Want to hang out with Daryl Hall and Todd Rundgren at Todd’s spectacular house on the Hawaiian island of Kaua‘i? Maybe watch them have a traditional luau and enjoy a stellar set played on a porch overlooking lush, rolling hills? The latest webisode of Live From Daryl’s House delivers all this with spectacular cinematography and studio-quality sound. The leading voices of Philadelphia’s “blue-eyed soul” movement, Hall and Rundgren go way back – they met in the 1960s, and Rundgren produced Hall & Oates’ third album, 1974’s War Babies. Their easy camaraderie adds to the delight of this webcast.
The footage begins with Hall en route to Todd’s house as he expresses his love of Todd’s music and their shared Philadelphia roots: “He and I are such peas in a pod – it’s extraordinary.” Daryl and company navigate the stone steps of a pond leading to Todd’s porch and the singers warmly greet each other. Backed by a top-notch band, they get right to it, kicking off their seven-song set with a gorgeous reading of the Delfonics’ “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time).” Their vocal interplay, especially the harmonies, on Todd’s early-’70s classics “I Saw the Light” and “It Wouldn’t Have Made Any Difference” are sublime. And Todd’s guitar playing? Wow! His solo on “The Last Ride” thrills and soars, and his call-and-response interplay with guitarist Paul Pesco climaxes their gospel-approved arrangement of “Everytime You Go Away.” After lunch, all the musicians sit around in a circle for a traditional Hawaiian take on “Bang on the Drum,” complete with steel guitar, ukulele, and hula dancer. The musicians close their set with “Beanie G and the Rose Tattoo,” from War Babies. Bonus footage abounds. Fans of cooking shows will enjoy watching Todd’s luau master teach Daryl how to make chicken laulau and roast pig. In independent interviews, Todd and Daryl talk about each other’s strengths and shared background.
Available for free, http://www.livefromdarylshouse.com/ is an extraordinary gift to music lovers and a testament to Daryl Hall’s generosity of spirit. The site is easy to navigate and each song is downloadable from iTunes. The Hawaiian-based Rundgren event is actually the 40thbroadcast of the Hall-produced show. Click on the “Show Archive” link to access the other webisodes, mostly filmed at Daryl’s house. These feature Jose Feliciano, KT Tunstall, Toots and the Maytals, Rob Thomas, Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, Smokey Robinson, the surviving Doors, John Oates, Nick Lowe, and many others. Live From Daryl’s House is friendly, enlightening, and uplifting.
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