How did you start?
Well, I started playing the harmonica about 26 years ago and really dedicated myself to it. I wound up playing in some bands a few years later and thought I would just play harp in bands. After a while, I wound up wanting to play certain types of music and had song ideas but realized that you can’t really tell a band what to play when you are just the harp player, so I formed my own band called JUke (www.jukepostblues.com ) where I am the singer and harp player…. I also book bands in venues for a living and I booked one of the best one man bands you’ll ever see, Ben Prestage. I was fascinated not only by his multi-tasking musicianship, but the freedom that a one man band has to do whatever he wants at any time…. So I started Uncle SCotchy OMB about 7 years ago.
Where are you based?
Miami, Florida. USA:)
Please give an example of your music writing process?
I always have voice memo ready to go on my phone. Before that, I always had a little hand voice memo recorder close by for when ideas come. If I’m not home I’ll record a thought or idea verbally or with harmonica, but the majority is ideas come when sitting in my practice corner. I play certain riffs on guitar or beats with my feet and record each idea that stands out. Every once in a while, when I’m in the mood, I sit down and review all the different memos and start putting together certain ideas that match up with others musically. Also, I was a literature major in college and grew up wanting to be a writer so adding interesting words and concepts to these grooves comes naturally.
What are you working on right now?
I really like to write songs that questions and plays with the concepts of religion and faith. I just wrote a kind of faux-spiritual called “Tougher than a Hippo” that I really like. Also, I’m finally recording an EP in the next week or so at a very respected studio in town. I’m just gonna record two songs and release on 7 inch vinyl I think.
What is your gear setup?
I sit on a Cajon (literally a wooden box that is usually sat on an played with the hands in a lot of South American music) but I put a kick petal in front of it and play it with my heel like a kick drum. With my left foot I have another kick petal that hits a snare drum set up vertically in a milk crate and it has a bell on top. I play mostly in open G, D or E on guitar and alternate between an old 1950’s Silvertone Archtop that I had a Loller pickup installed in and a great 50’s Kay Archtop with the original pickup in it. I vary the tube amps that I play the guitar thru. For harmonica, I clip a Strnad harmonica mic to the harp and play it in a holder thru a little Mouse Amp thru a Boss Digital Delay petal.
What do you like to do outside of music and does it affect your music?
Like mentioned before, I book bands for a living. National Acts as well as Local. It really helps me know what’s going on and stay relevant in the music scene here in South Florida.
How would you describe your music genre?
Well, all One Man Bands kind of have their own thing going. My stuff is obviously very blues and groove based, but not traditional. It’s raw and the lyrics and subject matter set it apart.
Do you know any music theory?
Basic theory. Enough that I can communicate concepts with my band. I always make sure the guys I play with in JUke are some of the top guys in town. Way better than me. So I have to know how to speak and direct them, otherwise I lose respect and that can’t happen in a working band;)
What are your plans for the future?
I kind of had to quit doing the one band band thing for a while when my ex-girfriend lived with me because she ha an early day job and it made it impossible to practice as much as I have needed. She has been gone for a couple years now and I’ve really enjoyed rediscovering the joy of the One Man Band. Looking to do some tours with my good buddy and One Man Band I usually share the bill with, Lone Wolf OMB. We actually discuss going to Australia a lot;)… I booked Bob Log III before in Miami and we got along real well. Hopefully we can reunite out there sometime.
How did you get into music?
Always loved music. But the record “Hard Again” by Muddy Waters is what made me want to learn the harmonica. James Cotton just blew my mind.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Getting back into one of my favorite albums, the first album by The Devil Makes Three… also listening to some early Mason Jennings and a band from Texas called Greyhounds.
Who are your top 5 influences and icons?
( in no particular order)
John Lee Hooker
Townes Van Zandt
The Black Keys (their early albums)
When are you playing next?
I might do an impromptu show at my venue The Wynwood Yard to stay sharp if there is a cancellation. Otherwise, I have a couple monthly’s that me, Lone Wolf OMB and a guy named Reverend Ron play together in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
Very cool. Uncle Scotchy rocks.