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March 18, 2022 34 mins

After decades of dazzling millions with his skills on the keys, Harry Connick Jr. is here to let fans in on the fun of playing piano — “play” being the operative word. On March 29 he’s launching Piano Party, an online course designed to teach the basics of piano through lessons he’s learned over the course of his legendary career. The project is part of Harry's new metaverse platform The Neutral Ground, an online community designed to connect his fans and share in his passion for music, food and family. He and Jordan discussed this immersive new digital space, the finer points of piano, New Orleans jazz, songwriting techniques, and Harry's latest album 'Alone with My Faith,' recorded completely solo during the pandemic lockdown.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Hello everyone, and welcome to another episode of Inside the
Studio on iHeart Radio. My name is Jordan runt Dog,
But enough about me. My guest today is many things.
A Grammy winning singer, an actor and Emmy Award winning
TV personality, and perhaps most famously, a piano virtuoso, though
if you call on that to his face, he'll charmingly

(00:22):
try to deny it. For over thirty five years, his
chart topping musical explorations of helped popularize jazz titans many
from his beloved hometown of New Orleans, and introduced the
Great American Songbook to a whole new generation. After decades
of dazzling millions with his skills on the keys, he's
here to let fans in on the fun of playing piano,

(00:43):
play being the operative word. On March twenty nine, he's
launching Piano Party, an online course designed to teach the
basics of piano through lessons he's learned over the course
of his legendary career. Consisting of nine on demand videos
plus two interactive live session the Piano Party courses are
meant for all ages and skill levels, so please don't

(01:04):
be intimidated by all the Grammys, all are welcome. The
only requirement is that you want to learn and you
want to have a good time. So if you've been
thinking about taking up the piano, now as your chance
to learn from one of the best. It's never too late.
Give it a shot. The Piano Party project is part
of his new metaverse platform he calls the Neutral Ground.
It's an online community designed to connect his fans and

(01:27):
sharing his passion for music, food, and family. We talked
about that, a little bit of New Orleans jazz, his
songwriting techniques, and his latest album, Alone with My Faith,
recorded completely solo during the Pandemic Lockdown. I'm so happy
to welcome Mr Harry Connick Jr. I hope you enjoy
our conversation. When I was first getting into music, I

(01:53):
really wanted to play jazz piano so badly. I mean
the Coal Porters stuff, Rogerson Heart, the Gershwins, and I
can play chords, mess around a little bit, but but
nothing flashy. And I'm so happy to talk to you
today because I feel like there's this conception out there,
a misconception. I should say that if you don't start
training for this when you're four or five years old,
like you and Mozart, it's too late for you. You're

(02:13):
never gonna wait a hold on a second, there's a
profound flaw in your conversation with me that we need
to address. You can't just lump me in with Mozart
right off the bat. I mean seriously, man, it's like
talk about high expectations. Well, you both started as what
like age four age five only similarity. But I really
appreciate that. Well, I mean it's something I feel like

(02:37):
a lot of people think that they don't start really
really early. It's too late for them. They're never gonna
get it, so why bother. And that's what I think
is so cool about this Piano Party project because it
really it's so inclusive and it's so for everybody. So
you're here to tell me that is a that misconception. Really, uh,
we should all put that aside. Yeah, it's really true. Um.

(02:57):
I think that we all have some type of an
eight musical talent, and I think it's different for everyone.
I mean, some people say I can never play because
I'm toned up, or I can never play because I
can't you know, make my hands work together at the
same time, or whatever the reasons that they think they
can't play. Yet at the same time, I think we're
all moved to um to music in some way. It's

(03:23):
almost like I would love to be a football player,
and I don't have the natural ability to ever be
a football player, and I'm too old to ever have
those dreams come true. But I like throwing a ball
around and that's really fun. So you know, the whole
idea behind Piano Party was, let's just find some some
easier ways to get this information to people that's not

(03:45):
quite as um intimidating, and and maybe try to try
to convey some things that like I never thought about this,
like when I look when I look at a piano keyboard,
I don't I don't see a D eight key. I
see these twelve keys that repeat, and that's so basic
and I don't think about it anymore. But a lot

