Hadden Sayers landed at the Universal Studios City Jazz Club and put on a smoking set of Texas blues guitar. Working from material from his 3
CD's released to date Hadden (the first syllable pronounced as "Had" instead of the word "Hay") demonstrated guitar work that would suprise
you if you knew that he didn't really start working on his guitar playing until he attended college. (Texas A&M majoring in agriculture
and journalism!!) . Hadden knows his way around the fretboard and I have to say that he made up for lost time based upon his performance at the
City Jazz Club. He has three CD's released to date and they are highly listenable and grow on you the more you listen to them. I recommend any
Hadden was nice enough to provide me with an interview and turned out to be a really normal down to earth guy who really loves the guitar. A big
fan of Chris Duarte and David Grissom, he has taken some of their influences and added his own personal songwriting style to come up with
his own sound. Hadden puts on a great show. The subject material was quite wide ranging from Texas blues music, to touring Europe and Russia
to influences on the guitar. I recommend that you check him out when ever he is in the area.
Murf: You seem to be pretty aware of the business aspects of being a professional musician. You do a lot of self marketing, for instance you
printed up a four color 4 fold brochure of Hadden Sayers Band merchandise and direct mailed it to all your fans in time for Christmas
gift giving. I've heard that you have also sent copies of your CD out with lava lamps and material to be able to make drinks.
Sayers: I've done that before....yeah....well it was for.....this album called "Swinging From The Fabulous Satellite" so we set up everything
for a swinger to make a real bad ass martini there. The lava lamp, vodka bottle, the vermouth, gourmet olives and everything there...that was for
the reviewers. (Laughing)
Murf: Most musicians don't approach the "job" with as business awareness as you seem to.
Sayers: Well I don't know....I've been in some bands where a variety of different people whether it was the manager, or whoever, always had a
great idea for marketing and I guess I've picked that up from other bands I've been in. Miss Molly and the Whips was one band I was in that
had a great manager and good marketing techniques.
Murf: What's the weirdest promotion you've done.
Sayers: Golly....the weirdest promotion.....lets think....you might have a little pause here on your tape. The weirdest thing is probably the
thing with the martini's......and beyond that...I just try to....rather than be too weird, which in the past ...you know you see these guys that
throw out candy at their shows or whatever. But I guess mainly, I just tried to like send thank you notes to the people that I play for. That's
something that's not so weird, but its just kinda a general sales technique. I was playing in Lubbock one time, this woman who worked at
Stubbs barbecue in Lubbock....I went back stage and she was paying me and she goes..."See This" and she had this card and it was from
Gatemouth Brown ...no it was from W.C. Crock, excuse me, and it was a thank you note, she says "always send thank you notes", then she paid me
and I guess from then on I always sent thank you notes. It's not so weird I guess, but it's pretty effective. Not many club owners have
gotten thank you notes from musicians, which is kinda suprising.
Murf: You started your own record label to get your music out there on the street. There seems to be a lot of people doing that these days,
just to get their music available. Any advice for anyone thinking about doing that or any comments about that.
Sayers: Um....I guess the one bit of advice I would make would be to try to hold your costs down making the disc. Out of the three disc's that I
have made, the one that sold the best was the least expensive to make. It was my live disk. The main thing I did on that was instead of
hiring......one earlier discs, the first disc I got a really expensive studio, and a good engineer. And later I kinda went down, obviously we
recorded live and we brought a bunch of live gear out and we mixed at a place and I hired really quality people, not to slight the first guy
cause he did a really good job, he was really willing to do anything that I really wanted to do. The guy I got to help me with the later ones
knew a little bit more that I did and capable of seeing when I was about to mess up. So I suggest hiring the best people you can and keep your
cost low and try and stay away from expensive studios.
Murf: You work during off-hours time?
Sayers: Yeah...off hours helps but mainly it's not so much about all the awesome gear you've read about in magazines, if you've got a guy with
great ears engineering your project, it's gonna sound way better than anything else you could do.
