Daryl Hall set to showcase solo songbook at Saturday show in Syracuse
For nearly 50 years, Daryl Hall has had one of the most recognizable voices in popular music, singing an array of soulful hits with Hall and Oates: “She’s Gone,” “Maneater,” “Sara Smile,” “Private Eyes” – the list goes on and on. Recognized as the best-selling duo of all time, Hall and Oates were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014.
But since the late 1970s, Hall has been also working on his own, recording a series of solo albums that often veered into surprising musical terrain through collaborations with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp, Eurythmics’ co-founder Dave Stewart, and others. He also launched his acclaimed series “Live from Daryl’s House” performance show, which began online in 2007 before moving to cable in 2011. Since then, he has recorded more than 80 shows with a huge array of guest artists, including Smokey Robinson, Cheap Trick, the O’Jays, and many more, first at his home in Dutchess County, New York, and more recently at his eponymous club in Pawling, New York. (The show recently resumed production after a pandemic-induced hiatus.)
A good chunk of that work is collected on the 30-song anthology “BeforeAfter,” which includes material from Hall’s five solo albums as well as six never-released songs recorded for “Live from Daryl’s House.”
Since the anthology came out in April, Hall has been touring san Oates around the country. On Saturday, Hall will perform at the OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse, where he’ll be joined by his longtime friend Todd Rundgren, who also has been racking up hits of his own for decades. They’ll each play individual sets, and join forces on a few songs as well.
This is the fourth leg of Hall’s tour, and he couldn’t be happier with the results so far.
“It's been going great,” he said in a recent interview. “I couldn't have asked for a better response and everything working so well. I love working with Todd, he's my old friend. And we're really enjoying the songs that we're playing. It's just an opportunity to play a lot of songs I have in some cases never played.”
Hall is proud of the wide range of material captured on “BeforeAfter,” as his solo work hasn’t always been recognized.
“I call it my parallel life in music,” he said. “People have paid attention over the years to what I did under the name Hall and Oates. And then there are all these other things, and all these people I've worked with, and so many more songs I've written – oh, my God, I'm just glad to have it all out there. It was important to me personally to reintroduce all these things to the world.”
Some of Hall’s solo songs, especially 1986’s “Dreamtime,” made the pop charts, while others have found traction through “Live on Daryl’s House.” In fact, that was one of the driving forces for creating the show.
“When I came up with this idea for the show 15 years ago, part of my creative agenda was to equate the solo songs and all these other songs with what people are more familiar with, and then mix them all together and give them all their equal time,” he said. “And a lot of the songs are quite familiar to people now because they've been played more than once on the show.”
On the current tour, both Hall and Rundgren will be backed by the Daryl’s House Band, which includes musical director and guitarist Shane Theriot, percussionist Porter Carroll Jr., keyboardist Eliot Lewis, bassist Klyde Jones, drummer Brian Dunne, and multi-instrumentalist Charles DeChant, who has been playing with Hall for decades.
“These guys are the best,” Hall said. “I don't know any band that can do what they do. They can play anything and play it the way it's supposed to be played. And we get along so well.
"Most of these guys have been with me now for a pretty long time, and Charlie DeChant has been around since 1975, so we know each other personally, and we know each other musically. And it's a really great organization.”
While Hall and Oates remain an ongoing entity – they played at CMAC in Canandaigua this summer – they have no plans to record new material as a duo. But Hall is both looking forward and back on his current projects, including recording a new album with Dave Stewart, who produced Hall’s 1986 album “Three Hearts in the Happy Ending Machine.”
“I'm desperately looking for the time to finish what I started last January with Dave, but we’re close,” Hall said. “And I'm going to be working with some other people. I've actually started working with Robert Fripp again; we're doing some things together. And I’ve got a lot of new things in the works.
“I recently found all my writing tapes in a box – there are 1000s of ideas that I'm trying to transfer to the cloud to save because they were on video and audio cassettes,” he continued. “I can't even imagine what's in there. One of my engineers who’s working on it, every once in a while just sends me some phenomenal thing that he found. So I'm looking forward to hearing what I've done over the years. Yeah, I think it'll be interesting. It'll be a catalyst for me to write new songs around those ideas.”
At 76, Hall is increasingly content with his musical legacy, especially since his solo work has gained recognition alongside his vast discography with Hall and Oates.
“I think the days of people pigeonholing me of being that one thing feel so much in the rearview mirror to me,” he said. “People don't relate to me that way anymore. They may have done that 10 years ago, or even five years ago, but they have a different perception of me now. They see what I have done and what I do. And it's a much more comfortable relationship I have with all that.”
If you go
Who: Daryl Hall and the Daryl’s House Band with special guest Todd Rundgren
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19
Where: The OnCenter Crouse Hinds Theater, 411 Montgomery St., Syracuse
Cost: $49-$149, available online here