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PostHeaderIcon Buffalo Wedding Inspired by Beatles to Bluegrass

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My quirky passion for music led me to the glorious songs of Andy Padlo’s fourth album, Buffalo Wedding Andy Padlo, a singer songwriter from the Bay Area, released his newest album recently and it is a fortunate find. An eclectic blend of several different instruments along with memorable, heartfelt lyrics makes this 79-minute album a real gem.

ANNB: Your songs are so varied in style that it’s difficult to label your album’s genre. How would you describe your music?

AP: I have trouble with this, since I grew up listening to all kinds of music that was played on FM radio. Dj's had more freedom to put on whatever they liked, and you could hear a pretty broad spectrum of styles. Artists and songs weren't so separated by such strict marketing divisions as they are now. I guess the most common label for my songs and style would be either "singer-songwriter" or "alt-country" though some people have called it "americana." I don't really know. I guess it's all a mish-mash of stuff I've listened to all my life, from the Beatles to Bluegrass to Hank Williams to Leonard Cohen to The Replacements.

ANNB: Which song in the album was your favorite to write, and why?

AP: Each was my favorite at the time I wrote it--they came one after the other through the course of a year. But I'm most satisfied with "Kiss of Life." It seemed to write itself.

ANNB: How did you meet the other musicians who helped provide the additional instrumentation in the album?

AP: I worked closely with Stephen Ehret, who's an artist and musician, and I met several great folks through him. I also brought in young performers who were either students of mine in the past at School of the Arts in San Francisco, or are current students. We have some amazing talents there. One of the two drummers on the CD, Scott Eberhart, is in a band of his own and is also the director of the media department at School of the Arts.

ANNB: What other bands or artists influence your work? Do you have any musical role models who you look up to?

AP: A friend of mine had been slipping some new -- or at least new to me -- music into my music collection the past year, since I've been sort of out of touch with what a lot of independent artists have been up to. I was definitely inspired by The National, Broken Social Scene and some other groups making great music. I'm also a life-long fan of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Pavement, John Hiatt, and The Band, so those guys all have something to do with the way I write.

ANNB: Did you always have a goal of becoming a musician? Were there any other professions you chased when you were a child?

AP: I've been pursuing this goal most of my life, but I also always wanted to be a writer.

ANNB: Where do you see your music career in five years?

AP: I always hold out the hope that I'll build a larger audience of fans, be able to get out and perform more. I'll keep writing, recording regardless until somebody pulls the plug.

ANNB: Do you have any interesting strategies to aid you while songwriting?

AP: Most of the time I begin with a line, a bit of a lyric, and start playing the guitar, noodling around until something clicks. The only real strategy I have is to not get in my own way, creatively, not to try and force something, and instead just allow my ear to get along with my brain. I'm usually most energized in writing by a turn of phrase that seems to have potential to lead to a full lyric. Lately I haven't worried about telling any story, or having a clear moral or whatnot. I "feel my way" more, work more abstractly, and try to get a complete emotional picture in the song rather than a direct message or "package."

ANNB: You’ve come a long way since your first self-titled album. How do you think your music has changed?

AP: Maybe I've just decided to do whatever feels right and not try to fit someone's expectation so much about a song. I definitely want my songs to sound good, to be liked, and to stand the test of time but I'm also not worried if they don't fit into an expected pattern or style.

ANNB: What was your first time performing like?

AP: Very first? I was 10, I was performing with a small group we'd put together to promote recycling. We traveled to different elementary schools. It was great fun. Later I played in a band in high school. Some nights were better than others. I've played for some relatively large audiences (large for me anyhow) and for as few as one person on a slow night in a bar where the owner kept the ball game on the tv. I guess as long as someone is into what I'm doing it's all right!

ANNB: What tips do you have for aspiring singer-songwriters?

AP: Keep writing, keep working on building a good collection of powerful songs, play all the time, wherever you can, open mics, parties, get a wide variety of feedback to help you shape your work. What do people respond to? What doesn't work so well? Learn to play your instrument. Read all you can about other songwriters, find out how they developed their careers. And don't waste people's time with half-baked songs: people respond to songs that tell the truth. It's a tradition that goes back to the beginning of civilization. A great song gets to the heart of what it means to be alive, and can mean so much to all who hear it. And, of course, write about what you know.

Melody Moteabbed enjoys writing, fashion design, discovering new music artists, theater, and cats. More of her writing can be found in the Olympian at http://www.cvhsolympian.com.

Last Updated (Sunday, 29 January 2012 21:36)


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