(04:06):
of people say, oh, there's so many keys. So the
very first episode is there's really only twelve and they repeat,
and if you can just kind of learn those twelve,
which takes about thirty seconds, then you can, oh, that's
how the piano works. And it just I think it
makes it more accessible. Oh absolutely, I mean it's for

(04:26):
for listeners it's a series of nine videos that bring
the basics of piano to life. And I just think
it's such a cool way to get back to fans
and empower them because after years of listening to you
and getting all this joy from you and your music,
it's kind of returning the favor and saying, you know what,
you can do this too. I think it's such a
cool way to put the power and listen those hands.
It's such a great I think it's neat man, and

(04:46):
I appreciate that. And you know that I've spent time
talking to people, like, for example, when I talked to
my kids and I explained to them just the most
basic stuff. It changes the way they listen to music
and it opens up a whole different world. And I think,
you know, scientifically, we know that you know music and
exposure to music and understanding music can it's good for you.

(05:07):
It's just good for your brains. So you know, if
I can help um, you know, expose people to that
that that's really what this is all about. It's not
about you know, people need to know. This isn't me
like playing some real complicated New Orleans piano and showing
you how to do it maybe at some point this
is about you know, what are these black and white keys?
And how did they function? And it's a it's a

(05:28):
very basic course that also includes stuff about my personal history,
and I show off a bunch of my keyboards that
I have. So it's it's really fun. Yeah, I mean
that's I feel like fun is the operative word here.
I mean, it's sharing the joy of music. I mean,
I feel like there's such a prevalent thought of weal
if you can't, you know, get paid to go do
it up on stage, and why bother? And well, it's fun,

(05:50):
it's fun. It's it's it is and you know what
else Jordan's is um this this is the first thing
I've ever seen that really exists in the metaverse. And
a lot of people get peaked out by the term
metaverse because they're thinking univirtual reality goggles or augmented reality,
but really the metaverse is just about being immersive on
a different level. So every tenth episode of Piano Party

(06:13):
is people who buy the premium package can get together
and we hang out and and it's like it's like
I have a bunch of students and we're all getting
together and talking about what we learned, and it's it's
it's just a way of connecting in a different way
that I haven't seen before. Oh, I was gonna say
that is one of the coolest parts to me because
I feel like, you know, you can sit in your

(06:34):
room and you can learn the notes and you can
you can get the song down, but actually playing with
other people is a whole other ball game. And you know,
I played in bands and things. I practice alone in
my room and then as soon as you get into
a room with the other people, it can be tough
to jel And I feel like in in lessons and tutorials,
that's a part that's really absent in the teaching process
of learning how to listen to other people and engage

(06:55):
with the musically. So I love that there's this engaging
part of it right there too. I'm glad I'm because
that's that's really fun for me. And again, it's you know,
this isn't some uh, you know, really high level you know,
competitive pianistic uh series. It's it's it's really about having
a good time. And you know, just a I had

(07:18):
to think, like, like if I want to study painting,
like I don't even know, like the bit like what
what way? What do you mean there's a difference between
acrylics and or like you know, like I mean, I
go way back to the beginning. And it's actually good
for me too, because I'm talking about things I haven't
thought about in a while, and I just want to help,
you know, maybe bring people together through music, which is

(07:41):
I think ultimately going to be a good thing. Oh. Absolutely,
I think it's an incredible project now. I it made
me think about my early days learning music too, and
I just think everybody when they're starting out on an instrument,
has that first song that they learned where they impressed
themselves in a way. It goes from doing scales and
exercises to oh my god, this is fun. I can
express myself. Do you remember that moment? Do you remember

(08:03):
the first piece of music that you learned that you
were really proud of that got you going When the
Saints go marching in That was a big one for me.
I was a kid. But you said something that's really interesting.
When people learn how to play their first song. Everybody
learns how to play a song. And what I want
to try to do is if you understand a few
of the basic fundamentals, you'll be able to play whatever

(08:24):
you want. Going back to the painting analogy, if somebody
teaches you how to draw a face, you'll draw that
face a hundred times. You just keep drawing faces. But
if somebody teaches you how to draw, you can draw
whatever you want. And I want to teach people the
basic fundamentals of music so they can pick songs out
on their own. And because not everybody wants to play
the same thing. I mean, you might want to play

