Jonathan Byrd & The Pickup Cowboys

Jonathan Byrd interview:

Jonathan Byrd writes and performs songs that sound as if they could have been written 50, 100, or 200 years ago, as many years in the future, or yesterday. His songs, like the all the best ones, are timeless. A captivating performer, he often tours solo, supporting himself with his deft flatpicking and soulful vocals. When he can, he brings his part-time band, The Pickup Cowboys, with him. Comprised of violinist Omar Ruiz-Lopez, cellist Paul Ford, and guitarist/mandolinist/saw-player Johnny Wakon, The Pickup Cowboys know exactly how to accompany Byrd and his rootsy, soul-driven music. In April of this year, Jonathan visited Ashland VA’s Ashland Coffee & Tea with The Pickup Cowboys, and proceeded to give one of the best performances we’ve seen at the venue. We joined them in the green room before the show for a brief interview:

Brian: Tell us how and when you started playing music.

Byrd: I don’t know. I can tell you when I started playing guitar… I was like, eight years old. I didn’t really get serious until 13 or 14. But I always played something. My mom was a pianist, so there was always a piano in the house. My brother had a guitar… I was always singing, so… I don’t know.

Jeff: So… it was always there?

Byrd: Yeah. I mean, I can kind of tell you when I started playing certain kinds of music, or maybe when I started writing songs, that kind of thing.

Omar Ruiz-Lopez: When you got serious…

Byrd: When I picked up the guitar, I got really obsessed with music. And then, when I was about 28, I got serious about trying to create a business around it.

Jeff: So you’ve always been a businessman, a corporate man?

Brian: [laughs]

Byrd: Honestly, I just did whatever I could do… Like, generation X calls it a “McJob”, whatever that job is that has almost no responsibility, so that I could go play gigs whenever I wanted to… I could call in late. I worked in a carwash… I worked at Pizza Hut… I delivered pizzas for a couple years.

Jeff: I’ve heard that you play violin, but I don’t think I’ve ever actually seen or heard you play it.

Byrd: No, there’s a reason for that! There’s a reason why I’ve hired a violin player. I’m a violin owner! I have one, but I just haven’t had any time to really focus on that.

Omar: You should hear the guys on his first two albums, “Wildflowers” and “The Sea and The Sky”.

Byrd: And “The Waitress”. Jason Cade… Bill Hicks is on “Wildflowers”.

Jeff: Bill Hicks, I’ve heard of him.

Omar: Not that Bill Hicks…

Byrd: Yeah, there’s a comedian Bill Hicks. He (the violinist) is a member of The Red Clay Ramblers… real old-time fiddle player.

Brian: What do you think is the biggest mistake musicians commonly make?

Byrd: I think maybe the biggest mistake that I’ve made in my own life playing music, is to not include whoever’s listening, as a writer and a player and a performer. Like, there’s nights when you play, and all you’re getting paid is three beers, and you’re about three beers into it, and you’re not really connected to them (the audience). Or even just playing so much that there’s no space in the music for them to go into.

Brian: To insert their thoughts into, really.

Byrd: Yeah. Everybody needs space, and they need to be invited in.

Jeff: Is there anything that you do to get yourself in the mood to write a song?

Byrd: I get up really early in the morning and make a cup of coffee. That’s kind of how I do it now, because I have a three year old, and if I don’t get up an hour and a half before he does, it’s really hard to get my day started right. My day tends to run however I begin it. So if I don’t get up and do something creative, before everybody else gets up, then it’s very hard to get into a creative mode later on. The other way that I create is after rehearsal… I take these guys (referring to the band) out, and I’m really good and warmed up, and I’ll go downstairs and make sure everything’s cool and everybody’s gone to bed… Then I go back upstairs, and I’ll work on songs. Sometimes ‘til two or three in the morning, and I pay the price the next day, but… I’ve been playing with them for like, three hours, and I’m in this really musical place.

