Sam Bush - A Little Bit Of Everything by Bev Moser

Sam Bush hosted the 2007 IBMA Awards show at the Grand Old Opry house in Nashville TN as well as performing with his band. I caught up with him backstage to get a glimpse of the man and his music.Bev: It is great to spend some time with you and I am very honored to be able to take a peek into your career. It has been a very busy week for you, not only with all the IBMA events, but for you personally, can you tell me what was it you have enjoyed the most? Sam: I like going to the convention center to hear people pick. So many of them, maybe 95%, so their knowledge of music is amazing and of course I like to go to the trade show and vendors downstairs because I am a collector of instruments and catalogs since I was a kid. Gibson makes a Sam Bush model, so I like seeing all the new instruments. Bev: Are you nervous about hosting the awards? Sam: No, not nervous, anxious to get it going. It is interesting how you come to put a safety net in front of you when you are holding something as small as a mandolin, and walking out there, without that is a strange . It is the craziest thing. But we have rehearsed enough and I feel comfortable. Bev: Can you tell me about the title cut of your new DVD "On The Road", why did you choose this as the title of the DVDSam: On the Road is an old song , John Hartford wrote it and we included it on our last CD, this song is in 5/4 timing, which is one two three, one two the way John does it, because he wrote this on the road, and you are always all messed up not knowing where you are waking up and everything is out of order so he figured he may as well write it in a messed up time signature. Being it was a live show taped for the DVD, On The Road just seemed an appropriate title. The video featuring Emmy Lou Harris is also included on the DVD which is a very cool thing. Bev: You also have a new CD out called Lapse in Seven – what does the title mean?Sam: It is definitely a title which makes people ask what it means. Lynn and I used to have an old dog named Ozzie, and he lived to be about 15. But before that I would listen to him and when he drank his water, he would be in this cadence, and this rhythm, and I counted out the beats per measure and it was seven beats, so 7/4 timing and he was literally lapping in seven and if you listen closely to the end of that cut, we edited on where I had put my tape recorder down next to his water bowl and the amazing thing is, that he is in time with us. I really did make up a rift to go around the timing of his and then we finished the tune. Bev: you just never know what will inspire you when you wake up in the morning do you? Sam: No that is true.Bev: Much of Laps in Seven pays tribute to old friends and musical influences – how have these old friends and influences made you who you are today?Sam: There is a song, I Wanna Do Right by Lil Feat, there is an old Charlie Monroe tune, and I got to do a duet with one of my biggest hero’s, John Luke LaPonte and do it as a duet, it was so interesting as we did our part here, he did his part in Paris France and emailed it back. We used to joke about phoning our parts in and now, we do it via the internet. Bev: "I Wanna Do Right," pays homage to Gulf Coast hurricane survivors and features an R&B duet with Little Feat's own Shaun Murphy – what can you tell me about this particular cut and also the duet, how did that come to be?Sam: Jeff Black and I got together to write a song, and it was not long after Katrina, which was and still is a mess. I had this chorus about how I Wanna Do Right and we decided that there were a lot of people thinking the same thing that were victims of Katrina. All in all it is about people. It was our hope people could get back to their regular lives and jobs, families and houses. Bev: You have worked with some of the industry’s greatest artists- from Trisha Yearwood, Allison Kraus, Dolly Pardon, Emmylou Harris, Lyle Lovett, Bella Fleck and the Flecktones just to mention a few – is there one artist in particular you have not worked with that you would love too? Sam: Eric Clapton is one, I have always been a huge fan. Bob Dillon is another. I have been very fortunate. Bev: When new groups and bands tell you that your wide-range choices of material and rock-based acoustic grooves, as well as the captivating, high-energy live shows have influenced them, how does it make you feel and what pressure do you feel by this, if any? Sam: All in all, it is very gratifying. They are responsible for their talent, but if anything I have ever played has influenced them. Then yeah, it is very gratifying and humbling. Some of these musicians come up and tell me and the band how they have listened to us and we were a part of them becoming who they are, well I think a lot of these new groups are much better than I am .. so I think it is amazing each new generation that the bar is being raised. I have always felt I had to better myself and continuously raise my own bar to keep up. I have room to grow. Bev: What is the one thing you enjoy most about playing and recording music?Sam: The feeling I get when I get to play and sharing it . I was never in this to be a solo performer. I love the feeling when you are up there on stage with the others and you bounce off their music. There is such a positive sense of energy and if we are excited then it grows to the audience. Bev: Going back a few years, In the winter of 1997, the New Grass Revival and you reunited for an appearance on The Conan O'Brien Show as the backup band for Garth Brooks. How did that come to be, do you remember?Sam: Garth opened for us back in Oklahoma before he had his record deal and he always dug our band and enjoyed the song we did called Callin’ Baton Rouge and he liked Do Whatcha Gotta Do and recorded both of those songs. When he did he hired us to play on them and it was great because all we had to do was play exactly what we had been playing all this time and that is exactly what Garth wanted us to do. So really it was a fun experience because the Revival had already broken up before that. Bev: I want to thank you again and appreciate the time speaking with you. I know you will do a great job hosting the awards and have a great time. We all look forward to more Sam Bush music.
(reprinted with permission Music News Nashville)

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