How did you all meet?
“The band I play with now is a group of veteran St. Louis musicians. We have met from being in other bands and playing shows together etc…”
Who were your musical influences growing up?
“I grew up in a great time of music, when the 60’s and 70’s weren’t so far gone, and the 80’s and 90’s were happening. I loved The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Grateful Dead, Phish, Ween, Grunge Rock, Hair Metal…man, we had it all!”
What made you want to be in a band?
“Coming from a rather large family, and losing my father at an early age, a lot of times I may have been lost in the shuffle. I think I saw music as an outlet, an escape and a way to express myself in a very unique way. And, I wanted to be cool, of course. And no one seemed as cool as the rock stars I saw on MTV back in those days. Ha”.
What has been your best gig?
“It depends how I want to approach “best”. I have opened for some musical heroes, such as Split Lip Rayfield (one of my favorites), and I have played many beautiful clubs and concert halls across the US. Packed rooms, rapt audiences. And there are many more sort of…less great ones. Especially when you are a professional musician taking what you can to make a buck.
But for some reason what comes to mind at this moment is a gig I played solo acoustic the other day at a bar/restaurant. Outdoor patio, fairly normal, not crowded, no one paying me much mind as I play but…This hummingbird flew right up to me as I was singing and playing, y’know, kind of checking me out. Flew up to my amp and, I don’t know, did what hummingbirds do…tasted it? Flew next to my leg and practically bumped it, flew a couple feet away and just hovered there…looking at me. Taking it in. And then flew off eventually. And I thought to myself, man, this is the best! Haha. What a crazy thing it is to be a musician”.
Can you tell us a bit about your music?
“I am usually grouped into sort of the songwriter/country/amercana side of things. I have made many albums with many bands, and notably recently 3 full length albums with a recent band of mine, Cree Rider Family Band. Since around 2019, I have been focusing on recording groups of songs and releasing them as singles. I have formed a new band, we just go by Cree Rider. We have a sound I describe as Cosmic Americana. I am really about delivering something authentic and possibly familiar to the listener, but expanding it out further, into new territories and realms. I want to open possibilities and create wonder and mystery. I thing our new single, All of the Love, encapsulates much of this vision”.
Describe your music in 3 words.
“Cosmic American Jamband”
What makes your band stand out from others?
“We have our roots in classic and outlaw country. Like, we could play that music all night long. 60’s and 70’s country and country rock. It’s a sound we really love and identify with. So, our instrumentation includes, and features, the pedal steel guitar. This is a cosmic instrument that can make you travel through time! And we allow it to. Our live shows, we often will play 3 hour or 4 hour long shows, without a setlist, just calling out the tunes. And we will stretch the songs and take them to places that weren’t planned. I think our musical roots and instrumentation, and our willingness to explore to outer realms of the music, makes us quite unique”.
What are your plans for the rest of 2022?
“Well, Fall is here, the year is winding down. This is typically when we get back to the studio after our busy summer season, and start creating more music to release! I still say very busy year round playing shows as well”.
If your band had to be remembered for one thing apart from your music what would you want it to be?
“We want to encourage positive energy, community and consciousness. I feel we are all surround by so much negative stimuli, and it is very easy to feed off of it. To pit ourselves against one another. We want to have a very big tent, and we want to invite everyone to the party”.
Any gig’s coming up?
“We will be playing at our favorite venue in St. Louis this winter, The Venice Cafe, and also playing at a benefit (Philipalooza) at the Old Rock House, a grand concert hall in St. Louis as well. You can find us at http://www.creeridermusic.com and who knows, if all goes well, maybe we shall bring our cosmic americana party to a venue near you sometime!”
By Siân Parker