Welcome to Daryl’s house(s) 

For Daryl Hall, finding superstar guests is not a problem when he’s taping his monthly webcast “Live From Daryl’s House” — over 34 episodes, everyone from Train to KT Tunstall has clamored to join his spirited jam sessions.

There’s only one question, really: Which one of his umpteen abodes will he employ?

“I’ve used two of my houses so far, and sometimes we go on location,” says the R&B-steeped half of multiplatinum duo Hall and Oates, who play the Mountain Winery in Saratoga today. “But after traveling for all these years on the road? I’m really into houses now!”

In addition to modern digs in New York City and the Bahamas, the skilled carpenter has also purchased several centuries-old properties in New England, and a Thames-side estate in London, which he painstakingly renovates.

In 1984, he found his first antiquated property. “Then the first house that I took down was one north of Danbury, Conn., from the 1830s, and that’s still actually in a trailer,” he says. Thanks to their archaic mortise-and-tenon construction, he says, “you can do that, just take the houses apart and store them.”

Hall then bought two 1700s relics — the Bates and Hanchett houses, five miles apart in Hartford — and reconstructed them as one building on his 250 acres outside of Millbrook, N.Y. In the Bates attic, he found a cache of period furniture, some labeled Hanchett. “I couldn’t figure out why,” he says. “Until I looked in the town records and found out that a Bates son had married a Hanchett daughter, so they were in-laws.” Spooky.

The singer — who practically defined the term blue-eyed soul — has always thought outside of the box.

His first solo album with Robert Fripp, 1980’s “Sacred Songs,” was initially deemed too edgy to release by his old label, RCA.

“People like me who have diverse ideas and interests?” he says. “It just doesn’t resonate with music people, who are all about selling something. But after all my fights with the record business, I’ve sort of won, because there isn’t much of a record business anymore. And my kind of thinking is at the forefront — you can be diverse and still get across. A lot of the new artists who come on my show are thinking that way.”

There are other projects — Hall and Oates’ new “Do What You Want, Be What You Are” four-disc/decade retrospective, an almost-completed new solo set, plus the current tour with Oates, a frequent guest on “Daryl’s House.” Not to mention tribute albums to the duo by acts like Koot Hoomi and Inara George’s The Bird and the Bee.

Still, Hall, at 63, is more enthused about recent finds like the circa-1662 John Bray House in Kittery, Maine, now rescued from demolition.

“I feel a certain responsibility to save this stuff when I can,” Hall says. “Because you can read about history in books, and it’s all abstract. But when you have a house that people have been living in for 200, 300 years? Now that’s something worth saving.”    


IF YOU GO
Daryl Hall and John Oates

Where:
Mountain Winery, 14831 Pierce Road, Saratoga
When: 7:30 p.m. today
Tickets: $112 to $180
Contact: (800) 745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com

About The Author

Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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