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Chuck Loeb Interview Page 4

Smitty:  Absolutely.  Well, I wanna ask you about something that I think is really cool; You’re gonna be doing something kinda cool at Berks.  “String Training”.  You’re gonna be doing sort of like a master class?

CL:  Yeah, it’s called String Training. Like a play on words….Like spring training in baseball or String Training, and it’s basically….Gerald Veasley has been doing the Gerald Veasley Bass Bootcamp for many years there and I always thought it was such a great thing ‘cause when Berks is going on there’s a lotta folks around and it’s an opportunity for people to….for kids to take part as well, and I wanted to do it for guitar and I kinda talked to John Ernesto, the great promoter from Berks, and he thought it was a good idea, so we’re putting it together, it’s the first year we’re doing it, and hopefully it’ll become a tradition.

Smitty:  Oh wow, that sounds pretty cool because I haven’t seen anything like that. In fact, I talked with John a little bit about it and he was kinda describing it a little bit and I said “Hey, that sounds pretty cool.  I’ll have to ask Chuck about that when I talk to him.”  (Laughs.)

CL:  Yeah, I’m glad you did.

Smitty:  Yeah, that’s very cool.

CL:  Get people to know about it.

Smitty:  Absolutely.

CL:  Because it is a brand new thing. I’ve never done it before.

Smitty:  Yeah, and let’s see, are you gonna be with Pat Martino?

CL:  Yeah, so far it’s myself, Pat Martino, and I think we’re gonna have Jimmy Bruno, who was part of the Wes (Montgomery) tribute that we were talking about earlier. And we’re not sure who else, probably one other. This year we’ll keep it to probably three or four people, but we’ve got room to grow.  We’re gonna see how it goes and probably add and augment it as we go.

Smitty:  Oh, man, that’s very nice.  Well, much success to you with that. 

CL:  Thank you.

Smitty:  And John’s a great guy to work with, isn’t he?

CL:  The best. He really is to me. He’s the best.

Smitty:  Yeah, he’s just a great guy and has such knowledge of what’s happening and I think that’s valuable in this business right now.

CL:  Well, also I think he….the thing that I find with John is that he’s willing to go out on a limb sometimes. To try something new like this, for example, or to bring seven guitar players together to do a tribute for Wes Montgomery or to take on an artist like Ivan Lins like he did with Jason Miles. I think that kind of going out on a limb and introducing people to stuff is admirable in a promoter because sometimes promoters are more like “We just gotta put fannies in the seat,” you know, and…

Smitty:  Yeah, keep it safe.

CL:  And be safe. And John’s willing to try out different things and I think that’s how the music grows.

Smitty:  Yeah, and look at that festival (Berks).  Speaking of growth, wow!

CL:  Yeah, how ‘bout that?

Smitty:  Yeah, and I’m sure that innovative spirit is a very major part of that.

CL:  In my mind it is, yeah.

Smitty:  Chuck, I must thank you and everybody at Heads Up for this great record and I can’t leave out Phil Magnotti.  Man, every time I hear something he’s a part of, it’s always fantastic.  Man, he’s a great guy.

CL:  You know what?  Thank you very much for mentioning that. Actually, it’s Phil and there’s also a guy named Dennis Wall.  Both of those guys, engineers that I’ve worked with now for 20 years.

Smitty:  Yes.

CL:  And it’s true.  When Phil puts his cuts on a project….I’m just finishing now something that I produced for a young bass player from Europe….everybody says the same thing.  “God, who gets those sounds?”  And it’s him, it’s Phil, he’s quite a talent.

Smitty:  Yeah, he certainly is, and please pass along my thanks and congratulations to him and Dennis as well.

CL:  I’ll do that, yeah.

Smitty:  All right. Chuck, my friend, I am really looking forward to seeing this out there in the public and I really anticipate some great things with this record.

CL:  Well, thanks, Smitty.  I appreciate it, man.  I really do.

Smitty:  Yes indeed.  We have been talking with the fantastic guitarist Heads Up recording artist Mr. Chuck Loeb.  He has a great new record out, it is called Presence.  You have got to hear this one.  It is just a fantastic collection of great songs, great sounds with a group of extraordinary musicians.  Chuck, thanks again, my friend, and I look forward to seeing you at Berks.

CL:  Hey, me too and I’ll take this opportunity to say all the best to everybody in the New Year….Health, happiness and peace.


Baldwin “Smitty” Smith