Hall will be in concert with Special Guest Todd Rundgren on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at Stifel Theatre in St. Louis
By Lynn Venhaus
A soul survivor spanning 50 years in the music business, Daryl Hall still gets excited talking about performing live.
You can hear the enthusiasm about his latest venture in his voice during a recent phone interview. He embarked on the BeforeAfter Tour April 1 in Chicago, his first solo tour in more than a decade, and it’s been extended twice, launching again on Nov. 19, and wrapping up this week.
He will appear in concert on Thursday, Dec. 1, at Stifel Theatre in St. Louis, along with his special guest — old friend and fellow Philadelphian, Todd Rundgren.
Tickets are available for the show that starts at 7:30 p.m.: https://www.ticketmaster.com/daryl-hall-and-the-daryls-house-st-louis-missouri-12-01-2022/event/06005D2F8AF11B70
The last show for this year is Dec. 3 in Evansville, Ind.
“We are so happy because it’s been beyond our expectations,” he said from his home in Connecticut. “People are loving the show. It’s a big departure for me being out on my own and starting this new thing.”
Hall has released his first-ever solo retrospective, “Before After,” which features 30 selections from his five solo albums, from “Sacred Songs” in 1980 through “Laughing Down Crying” in 2011. In addition, the collection features six never-released performances from “Live from Daryl’s House,” his acclaimed web and television series.
The two-disc album, from Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, can be purchased here: https://legacyrecordings.lnk.to/BeforeAfterPR
The current Daryl’s House Band accompanies Hall and Rundgren, and includes guitarist Shane Theriot, bassist Klyde Jones, saxophonist Charlie DeChant, keyboardist Elliott Lewis, drummer Brian Dunne and percussionist/singer Porter Carroll.
“I have the best band in the world,” he exclaimed. “They travel with me all the time. Their experience shows on stage.”
Two new episodes of “Live from Daryl’s House” have been recorded and he said they’re getting ready to do a third, so stay tuned.
Hall, 76, and Rundgren, 74, continue to thrive on the music paths they started as teenagers.
Both singer-songwriters and multi-faceted musicians, they have produced and arranged recordings for much of their Hall of Fame careers.
For this tour’s setlist, Rundgren starts off with an individual set, followed by an intermission, then by Hall. Then, they come together for the grand finale.
During the pre-vaccine part of the pandemic, when the world shutdown, so did he.
“I didn’t write a song. I hardly left the house. I slowed down,” Hall said.
But working on the retrospective and mapping out a tour was the impetus he needed to get back to doing what he loves to do.
Why take to the road after having such a long illustrious career?
“I am a working musician,” he said. “I live to work. I also have these guys (the band) to take care of. It is hard to challenge just yourself. This tour is a labor of love. I enjoy the work.”
Hall was thrilled to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville for the first time.
Grateful to be connecting again with live music, he’s as invigorated as the fans.
“People are ready to go out and have a good time, relax. We’ve tapped into that need for human connection after the past couple of years,” he said.
That Philly Soul
Bonded by their Philly roots and simpatico relationship, Hall and Rundgren are a match that fans have responded to, described as a ‘dream team.’
“We grew up 20 miles from each other in Chester County (southeast Pennsylvania, part of Philadelphia metro area, Hall in Pottstown and Rundgren in Upper Darby),” he said. “We were aware of each other, but we didn’t meet until we both had moved to New York City at the same time.”
Where they met still makes him smile.
“We met at a showing of the movie ‘Fantasia,’ which is just so perfect, and we talked about how we should record together,” he said.
That led to Rundgren producing Hall & Oates’ third album, “War Babies,” in 1974.
“We continued to work together. He’s a real kindred spirit,” he said. “Todd’s music is so soulful, eclectic. He’s a maverick. We literally come from the same place. We were made to work together.”
Fans already know how good the blue-eyed soul pair sound together, for they’ve created magic both at Daryl’s home studio and at Todd’s place in Hawaii.
Their music has been flavored with the Sound of Philadelphia – noted for its funk and rhythm and blues fusion with pop, with a jazzy melodic structure, often including horns and strings in the instrumental arrangements. Philly soul can be heard in such acts as The Spinners, O’Jays, Delfonics and Stylistics.
“It was a very big influence in my music. You can’t help but have pride in the Philly Sound, it’s still a major influence in the world,” he said.
As the best-selling duo of all-time with John Oates, Hall had six no. 1 hits in the 1970s and 1980s. Hall & Oates’ accessible pop has stood the test of time – and you can hear their greatest hits used in current commercial campaigns.
