REILLY BAND INTERVIEW
Hey all you southern rock heads, listen up. This is Dino the Outlaw coming at ya with another west coast southern band that'll knock your socks off .Straight outta San Diego, Calif., The Mike Reilly Band. Boy Howdy has this cat played with the best... Elvin Bishop, Gregg Allman Band, Marshall Tucker Band and the list goes on and on and on.
Mr. Mike Reilly it's an honor getting to finally interview you. What a busy schedule you keep Can you fill us in on what you've been up to in 2004 ?
It's great to finally catch up with y'all! 2004 started out on a good roll, we did a northwest tour and did a couple of shows with our old friend Garth Hudson of The Band. On that tour, a black widow spider bit me and we had to cancel some dates, I guess I shouldn't write songs about them! Then I ended up getting a pallup on my sinus and couldn't sing for about 6 months. Damn the bad luck... But all's good, by the time this interview comes out I'll have had my surgery and we'll be in rehearsals for the up coming tour. I did get to play guitar for the San Diego Blues All stars on a few shows as well a few dates with The North Mississippi All Stars at the Belly Up in Solana Beach Ca. Let's just say 2004 was a tuff one, not to mention we lost a lot of close friends and family. We're glad to move on to 2005.
How do you keep your sanity on the road ?
I walk and hike. I retired from the things I used to do in 86. Will save that for another interview. I search for used Harleys, guitars and a lot of damn good B.B.Q. As I multi task in the band, there's not much time to go insane. I save that for when I get home and see how much we spent.
Who are the current members of the M.R.B. ?
Calvin Hardy is on Bass (Ike and Tina Turner/Elvin Bishop) also a member since 1985. I first met Cal when I was 14 years old. Mike Kahrs on Hammond Organ, we've been bro's since 1973. We're both from Fullerton Ca. and played in several bands together over the years. Jimmy Mc Grew- Guitar and Vocals (Delaney and Bonnie, Canned Heats). He's one of the new kids in the band. He's been with us for 3 years now. Stu Nevitt is on the Drums/Percussion (Shadow fax) a member for the last 3 years as well, believe me he's a well rounded musician, hell, he's got a Grammy and has played Carnegie Hall.
Is this the same crew you have on your latest release 'OL KNUCKLEHEADS'?
Yep, the same bad boys, however we did have a little help from Tom Braonagle (producer/drummer). He's got band called The Phantom Blues Band.
Mike Finnigan, Larry Fulcher, Johnny Lee Shell and a guest appearance from Ken Gradney of Little Feat and my long time bro. Mr. Dangerous Dan Toler of Dickey Betts and Great Southern and The Allmans Brothers Band. Damn Mike that's some great talent you've assembled.
Please tell the readers out there in Southern Rockland about your current release and any other stuff you might want to have us take a listen to?
I really like the production work on 'Ol Knuckleheads, I think "Living on Love ", "Forget to forget you" are great tunes and "Lamar's Tune" is one of my best instrumentals recorded. It was also a way of dedicating my thanks to Lamar. I was blessed to play with him and Jaimoe at the same time. It was my first band I went on the road with. I have a compilation CD on Atlas Records coming out called Still Rollin'. It will be out hopefully by summer time. And also go to www.themikereillyband.com .
Do you have any great stories from the days of playing with the Allmans or the M.T.B.?
Where do I start? I feel like the Forrest Gump of rock sometimes! Let's see, with Mr. Gregg Allman, my favorite would have to be the time we were driving in my old van, I had my manager, Gregg and the whole crazy crew all riding back from rehearsal in L.A. when the van broke down. We were not in a very cool area. It amazed me how much Gregg would be one of the fellas. No attitude, no bitching and always the team player. He could have taken a limo, but he stuck it out with us till will got out of there...
As far as Elvin Bishop, it was always a Kodak moment. Picture me, Elvin, Nick Nolte and Sandy Alexander, who at the time was the President of the New York chapter of The Hells Angels cutting in front of a couple hundred people all dressed to kill and waiting to get into Studio 54..We were wearing overalls , cut-up jeans and t-shirts. Probably one of the funniest nights I have ever had!!
The Marshall Tucker Band I've known since the original guys were around and up to the current members. I got to do a guest appearance on the Charlie Daniels Volunteer Jam in 1999. What a blast!
I went to one of those shows, I believe it was around 1985 or 86 at the Golden Bear in So. Cal. wasn't that you up on stage with the Gregg Allman Band standing opposite stage of the great Dangerous Dan Toler?
That was a great night and we got it on video which we will eventually put out on a DVD that we have been working on.
Is it true that when you play with musicians of the caliber that Toler and Betts and the like are, that you enter a whole new realm of playing?
As far as putting me in another realm, Hell yea, the realm of thief. I was trying to steal every lick I could from Dangerous Dan.
This will be a question I'm sure the guitar slingers out there want to know.
What's your style and what type of axes and gear do you play thru?
I still have a Goldie. She's a 1958 Gold Top Les Paul. I've had her since the start of my career. A reissue historic flame top Les Paul that has become my main axe. Also an early 60's white Fender Strat, a custom Tele made by Brian Armstrong. My kid stole my 1968 Gibson SG. But that's ok I know where he lives... As far as power, my rig is a 69 Marshall 50 watt plexi head and I use a 4/12 cab or a 4/10 cab depending on the gig. In the studio I'll sometimes use a POD or Ampfarm, but I do prefer an amp. I do try to keep up on the modern stuff. I do have a few pedals I use, like a tube screamer TS-808, a real old fuzz, a Boss Reverb and my trusty ole tuner. That's about it on my axes and rig.
I would like to change the subject here and ask you about the beautiful tour bus on your web page and on the CD, can you enlighten us?
Her name is Pearl and she belonged to James Taylor. I got in the Bus Biz about 6 years ago. She's a Prevost and a whole lotta fun.
Are you for hire?
You bet and I've got a variety of clients, Snoop Dog, Taj Mahal, Poison and Revis.
Has it ever conflicted with your own touring schedule?
There has been a couple of times I've had to reschedule a gig or two.
Are we going to be fortunate enough to see you playing the circuit in 2005?
We plan to go coast to coast this time around. Hopefully before next fall. I'm writing again and would like to get out and see some audience response before we go and record the material.
Will it be the same band or something a little different?
Same band with a couple of added players. We're going to have a two drummer line up again. Joining Stu will be Mark T. Williams from Crosby, Stills and Nash, The Jones Boys and World Trade. Also Sean Finnigan on Keyboards from Cash McCall and The Finnigan Brothers. We have all played together in one of Gregg Allmans Band thru the years. There will also be guest guitarist and harmonica players from time to time.
I would like to thank you for answering a few Q n A's with me Mike and let's get together in 2005 for another interview and It would be an honor to sit in on the Drums sometime, what do ya think?
I'd love to do it, we should jam sometime soon! My best to all our brothers and sisters. Keep doing what keeps you Rocking. PEACE.
Web site at: http://www.mikereillyband.com
This is Dino the Outlaw once again with a fine interview with some of the unsung hero's of Southern Rock. Please support local bands in and around your area as well as nation wide and world wide. WE need your support and the support of others to continue what the fore fathers of Southern Rock have created... A musical genre that stands the test of time.
Dianno 'Dino' Di Bella