Episode 61: Eddie Roberts of The New Mastersounds

Rob and Seth return to Terminal West to pick Eddie Roberts’ brain about all things New Mastersounds. However, the conversation kicks off with Eddie explaining how his new band Matador came together, and how he and the other musicians (Alan Evans, Kevin Scott, Chris Spies, Adryon de Leon and Kimberly Dawson) came together and that they plan on making this a permanent band, as opposed to a mere, “project.” They also talk about how the most recent New Mastersounds cd Renewable Energy is appropriately-titled, and how it represented a number of firsts for the band. We learn about how some of the songs were inspired and titled, particularly “Chicago Girl” – and how the Chicago Girl suggested a cover with which none of the band members were familiar, yet which still made the record. Eddie also explains how de Leon’s creative input on this record is different from how he expects it will continue to be in Matador, and about why tNM is starting to become more interested in recording records “live” in the studio. We learn how the band’s songwriting has evolved from Eddie being the clear principal source to its current predominantly collaborative nature. Eddie talks about how his picking style comes from his jazz and classical background, and why his playing style is closer to that of a bluegrass player than a rock player. He also relates about how John Scofield almost lost a gig to a storm that happened while Eddie was dining with him, and shares some Sco insight. This leads to a discussion about Miles Davis which in turn leads to Eddie comparing and contrasting one way his approach differs from that of the virtuosic organist, Robert Walter. He also relates some of his experiences with Corrine Bailey Rae as Eddie has known her since she was a bartender and watched her have repeated success starting with her being only the fourth British act in history to have her debut cd debut at Number 1 on the Billboard charts. Eddie also explains some of the ways tNM’s early days playing in London impacted the type of players they are today (for more on this, check out Episode 15 with tNM drummer Simon Allen). We also find out what motivated Eddie to start his successful charitable organization, The Payback and about how Eddie felt about getting to work with heroes of his like Ernest Ranglin and The Meters.

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