You are in for a special treat today! I’ve got to do an exclusive phone interview with David Ball, the last living member of Uncle Walt’s Band, as well as a special guest, country music singer/songwriter Gary P. Nunn.
Uncle Walt’s Band was an important cult band, which has influenced so many musicians in the US. After releasing the anthology and expanded versions of their self-titled debut and its follow-up, An American in Texas, Omnivore Recordings released a re-imagined version of Recorded Live — now titled Recorded Live at Waterloo Ice House.
Recorded Live at Waterloo Ice House helps paint a bigger, wider picture of Uncle Walt’s Band in their prime, and certainly in their element. I’ve listened the album on repeat, the 21 tracks are so powerful, not missing any of the authenticity and originality since their original performance in 1982.
First I talk to Gary P. Nunn about his memories of Uncle Walt’s Band and how they influenced his music. Then David Ball and I chatted for one hour about what it was like when the band was active in Austin. He shares memories and stories of their live performances, rehearsals, recording sessions, and creating with his two late bandmates, Walter Hyatt and Champ Hood.
I feel honoured as this is the only interview David Ball has done to promote the re-release of their live album, and I hope you enjoy this conversation with a true Texas legend.
“We loved playing live. You put us on the record, and you can’t see us!” – David Ball
0:50 – Why this episode is unique and who our guests are.
6:25 – Playing a snippet of Just a Little Understanding from Live at the Waterloo Ice House.
9:15 – What the secret to Uncle Walt’s Band was, and the issues with spaces for rehearsals and performances.
12:18 – How Walter Hyatt became the frontman of the band.
15:00 – What the music of Uncle Walt’s Band is like.
16:30 – For how long Gary P. Nun hasn’t seen David Ball.
16:54 – A clip from the track Bye Bye Baby.
20:00 – When David Ball last visited Austin.
21:33 – Why Uncle Walt’s Band chose Austin.
24:20 – How the band avoided being categorised and put into any box.
28:15 – How Walter Hyatt was like as an artist.
29:00 – Why the recordings of the tracks are of superb quality, and how the recording sessions were.
36:22 – How people compared watching Uncle Walt’s Band to watching Beatles at The Cavern, and how it was to be a part of a cultural movement.
40:00 – What Waterloo Ice House was like at the time they were playing.
47:00 – Why Austin is the music capital of the world.
49:38 – How Walter Hyatt, David Ball and Champ Hood discovered they can sing together and harmonise.
52:44 – How David got to know Gary P. Nunn and how they were influenced by each other.
58:40 – Whether Uncle Walt’s Band wanted to go mainstream at all.
1:04:30 – What David Ball’s favourite tracks from Live at Waterloo Ice House are, and what my favourites are.
1:08:45 – What David’s favourite meal is.
1:12:34 – A clip from the track If I don’t stop crying.
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