Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
The artist that influenced me the most: Well, of course my “Big Daddy” (R.L. Burnside). He just had a great stage presence. And even though people loved his music, he played with so much passion that most of the time I don’t think he noticed! One of my favorite memories on stage was when my Big Daddy didn’t know there was a smoke machine on stage, so he stopped in the middle of a song and was about to run off stage, lol! That was a funny moment, lol!
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
Earth is my favorite element. I love nature, I love sitting on my porch listening to the birds, walking in the woods. It helps me think, it helps me be creative. A few rituals I like to do – I like to play my guitar a little and I like to meditate and pray before I go on stage.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
I would say one part that helps me would be dancing, because when I see people dance to my music, it makes me want to write more. My mission would be to put as much love as I can into my music and spread it around the world.
What’s the toughest time you ever had writing a song?
The toughest time I had writing a song was when my brother died. Normally I still could, but when he left me, it was just hard for me. Years ago, I hid behind a character when I wrote. But now I just try to stay true to myself, and tell it like it is.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
Music and food! I would say eating a plate of pinto beans, and listening to a little of my Big Daddy and a little Fred McDowell! I knew I wanted to be a musician at a young age, since about 6 or 7 years old, from seeing my Big Daddy, my Daddy and uncles at house parties. That’s when I knew I wanted to play music for the rest of my life.
Photo Credit: Abraham Rowe