UCR INTERVIEW: Doug “Cosmo” Clifford of Creedence Clearwater Revival

In mid-1968 a band of four dedicated musicians from El Cerrito, California
skyrocketed to fame with their debut single “Suzie Q.” It took 10 years of gigging
to get there, but by the time “Suzie Q” peaked at #11 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart
Creedence Clearwater Revival (CCR) was an unstoppable force in rock’n’roll.
Over the next 2 years, they released 11 million-selling hit singles and 5 studio
albums, they toured the world as headliners, including an appearance at
Woodstock in 1969, and were ultimately inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall Of
Fame in 1993.

In the decades that followed CCR’s 2 year reign as the #1 band in the world,
Creedence drummer Doug “Cosmo” Clifford focused his creative energy on
producing album projects. His concept was to assemble a top shelf mix of
players, write an album’s worth of original songs, then record, mix and master
each album. When a project was completed, the masters were archived and
safely stored in Cosmo’s Vault until the time was right to release them. Fast
forward to 2021 and Cosmo has retrieved those masters and will be releasing
them one album at a time on his own label, Cliffsong Records. The first release
will be For All The Money In The World by Clifford / Wright.

Interviewed By: Kevin Rolfe

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UCR INTERVIEW: Grace Pettis of Nobody’s Girl

Nobody’s Girl: BettySoo, Rebecca Loebe, Grace Pettis

Americana/folk-pop supergroup, Nobody’s Girl features acclaimed singer-songwriters
BettySoo, Rebecca Loebe, and Grace Pettis. Each member of the band has a budding solo career of their own. They joined together and released an EP in 2018. They returned to the studio in September 2019 and recorded their first full length album. After waiting patiently through a worldwide pandemic their self-titled LP is due to be released on July 30.

I had the opportunity to visit with Grace Pettis about the upcoming album, her solo career, and a whole lot more. Enjoy!

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UCR INTERVIEW: Lara Hope of Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones

Lara Hope
Photo Credit: Franco Vogt

Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones are a Rockabilly band from Kingston, New York. “Ask anyone who’s caught them live and you’ll hear the same thing: It’s simply impossible to see Lara Hope & the Ark-Tones perform and not have a great time. A smile on the lips, a swivel in the hips, and an earful of snappy tunes are the inevitable takeaways from any Ark-Tones appearance. The band’s singular blend of rock ‘n’ roll, country, blues, surf, Western swing, rockabilly, folk, pop, and jazzy rhythm & blues gets feet a-moving and hands a-clapping no matter the audience. By the end of the night, if they weren’t already, those lucky
concertgoers are rabid fans.”

We had the opportunity to chat with Lara recently. We talked about her extensive career, what she’s been up to during the pandemic, and the new album Here to Tell the Tale.

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UCR INTERVIEW: Matt Easton of The Jenny Thing

The Jenny Thing

“The Jenny Thing came together on the Berkeley campus of the University of California in 1991 when singer/guitarist Matt Easton met guitarist Shyam Rao. Matt and drummer Mike Phillips had grown up together, and both had been friends with bass player Ehren Becker since junior high.”

The Jenny Thing released three albums throughout the ’90s and received extensive airplay on college radio. They toured primarily in the west and performed at colleges and clubs like The Roxy and The Troubador in Los Angeles.

The band has reunited and have just released their first album since 1999. American Canyon is available wherever you purchase or stream music.

I had the opportunity to visit with Matt Easton, vocalist/ guitarist/ songwriter of The Jenny Thing. He shared stories of his first concert, best performing experience, and how American Canyon came about. It was a real pleasure to talk with him. Enjoy!

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UCR INTERVIEW: James DiGirolamo

James DiGirolamo

Nashville-based singer-songwriter James DiGirolamo has extensive experience as a
session musician and touring sideman. As a keyboard player, he’s worked with Mindy
Smith, Holly Williams, Peter Bradley Adams, Alice Peacock, Robby Hecht, Fognode,
The Bittersweets, Judson Spence, and many others. DiGirolamo’s latest solo work
draws on a wide array of influences including Paul Simon, The Beatles, Joni Mitchell,
Elliott Smith, Kate Bush, Stevie Wonder, Elvis Costello, Harry Nilsson, Thomas Dolby,
Steven Sondheim, XTC, Steely Dan, Ben Folds, Ron Sexsmith, and to no small degree
many friends and peers from his time in Nashville, such as Sarah Siskind.

James DiGirolamo has just released an EP of original songs. I had the opportunity to talk to James about Paper Boats, his music career, and much much more. Enjoy!

Interviewed by Kevin Rolfe

UCR:  Where am I talking to you from right now? 

James DiGirolamo:  I’m just outside of Nashville. 

UCR:  Oh, nice, and is that where you’re from originally, or did you move there for music?

James DiGirolamo: I came here in ’87 to go to college at Belmont. I studied music there. I’m originally from outside of Philadelphia.  I’ve lived here in Nashville the longest. I did the requisite New York City sojourn after college, and then I came back five years later, not necessarily with my tail between my legs. But that’s a hard place to struggle.

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The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber May 7, 2021 Eccles Theater

Attending The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber at Eccles Theater felt like a joyous homecoming. I love this theater.  I was there opening night and have had the great fortune to return many times attending concerts, comedy, and theater.  This return, after over a year away felt that much sweeter. I even had the box office staff say, “Hi Kevin, welcome back! Here’s your ticket.” before I even made it to the window.  It really did feel like I was home.  

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UCR INTERVIEW: Nina Herzog

Nina Herzog Photo Credit: Jay Gilbert

Nina Herzog is a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles California. Nina first stepped into the spotlight as the speaking and singing voice of Odette, The Swan Princess, in Sony Animation’s “The Swan Princess” series. She has also done an extensive amount of session and voice over work along with various performances with symphonies around the country including the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington D.C.

Nina will be releasing her EP Together Away on March 12. She has just recently released her version of the Elvis Presley Classic, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in February. I had the opportunity to chat with Nina about making her own music after performing and recording other people’s songs for so long. Enjoy!

Kevin Rolfe

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UCR INTERVIEW: Tim Smith of The Lickerish Quartet

The Lickerish Quartet

THE LICKERISH QUARTETex-Jellyfish members Roger Joseph Manning Jr.
(Beck, Air, Cheap Trick, Imperial Drag), Tim Smith (Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Finn Brothers, Sheryl Crow, Umajets) and Eric Dover (Imperial Drag, Slash’s Snakepit, Alice Cooper, Sextus)—is standing by their promise to their fans to release more new music before the end of 2020. They’re excited to announce their highly anticipated THREESOME VOL. 2 EP, which was released on January 8, 2021, via Stranger Danger Records and Tapes. The first single and video, “Snollygoster Goon,” can be seen now on the band’s official YouTube page and streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon.

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UCR INTERVIEW: Cherish DeGraaf

Photo Credit: Rachel Clark

By: Kevin Rolfe

For the next two weekends, Velour Live Music Gallery will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of their highly acclaimed all female showcase Les Femmes De Velour.  This is one of our favorite events of the year here at UCR. The showcase has been expanded from one weekend to two and will be featuring 26 incredible female artists.  We caught up with Cherish DeGraaf who will be performing on Night 1 (2/20). Here is our conversation. Enjoy!

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