PM: Now, I'm sure the gigs have picked up incredibly in the last year and a half. Who have you been out touring with?
JH: Well, a couple years ago we did a lot with Boz Scaggs.
JH: And they really looked after us, amazing how nice they were. [laughs] Even their stage manager steamed me suit for when it started to get a bit bagged up.
JH: We got spoiled rotten with them.
PM: How about Boz himself, is he is a really nice guy?
JH: Oh, God, yeah. In fact, I only spoke to him a couple of times. But he's a really sort of quiet, unassuming fellow. He was older than I thought he was, as well. He'd been doing music sort of almost as long as I've been alive. I did think he was actually a lot younger than he is. And all the people in there, you could have a laugh with them and everything. And who else did we tour with? Los Lobos.
PM: Oh, really? Oh, that's an interesting bill for sure.
JH: Yeah, they're a bunch of hooligans, which is why we like them.
PM: Absolutely East L.A. Chicano hooligans of the first order.
JH: Oh, totally, yeah.
PM: Cesar Rosas and David Hildago are both really amazing dudes.
JH: Yeah, man. There's a big bloke on the bass.
PM: Oh, yeah, yeah. Conrad Lozano.
JH: He's trouble. They think we're a bunch of ne'er-do-wells as well.
PM: Yeah. And of course, they're right. [laughs]
JH: Oh, totally, yeah.
PM: So what about this 20-city tour that kicks off June 6th--will they be headlining dates for you, or a mixed bag?
JH: I think it'll be a mixed bag. Do you mean the venues and that?
PM: Yeah, and the bills, will you be headlining or opening?
JH: We're headlining for the most mart, but we've got a few with Nelly Wilson--sorry, Willie Nelson.
PM: [laughs] I was trying to figure that out, who the hell is Nelly Wilson?
JH: I've got a couple over here with him, they will certainly go okay.
PM: You got to watch out for Willie Nelson's joints, they're the strongest in the land.
JH: That stuff just puts me out for the count.
PM: [laughs] Yeah, so watch out for that.
PM: How about being the boss or the bandleader all the time? Is it tough, or is it a role that comes naturally to you?
JH: Very easy. In my case it's very easy, because I know my limitations, and it occurs I know how to delegate authority, and give each bloke something to do that he's better at than I am. So I get to indulge my sort of despotic tendencies and delegate all the important stuff to the other guys. It works for me, I get to rule with a rod of iron but not really do anything.
JH: Because I always used to hear about these really sort of tyrannical bandleaders, like James Brown. And what I used to hear about people like him is that he used to drive himself as hard as he drove the band. Well, I didn't want to be like that.
PM: Yeah, or Buddy Rich, yeah.
JH: Oh, my God, yeah.
PM: Yeah, a lot of funny recordings of Buddy Rich cursing out his band on the internet. You've probably heard those.
JH: He wasn't a shy boy, was he?
PM: [laughs] So how about the folks and the friends and the foes back home, are they surprised at how far and how high your music continues to carry you?
JH: Well, what was nice for me was that they were all pleased, but not surprised.
JH: It was kind of like all the people come up to me and said, "Well done, about time it happened," they were the same people who were always encouraging me right from the kick-off.
PM: Wow, that's a beautiful thing.
JH: Each and every one of them that said it, invariably they're the same people who always used to say that I should have been doing something. It's not like you'd expect all people who thought you were crap and everything--these are all the same people who were rooting for me right from the kick-off.
PM: Wow. I like the sound of that.
JH: Yeah, sitting back and looking at it, it's like well, it feels nice, really, because it feels like you've vindicated their original opinion as well.
PM: That's right, yeah, not just your own but theirs as well.
JH: Yeah. continue