He plays fiery guitar, he sings with passion, he writes songs like It Stacks and Running With Ghosts. There’s a touch of Rory Gallagher in his delivery. He gets a great live sound. He’s a polite and respectful chap. We thought guitar ace and road warrior Mr Redfern might like to undergo a Pete Sargeant (customised) questioning…….
- Your favoured stage guitars ? and why ? which is best for your stellar slide work ?
My favourite stage guitars are probably my two-moded Fender strats, both loaded with scatter wound pickups that were hand wound by my uncle, and my ’61 Silvertone Jupiter. There’s something really special about the tone and response of those pickups on the strats and I’ve got 12″ radius necks on both that I love. I’d say my silver strat is best for my slide work because of the set of 13’s I’ve put on there that are super tight.
- Name a favourite song about a place ? and have you been there ?
Mississippi Fred Mcdowell’s Kokomo Me Baby. No, I’ve never been to Indiana.
- Bukka White or Booker T ?
It’s got to be Bukka White. Bukka’s rough attack and hard-edged approach on the resonator has been a big influence on my slide playing over the years, along with the great Son House.
- You clearly love music, but what would you cross the room to turn off, if it came on the radio ?
Any mainstream country/western music along the lines of Garth Brooks. I really love certain types of early American country roots music and people like Alison Krauss, but feel genuinly physically sick when I hear the sickly, over-produced Achy Breaky Heart kinda thing…
- Songwriting – do the lyrics or music form first, for you ?
It’s usually the music that comes first: guitar parts and vocal melody. After I record a sketch of those parts, I write lyrics that fit the feel or atmosphere of the music. Very occasionally a melody with a lyric will come out fully formed.
- Name a track that should have gone on for longer …Artist /Title / Source Album?
Syrinx (for solo flute) by Claude Debussy. To me it’s one of the most beautiful, harmonically interesting pieces of music written and is under three minutes long. There’s a great recording by Stephen Bangs of Sarah Bassingwaite playing a solid silver Burkart flute (a = 442) from 2006 that’s worth checking out.
- Name an album cut ( title / artist / source album ) that would / should have been a hit single ? ( I think the Searchers and Hollies albums are full of them ! )
Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles by the great Captain Beefheart. Clearspot is another of my all-time favourite albums with a deep nostalgia. I’ve got all of the Captain’s work, but there’s something about this album that keeps drawing me back, and the vibe of ‘Her Eyes’ is particularly special.
- Nominate a favourite song by any artist about a dog or cat
Evelyn – a Modified Dog by Frank Zappa, from One Size Fits All
- Suggest an album that you like but that should have had a better cover or artwork
Chris Whitley – Din of Ecstasy. What an album, but really not sure about that cover…
- Tell us which Chuck Berry song best demonstrates his genius / magic touch
It has to be Johnny B Goode… I remember the effect of hearing that song on the movie Back to the Future had on me. It really fuelled my desire to want to buy a guitar. Great use of the major pentatonic, and I love the way he took T Bone Walker’s style, modified it, and made it his own.
- Little Milton or Little Richard ?
Little Milton all the way! ‘Walking the Back Streets and Crying’ is such a great cut, he had one of the best blues voices, in the same vein as Albert King. Similar chops too, all good!
- Can you / do you enjoy musicals ? film or stage, that is
I have a soft spot for old Danny Kaye movies and classics like Oliver they remind me of Sunday afternoons as a kid. I watched Hans Christian Anderson with my kids recently. They really enjoyed it.
- Which live album do you like best and why ?
I like so many live albums, from lots of genres: Eric Dolphy, Zappa, Miles, Muddy… so one off the top of my head would be ‘Beware of the Dog’ by Hound Dog Taylor. It captures Taylor’s visceral slide work in all its glory, no second guessing or over analysing here, just true slash and burn from the heart blues.
Was a film sequel ( musical or not ) ever better than the original ?
The Empire Strikes Back!
- What are your favourite recording by each of these artists ? Tim Rose, Tim Buckley, Tim Hardin
Tim Rose- Hey Joe. Tim Buckley – Sweet Surrender. Tim Hardin – Whiskey Whiskey.
- Can you dance ? do you dance ?
It’s a social activity that I try to avoid if at all possible 🙂
- Tell us a keyboard break that you particularly like ? artist /title / source album
George Duke was, and is, by far my favourite keyboardist, either solo, with Cannonball Adderley or with Zappa. My favourite keyboard break would probably be George’s solo in Inca Roads from the One Size Fits All album, but saying that, everything from that period that he played does it for me.
- Which book would you like to create the music for ? or contribute some songs to ?
I love all of Ray Bradbury’s work, he sets up such a great atmospheric tension in his story telling. I wrote and recorded a collection of pieces based on his book The Martian Chronicles. There’s nothing like stretching the imagination when it comes to production and using the stereo field as a canvas!
- Who is in your touring lineup at present, playing what ?
The current line-up is Alex Bridge on drums: a fantastically-talented swing drummer with great tempo taught by the drum legend Bob Armstrong. On bass I’ve got Stuart McDonald, bassist who toured with the late great Freddie King on his first UK tour, and was also a member of Paul Rodgers post-Free band Peace, and is still a member of Killing Floor and Salt.
- Who would you welcome as a female singer, for a duet and on which of your songs ? or a song by someone else
That’s a tricky one…I’m not really one for duets, but I’d welcome Cindy Wilson from the B-52s to sing anything she wanted. She’s maybe not the best singer in any traditional sense, but to me she has one of the finest and most characterful voices, always hits the spot for me.