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faster and seem to come to life a little bit better. I usually start with an idea of either the hook or the overall story. I’m not much for just rhyming words. I never title them until they’re finished. Most of the songs on my previous records have been observations I’ve made that I borrowed and tweaked and then gave back. Almost none of them were based on actual events although they may be inspired by real events or people. A lot of the songs on the new record though are really personal and are more factual. I also write a lot when I drive. I talk out loud to myself so it’s just short sidestep to singing to myself. Sometimes I’ll get a riff in my head while I’m babbling and just fol- low where it goes.

I know the Ithaca Journal in Upstate New York a couple of years ago called you “a recent addi- tion to the blue rib- bon roster of notable Texas singer-songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Lyle Lovett, Joe Ely and Willie Nelson.” How do you feel

about being grouped in with those guys? Thrilled. Who wouldn’t be thrilled seeing their name printed in the same paragraph as those guys.

You also tend to be compared to Gram Parsons a good bit. GP is a personal favorite of mine. Did you like Gram’s music?

Oh hell yeah. I’m big fan of GP. I still listen to that first Burrito record a lot. One of my favorite songs is “Blue Eyes” by ISB.(The International

Submarine Band)

I played a show in Brooklyn back in May. The audience was mostly late 20’s, early 30- some- things. When I finished my set a guy came up to me and told me how much he liked it. Then he asked if I had ever heard of Gram Parsons.

Name a couple of songs you wish you’d written.

Mr. Tambourine Man, Hickory Wind, San Francisco Mable Joy.

I know you like some good ol’ southern rock too, especially the Marshall Tucker Band. How did you first learn about those guys, and what drew you in? Any other southern rock bands trip your trig- ger?

The first MTB song I remember hearing was “24 Hours a Time.” That set me on fire. Later, after I had started play- ing the guitar a little bit I played with a guy who was a huge fan and he got me turned on to the rest of their stuff. I went thru a period of about eighteen months where that was about the only

band I was listening to. Toy Caldwell was a mon- ster guitar player but it wasn’t just about burning solos. He had a great melodic ear, even on the jazzier stuff. I dare you to not try to sing along with when a MTB song comes up in yer shuffle. My favorite southern rock bands were the ones with a heavy country element in them. MTB, Charlie Daniels, The Amazing Rhythm Aces, and some of the Allman Brothers tracks like “Melissa” and “Seven Turns.”

I was a big fan of the country flavored southern rock bands. Then somewhere along the way I


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