(08:46):
an Adele song, somebody might want to play a Cold
Porter song, whatever it is. If you learn just some
really basic fundamentals, literally, anyone can in time start to
figure out things on their own. And that's that's what
I think is good for your brain, is you know,
the eye hand coordination, the stimulation from these sounds, and

(09:06):
learning how to play chords. So yeah, I'll show you
how to play some songs, but it's it's a lot
more than that. And you're you're passing on all this
knowledge to all these people who were some of your teachers.
You've had some incredible names, I mean James Booker among them,
I mean just so many. Who are some of the
people that either personally or either just even just listening
to their music made you want to pursue music. Well,

(09:28):
a guy like James Booker, I mean he was a
teacher in a in an extremely unorthodox way. I mean,
he wasn't James Booker for your for your listeners and
viewers who may not know, was probably the greatest piano
player to ever come out of New Orleans. But he
he was a unique player, like nobody ever played like him.
So if you wanted to play like him, you had
to ask him. And I don't know how many people

(09:49):
asked him. I you know, maybe I don't know anyone
who asked him, but I did when I was younger,
and he showed me how to play some things. But
he wasn't a teacher in the way that say Ellis
marsa Alice was, who was another teacher of mine, who was,
you know, a real intellectual or real academic and and
was great at sort of breaking things down. But these
are like super high level teachers. So the things that

(10:12):
I'm doing in Piano Party are not those things yet
they're they're they're very very basic things. But like if
you listen to Errol Garner play the piano, if you
don't want to go sit at the piano and you know,
or tap your feet after hearing that. I mean, it's
just incredible. But then I listened to Freddie Mercury played
the Introduction to Death on two Legs, and I just

(10:35):
I love I love that. You know, it's not that's
not hard. You listen to Billy Joel or Elton John
and those people, or or Stevie or Ray Charles, and
it's just these are all people that you know, make
me smile when I hear different ways of playing the piano,
different keyboards, your career from New Orleans. There are so

(11:06):
many incredible people when you mentioned them, and you've got
Jelly Roal Martin, Professor long Hair, I mean, such an
incredible convergence of influences. I'm always fascinated by what makes
someone go from being a performer who plays other people's
music to making the jump into being a writer. I
mean me as an example, but I'm sure a lot
of people that are gonna be learning on your on

(11:27):
your piano party courses. Um, they'll learn the basics and
at some point some of them will want to make
the jump into writing their own music. Um, I've never
done that yet I've never felt able to use music
to communicate. But I want to ask you how did
you make the jump from performer to writer? But that's you. Listen,
by the time we finished talking, you're gonna be inspired

(11:49):
to go start writing, because it's man, I've tried, no, no, no,
dig this. A lot of people think of writing as
I want to go write a song, or I want
to write a novel, or I want to go, you know,
write a screenplay, And I always tell them, don't, don't
think about any of that. Just start putting ideas down

(12:10):
and eventually the form of whatever you're trying to write
is gonna sort of start to assemble itself. You have
to give yourself something to edit. But a lot a
lot of people get sort of daunted by the notion
of writing a song because when you think of a song,
whatever that song form is. If you're if you're co porter,
you're probably writing a A B A song. If you're

(12:30):
a pop writer, you might write in you know, verse, verse,
pre chorus, chorus or whatever the that that can that
can really turn people off. But if if you and
I are talking and you think I want to write
a song about conversation, okay, conversation, hanging out talking. You know,
before you know it, something will start to emerge to

(12:53):
which you can then edit. So I don't know specifically
when that process happened for me. I guess I was
pretty young, like nine or two when I did kind
of putting ideas down. But whether it's lyrics or melodies
or a painting, just start, just start. Good buddy of
mine for fifteen years that I want to write a
mystery novel, and he's never done it because he's trying

(13:15):
to write a novel as opposed to express himself, you know,
with a sentence here or a word there, an idea there.
And I'm telling you, if you're passionate enough to want
to do it, it's just a matter of giving yourself
something to edit. That is a great message. I mean,
that was I mean a lot of people are intimidated
to start the piano. As you mentioned earlier, eight keys.

