Q&A June 2013, Part III
7/5/2013 (updated 7/5/2013)

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Re: Additional east coast electric trio tour dates in August?
Hi Richard or whoever may read this,
Is there any chance that some additional east coast tour dates might get added for the Electric Trio around the time of the one date at the Philly Folk Festival in August? Many fans on the east coast have only gotten to see the opening sets for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell earlier this year, which is much shorter than a full headlining show. There are many fans in those markets who would greatly appreciate the chance to see a full headlining Electric Trio show. Thanks, Jon Hecht

It looks like Philadelphia Folk Festival will be a stand-alone. If we can get enough interest, I hope we can bring the Trio back East again for a run - maybe next year.

Crazy Man Michael:
There isn't a video of Richard doing this song on youtube and I can't find a tab for it. Now I know it's in dropped D with a capo on the second fret with top class strings but for the life of me I can't get it anywhere. I know it's only three chords but it's one of the finest pieces ever written and executed with simplicity but soaring into the etherspheres of the soul never to be anything more than pure nirvana. Do you think you could ask him to make it available on youtube or to at least put the tabs somewhere as I don't anyone else could. yours faithfully, Dick Moffat - St ALBANS

Dick, I don't have a set right hand pattern for playing this, so TAB might be redundant. I'll gave you the chords though - capo at 3rd fret, but I'll give chords in nominal open position:

|| Dm | F | C | Am | Dm | C | Dm | / ||   repeat

|| Am | / | / | Dm | Am | / | C | / | Dm | C | Dm | Am | Dm | C | Dm | / ||

I play this acoustically in drop D.

Hello Richard,
I listened with interest to Mastertapes, BBC Radio 4. As a result I bought Rumour & Sigh. The words on most of the songs are certainly a little unsettling. The thought of a musical based around your songs did amuse me - a mixture of serial killers & doomed love affairs - still Sweeney Todd was successful! But I digress.

I enjoy listening to Desert Island discs. I find people's choices of music fascinating so my first question is what 8 discs would you take to a desert island & why? What book would you take with you & why? What would be your luxury be & why? If you could take only one of the discs with you what would it be & why?

I would cheat as much as possible, and take really long records that I didn't know very well - difficult classical pieces that I wanted to study - and rely on memory for my actual favourite records. Again with books - perhaps the complete Mathnavi by Rumi, running to four volumes. Dental floss as a luxury item? One disc - Britten's Peter Grimes?

Secondly I notice that you play keyboards on the Electric album. Is this a new instrument for you (I seem to remember you saying it was the only instrument Pete Zorn didn't play so did this prompt you to take it up yourself?). Do you find playing the keyboards easy & do you have any tips for a long term guitarist who has recently begun to learn the piano? Thanks once again for your time. I would also like to second the request for you to come to the UK more often & even South West France if you can make it. Best Wishes, Sue

I'm a rudimentary keyboardist. I played cheesy organ on 'Straight and Narrow' because no one else would volunteer. Keyboard is such a visually simple instrument, and not hard to play at a basic level. As with everything, it's good to get some lessons to start (memo to self).



When you go into the studio, do you find that there's a particular time of day when your voice and energy level are at their best? Or do professional musicians have to be in top form all day? (We all know about how Keith Richards loved working into the wee hours on Stones sessions.) How long is your typical work day in the studio? Eight hours? More?

I'm a morning person, but no one else in the music business is, so the earliest I can get people into the studio, rested and happy, is noon. If I'm in my home studio, I'll start at 7 or 8AM. We rarely work more than a nine hour day, but producer and engineer might work longer, cleaning up, compiling etc. I find longer days counter-productive, but if I'm playing on someone else's record, I see 16 hour days sometimes. Back in the 60s, I was involved in a few sessions that went over 24 hours - well past my peak energy point.

What is the rarest species of bird you have seen on your nature walks? Have you glimpsed a California Condor?

I can't remember seeing anything truly endangered. I've seen endemics on small islands, that may have severely limited populations, but those populations would be stable. I get excited seeing a Nashville Warbler in Malibu Lagoon, but they're ten a penny in Tennessee. I've never seen a Condor.