- Posted on Feb 28th 2011 5:50PM by Linda Laban
Gino DePinto, AOL
How does it feel to release a new album?
It feels so great. We haven't released an album in two or three years. It feels like a new beginning. It feels more like our first album. I don't know what it is. We took time off and everything seems to have fallen into place. It was very exciting. I feel fortunate we're able to do our thing, to be musicians
Do you think these things are cyclical and the band is on an upturn?
The songwriting has a lot to do with it. I can't steer my songs one way or the other. I have to take them as they come and work with them. With this record, I had the strongest songwriting cycle that I've ever had. They were just so upright, a real pleasure.
Can you attribute that to anything in particular?
My life. In a short period of time, my father passed away, and I had my first child -- my daughter was born. All of that really just affected me. The more life you experience, the deeper your songwriting is.
That's very intense. Being born into the music business must have been quite the experience.
It's true. And it's all I've ever wanted to do. Growing up, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I wasn't a natural per se; I had to work at it. But I just kept practicing and practicing and it all panned out. But, you're right, we were born into it. If you were into southern roots music, it couldn't have been a better place to grow up.
Do you have memories of meeting musicians as a kid?
Oh yeah. the Replacements were really a lot of fun. But really, it was the community and the guys that my father played with. Being in Memphis, the birthplace of rock 'n' roll, soul music and then the '60s blues revival -- that really turned him on, the folk music and blues revival. I was exposed to all that. Then when we moved to Mississippi. I discovered this whole other set of blues musicians, like Junior Kimbrough. When I discovered that, that just blew my mind. I experienced that firsthand.
Who stands out as a particular musical influence?
Oh, wow. Definitely my father and his friends. Furry Lewis and RL Burnside. Also, Jimi Hendrix. Growing up, I was really happy to go see acts like G. Love and Jon Spencer. We saw that they had the same influences and were doing their own modern take on it. They were making modern music from roots in an interesting way. It was also interesting to meet people like R.L. [Burnside], who were from a very different time and place. R.L., he took me on the road for the first time. He had me play guitar and drive the van.
You found your road-legs by touring with R.L. Burnside?
Yeah, pretty good, huh? Oh man, it was hilarious, such a funny guy. Jokes and poems and stories. It changed my life. R.L. taught me how to tour. He got me started.
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