Monday, January 14, 2019

Val McCallum, at the end of the day

One of my new finds on Netflix is Off Camera (Sam Jones Pictures). In the 2014 Series 1: Episode 4 (Netflix Link) is Sam's interview with Val McCallum.  I had never heard of Val before, even though he probably was introduced by Jackson Browne at his Balboa Theatre concert in San Diego a couple years back. Val is Jackson's long-time lead guitar player on tour.

Val McCallum is the son of famous parents David McCallum and Jill Ireland. Val was born in 1963 and his father David starred in one of my all-time favorite TV shows from 1964-1968, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. as secret agent, llya Kuryakin.

I hesitated to write the above paragraph, as I'm sure Val lives the constant reminder of his famous parents before discussing his music, but for me being a baby boomer, I think he can appreciate the connection.

However, it is Val's closeness to his mother Jill in the Off Camera interview and her long journey with breast cancer that sucked me into the world of Val McCallum. I enjoyed his stories of youth, going to school with the Jackson Five, and into the life of becoming a musician and a session with Harry Nilsson as his first professional gig.

Sam Jones dives his into his 2012 solo album, at the end of the day which I immediately streamed off Amazon and then began the YouTube playlist for this week. In following last weeks blog about Scott Hirsch and his new album, Lost Time Behind the Moon; both albums are perfect January listening to albums as I'm writing this on a rainy cold Saturday with the fireplace gas logs burning.

If you're into the Americana genre, at the end of the day is a must listen with Val's well crafted songwriting combined with his sparkling acoustic and electric guitar.

And speaking of Americana, Val is also in what you might call a comic country band called Jackshit. Not only is Val having a blast just having a fun band, he's teamed with Elvis Costello's rhythm section, Pete Thomas on drums and Davey Faragher on bass. This is an extremely talented band in the same tongue-in-cheek vein as Dan Hick and His Hot Licks was, but completely different.

So my friends just sit back on this winter's day and enjoy the music of Val McCallum.



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