Meet Vegas' Headliner of the Year
Voted Las Vegas' "Headliner of the Year," the multi-talented and entertainer extraordinaire Frankie Moreno has been delivering spellbinding stage shows all over the world. Lately, he's been headlining at the world famous Stratosphere Hotel and Casino on the Strip in Las Vegas. Frankie has performed on ABC's "Dancing With The Stars" and is right now preparing a nationwide PBS special, "Frankie Moreno In Concert." Moreno is also working on more new music to follow-up his recent collaborative and solo hit projects. Frankie loves to perform and his stage show features numerous Epiphone instruments, from his brother Tony's Epiphone T-Bird bass to Frankie's own Swingster and EJ-200 Jumbo acoustic/electric. Will Jones--aka Dr. Epiphone--recently visited with Frankie to find out more.
Frankie! It's great to talk to you again! You know, everywhere I go, I tell people that if they've not seen your show, then they are not having a good time in Las Vegas. What's new with you and your music?
Oh man. Thank you so much. We're having so much fun. It's pretty cool to be able to have our own room to do our show. I mean, I love playing on the road and traveling, but to get to come home and have a steady showroom is pretty awesome.
I've noticed you've added some new guitars to the show--the Epiphone Emperor Swingster archtop and EJ200SCE Jumbo Acoustic/Electric. Aside from the killer looks, what do you like about them?
I love those guitars. Music is not just about the sound. It's about the vibe. The feel. The image. Not only do those guitars play great, but also they just put out such a huge vibe on stage. Pretty big statement.
One of the things folks notice about you when they see you perform is that not only are you an awesome singer, but you absolutely shred on a piano. And then you wail on a guitar and then a harmonica. Tell us about your decision to try out and then add the Epiphone EJ-200SCE to your repertoire.
I've always wanted to play that guitar on stage. I mean, it screams old school. It has such a big sound and a very retro feel. I like switching up the guitars for different songs usually. That one definitely pulls off anything with a vintage sound to it.
You write some of your songs. Are you working on new material using the EJ-200SCE?
I write almost all of the songs we play. Well, my brothers Tony and Ricky write them with me. We always write our music on guitars. Piano is my first instrument, but we just write on guitars for some reason. The EJ-200 is a fun guitar to write on because of its full sound. I've been writing a bunch with it actually.
I'm lobbying for you to come to Nashville and play. What have you got planned for future road gigs that we can look forward to?
Yeah! Let's do it. I used to live out there you know. I haven't played there in years. You name it. I'm there. We have tons of traveling coming up. Everything from Europe to Asia to all over the United States. But I will work in Nashville in a heartbeat.
How old were you when you started playing piano and guitar and what inspired you?
I started first on piano at age 3. My fingers were too small for guitars. I was one of those little freaks who could play Mozart. And I'd always play it as fast as I could (laughs). Guitar I started picking up around 10. My first guitar I played on was my grandpa Manny's Gibson L7. We still have it. I was inspired by the sounds, the excitement. My dad played music so I was always around it. Kind of an addiction really.
Are there any other instruments that you don't play in public that you play or are working on?
Well, I play them all I guess. Haven't tried anything I couldn't yet. I'm sure there's something out there that will stump me. Mandolin is actually my second instrument. I used to do a ton of session work on mandolin in Nashville. I own about five Epiphone mandos.
Wow! Five Epiphone mandolins! Man, that's killer! Is there anything you've not done musically that you want to do?
Man that's a hard question. I mean I just want to constantly progress musically and as a person. There's always something to learn and always something you can do better at. I've seen most of the world. I get to play music for a living. I have two amazing little boys. What more can I ask for really?
What advice would you give folks out there just getting started playing music that might think they want to make it a career?
If it's not about the passion and the craving to do it because you love it, don't waste your time. It's a really tough business but a fantastic one and in my opinion the greatest. But if you want to do it for any other reason than you simply have to play, it's just too tough. The desire will always keep you enjoying it. If you lack enjoyment of playing it, music really won't sound good. You can hear the passion in the notes.
Thanks so much for your time, as I know you are busy, rockin' The Stratosphere as the Headliner Of The Year in Las Vegas! Where can people find our more about you and where to listen to your music?
Please check us out on: www.frankiemoreno.com , @frankiemoreno on Twitter, and the Frankie Moreno (Official Fan Page) on Facebook.
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