Interview de PERRY JORDAN (Heartsfield)
Février 2009 by Philippe Archambeau.
Can you introduce yourself, where do you come from ?
I was born in Savannah Georgia, My ma was German, my pa a hillbilly from Alabama a GI when he met her. So that makes me 1/2 hillbilly & 1/2 German pretty stubborn combination. I consider myself a Song ridin' Kraut Hillbilly !
How did you discover the music ?
My house always had music playing when I was a youngster. Bought my first guitar
& amp in Frankfurt Germany hung out with some early rock bands there
and started playing music. Came back to the states just when the Beatles & Stones
started hitting here started joining bands here with a bunch of hippies.
What was your first musical instrument ?
Took accordion lessons at 5 but hated it
Which were your first musical influences?
Johnny Horton, Buffalo Springfield, Stones, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape.
Stephen Stills was and still is my musical idol.
Last few years Ray Willie Hubbard is in my top 4 mentors.
1. Stephen Stills 2. Don Henley 3. Ray Willie Hubbard
4. Keith Richards
Can you remind us how did Heartsfield begin in 1972 ?
Started writing songs living in the wilderness, came home,
Met JC Hartsfield & we started a writing folk duo. Phil Lucafo joined us & we became a trio. Members of my old band Liquid heart came back from California for a holiday vacation.
The trio had a gig booked for a concert we teamed up to do the show just for fun, no band
in mind. After that show we kept getting phone calls telling us what a great band we were.
So after all that attention we decided heck maybe we should be a band.
What is the album from this era you prefer ?
If you mean our albums I guess the first. It was made before we got wrapped up in the music business. We lived as wild hippies living and working in a communal situation playing music 7 days a week 12 to 14 hours a day. No thoughts other than writing for the love of the tune.
Your album Rescue The Dog that sounds very Californian Rock like the Doobie Brothers, is considered as your best album, can you tell us more about it ?
Rescue was the first record I did with a new, Heartsfield. None of the original members wanted to be in a band. I was able to produced and write all of it myself.
I put the band together, got funding, hired a great engineer, so that was one of my babys.
Since I write a variety of songs, in a variety of styles, it was great having the freedom to be the artist I wanted to be with no record company filters telling me no or who I should be.
Still think some of my best songs are on that CD.
How can you definite Heartsfield music ?
I think you have a great Swamp feeling, and people that enjoy Charlie Daniels
and Commander Cody sure can buy your albums and enjoy them, dont you think the same ?
No matter what song I write there is always an element of SOUTHERN Soul in there.
Funny you say swamp I think I may have been an alligator in a past life or something.
There is a real connection to that sound & feel for me, it just comes out.
Swamp has a vibe that makes you move your butt and your soul.
I think anyone who likes that vibe and many folks do would love that
aspect of my writing.
Our fans range from CSYN to Eagles to Charlie Daniels fans
so there is a strong connection there.
Your Live album in 1975 has many guitar harmonies close to the Allman Brothers.
Did you do it on purpose ? Do you think you are close to Southern Rock ?
The guitar work came out of the fact that we had 4 guitar players who paid attention to really working with each other.
We played what made the song sound better not what made each guitar player sound better. In many ways it was an orchestration of rock guitar. We always rocked but southern was always an element, always will be I guess.
You use to go on tour and play 200 or 300 shows a year.
Do you have special remembrances or particular meetings you remember and you can tell us ?
A few of my highlites among 1000s:
Meeting Stephen Still at a show we did together in Long Island N.Y.
Was like praying at the Vatican!
Having Keith Moon jam with us in LA a few weeks before he left the world.
Playing the Filmore West & Winterland and meeting Bill Graham.
Having the chance to hang out with Waylon Jennings for
a few hours in our hotel after a show.
Having chances to hang with Skynyrd, Toy Caldwell, Charlie Daniels, Eric Clapton,
Doobies, Outlaws, Alvin Bishop, Wet Willie, Grinder Switch on & on.
