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Joe McBride - Keepin’ It Real

Long time fans of Dallas-based pianist/vocalist, Joe McBride, know it’s always a treat when he releases a new project, and his latest CD, "Keepin’ It Real," does not disappoint. Beginning and ending with versions of "Woke Up This Morning," the Sopranos theme, the CD fuses funk, soul, Latin and gospel into a rich stew of sounds that are sure to please. The project again showcases McBride’s Texas Rhythm Club band, which more than hold their own during the various sonic twists and turns the CD takes. It’s been 10 years since McBride’s debut CD, "Grace" first introduced this St. Louis native to the world. Here, five CDs later, McBride’s distinctive piano attack still sounds fresh and contemporary.

Catching up with Joe at his Dallas home, he was eager to talk about his latest project.

JazzReview: Joe, you’ve put out another great sounding CD.

Joe McBride: Thanks!

JazzReview: What do you hope the listeners out there take away from this CD?

Joe McBride: All of it! I like every song on this CD.

JazzReview: Any tune on the CD you’re particularly proud of?

Joe McBride: Boy, that’s a good question. I don’t take favorites with a particular tune. They all do something for me.

JazzReview: One of things I have always enjoyed about your CDs is that there’s always a little something on them for every mood. There are funky, head-bobbing songs, smooth, romantic songs

Joe McBride: That’s right!

JazzReview: It’s been ten years since your first CD. To what do you contribute to your longevity?

Joe McBride: I’ve tried to pretty much stick with a style I like to do, but at the same time, allowing myself to experience growth. I drew a lot from different artists, and as time goes by you develop a signature sound.

JazzReview: You have a distinctive piano attack and I have always been able to pick up your playing after a few notes. Who has influenced your style?

Joe McBride: A lot of people. I have always tried to incorporate a lot of different sounds and styles; for instance the Blues, like B.B. King and Stevie Ray Vaughn.

JazzReview: Who do you like listening to for pleasure when you‘re not recording or touring?

Joe McBride: Everything; it just depends on the day and how I am feeling at that time. I love Bebop jazz; Miles, Coltrane, Bud Powell, McCoy Tyner, and I enjoy contemporary artists such as Al Jarreau. Quincy Jones is probably my biggest idol. I love his music.

JazzReview: It’s interesting you said Al Jarreau. One of the nice things about your CDs is that you always include some great vocal tracks. I noticed that on this particular CD, your singing, in general, is more relaxed, and you seem surer of your vocal abilities. On one track in particular, "Never Let You Go" , you definitely showed a Jarreau influence.

Joe McBride: Yeah, I have been getting that. Everybody has been saying that track had a lot of Al Jarreau sound to it.

JazzReview: Was that on purpose? Is it something you were conscious of when you approached the recording of the song?

Joe McBride: I really didn’t think about it until it was finished. I said, "Wait a second, that sounds like Al Jarreau!"

JazzReview: I mean the comparison favorably. After going back and listening to the track again, it becomes obvious you are hitting your stride as far as singing. Do you have any plans to do an all-vocal CD in the future?

Joe McBride: I really don’t at this point, but you never know. I would like to do a Straight-Ahead jazz record at some point. That would be great. We will see what happens.

JazzReview: Over the years, you have featured some of the biggest names in contemporary jazz on your CD’s. But on this project as on the last project, you are featuring your core band, the Texas Rhythm Club. What are the challenges you face with recording your own band vs. recording with a lot of guest artists?

Joe McBride: Well, they [Texas Rhythm Club] have all been there in some way or another in the background. So, it’s not been a real challenge. It’s been more of a spotlight to bring the guys out. We have been blessed in having those other musicians on the albums, but it’s real nice to bring out the guys here in Texas and let the world see what we got here in Dallas.

JazzReview: Is that something you will be continuing to do on upcoming releases?

Joe McBride: I really don’t have any plans for that. I am just going to see how things go.

JazzReview: Will you be touring in support of this new CD?

Joe McBride: I do believe so, yes.

JazzReview: Do you have any new projects on the horizon?

Joe McBride: Not at the moment. We are just going to be focused on this album, and trying to get support from touring and radio.

JazzReview: Again, thanks for your time and much success with the new CD.

Joe McBride: Thank you for your support.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Joe McBride
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