One time I wrote a song by picking words at random from a big dictionary that somebody had given me… Generally I find within twenty or thirty minutes of just doing something, to write, or to generate some creative output, I get into the mood. It’s like showing up to any job. Nobody feels like making pizzas today, but you know… you show up and you get in the swing of it and people that you like are working there… Then before you know it, you’re in the middle of the day, and you’re having fun slinging pizzas! It’s kind of the same way with writing… Just to show up with something to do, even if you don’t like it, just keep working on it, and eventually you’ll find that you’re having fun creating something.

Brian: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

Byrd: The strange-est?

Jeff: Well, strange would work. If nothing strange-est has happened…

(long pause)

Brian: You don’t care to divulge that information?

Paul Ford: He’s pretty in control onstage. (chuckles)

Byrd: You know, we used to play this place… I kind of loved it. It was called Dick’s Clam & Cow, it was in Virginia Beach, and they sort of encouraged chaos there… the waitresses would come by and throw napkins at you…

Jeff: Trying to make you angry?

Byrd: Yeah. All the tables in the place were heavy, oak picnic tables. You could get on the table and dance, it wouldn’t hurt anything, so they sort of encouraged that kind of stuff… There were some pretty wild shows at that place.

Paul: I saw a guy pull an orb out, and do this thing… It was when U2 was just breaking, and he was trying to cop this thing… Bono had this thing with the mic and the flag, and he had props. It was cool; it was new. So, we’re playing this gig, and there’s this band; they were okay… and then this dude pulls this orb out. It was like terrible theatre, like they wanted to be Queen, or they wanted to have this moment… and people were just throwing shit, and screaming, “you suck”! They went from being, like, getting over, to “your career is over”! In the middle of this gig!

Byrd: Oh, that’s terrible…

Paul: And the guy, he played through it all. It (the prop) was like some mini bowling ball thing.

Johnny Wakon: “It’s supposed to be eighteen feet, not eighteen inches!”

Paul: Exactly. I love that they went for it, but it killed them. That was, like, ’86-’87… How old are you guys?

Jeff: That was about ten years before we were born.

Johnny: Oh, wow.

(a knocking is heard)…

Paul: My brother’s here! (laughing)

Jeff: Looks like you better get out there!

Will Kimbrough: His musings on music and life.


Will Kimbrough performing solo at a house concert in Richmond VA, June 2012. Photo credit: Jacob Aaron.

Will Kimbrough is a triple-threat: A seasoned songwriter, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist, and master showman. Then again, you could say he’s much more than just a triple-threat. He’s also a great singer, and most importantly, an incredibly nice guy. Countless musicians have enlisted him to play on their recordings. He’s toured with Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris, had his songs recorded by Jimmy Buffett… The list goes on and on.

We approached him before a dynamite 3-plus hour solo concert on March 8, 2013 at Ashland Coffee & Tea in Ashland, VA. He graciously answered our questions and offered up some wisdom, Yoda style.

Jeff: When did you first start playing music?

 Will: I started playing guitar when I was twelve. For my 12th birthday I got a guitar, and I guess I started then. I played piano a little bit before that, and I played violin a little bit before that, so… you know, 11… 37 years ago.

Brian: Since you’re such a multi-instrumentalist, if there was a deserted island instrument, what would it be for you?

 Will: Oh, I’d probably take a… If I was gonna be on a desert island, all alone with a guitar, I’d take a little old Gibson, or a little old Martin; a triple-o, a double-o, or a L-double o, LG2 Gibson…

Jeff: Do you have one?

Will: No.

Jeff: Well, maybe there’d be one stashed away on the island…

Will: If I could take one, and it didn’t have all the cracks in it, I’d take my Martin D-18.

Jeff: I was gonna say a Les Paul and a Marshall stack, ‘cause I’m sure they’ll have electricity on the island.

Will: (laughs) Right.

Jeff: You’ve played with a lot of musicians. But is there anybody who you haven’t played with, who you would really like to play with?

 Will: Oh, sure. There’s all kinds of people… Gosh, there’s a lot. I mean, some of the people I’d love to play with have passed away, many of them.

Jeff: I mean, preferably a living person.

