Gay Country Star Steve Grand: "The Fight for Full LGBT Equality Is Still Very Much Ahead of Us"

Categories: Q&A

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Alana Mulford

In 2013, Steve Grand became a viral sensation when he released the music video for his single "All-American Boy." It featured a bonfire, a party, hot girls, some beers, and a poppy, feel-good country song. But the direction of the video shifts, and you realize that Grand doesn't really have a crush on the girl-next-door. He's more interested in the guy that likes the girl-next-door.

Grand was an overnight star. And just like that, a new face representing the LGBT community emerged. He appeared on Good Morning America, played alongside Melissa Etheridge and Deborah Cox at various pride events, and funded his entire debut album via Kickstarter. (He's still making gifts for backers, but more on that later).

After two years of creating a solid fan-base, Grand is releasing his debut album, All-American Boy, on March 24. But this Saturday, you can catch the country star at Sunshine Cathedral in Fort Lauderdale. We spoke with the musician about issues related to the gay community, drawing pictures of his fans, and who inspires him.

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Keller Williams: "Nothing Is Prerecorded; Everything Is Live"

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C.Taylor Crothers

Musician Keller Williams came from some humble beginnings. Before becoming a singer, he did construction work for a temp agency. However, Williams soon came to a revelation. "I realized," he said, "I could make more money sitting on a bar stool, drinking beer, and singing." And that's where it all started, folks.

Known for his "looping" technique, covers, and solo performances, Williams has a style all his own. Think of his songs as funky, cool, bluegrassy electronic jams that you can't find on the radio.

Before his stop at Revolution Live this weekend, we spoke with the groovy singer about the story behind naming his music "jazzfunkraggaelectronicagrass," his radio show, and more.


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Vinyl Legend Luis Mario Brings More Than 44 Years of DJ Experience to FaMa Studios

Categories: Q&A

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Via Luis Mario
Kickin' it old school.

With DJ equipment readily available a click away and easy streaming online, it's not uncommon to see a bunch of wannabe DJs heading up the scene. But Luis Mario is a pioneer disc jockey with more than 44 years of experience under his belt.

He's also the founder of the Legends of Vinyl, which he describes as "a national institution providing global leadership in education, recognition, and celebration of excellence in the art of creative spinning of record vinyl."

Of those involved in the org, he says, "We are the originators, the springboards, of the art of spinning record vinyl that has laid the foundation and has paved the way for the latest and currently changing dance music avenues of today."

Though you might have been lucky enough to have caught him spinning house sets in 1984, this weekend, he'll be playing disco favorites at Fort Lauderdale's newest dance studio, FaMa. We got the chance to chat with the man behind the turntables.

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Michael Bolton on Lunching With Mike Judge, Writing His Autobiography, and Singing the Motown Classics

Categories: Q&A

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Wikimedia via Hochgeladen von Kadellar
Looking good after all these years.

One of the most surprising things you learn when interviewing singer Michael Bolton is that he has a sense of humor about himself.

Not only did he make recent appearances roasting himself on the sitcom Two and a Half Men and record the self-skewering "Jack Sparrow" with Lonely Island but he also thinks the 1999 comedy Office Space -- in which a character bearing his name calls him an "ass-clown" -- is "hilarious." He even wants to be part of any potential sequel.

It's probably pretty easy to be forgiving when you've sold 75 million albums. After years struggling to make it as a hard-rock singer with the band Blackjack, Bolton found his niche in the late '80s reinterpreting classic R&B songs like "When a Man Loves a Woman" and "Georgia on My Mind." He continues this tradition with his newest album of Motown covers, Ain't No Mountain High Enough.

In a far-reaching interview with New Times in which no topic was out of bounds, Bolton told us about his love for Motown, how he keeps his golden vocal chords in shape, and, yes, he even shares his thoughts about Office Space.


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Breakeven Booking's John McHale: Broward Needs More All-Ages Music Venues

Categories: Q&A

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John McHale is quite possibly the busiest independent promoter in South Florida. For about 11 years, McHale has tirelessly booked the best in national and local hardcore, punk, metal, and indie acts under the moniker Breakeven Booking. He also fronts the bands Guilty Conscience and Street Judge and is considered by many to be the wayward saint of South Florida's hardcore-punk scene.

Last year was undoubtedly a tough one for Broward County's music community. We lost venues, we wrote far too many obituaries for beloved musicians, and it was a really lean time in terms of national tours coming through town. While most new-year conversations center around the positive, we thought McHale's not always upbeat, unfiltered perspective as a stalwart of the Florida music scene might help lead the community in a better direction for 2015.

See also: People Who Made the Music Scene Great in 2014: Part 1

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Gregg Allman on How Otis Redding Inspired His Career and Competing with His Brother Duane

Categories: Q&A

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Gregg Allman is a legend. He either coined the term "Southern rock" himself or inspired it with the Allman Brothers Band. Gregg kept the band going for 45 years through countless reformations and pushed on after the fatal motorcycle crash of his brother Duane Allman. The group only recently called it a day this past October.

