Kevin Eubanks satisfied without Tonight Showon May 18, 2012 @ 8:03 pm (Updated: 1:33 pm - 5/19/12 )
Guitarist Kevin Eubanks has plenty to smile about despite ending his 18 year run on the Tonight Show
He was an integral part of Jay Leno's show for 18 years. More than just a musician, Kevin Eubanks became a star on the Tonight Show as Jay Leno's sidekick.
But he walked away two years ago, deciding it was time to devote all his time to his own music.
"I miss it, but I've also been missing a lot of things outside of that so I'm trying to take advantage of some other things I wanted to do and people that I needed to see like family and stuff like that so it's all circling around and trying to find a balance," Eubanks said in an interview as he prepared for his weekend run at Seattle's Jazz Alley .
He's found that balance, putting out a brilliant album called Zen Food and touring the world with his band.
And even though he's not hobnobbing with the elite of Hollywood every night, the lifetime musician tells me he couldn't be happier.
"I think of all of this is in addition to the Tonight Show and the Tonight Show was in addition to what I was doing, which was touring and playing clubs, concerts, festivals stuff like that. Just kind of what musicians do."
Much of the Tonight Show was scripted and highly structured, from the music to the comedy bits. But Kevin says one of the greatest joys is the freedom that comes with playing his own music on his own terms. And he says that'll be fully on display at his Seattle shows.
"Sometimes we have all our sets planned out then once we start playing and get feedback from the audience sometimes you go here and sometimes you go there," he laughs.
Kevin admits after nearly two decades on the tube he wouldn't mind getting another shot some time on the small screen. But he's also realistic about his chances of getting a gig on something besides a show like America's Got Talent or the like.
"I like TV alot and I'm really comfortable with it, although I'm not a full fledged actor and all that. So it would be probably a very limited window of opportunities for things not involving music."
In the meantime, he's got plenty to keep him busy and happy. He's just finished a new album and has a full schedule of touring ahead, including shows through Sunday at Jazz Alley.
Bonneville Media encourages site users to express their opinions by posting comments. Our goal is to maintain a civil dialogue in which readers feel comfortable. At times, the comments can descend to personal attacks. Please do not engage in such behavior. We encourage your thoughtful comments which: have a positive and constructive tone, are on topic, are respectful toward others and their opinions. Bonneville reserves the right to remove comments which do not conform to these criteria.