Will: I’d love to play with Ry Cooder… I love Ry Cooder and David Lindley, I love a whole bunch of African guitar players, that I’d love to sit in a room with and play, ‘cause they have a different thing… And, you know, tons of different people, but… I mean, I’ve gotten to play with a lot of people, and a lot of people that nobody would have ever heard of. I’d love to play, like, Chuck Berry rhythm with Keith Richards, all day.

Jeff: How about someone who… maybe I should have asked the question a different way…

Will: Okay.

Jeff: More specifically someone who is, you know… in a genre that you may not usually play in.

Will: Oh, right. Okay. Jim Hall… jazz guitar player. He’s still around, and I’d love to play with him. He’s in his eighties, but he still plays really well. No offense to you octogenarians out there… I didn’t mean to presume that they couldn’t play well. But um…

Jeff: B.B. King…

Brian: Who else?

Will: Sonny Rollins… sax player… Jim Hall, jazz great, been playin’ forever, and he still plays great, and he has a unique thing that I cannot possibly do.

Brian: Yeah. Very cool.

(Brian): When was your first paying gig?

 Will: I was twelve, and they used to have bands at skating rinks in Mobile (Alabama, Will’s hometown), roller-skating places, on Saturday night. So, in December of 1976, which was six months after I got a guitar, we played in Skate World, in Mobile, Alabama, and…

Jeff: That must have been interesting.

Will: …We made a hundred and fifty bucks.

Jeff: That’s a lot for a first paying gig.

Will: That’s what they paid. They paid everybody 150 bucks, and so, it didn’t matter. We talked ‘em into booking us, and it was… actually, that was my first gig. I got paid the first gig, so of course I got hooked right into it, you know?

Brian: Oh yeah, definitely. “There’s money in this”!

Will: Twenty years later I was still making a hundred and fifty bucks! (laughs)

Jeff: Well…

Will: It’s okay!

Jeff: Steady job…

Will: Yeah, that’s right!

Brian: That might be kind of dangerous, though, for the skaters ‘cause… they’d start weaving with the music, and then… bashing into people…

Will: Well, they kinda… yeah, it was dangerous. They quit doin’ it pretty quickly.

Brian: Yeah.

Will: We got the heyday of the skating/rock ‘n’ roll combination.

Will rockin' the resonator solo, 2012. Photo by McTell Brothers.

Rockin’ the resonator solo, 2012. Photo by McTell Brothers.

Jeff: Is there any advice you can give to musicians who are just journeying into the music business?

 Will: Yeah! Well, if you have expectations about any part of it, try to get rid of ‘em. And then you’ll get new ones, but you just have to constantly… If you destroy your expectations as quickly as possible, you’ll save yourself a lot of getting your feelings hurt. I’m not talking about success or money, I’m talking about everything; your ability to play. Your ability to play what’s in your head. You just have to keep trying, I mean… The reason I play multiple instruments is ‘cause I’m willing to play badly in front of an expert. Honestly! And just do it! Because you have to learn. And once you’re in the swing of everything and you’re not learning at home as much anymore, you’re just out playing. So you get an instrument and you take it onstage and just work on it, you know? Otherwise you’re waiting five years until you’re good enough, and then…

Fear and expectations are a real enemy. And I’m saying that, I think, because I just let go of a bunch of expectations, and I realized as soon as I did, that I started to get new ones. Just about, like, what to expect from other people, for one thing, in general. Not that it’s a cynical thing, that other people aren’t going to do you right, but only you know what you want. And only you know when you’re getting it; other people can never tell you that you’re getting what you want out of life; I’m just talking in general… Your time, your schedule, tour schedule, studio schedule…

You have to stand up for yourself, and you have to tell people honestly, “no, that doesn’t make me comfortable”, or “this is how much it costs for me to do this thing”. And if you’re afraid that they’ll say “oh, well that’s too much, I’m gonna hire somebody else”, and so you don’t say it, then you’re not representing yourself. You have to be willing… If something’s making your stomach turn, but you’re trying to make a living playing music, you shouldn’t just take it just ‘cause you’re afraid of being broke.

