One of the nicest people you’d ever want to meet in this industry, singer/songwriter, John Corabi released Unplugged, on November 13, 2012, on Ratpak Records. This masterpiece of old and new music is garnering the attention of many with an acoustic guitar swung around his neck, a stool and a mic. The album features John Corabi – vocals/guitar, Cheney Brannon (formerly of Collective Soul) – percussion/vocals, Topher Nolen – bass/vocals, D.A. Karkos – guitar/vocals, Matt Farley – percussion/vocals and Bruce Kulick – (second guitar on “Hoolgans Holiday” and “Man In The Moon”). Anytime you sit down to listen to Corabi, there’s always a fun and interesting story behind him when ever it’s time to catch up. “The new CD came out November 13th,” Corabi states in a low husky voice and a smile on his face. “So it’s been probably just out a month and just starting to get to stores now and radio stations are just now getting a hold of it and pretty much word of mouth via the internet. And like I said earlier, pretty much what I’m doing now the release should have been out earlier but Thank God Ratpak Records came in and saved the day cause initially it was supposed to come out on Universal. So pardon my French but it turned out to be such a clusterfuck . I left to do a tour of Europe six and half to seven weeks and they [Ratpak] had just gotten involved before I left. Now you know when a record is released, you have a release date and about 90 to 120 days out, you start sending everyone the advanced copies and getting ready for the release so we’re a little behind the curve here. [hardy laugh] But it’s been going great; every record works itself so we’re doing okay.”
One listen to Corabi’s newest release and it’s possible you won’t be able to spin anything else for a while; it’s just a nice acoustic rendition of some the greatest songs he wrote and performed with The Scream, Motley Crüe, Union and his solo career and all acoustic as if it was never meant to be any other way. “There are a lot of reasons why but I’m so comfortable playing an acoustic guitar; even more than anything; maybe it’s laziness or whatever, but I can tell you from the beginning of my career to this day pretty much every song I’ve written whether it be with Motley, The Scream or Union, has been written on an acoustic guitar. So I sit around my house all the time; I’ve got acoustics everywhere so I’ll just sit down and throw a “capo” on it or noodle around and it always starts with that anyway. One thing about the Scream album, when we were recording, Eddie Kramer was working with us doing pre-production and we were going to start our album, he was going to go in and work with all the original members of Humble Pie; this was probably in 1990. I don’t know if you remember but there was a place called Leeds in the Valley, Leed’s Rehearsal. One side were rehearsal rooms while the other side of the driveway, which separated the two buildings, they had recording studios. We we’re working on pre-production and Peter Frampton and Steve Marriott were working on stuff and they kept running back and forth telling Eddie what they were coming up with and I spoke to Steve. He said something to me that I’ll never forget; he said, ‘If you can sit down and play a song on an acoustic guitar with no drums – or other instruments, you got a song.’ If you can entertain an audience that way, 80% of the work is done. So as far as doing an acoustic album, I just wanted people to know there’s more to me; I’m a singer/songwriter. I just go out there on stage with an acoustic and sing and people enjoy it and I’m happy.”
“I went to Europe on a seven week tour and bopped around the UK with the tour manager and it was awesome, it was killer! Just being able to swing my guitar on my back or sit on a stage with just the mic, my voice and my guitar. You know who I’d love to see tour like that? Aerosmith! What do they need? You know just a couple of acoustic guitars, stripped down and just play; there’s something cool and intimate about that type of set.”
When Corabi isn’t touring or on the road, he lives in Nashville, TN, a place a lot of rockers seem to be calling home lately and from the laundry list of names taking up residence there, he’s in good company. From the Black Keys to Johnny Depp, the “who’s who” of Hollywood have found a new place to create their music, art or film. “I’ve been in Nashville six years,” States Corabi. “It’s such a great place; I used to come here to write with people; I really kind of like how everybody does things here; they’re very laid back here and they don’t give a fuck who you are or where you came from and if you’re not honest and legit from the get go, they don’t want to work with ya. So I came here a few times and honestly, I was going through a break-up and all this crazy stuff going on in L.A. So I was sitting on the 405 one afternoon; and I do mean literally sitting—not moving! So I thought to myself, ‘what am I doing?’ I picked up the phone, called some friends that I had here [in Nashville] and I knew they had just bought a new home and were putting their other home on the market. So I said I wanted it and got there two weeks later. It’s a really cool place to live. All the guys in Cinderella live here except Fred; he actually lived here in the early 90’s. Bobby Blotzer used to break my balls about coming down here to live with a bunch of rednecks but it’s such a booming little city; if I want to go to a Jazz club, they’re hear if I want to go to a blues club or a rock club they’re all here. There’s always something to do here everyday. There are a lot of people I know here; Mark Slaughter, Kip Winger, Kid Rock has a place here, Robert Plant lives here now. The Black Keys just moved here from Ohio, Jack White has a place here, The Kings of Leon—they’re from here. It’s just a cool fuckin’ place to live and if it’s good enough for Robert Plant, it’s good enough for John Corabi. Do you remember Bekka Bramlett? Her mom and Dave are the popular music duo Delaney and Bonnie. Remember them? I see her all the time; she sang some stuff for me but she just did all the backing vocals for Robert Plant’s new record. He recorded at a place called Woodland Studios. As huge as Robert Plant is, he goes to these little pubs like the City House and he’ll just sit and bullshit with everybody; you know just one of the guys!”
Unplugged, offers a great mix of classic Corabi, loaded with gems like Love (I Don’t Need It Anymore), If I Never Get To Say Goodbye, Are You Waiting?, Crash, Hooligans Holiday, Father-Mother-Son and Man In the Moon. It’s a good time for Corabi; he admits not to be doing anything groundbreaking, but what he does do, makes sense in a way maybe you could understand and maybe you never will, but being happy is all that really matters when you break it down; doing what you love, have a passion for and putting it all into action.
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