I did a Q&A with the folks at Six Shooter Country in advance of my upcoming 20th Anniversary UK Tour; we talked about everything from choosing the songs for The Essential, to the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, to the influence of hip hop on country music. Here’s an excerpt:
(Blackbirds has) managed to be successful at a time where a lot of modern country is taking influence from hip hop and other genres. Is that particularly gratifying?
It is, and I think that because I was never really trend-aware, my career has sort of grown in its own separate ecosystem, if you will. Sometimes along the way it felt as if I were out of step, but in the long run the audience I’ve earned is there because of what I write and sing about, and they couldn’t care less about trends.
You’re someone who seems to be identified as much as a songwriter as an artist. Do you think that gives you a particular edge in producing records?
I don’t know if it gives me an edge as much as it gives me solid ground, creatively. If my musical inclinations or my production style changes from record to record, my songwriting is the bedrock. I always approach a record asking the same question; what will serve the songs?
To read the Q&A in its entirety, visit Six Shooter Country.