That’s what I’m saying. But… Try to look with clear eyes, and there’s all kind of different ways to look at it throughout your life. I mean there’s when you’re just getting started, and you’re just grateful that anybody will let you play anywhere. And then there’s a little bit where you get to where people are comin’ out and showin’ up, and then your expectations will be, like, you expect people to come at that point, because they have been. Then there’ll be a night where they don’t. And you’re crushed, you know? Or you get a job with somebody that you admire, and you expect them to do something that you dreamed of, and it turns out they’re just people. They’re just people with an extraordinary gift.

So, there’s always the twenty-two hours of the day that you travel around to get to a gig, and then there’s two hours that you’re actually playing the show. And that’s all you get of the wonderfulness. (laughs) You know what I’m sayin’?

Jeff: “Is this two hours worth it?”

Will: Well, you know, what is your time worth to you? And it’s not just a monetary thing, it’s a spiritual thing, you know… Where do you want to go with your music? Because… the future started five minutes ago, you know. I mean… For me, the future started forty years ago.

It’s like… Don’t hesitate to put your music out if your record feels like it’s done… You don’t feel like you have enough money to hire a publicist, or a radio promotion or whatever. Don’t hesitate. Press the CDs up, take ‘em to the gig, give ‘em away to people that you think can help you… I have a lot of advice.

Jeff: Yeah.

Will: But, honestly… I’m not saying “give it away on the Internet”, or whatever, that’s such a cliché… and that’s fine if you wanna do that… But it’s not expensive to make a good sounding record, and it’s not expensive to make good looking artwork, and it’s not expensive to press up some CDs and then give ‘em to people and sell ‘em at your shows. And then your songs are out there in the public.

I mean, I wouldn’t have gotten my first Jimmy Buffett cut ten years ago if I hadn’t made a CD that I couldn’t afford to make, really, and put it out, and he got my record and he liked it, and he wanted to cut a song. He didn’t want to cut a song by a songwriter who pitched him a song, you know what I mean?

I just finished recording the fourth album in a row with him. I got a four-album, ten-year writing and recording relationship with Buffett and the guys in his band. And it started because I made a record that I put out, instead of waiting because I didn’t think I could, you know what I mean? And I’ve just gone through that again where I thought I couldn’t, and I haven’t put it out yet, but I’m finishing it now. Because I know that it’s more like you can’t afford not to put your music out there. ‘Cause people need to hear the songs.

You know, somebody who was texting me this morning was talking about a song we wrote and recorded on her album, and she was like “I wish I could have sang it better, I wish we didn’t have to do it on one-inch, eight-track tape”, and I was like “What are you, nuts?! That was the best sounding thing we ever did!”. We sang a duet into one mic and did it live. And people have that forever on a record, instead of us, like, nitpicking it together on a computer.

Jeff: Right, “I wish I could change that.”

Brian: Imagine all the great albums out there… I’m sure as soon as it was released, Neil Young said something like, “Oh, I hate my vocals on… ‘Ambulance Blues’”

Will: (laughs) That’s a good one.

Brian: Exactly, like… “I wish I could go back and redo ‘em”… They’re amazing!

Will: Well, I’ll say this, some other advice for people:

When you’re makin’ your own record, listen to your favorite records and try to listen fairly, listen to those Beatles records – like, listen to when the bass goes high on “Hey, Jude”, and it’s way out of tune… (sings bass line)… “Let it out and let it in…”. It’s totally sharp, like… six cents sharp. But you know what? No one has ever cared. Which isn’t to say you should make your albums out of tune. But the spirited performance that sounds good always should win out over technical perfection that sounds good to the engineer.

Jeff: I definitely agree with you.

Brian: Were The Band’s harmonies ever always on key, like, all the time?

Will: No, but that’s the whole…

I’m trying to take my own advice, is the interesting thing, like… You learn stuff and then you… Your life changes and then you have to learn it all over again, every time, for each phase of your life.

Jeff: Yeah, it’s interesting, sometimes it seems like that, like… “Didn’t I already figure that out? Shouldn’t I already know that?…

Brian: That happens all too often to me.

