Bringing Daryl’s House to the stage? We can go for that
Daryl Hall, of the much beloved soul-pop outfit Hall & Oates, did not go quietly into that dark night after the band’s long string of hits in the ’80s. In the last several years, the man responsible for “Kiss on My List” and “Maneater” has hosted a Webby award-winning online show, “Live from Daryl’s House” in which he hosts acts as divergent as Cee Lo, Chromeo and Keb Mo, who jam on some of Hall’s songs and their own and nosh on a little grub in between at his home in upstate New York.
The show has been such a success that it’s gone into syndication on television and now, Hall is taking the act on the road with soul singers Sharon Jones and Allen Stone. We got a moment to chat with the living legend, and even ask him about the story behind one of his biggest hits.
Why did you decide that you wanted to take “Live from Daryl’s House” on the road?
I always sort of feel like a project doesn’t have its fullness unless you’re doing it live. Even though the show is about doing it without an audience, it’s very easy to adapt the mood of the show in front of people. Having said that, there’s certain things you have to do to make it not just a normal performance — the way you set it up, the mood you create, the looseness and basic non-act that we perform.
And food will also have a starring role in the show, right?
My vision would be to do this in a place where everybody could eat the food almost like a big party, but in lieu of that, I’m bringing in screens. We’re going to shoot a segment this weekend with my friend Tony Luke, the Cheesesteak King of Philadelphia. We’re going to give the audience a voucher for a free cheesesteak, so they can sample the food at some point.
Out of all of the people you’ve collaborated with, how did you choose Sharon Jones and Allen Stone for the tour?
In the doing of this show, I have so many different kinds of music that I bring to the house. I love this whole thing with these new bands — I call it new soul — where they take the stuff that I grew up with, ’60s soul music, and they don’t really do that much to modernize it, but they put it in a different context. You got Mayer Hawthorne doing it, you got Allen Stone, you got Sharon Jones. It’s this genre that I’m really excited about and so I wanted to do a new soul revue.
How do you select who will perform on the broadcast show?
It’s sort of mutual. The artist has to want to come because you know, it’s not easy to get there. I’m 100 miles north of New York City, so you have to commit, man.
We were wondering about the story behind one of your most beloved songs “You Make My Dreams.” Can you tell us about how you wrote that song?
I started just singing things. I just sang, “You make my dreams come true.” And for a long time, I was like, “I can come up with something better than that” and I tried and tried and this and that. I finally went, “You know what? That says it all right there. Why am I looking for some other emotion?” It’s a very direct thing. Very simple and I stuck with it.