Today’s world is fickle, and one of my favorite examples of digital avenues bringing new audiences to the best performers of our time is definitely Live From Daryl’s House, started by Daryl Hall in late 2007. This is music discovery at its best, with Hall taking a simple idea and turning it into web gold. Hall recently said of the show, “I had this idea of playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet.” What could be easier, right? Certainly the response has been huge.
The show has become almost iconic, with applause coming in from a long list of leading names in the industry, including Rolling Stone, SPIN, Daily Variety, CNN, BBC, Yahoo! Music and influential (and hyper-critical) blogger Bob Lefsetz. This is exactly what veteran artists need to be creating in order to reinvent in the digital age and gain new audiences (and influence) through vibrant collaborations with both established leaders in music and new performers.
Daryl Hall has had a rich and varied career, working with virtually all of the great musicians of modern popular music, as well as entering into new relationships with the best of the latest generation of artists. So far, episodes have featured superstars like Smokey Robinson, Rob Thomas (of Matchbox 20), Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek (The Doors’), Train, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Gym Class Heroes’ Travis McCoy, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, and soul legends The Blind Boys of Alabama – as well as with newcomers such as Nikki Jean, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, Canadian techno-rockers Chromeo, Bay Area singer/songwriter Matt Nathanson, and highly touted tunesmith Diane Birch.
He’s also featured my own close personal friend, Todd Rundgren, several times, most recently at Rundgren’s home in Kauai, Hawaii, where they performed a rousing 7-song set, including an amazing cover of the Delfonics’ 1970 hit, “Didn’t I Blow Your Mind This Time.”
Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren have known one another since their early days inPhiladelphia, and the gig inHawaiiincluded an old-fashioned traditional Luau Show, burying a pig in the dirt, serving up some poi, hula dancers and a special performance with local musicians of “Bang on the Drum.” Said Rundgren, “It’s always great when friends come all the way out here to visit, but it’s even better when they come to play.”
Hall’s latest collaboration has been with up-and-coming artist Allen Stone, a virtual look-alike for Daryl himself (in both image and musical philosophy). In fact, that collaboration went so well that Stone is now touring and working with Hall and Oates.
Hall has had an illustrious career, with six #1 singles with collaborator John Oates, including “Rich Girl” (also #1 R&B), “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do) (also #1 R&B), “Maneater” and “Out of Touch” from their six consecutive multi-platinum albums—’76’s Bigger Than Both of Us, ’80’sVoices, ’81’s Private Eyes, ‘82’s H2O, ‘83’s Rock N Soul, Part I and ‘84’s Big Bam Boom. The era would also produce an additional 5 Top 10 singles, “Sara Smile,” “One on One,” “You Make My Dreams,” “Say It Isn’t So” and “Method of Modern Love.”
Live from Daryl’s House is being shown weekly in over 80% of U.S. homes in the nation’s top 200 media markets, as well as all of the top 10, including New York, L.A., Chicago, Dallas and Houston. The show also recently won the 2010 WEBBY Award in the Variety Category.
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