Jeff: …Do you really have to learn all over again?”


With Paul Griffith on drums, Nashville TN, Sept. 2011 (photo by McTell Brothers).

Will: I think you do. Because I learned a lot as a band member, and then I had to learn it as an individual, and then I had to learn it as a sideman… I had to learn it as a session player… I had to learn it as a writer, and I had to learn it as a guy that put his own record out. I had to learn it as a guy who had a record deal. I had to learn it as a guy who had a major label record deal. I had to learn it as a guy who had an independent record deal, and I had to learn it again as a guy who put his own record out. I had to learn it as a guy who writes songs in a publishing deal. I had to learn it as a guy with no publishing deal… and it never ends. But if you can just jump right into it when it’s in front of you, and not be afraid, and ask questions. Instead of acting like you know what you’re doing just, like “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about. What are you talking about? Show me! Make it easy for me. Help me out here.”

An Interview with Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen

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Frank Solivan and Dirty Kitchen (L-R): Chris Luquette, Frank Solivan, Danny Booth, and Mike Munford – photo by The McTell Brothers

This is the first in a series of interviews we’ll be doing with some of our favorite musicians.

The first subjects of our needling are Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen. They are a renowned bluegrass band out of northern VA. Nominated for the IBMA’s 2012 Emerging Artist of the Year award, they play bluegrass, newgrass, and blues-grass. But we would be remiss to confine Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen’s music to just these genres. They are, like all the best bands, eclectic and unique.

Frank is an accomplished chef who often combines his shows with his great food. His CD release show, in Washington, DC,  on April 20 includes a multi-course meal prepared by Frank.

We met with Frank and his band in the green room of Ashland Coffee & Tea ( ) before their February 22nd gig. That night they announced that they had just signed to Compass Records. Their new album, “On The Edge”, will be released on April 30th. Check out their tour schedule and music on their website, “Like” them on Facebook, and be sure to catch them live sometime.

Thanks to the entire band: Frank Solivan, Chris Luquette, Mike Munford, and Danny Booth for taking the time to answer our questions.

Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen talk about getting flashed, The Walking (Almost) Dead, their musical beginnings,  dream musical collaborations, and the “hazards” of being both a chef and musician:

Frank Solivan: (to his band) OK, watch your mouths, guys.

Brian: First question: How old were you when you first started playing music?

Frank: And who are you asking?

Brian: Everybody, I guess.

Frank: I didn’t know a time where I didn’t have any instruments around. My whole family plays music.

Danny Booth: I played a little keyboard when I was 10, but I really started when I was 11. Playing bass.

Chris Luquette: Started messin’ around on guitars probably when I was around 10 or so. It’s been about 12 years now.

Mike Munford: Late bloomer for me, started at 15. Banjo at 15.

Frank: I guess I kinda started when I was 6, maybe… When I started playing fiddle and guitar.

Brian: If you could play with any living musician outside of bluegrass, who would it be?

Frank: (whistles) Stevie Wonder. That’s the first person that comes to mind. I could probably think of about 20 more.

Chris: Right away, for whatever reason, I’d say Derek Trucks, man. I’d love to just, like, get right up in Derek Trucks and… get some of that.

Brian: He’s a monster.

Danny: I thought Chris was gonna say Duane Allman.

Chris: Well, he said “living musician”.

Jeff: Yeah, someone you could conceivably play with in real life.

Danny: John Paul Jones.

Jeff: He’s alive.

Mike: Well, that’s an interesting question. I mean, there are certainly people I idolize outside of bluegrass, like Oscar Peterson, who’s a great jazz pianist. Now, I don’t know jazz at all; I can’t see it as a likely combination, but… you know.

Brian: What’s the strangest thing that’s ever happened to you onstage?

Mike: The what-est thing?

Everyone: Strangest!

Brian: Probably an uncomfortable question…

Frank: Underwear thrown right in front of me. That’s always really strange.

Brian: Has that actually happened?

Frank: Yeah.

Jeff: Like, multiple times?

Frank: Mmm-hmm.

Mike: It was his underwear, though.

