33 episodes

The Riff Raff started as an idea I had a few years ago just to sit and chat with my friends whom I consider to be inspirational to me in some way- whether it be as a musician, artist or whatever the case may be. Over the years, as a working musician, I’ve been lucky to work with many amazing people and musicians and would like to share some of their stories with you.

I’m a professional musician. I like stories. I mean... I REALLY like stories. Oh, and I love jokes too. Luckily, I work with some of the best in the business, and they happen to have great stories (and usually great jokes as well). Anyway, i want to put these stories down for people to enjoy - it’s fun. Some people like to garden, or take photos, or collect magnets for the fridge… but me? I like to get these stories down for all to enjoy!

So this is a podcast about the creative process and, yes, being a guitar player, we do occasionally talk shop, gear, etc., but I’m not going to limit it to that as I get this thing going.

Oh yeah, we jam a bit too!

The Riff Raff with Shane Theriot "The Riff- Raff" with Shane Theriot

    • Music

The Riff Raff started as an idea I had a few years ago just to sit and chat with my friends whom I consider to be inspirational to me in some way- whether it be as a musician, artist or whatever the case may be. Over the years, as a working musician, I’ve been lucky to work with many amazing people and musicians and would like to share some of their stories with you.

I’m a professional musician. I like stories. I mean... I REALLY like stories. Oh, and I love jokes too. Luckily, I work with some of the best in the business, and they happen to have great stories (and usually great jokes as well). Anyway, i want to put these stories down for people to enjoy - it’s fun. Some people like to garden, or take photos, or collect magnets for the fridge… but me? I like to get these stories down for all to enjoy!

So this is a podcast about the creative process and, yes, being a guitar player, we do occasionally talk shop, gear, etc., but I’m not going to limit it to that as I get this thing going.

Oh yeah, we jam a bit too!

    Episode 33 with Wayne Krantz (Solo artist, Steely Dan, Billy Cobham,)

    Episode 33 with Wayne Krantz (Solo artist, Steely Dan, Billy Cobham,)

    My guest today is Mr. Wayne Krantz. Wayne is one of my favorite guitarists and musicians and I was so glad to finally be able to have him on the show. I frequent the 55 Bar in NYC where he can be found on most Thursday nights playing with an ever revolving cast of NYC's finest musicians as part of his trio, which is always a treat for the ears.
    A guitarist and musician with a highly original approach to the instrument, Wayne loves to take musical chances, trusts his ideas and leads the path of a true improvisor. Shortly after moving to NY in 1987, Wayne made a huge decision which would impact his music and style forever- to completely abandon all pre-conceived licks and cliches and reinvent himself, forcing himself to come up with his own original voice.
    In this interview Wayne talks at length  about the early days in NYC, working with Leni Stern, Steely Dan and eventually his own project. He also discusses his approach to improvising, how "centering" the groove helped him with his own music, and more. We also jam on a few riffs together.
    Wayne has many records out - from his debut "Signals" to the classic "Two Drink Minimum", captured live at the 55 bar, to "Good Piranha, Bad Piranha", they all are different and fresh. He has also completed a revision to his instructional book called "The Improvisors OS" that describes his approach to improvising. Click Here to purchase the book. For more info on Wayne's music visit Click here.
    Wayne's website- http://www.waynekrantz.com/
    This interview was recorded at my apartment, Manhattan NY in June 2019
     

    • 1 hr 33 min
    Episode 32 with Phil DeGruy (Solo artist and 7 string virtuoso)

    Episode 32 with Phil DeGruy (Solo artist and 7 string virtuoso)

