1. What are your main musical influences? Where do you get your inspiration from when you’re in the studio?
I’m a product of my parent’s record collections. Classic Soul, Jazz, Blues and Rock n Roll from the 50’s to 70’s. When I’m in the studio I draw my inspiration from those who came before me, paving the path that leads me to the freedom to make music.
2. Your latest video, a cover of Marvin Gaye’s ‘Trouble Man’ was recently released with a video that featured a plethora of familiar faces- including Taryn Manning from Orange Is The New Black and Renee Elise Goldsberry from Hamilton. What was your favorite part about working on that project?
I was honored to work on that project with my wife, Tara Buck as producer and an incredibly inspiring cast of strong, talented and fierce women. Renee and Taryn are friends of mine from way back and I was thrilled when they both said “yes” to appear in the video. Everyone put their heart and soul into the project.
3. Tell me about your experience in Muscle Shoals with The Swampers who you recorded with on your current release “You’ve Got To Feel It!”
All I can think about since having the honor to record down there is that I’ve GOT to get back there to record some more soon. It was a thrill ride from start to finish. I learned so much from members The Swampers, Muscle Shoals Horns & Shoals Sisters and I’ll never forget that experience!
4. I hear you’re dubbed Soul Tools by Vince Wilburn, Jr. (drummer Miles Electric Band). Can you touch upon why live, authentic music is important along with getting back to one’s roots and learning from and respecting the masters?
Yes! Soul Tools! It’s important for those of us who have the privilege of being music makers, who have worked diligently all of our lives to obtain the skills that we have, to honor those that came before us who were much more limited than us as far as devices that enhance our sound. The most powerful enhancement that we have, in my opinion is our raw imagination and authenticity. We must remember to not loose touch with these important elements of music making.
5. What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Honestly, every time that I get to make music is a highlight. It’s been incredible to share the stage with musical heroes like, BB King, Al Green, Aaron Neville and others and it’s also been incredible to share stages with my colleagues in the local scene and around the globe.
6. What’s your favorite hidden spot in LA to catch some good music?
There are so many and my favorite hidden spot is a members only spot. I became a member by contributing music to the venue. I encourage everyone to go out there and find the spot(s) that inspire you.
7. What is the most meaningful song you’ve written – and why?
I’m an emotional dude and all the songs have deep meaning for me. I honestly don’t have a stand out song. They all move me at different times for different reasons.
8. Your wife Tara Buck is also an artist/actor. How does she inspire you art and your life? We see the cuteness factor you share on social media.
My wife/life partner Tara Buck is a shining beacon of light. I’m honored to share the journey with her. We bounce ideas off of one another and encourage each other with dedication and honesty. Her work and career in acting is unbelievably inspiring!
9. What are some tips for people that, like you, go out to shows often but might not always have a designated driver?
ALWAYS UBER. Work it into your budget for the night. It’s so important. If not, walk or take the bus. Don’t ever drive intoxicated or get in the car as a passenger with anyone who is under the influence.
10. How do you encourage your own peers and family not to drink and drive?
With honesty. That’s the only way.
11. What can your fans expect from you next – anything exciting you’re working on?
I’m working on several projects including a stage show called “Reverend Tall Tree’s Blues Opera” and will be in the studio this year working on a new original album.