SEATTLE — Here’s a shocker: Daryl Hall, embodiment of Blue-Eyed Soul, does nothing to sound as smooth as he does.
No special tea cut with a combful of honey, no scales in the dressing room. Just a mother who was a vocal teacher and taught him “to sing the right way.”
“Sing from the diaphragm,” Hall said recently, repeating his mother’s mantra. “A throat will wear out, but a diaphragm never will.”
She was right; Hall is 64. “She’s Gone,” his first single with his longtime musical partner, John Oates, was released 35 years ago.
In fact, Hall & Oates are almost as busy as they were in the ’80s, when they had a dozen Top 10 singles, including their six No. 1 Billboard hits: “Rich Girl,” “Kiss on My List,” “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do),”
“Maneater” and “Out of Touch.” They also had four platinum albums, two of which went double-platinum.
Those kind of numbers mean staying power and music that becomes something shared and passed down — something Hall can see from the stage.
“We have crossed over intergenerationally, both individually and as Hall & Oates,” he said. “Not everybody can pull that off. ... We have a lot of songs to draw from.”
They pulled them all together last year for a boxed set, “Do What You Want, Be What You Are.” Their show is based on that set, he said: “We’re pulling from all eras.”
Hall’s Web-based show “Live at Daryl’s House” is a hit not just with fans — it won a Webby Award for Best Variety Series — but with artists, who badger him for an invite.
“People call me, absolutely,” he said. “People have gotten in touch with me, and they have ended up being on the show.”
If he had a choice, though? Living or dead? “Dead’s easier than living,” he said of choosing guests. “I would like Marvin Gaye to drop down from the sky.”