Tell us about your tour vehicle.
Haha. Great question. We now travel in a Ford Transit 15 passenger. It’s a nice ride and a 2015 so there haven’t been any major issues. Our last vehicle, The Crystal Stallion, was a 2006 Ford E-350. We put over 300K on it. Other than routine maintenance, we had no major problems. It could tell some stories. Actually we sold it to a painter who lives close to me so I see it around town. Long live the Stallion!!
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
We’re all fairly conscious about what we put in our body. We seek out good/local/healthy food. It’s one of the joys of traveling around the country.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
If I break one string a year I’m surprised. However, I change them often. In the height of the season every 2-3 shows. I’m a Siminoff String endorsee so they treat me right and it doesn’t cost me too much.
Where do you rehearse?
Well, when we’re home it’s often at my house. On the road we usually hit a hotel room or conference space in a hotel.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
I honestly can’t recall.
Describe your first gig.
Nice! It was at a brewery, a little quartet playing all the hits. I was on harmonica and bongos. Every kid in college had bongos, right?
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I’m a carpenter and I’ve done it most my life. I love the work although it’s not always conducive to a musician life. I still get into it a bit though. It’s good, honest work and it always feels good to start and finish a project.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
The music business is like the social economic structure we find our country in at the moment. You have a very small percentage of talented artists making most of the money and a very large percentage of also talented artists making small amounts of money. Most of us aren’t in it for the money. However, it would be nice if we all made more. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we see those changes in the next 5-10 years.
Unfortunately, free or cheap music is a necessary reality for most of us. It’s all over the internet and hard to escape even for myself. As artists today you’re supposed to buy into the fact that you have to go along with the idea for the sake of exposure. There’s truth to that. Until streaming services distribute their profits more evenly there will continue to be this divide.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
I wish I had studied music theory when I was young.