Interview

Q: How and when did you get interested in music?

A: I grew up listening to my parents records, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, early rock and roll. My Grandmother gave me a harmonica, I must have been around five, also the Johnny Cash television show. I received a guitar for my ninth Christmas and told my teacher I wanted to play like Cash. Then a friend gave me a copy of "Gates of Eden" by Bob Dylan. That opened the flood gate and let me know you could write songs of any kind about any subject, no fences or boundaries.

Q: When did it become a profession?

A: Right after high school I began to focus, thinking it might be possible to perform for a living. In 1987 I met Ramblin' Jack Elliott. Its nothing he really said or done, but something in that meeting and later visits let me know I was on the right track. A link in the chain, you don't need huge hit records to be a major force. Do what you do and let the world come to you, play on your own terms.

Q: Could you give us a brief overview of your recordings?

A: My first cd was "Last of the Beatnik Cowboys" in 1994. I put together a band, the Beatnik Cowboys and toured  to support it. Not long after that, I toured some with Ramblin' Jack also. In 2000 "Cowboy Boot Heel" was released. That one came together great. We recorded it at Johnny Cashs Cabin Studio with his son John Carter Cash producing. Ramblin' Jack helped sing on "I Dreamed I saw Woody Guthrie". The next one "Lonesome Valley Again" was released in 2003.It received a lot of airplay and reached #26 on the FAR radio chart and #55 on the Americana chart. We released "Buffalo Skinners" as an afterthought. I always perform some traditional folk songs at concerts so at a rehearsal we rolled tape and ran through the ones we liked. The tape was around for awhile and sounded good. It was released in 2004.

Q: Are there any performing moments that really stand out?

A: Oh yea, I'm blessed, I have quite a few. Traveling with Ramblin' Jack is always a thrill, but it was an honor to perform with him at the Crystal Theater in Okemah OK at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival. That was 2003. Through Jack I met Jorma and Vanessa Kaukonen at the Fur Peace Ranch. That lead to opening shows for Hot Tuna and getting to pick some on and off stage with them. Another big boost was touring England with Americana artist Luna and Dave Prince. Dave and I have played together for years, a great friend and one of the best guitarists.The performing is wonderful, it's the reason I'm here. But the true blessing is the people, the folks I get to perform with and the wonderful people I meet along the way, Thanks for listening.


http://www.robmcnurlin.com