Frank: It was my underwear, that’s the weird thing…no… But they were big! They were large, women’s underwear. First time it happened to me, it was at Grey Fox when I was playing with the Navy band.

Danny: Ahhh, this is definitely not the PG version, but, uh… I got flashed.

Jeff: I don’t know how many of these answers we can put on our blog.

Frank: Alright, I actually did get flashed by about 10 women, in Haines, Alaska. That was the coolest, maybe not the weirdest, but the coolest.

Chris: So, for the clean version, I played a folk festival one time, and we were in the middle of the song, and as soon as the end of our set was over at noon – we played, like, 11:30 to noon – at the next show at this stage, there was gonna be this cultural meeting… they were having a parade of Scandinavian heritage from one side of the park, and Asian heritage from the other side… And the Chinese heritage came, and there were people dressed as a dragon, they had the big dragon… There were these guys just, BANGING on drums, and they had no idea that there was a show going on; they were just thinking of the parade. But those drums carry for about 2 miles wherever you are, so we’re in the middle of this song and all of a sudden just, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, you know? And at the time we couldn’t really see ‘em from stage, so it was kinda like… “what’s going on?”. And then obviously they realized they were way too close to the stage, and there was still a program going on… So they got quiet again. That was kinda strange to just have all of sudden, like, Chinese New Year’s celebrations happening right as we’re on stage just, full-force.

Jeff: Someone didn’t plan that very well.

Frank: What about you, Mike?

Mike: Not that many strange things, but just one time playing with a local band in Baltimore… New Grass Revival was gonna play later that afternoon. I look up and Bela (Fleck) is sittin’ at the soundboard, mixing our sound or something, and it’s like… “What is he doing out there? He should be up there with this instrument that I’m playing… maybe I should be elsewhere, parking cars or something.”

Frank: One more – this is really weird, uh, when I was-

Jeff: Is it clean?

Frank: They’re all clean, dude. Nobody has been muddy or dirty in any of these yet. We haven’t gotten dirty yet. I have dirty ones, and you guys aren’t of age for me to talk about those ones yet.

So, anyway… I was just outside of Phoenix, playing with the Navy band… we were playing at this big bandshell, and 5000 people were supposed to be there, and so we’re setting up… and they save this area up in the front for older folks to come, and they start trucking them in in these buses from old folk’s homes there. And, you know, we’ve soundchecked for 5000 people; this is a BIG place. And we brought all of our gear out, and so on, and so they sit there… And the next thing you know we’ve started into our first song, and people that couldn’t walk are walking all of a sudden, and they’re like zombies, coming to the stage with their arms extended – “LOUD. LOOUUD!” – And, literally, pounding on the stage with their hands – “TURN IT DOOWWN! TURN IT DOOWWN! IT’S SO LOOUUD!”

Brian: Like a negative geriatric mosh-pit?

Frank: Dude, we were totally being, like, attacked by the people that were in wheelchairs, you know? They got wheeled in! They were, like, standing up pounding on the stage yelling at us that we’re so loud.

Jeff: They were conserving their energy for that moment.

Frank: That was the weirdest thing, I think. I mean, after the first set, we all went and, like, hid back in the dressing room, and people were pounding on the door – “I KNOW YOU GUYS ARE IN THERE! YOU NEED TO TURN IT DOWN!” I swear to god, man, I’m not even exaggerating!

Brian: That’s pretty intimidating. (pause)

(B): What instrument do feel yourselves most proficient at?

Frank: Anymore, mandolin, I guess. Once it was fiddle.

Jeff: You’ve shifted?

Frank: Yeah, well, the fiddle takes so much energy and time and dedication, which I don’t have anymore… I mean, it’s an instrument you’ve gotta play everyday.

Danny: Bass. I like to play guitar, but… I suck.

Chris: Yeah, we all… emphasis definitely is we all play lots of different instruments, but I think we’re all pretty much…

Frank: Drawn to what we’re playing, yeah…

Chris: …Kind of are playing our first instrument.

Mike: That goes for me, for sure. I play guitar, too, but my banjo’s stronger.

