Daryl Hall records new solo music with Dave Stewart

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Daryl Hall is in a better place this winter, hanging out in the Bahamas. But it’s a working holiday, as Hall dives deep into writing with producer and friend Dave Stewart.

He has a long history with the co-founding member of Eurythmics, who is well known as a producer with Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and others. They first collaborated professionally on Hall’s second solo album, 1986 Three hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, but their friendship goes back further.

More than one song album is currently taking shape, Hall said in a Zoom chat with UCR from Stewart’s house. It was clear that they really appreciate having the chance to explore new creative avenues.

Meanwhile, the April 1 release of his BeforeAfter retrospective will give fans a chance to catch up on the solo side of the Hall and Oates frontman’s career. He will hit the road the same day with his colleague and friend Todd Rundgren for a tour that promises shared moments on stage, in addition to their own sets.

You are working on new solo music with Dave Stewart. How did it start?
I’ve known Dave since the 80s. He and I made this album, Three hearts in the happy ending machine, in 1986. We have been friends ever since. I mean, we did a lot of things together. He took pictures of me and we wrote songs together and did stuff on various albums. I mean, it’s a long relationship. I had a house here in Harbor Island, where I am. Dave came here because of me and I sold the house. [Laughs.] Dave is here and I don’t have a home here now!

So I stayed at his guesthouse and we just hung out. You know, we write songs and he has a recording studio he built here. I’m very good. It’s really just the two of us making music with an engineer who’s kind of a multi-instrumentalist engineer from Nashville, who came [to work with us]. It’s really good homemade.

How would you describe the music?
Boy, in his own way, it’s kinda like the three hearts stuff I did with Dave. We have a certain writing style that we do. It’s a bit in that direction.

How did you meet initially?
I don’t remember, if you want the truth. Over the years I have lived in London and spent a lot of time there. Somehow someone said we should get together. I don’t remember who or why. Maybe he knows. I do not remember. [Laughs.] But I ended up going to his house. The first time I met him physically, we immediately started writing songs. We just sat down and started like we’ve known each other forever.

You have previously mentioned that Robert Fripp is going to be involved in one way or another in this project. So you’ve stayed in touch over the years since you worked together on the sacred songs album?
Yeah! And again, this is a situation where Robert and I were friends before we collaborated together, in the 70s. We stayed in touch over the years. Recently I emailed him, it was as simple as that. He was really happy to hear from me and said “Let’s do something together”. I was supposed to go to England and the pandemic ruined everything. But I’m going to go in a few weeks and see Robert, and let’s see what comes of it. You know, there will be some kind of music.

It seems like you thrive on the collaborative side of what you do – and like a lot of collaborations, what comes out of it is something you might not have done if you had left it to your own devices.
Yeah, I like collaboration; I like interaction. It’s more than the sum of its parts. I thrive and it stimulates me. That’s why I do it so much. I’m not that kind of one-man band, where I sit in the studio and play all the parts myself and don’t talk to anyone. [Laughs.] I need interaction.

When we were talking about 2020, you were working on songs for a Hall and Oates album project with Jett Rebel. Looks like those songs went on the shelf. What’s the latest?
Funny, I’ve just been in email contact with Jett for the past few days. We’re going to pick up some things and revisit them. We will review some of the songs and continue them. I have a great relationship with him and I feel the same as when I spoke to you last time. He is a truly talented and gifted musician. It will somehow fit into whatever it is [project] is that I create here. I don’t know how yet, but he will be there.

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