It's mostly a mindset. We already know the instruments so it's a matter of being ready to deal with whatever happens. And of trying to move the sound beyond itself, to have a conversation that can carry listeners as well as itself. It's been a process of years but for better or worse, most of my playing is improvisational now. I play traditional music - clawhammer banjo stuff with an old-time trio - pretty often, and that's more structured than what I play with Karl. If I'm playing it right, there's always room for new elements for the setting, the moment and all those things to intrude. It just feels silly - like faking it, like telling an absurdly transparent lie - not to play that way, not to let surroundings influence the music.
I fell into playing with people who modify or build instruments, whether it's Jack Rose adding hooks and eyes to his guitars to accommodate new string placements, Patrick Best building his bass resonator or Karl's pedalless pedal steel.
Category: Music Quotes