Most of the interviews I do are over Skype and some over the telephone. I’ve interviewed Phil Haynes twice before and I always end it with “If you ever get up this way you’re welcome to be on my radio show”. This summer he finally made it up to Rhody and took me up on it. Multiple interviews with an artist are great. They are relaxed and make it easier to get into the meat of a conversation.
I’ve deliberately tried not to over edit this to keep the ambience of the radio show. Phil tells great stories and we laugh. We talk about solo drumming and recording in a large resonant room. He tells the story of the Corner Store a practice and rehersal space “and so much more” in Brooklyn that morphed into his label Corner Store Jazz.
On the air we played rough mixes of the upcoming Free Country. There are some edits included in the podcast and Phil waxes poetic about their meaning and resonance.
It’s only been a little over a month since the first time that I interviewed Phil Haynes. We talked almost an hour both times and didn’t cover any of the same material. Last month we talked about his new No Fast Food double live In Concert album with Dave Liebman and Drew Gress. This time we talked about another new release this time by another of his projects Free Country.
Free Country is a quartet with guitar, bass, cello and drums that takes americana to new realms with intricate arrangements and sophisticated improvisation. The new album Something Beatles is installment 2.5 of what Phil envisions as a trilogy. The first album Free Country is all music from before 1900. The second How the West Was Won was about America coming of age. The third album will be recorded during the upcoming tour and will be titled 60-69.
We talked about Phil’s take on americana, how the project took shape, “why” the Beatles, Corner Store Jazz and recording the groups second album in New York shortly after 9/11.