Recommended Episodes to Check Out!

A curated episode list by AlwaysOptimistic
Creation Date September 13th, 2018
Updated Date Updated March 2nd, 2020
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Most Emotional Interview I’ve EVER Done: One of the original members of the Austin music scene back in the early 1970’s Denny Freeman roomed with and played in bands with Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmie Vaughan. He was also part of the house band at Antone’s, and shared stories about backing up blues legends like Otis Rush, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy and Freddie King. He’s played on records with both Vaughan brothers co-written with Debbie Harry... recorded and toured with Bob Dylan… and has released 6 solo CDs of his own Denny was around for the revolution of 1960s music and culture and explains, in very clear terms, the stark differences between 1965 and 1968 was literally night and day. And the fallout from this presented some very upsetting consequences to him, especially as it related to his relationship with his dad. On top of this, he was being chased down by the Navy for 8 years, and never really had control over his own life during this time, with the potential to be shipped off to Vietnam at any moment Denny was candid in his presentation of everything, including some of the greatest challenges he had to deal with. A musical warrior and a survivor    Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter: Craig Garber
David has played with John Mellencamp, Joe Ely, Storyville, The Allman Brothers Band, The Dixie Chicks, Chris Isaak, Robben Ford, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Montgomery Gentry, Ringo Starr, Buddy Guy, John Mayall and more. His songs have been recorded by Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, John Mayall, Storyville and others… David explains both the psychology and the process of developing his tone, his challenging childhood and dealing with the loss of his mom… and how he got the gig playing with Mellencamp, The Allman Brothers, Chris Layton & Tommy Shannon, and John Mayall… How he hit rock bottom and eventually got sober, and the gift of living sober, for him. This is one of THE most moving and powerful shows I’ve done, I urge you to give it a listen. It will inspire, touch, and motivate you in so many different ways... Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
Wow, one of my favorite interviews because I listened to Zebra non-stop back in the early 80’s. SOO many cool stories in this one. Zebra got signed to a five album deal right out of the starting gate But Randy talks about the almost impossible series of events that had to happen for this to take place… the reality of what the music business is like and what’s expected of a band when they first get signed… VERY cool back stories to the band’s top hits Playing with Jorma Kaukonen and the Jefferson Airplane… Paul Kantner smoking a joint when a cop confronts him… a disappointing event which tied up Randy’s life for two years, and how he bounced back from it… some great Pink Floyd stories… Randy opens up about dealing with a lifelong bout of depression, and much more. Absolutely excellent, on all fronts - listen to this one, straight away, you won’t be able to stop: Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
The quintessential side man, Anto’s played with Moving Hearts, Paul Brady, Clannad, Leo Sayer, Chris Rea, The Corrs, Genesis, Mike and the Mechanics, Rory Gallagher, Brian May, Peter Gabriel, Annie Lennox, Nick Mason… opening for the Rolling Stones, working with producers Mutt Lange (there’s even a Shania Twain story) & T Bone Burnett. He’s also played for the Pope in Rome, the Clintons in the White House, and The Queen's Jubilee concert at Buckingham Palace with every great rock star imaginable. LOADS of amazingly cool stories here, including a conversation Anto had with BB King… Paul McCartney and Eric Clapton watching Anto at soundcheck… auditioning for Genesis… the triggering event that caused Anto to say, “I played all night long for 12 hours… and I was a completely different player, the next day.” This is an amazing call with dozens of cool stories, perfect to have as our 300th Episode - don’t miss it! Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
Talk about a comeback - Ian Moore really has “been there & done that.” A child prodigy on classical violin, Ian slashed all the tendons in his right hand in a bizarre accident… which ultimately led him to guitar. His first album shot to the top of the charts, immediately - suddenly he’s opening for The Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Bob Dylan. Then, through mismanagement on the label’s end, Ian has to spend the next 15 years completely rebuilding his career. But today, he’s back stronger than ever because of this Ian gets up close and personal during this conversation and talks about the things that allowed him to hang in there during those parts of his journey when it was looking pretty bleak… the tremendous influence of his dad, who was one of the top Buddhist scholars in the country… the backstory to some of his greatest hits… his resiliency… his wife and other close family ties… the power of being vulnerable… some of his amazingly cool vintage guitars… and why his future’s looking bright. One of the most REAL and open people you’ll get to meet, and definitely one of the TOP blues players in the country, who’s equally adept at singing and writing. One of my favorite interviews because of Ian’s openness. You MUST listen to this one: Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
One of the most successful songwriters in rock and roll history, having penned two #1 hits, a Grammy winner and an Oscar nomination. On top of this, he’s also written hit songs with The Ides of March, .38 Special, Sammy Hagar, Survivor, Rocky III & IV (“Eye of The Tiger”), The Doobie Brothers, Blackhawk, Lynyrd Skynyrd, REO Speedwagon, Cinderella, Brian Wilson, Anthony Gomes, Dennis DeYoung (Styx), along with the theme song for the Chicago Cubs and two best-selling books Jim talks about the many unlikely events that all randomly occurred which allowed him to write his first #1 song, “Vehicle.” The kicker is, the opening verse was inspired by an anti-drug government pamphlet, his stoner friend brought to school… the secret behind Jim’s 47 year marriage… thinking you have all the answers when you don’t… the pressure of trying to put out hit after hit… dealing with the loss of his dad, along with dozens of really cool and interesting stories that by Jim’s own admission… he has literally never even discussed before. AMAZING interview - listen now: Subscribe Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
4-Time Grammy award winning guitarist shares the surprising band he saw in concert that made him decide he wanted to play guitar professionally The advice he wished he’d given himself early on in his career The most critical life-changes he’s made over the years The secret to his amazing tone: Guitar, amp, and even tone knob settings! His most important playing influences And the secret to his 38-year happy marriage Go to and sign up to get notified of future episodes and other cool stuff for guitar players, or subscribe on itunes at  

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