employees. He also has a brand new album with a collection of songs that are thought provoking and that possess contagious grooves and rhythms. We should also point out that these songs were written prior to the fall of 2016.

That is borne out when Peter Himmelman talks about why he chose the title No Calamity for the album, “I just liked the sound of it. It is a lyric from one of the songs on the record. I chose that title well before any elections were in full swing, just to let you know that it is not a comment on any particular thing. It is more of a personal thing.”

Himmelman talks about his unusually named song “245 th Peace Song,” “I think I picked that title, because it is subtle Read More

Electronic Firefly from Spain

Electronic Firefly Photo Front PageElectronic Firefly combines the extraordinary talents of violinist Silvia Carbajal, cellist Carlos Perez-Íñigo, and keyboardist Rebeca Nayla who all now live in Madrid, Spain, but at one time lived in different parts of the country. Recently, Carlos who prefers to be called Charlie and Silvia sat down with Riveting Riffs Magazine over a Skype call during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in Spain and talked about their careers, the formation of Electronic Firefly and the future. For the purposes of this interview, as we often do we are going to dispense for the most part with referring to them by their last names and stick to first names.

The pandemic and for almost three months having to stay inside their homes, put the debut Electronic Firefly album on pause. Sylvia and Charlie have recorded music together aside from Electronic Firefly.  

Silvia begins by talking about their music, “We do different types of music and some covers, because people want to hear something that they know like electronica, Frank Sinatra, Amy Winehouse and AC / DC are our favorite types of music. This music is for events and concerts, because people want to hear something that they know. We also do our own compositions. We work with a pianist (Rebeca Nayla) and we do a mix of electronic music and music for films. We are doing our first album and it will be an album with our songs.”

Charlie continues, “We have quite a lot of songs recorded, but this project with the electronica is new. There are three of us in the group and it is completely different than anything we have done before.  We have recorded five or six songs already.” Read More

Katja Rieckermann - Double Release

Katja Rieckermann Front Page PhotoYou know the song “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” from when Rod Stewart recorded it on his 1978 album Blondes Have More Fun, but you have never heard it played like this before. Saxophonist, arranger and composer Katja Rieckermann and TMTQ turn in a stunning dance version of the song, with new vocals by Sir Rod Stewart. Rieckermann who toured with Stewart for fourteen years and during that time she began her solo career, which to date has produced three albums, the self-titled Katja (2007), Horn Star (2010) and Never Stand Still (2014). Katja Rieckermann has performed with a diverse group of artists, which include, Carole King, Brooks and Dunn, David Foster, Mary J. Blige, Al Green and Jeff Goldblum.

Katja Rieckerman first started thinking of recording “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy,” “about two and one-half years ago. Originally it was going to be an instrumental version of “Da Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and it was going to be very close to the original with the tempo and the vibe of it. I wrote a couple of horn sections for it and we recorded it.

I sent it to Rod for approval and said what do you think? I said hey Rod what do you think? I am thinking about releasing this version. Do you like it? He wrote back, yes I love it. How about I sing on it? I was like wow! That is crazy. Of course, that would be fantastic. He ended up singing over the original track that I sent to him.

I thought now I have these newly recorded vocals of Rod and it is too close to sounding like the original, so I should do Read More

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