(13:36):
That's a lot of keys. But you're approaching it in
this really accessible, logical way to break it down and
demystify it and make it something it's more accessible. And
then the next step from learning to play is learning
to express yourself with your own ideas. And I think
that's such a cool And and also if yeah, you're right,
and I'm going on Instagram and and search for piano.

(13:57):
The level of virtuosity that exists up there right now,
you talk about intimidating to somebody who's just starting out.
There's there's kids, like literally children that are playing so much,
so fast. You know, there are one video I saw this,
this young woman sitting in the closet playing John Coltrane
solos and octaves like upside down like insane amounts of virtuosity.

(14:22):
That's not what this is. This, This isn't a competition,
This isn't about you know, I look how much I
know this is. Hey, hold my hand. Let's start at
step one and let's look at what's going on in
the world right now. This is a crazy, very sad
and turbulent, confusing time. This is designed to give us

(14:45):
some peace, to bring us together. Um, when we have
some control over that. We we don't have control over everything,
but we do have control over how we're gonna spend
our time. And you know, ten fifteen minutes, you know,
watching this, learning a little bit, sharing story, reason and
then at the end, seeing a bunch of people I
did a on this platform, I have neutral ground on

(15:05):
which the Piano Party exists. We did our first UM
discord meeting and the person that was running it did
a a zoom link and all of a sudden, I'm
talking to you know, fifty people and it just you know,
it brings us together. And I think that's what we
need right now. Oh absolutely could say that again. I
mean I noticed that that play seems to be the

(15:27):
operative word. I know your your most recent tour was
Time to Play, and this is Piano Party. It's it
seems to be focusing on. You know, what we need
right now is something joyful. I mean, it's it's to me,
it's that basic. I mean again, it is such a
confusing time and we're going to our third year of COVID.
I mean, I think everybody could agree we're you know,

(15:48):
hopefully nearing the end and it's definitely not as as
acute as it was. But you know, it seems like
just as we're going through that, we're hearing all of
this nightmares news come out of Ukraine, and you know,
it's just a sad time, you know, And and I
would like to try to create something where we could
get a respite from that we could we can enjoy

(16:10):
one another, learn from one another. UM, celebrate our common humanity,
but UM also celebrate our diversity at the same time, UM,
and realize that we're human beings. We all love each other,
and you know, let's let's try to you know, get
get through this crazy life together. And as well said I,

(16:35):
the last two years has been transformative for all of
us for in so many ways. Uh, maybe some good,
mostly bad. But UM, has it changed your relationship to
music in any way? It has? Um? In uh in
the sense that like the way I record has changed

(16:55):
because you know, especially right at the very beginning of
the pandemic, you know, you couldn't go out of your
house at least, you know, I was one of the
fortunate ones who was able to stay at home. When
I think about all of the men and women who
were out there on the front lines, you know, providing
as much semblance of normalcy for the rest of us
as they could, I feel very fortunate to have been

(17:15):
one of the ones who was able to kind of
stay home. UM. And you know I was, there was
nobody here. You know, it's not you have a recording
engineer or another musician. So you know, I started doing
a lot more recording by myself, which I've always done,
but this was like a lot and you know it's

(17:36):
and like you were saying before, like you know, playing
by yourself is a lot differ than playing with other people.
And when you're when you're by yourself, you you you
have no distractions, so it sort of forces you too
if you feel like it, you know, work on the
things that you need to work on. So yeah, if
it affected me musically, I think, I mean the songs
and the sessions you're talking about along with my faith

(17:58):
or into a Grammy nomination our Best Roots Gospel Album. Uh.
And you quite literally played everything on your own engineer
to yourself, producing yourself. Were you did you intentionally set
out to make a record when you were doing that
or was that purely he like healing for you? Yeah,
it was healing for me because this this may be

(18:18):
hard to understand, but music, I just it's just what
I do. It's all, it's all I do. It's like breathing,
So I never really think about it. Like if I
go fishing, I go fishing because it's fun to relax.
Like I never like really sit around at home and
like play for my own enjoyment. It's just it's just

