April 20, 2024

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Interview with Arlen Roth: Life gives birth to the music, and then music becomes life!

Interview with Blues guitarist Arlen Roth. An interview by email in writing.

Dear readers, get to know more about our US/EU Jazz – Blues Festivals and the activities of our US/EU Jazz – Blues Association in the capitals of Europe, we will soon publish program for 2024, enjoy in the July – August – Brussels, Berlin, Prague, Warsaw, Sofia, new addreses this year, also in Amsterdam, Budapest and Liverpool.

One of the rejected interviews, from a musician who did not have an idea, soul and intellect, did not understand the content of the questions, we simply did not have an interesting interview this time and did not want to break the tradition, sorry.

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Arlen Roth: – I grew up in a combination of the Bronx, NYC and White Lake, NY (where the Woodstock festival took place) My Dad, famous New Yorker cartoonist encouraged me when he could see that I had the “ear” and love of the guitar and music! I didn’t think I could make a ‘living” from it until I moved to Woodstock, NY than I was 18.

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?

AR: – Just keeping “open ears” and discovering sounds and other players and influences, and of course, performing and recording my whole life…

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

AR: – Nothing, really … but I try to make sure I play every day, and come up with fresh ideas then, too.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution?

AR: – And if so why? I guess I’ve changed … playing a bit more “jazzy” and also singing more now.

There could be talk or advertising about your CD

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

AR: – I think it “should” be 90% soul!

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

AR: – Absolutely … I LEARNED in front of audiences!

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

AR: – I think young people should always go back to the roots … listen to the “1st generation” of anything they like!

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

AR: – I feel the same way, but life gives birth to the music, and then music becomes life!

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

AR: – To go back to being able to make a better living from recordings and radio play…

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

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

AR: – No one, specifically! Tampa Red, Lonnie Johnson, Norman Blake, Son House …

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

AR: – To Memphis, circa 1954, to be at those sessions!

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Interview by Emmanuel Bolton

Arlen Roth | Vintage Guitar® magazine

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