JD and Straight Shot have been making waves over here with their melodic and thoughtful brand of Americana. They recently played a headline gig at The Borderline and supported The Doobie Brothers on the UK leg of their tour. GIGsoup caught up with guitarist Marc Copely.
You have this headline gig at The Borderline in support your new album ‘Good Luck and Good Night’ What do you love about doing a live show?
We’ve been opening for the Doobie Brothers and this is our first headlining show in a while, so we’re excited to play more music. 90 Min instead of 45!
‘Good Luck and Good Night’ is your sixth studio album, what did you hope for when you started to write and record this collection of songs in Nashville?
We hoped for making a record true to our band, which I believe we accomplished. We’ve been playing a ton of shows so we’ve grown and I think this album sounds like us at this period in our careers.
One of the key things about Nashville is people love to hear the story behind the song. Please could you tell us one or two of the stories behind the songs on the new record?
”The Ballad of Jacob Marley” is a good one. He was Scrooge’s partner and this song is about his penitence. Dickens wrote this in the mid-1800’s and the story holds true today. “Run For Me” is our single and about betting on horse racing. It’s really about capturing the excitement and desperation of the better.
You have a very reflective and thoughtful tone to your lyrics. For example ‘Redemption Song ‘ and ‘Tonight’ How have the ups and downs of life informed your songwriting?
Getting in touch with ups and downs informs every songwriter I’d say. As artists we have to be open to experience and then putting it on paper. That can be embarrassing at times, but you have to go for it.
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It seems safe to say you are venue experts, having toured extensively and played everywhere from the Lincoln Centre in New York to The Borderline here in London. But, when it comes right down to it, what makes a room special to play in?
It’s the people in the room that make it special. Otherwise, it’s just an empty room.
Take us back to how the band first got started – how did you actually all meet and start playing together?
I met Jim a few years ago and we had a band started and played now and again. I moved to Nashville three years ago and Jim and I spoke and wanted to get more serious about putting an all acoustic band together. I met Erin Slaver first and we thought she was a perfect singer along with Jim and a burning fiddle player. After that, I met Byron House and then it all started to come together.
How do you all stay passionate and keep growing musically?
Keep listening, keep trying new ideas and most importantly be open to life experience. We love it and are dedicated to giving ourselves to our audience.
You have had great encouragement and mentoring from people such as Joe Walsh and the Dixie Chicks. What advice do you have for bands starting their musical journey?
Whatever you expect will happen won’t happen, and whatever you don’t expect will happen, will happen.
Quick fire questions:
Fender or Gibson? We’re acoustic, so Gibson it is.
Oreos or Twinkies? French fries.
Morning bright or city at night? MC: City at Night!