I’ve been influenced by the likes of Hank Williams, the elder, Harlan Howard, the songwriter, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Phil Ochs, Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce, the Georges (Strait and Jones), Alan Jackson, Pete Seeger, Leadbelly, and well, you get the idea. My writing reflects elements of all of these and more and sometimes a little bit of “I don’t know where that came from”.
We used to play this tiny little bar (held maybe 50 or 60 max) near the Port in Ft Lauderdale. It was a favorite watering hole of the longshoremen and their ladies, a rough and rowdy bunch. The bar paid us next to nothing, but those dock workers sure knew how to party and leave big tips. We usually made more money there than most of our “respectable” gigs.
I used to be bad about forgetting the lyrics in the middle of a song. I’d just go blank. I remember one particular time, I was at an Americn Legion Hall, singing “Walking The Floor” by Ernest Tubb. I had sung that song hundreds of times, but this time, I blanked and just stood like a deer in the headlights. The band kept playing and I kept playing, but not a word would come to mind. The lead guitar player started singing and I picked it up on the next verse but, for a moment, I was in another universe.
I started out with an old Sears & Roebuck guitar I got from my Aunt. The action was so high, it was a real finger bleeder. But once they healed up, I had great callouses! It finally succumbed to the rigors of life with an exuberant teen ager and I got an electric guitar. It wasn’t all that much better but it looked cool. There have been many since then (I now have 5) but my go to favorite is my Martin HD-28.