jueves, 18 de agosto de 2016

5 Questions project: Mark "Porkchop" Holder

Talking today with Mark "Porkchop" Holder, deep blues singer, great dobro player, outstanding street performer that lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I heard of him through the Deep Blues festival connection.

When did you start playing and what made you begin?

Mark Holder:

I started as a singer when I was a child in church. Began to write words and sing them professionally at 22 years of age. Played harmonica and guitar shortly after. First music i was ever exposed to was rural bottleneck/harmonica blues played by my granfather and a negro friend of his who had a farm next door to ours.

Good! I see that when you don't play at venues or events, you become a street performer, are you playing on a daily basis? ¿any dayjob apart from music?

Mark Holder:
I am playing venues in my region. My 3 piece band is signing a contract with a label that has European and U.S. distribution, so touring will follow shortly.
I always play on the street. It's necessary for my happiness to do that.

Mark playing the dobro

Touring! that was my next question: how do you book the gigs and is it hard?

Mark Holder:
I book myself. It is hard. Having the Label behind me will make it easier; easier to atrract an agent, and easier to self-book if I have to go that route. Clubs take you more seriuosly with a good label behind you.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, it must be a totally different experience.

Mark Holder: Better. People need to know that the "business" is embracing you. They don't trust their own taste.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Hahahaha, that's the most accurate and to the point explanation i have read.
I reckon many musicians from the States look forward coming to Europe. It seems that the public and opportunities here are kinder and better for them.

Mark Holder: The attitude towards art is more enlightened.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Do you think that's a common thought among the scene?

Mark Holder: Most American musicians have no concept of how much better things are for us in Europe. You can't grasp it. Roots and traditional music is marginalized here and associated with the poor and seen as unsophisticated. Racism is still a big factor.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Yea, i see...and we're finishing! Have you ever thought of quitting music? why?

Mark Holder:
No. I can't. I tried. Ended up playing in the street in Nashville for two years. Paid for a house, car and the things of life with money thrown into my guitar case. It is who I am. How I deal with the pain in my soul.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Whoa! if you don't mind, i´d like to know more about that. Here where i live, you can't even play in the streets. It's impossible to earn money that way.

Mark Holder:
It is tolerated in certain places here. Bar and restaurant districts. We have freedom of speech. Sometimes the police even respect it.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Why did you think of quitting?

Mark Holder: A wife. Also my health was bad. The band i was in was working super hard and i wasn't taking very good care of myself.

GuerrillaRocanrol: Great interview Mark, we're done, thanks a lot!

Mark Holder:
Glad to help.

domingo, 14 de agosto de 2016

Tu también con chaleco y fedora?

Danny Kroha (The Gories, Demolition Doll Rods)
te lo dice claro, tontín:
"Another reason why Kroha was reluctant to be known as a folk musician, to have people hear his renditions of these hoary chestnuts, is largely due to the climate for the genre today. It's as if one has to either dress up in a silly vest and pre-distressed fedora like one of those beyond-hokey Mumford & Sons types, or swallow one's pride and go the gentle old-folk's route, appearing on Garrison Keillor so you can sing your song before swapping Dad jokes about duck calls."