The New Record: ‘All Over Town’ Brad Webb & David Hudson (2013)
Q: What inspired you to record the new "All Over Town" record?
Brad: Each day brings different moods to us all. As I listen to the songs, I think we may need this or that to round out a CD rotation. Sometimes there’s no reason at all where a particular song came from. Sometimes we may have a story or idea and run with that within the Blues idiom. Other times I have ideas come to me for no reason at all. Some may work for this CD, some are just ideas. I seem to be blessed in that area. I'll hear a song an artist is doing and maybe I hear something they don't. I'll tell them what I'm thinking, but they can toss the idea or use it if it feels right. If I'm producing and writing, I may be more persistent but the bottom line is, it’s always what's best for the song. Being from Memphis makes me draw from all our roots. That is not always this or that type of music, it’s just Memphis Music.
Q: What special things can you tell me about the record?
Brad: That's a tricky question. Usually we start out with me writing on guitar, bass or mandolin to put me in different zones. Plus, this lets me see where our heads are. Musicians can get locked into their certain styles, so sometimes I write on a different instrument so I don't do the same things.
Track 1: All Over Town is just an upbeat partying in Memphis song.
Track 2: Up Town Woman really is just about a party girl with a shuffle beat.
Track 3: Dog In Me was written for Earl “The Pearl” Banks. Some women can bring out things in a man that you aren't always ready for. It doesn't always make sense.
Track 4: Last Time is a new and old school mixed boogie about a man fed up with his woman.
Track 5: Country Road was written on a gig off the cuff, or on the spot. We all would like to go to the country or a getaway place sometimes.
Track 6: Trouble is an old school drop tuned or open D song about when you’re young. Some men like women that are wild, but more trouble than they’re worth.
Track 7: Biscuit Blues was written about the King Biscuit Blues Festival and all the things that make it a one of a kind place.
Track 8: Let's Have Fun. Another party song sung by me talking about a lot of musician friends having a good time.
Track 9: Cigar Bill is about an old friend that loved guitar. It was written on mandolin.
Track 10: I'm Down is a sort of North Mississippi Blues rocker, really going down that same old road that we've been down before, but can't stop.
Track 11: Save It For A Rainy Day is about early love with a Memphis style shuffle, or we call it a greasy groove. I'm not sure why I rocked up the solo, that's what I felt at the time. None of these songs were ‘pre-tooled’, so there are freckles so to speak, or imperfections. I didn’t have another engineer to punch me in or out, just me doing it all.
Q: Who are the musicians on the record?
Brad: David Hudson (vocals, harmonica), Brad Webb (guitar, bass guitar), Tony Adams (drums), Bill Marshall (drums), Henry Weck (Brownsville Station) drums, Sam Parte (drums), Todd Webber (drums), Mike Stoker (bass) and Jeremy Powell (keyboards).
Q: Does the music on this record compare in any way to previous records you’ve recorded?
Brad: Maybe a little because I'm producing and playing guitar. But I don't think about past songs when I'm in a writing zone.
I asked Brad if he had any unforgettable experiences that occurred during his music career in the studio, on the road or with people he met. “When Jim Holt (Memphis in May) had Morris and I booked on the Presidential yacht on 9/11/01, we had to move the date. When we finally went a few months later, the captain wanted the Blind Mississippi Morris and The Pocket Rockets ball cap I had on. It was one of only six made. I told him I would trade for his Presidential ball cap. He said they are rare. I said there are only six of these. He traded.”
“When Dennis Brooks was alive, he booked Blind Mississippi Morris with me in Norway. He went with us on the trip. When we were coming home through Chicago’s O'Hare airport, it was closed. We had already been on four planes for twenty two hours coming home. Airport personnel said we could be on the first plane out in the morning. We slept on the seats in the airport with my guitars wrapped around our arms. We got home the next day, after thirty four hours. It was a grueling road dog trip. Dennis said now he understands why we say playing music is free; it’s the other bull----which we want to get paid for, ha. We miss old Dennis Brooks. The main thing is most people I’ve met along the way have love in their hearts and all we have to do is show them love back. There's nothing that we can't overcome in music, or anything else. We all have a place in this world. I've met so many wonderful people in my travels, some musicians, some club owners, some fans, and some wonderful volunteers that just help the cause (music).”
Favorite Musicians and Venues
When Brad listens to music, his favorite Blues musicians include many of the ‘old school’ greats: John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry, Mississippi Fred McDowell, Johnny Winter, Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, Sonny Boy ll Williamson (Rice Miller), Allman Brothers/Duane Allman, Albert King, Phill Durham, Lee Baker, Early Fleetwood Mac (Peter Green/Danny Kerwin era), Jimmy Reed, Little Walter, Lightning Hopkins, Eric Clapton & Fury Lewis. Brad sites Freddie King, Albert King and B.B King (in that order) as the most influential Blues musicians on his career.
I asked if he had a favorite venue to play in the mid-south or elsewhere. “One of my favorite places in the U.S. was the Bamboo Room in Lake Worth, Florida. They loved the music and musicians and showed it. Also, I loved Beale Street in the 1980s when it seemed like we all had a common cause. I love playing where people are, no matter where they come from or where they love music, that's where I like to play. From Muscle Shoals, AL to Mansfield, England, you know what I mean. I love to play music for them and they love me back, that's where I want to be.”
I asked Brad what he does when he’s not recording, playing music or teaching guitar lessons. “I love my family, and as a musician I probably feel guilty for not spending enough time with them, even when I'm home. My free time is just hanging out at home with family or friends. I may have an idea for tricking up a guitar and that would be free time for me. My mind doesn't go far from music ever. It could be a blessing or a curse, I'm not sure but that's how I work.”
“Growing up in Memphis was very instrumental in my roots of music. All the music that surrounds us and influences us (outside of here, or the whole Delta region) has so much to offer. The people that I've met along the way opened their hearts and knowledge to me. I think we call this Memphis Mojo.” Brad Webb
You know we're all just one spoke in the wheel (Blues Wheel of life), and it takes us all to make it go round." "Careful what you wish for” and “it’s not easy and of course nothing is." Also, I send my students down to Beale St. to learn many things about playing the Blues. “If you can play Beale St. you can play anywhere." Steve Bryson (I-55) borrowed this one from me, but it’s mine. Brad Webb