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New Year's Special - Day Two - Off The Road Story and Performance Highlights - 2021

Browse and hear the complete Off The Road series at hawaiipublicradio.org/offtheroad.

After 31 episodes, including two guests who each were on twice, HPR’s All Things Considered Host Dave Lawrence is offering up a Second Annual Off The Road New Year’s Special: Story and Performance Highlights. Without question, there were a lot of great stories told, and incredible performances offered, just for us. But over two days, we’re sharing some of our favorite, fun moments of storytelling, and some of our favorite exclusive performances, from this wide range of musicians and musical genres.

We started the series in April 2020 after the pandemic shut down the touring entertainment industry. On All Things Considered over the last decade, most weeks we had musical and entertainment guests, often touring artists, with concerts here in the islands. But it came to an end, as all live shows and tours were cancelled or postponed. Sadly, before starting the new remote interviews that would become the series, we featured artist flashbacks to conversations related to artists passing on from COVID-19 during the start of the crisis: Manu Dibango, Adam Schlesinger of Fountains of Wayne, and Ellis Marsalis.

The series began thanks to a one-off phone conversation with Jack Johnson in April 2020, the first musical guest in weeks after all touring came to a halt around the world. From there, a series developed organically, and has featured artists from across the musical spectrum, and continued through 2021 as the pandemic has largely kept national and international touring artists from performing in the islands.

As was the case last year, while we did get a lot of gripping pandemic-related stories, none of those factor into this special, which is all fun, upbeat, mostly classic stories, and again some truly inspirational music – all the songs huge epics known and loved around the world.

First, a celebration of everyone we had this year on the show! What a list for 2021, in chronological order and linked so you can hear their Off The Road episode, complete interviews and other embedded media:

Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, Foreigner’s Jeff Pilson, Peter Frampton, Bonnie Raitt’s James “Hutch” Hutchinson, The Doors’ John Densmore, Herb Alpert, Hall and Oates’ John Oates, America’s Gerry Beckley, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, Stray Cats’ Lee Rocker, Carlos Santana, Buffalo Springfield / Poco’s Richie Furay, Stax Records / Booker T. and The M.G.’s Steve Cropper, Heart’s Anne Wilson, Heart’s Nancy Wilson (again!), Doobie Brothers’ Patrick Simmons, Soul Asylum’s Dave Pirner, Peter Frampton (again!), Dumpstaphunk / Neville Brothers’ Ivan Neville, concert promoter Danny Zelisko, John McLaughlin, 10,000 Maniacs’ Mary Ramsey, Taj Mahal, Judy Collins, The Police’s Andy Summers, Black Uhuru’s Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, Pat Metheny, Herb Alpert (again!), Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Artimus Pyle, and Deep Purple’s Don Airey.

Day One of our special included three of the many guests we’re grateful to have had: Peter Frampton, Doobie Brothers’ Patrick Simmons and Herb Alpert. We were grateful to have Peter Frampton join us twice in 2021, as well as the great Herb Alpert! We shared musical offerings from both Patrick and Herb.

Today we have more of our favorite stories and performances as we get ready to welcome 2022, and we’re pulling out all the stops, with The Doors’ John Densmore, Heart’s Nancy Wilson, 10,000 Maniacs’ Mary Ramsey, and Herb Alpert.

Jeff Katz

The Doors’ John Densmore took time to share his latest book, The Seekers: Meetings with Remarkable Musicians (and Other Artists), and share important stories about the very first time he met Jim Morrison, and memories from working in the studio on their final album together, LA Woman.

Jeremy Danger

Heart’s Nancy Wilson returned as Dave’s guest after a decade to be on twice this year. During her first appearance, she shared incredible stories about their deep connection to Led Zeppelin. We’ve included one of those here, the one about first meeting Robert Plant at Knebworth in the late 1970s!

Jeff fansano

We were so grateful for 10,000 Maniacs’ singer and violin/viola player Mary Ramsey returning to the show this year after her memorable appearance in 2020 (and part of the first New Year’s Special, with her cover of Over the Rainbow). Now, we include her stirring, again instrumental viola cover, this time of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”!

We even have a super cool video of her performing it!

Dewey Nicks

And like yesterday, we dig into Herb Alpert’s two appearances on Off The Road this year, pulling his cover of America the Beautiful from his second appearance of the year, talking about his latest album, Catch the Wind, which includes the anthem.

And as a special bonus, we recorded video of the complete musical performance Herb offered, covering several selections and including some great storytelling:

Browse and hear the complete Off The Road series at hawaiipublicradio.org/offtheroad.

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