(18:38):
so much a part of me that I don't ever
think of it like that. But I found myself thinking
about my faith a lot, and to be quite honest,
sometimes my faith was really, really, really strong during especially
the first few months of the pandemic, and sometimes I
questioned things, and I found myself thinking about gospel mut music,

(19:00):
and you know, I would sit down and play Amazing
Grace because it made me feel good. I've never done
that before. I would play Amazing Grace to make other
people feel good, and I felt good as a result
of it. But I was actually functionally playing this music
to help me cope with things over which I had
no control. And then I would play another song. Before
I knew it, I'm like, well, let me write a

(19:21):
song about how I'm feeling. And then I had I'm like,
let me just press record, and you know, I recorded
the whole album. I played, you know, all these keyboards
and trumpets and trombones and basses and everything else, and
it took about eight months, but it was highly therapeutic.
It was really a fun process. I don't know the

(19:42):
answer to this question, but I. I am so fascinated
by by the healing properties of music. I mean, it's
something that's able to bring comfort and solace to so many,
including ourselves when we make it, and I can't for
the life and they figure out why, what is it
about music that makes it such an effective conduit of
of emotion and healing. I'd love to hear your thoughts
and insights on what is it about music that that

(20:05):
makes it just makes it filled with such a motion
that can really just touch us in so many deep ways. Yeah, yeah,
it's it's it really is incredible. And and my sister
is a psychiatrist, and I asked her once, I said,
do you find yourself like in social contexts, like analyzing
people without even realizing? And she goes, no, not, not really,

(20:26):
And she goes, do you find yourself analyzing music, you know,
and at a restaurant? And and I don't. And and
for somebody like me, you know, who's so deeply immersed
in the technical part of music, it's equally as thereft
of technique and complete emotion as it is super technical.

(20:48):
So I can start crying when I hear a piece
of music. Doesn't matter if it's good or bad, whatever
it's like. And your question is why, why, why does
that affect you? And I don't know, man, It's just
it's like, you know, art takes over where any kind
of rational articulation stops, and I think it's a gift

(21:11):
from God. And um, I don't know. There's a there's
a guy named Dr David Eagleman who has this series
called Brain. I think it's it's like a six part
documentary on Apple TV or something, and I watched that
and he and he deals with that a little bit
about you know, what is it like, what is actually

(21:31):
happening in our brains? And in a way I want
to know, In a way I kind of don't want
to know, because you know, it's like I talked about
that piano introduction to Death on Two Legs when Freddie
Mercury starts playing and it just overwhelms me. It just
gives me a certain kind of feeling. And I wish
I knew why. I just I feel so lucky to

(21:53):
be able to be a person who can potentially make
someone feels something with music. That that is like something
I'm so grateful for. I mean, it's like seeing an
amazing magic trick you almost don't want to hear how
the trick is done. You don't want to learn how
that parts played, because you just wanted to exist as

(22:14):
this thing that it's It's amazing you said that because, um,
I had a daytime talk show for a couple of years,
and every once in a while we would have like
a mentalist or a magician come on, and they always
they meaning to producers wanted me to know, you know,
what was happening. So I said, I don't want to
know that. I believe in that stuff like the time
leor Suchard the incredible mentalist guess my pin number on

(22:37):
a mat on the James Gordon Show and I had
to change my bad Like, I don't know how the
hell he did that, and I don't want to know. Um,
but I you know, I love magic. I love mystery
and wonder and you know why do we feel this way?
You know, it's just that's what makes life, you know,
more exciting. I think there's a fundamental mystery and music.