Murf: That's a good comment. You open for Jimmy Thackery, I head that he was very gracious towards you?
Sayers: Definitely, he's quite a gentleman.
Murf: Any other comments on Thackery?
Sayers: Well he's one of the best guitar players I've ever seen. I haven't seen Walter Trout, now you told me Walter Trout's great, I can
believe you when you say that although I'm hard pressed to envision that there's somebody that can play guitar much better than Jimmy Thackery.
Murf: Well they all have their unique abilities. I've seen Thackery about ten times.
Sayers: He's pretty amazing.
Murf: How did David Grissom wind up playing on Retrofutura?
Sayers: He's one of my all time favorite guitarists as well. He and Chris Duarte are probably the two that I came out of my teens and early
20's.....really wanting to emulate and wanting to take their knowledge and apply it. Some cross between those two guys. So basically when I was
recording my second album, he was recording the first Storyville record. I had met him several times and hung around asking him gear questions
and just watching him play. I think I opened for him a couple of times too...for Joe Ealey. So he was in town and I asked him if he wanted to
go eat ribs at the Rendevou and so we went over there and ate ribs and I asked him if he wanted to come jam and I guess I hit him at the right
time.....he was looking to go out and play some.
Murf: You used to take lessons from Chris Duarte too, right?
Sayers: Yeah, I took a few back stage lessons, which uh....really there's the kind of knowledge....he's like a master of the guitar as
well. Jimmy Thackery, Chris Duarte, these are guys that are at the top of the whole school of guitar that's the style of guitar that they play.
Chris Duarte is a very gracious guy, he'll sit down with you with the instrument, cause he's trying to achieve the same thing...a real mastery
of the instrument, real mastery on every level. Soulful....and technical mastery of the guitar. And he has all kinds of tips for guys and is very
gracious as well.
Murf: I did an interview with Chris a couple of years back. He was practicing his guitar when I got there. Practicing jazz guitar to a
metronome, we got talking guitars a little bit and he sat there and showed me a few things. He's another one of the gentlemen of the blues
area. "Retrofutura", that's an unusual name for a CD (Retrofutura) as opposed to your other releases..("Hadden Sayers Band" and "Swingin' From
The Fabulous Satellite")
Sayers: Retrofutura was really kinda....I'm such a retrohead, I'm into old things whether it's cars or guitars or lamps or
clothing...anything...and uh...and I kinda got on this kick....of trying to...instead of just kinda living in the past, I really kinda got,
around the time I was making that record, I was really kinda focused on taking the past...all the things I could think of and applying it to
futuristic ideas. I guess what I was trying to do was write my own songs and write my own chord progressions that....maybe they were a little bit
pop influenced or whatever but also coming from a blues background and look as forward as I could song writing wise. And that's kinda where I
got the name...Retrofutura...taken from the past, going into the future. Since that time, I'm making demos right now that are really modern,
they've got drum loops on them and stuff.
Murf: You seem to have spent a fair amount of time as a sideman in various bands. Was this accidental or planned at all or did it just
Sayers: Yeah...when I graduated from college, I went to Austin looking for a gig and just any type of gig I could get. I would up playing with
"Silent Partners" which was a blues band that had Tony Coleman and Russell Jackson from B.B. King's band in it. And we went out and toured
the county and then we hooked up with Lucky Peterson and backed them.....so it was anything I could do to play my guitar was what I was
willing to do.
Murf: Going to college, Texas A&M University, I guess you majoring in agricultural journalism?
Sayers: Yes, it's a big agricultural school and I got a scholarship in agriculture. About the time I was a junior I decided that there wasn't
much in agriculture that I really wanted to do and journalism seemed like a likely choice cause I like to write. So I transferred over to
journalism and I had enough credits so that I got a degree in journalism with a minor in agriculture.
Murf: That's not exactly the normal career path for a "blues guitar player/artist"?
