Can you introduce the band members and how you
met them ?
First I would like to introduce Pat Hamann, our keyboard player. I met
Pat back in 1993 when I went to jam with a local Chicago band. Since
then we have played in many different bands together in the area. We
have also written alot of good music together over the years we've known
each other. I would have to say Pat is probably my closest friend in
Chicago. Next we have Mike McNicholas on drums. I met Mike around the
same time I met Pat, because Mike was playing with the same band Pat
was so you might say the three of us have been playing together in different
bands since 1993. Last but not least we have Gary Boldt on Bass guitar.
Gary had been playing bass in a band with Pat and Mike and when The
Tone Generators original bass player moved to Florida, we held auditions
and Gary filled the spot perfectly. Everybody in the band seems to click,
we all play very well together and that means alot to me. The original
bass player, Mike Becker and original drummer Gary Donnely are on three
of the cuts from the "Burning Daylight" CD.
You recorded "Burning delight" last year. Can you tell who wrote
the songs and how was the recording process ?
"Burning Daylight", along with "Why Can't You Love Me" and "State Street
Shuffle" were recorded with the original bass player and drummer in
1999. We did redo some parts on those songs when we started recording
the rest of the CD in 2001. Pat and I wrote most of the songs together
except for a few that I had written. "Why Can't You Love Me" was orginally
on The Marshall Tucker Record "Southern Spirit" released in 1990. Then
you have "Sugar Sweet" which is a blues standard done by people like
Muddy Waters and Freddie King. Our version is kind of an up tempo style
of Freddie King's. "My Jesus told me so" was written by the late Toy
Caldwell from the original Marshall Tucker Band. Toy was one of the
greatest songwriters that there ever was, and that song is one of my
This album is more bluesy than what you usually play in Marshall
Tucker Band. Is it because you're all from the Chicago area ?
Living in the Chicago area has alot to do with our style of music. This
is a great Blues city with alot of great Blues musicians. Also that
is my favorite type of music to play.
The songs "Between You And Me" and "Dear Daddy" remind me a bit of
Steely Dan or Larry Carlton. Do you like these musicians and the kind
of music they play ?
Yes, I do like those musicians and that type of music. I grew up listening
to Larry Carlton but I would have to say Robben Ford is the guitarist
I've liked the most out of all of them.
Your slide work on "Why can't you love me", "State Street Shuffle"
is really great. How did you start playing slide ? Who were, and are,
your main influences ?
Thanks for the complement on the slide work. I would have to say my
main influences would be "Lowell George" from the original "Little Feat"
band lineup and of coarse Duanne Allman. He was one of the greatest.
I even listen to some of the old Delta Blues Slide Players from the
1920's and 1930's and still do.
Did you play touring the USA ?
The Tone Generators have not been working very much due to my schedule
with Marshall Tucker but maybe towards the end of the year when my schedule
slows down, we will be booking some shows here in the Chicagoland area.
We do still rehearse whenever we have time.
What kind of music do you usually listen to ?
I would have to say that "Little Feat" is my favorite all time band
and of coarse I love listening to the Blues. I also like artists such
as Bruce Hornsby, Bonnie Raitt, Level 42, and Go West.
What is the future of The Tone Generators ?
We will probably be booking some shows toward the end of the year and
the early part of next year in the Chicago area. Hey Phillippe, How
about a European Tour?? Do you know any good promoters? We have had
alot of overseas CD sales.
Rusty Milner recently quit the Marshall Tucker Band. Are you gonna
search a new guitar player ? If yes, do you have any suggestions ?
After Rusty left the band, we really didn't have to look for another
guitar player. Chris Hicks (From the Outlaws) was already in the band
and we had three guitar players at the time, since Rusty left, that
gave Chris and myself more playing opportunities, which makes for alot
better version of "The Marshall Tucker Band."
Imagine you'll spend the rest of your life on a desert island. Which
albums would you take with you ?
I would definetly take my whole Little Feat collection, and probably
artists like Albert King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins,Howling Wolf, Freddie
King and all the great Blues players!