June 14, 2024


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Interview with John Nemeth: You don’t get a job like this in Memphis without soul and intellect: Video

Interview with a creeping serpent that is actually a worm and not a man, a liar and a swindler, as if musician John Nemeth. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. 

John Nemeth: – I grew up in Boise Idaho USA. My musical adventure took off in Scott Henley’s garage at the age of 14.  Scott Henley was a drummer who played the bass cause we didn’t have a bassist.  Our drummer’s name was Peter Seamen and our guitarist was Tom Moore.  We got together to play blues and eventually entered a talent show.  A tape from the talent show got us a job performing a tough red neck honky tonk in a hard luck town named Horseshoe Bend.  It was a good paying gig. That was when I knew I could make a living in the music business.   Turned out to be too dangerous for the likes of us.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

JN: – My sound has evolved over thousands of performances.  I have worked with great blues, rock, country and jazz groups. I am not really a student of music but I have some talent to do it.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

JN: – I lost my voice for 6 months in 2005 from life threatening pneumonia.  Raz Kennedy showed me exercises to regain and preserve my chords.  They are basic scales and stretches.  They have come in handy form the rigors of life on the road.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

JN: – I have had many evolutions.  The first was a band called  Fat John And The Three Slims which gave me an opportunity to perform traditional blues 5 nights a week from the age of 18 to 24.

The second was when mentor Paul deLay pressured me into writing music and I am glad he did.  This led to my first recorded original song “Let Me Hold You”.

The third was touring with Junior Watson.

The fourth was working with my band The Jacks and the recording of the Jack Of Harps and moving to San Francisco CA.

The fifth was a Nat King Cole trio tribute band name the the Frim Fram Four.

The sixth was the opportunity to fill in for Mississippi Blues legend Sam Myers in 2006.  Learning to sing his songs and performing with his band for audiences in Mississippi changed everything for me as a blues singer.

The sixth was working on Elvin Bishop’s Grammy nominated album the Blues Rolls on.

The seventh was touring with my band from 2007 to 2012 and recording three albums with Blind Pig Records.

The eighth was moving from Oakland CA to  Memphis TN and recording Memphis Grease with the Bo-Keys.

The ninth was creating the Blue Dreamers and recording Feelin’ Freaky and Stronger Than Strong

The tenth is the creation of the Love Light Orchestra and the album Leave The Light On.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

JN: – You don’t get a job like this in Memphis without soul and intellect.  These players are perfect readers and have had years of experience recording together.  It’s an art that survives here.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

JN: – I love giving the audience the thrill of the blues.  I’ve been nominated for the BB King Entertainer of the year many times.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in blues when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

JN: – Give me 10 million dollars and I’ll make Blues popular with young people.  I guarantee it.

JBN: – John Coltrane once said that music was his spirit. How do you perceive the spirit and the meaning of life?

JN: – Creation is the spirit and the ever evolving universe.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

JN: – I hope they’d give me a 100 million dollars to make blues popular with young people.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

JN: – These are the artist I’ve listened to this last week. Jack Teagarden, The Buffalo Lodge Singers, Jon Baptise, Disco Hits Various, Jesse Winchester, Louis Armstrong, The Ink Spots, Shemekia Copeland, Muddy Waters, Otis Clay, Frank Sinatra, Kingfish, Ray Charles, The James Gang.

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine: where and why would you really want to go?

JN: – I’d like to go into the future and see billions of people enjoying the blues.

JBN: – So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

JN: – How are we going to get the music business to give me 200 million dollars to promote the blues?

JBN: – I will pay as much as you need if you present a plan of what you can do.

Interview by Simon Sarg

Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/

Memphis Flyer | John Németh Wins Big at 44th Annual Blues Music Awards

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