Sayers: Yeah...I don't guess so...but I didn't know what I wanted to do. I had no idea when I left Sugarland Texas to go to college that I was
going to play the guitar professionally.
Murf: One of your fans sent a question into me...he wanted to know how you were able to swing it from the Cow Hop to playing bigger venues. I
don't know what the Cow Hop is...is it a little club or something?
Sayers: Yeah...the Cow Hop is a little funky little place that was on Northgate. It's actually a hamburger joint, but the time that I was
going to school there, they made a little area for bands to play and we wound up playing there quite a bit. As far as playing bigger venues, I
guess the years go by, and you keep pushing at it and they let you in some of them and they don't let you in others.
Murf: At what point did you realize that you were going to give up the agricultural journalism studies for real and commit to seriously playing
guitar for a living?
Sayers: Well I was.....golly when I was about half way through with college I really had the....I mean I was shedding on the guitar all the
time...going to see Duarte and going to see Joe Ealey and all these guys whenever I could. I really already wanted to go off and play...for a
living. I basically just stuck it out there cause I had a lot of friends ....it was a good move, I don't think I would have gained from leaving
early. But I knew by the time...actually about a year of sitting in my apartment, shedding on the guitar and getting good enough to play. And
for it to be so natural for me to play...I just knew it was something that I was going to continue.
Murf: Another fan question...what do you think was the strangest or weirdest type of band that you have ever opened for or had open for you?
Sayers:...Wow....one time we played this wedding in San Francisco....it was a nice wedding. Believe it or not, we opened for Joe Louis
Walker.... at a wedding reception. I mean it was just a standard wedding reception, but obviously the people were wealthy cause they flew us to
San Francisco to open for Joe Louis Walker. And they had this jazz quartet that was playing in front of us before we went on. We set up on
this stage behind this curtain and I looked out and I could see the jazz quartet....It might have been a string quartet actually...whatever it
was it made me really uncomfortable to thing that we were gonna come blast our Texas rock..... right after this quartet where everybody
coming in...even the guests were wearing...you know it was a black tie affair. It was formal...yeah. So I was really concerned and the only
thing I knew to do was to come out blasting like we always do. And we did and the jackets came off and the chicks threw their purses down,
everyone started dancing and it was a great night. That was really interesting. And we've also had...we just had a weird opener just the
other day. We can come back to that if you don't mind.....when the guys finish sound checking, I'll ask them about that one. Cause we just had
an opener.....I'm one of those guys who says "we can open for anything" and "anything can open for us". But this was a match that just wasn't
real good. It was in Colorado.
Murf: What type of band was that?
Sayers: They were a good band and good at what they did which was like Limp Biscuit and Korn. And the singer was...what he did was screamed
obscenities from the stage. He just screamed cuss words and laid on the stage and told the audience to "F" off. That was part of their show
cause that is what they did and they were good at what they did but I would have to say that that did not go over well with the people who
came to the show...anyone that came to see us was offended by them.
Murf: They opened for you?
Sayers: Yeah...they opened for us.....(Laughing) that was an odd one. Us opening for others...I can't think of any weird ones. We've opened for
the T-Birds and Kenny Wayne and Wilco.
Murf: Those kind of acts seem like they go together.
Sayers: Yeah...even the hard core blues acts...we've played before Little Ed and The Blues Imperials. They're pretty traditional blues and
I've never had any mishaps with that. But I would say that...I can't recall the name of the group in Colorado but they were definitely as
heavy as Limp Biscuit or Korn. It was wow man...this is pretty heavy..but it's cool...they're good players and then the singer started
cussing and just really going at it and it was really weird.
Murf: What is it about Austin and Houston Texas that seems to attract way more than its share of super guitar players? It seems like every
guitar player in the world comes from one of those two towns.
