The Return Of Randy Dynamite
(Bad Monkey Recordings)


Taking a strong pro-funk stance, guitarist Randy Jacobs serves up an hour of hard-earned instro fusion on his 2011 CD The Return Of Randy Dynamite. Recording together with session aces such as Greg Bissonette (drums), JV Collier (bass), Lenny Castro (percussion) and Jon Gilutin (keyboards), Randy’s guitar sound is as eclectic as can be. Although strongly dominated by rhythm grooves, jazzy funk and R&B roots, there’s plenty here for most electric guitar fans to marvel at. The loud and rocking guitar fireworks on The Return Of Randy Dynamite will appeal to fans of Hendrix, Vaughan and Gibbons while, being an all instrumental soul-funk-rock release with a strong retro tone in places, one could easily recommend the sound of Randy Jacobs to fans of Steve Cropper with Booker T. as another sonic signpost. With so much electric guitar legacy constantly filtering through his musical DNA, Randy’s guitar sound is very much modern and overall, makes the most of the advanced recording techniques of the 21st century. The colorful CD packaging, complete with multi-panel artwork is quite appealing while, the CD mastering at Oceanway in L.A. is first rate. The Return Of Randy Dynamite surely rates as one of the top instrumental jazz/funk/rock CD releases of the decade. www.RandyJacobs.com

mwe3.com presents an interview with

mwe3: What’s been the reaction to The Return Of Randy Dynamite and can you tell the readers how the album came together in the first place?

RJ: I’ve been very happy with the response to this CD from new and old ans. Instrumental music is still a concept that can appeals to anyone’s imagination. The story is in the “ear of the beholder” and the fans take different meanings from each song.

The concept for this CD came together after I bumped into an old friend and he asked me whatever happen to songs I wrote and performed when I was 16 years old. He’s known me a long time. (laughter) When I was in a house band gig at the Mozambique in Detroit back in the day, I was playing for Brook Benton and he named me Randy Dynamite ‘cause I was playing these overdriven solos on “Rainy Night In Georgia” and “Boll Weevil”. Anyway I found some cassettes from that time and became inspired by the young reckless Randy Dynamite I was hearing and decided to revisit a few of the songs. That turned into six songs and from there I filled in the rest.

mwe3: Who plays with you on the Randy Dynamite CD what was the chemistry like between you Gregg Bissonette and your whole band? Was it all like that cool, smooth b&w video you have in the studio recording “Fish In The Snack Bowl”?

RJ: The band was Jon Gilutin (keyboards), Gregg Bissonette (drums), Jervonni Collier (bass), Lenny Castro (percussion), Rick Braun (trumpet), Jimmy Roberts, Shilts Weimer and Bill Bergman (saxes). I actually started the CD with just Gregg. We went in and tracked a few just he and I. We had visual contact at a studio he chose and it was lots a fun. Later we tracked some as a trio with Jervonni and others as a quartet, adding Jon Gilutin. I wanted that sort CTI rhodes thing and that’s why I called Jon. He has that feel and Jervonni understands those styles and what I was going after plus he has known me from my days in Detroit and he was the bass player in the early Was (Not Was) days. I did very little overdubs cause I wanted it very live feeling. The project was mixed by Frank Rosato and the video was done at Woodcliff Studio in Sherman Oaks, CA.,the one Gregg suggested. It was shot and edited by Gemma Corfield. The song “Fish In The Snack Bowl” was an idea from my teens. Gregg was very open to anything that I wanted and he was seeking my input on everything. I told everyone to play like you did when you sixteen and not to get into a studio musician frame of mind. I wanted it raw. Gregg is always fun and his sound and versatility are incredible. It was pretty much a joke fest the whole project.

mwe3: What are a couple of your personal favorite tracks on the Randy Dynamite album and can you say something about the amazing “Mucho Mas” track that closes the CD? Sounds like there’s a cool Santana type vibe there.