       
    My guest today is Mr. Phil DeGruy, a "guitarist's guitarist" with a unique style that can oftentimes seem to defy description. Perhaps the closest that anyone has come to an accurate description of Phil's playing is non other than Steve Vai who said, “Phil's approach to the guitar sounds like John Coltrane meets Mel Brooks at a party for Salvador Dali.” Indeed. 
    A highly creative and inventive musician, Phil was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, and quickly became attached to the guitar and the sounds that would later inspire many guitarists of his generation to pick up the instrument - The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck etc.  In his late teen's deGruy became interested in jazz and began studying with local guru Hank Mackie who also introduced him to the sounds of Chet Atkins. His world changed when he met the late Lenny Breau (see Riff Raff # 28) who would become his mentor and close friend until Breau's tragic death in 1984, a case that to this day remains unsolved. In our interview Phil discusses many concepts that were introduced to him by Breau and we'll also get go "back in time" to hear a private lesson that Phil recorded in the early 1980's.
    Known for his use of a custom 7 string guitars "The Guitararp" with their unique fan fretted necks, Phil creates sonic textures of beautiful chord voicings and lyrical melodies laced with Breau's harmonic technique- at times so stunning that if the great Bill Evans were still alive, would probably cause him to stop and ask- “wow who the hell is that?” His sense of humor is always present in his playing, particularly on display with his short comedic satirical pieces he calls his "Public Service Announcements."
    Phil has 4 widely acclaimed solo records to his name- "Just Duet," "Innuendo Out the Other," "Hello Dali" and the recent "Mask and You Shall Deceive."  (An interesting side note, “Mask” was also edited and mixed by the legendary guitarist Jay Graydon of LA studio fame and also a fan of Phil’s.) 
    Tune in to hear us talk about Phil’s early years, studying with Hank Mackie, Ron Eschete and go into detail about Lenny Breau. Phil also demonstrates his pedals and effects and other techniques. 
    Recorded at Phil DeGruy’s home, New Orleans, LA  Feb. 2019 and May 2019.
    PHIL's MUSIC AND WEBSITE- http://www.guitarp.com/
    BUY "Mask and You Shall Deceive" 
    BUY Phil's other music- 
    CONTACT Phil here  phil@guitarp.com
    Phil's Guitars- 
    http://neworleansguitar.com/
    https://www.novaxguitars.com/
    Amplifiers- https://www.quilterlabs.com/

    • 1 hr 26 min
    Episode 31 with Greg Phillinganes (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, etc..)

    Episode 31 with Greg Phillinganes (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, etc..)

    My guest today is Mr. Greg Phillinganes, one of the most recorded keyboardists (both session and touring) of all time. Originally from Detroit, at age 18 Greg's musical abilities were captured on a demo tape which ultimately landed him the gig with Stevie Wonder. This proved to be a life changing opportunity and Greg ended up playing on the iconic record Songs in the Key of Life (including the song Isn’t She Lovely and other classic tracks.)
    From that point on it has been an amazing musical journey for Greg. His volume of work and recording credits are huge- to say he has worked with the best would be an understatement -just a few- Michael Jackson, (he played on Off the Wall, Thriller, Bad and classic Jackson 5 tracks as well, ) 3 out of 4 Beatles-  George Harrison, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, David Gilmour, Phil Collins, Mick Jagger, Toto, Herbie Hancock and many, many others. He has served as Music Director for many top artists including Michael Jackson, Quincy Jones, as well as TV shows -(Vibe), the Grammy Awards and so many others. 
    I met got to know Greg in 2008 when we both worked with Boz Scaggs and hit it off immediately. We would frequent cigar bars, share songs and had a great time touring together. 
    In this interview which was conducted in Aug of 2018 in Los Angeles at Greg’s house and then in his car (I tagged along to a chiropractors appt. so I could maximize time!), Greg tells all- SO many great stories. He also talks about what it was like that day in 1975 when he auditioned for Stevie Wonder and demonstrates the songs on his keyboard. I then ask him about M. Jackson, Clapton, Donald Fagen’s “The Nightfly” and much much more. This is one of my all time favorite episodes that I’ve ever done on Riff Raff- so I hope you will enjoy!
    Recorded Aug. 2018, Los Angeles.