Sayers: There are a lot of them that...a lot of people move there. Like David Grissom is originally from Kentucky. Chris Duarte is from San
Antonio. Basically I think there's something about......Texas blues is such a strong entity of it's own. You have Chicago blues, jump and all
these other types and then there's Texas blues, Albert Collins is one of the guys and Gatemouth Brown. You know, the allure to that and the
Vaughan brothers kinda continued that tradition. So I think that a lot of guitar players that are interested in that style....kinda gravitate
there. I was lucky that I was born in Texas and always lived in that area.
Murf: Is there any major difference between the two towns musically?
Sayers: Yeah there is....um...Austin...especially the Austin blues scene really....it's petty narrow as far as style goes. The players in Austin,
I don't want to sound too closed minded about Austin...but there's an Austin style that that almost every guitar player there at least can
play if he wants to. If he or she wants to. It's a really uh.....grungy kind of Jimmy Vaughan style, especially in the rhythm style of playing
Murf: Kinda that finger picking kind of thing?
Sayers: I would say it's a flatpick style but it's just kinda raunchy. Omar, Jimmy Vaughan, Derek O'Brian.....those are guys, if you listen to
any of those guys play guitar, especially the rhythm.....that to me is just the classic Austin style of blues guitar. And then in
Houston....Houston is a much bigger town with a lot of different scenes. It's got a big rap scene; it's got all kinds of stuff. The blues guys
there aren't quite as focused on this particular style that is so entrenched in the Austin scene. You got guys that play....you
know.....more of a jazzy blues, there's just all types of blues. ....and granted there are those guys in Austin too...and granted if you go to a
bar on 6th street, your going to hear somebody that sounds like...like Derek O'Brian, or like Jimmy Vaughan...somewhere on that street you'll
find someone playing that style.
Murf: Like Chris Duarte...he throws a lot of jazz stuff into his style.
Sayers: I mean he's got....Chris Duarte is just an amazing guitar player...if he wanted to he could sound just like Jimmy Vaughan. We sat
down one time and I told him I liked Jimmy Vaughan and he showed me about five Jimmy Vaughan licks.
Murf: You've done some extensive touring in Europe and even Russia...any comments on the differences in the blues scene over seas as opposed to
the United States or any comments on some of the experiences you had while you were over there?
Sayers: Well when we first went to Europe, we played in Germany, and we'd never been overseas before. I hadn't been overseas at all.....and
it was like being on Mars you know....just the whole culture shock of it was really wild. People were really into the music. You always hear that
someone's a star in Europe and I'm not a star in Europe but the people are just really...you know attentive. For instance...if you're playing
in a club, people won't be talking while your playing. They'll be listening politely and attentively and when you finish a song, they will
all clap. Rarely will the cheer in the middle of a song....I guess sometimes they do but....anyway...there's not people playing pool in the
back, or talking amongst themselves...they're really focused on the music so that was a big difference for me.
Murf: It's not like here in the United States and there's a lot of noise and people are going "Oh...there's a band there?"
Sayers: Yeah....television sets blaring and all that stuff. But uh.....so when we were in Germany the cultural difference kinda blew me
away for awhile. I got used to playing in Europe and it was just no big deal you know and we went all over the place. We went back to Germany
and played for a few weeks. We went to Holland, Denmark, Belgium. It was kinda old hat and then we went to Russia and that was like culture shock
all over again. (Laughing) And those people would look like.....they would cram into a club and then when we'd play it was like a punk show.
If we played anything...it was almost like one of those mosh pits. They were just so....they had so much energy just bottled up....to energy, to
torment, to whatever their lives were like on a daily basis. ...they keep it all bottled up and they really let fly when it's time. You know
when they want to party, they party hard.
Murf: Heavy drinking?
Sayers: Oh yeah...of course.
Murf: You've never had a press agent and seem to be a hands on do it yourself kind of guy. A lot of guys seem to be following this route.
