Artist: Teddy and the Rough Riders
Hometown: Nashville, Tennessee
Latest Album: Teddy and the Rough Riders
Personal nicknames: TRR, Teddy
Which artist has influenced you the most … and how?
Well, since there are way too many artists who have had singular, exceptional influences on us, I’ll have to just pick one amongst many! But someone special that comes to mind for me is Bill Monroe. For me he took the song formula to the moon, maybe from speeding up Jimmie Rodgers and other traditionals to breakneck speeds, and singing as high as humanly possible. To me he breaks through bluegrass. As a creator he made these simple, beautiful melodies that can be felt beyond genre, as he certainly was in his day.
What was the first moment that you knew you wanted to be a musician?
Growing up in Nashville there was a plethora of rock house shows and gatherings. One in particular I was around 15 years old when I saw this band Jeff the Brotherhood, and they just had this stripped-down, two-piece, driving minimalist rock sound. The scene around them was exploding and I truly felt like I got to be a part of it right then and there. That made me believe I could actually play music. It took our buddy Carter setting up a honky-tonk night every Sunday 7-9 at Santa’s Pub in 2011 to be fully convinced to play real country music, though!
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
Jack and I love to rehearse singing together before a big show. I play mandolin and sing the high harmony, and Jack plays guitar and sings lower. But we do a huge Louvin Brothers routine, kind of doing the high lonesome, blood harmony thing. It’s just great practice and lets us all warm up solidly and relieve stress before a show.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
Nashville is surrounded by great hikes. We go to Sewanee, Tennessee, where a good many friends have family cabins out there. That will put a song in your mind, it’s a pretty special place. We all go out to Percy Priest Lake together and listen to music and sit in the sun and swim. We have access to canoes and a lot of our friends are good at efficiently camping. I definitely write songs about those experiences all the time.
Since food and music go so well together, what is your dream pairing of a meal and a musician?
In Nashville there’s an exceptional Southern-style meat-and-three called Arnold’s Country Kitchen. Well, naturally we go there a good bit, but before his death, and for longer than I know probably, John Prine would go there every Thursday before a writing session and get the meatloaf. We’d go and see him ride in his huge black Escalade and go to town. So to me, John Prine and a big ole meatloaf and three sides from Arnold’s is the stuff of legend!
Photo Credit: Monica Murray