But die-hard fans of songs like "Midnight Rider" and "Ramblin' Man" need not suffer too deep a mourning. Only a couple months after the break up of the band, Allman's on the road with a solo tour, complete with an eight piece backing band that will take him to Hard Rock Live January 4.

The charming Mr. Allman took time out of his holiday festivities to reminisce about youthful sibling rivalries, how Otis Redding inspired his musical career, and the news that fans can one day soon expect a new album composed of tracks written exclusively by Gregory LeNoir Allman.


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Freekbass Admits Even His Mom Calls Him Freekbass

Categories: Q&A

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Courtesy of Freekbass

Virtuoso is a word that should be used rarely. But when discussing someone that oozes talent and skill like Cincinnati's Freekbass (born Chris Sherman), we feel comfortable applying the noun.

Freekbass is a musician that never stops growing and developing. He's worked with such music gods as Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and Buckethead. He's wowed festival-goers as an artist-at-large close to home at numerous Bear Creek Music Festivals. He crafted a nearly perfect funk album with his band the Bump Assembly, , and created some pretty funny music videos to go along with the tunes.

The album is a bit of a return to pure funk-roots form for Freekbass, back from the electronic sound he's developed in recent years. Freekbass is looking to bring that heavy funk to Florida for a string of four shows starting off with a pre-New Year's Eve show at the Funky Biscuit that promises to completely bring the house down.

Freekbass took the time to speak with us about his humble beginnings, working with musical giants, and his new album before heading down to the Sunshine State to shows us how it's done in Cincinnati.

See also: Freekbass Says, "I Think of Myself as a Drummer Who Plays Notes"

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Fernando Perdomo and the Beethose Beatles Tribute Band Raise Money for Love Thy Neighbor

Categories: Q&A

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Samantha Thrall

South Florida has an all-star Beatles tribute band. Bet you didn't know that.

The Beethose consists of local musical stalwarts Jim Camacho, Chris Alvy, Jordan Welch, Chris Price, and Fernando Perdomo. This Fab "Five" is playing a special benefit show at Stache on Saturday, January 3, for Arnold Abbott and his Love Thy Neighbor homeless charity group. Abbot was twice cited and ordered to appear in court recently for feeding Fort Lauderdale's homeless - in defiance of new, controversial regulations requiring that anyone hosting mass feedings in outdoor public spaces provide portable toilets and adhere to other restrictions.

County Grind caught up with erstwhile Miamian, much in-demand musician, producer, and Beethose co-founder Perdomo to chat about the Beatles's White Album (which will be performed in its entirety at the show), tribute band co-founder Jim Camacho, and life at his new home in the San Fernando Valley.

See also: Jim Camacho Prepares For U.K. Shows

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Pink Talking Fish Combines the Songs of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish With Original Jams

Categories: Q&A

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Destiny Spang

Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish are arguably three of the most beloved musical acts in history. And if this were a few years ago, they'd have not a lot in common. However, Eric Gould's Pink Talking Fish has completely changed that.

Pink Talking Fish is a tribute act to all three bands and finds a way to combine them into a comprehensive set. Each song bleeds flawlessly into the next, and then back again.

At AURA Music and Arts Festival's live streaming series on December 10, they wove together this little medley: "Run Like Hell" > "Psycho Killer" > "Run Like an Antelope" > "Run Like Hell." Needless to say, it was mind-blowing. The band also has a chameleon style of jamming, changing to fit the mood of each song while still going into unique grooves of its own.

If you missed the webcast, you have no reason to worry. Not only will it be posted on YouTube fairly soon but Pink Talking Fish is performing three dates in Florida this week: Guanabanas in Jupiter, the Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, and the Dunedin Brewery.

We spoke with Eric Gould, founder of Pink Talking Fish and a former member of electro-jam band Particle, about what begat this bizarre brainchild.

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The Black Keys' Patrick Carney on Working with "Shit Gear" and Cinematic Sounds

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Danny Clinch

By Zach McCormick

For a modest-sized Midwestern city mostly known for cranking out a staggering amount of rubber, Akron has a lot to be proud of. Three of its native sons are sitting more or less on the top of the world in their respective fields, with LeBron James returning home like King Richard from the Crusades and the Black Keys landing hit after unlikely hit on the Billboard charts.

While LeBron might as well have been anointed a hero from birth, Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney never really thought of themselves as star material. Building their success with a down-to-earth attitude and years of scrappiness and tenacity, the duo began its slow march to the top in 2001. Despite major-label money and a move to Nashville, the group has retained all of its affable outsider charm. We reached out to Carney to talk about his outside work as a producer and being a good loser.

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