The Supertone Show #41

Supertone Show 1640x680 (Facebook)

Out now! A new episode of The Supertone Show is now available to listen at your leisure on Mixcloud

This week’s one hour instalment kicks off with a legendary track by Focus followed by Donald Fagen, The Doors, Cilla Black, David Bowie, Love and The White Stripes.

All mixed up with a healthy dollop of guitar, bass and gear chat washed down with more fun music trivia stories…

The Supertone Show is a weekly music and chat show for music lovers by European blues awards nominees Suzy Starlite (Bass) and Simon Campbell (Guitar) of the Starlite Campbell Band.

Also available on:
iTunes (downloadable as a podcast)
iHeart Radio
Bombshell Radio (Canada)
Blues at Rock Radio (UK)
Radio Duivenstraat (The Netherlands)

LISTEN HERE!

 

The Blue Cafe choose Starlite Campbell Band for Track of the Week…

It’s been a year now since we released our Starlite Campbell Band debut album ‘Blueberry Pie’ which makes it more exciting to be chosen as Track of the Week by the wonderful Blue Cafe Team.

This is what they said…

“This week we have been on a mission, based on a conversation we had at Skegness Rock & Blues a few weeks back. Our mission is to find a song that sums up the blues for us. Not a favourite all timer, nor a notable blues standard, but a reference point. A track that says “this sums up the blues for me”, for someone that asks at a garden party. That is a big ask for one song, and to be fair we don’t think we are completely there. But we got pretty close, and in our search we came across the Starlite Campbell Band. They have a pretty neat track and album that suits our need for a Track Of The Week.

Starlite Campbell Band

The Starlite Campbell Band is a project band formed by Suzy Starlite and Simon Campbell, Starlite the bassist and Campbell on guitars. The duo had been touring and recording separately for many years before they met in 2012, when Starlite asked Campbell to play guitar in her band. Their relationship extended beyond music and they married in 2014, before forming the Starlite Campbell Band in 2016. The pair are joined by Steve Gibson a well known touring drummer and Jonny Henderson on the Hammond Organ.

Blueberry Pie

The band released Blueberry Pie in 2017, a superb strong offering and remarkably different from current British Blues sounds. While the album is very mellow in places, it is far from dreary, bleak or gloomy – a trap that others have fallen into. The rockier tracks do not lift the mood, the album comes with its own atmosphere, or theme. One that requires a stiff drink, not in order to enjoy, but as an accompaniment. Starlite and Campbell share vocals throughout, although only “duetting” on the title track Blueberry Pieand Empire.

 

Starlite Campbell Band

I asked Suzy Starlite earlier in the week about the album:

“Simon and I co-wrote ‘Blueberry Pie’ which is described as a fresh taste of British Blues. The opening song ‘Walkin’ Out The Door’ flowed really naturally when we were writing the album at our Supertone Residential Recording Studio in Valencia, Spain and was written and finished in around twenty minutes. I love the groove of this song and when we play live, it’s never the same twice as Simon improvises with his Echoplex which really adds to the soundscape and tension of the song – great fun!”

Walkin’ Out The Door

The first thing you think when you start is Green Onions by Booker T and the M.G.’s. However this is no rip-off job, far from it. The bass from Starlite is flowing beautifully, fitting in perfectly with the drums and the Hammond. Campbell’s guitar is only utilised sparingly in the early exchanges of the song, coming in with full force around the two minute mark with some delicate licks. This song is a standard-setter for the album, Campbell’s vocals accompany the rhythm well, a class act in himself.

Walkin’ Out The Door gets the album off to a cracking start, although it loses no steam as it produces a number of belters including Guilty with Starlite on vocals. Blueberry Pie is essential for anyone who appreciates good quality British produce. That sounds like a supermarket advert?! Apologies, but we meant what we said. The album earned the band a nomination for a European Blues Award last year in the Best Album/Recorded Session category. We have to say the nomination was amongst very good company but was thoroughly deserving.

So no second thoughts were required when putting them forward for Track Of The Week, and we strongly lean on you to go out and buy Blueberry Pie in whatever form you prefer.”

Check out more from the Blue Cafe Website here.

 

Squeeze the Lemon – Walking the Bass Line #3

John-Paul-Jones-Suzy-Starlite-Blog

A lemon is great for killing parasites in chicken, a zesty addition to a large vodka and tonic and also apparently an age old tradition in the playfulness of sexual innuendo in Blues music: way back in 1929,  Joe Williams was singing “You Squeezed my lemon/Caused my juice to run” in the song ‘I Want it Awful Bad.’

But all that pales into a smoothie of citric insignificance when you consider the mightiest lemon of all time for players of the electric bass guitar – ‘The Lemon Song’ from the album Led Zeppelin II.

Here’s the back-story:

There I was in my own little world of wonderment – in the throes of first love with playing my bass guitar; enjoying the simple lines and losing myself in the groove when I asked my husband Simon that fateful question: “Got any ideas on what you think I could learn next?”

Being a professional musician and guitar player with a British Blues Award nomination under his belt, I am always grateful for his input and his encouragement has served as a rocket up my ass on many occasion…. but when he suggested Led Zeppelin’s The Lemon Song – I listened to it with the innocence akin to that of the child accepting a lollipop from the Child Catcher in the film ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ and then I heard a mighty CLANK!! The world went dark and my whole musical world momentarily imploded!!

There was absolutely no way I could play that!!!  No bloody way!!! And that was that!!!!

A couple of months later – I decided to lift the carpet that I had firmly nailed to the floorboards and take another sneaky peak at the song to see if there was any way I could conquer this mountain of a song! I kept reminding myself of a note I had pinned to my wall when I was at Uni which read:

“It’s only difficult because you haven’t learned it yet!”

and tried to listen to the song with fresh ears!  But, again I had the same response and thought there is no way I can do this!

But, not one to give up easily when I knew it would dramatically improve my bass playing – I also thought:

“A mountain is conquered one step at a time”

and that is where I started –  one phrase at a time!

Starting at the beginning I would play a phrase of the song over and over and over again trying to work out what notes were being played, then tried to cross-reference with any half-decent videos that were out there to make sure I was playing in the right place of the neck, then unlearning phrases because I had made a pigs ear of it and made things doubly difficult (at times impossible) for myself …and so it continued for months! And by months I mean half a year!

I would fall asleep with the bass line running through my head – and wake up with the same bloody line there to greet me: like a cross between the Cheshire Cat and Jack Nicholson’s big happy sinister grin of obsessive toothy joy – MORNING!!! LET’S PLAY BASS AGAIN!!

It almost drove me crazy!! Don’t get me wrong – I love playing but this was an absolute brain mangler at times – especially dissecting the faster parts – it made me feel like I was spinning on a never-ending mad fairground ride!

And to now!

Tomorrow night Simon and I have been invited to play a few songs as part of a massive Daze of Dawn & Friends ‘Rock Party’ at 16 Toneladas in Valencia ! I think there are over 25 musician guests playing with the band and it will be my first outing playing The Lemon Song on bass!

Key of E! Wish me luck – or better still – wish me ROCK!!!!

P.S. All I can say is if I ever meet John Paul Jones in person, I won’t know whether to hug him … or throttle him!!