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John McLaughlin - Part One - Off The Road with Dave Lawrence - July 2021

Beat Pfändler

Find the entire Off The Road series at hawaiipublicradio.org/offtheroad.

Today, HPR All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence welcomes back one of the most highly regarded guitarists of all time, John McLaughlin, following his August 2020 appearance on Off The Road. He again joins us from his home in Monaco.

Some of the world’s most respected guitarists have weighed in on John’s stature, with musicians like Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny and even Off The Road guest Steve Morse all noting John’s singular position among guitar players. His remarkable time with Miles Davis (including performing on the transformative Bitches Brew album), his own groundbreaking fusion bands Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, and numerous solo and collaborative efforts have all paved the way for the reverence of John McLaughlin. His speed, his arrangements, his blending of musical styles, and his continued mastery of the instrument make him a guitar player like no other.

John recently released the album Liberation Time.

In part one of a two-day feature, John updates us on some of his activities since we last spoke and the state of affairs in Monaco. He talks about the musical offerings he’s made to several charities supporting victims of COVID-19, including in India, a country he’s had a long connection to. John explains how some of the frustration with pandemic restrictions inspired the energy and power found in many of the new compositions, like As the Spirit Sings, which we've embedded below.

Tomorrow we’ll hear John pay tribute to two music giants who both passed away during the pandemic, though neither from the virus: Chick Corea and Eddie Van Halen. We'll also post the complete interview.

Hear John’s 2020 Off The Road appearance, as well as his interviews on the show from 2015 and 2018.


Hear John’s new song, As the Spirit Sings, part of today’s feature:

Hear John’s new song Right Here, Right Now, Right On, also in today’s feature:

See one of the recent collaborations John did to support nonprofits providing aid to COVID-19 victims in India, which we discuss in the interview:

See another of the recent collaborations John did to support nonprofits providing aid to COVID-19 victims in India, which we discuss in the interview:

And here's the third of the charitable efforts John recently participated in, this time supporting the Red Cross in Italy, assisting those with COVID-19:

Off The Road started in April 2020 when the pandemic led to a halt in the touring entertainment industry. Connecting with artists around the world since, we’ve offered intimate conversations and many exclusive musical performances with some of the biggest names in music, spanning many genres, eras and styles. Some of the highlight artists we’ve welcomed so far include Carlos Santana, Linda Ronstadt, Al Di Meola, 10,000 Maniacs, Alice Cooper, Soul Asylum, Deep Purple, Third World, George Benson, Heart, Joe Satriani, The Doors, Randy Brecker, Peter Frampton and System of a Down.

Dave Lawrence is the local host of All Things Considered, Road Stories (formerly Off the Road), and Stargazer.
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