Chris: You haven’t heard Munford play jew’s harp yet, so…

Frank: Or fiddle!

Jeff: I’ve always been confused whether it was called jew’s harp or jaw harp.

Mike: Jaw harp is really, uh…

Frank: (imitating hick accent) Play that jaw harp! Play that old jaw harp!

Jeff: I’ve heard it said two different ways, and I’ve always been uncomfortable saying “jew’s harp”. Wasn’t sure if it was gonna be insulting to somebody…

Chris: In this day and age, it could be, I guess.

Mike: It’s not quite PC, but it’s true.

Brian (to Frank): How does being a chef affect your music and vice-versa?

Frank: Well, when I cut my finger… that really affects my music. And then when I eat before a show, that really affects my singing… in a negative way, especially the burping into the microphone…

Chris: “How ya’ll–burp–doin’?”

Frank: …I mean, the name of the band is Dirty Kitchen, you know? I try to project that I love food, which I do.

Jeff: Don’t we all?
Frank: Right, but I mean in more of a, like, epicurean kind of way, you know?… It can mean a few different things, but anymore it means mostly being epicurious to… really into food. There’s a podcast you can check out, called “The Epicurious”.

Jeff: Interesting.

Frank: Yeah, it relates to food, these days. As opposed to the, uh, Greek, uh, whatever it is… god, or whatever. (laughs)

Brian: Greek god of food?

Frank: I don’t know if that’s it…

Jeff: Is there one?

Frank: I can’t remember any of the other…

Chris: (answering Jeff) Oh, yeah.

Frank: Actually, let’s look it up real quick! (whips out iphone)… Well, there’s…”epicurious defined”…”a person who lives in the constant pursuit of great food, drink, debauchery, and open-minded…” yadda, yadda, yadda…

Danny: “The pursuit of debauchery”. (everyone laughs)

Frank: I like that part…

Mike: The endless pursuit…

Frank: The endless pursuit of debauchery! (throws two devil horns in the air) YEEAAHH!

J&B: Thank you, guys!

Frank and the band: Thank you! It was fun.

(Note from McTell Brothers:After the interview, we looked up the etymology of the word “epicurean”, and this is what we found: The word epicurean is derived from the Greek philosopher Epicurus (341 – 270 B.C.).

New blog and recording session photos…

New Blog:

Hey Everybody:

Welcome to our new blog!  Hope you enjoy it.

We plan to use this blog to update you on our musical adventures, share things we discover on the road, and post interviews with some of our favorite musicians. Stay tuned!

Recording in Nashville

In September ’12, we had the honor of recording a session at the House of David studio in Nashville with some awesome musicians: Jen Gunderman (who was also the producer), Paul Griffith, and Bones Hillman. ‘Twas an awesome experience. Here are some pictures from the session:

In the control room, at House of David

L-R: Jeff, Jen Gunderman, Brian, Bones Hillman, and Paul Griffith at the mixing board in House of David.

Brian in recording kiosk, House of David.
Brian in recording kiosk, House of David.

Jeff in recording kiosk, House of David.

Jeff in recording kiosk, House of David.

The mixing console at House of David. This board has recorded Neil Young, Justin Townes Earle, Peter Cooper, and many others.

The mixing console at House of David. This board has recorded Neil Young, Justin Townes Earle, Peter Cooper, and many others.

The digital audio workstation (DAW) at House of David. Some people call them computers.

The Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) at House of David. Some people call them computers…
L-R: Brian, Jeff, and recording engineer Adam Bednarik in the control room.

L-R: Brian, Jeff, and recording engineer Adam Bednarik in the control room.

L-R: Paul Griffith, Jeff, Bones Hillman, Jen Gunderman and Brian after a day of recording.
L-R: Paul Griffith, Jeff, Bones Hillman, Jen Gunderman and Brian after a day of recording.

There’s nothing quite like being in the studio. It’s a very cool environment, especially when in the company of such talented musicians and people. Thank you, Jen, Paul, Bones and Adam! We’ll soon be back to finish the job. 🙂