Streets of Fire Film is Re-Released

In This Issue:  A Farewell to Bobby Lloyd Hicks, The Guilty Ones Interview Part 1, Katy Moffatt, and Hard Travelin' Review

as a solo artist and gives him a chance to show off his skills as a blues interpreter. The backing by the Guilty Ones has the feel of a Sun Records session from the 1950s and calls to mind MYSTERY TRAIN, Elvis Presley's final single for the label.
      Dave sings lead on the obscure CALIFORNIA DESERT BLUES, which was written and recorded by Lane Hardin in 1935. It's a good fit for one of Dave's quieter vocal performances and lyrically fits in alongside his own songs about California, such as DRY RIVER and OUT OF CONTROL. Hardin, believed to have been born in Tennessee in 1896, is one of the shadowy figures of the blues. He recorded infrequently and died in Los Angeles in 1975. Blues scholar Stefan Wirz claims that no photos of Hardin are known to exist.
      Phil and Dave share lead and backing vocals on Jim Jackson's KANSAS CITY BLUES, which he first recorded in 1927. The brothers bring a good-time feel to the song, which deals with putting a failed romance into the past. The instrumentation features Gene Taylor on piano, Bob Glaub on bass and Don Heffington on drums.
Hard Travelin' seems like an inspired collection of four unrelated songs. However, after repeated listens, I noticed that each song deals with traveling or the singer's desire to move from one place to another. It's a theme that any touring musician would appreciate.
      In any case,
Hard Travelin' serves as a fine musical appetizer, while Dave and Phil consider their next project together. -- AM

The Guilty Ones Interview   Part 1
Chris Miller--Lisa Pankratz--Brad Fordham

cut a live album there, so everyone wanted to play there. I got a job at the big guitar store on Queen Street, so I got to meet all the musicians in town.
I was in the house blues band at Grossman's Tavern in Chinatown. Stevie Ray Vaughan would come into town and play the El Mocambo and would hang out at Grossman's on his off-time. He discovered a lot of good young blues guitar players like Colin James and Jeff Healey. But I really cut my teeth playing Honky Tonk at a club called the Matador that didn't open until last call. Last call in Toronto is 12:50. So no booze, but you played all night.
I started a band with a singer named Lori Yates. We made a little bit of a splash with cow punk. We got picked up by a CBS records and we were called Rang Tango. They wanted us to be a cow punk version of Cyndi Lauper. The deal changed and they wanted to move us to the CBS Nashville division. When they said they wanted us to be more country, I knew that they weren't behind us and the band was gonna implode. We recorded in Nashville, but things fizzled out. It was a good introduction to how things work in Nashville, though.
I really wanted to go to Austin because a lot of friends like in the Wagoneers and Ted Roddy told me so much about it.  Lori Yates told me: 'All the guys look like you there.' (laughs)
I went straight to Austin in 1989 and it felt just like home. I met everybody. I heard there was a band with a girl singer that was looking for a bass player.  I thought: 'Oh no! Not another girl singer?' But it was Austin and that girl was Kelly Willis. Five months later, she had a record deal with MCA. So I wound up in Nashville again recording. We started touring, but between tours, I started playing around Austin.
I remember I was able to ring in the new year of 1990 at a club called the Hole in the Wall. Kelly opened the show. The Wagoneers were next. I was hanging out with the guitarist Brent Wilson and this girl walked in with a pair of drum sticks in her back pocket. I said to Brent, "Who is that?" That's the first time I saw Lisa. She didn't play that night.
Lisa: I was coming from some other gig. But I was trying to get over there as fast as I could because all my favorite bands were playing.
Brad: Chris, what year did you get to Austin?
Chris: I think in 1991. I can't remember specifically, but my first few gigs were with Ted Roddy. Brad, you were on bass.
Brad: Yes. Ted Roddy was THE guy in Austin - the one with the record collection. I don't know who coined the phrase, but Austin is all just one big band and we all play in it.
Lisa: It was me.  But I'm not the only one to say it.
Chris: The first place I lived, I met Lisa rehearsing with the Derailers in my living room. I pretty much met you guys the minute I got there.
Lisa: Brad and I met that day at The Hole In The Wall, but pretty much didn't play together in 10 years.
Brad: Maybe just a few pick-up gigs with Ted Roddy. I do remember one at the Electric Lounge that was thrown together at the last minute.
Lisa: Yes, that's right. We were both touring in different bands. And we weren't together yet. We've been married now for 14 years.
Brad: I was on the road a lot with Kelly Willis. When she wanted to slow down touring, Jimmie Dale Gilmore recruited me. When I was off tour, I would always be playing at the Broken Spoke or the Continental or The Black Cat especially. I shared a town house with Ted Roddy, and there was always some kind of band rehearsal going on in the living room. That's where I first met Chris Gaffney.
Lisa: I did a short tour with Ted Roddy and Chris Gaffney. We had Rob Douglas on bass and Caspar Rawles on guitar. I didn't know Chris personally, but I knew of him.  I was a DJ at Rice University, when I was going there, and that's the first time that I saw a Chris Gaffney record. College music was mostly new wave and alternative, so I was the only one looking for roots music. Some great records came through the station that I liked. When I met Gaffney, I remembered that he had this great record that I heard in college.
Brad: I met Gaffney when you were putting together that tour. He was playing the kind of country that we loved - Texas shuffles.

there is song crossover. It's tempting to say: "Yes, songwriting has gotten harder," but I'm not sure that's true. It's always been hard, and the writing I've done the most, of recently, is on the spoken-word (portion) of Midnight Radio. Co-writing can be helpful because it can bring a different kind of inspiration and motivation, but when it really works, it comes from a shared sensibility, which is a rare find.
AM: Did growing up in Texas play a big role in your development as a songwriter and musician? Do you feel living in California has had an impact on you as a musician? I noticed Where The Heart Is has a song set in Texas (MARINA) and one set in California (SANTA ANA WINDS).
Katy: Place has much influence, because it literally alters the path you walk and what you see. But the way I am affected internally by place, is what seems to get written --- you'll notice that two of the songs you ask about, WHERE THE HEART IS and SANTA ANA WINDS, move through Texas, Colorado, California, and Tennessee and wind up being about the roving, the rambling: how drifting is tied to escape and how that affects the character.

AM: Do you have any musical goals or projects left that you would like to accomplish?
Katy: There are several songs I care about that, for one reason or another, didn't make the cut on this record. Some I perform, some I'm beginning to perform. They belong on a record I have not yet approached. So, there's a reason to persist: a sense of something left to say.
AM: You worked with Dave Alvin a fair amount in the late 1980s and during the 1990s. Have you discussed the possibility of working together again?
Katy: No, we haven't, but I wouldn't rule it out!

Where The Heart Is is available for purchase at Katy's Web site: