New school meets old school when rising soul sensation Mayer Hawthorne and legendary Memphis organ player Booker T. Jones join Daryl Hall on a special two-part episode which premieres with the 43rd edition of Live From Daryl’s House. The newest installment of the Webby and MTV O Music award-winning Internet series, which last year made its broadcast debut on WGN America to impressive ratings, will debut at www.lfdh.com on June 15, followed by an episode featuring Daryl and Booker T. with Hawthorne as the guest artist on July 15.
Mayer Hawthorne was born in Ann Arbor, MI, listening on the car radio to the rich soul music coming out of the Motor City. He counts Isaac Hayes, Leroy Hutson, Mike Terry and Barry White among his influences, but draws the most inspiration from Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield and the legendary Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, which he shares with Daryl. After several critically acclaimed releases for the independent Stones Throw label, Hawthorne signed with Universal Republic for his upcoming new album, How Do You Do, and is currently on tour with Bruno Mars and Janelle Monáe.
"I'm all about fun, and Live from Daryl’s House was one of the most fun things I've ever done,” enthused Hawthorne. “I want to be there every month."
Accompanied by the great keyboardist Booker T. Jones, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member from his work with the renowned Stax Records group Booker T and the MGs, which also included guitarist Steve Cropper, bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn and drummer Al Jackson Jr. (“Green Onions”), Hawthorne and Daryl performed a six-song set for the first installment of the two-part series.
“I love the 'at home' atmosphere of performing 'at Daryl's House’,” marveled Jones. “Daryl's immediate and extended family stay near and furnish his guests with food, warmth and an audience.”
Hawthorne sings four of his own originals, including “A Strange Arrangement,” the title track from his 2009 debut album; “Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out,” his first single; “No Strings,” released in April as a 10” single, and “Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’,” a song featured on an episode in the fourth season of TV’s Ugly Betty. In addition, Mayer and Daryl perform a pair of Daryl Hall & John Oates classics, “You Make My Dreams Come True” and “Private Eyes.”
Says Daryl: “This kid is the real deal. He and I share musical tastes, and it’s so great seeing a young artist like Mayer embrace classic soul and R&B. He’s part of a new wave that I call ‘NU-Soul.’”
The past two years have marked a steady stream of superlatives and recognition for Live from Daryl’s House, with Hall receiving a Webby Award for Best Variety series from more than 10,000 entries at the 14th annual ceremony last year at N.Y.’s Cipriani Wall Street, then recently garnering an O Music Award from MTV.
The 42 previous episodes of Live From Daryl’s House have featured a mix of well-known performers Rob Thomas, Train, Smokey Robinson, The Doors’ Robby Krieger and Ray Manzarek, Toots Hibbert, Nick Lowe, K.T. Tunstall, Todd Rundgren, Travie McCoy, Dave Stewart, Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik and Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump along with newcomers such as Eric Hutchinson, Chromeo, Cash Money rocker Kevin Rudolf, Matt Nathanson, Parachute, Plain White T’s, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, soul diva Sharon Jones, Diane Birch, L.A. neo-R&B party band Fitz & the Tantrums, hot new alternative band Neon Trees and veteran alternative mainstays Guster.
Daryl launched the free monthly webcast in November, 2007, after having the light-bulb idea of “playing with my friends and putting it up on the Internet,” and the show has since garnered acclaim from Rolling Stone, SPIN, Daily Variety, CNN, BBC, Yahoo! Music and influential blogger Bob Lefsetz, who have cited Live From Daryl’s House as a perfect example of a veteran artist reinventing himself in the digital age by collaborating with both established and newer performers. The show marked its broadcast debut New Year’s Eve on super station WGN American in Chicago, where its improved ratings for the time period almost 75%.
Daryl also recently performed a live version of the show with friend and former LFDH guest, Todd Rundgren, to a sold out venue in Atlantic City.