RJ: Some of my favorites are “Sweet Distant Lover”, “Rumpulator”, “Love You Back” and “Troublefunk” but there is something about every song I like. “Mucho Mas” had the demo title of “Carlos and Jorge”. I was a big Santana, Malo fan when I first started playing . I loved the Woodstock performance and I wanted to pay tribute to that. I got to unleash Lenny and Gregg at the end of that track for a percussion and drum spectacular. It has been quite the show stopper when I’ve played it live.

mwe3: Can you say something about where and when you grew up and who were some of your big guitar influences growing up?

RJ: I was born in San Francisco but I grew up in Detroit. My world had a lot of guitarists in it. Earl Klugh was one, Larry Manuel from a band called the Fabulous Counts, Eddie Hazel of Funkadelic, Bobby Franklin and Mike Anthony from The Insanity, Session players Eddie Willis, Bruce Nazarian from 8th Day and a lot of guys you never heard of like Donald Anthony who played with a group called Stone, he is the reason I play with my thumb and not a pick. I’ve played this way for 40 years and I don’t know to play with a pick. I use the flesh above my thumb nail not the nail. When my son Daniel started playing he told me it hurt too much playing the way I do but I told him to play with a pick and do his own thing. I can pick up and down like a pick as you can hear on the tracks unlike Jeff Beck who is just down stokes and uses his thumb nail but when he plays something like “Scatterbrain” it’s with a pick. I wish sometimes I had that luxury. (laughter)

mwe3: How has your guitar sound changed over the years, reflecting back on your ‘80s work with Was, Not Was and The Boneshakers? Are you planning new recordings in the future and what kind of music do you want to get on record next?

RJ: Well in Was, (Not Was) my main axes were a Shark body style with a Floyd Rose and Dimarzio pickups made by Pyramid Guitars in Detroit, a ‘76 Les Paul Black Beauty and a ‘72 Strat. My main amp was a Natec 2 channel combo made by Bruce Egnater. He was my first amp guy. When I came to Los Angeles I brought along the amps he made for me and that started getting things rolling for him. With Was, (Not Was) I was pushing a harder edge sound almost metal for my solos and always keeping the funky, R&B rhythm up front. With the Boneshakers I returned to my roots of Detroit R&B, blues and rock to create a vehicle for my own music. The main change before the project was my meeting guitar maker Don Grosh at Makin Music in North Hollywood. His Retro Classic Strat style I bought in 1994 changed the way I play and shaped my sounds for the first Boneshakers CD. I own four of his guitars including a Grosh VT I got a year and half ago. The next record I will add my singing voice and do a half vocal and half instrumental project. It is the way I do my live shows and fans ask why I don’t sing on the CDs so I will definitely go that way on the next one.

mwe3: What guitars are you playing and featuring on the Randy Dynamite CD? What amps and other guitar devices do you use in the studio and on stage and will there be a Randy Jacobs signature guitar in the future?

RJ: I used my modified Egnater Amps that Bruce made me in the 80’s for the record and still use them live unless I rent backline then it’s a Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue. My two Marshalls, a 1970 small box 50 and a 1972 100 Watt. I used my Grosh guitars of course, My ‘66 Tele, plus my Les Paul and Baker B1. I used a Fulltone OCD pedal, Radial Tonebone, Zen Drive, Z-Veck Box Of Rock, and my Vox wah. I don’t know about a signature guitar at this point. There have been overtures from companies at different points but if it would happen at this moment it would be with Don Grosh or Eric Goehrisch of Lush Guitars in North Hollywood, CA. I think, if that itch to make a signature axe comes up again.

mwe3: Do you have other interests or hobbies outside the music world?

RJ: Hanging with my son, basketball and bike riding are my interests outside of music.

mwe3: Can you say something about your upcoming plans and further promoting The Return Of Randy Dynamite in 2012?

RJ: I am pushing to put a small East Coast tour together after my various commitments to other music artists are completed. I played “Hound Dog” Taylor in Johnny Depp’s “The Rum Diary” so I’ve gotten a few calls for some bit parts but I’m always writing. I look for 2012 to be a busy year.

Thanks to Randy Jacobs @


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