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  • The Sound Cafe

A Conversation with David Rotundo


By Ken Wallis.



David Rotundo is one heck of a harp player. But it doesn’t stop there. He and his band have been pumping out great sounds that are steeped in the blues but cross over many genres. His song writing is passionate and insightful. His star shines brightly when he takes the stage and thrills audiences with his high-intensity music.


Ken Wallis chatted with David Rotundo for his radio show Blues Source Canada. The following are excerpts from that interview.





Ken Wallis

That was The David Rotundo Band from the new album 'So Much Trouble'. The song was She's Dynamite and if there's anybody that's dynamite on the harp that would be David

Rotundo. David thanks for joining us on the show.


David Rotundo

Thank you very much for having me Ken.


Ken Wallis

Tell me first of all where did the title of the album come from?


David Rotundo

Well for myself anyway usually those things happen organically…they tell themselves how it's gonna happen so after I finished the album it felt like it should be called So Much Trouble.


Ken Wallis

It's a great album and for folks that maybe…and I don't believe there's many…but for folks that maybe have not heard your music, would there be one track on the album that you would steer them towards that probably shows your talent and your songwriting the most?


David Rotundo

That’s a tough question Ken. I would like them really to listen to the whole album because as you know, a song hopefully doesn't define you…an album doesn't define you…a time period doesn't define you. So if anything, I just say please pay attention to the words.


Ken Wallis

I think that's important in these days because so many people are streaming individual tunes out of different services and the concept of an album doesn't seem to be as strong as it used to be, but, I love sitting down and listening to an album from start to finish.


David Rotundo

It makes me so happy to hear that…absolutely and that was such a big thing to listen to an album and to hear the whole thread unfold.


Ken Wallis

And I understand that James Cotton had a big influence on your career.


David Rotundo

Absolutely…it happened one night. I mean, I was already well on my way into immersing myself in blues…but one night at the El Mocambo in Toronto…basically I went to go see him, but I didn't really know who James Cotton was, but I was seeing anybody that was coming up from the States. He just went right into me.


Ken Wallis

And how do you go about writing your songs? Do you start with lyrics or do you start with the harp?


David Rotundo

It happens many different ways really…though to dispel any sort of mythology about it, I just try to put myself on the field as often as possible. I'm almost always trying to think of a song or be open to a song coming to me and if you're fortunate they come your way.


Ken Wallis

And you were part of the Jack de Keyser band at one point as well.


David Rotundo

Yes… I was kind of like a hired gun with Jack. He had his established band and whenever he could have the luxury of expanding his band, I was fortunate enough to go along with him. And man Jack is a Canadian gem…he's a world gem really.

Ken Wallis

That's for darn sure…he's a great blues artist. You've played with a ton of blues greats…is there any one artist that you enjoyed playing with the most?


David Rotundo

Oh, you know Ken…sometimes I lament because I came into it so late in the game. I hear a lot of other harmonica players saying oh I played with you know Muddy Waters…I played with this guy…I played with that guy. And I'm like man…I started thinking I’m the only guy, I'm gonna say, I didn't play with this guy…I didn't play with that guy because I got in late. But I was fortunate to tour with Ronnie Hawkins…playing a lot with Jeff Healey…Jack de Keyzer. I got to share the stage with guys like Willy Big Guy Smith. Lately I have a working relationship and friendship with Lee Oskar…it’s humbling and extremely important to me. He's a guy who's been doing this for five decades…some people don't last four or five years in this racket, and he's been doing it for decades. So, for me I'd have to say at the moment sharing that with Lee Oskar is very special.


Ken Wallis

I've seen you perform live several times and you really get into your performance. Does that energy come out in the recording studio as well, or is it a different approach for you?


David Rotundo

I'm working on it. It's such a different thing I gotta say. Not to make excuses or anything but I don't feel like I've figured it out yet. I will promise to keep at it but as you probably feel the same…we get into this because of that live experience. There's nothing that replaces live so it was what got me hooked and it’s what I love most.


Ken Wallis

For me I just love going to festivals and live performances and it's been tough this year. What have you been doing during the lockdowns? Is there anything special project you're taking on?


David Rotundo

We're all kind of in this same lockdown together and I’m just using it as a time to just immerse myself as much as I can in in the music and scream and shout at the four walls exactly.[LAUGH]


Ken Wallis

I was looking at your website and you've got several quotes from Confucius on it. I thought that was really interesting.


David Rotundo

Yes, you know I was a big philosophy fan. Confucius is one of my hero's.

Ken Wallis

And again, the album is called So Much Trouble by the David Rotundo Band. David where can your fans get a hold of the album?


David Rotundo

You can get it at Dreams We Share Productions online or you can visit my website. I believe it's on other things such as Spotify, but Dreams We Share Productions is the best way to get the album.


Ken Wallis

Well, I certainly encourage fans to get out there and buy because artists need that support now in these times.


David Rotundo

Thank you very much Ken.


Ken Wallis

Thank you David…it's been a real pleasure to finally get to meet you after all these years of watching you and hopefully we get to see you again live very soon. It might be a little while but hopefully the festivals will start up again this summer.


David Rotundo

Absolutely and it's a pleasure to finally meet you as well Ken and thank you very much for all your hard work and dedication and support for myself and all the artists that you do this for. We appreciate it greatly.




Website: www.davidrotundo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/davidrotundoband

Twitter: twitter.com/davidrotundo

Instagram: www.instagram.com/davidrotundoband