Sayers: Yeah.....I mean you pretty much have to. There's so many guys trying to find success. As a solo artist now, which I find pretty
interesting. I like bands just as much as I like solo artistry. Although it's just difficult to get somebody to see your vision all they way
through and after a few setbacks....I think that's why there are so many solo artists. And as these solo artists progress.....they uh...you to
Johnny Lang, you got Kenny Wayne (Shepherd), a variety of different guys like that and their younger guys that got their father and their fathers
are an age where there not so old that they don't understand the music, they can appreciate the music so they're really hands on and involved
and whether their actually managing them or whether their helping them find the right manager or whatever, there's a lot of guys....doing that
these days I notice. I would say...instead of....I do a lot of my own press. I actually have a guy that helps with the press as well that I've
hired. A lot of people have their families these days. The younger guys have their families helping them do a lot of that.
Murf: You've mentioned a lot of younger blues guys, Johnny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd...there's Josh Smith out of south Florida...do you have
any comments on how these young guys are going to affect the blues rock scene?
Sayers: I don't know.....I mean I know.....I've opened for Kenny Wayne...and I've seen Johnny Lang. I know Shannon Curfman well and I
know Josh pretty well and they're....they're all good people...the one's I know. They all have good families, Josh's dad is a good guy, and then
Shannon Curfman's family are good people too. They kinda have that...I mean these younger blues artists, for whatever good or bad, they have
their family to help them with it. Really when you have a family member working with you...you couldn't ask for a better person. I mean you
can trust your family probably better than you can trust most other folks. Knock on wood or whatever. So I think that with that additional
help and support that they are gonna get...that their careers ought to be pretty stable. And if they choose to continue for the rest of their
lives, there will always be a place for them somewhere.
Murf: You've gone out of your way to avoid the SRV clone connection even avoiding having your photograph taken with a Fender Strat..even though
you play one almost exclusively. Is it hard to avoid that ...well ...almost "cliché" Texas blues guitar slinger label. You know if your
from Austin or Houston Texas and you have a Fender Strat and the automatic reaction is "oops...another Stevie Ray clone". Any comments on
having to deal with that?
Sayers: Right.....I don't know that there's much you can do about it. I mean...people...you know pop culture is so influence by Stevie Ray
Vaughan....that uh...he really kinda personifies...in the pop culture to the average person just walking down the street, who doesn't know
anything about any specific genre of music. You kinda mention Texas blues, I mean the only thing they probably know is Stevie Ray Vaughan. I
just do subtle things like you mentioned to try and avoid it.....to see if I can...you know....avoid it and hopefully achieve some kind of
notoriety for something other than that. But uh....as far as it goes, David Grissom was telling me that when he is out on tour with
Storyville, people were coming up to him and saying "Oh...you were Stevie Ray Vaughans guitar player" which is just ludicrous...totally
ridiculous. I mean if he's got those troubles...then my troubles aren't so bad. (Laughing) I mean...good gosh...this guy is one of the finest
guitar players in the county and then have to deal with those types of problems. It's just kinda.....
Sayers: Pretty much ridiculous.....as a musician...until you achieve some popular success and you come into your own with a song that people
can associate with you....hopefully it would be a song...I'm looking for a music...a few songs that I can hang my hat on for the rest of my
career versus a lick or something like that. If I can achieve that...then I can climb beyond that Stevie Ray thing. Like Kenny Wayne,
he's got some cool songs and he's out there playing...you know those are Kenny Wayne songs and this isn't an insult at all but he's kinda like
Robin Trower in a sense. Like Robin Trower came around after Jimmy Hendrix and he really admired Jimmy Hendrix and he came up with his own
cool songs and he sounded kinda like Jimmy Hendrix but he was still kick ass. I listen to his discs all the time.
Murf: I love Robin Trower.
Sayers: And I kinda equate Kenny Wayne with Robin Trower. He admired Stevie Ray Vaughan so much and you wear your influences on your sleeve.
