The Bluegrass Situation: Roots Culture Redefined

5+5: Belle Adair

Jan 30, 2018

Artist: Matthew Green (of Belle Adair)
Hometown: Muscle Shoals, AL
Latest Album: Tuscumbia
Rejected Band Name: Sorry Saints

If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?

Trust yourself and your own instincts more than others. Don’t capitulate.

Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?

I do a lot of trail running and hiking, now that I’m living in Philadelphia. There are some beautiful trails and sights around the Wissahickon Creek. It’s mostly a mechanism to clear my mind and reduce anxiety, but it’s also a good time to think about new songs I’m working on.

If you could spend 10 minutes with John Lennon, Dolly Parton, Hank Williams, Joni Mitchell, Sister Rosetta, or Merle Haggard how would it go?

I’d have to choose Joni. I’d ask her to play “Woodstock” twice and, once she was finished, I’d thank her profusely until our time was up.

How do other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?

My wife is a painter. I wake up to her work every day. Either I’m seeing it or we’re talking about it. I can’t say exactly how it informs my music, but I know that it does. It has to. It’s just too important to me.

What’s the weirdest, hardest, nerdiest, or other superlative thing about songwriting that most non-writers wouldn’t know?

I usually sing nonsense lyrics when I’m first working out the melody to a song. Even though the words make little sense, I can always find some nugget in there that feels right that I can build around. It’s good to let the subconscious play its role.

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