    • 1 hr 30 min
    Episode 30 with Sammy Hagar (singer/guitarist Van Halen, Montrose, Chickenfoot, The Circle)) and guitarist Vic Johnson (The Circle, Waterboys)

    Episode 30 with Sammy Hagar (singer/guitarist Van Halen, Montrose, Chickenfoot, The Circle)) and guitarist Vic Johnson (The Circle, Waterboys)

     
    My guests today are Sammy Hagar and his longtime guitarist Vic Johnson. What really needs to be said about Sammy Hagar, one of the all time greats of rock and roll vocalists- From Montrose, Van Halen and his own solo career to everything in between he is one of the most identifiable voices ever, and even now at at age 70 he's still kicking ass. 
    As a huge Van Halen fan myself (Edward Van Halen is the reason I play guitar today, he was such a big influence on me) it was great to sit with Sammy and talk about guitarists, songs, his new concept record (Space Between) with The Circle (with Vic Johnson, Jason Bonham and Mike Anthony.) We also talk about a few Van Halen stories, Montrose, what Sammy looks for in a guitarist and how Vic Johnson got the gig. Vic, a great guitarist in his own right also was a member of the Busboys and shared a couple great stories as well.
    This interview took place at Sammy’s studio in Northern California in Aug. 2018.

    • 37 min
    Episode 29 with Johnny Neel (The Allman Brothers, Blue Floyd, Grease Factor, Gov't Mule etc.)

    Episode 29 with Johnny Neel (The Allman Brothers, Blue Floyd, Grease Factor, Gov't Mule etc.)

    My guest today is Mr. Johnny Neel. How do you describe Johnny Neel? Well he is easily one on the most brilliant musicians I’ve ever worked with- keyboardist, vocalist, songwriter, producer etc… 
    Maybe start with one part Leon Russell, morph together with Ray Charles and add a dash of Thelonius Monk and a pinch of Art Tatum. Maybe a touch of Jaco’s basslines too. 
    Johnny is best known for being a former member of the "Allman Brothers Band" after being recruited by Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Johnny on lot's of projects as well as in his band and even on a few of his records including "Late Night Breakfast". He’s always had great players in his band including guitarists Brent Mason, Jack Pearson and Pat Bergeson. 
    Johnny and myself were in a short lived jam band for a while called “The Grease Factor”  (named after my 2nd solo record) which also included Jeff Sipe (Apt 254Q) on drums, Count M Butu on percussion and Derek Jones and Neal Fountain on bass. We did one live record before calling it quits. We also did a short stint together with Blue Floyd (with Mat Abts on drums and Berry Oakley Jr. on bass guitar.) 
    He's featured on 3 of my 4 solo records- (Hwy 90, Dirty Power and The Grease Factor) and you’ll hear a few clips in this podcast. 
    Johnny has also played with Gov’t Mule, Blue Floyd, written songs for many country artists and TV/movie soundtracks. He operates his own studio called Straight Up Sound in Nashville, TN. 
    This episode was recorded in Nashville at his studio on Jan. 30th 2018.

    • 1 hr 7 min
    Episode 28 The Genius of Lenny Breau with Emily Hughes (Documentary Filmmaker and Lenny's daughter )

    Episode 28 The Genius of Lenny Breau with Emily Hughes (Documentary Filmmaker and Lenny's daughter )

    My guest today is Emily Hughes, filmmaker and also the daughter of the late guitar giant, Lenny Breau. 
    In this interview Emily discusses her fathers legacy and her new film entitled "The Genius of Lenny Breau Remembered" as well as the first documentary she did back in 1999- "The Genius of Lenny Breau." 
    I highly recommend watching both of these excellent documentaries to get a really unique insight to the life, music and struggles of Lenny Breau, one of the greatest innovators in jazz guitar IMO (post Wes Montgomery and pre Stanley Jordan.) I was also interested to hear that his murder case- (he was found dead in a rooftop swimming pool in 1984 at his apartment in Los Angeles) has recently been re -opened by the LAPD. Hopefully we get some answers into what happened and justice is finally served. 
    In the interview I mention a lesson that New Orleans guitar great Phil DeGruy took back in the early-mid 1980's that someone posted to Soundcloud and Phil sent me a link to. You can find that here. 
    Please check out Lennybreau.com for more info on the movie and everything else going on in the world of Lenny Breau.
    Recorded via Skype New Orleans/Calgary July 2018

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

Kencookeguitarist ,

great stuff !

I friend told me about these podcasts last year - love 'em.
Ken (Australia)

ToneeDeee ,

A real muso’s lens into the industry

Thanks Shane for the podcasts. Keep on going as there isn’t another show that has so much industry insights. Absolutely fascinating!!

telephil ,

For students or lovers of guitar.

Fantastic.

Top Podcasts In Music

Listeners Also Subscribed To