Even B.B. King was so into T-Bone Walker....he told Kenny Wayne not to worry about any of that shit because if you like a guy that much you
just appreciate him for what he was and do your own thing. And that's what Robin Trower kinda came out with these songs and he wasn't Jimmy
Hendrix...he didn't have the scars and all that crazy stuff.....and Kenny Wayne doesn't have the hat and all that crazy stuff. He's just kinda like the new Robin Trower. And I mean that in the most sincere
Murf: Robin Trower is one hell of a guitar player too. You seem to have made a conscious decision not to do Hendrix covers, or Stevie Ray
Vaughan covers. It that to separate yourself from the average guy coming out of Texas?
Sayers: Yeah, pretty much...plus there's a lot of guys that do really kick ass versions of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Hendrix. I've done it
and I did it for a long time and I just don't want to do it my whole life. I still do an occasional Hendrix song if I'm in a place and it's
not very crowded and people are just kinda lollygagging around. I don't think we've played a Stevie Ray Vaughan Song ever. I don't think I've
ever played one. Not that I don't like Stevie Ray, obviously, there's tons of people that do that. I've played that stuff years ago when I was
just learning how to play the guitar. I've just progressed beyond that...I wouldn't do a cover song forever.....the same one...unless it
was my favorite song or something.
Murf: How did you get started playing guitar?
Sayers: When I was a little kid, my mom bought me a little Yamaha acoustic ...like 3/4 size and um...I took some lessons when I lived in
Plano Texas and learned how to play G, C and D. Guitar chords basically. And then after that, they were trying to teach me to sight read, and
play the Bells of Scotland and whatever else.
Murf: The barnyard stomp and that kind of thing?
Sayers: Exactly and I wasn't interested in any of that. I had Beatles records and I had Kiss records. I wanted to play something that my
records were playing not something I had to sight read single note lines and all that. So I ended up....I didn't...I kinda put on the back burner
but as I grew up...you know I kinda realized that G, C and D are in half the songs in the world. I kinda would pull out my guitar and
go..."hey"...I can play this song and that song, Louie Louie, whatever. I like know how to play them cause I know how to play G, C &D. At some
point I just had.....I was in high school at that time and I knew five or six chords and when I went to college I took my guitar with me. I
actually didn't take it with me. There was a guy in one of my classes who played guitar and he came over and he.....he said "I got this
awesome guitar...you gotta check it out" and I said "Well I know a couple of chords..you know bring the guitar over when we study". He came
over and it was a really nice Ovation, like the top of the line with the gold all over it and stuff. He just could not play at all. He played
really terribly. No offense but he just couldn't play. And I thought ...golly if he's got this nice of a guitar, and he plays that
well...then I guess it's ok for me to get at least better than what I have. At that point the 3/4 Yamaha acoustic wasn't cuttin it. So I got a
Murf: This was in college?
Sayers: Yeah...when I was 18.
Murf: Kind of a late start isn't it?
Sayers: Like I said...I mean...it was kinda like one of those deals where.....somewhere I just kinda knew that....if I sat down with it,
that I could do it. You know I could hear it and I could play it a little bit. And I felt that if I spent any time on this at all I could
probably figure out that. It doesn't seem difficult to me. And then I got a Hondo Les Paul copy and sat in my room pretty much for about a
year. I went to class obviously but freshman year is pretty easy so I was like in my bedroom basically all the rest of the time sheddin on the
guitar. And by then I could play like lead lines and stuff. And it was basically just jammin along with the radio...whatever else. I found a
guy in college that played really well. He was in the most popular band around town. I got him to give me a few lessons and he really opened my
eyes to a lot of stuff as well.
Murf: It's amazing..you really don't learn until you start playing with other people.
Murf: When you were woodshedding in college, were you mainly working off records or working with other guys or what?
