If you came to this site looking for the newest thing, you need look no farther — THIS AIN’T IT! Here we RECYCLE culture! For the planet, for the peace, and for the creative pallet!
I find the obsession with the newest thing to be curious. As Chuck Berry once said, “There’s nothing new under the sun.” Sure, you might find an interesting twist on an old theme, or a new arrangement, and more power to you if you do. But there is no shame in playing old tunes. As a matter of fact, most of my career has been built around that practice. To take it out of the negative – to turn that frown upside-down – let’s rephrase the statement: KEEPING TRADITION ALIVE IS A GREAT JOB!
When I perform for children (and their grown-ups) I take pride in that fact that I am introducing old music to new ears. When I play a song that is 150 years old, someone in the audience may be hearing it for the very first time, and hearing it through the un-adulterated perception of a child, free of prejudgement or an aesthetic sense they arbitrarily settled on decades before.
When I play with the Members of Morphine, I am proud of the fact that I can help re-create music that might otherwise only be heard on record, and at the same time paying tribute to the friends I made when I moved back to New England several years ago.
When I front my own bands, (The Deltabilly Boys or the Bright Moments), or play a solo gig, I am so glad to play the music of classic writers like Cash, Waller, and Robert Johnson, and to play obscure old tunes by artists that are today being discovered by new generations of roots music lovers.
And when I write songs, I am drawing on the work of the multitudes of writers and players that came before me. Every new tune is grown from old ideas; every lyric references hundreds of years of poetry, wisdom and humor.
Here you may not find the newness of youth, but you will find the conviction and depth that comes with experience. Every time I pick up an instrument I think of the great players I’ve learned from. Recycling is not just for trash; it’s for treasure as well!