The Interview

After 16 years in the Media & Entertainment business, Michael Manning has built a significant portfolio of newspaper, magazine, radio and television interviews ranging from actors and musicians to CEO’s in the world of business and much more.    

What distinguishes “The Interview” from many Television and Radio programs of the same genre, is that Michael chooses to casually “visit” with each Guest, (many selected from his Blogroll) as if they were having coffee at a café and just sharing conversation casually. "In this setting, my Guests are much more relaxed and encouraged to be themselves, and the result is usually having the honor of spending some quality time with someone in a more reflective mood", said Michael. "I have been on both sides of the table, and that experience has allowed me to pose questions with the utmost respect and care to my Guest  without depriving the audience of gaining a sense of their personality. In comes the warmth and often humor resulting in a meaningful experience that really stays with you for some time. And that's what the experience should be!" he said.  

 Please join Michael for his newest segment, simply called: "The Interview".

Monday, January 28, 2008

THE INTERVIEW: REVISITING SINGER/SONGWRITER BUD BUCKLEY! (PART 1 OF 3)



Bud Buckley
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"it's about time", Bud's exciting new CD!
Note: To order Bud's CD go to: www.budbuckley.com
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Bud Buckley was last featured on "THE INTERVIEW" in 2006. However, for those of you new to my website, Bud grew up in the Philadelphia/South Jersey area and developed a love of music. Armed with a Masters degree in education, Bud moved to the Mid Hudson Valley near Woodstock, New York and pursued his labor of love--teaching elementary school children with a unique approach of positive reinforcement, patience and supportiveness that—not coincidentally—describes his approach tailored to teaching music. As Bud recalls, "An inescapable sensation of self confidence" seized him by both shoulders and led him to purchase a second-hand guitar where he taught himself how to play. As with many of us, adult responsibilities led to a time lapse until the late 1990's. Bud found himself teaching a class of gifted children in both the fourth and fifth grade who encouraged him to follow his musical ambitions. Around this time, period, Bud struck up a friendship with Classical Guitarist, Helen Avakian and the two began to work in earnest on finger style, guitar theory and composition. Through Helen's encouragement, Bud eventually began to meet other musicians and soon became a regular performer in the Mid Hudson Valley of New York. Not wishing to shovel snow any more, Bud and his wife Cathy relocated to the warmer climes of Venice, Florida located on the southwestern coast near Tampa. His debut CD, "Feel My Love", led him to market the recording while performing in area coffee houses, restaurants and outdoor venues. Just 11 months after adding a BLOG page, Bud and I became Blogging friends and I began listening to and enjoying his music. Serendipity enabled Bud to introduce me to his son Jason (a bass player and singer) who thankfully took over my Webmaster duties.
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In the long two year break between our last interview and this one, Bud yearned for a break from promoting his first CD; he had in fact, been composing and collecting additional musical material while searching for a direction that felt right to him. In the interim, he continued to teach, play gigs and even designed his home recording studio in a display of multi-tasking that still allowed him to balance a busy life. It was my good fortune to flood Bud with cassette tapes of songs from Gordon Lightfoot to Rick Springfield. A strong believer in networking, I felt there would be a natural musical pairing with my talented and lovely friend Deni Bonet, electric and acoustic violinist, composer and singer extraordinaire. From blogging to speaking on the phone, an opportunity for Deni to join Bud in the recording studio materialized in New York along with guitarists Helen Avakian and Terry Champlin, bassist and keyboard player Scott Petito, drummer Chris Carey and cellist Laurel Pistey. Helen Avakian also produced and arranged and added luscious back up vocals as did Beth Reineke. Scott Petito provided some additional production and mixed and mastered in his NRS Studios. Co-writers Kathy Feeney and James Braha worked on four songs with Bud. This all resulted in Bud's newest CD release appropriately titled: "It's About Time". Accordingly, I felt it was 'about time' that I caught up with Bud about his exciting recording project.
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MM: Just from watching you work, Bud, I know that you struggled mightily to strike a continuity from all the music you had composed since releasing your first CD. What makes this CD project so different from your debut CD?
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BB: I wanted this to be totally acoustic with a live band in a top studio. The first CD was just me on guitar and all vocals with some electric guitar from Mark Zampella and the rest were automated tracks. I did it all at home and Mark mixed it. I liked most of the writing and was happy with my playing and vocals but the tracks I used didn't sit well in the mix with my vocals. Not Marks' fault. I was just going very low budget and tried to do too much. So this new one changed all that with a live band and female background vocals as well. There is only one song ("Underground") with any electric guitar. Scott provided that along with a few B2 organ shots on that song and "Keeping Secrets". This CD is totally professional done with seasoned pros.
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MM: What were the unique pressures associated with producing this release? What were you striving for?
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BB: Logisitics were the biggest problem. Getting the band together in the short measures of time I could book Scott and Helen. We did everything in layers depending on who was available when. So we had to get the bulk of every song done before we could bring in Deni Bonet and Chris Carey who were both available only for a day each. Scott had obligations in the studio with label artists. The Brubeck Brothers were right ahead of me and Ed Saunders of the Fugs graciously put off his session to give me an extra day. But the labels wait for no one.
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MM: Is it fair to say that you had to live with the material you chose while adding and leaving off material or put another way, what guided you to lean toward one composition and move away from another even though it was solid in how it was written and had merit?
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BB: Time available in the studio was the biggest factor. Using a well known studio like Scott's NRS meant I was competing with several musicians on big labels that Scott had to service first. If I had more time with Helen, who was also working on her own album and teaching in an ASCAP music camp as well as gigging, we would have squished the bugs out of more songs. But I'm not sure we would have had time to record them and get this album out on time and on budget. We nail-gunned every song we did to perfection, though.
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MM: I like your expression of "nail gunned", Bud! You teach music and handle a schedule of gigs as a familiar musician in Venice. How did you strike a balance with your home life and all the demands of working with Helen Avakian and others who lived so far away?
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BB: Artists have to have very supportive mates or none at all. Cathy went far beyond that in letting me manage my time to get this done along with my usual schedule. I had to suspend some guitar lessons and I only booked one gig a month during the summer. That works well here because our crunch season is late fall to Easter. Then musicians have to scramble to find gigs and a lot of students take off. I drove to New York for the long stays and flew for the shorter ones. Three trips in all. But that doesn't include summer '06 when I flew up to work on two songs with Helen that we didn't finish because of her schedule. So we have about seven weeks spread over two summers of just arranging and recording.
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MM: That is a lot of scrambling! Your debut CD gave me a sense of your early years growing up, and your students—who are today adults—still keep in touch with you. How would you describe the thematic elements of "It's About Time" by comparison?
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BB: There's still some of that in this one. "Crowded Memory" took place spontaneously when I was looking at a poster a parent had made for me. It was the Sergent Pepper cover with all the faces of my class and me pasted in. Kathy Feeney gave me the chorus "Miles and years mean nothing against our friendship," when I retired and left New York. She was my student, muse and constant friend. And of course I wrote "Elevator" and "Keeping Secrets" with Kathy based on her experiences. The rest came from different experiences since I moved down here. Mark Zampella suggested to me that I find a unifying theme for the album so I picked out the ones that related to Time. So, "It's About Time". Some songs didn't make the cut but will resurface on the next one. I guess I have issues with time. I fill it all up and it goes too fast. So I'm a health nut to try to squeeze a bit more time out of this organism I'm using and calling "Bud."
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JOIN US FOR PART 2 OF 3 TOMORROW!


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