Blues Blast Magazine Interviews Chris O’Leary

cover9_50medium“‘Play the song.’

“A rather sim­ple and innocu­ous lit­tle com­ment, isn’t it?

“Could be some­thing as inno­cent as a request direct­ed at a disc jock­ey or a plea from an impa­tient club own­er to a belea­guered band.

“But no, this time those three words are a nugget of advice from one of the most leg­endary and well-respect­ed musi­cians in the annals of mod­ern music – Mr. Lev­on Helm.

““That’s one of the great­est pieces of advice he gave me. Play the song, don’t use the song for what­ev­er it is you’re try­ing to do … like get­ting up there and show­ing off or show­ing every­body what you know. I remem­ber him telling a gui­tar play­er, ‘There’s a lot of notes, did you real­ly have to play all of them?’” said singer, song-writer, harpist and band­leader Chris O’Leary. “He would say, ‘Play the song. Go up there and if you’re solo­ing, if you’re singing or if you’re play­ing rhythm, for­ward the song. What­ev­er the song may be, sup­port it. That’s a les­son that has car­ried me – among a zil­lion oth­ers that he taught me.””

Read the rest of the inter­view by Ter­ry Mullins in the Decem­ber 10, 2015 issue of Blues Blast Mag­a­zine