(Cover) You have a show coming up in Cleveland – what are the Ohio audiences like for you?
(Sam Bush) Pretty Outgoing! We’ve played in Ohio several times with different bands and always have a good time.
(C) You’ve been in the music biz for almost 40 years, what is the most important lesson you’ve learned as an artist?
(S) That every audience is important and you need to play to different kinds of audiences. We’ve played blue grass festivals, performing arts festivals, with jam bands and all types of other places. You need to give the audience credit for intelligence and keep in mind they’re all equally important.
(C) Speaking of your experience, groups like Nickle Creek and String Cheese Incident cite you as a major influence. Who are you influenced by?
(S) I was born near Nashville in 1952. I grew up watching the Grand Ol’ Oprey and The Beatles, Eric Clapton, Bill Monroe, and Bob Marley. I guess I just really enjoyed Blues music, it is “the white man’s soul”.
I played drums in high school and marching bands. I also played bass violin, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and electric guitar in other bands. Playing rhythm on the mandolin was more fun than anything.
(C) Are there any young artists out there that you admire or see something great in?
(S) Yes, tons! Chris Thile – He plays mandolin for Nickel Creek and now has his own record. I had the pleasure of producing his second record. Another great new artist is Ciera Hall, who also plays mandolin. I guess I’m partial to the young Mandolin players because that is my favorite instrument to play.
(C) It seems like you are always touring, what is your schedule like?
(S) My wife and I run a road company so it’s like working on the weekends. Some weeks its taking a plane to California, home a few days, help run the company with my wife, and then head to Virginia, Ohio or somewhere else. Music is like the reward for hard work
(C) What’s coming up for Sam and the Band? Any big projects or shows in the works?
(S) The upcoming Cleveland show, then shows in VA with the Wailers. I’m really excited about playing with the Wailers. I’m currently writing music with some friends and looking forward to a spring release. I would like to comment more on what will be on the new album, but we’re still writing for it.
(C) Any comments for your Ohio fans?
(S) Look out we’re on our way! Unlike Manny Ramirez, I put out every time I’m on stage. This is not a dance routine, every audience is important.
Interview by Linsey Griffith