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chuck loebSmitty:  I love that.  And then you did the Steely Dan number “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number.”  Wow, did you guys put a nice spin on that track.  Man!

CL:  Thank you, thank you.  You know, the thing is, I mean, it’s not a medley but it almost is because what I did was….myself and Michael Colina, who helped produce it with me….was we took this older Steely Dan song, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” and I always loved the groove on a song called “Babylon Sisters” from a much later CD, from the Gaucho CD, so we took the groove from “Babylon Sisters” with the great Bernard Purdie and put that twist on the old “Don’t Lose That Number.” “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” and Gaucho were probably 20 years apart, but I liked the groove that Bernard Purdie did on “Babylon Sisters” so I took…you know, the older song had kind of a more straight rock groove to it and we turned it into a shuffle, and I’m really happy with the way that came out.  I’d also like to mention the great job that Dave Mann did on the saxophones on that.

Smitty:  Yes indeed.  I was gonna say that.  Man, he’s still got the chops, doesn’t he?

CL:  Oh, man.  Talent is all over the place in that guy.

Smitty:  Wow, and it was so nice to see and hear my good friend, Mr. Mike Ricchiuti.

CL:  Oh yeah, I forgot that you guys knew each other.  Yeah, he’s awesome.

Smitty:  Yeah, man, I tell ya, he has got such a groove and he really did a very nice job on this project.

CL:  Yes, he did, yeah.  He’s a classy musician and always brings a special touch to things.

Smitty:  Yeah, the track “Shed a Little Light,” man, I tell ya, he shines with even the organ too!

CL:  Yeah, he really does.  To me he’s the perfect accompanist because he just knows exactly what to play at the right time to push the music along and support the soloist, and he’s unique in that way ‘cause sometimes people can lose sight of the art of accompaniment and he’s got it down to a fine art, he really does.

Smitty:  Yes indeed.  And I love the title “The Music Outside” as opposed to the music inside.  (Both laugh.)

CL:  Yeah, ten years later, you know?

Smitty:  Oh, I had to chuckle when I saw that.

CL:  You know, it’s funny ‘cause so many people mention that song, “The Music Inside.”  I guess it was my first really, really big hit.

Smitty:  Yeah.

CL:  And so I decided to try to make a little commentary on it.  (Both laugh.)

Smitty:  Yeah, it’s a nice track too, man, and once again Mike was there with the piano and the Rhodes.

CL:  Yeah.

Smitty:  He’s got the skills to bring it, that’s for sure.

CL:  Yeah, absolutely.

Smitty:  Absolutely. Walk with me for a minute. Now, you showcased some great guitars on this record and sometimes I ask some of the artists about their particular instrument that they love so much and it’s purely a perspective thing, but does the guitar lead you often or do you lead the guitar often?  How does that work?

CL:  Hmm, that’s a good question.  You know, I would say that each instrumentalist, we struggle with the dual aspect of creativity and in the inspirational sense where you’re trying to grab these melodies that are in the air or bring them to life and the physical aspect of just here’s this hunk of wood with metal strings and you’re trying to tame the thing.  Sometimes it seems like it’s got a life of its own.  But I would say that the process is kind of mutual.

Smitty:  Yeah.

CL:  Because to compose melodies and music is “guitaristic” in a way.

Smitty:  Yeah.

CL:  You know what I mean?

Smitty:  Yeah.

CL:  But sometimes you have to take whatever music you hear in your head and make it happen on the guitar whether or not it’s perfect for the instrument, you know what I mean by that?

Smitty:  Yeah, absolutely.

CL:  Sometimes melodies are inherently “guitaristic” or songs are inherently “guitaristic,” so I’m trying to think of an example.  Let’s say the beginning of that Rolling Stones song “Satisfaction.”  That’s like a real guitar riff, you know what I mean?

Smitty:  Yeah. Great song too!

CL:  Whereas sometimes if you’re trying to play something that kinda is coming out of, let’s say, John Coltrane or Charlie Parker or something like that, it’s more like a saxophone thing, but you gotta try to make it happen on guitar anyway.

Smitty:  Absolutely, yeah.

CL:  It’s always a balance.

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