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Oates in 2014, they team up from time to time, including several concerts this past year.
Hall, whose mom was a vocal teacher and choir director, said he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t singing. While in college at Temple University, he recorded his first song with a group he formed, The Temptones. He was 18, and he’s been recording ever since.
In the early days of Hall & Oates, they didn’t break through with major success until “Sara Smile,” was released as a single in 1975.
“That song is very significant to me,” he said. “It was very exciting to hear it on the radio. It was an indescribable feeling.”
(“Sara Smile” was about his girlfriend at the time, Sara Allen, who contributed to some of Hall & Oates’ most popular songs – “You Make My Dreams,” “Maneater,” “Private Eyes” and “I Can’t Go for That” among them. They were in a long-term relationship for about 30 years, breaking up in 2001).
Live from Daryl’s House
Just as Hall & Oates had their many successes during the early days of MTV, embracing music videos as a promotional tool, Hall has managed to reinvent himself in the digital age through his award-winning series.
He launched LFDH as a free monthly show on the internet in 2007 and played music with friends. He wanted it to have a relaxed vibe of hanging out and having a good time jamming. It also ran on television, including Viacom’s Palladia channel.
“It’s been phenomenal. It was an idea whose time had come. Nobody was watching the internet then. How times have changed since then,” he said.
Fans new and old responded to his collaborations with the latest generation of musicians as well as his contemporaries – and a variety of genres. He’s played with Neon Trees, Jason Mraz, Smokey Robinson, The Spinners, Tommy Shaw, Kenny Loggins, Joe Walsh, and The Goo Goo Dolls.
Winner of a Webby Award for best variety series and O Music Award from MTV for best performance series, LFDH has recorded 82 episodes, some of which are archived on his website, while others are available on YouTube.com
For many years, he recorded the show in the 18th century home he rehabbed in New York’s Hudson Valley, in Millerton, but then moved to Connecticut. For a new place starting with the 66th episode, he renovated the former Towne Crier nightclub in Pawling, N.Y., into a restaurant-and-live-music venue, which opened in 2014. It is currently open for business and offering live entertainment.
For more on the artists:
Hall & Oates
They met in 1970 while students at Temple University, and recorded their first album, “Whole Oats,” in 1972. A year later, “Abandoned Luncheonette” followed, featuring the hit “She’s Gone.”
With the release of “Sara Smile” from what’s known as “The Silver Album” in 1976, they became superstars. In 1987, the Recording Industry Association of America declared they were the best-selling musical duo of all-time and have maintained that record.
Hall would be a part of “We Are the World” and the duo was on the stage during Live Aid in Philadelphia in 1985. They also backed up Tina Turner and Mick Jagger.
As for his description of St. Louis legend Turner, Hall said: “She’s great. She’s very gracious and kind,” he said, noting that the first record he bought at age 12 was Turner’s.
Rundgren began playing guitar as a teenager and formed the psychedelic garage rock quartet Nazz in 1967, releasing three albums between 1968 and 1971. He re-recorded his hit song, “Hello It’s Me” as a solo artist. He released “Runt,” his first solo album, in 1970, and learned how to produce an album himself.
A production deal led him to projects with Janis Joplin, the Band, Patti Smith, and others. He also produced albums for the New York Dolls, Grand Funk Railroad, Meat Loaf and Daryl Hall & John Oates.
For his 2-disc masterpiece, “Something/Anything?” in 1972, he sang all the vocal parts and played all the instruments on three of the four sides. He has released 25 solo albums and 10 with Utopia. His latest, “Space Force,” was released on Oct. 14.
His music video for ‘Time Heals” was the eighth one played when MTV launched on Aug. 1, 1981.
He is genuinely regarded as an innovative and resourceful singer, songwriter, musician, sound engineer and record producer. A multimedia artist, he is considered a pioneer in the fields of electronic music, progressive rock, music videos, computer software, and Internet music delivery. By the mid-90s, he was experimenting with interactive CD-ROM and new video technology.
He was inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, although he refused to attend the ceremony.
He has toured with Ringo Starr and the All-Star Band, the new Cars and recently appeared on the Celebrating David Bowie tribute tour in October and November.
Photos: Todd Rundgren, on his 26th birthday, on June 22, 1974, was in concert at the Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Daryl Hall and John Oates were part of his ‘chorus.’ He was producing their “War Babies” album then. (Photo posted on YouTube, with audio, from the 1974 concert: https://youtu.be/ls0Yje9-woI)
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.