Not Quite Twenty Questions – a Beesweb Interview, Part II
4/25/2007 (updated 4/25/2007)
7) How did you come to use violinist Sara Watkins from Nickel Creek on your new album?
I was casting around for a Celtic-style fiddler in the Los Angeles area. I could have imported someone from the Bay Area, but I thought one of the conceits of the record should be “Who’s in town?” Well, Danny was here anyway for R&R, the two Michaels live here, and I thought it would be nice to keep it that way. Tim Bernett had heard that Sara had a reputation for playing great in any style, and always got good results on record, so we tried her, and she was not found wanting! I’m a big fan of Nickel Creek anyway, so this was also something of a thrill.
8) What steps have you taken to enrich your vocal quality? Have you taken formal lessons or is it simply ‘practice makes perfect’?
I’m not sure I’m at any wondrous point vocally, but wherever it is, I got there by just doing it. Obviously I think about it, and glean a few exercises from other singers, but I’m untrained.
9) The last Beesweb ‘Official Bootleg’ release was The Chrono Show in 2004. Any plans for another live release soon?
We have the Sierra concert for DVD, the Honolulu show with Danny and Michael, the acoustic rehearsal tape for Sweet Warrior, and some vintage items. Any of these could be available soon.
10) Will the lively, jaunty Django-esque ‘Harlan’s Bounce’ and the rest of the ‘Dreams with Sharp Teeth’ soundtrack be released on CD?
I thought it was more Eddie Lang than Django, and compositionally more Fletcher Henderson…I’d love to see it released. We have longer versions of some of the cues, and probably enough music for a CD length release. As yet, the film is waiting to be picked up by a distributor, and until that happens, we won’t know who has the rights, and what they want to do with the music.
11) The actual trailer for the Ellison movie has bits of other pieces besides ‘Harlan's Bounce.’ It sounds like you’re playing with a rhythm player on these as well. Does a second guitar player accompany you, or are you double tracked? If accompanied, by whom?
I did all the parts in my wee, wee studio (should be called One At A Time Studios). Mostly two guitars, a little mandolin, a little bass and percussion.
12) Your recent solo acoustic tour included a visit to New Orleans. What did you find in the aftermath of Katrina, in comparison to your previous visits?
This is a devastated city. The population is way down, and tourism is slowly coming back, but it will take many years to put the pieces back together – and it may be gone forever.