By SAL NUDO
Music lovers: If you haven't watched the show "Live from Daryl's House" on Palladia yet, I urge you to check it out.
I discovered "Daryl's House" at my brother-in-law's house, just days before the calendar changed to 2013. Hall's show has changed the way I discover and appreciate new music, and I'm sure that's the case for many others. Less than a month ago I was unfamiliar with the work of Butch Walker, Jason Mraz, the Neon Trees and Allen Stone; now these artists are on my Spotify rotation frequently, courtesy of Mr. Hall.
Eagles band member Joe Walsh was once a guest. The grizzled rock 'n' roll veteran stated his opinions about today's music scene forwardly and eloquently, then he shredded on his guitar like nobody's business. That episode was my favorite.
The musicians' ritualistic way of doing things on "Daryl's House" is somehow comforting, professional and fun all at once. It's a reality show with zero drama that's spellbinding nonetheless. Hall invites famous and not-so-famous artists to his house out East, where they play well-rehearsed songs in a homey wood room that produces a warm sound. In an ego-free way he welcomes his guests, lets them sing where they'd like on songs and unabashedly compliments their work. Age and level of fame are nonfactors when these guys (and sometimes gals) get together. The only prerequisite, it seems, is to possess a great voice.
There's more than just music, too. Nearby guest chefs are invited over to cook mouth-watering meals, followed by interesting lunch or dinner conversations among the rockers. Filled wine glasses are abundant at the table, but cellphones, computers, tablets and TV are nonexistent.
Hall deserves credit for reinventing himself like this. Many people might remember him best as a smooth-sounding 1980s pop/soul singer with hit-makers Hall and Oates. The feathered blonde hair is still there, but now he comes across as a seasoned, collaborative artist who rocks out live with the best of them.
Hall conceptualized and began airing his show on the Internet back in 2007, perhaps his way of thumbing off the music execs he's had to kowtow to for a long time. (I base that on what he's said during a few of the show's lunch and dinner conversations.)
If you're depressed about today's music for any reason, visit Daryl's domain to escape and feel better about things.
You'll find that genuine rock 'n' roll is very much alive.
Sal Nudo lives in Champaign.