Artist: Cup O’Joe
Hometown: County Armagh in Northern Ireland
Latest album: In the Parting
Personal nicknames (or rejected band names): Mug O’Tay
Answers provided by Tabitha Agnew
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
I would have to say that it would be Alison Krauss! Her solo recordings and recordings with Union Station have been some of the most impactful recordings for me. The first introduction to bluegrass music that I remember hearing was “Every Time You Say Goodbye” from Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection. Her releases have swayed within the bluegrass/country/gospel realms and I’ve been enjoying her music for years.
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
One of my favourite moments being on stage with COJ was probably getting to play at IBMA in North Carolina back in 2017 in a lineup with our good friend Niall Murphy on fiddle. It was a hoot! Glancing around on the workshop stage representing the international scene and trying to not get too nervous when we saw legends and some other top pickers walking by!
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
I try to have had at least one cup of sharp black coffee before a show and lots of water! (Both are definitely needed!) Yep, I know it sounds like a cliché, but I definitely run on coffee!
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
This question has really made me stop and think, but I think I can safely say that trees are a big source of inspiration that impact our songwriting. Two songs off the new album refer to the concept of change happening as quickly as the changing of the leaves on the trees in each new season. Currently living in the countryside of County Armagh is a big source of inspiration in general, with rolling green hills and plenty of apple trees (County Armagh is “orchard county”).
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
Oooh! What a tough tough question! After getting to know Mr. Ron Block, I would have to say that I would pair him with a Scottish Cheese board (with Rough Scottish Oatcakes). I think that’s a pretty 10/10 combo in my opinion and I think he would totally be okay with that!
Photo credit: Katie Loughrin Photography