Tell us about your tour vehicle. Any notable break-down stories?
I have had a total of 5 15 passenger vans since I started touring professionally in 1994. I rode them all to the ground. Mostly Chevy’s. I’ve had wheels fly off, trannys go out, heater coil die in North Dakota in dead of winter, you name it. One caught on fire.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
It depends on the budget of the tour. If there is hospitality, it’s usually decent healthy food. I rap up leftovers and keep in a cooler. Shop when you can and hit Panera’s for some decent fast food.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I honestly have no idea. I’d say a case of strings.
Where do you rehearse?
I rent the old fire station here in Taylor, MS for $250 a month. I use it for rehearsal, storage and various art projects. I got into a jar of moonshine up in there not too long ago.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
“I Love the Sun”
I thought about the ONE I love
Images of her came in swirls
Fires burned beside the road
A shiver ran up my spine
Describe your first gig.
I grew up in family band playing socially all around north Mississippi. It was prolly at a funeral, party or picnic.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
Deck hand for Canal Barge Company, New Orleans La.
I am currently property manager for 10 rural acres, 7 shacks and the big house.
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?
My writing royalties add up more and more. I find that I generally make about $50 an hour on the bandstand. Same 5-10 years ago. You gotta work a lot to stay afloat. I see it gradually building over time unless some some unforeseen bolt of lightning decides to strike. Then, who knows? I’ve never had health insurance in my life.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
It’s been pretty much what I thought it would be. I never thought in terms of success or failure financially, only artistically, and I’ve been blessed with great opportunities, timing, and the skill and desire to see ‘em thru.
I can’t think of anything I’d change with the whole deal. I started professionally when I was 17 and am 53 this year.