Can you tell us some words about you bass player Steve Eddington
who is with you since the beginning ?
Steve is a great bass player who has been in music a long time. He sings with
me really well and is kind of the most steady guy around me. He was the first person
I recruited for the new band and has helped me tremendously. He owns more bass
amps and bass guitars than Guitar Center!!
Lets talk about your last album Disrupting the Country. Can you tell us how did you record it ?
Disrupting again was self produced in our own studio. I knew I had to create another CD
so I set to writing that batch of songs. Used many many fine players to play with me like Corky Siegel; Commander Cody’s guitar player, Mark Emmerick; Greg Cahill, banjo
player of Special Consensus; and of course my guys.
It was another work of love, all on my shoulders, so if it sucked there was no one to blame but me. I always have desired to have my own studio where experimantation and freedom abound with no time pressure, where you can work in peace. Heck I did Georgia Flyer & Disrupting The Country 90% of the time in my pajamas!!!!
I have minimal gear but I do believe it is in the ear not the gear. Today you can do amazing things with the equipment available so artist can express themselves and their vision freely. Since my gear is transportable I would many times pack it up and go to the performers home to lay down tracks. Now that’s down home music.
I really enjoyed the song Pain the Crash that made me feel like an Outlaws song, and Got the Country made me think at Charlie Daniels. Did you already have the opportunity to play with him ?
Fortunate to have played many times with Charlie and Outlaws. Great people, Charlie took care of me at a huge festival we did together in the middle of the woods in North or South Carolina got out of control and turned dangerous. Took me to his trailer and kept me all safe.
Toast looks like Lynyrd Skynyrd, did you composed it on purpose ?
Never compose any song with another band in mind. Toast was just a song
about family & friends and how we need to value those treasures in our lives.
Marc Emerik played with you on this cd ; how was the recording with him ?
Mark is a great friend and great guitar player. We always wanted to do some work together and it happened on Disrupting. Actually that was my very first cross country recording through sending files to each other. I sent him some tracks he took them to his studio in New York, recorded his parts and then sent them back to me. He is such a fine player that it sounds like he was in the room with me.
Can you tell us about your own studio ? Do you record in the old-fashioned way ?
I went digital a few years ago but still miss some of the analog sounds. I use minimal equipment concentrating on the songs. I feel if the playing ad writing are good then the recording will turn out just fine if you take a bit of care in the process. Like I said earlier I made sure it was portable so I have the freedom to hit the road and record folks who are around the country if I want. It is a dream to have your own gear to work with the lack of pressure, being available when you want it and the pure fun of experimentation is priceless.
A great A/D converter, some good mics, and a stable recorder and off you go in fun land!!!
Some of the Gear I Use
apogee A/D 16
Tannoy & JBL monitors
Variety of mics
But no pitch correction allowed!
Bourgeois, Breedlove, Martin, Guild acoustic guitars
Startocaster & custom made Tele like electrics.
Matchless, Tone King & Crate Palamino amps. 63 Bassman 12 bottom
Can you tell us come words about Billy Powells death,
the famous Lynyrd Skynyrd piano player ? Did you know him ?
Played a few shows with him last years great great player he will be missed.
Do you know how many records Heartsfield really sold ?
Somewhere around 2 million in all.
Did you ever come and play in Europe ?
Want to go…. never played there with Heartsfield though! Would love it.
Hopefully it will be soon.
If you have to leave all and live on a desert island,
what would be the albums you take with you ?
Stephen Stllis Manassas
Ray Willie Hubbard Growl & Snake Farm
Stephen Bruton From the Five
Don Henley Inside Job
CSNY Déjà vu
Heartsfield Disrupting the Country
Thank you Perry to answer to our questions.
My pleasure my friend, if we get over there go on out and have a beer or two!!!
Also thank you for supporting our music we do appreciate it a lot.
If you have any friends to help get us over there let us know.