People whoÕve never heard me play sometimes ask, ŅWhat kind of music do you play?Ó ItÕs a tough question to answer, and usually I take the easy out and just say IÕm a folksinger.
But folk has a wide range of definitions, so I suppose I could say my music is essentially folk, with dashes of country, pop, and Americana tossed into the mix to varying degrees from song to song. (No wonder I usually fall back on plain olÕ ŅfolksingerÓ. . . .)
IÕm not sure I can point out a specific influence on my songwriting style. I guess thatÕs not such a bad thing, is it?
But there are singer-songwriters whose work I really admire. Some of my favorites, in no particular order, are Kevin Gordon, Erik Koskinen, Molly Maher, Peter Mulvey, Peter Holsapple, John Prine, Richard Thompson, Bill Morrissey, Sandy Denny, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, Malcolm Holcombe, David Olney, Warren Zevon, Dana Falconberry, and Michael Hurley. Of course, the list is fluid since IÕm always finding new songwriters IÕm drawn to.
Some songwriters I find particularly inspirational. For instance, I first heard Kevin Gordon back in October of 2012, and I came away from the show itching to grab my notebook and pen, pick up my guitar, and start writing. In my book, thatÕs about the highest praise one songwriter can give another.
Dave Van Ronk once wrote, ŅI can tell a lie, but I canÕt sing one.Ó I think what he was getting at is that whatever you sing, make sure itÕs something you can sing honestly. That doesnÕt mean you have to believe it or that you would do it, just that youÕd better sing it as if you might. As a writer, the standardÕs the same: after all, chances are that if you write it, youÕll sing it, too.
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