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- Posted on Mar 9th 2010 11:39PM by Andrea Mitchell
Describe your sound in your own words.
I come from a background of being a jazz musician. I'm from Memphis, Tennessee, and that is kind of the root of everything I do -- the music of Memphis. That goes from delta blues to classic R&B stuff from the 60s. I'm kind of a singer/songwriter that has the influence of old R&B music as well as jazz.
When did you start playing music?
I started playing music when I was a child. I took piano lessons and played clarinet in my school band. Shortly before I started college, I started getting serious about the guitar.
What was the first instrument you owned and how old were you?
When I was ten years old, I rented a clarinet. I didn't own it.
What are your musical influences?
My influences run from Duke Ellington to Jeff Buckley to Chris Whitley to Elliot Smith, Bob Dylan and Sam Cooke.
What are your must haves while touring?
When I'm on the road, I need to have a list of all the best espresso joints in whatever city we're going to. I need to always have my Blackberry with me at all times and internet access so I can have video chats with my son.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Right now that horrific song by Ke$ha called 'Tik Tok.' Wow I just said that out loud!
Beatles or Stones?
Wow, you've caught me at a real transitional period in my life because I have been a Stones guy my whole life, until I got my wife the Beatles re-mastered box set. So I'm gonna go ahead and say I'm a Stones guy, but I'm really 51/49 Stones.
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced on tour?
That can be printed, craziest thing I've seen, I once played a gig next to a hog auction.
Describe your writing process.
It can really vary. Generally I start with a melody or I start with a general idea of what the song should be about. Sometimes I'll write a complete lyric then begin putting a song to it. Sometimes I write everything simultaneously, and sometimes I have songs that are completed with no words whatsoever and I add words to it. I can come at it from literally every angle. Every song I've written has been kind of a different process.
What do you enjoy more touring or recording?
I would say recording.
What's your biggest vice?
Caffeine, it's the one I allow myself.
Do you prefer to play festivals or intimate venues?
I love playing festivals because there is so much energy when you play in front of a lot people. But when I have the opportunity, especially around New York, I love playing smaller places. Especially if it's just me playing by myself because it's really great -- you feel like you're definitely reaching someone.
Andrea Mitchell is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.