Schofield with organist Jonny Henderson (left) and drummer Kevin Hayes (right).
There are two cover songs on the album.
How did you choose those?
When Kevin joined the band he said,
“Have you guys heard that recent Steve
Winwood record? There’s a good tune on
it we should try doing.” And it turned out
that me and Jonny [Henderson, organist]
had already been playing it, so we were like,
do it now.”
I have a big, long list of songs I’ve been
doing since I was a kid, and every time we do
a record I get to do one. On the last record
we did a Freddie King tune, on the one before
that we did a B.B. [King] tune, so this time it
was Albert [King’s “Wrapped up in Love”].
Were you channeling your inner Hendrix
on “Dreaming of You?”
For a long time, we were kind of known as
the jazzy blues guys—certainly in the UK—
with what we were doing with the organ-trio
stuff, but there’s, of course, a whole
other side to me with Hendrix that I’d not
really brought out [before]. So this seemed
like the right time to do that.
“Share Your Smile Again” has an almost
Schofield with the
1961 Fender Strat
that inspired his
SVL guitars. Photo
by Ron Boudreau
Yeah. Nothing we do is preconceived—it
kind of just comes out. But even if we do a
pop song, there’s always a big guitar solo in
the end [laughs
]. If I was trying to make pop
records, I’m way off in the wrong business.
Is that a direction you may consider?
No, it’s always going to be what it is. For
me, it’s like, if we’re doing something a bit
poppy, it’s because I like poppy stuff, as well.
If you went and got an A-list celebrity
girlfriend and made the tabloids every
day, that wouldn’t be so bad, would it?
I don’t know whether that feels good to me
though, y’know? If it meant I couldn’t turn
around and do what I do already.
So you wouldn’t compromise?
No. But there’s no great master plan for me,
like, “I gotta make it more poppy.” It might
be like, “All right, we’re not gonna do a
bunch of Meters-like instrumentals.” But
it’s not, “Are we gonna do a John Mayer
record?” And I think John’s fantastic—his
album is fantastic. But that’s
not for me. Everything that we do, you’re
going to cheer or smile when it gets to the
outro—it’s blues time for me.
Your vocabulary is broader than the
typical minor-pentatonic-based blues
player. Do you have to edit your playing
to conform to the expectations of typical
The only person I try to hold back
for is me. My own sense of taste is
what determines what I do. Sometimes
it starts coming out and I could just
keep going and going and going, but I
think, “You know what, nobody wants
to listen to that—including me.” That’s
the edit point.
We played at a jazz festival last night,
and a lot of the people came up afterwards
and said, “We enjoyed it so much
tonight because it was easy to enjoy—it
was accessible.” That’s the bit I always
try to keep in mind. I just want people
to be able to enjoy it as well, because if
I go to a gig I want the same thing for
myself. The other night we went to see
Oz Noy in New York—unbelievable
guitar playing. And it’s a thrill for me
to hear someone and have no idea what
he’s doing at all, because I don’t get
to see that very often—where it’s like,
“What the hell is this guy doing? ” But
it’s not accessible in anyway—which is
great, if that’s what you want. But that’s
not what I want for my music.