(23:10):
I mean, we we find in traces of ancient civilizations,
when when human beings were just struggling to eat and survive,
we found traces of primitive instruments so clearly this was
a priority from the earliest days when we were just
trying to live. And it's amazing cool, it's so important,
it's so so important. So that's that's why this whole

(23:30):
piano party things important to me, you know, just because
it's it's just hanging out in a different way. It's
it's using music too, just to bring us together. That's
all it is. Right on. I the last couple of years,
I feel like, you know, in times of stress, I've
been I've been listening to music that I haven't listened
to in decades. I call it musical comfort food. Have

(23:53):
you been doing that too, stuff that just like returns
me to a different time, different place in my life.
Have you been doing that? You know? Yes? And no.
I've been working so hard on my own music that
you know, it's rare that I actually sit down and
listen to stuff. But but sometimes I'll go down that
rabbit hole and yeah, man, like you just started listening
to stuff. I was talking to my sister about a

(24:14):
song that um Gordon Lifefoot song if you could read
my mind, and you know, I hadn't heard that like
the last time I heard it was out of a
car stereo in the nine on an eight track. Yeah,
so you know, you put headphones on and you look,
it's like, oh my god. First of all, you hear
things you didn't know we're there because the quality is

(24:35):
better now at least you know, yeah, with headphones and stuff.
But it's like whoa, Like immediately it's like a time capsule.
You know, you go down that that rabbit hole and
start listening to stuff. It's just amazing. Oh man, that
is a that is a great track. I mean, that's
I hope that's something that comes with some of your
your hangout sessions on the Piano Party two. I mean

(24:56):
just swapping you know, music to check out and stuff,
like a lot of people probably don't don't know that song. Well.
The cool thing about the metaverse because this notion of
decentralization and everybody kind of being a part of it,
This is going to evolve. This is this series over
time is going the breadth of it is going to increase.

(25:18):
There's gonna be all different kinds of offshoots that I
wouldn't even be able to predict because a lot of
it's going to be driven by the members of the community.
So although I'm starting in a very basic way at
some point. I mean, I have specific ideas about where
it's gonna go, but there's you know, this community will
organically grow and and provide um, you know, whatever the
community itself wants. So that's what I'm excited about to see,

(25:41):
like in the first what I call land yapp session,
which land yap means bonus in where I come from
in the world, and to see what folks are saying,
like we really like this, but would you show us
this or there's no way to know that because if
if I'm a teacher and I'm teaching one person, immediately
I can see with the relations and ship is. But
on piano party, I don't know who's gonna be watching.

(26:03):
You could be five years old, you could be ninety
five years old. You could play a little bit, you
could have never played. So I have to learn you
know who this is for. So I'm excited to see
it involved. I meant to mention this earlier. The name
neutral ground, um, I mean, has a wonderful double meaning,
but it means something personal to you and where you're from.

(26:24):
Can you tell me a little about how you landed
on that title? Yeah? Sure, so I was trying to
come up with some type of platform where a whole
bunch of people could just get together and love each
other and celebrate all the things that we love. Some
of the things I love are music and food, like
I love to smoke barbecue, Um, I love traveling, you know,

(26:47):
whatever it is, you know, recipes or family or whatever
it is. And so I created the Neutral Ground, which
is this online free, you know, brand new immersive social experience.
And on the Neutral Ground will be lots of different things.
Among those things will be piano party and things that
I can't talk about yet, but a lot of different content,

(27:09):
shows and music and hangouts and all this. So I
was trying to think of a name for it, and
I wanted to name it something that meant something to me.
In New Orleans, a median, that grassy strip between two
streets is called a neutral ground, and that comes from
the eighteen hundreds. UM. One of the earliest meanings of
that was Canal Street, where on one side of Canal

(27:31):
Street you had one type of people, as they were
referred to in that they and on the other side
of Canal Street you had another type of people. There
were the French creoles on one side and the Anglo
Americans on the other side, and they had this area
where once in a while they would come together in trade,
and that was called a neutral ground because they didn't
particularly get along well. That stuck in any grassy media

(27:56):
in New Orleans is called a neutral ground. And my
wife always thought she could never understand it because I
say neutral ground, so she thought it was like neutra
like almost like a neutrient rat And a lot of
people say neutral ground. They put the emphasis on ground.
But if you go to New Orleans and say, hey,
I'll meet you on the neutral ground, that's where you
watch a martycra parade, or that's you know where pignicke

(28:21):
or whatever. Depending on the neutral ground, you can do
lots of different things. But essentially it's a median. But
I thought, well, that name means something to me, and
it's also a place where we are all the same.
This this zoom call I had the other day with
all of these members of this discord community on neutral ground.
One woman was driving to her daughter's fourth surgery. That

(28:43):
was a tiny little girl, like two years old. You'd
see this woman walking on the street, you know, nice lady,
wouldn't think anything. Little would you know that she's got
this child that's suffering so immensely, and consequently she's suffering,
and the little girl's brothers suffering, and like she came
on a neutral ground too, to just be together, you know.

