Artist: Ed Jurdi of The Band of Heathens
Hometown: Asheville, North Carolina; band’s hometown is Austin, Texas
Latest album: Stranger
Band Nicknames: The Hand of Beathens
What’s your favorite memory from being on stage?
At the Americana Awards a few years back. I remember being on stage at the Ryman Auditorium and looking around and realizing that I was performing with a bunch of my heroes. Delbert McClinton, Emmylou Harris, John Hiatt and Sam Bush, to name just a few. It truly was a full circle moment for sure.
What other art forms — literature, film, dance, painting, etc — inform your music?
In short they all do. I have always been in awe of painters who can really create a world with their colors and imagery. I find myself being really inspired by the impressionistic painters and the way they use light to offer a unique and different perspective on things that can be somewhat mundane.
What rituals do you have, either in the studio or before a show?
I don’t have any real set rituals, but I generally like to hang around the gig and sing some songs either by myself, or with whoever else is hanging out. It’s a good way to warm up and it’s a fun way to get the group vibes in a positive space.
If you had to write a mission statement for your career, what would it be?
Follow the muse. Lead with your art and expression and figure out how to make the business part of the career work in service of the creativity. I can happily say that has always been the case.
Which elements of nature do you spend the most time with and how do those impact your work?
I live in Asheville, North Carolina, so I spend the most time in the mountains and the forests that surround us. I love being able to hike way out into the woods and find a vista where I can see both the great scope of things, but also hear the rustling of the leaves and the wind blowing through the tops of the trees. In those moments of solitude I find my mind is incredibly clear and clean, which is almost always when ideas begin to present themselves almost out of nowhere.
Photo credit: Jason Quigley