Annette Brown, Lifetime The story of June Carter Cash comes to life in the…
- Posted on Mar 13th 2010 12:10PM by Nick Scott
When did you start making music?
I guess when I was two and first sang at school, but I have been singing my whole life. Then I began piano lessons at six, and at ten I fell in love with the mandolin. I have loved music my whole life, especially live music. My parents would always take me to live shows growing up.
When did you decide that bluegrass was the genre for you?
When I found the mandolin, I also found this jam in my hometown of Wimberley. Everyone was so encouraging, and that's how I fell in love with it. Though I don't know if the music I am making right now is really bluegrass.
How, then, would you describe your sound?
That's a toughie. I don't know. I mean, I guess Americana or acoustic music or even folk.
When did you realize that music is what you wanted to do for the rest of your life?
There have been a lot of those [moments], but one of the first times was when I met Chris Thile at the Old Settlers Festival. He autographed my program with "let's jam some time," and I knew I wanted to be good enough to be able to do so. He has been a great mentor. Another big moment for me was the Telluride Festival in the summer of 2007. Being up on stage looking out into audience in such a beautiful place, I realized this is what I wanted to be doing the rest of my life.
Now your MySpace lists a huge amount of influences. If you had to narrow it down to five, who would make the cut?
It's hard to narrow. Two of my top all time are Tim O'Brien and Gillian Welch. I am also greatly influenced by Darrell Scott and Chris Thile. Then, of course, there are bands like the Decemberists and Wilco, and then, of course other bands like the Beatles.
Speaking of the Beatles, who do you prefer, them or the Stones?
Wouldn't want to make anyone mad by choosing, but so far in my life I have been more influenced by the Beatles. I have listened to the Stones a ton; in fact, I got to see them when they came to Austin.
How did you come up with the title of your album?
It is a lyric from the title track. It's funny, actually, because that was one of the last songs I brought to the recording process. When I wrote it I felt that it needed to be part of the album and it really represented my music and me, and then it wound up being the title track. I think the title describes myself and the music I am trying to make; my most important focus is to never compromise my integrity and [to] be original.
So you just finished up your first semester of college. How is it going so far?
It's going really well. I've learned so much. My program is Contemporary Improvisation, and it circles around developing personal style through studies of world music. Last semester, I was in a world music ensemble; the whole experience has really gotten me out of my comfort zone as a musician.
Is it a good thing?
It is one of the main reasons I wanted to study music. I wanted to study it in depth and be pushed like this.
Was this something that was lacking in the Texas Hill Country?
I feel really lucky having grown up in the area, being so close to an amazing music city. But I did want to go elsewhere; I feel like I am getting the best of both worlds.
What do you miss the most?
Honestly, Tex-Mex. I really miss it. It's also a different way of life. It's a slower pace. I love both. I love moving quickly, but I do miss the Hill Country.
Where is your favorite place to get Tex-Mex back home?
Gueros. And, of course, Trudy's it's a longtime favorite of mine.
Now will this be your first SXSW experience?
Well, growing up I always attended the festival. Last year, I played a bunch of unofficial showcases. This year will be the first time for me at the Austin Music Awards, and they moved it to Saturday this year, which really helps with me and school.
Any acts you are especially looking forward to seeing?
So many people. I'm excited about the AMA lineup. Also looking forward to seeing Black Prairie, which is the Decemberists side project.
You mentioned they are a big influence. What's your favorite album?
That's a tough one. Probably 'Crane Wife.' I really love 'Crane Wife.' I like the new stuff; I like the concept behind it all. I also like a lot of their earlier catalog.
Well, given you no stranger to the overwhelming nature of the festival, what would we find in your festival survival kit?
Definitely water and ear plugs for some of the louder shows. It does get overwhelming, but it only happens once a year and everyone is in it with you. You just have to push through.
Nick Scott is a contributor from Seed.com. Learn how you can contribute here.