'Everybody Enjoys' Linsey Alexander's Shows | WGLT

'Everybody Enjoys' Linsey Alexander's Shows

Mar 17, 2016

Credit Florian Levassort

Linsey Alexander's second album for Chicago’s Delmark Records is only his fourth as a solo artist.  WGLT's Jon Norton spoke with Alexander via phone at his home in Chicago to talk about his latest album titled “Come Back Baby” and about growing up in Memphis. 

They also talked about his live shows, which are often laden with flirtatious innuendo.

“Everybody enjoys the show.  I can talk to anybody the way I like to talk to anybody, as long as I don’t talk disrespectfully.  I never get out of hand.”

Alexander says paying attention to his audience and including them in his show is as important as the music itself.

“You can give me any guitar player.  If I had the name, for example if I was as popular as Buddy Guy or B.B. I mean these guys are so popular they can throw a drum stick on the ground and people will scream for it.”

Alexander says being a musician was an accident.  An adult neighborhood friend who often stopped by his house when he was a teenager once left behind a guitar.  Alexander says football was his focus at that time, but he eventually became more interested in music and used that guitar to practice and play gigs around his home area of Memphis.  Alexander says it was easy to pick up the soulful sounds the city is known for. 

“This is something you can hear and I just learned playing blues and R&B as well, listening to Nat King Cole, Roscoe Gordon and Bill Doggett.”

Alexander says he moved to Chicago in the late 1950’s and noticed a difference between the cities right away.

“When I got here, I saw people laying in the park, sleeping in the park, being out all night.  Everything was free.  You could go where you wanted, stay as long as you wanted.  Everyone was friendly.  You could see a white person and talked to him just like a black person.  You could only do that in certain parts of Memphis.”