Sayers: Mainly I had two Roy Bucannan records and two Albert Collins tapes and then the rest of it was pretty much the radio like Chris
Duarte...I don't know if it was Chris.....Chris always tells you to use the metronome. I think it's good to work with the radio. I had a clock
radio by my bed and it teaches your ear to get faster cause your having to tune to whatever's on the radio. You have to tune as fast as you can
and then play along with the song. And then when the next one comes on, you've got to tune it up to that song. Sometimes they're the same but
often their not.
Murf: I guess your really into vintage guitars, amps and effects as you said earlier. Is there anything....can you give me a run down on what
you use...do you use the old heavy string, tune down a half step deal?
Sayers: No I don't do that. I just have...I have a lot of classic gear..but it's just standard tuning. The strings are 11's which I guess
the reason I use the 11's is cause Chris Duarte, that's what he used when I used to see him. I don't know if he uses them any more...I think
he tunes down a half step but I got a GHS endorsement a few years back. I just use the standard 11 and I tune to the standard key cause I got a
tuner that just tunes to there and I can sing to it better.
Murf: Chris told me he does use 11's and he tunes down a half step.
Sayers: He's got a custom gauge of some sort.
Murf: Are there any particular artists you would claim as influences other than Duarte and Grissom?
Sayers: Golly....I'm influenced by all types of music. Obviously Billy Gibbons is prominent in my playing. I had a chance to hang out with him.
I would say Billy Gibbons is a huge influence on what I do. And also kind of the stuff that he's done recently where he's really embraced
technology. As I said earlier about my Retrofutura record, that title....I was referring to my song writing, but more and more I'm
embracing modern technology and to orchestrate, integrate rather the classic gear with a lot of newer gear and trying to come up with some
different types of sounds and songs that are just not the different type of same old...you know we've heard this variety of tweed amps and Fender
guitars for quite a while now. In the same context, it just kinda gets to be a rehash after a while and I trying to break it up. I still love
those tones and I'm trying to put them...get them in with some other types of.....you know....whether it's drum loops or whatever. Just
different sounds...anything I can come up with.
Murf: Any comments on the Internet and how it will help or hinder artists in the future.....or currently?
Sayers: Umm...well I've got a site now that's run by a guy named Erin Barnes and it's "haddensayersband.com" and we're trying to work
out...we're doing a lot of new stuff too. We're giving it a complete overhaul actually so you can buy the merchandise on line and other
stuff. I think the Internet is a really cool thing. Obviously there are things that you can do now that you never could do before. Some things I
don't like about the Internet but It seems like a great way for people to learn about bands and for people to market themselves and it's just a
revolution, I agree.
Murf: After seeing you play I can say you come a long way from three chords.
Sayers: (laughing) I guess so.
Murf: You do a lot of hybrid picking.
Sayers: Yeah, that's a Chris Duarte thing and a Pete Anderson thing. I was really big into Pete Anderson when I was in college.
Murf: Another Internet fan said you've been described as sounding similar to Dave Matthews, Malford Milligan, even Cat Stevens and maybe
Todd Park Mohr (Big Head Todd) Who are your influences are vocally.
Sayers: Um....you know I'm just not very familiar with Cat Stevens, although I know who he is. I didn't realize that I sound like him but
I've heard that comment more than any other comment. I've heard Dave Matthews, John Popper, Malford Milligan, I've heard of those
before......but Cat Stevens...I guess I don't know enough about Cat Stevens to have an opinion about that.
Murf: That's the one you hear the most?
Sayers: Yeah! Cat Stevens wins for who people think I sound like. Malford Milligan is a kick ass singer. I'm pretty honored to have people
think I sound like him. Obviously he sounds better. Anybody on that list is a cool singer. Um...as far as guys I like to listen to......Otis
Redding is a pretty good singer and Wilson Picket...I guess a lot of the soul singers are the ones I like the most. I didn't really try to
emulate a singer. I think as far as guys from Texas, Doyle Bramhall Jr. has a real good voice. I think particularly on that record, the Arc
Angels record...Doyle Bramhall's vocals were really cool.