(29:06):
And that really knocked me back, because all of us
have stuff, and on the neutral ground, anything that's waiting
you down doesn't. It's a place to love, to come
and be loved, you know what I'm saying. I mean,
things that might be burdening you in one part of

(29:27):
your life. We want to celebrate you and that and
that's what I want. And I'm neutral with everybody else.
I got my own problems. We all have our own problems.
But the neutral grounds to come to the place you
come to forget all of that in order to share
it and and be loved for it. And the stories
I've been reading on discorded by people and the personal
struggles are going through, it's like, come come with us,

(29:49):
Come come be with us. We're gonna love. We're gonna
love you. We're not gonna accept you, We're gonna love you.
You know what I mean. It's not like, Okay, we
understand the things about you are different than me, So
we're gonna accept no, no, no, we love you wholeheartedly.
Come be with us. Let's talk about the things that
we love and the things that bring us together. So

(30:10):
that's that's what the Neutral Ground is all about. That
is absolutely beautiful. That is an incredible project. I am
so glad you're putting this out into this world. I
think that is an absolutely amazing thing because the one
thing I'll say, we live in a very divisive time.
I mean, nobody really wants to talk about politics anymore

(30:32):
because you know it's there's gonna invariably be some kind
of argument or whatever. I mean, that's great that we
think different things, but in our totality, we're so much
more than that. And and for something like that too
keep us from loving each other, talking to each other.
I don't ever remember a time in my life where
things were so on edge, like you know, you know,

(30:54):
every everybody kind of wants to shy away from from
dialogue about this stuff. That Neutral Ground is not a
place for that. There are places for that, and there
should be places for that, But this is not a
place where you come to argue politics or religion. This
is a place you come with your set of beliefs
and they are to be respected. And and it's amazing

(31:17):
what happens when you actually listen, really listen to someone.
You might actually learn a little something. You may not
agree with it, but you might say, oh, okay, I
never really understood it like that, and that's what makes
it great. It's not like in New Orleans. We weren't
raised to be color blind. We were raised to see
the beauty and our differences. We're not all the same.

(31:40):
We're we're a melting pot. This country is a melting pot.
New Orleans is a melting pot. So there's different cultures
that come together and we celebrate that. That's that's what
the neutral ground is. Well said, I don't want to
take up too much more of your time. My last question, uh,
touch on us a little bit earlier. That's been and
incredibly challenging last two years, incredibly difficult. Has it taught

(32:04):
you anything new about yourself? Have you learned anything new
about yourself in the last two years? Um that I
need to work harder to be a better person. Um
that I'm driven to be a better husband, a better dad.
Um if I want to live on the highest level
of existence. That I can live. I need to love more.

(32:27):
I need to have more humility in my life. Um.
I need to listen more. Um, because everything's quiet, you know,
during the pandemic, you know, it's it's craziness in the world.
But when you're alone by yourself, you know, you really
have a chance to think. You know, how how can
I use this opportunity, opportunity to make myself better? You know,

(32:51):
there's no distractions, you know, at least there weren't for
for a long time. How can I become a better musician?
You know? How can I What can I do? And
and uh along the way, you know, I learned that
I can. I can definitely work on all of that stuff.
And I'm glad I had a chance to reflect and
think about it. We're all works in progress. You got that, right, Oh, Harry.

(33:13):
Thank you so much for your time today, and most
importantly your music is such an honor to speak to you.
Thank you so very much. Thank you, Jordan, And you
need to write that song. Man, Let's go, I'll try
all right, here we go. We hope you enjoyed this
episode of Inside the Studio, a production of I Heart Radio.

(33:34):
For more episodes of Inside the Studio or other fantastic shows.
Check out the I Heart Radio app, Apple Podcast forever
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