We tend to think more of the guitar as a rock and roll instrument, but Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Fats Domino were a big part of the early sound of rock and roll. While there are plenty of great rock piano players, that lead guy or gal mostly tends to be playing a six-string. In the 70s and 80s, the big piano frontmen were Billy Joel and Elton John – hugely popular with what they did, but much (though not all) of it was balladry. Where were the trouble-makers and the pisstakers behind the 88s?
One of them was hiding out in North Carolina.
Welcome to episode 171 of Love That Album.
By 2000, Ben Folds Five had broken up, leaving behind three incredible albums of “punk music for sissies” (Ben’s alleged description of the band). They’d created songs both raucous and tender, angry and loving, serious and funny. In 2001, Ben Folds released his first solo album “Rockin’ The Suburbs” (recorded in Adelaide), and he plays and sings nearly everything. Once again, he aimed for your funny bone, but he also told stories that could break your heart. These stories showed once again that Folds was a master of melody, harmony and was very literate.
For this episode, I am joined by the host and “numbers girl” of the wonderful All Time Top Ten podcast, Ben Eisen and Shannon Hurley. We sit around the virtual table discussing Folds’ techniques in composition and arrangement, his potty mouth, the seeming contrast between the man who could write both The Luckiest and Song For The Dumped, and real life stories from the suburbs about everyday people brought to life in this collection of short stories – love spurned, love embraced, parenthood, mental health, and cussing on the mic.
My huge thanks to both Ben and Shannon for being such great partners for this discussion about a performer who we all love. We never even mention the one song seemingly everyone knows….because Folds is so much more than that one song. I won’t let it be 3 years before Ben and Shannon rock the mics with me on LTA again.
You can catch new episodes of All Time Top Ten every week on favourite podcast app, or go to https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/all-time-top-ten/id573735994 At the time of this LTA, there are 590 episodes recorded!!!!! Most are archived at https://www.mixcloud.com/beneisen/
If you want to check out Shannon’s variety of projects (music, art, videos), then head to https://shannonhurley.com/
Download this episode of LTA from your podcast app of choice. The wider back catalogue of episodes can also be found at http://lovethatalbumpodcast.blogspot.com
Love That Album is proudly part of the Pantheon Podcast network. Go to http://pantheonpodcasts.com to check out all their great shows.
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Download episode 171 from here.