Murf: To me you sound a lot like John Mellencamp.
Sayers: Yeah...I've always admired him as well.
Murf: Is your surf medley on the live CD something that you always end up your sets with?
Sayers: I did it from...well about a year before that record came out I played it every night and then I played it every night for about a year
after that record came out. And then since for almost a year I haven't played it at all. Because I got so sick of it. It got longer than it is
on that record. I picked up Walk Don't Run too, so it got really long and it was cool too cause it got my voice laid off a little bit. I don't
know....I've written a lot of songs and it takes up a lot of space. For example this room (Universal Studios City Jazz Club) they're really
about their three fifty minute sets and that's it. If I'm left to my own devices, I play two sets but I play...maybe a 90 and then.....probably
two 90's and then maybe....who knows how long an encore. I just do a long show cause I've got.....I worked it up where I've got a lot of
material. That surf thing takes up a lot of time and I'd rather get to some of the newer stuff that I've written.
Murf: So basically you do a typical Texas blues long show pushing three hours?
Sayers: It's a pushing three hours kind of a show.....yes.
Murf: It seems like everyone from down that way is used to playing that long. Guys around here...your doing good if you get 90 minutes to two
hours out of them.
Sayers: Well I don't know why....I mean the main reason that I play so long is that I've been out here on the road for....for goin on six
years. So I've got that much material worked up. I've gone through some different rhythm sections and I didn't bother to teach every song that
I've ever played to every rhythm section. But I still....the guys I have with me...have been with me going on year now and uh....they pretty much
know.....we can play for three hours no problem.
Murf: How long did it take to set up for the live album?
Sayers: It wasn't very long...I mean it was a lot of work because like I said...it was on a budget so I didn't have a bunch of guys doin it for
me. I was up there trying to run cables and trying to run a snake and get it over there an hook it up. So it was.....it took.....we started
sometime around noon the day of the first show. We set it up...and then it was up with just enough time for me to go home, take a shower, come
back and play. And then....actually we did that on a Thursday and a Friday. I begged the club to let me have a Friday and a
Saturday. It would have been great in hindsight...for them as well. The Thursday was ok...the Friday was great and the Saturday would have been
great. But we ended up playing the Thursday and it ended up being not quite full so we just used all of Friday cause Friday was packed we
just....we basically narrowed down two sets to 74 minutes which is what fits on a CD and that was it. We didn't change anything.
Murf: Did you listen to the tapes from Thursday to kinda tweak things for Friday?
Sayers: Um.....no I didn't actually...I mean I did listen to them when they were all done. I took them home to decide what was going to be used
for the record but between the two nights, Rusty McCullen did that, and he's a good friend and a great engineer. One of the things I find
fascinating about musicians is how good their ears are. They call it big ears when you can really hear and he's got huge ears. (Laughing)
Murf: Not physically but mentally.
Murf: On the inside of your CD, there's a graphic of the United States with "nationwide" on it. It that a Billy Gibbons reference?
Sayers: Well actually...this is a ...when I first started out, I bought this trailer to carry all my gear in. It was a nationwide rental trailer
and this is a picture of it...I still own it. It's from 1959, it's a fiberglass....really it looks totally 50's if you could see the whole
thing. This is just a picture of the side of it. Up in the left hand corner it says...."We're bad bad bad..we're" and then it says
"Nationwide". I guess in a way it's a Billy Gibbons reference but I didn't write that.....I don't know who wrote that on the side of our
trailer. Probably the drummer that was with us back then. I just thought that was cool cause we pretty much dragged that thing around the county
before we finally retired it cause they don't make the axles for it anymore and you'd have to change it all around to put the axle
underneath it so we just use it to store junk now. That's the story on the nationwide.
Murf: Well you put on a really good show....I really appreciate your time>
Sayers: Thanks very much.
This review is copyright © 2000 by Robert Murphy, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved.