I grew up around music.
My uncle taught me and he began teaching me guitar when I was 5 years old. I had cousins that played music. We would just impromptu, get together inside or out and play music in the evenings. So I grew up on country music and then after my time in the service, I decided that I would like to play something different. So when everyone else was playing country I decided I wanted to play rock and roll. In the 70s I graduated to rock and roll and southern rock. My inspiration was my uncle that taught me. He was born in the early 30s and was a victim of the polio epidemic. He was greatly physically challenged and worked at it and could play a guitar, sing and write songs. He inspired me to do all of those. Because I saw him overcome all of those challenges, I learned that there is no such thing as “can’t do it”. He understood more about music better than anybody I knew. @powell_bud
Listen to the Live interview
Episode #350 : A.V.A Live Radio Behind The Music with Jacqueline Jax : http://www.blogtalkradio.com/avaliveradio/2016/08/16/episode-350-ava-live-radio-behind-the-music-with-jacqueline-jax
GETTING TO KNOW BUDDY POWELL
by Jacqueline Jax host of A.V.A Live Radio
Buddy Powell & Bad Cowboys
I grew up around music.
My uncle taught me and he began teaching me guitar when I was 5 years old. I had cousins that played music. We would just impromptu, get together inside or out and play music in the evenings. So I grew up on country music and then after my time in the service, I decided that I would like to play something different. So when everyone else was playing country I decided I wanted to play rock and roll. In the 70s I graduated to rock and roll and southern rock. My inspiration was my uncle that taught me. He was born in the early 30s and was a victim of the polio epidemic. He was greatly physically challenged and worked at it and could play a guitar, sing and write songs. He inspired me to do all of those. Because I saw him overcome all of those challenges, I learned that there is no such thing as “can’t do it”. He understood more about music better than anybody I knew.
Water of the Muscle Shoals
The story behind Water of the Muscle Shoals
is that I was asked to enter a national song writing contest near the town of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. I watched the Muscle Shoals documentary right before I went to Alabama for the songwriter’s contest awards ceremony. I didn’t know it until the very end of that long day that I had won Songwriter of the Year. Part of that first place prize was that I got to record songs in a studio in Alabama. When me and my wife went down there a few weeks later to record the vocals, I woke up in the middle of the night and felt inspired to write this song about my trip and the Muscle Shoals. I wrote the story of the trip down there and my experience with meeting this great song writer and musician and his name is Spooner Oldham. The words and music came to me at the same time and I wrote the song in probably 20 mins.
Support Artist: https://www.reverbnation.com/artist/buy_song/2260794?song_id=25968868&source=songs_backpage , https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_srch_drd_B004IB08EA?ie=UTF8&field-keywords=Buddy%20Powell&index=digital-music&search-type=ss , https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/buddy-powell/id372333053
The following year I entered this contest again
and I basically won first prize again, and I wanted to record Water of the Muscle Shoals. Even though the people that had the studio and the musicians were amazing, they couldn’t capture quite what I wanted for the song, which is common in working with musicians you haven’t worked with before. This kind of disappointed me because I wanted to hear the song the way I heard it in my head. So I came home and decided then, that the best thing I could do with my music at this point was to start creating my music myself. Luckily, I ran into a drummer and a base player that I had known for years and at the time they weren’t active in music. But when I contacted them and told them what I wanted to do, they jumped on it, they were excited to do it. Now they actually have the knack of knowing what I want and it comes naturally for them to do the music the way I want to do the music. It was kind of one of those “it was meant to be” things.
I think you can expect a little bit different sound,
at least, that is what I have tried to create. I never know what song I will write next. I very rarely plan to write a song. Anything can inspire me to write a song, it can be a sound, something that someone will do or say. So I never know what is coming next or when. To me Muscle Shoals is very personal, it is very enjoyable to me and it seems as though everyone that hears it likes it. It is personal to me because the whole song is a true part of my life, the trip down, about me meeting and getting to jam with Spooner who became a friend of mine and it was a very happy part of my life and it is a fun song to do. It is significant to others as well, there is a work crew that my drummer works with, and when they become frustrated or something maybe isn’t going quite right on the job, they all now have a new saying, which is “ I want some Muscle Shoals” .
That is quite complimentary to me and the song and is very satisfying to have them take this song to heart like that. I guess that if there is anything that is great about it, is that everyone likes it and asks for it again. I think what is special about it is not just the sound, or the music but that it was inspired by feelings and when it says “I just gotta steal a song from the water of the Muscle Shoals” I think that the Muscle Shoals spirit just entered the song without me really trying it just happened.
It is meant to be heard anyway possible, the technical instrument shouldn’t matter, it is just that you hear it. I guess I meant it to be understood as a story, a true story. It is meant to be understood as something real not something made up, that it is a real part of somebody’s life. I want to accomplish, just what it is doing, I hope that it is a blessing to people. The most satisfying thing to me, about any song I write is that it makes people feel something. If it inspires an emotion in them it does what I set out to do when I wrote it. I know not 100% of the people that hear it will like it. It’s like some people look at art and one will really like that piece and somebody else will say “I don’t get it”. But the artist that created it takes satisfaction from the person that it touched; their being, their emotions, it inspired emotions in them.
I live near a little town called Lisbon,
it’s in Ohio about 20 miles from the PA border. The music scene has changed dramatically over the last 20 years. In the past you could go anywhere and hear a band on a Saturday Night. Now it is a rare thing to have live music.
Lisbon is a very small town. We just recently had a micro brewery, Numbers start here and it is very small and you could go with friends and taste their brews. We have a building just down the street called the Courthouse Inn and it is very swanky. You can go there to have dinner. They have a piano player there and he does music all night and it is enjoyable and they serve drinks. All we have is bars and a couple of restaurants, there isn’t much here. I guess we all individually create something to do. Some hunt and fish, we have a bike trail. We have Beaver Creek State Park that a lot of people from all over come to enjoy. The park has something like 25 miles of bridle trails and that is what I like to do.
A fun thing that I like to do that is music related
is that when I go to horse camp, invariably every time there will be people who say “Bud, did you bring your guitar?” and I say “Oh, yeah”. So on a Friday and or Saturday night we will sit around the campfire and play and sometimes they join in and sometimes not but I always have an audience.
It is very difficult. The reason being,
with the technology that we have, anybody that wants to be creative in music has the ability now to put their music out there to be heard. Music is special but it is difficult because there is so much competition. I think too many times people box music in. Nashville has their box and the rock and roll stations have their style of music so it is kind of hard to put something different out there, that is just slightly different and have it accepted. I think that because people have so much access to music, it has almost become hum drum to them and it has almost lost its ability to create any kind of emotion in a lot of people, it is almost like there is too much music and it has become boring.
The positives are also because of technology
it does make it easy to put music out there. Another pro of music now, is that when you get a copyright, it lasts and stays with your family. Another pro that I have experienced is just like you contacting me and this has turned into a good thing for me. There are many other radio stations requesting my music. Another pro is that it is being heard and requested by other people quite rapidly. The biggest con that I ever experienced was that I sent some music to a music producer in California and the response to it was that the guy was upset that I would even send him a song. I think he was trying to tell me that I shouldn’t be doing music but I didn’t let that upset me because you have go get through the bad to get to the good. I have had several experiences like that but it kinda goes back to the foundation that was set before me by my uncle which is there is no such thing as I can’t do it or it can’t be done. Just let it slide off of you, if it is negative, if it is negative sometimes it is a good thing because you take that negative and you become more determined to get it right. I feel you should never let negativity stop you but use it as a stepping stone.
I prefer singles and that is just a personal preference.
There are a couple of reasons. I write so many styles of music and I don’t stick to any one genre. I try to create maybe a little different style of music and lyric. Also I think to release an album is almost a waste of time anymore because it is hard enough to sell a single to the public much less a whole album. That goes back to what I said about technology, people can hear anything they want at anytime. People aren’t buying albums, they want to hear what they want to hear, when they want to hear it and they won’t buy an album to hear a song. If you are really famous and young and hot and good looking then some people will buy your album, but if you are a song writer and entertainer that only thousands of people know, they aren’t going to buy your album. Economically, it really doesn’t make sense to buy an album when you are really only interested in one song.
Actually, my wife could answer that question better than me.
She works very hard at it. I couldn’t sell a dying man a drink of water. My wife has the ability to put things out there that attract people and she has a way of getting their attention. Her and I don’t see eye to eye on every marketing style. I do the music and she creates the marketing and we do have a few differences but I pretty much let her handle that.
What I like about social media is that you can make contact with people all over the world.
Not, like the old days, you only contacted people that were standing in front of you. Now I have thousands of friends from all over the world and that is very enjoyable. That is what social media does for you, it opens up the world. First of all the tools and the technology has made it much easier for me to have my own studio and create my music with my own sound. Secondly, another of these tools is sites like IndigoBoom for example you put a song on IndiogoBoom and people all over the world have access to it. Third thing, the technology such as the social media deal has made it possible for me to contact people I never could have been in contact with. These tools made it possible for you and I to come in contact, which in turn created this interview which I am doing with you. Another example is, I was contacted through social media from a group of women who are professional models and dancers that live in Czechoslovakia and perform internationally, they said they liked my music and wanted to hear more. We actually became friends. Because of their professions they were able to contact some people they knew in England that at a radio station in England that is now playing my music. Now we are in contact with that radio station. It’s like the old saying you drop a stone in water and you get the ripple effect and that is how these tools work for music.
I would love to have 5 mins…
alone with Willie Nelson. The man was never a great singer but he is a great performer and human being. Willie is a people person. I don’t know how many people know this but he has written over 2,000 songs. I would just love to sit down with Willie for 5 mins. and gain some insight from an icon.
I absolutely think there is too much emphasis on it.
I think there is a need for emphasis and there is a need for trendy. We’ve always had trendy music and clothing and I think it is necessary to help each generation create its self but I think there is too much emphasis. People are being trendy instead of creative so trendy in a way has become a crutch. I guess if there is a balance it would be that maybe even though I care what people think about my music, it is not absolutely necessary for me to depend on that. So the balance is, if my music did not go farther than my own living room I would still be happy because I get so much satisfaction from doing it. I would do my music no matter what, it is what I do. The balance for me is that I don’t depend on being trendy, I don’t depend on whether people are going to like it or accept it. So being balanced is that I am happy creating what I do. I don’t feel the need to be trendy. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy other people’s music, I enjoy lots of other people’s music.
My most favorite inspirational quote is a saying we had during the Vietnam era.
“Free your mind your ass will follow”. It is true, think about it, if your mind is not being fettered by trends or what people say or do you can be creative.
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Sound Cloud: https://soundcloud.com/buddy-powell