From working with ACL music festival, Lollapalooza music festival and Viva Big Bend music festival to curating series for Google Fiber, Trailer Food Tuesdays and now Side Project Sundays, I have been coordinating music series and festivals since 2000. My experience includes booking artists, festival management, and promotion. I love supporting local musicians and connecting people through music. In my alternate dreamland universe, I'm part of a huge cosmic choral band.
Below is a collection of interviews I started as a collaboration with Letitia Smith and White Light Photography for Side Project Sundays, a weekly showcase of local professional musicians who are introducing their “side-projects” to the Austin scene. We hope to expand the interviews into a coffee table book.
Interview with Bill Stevenson: Blood Pumps
“Blood Pumps, the name, haha” Bill Stevenson explains to me while we are both sitting in Austin traffic. He’s just finished a practice session and late lunch at Ramen Tatsuya. I’m in between a music lesson and Book People. “Its about getting your blood pumping and adrenaline,” he said. “See, I thought of a bloody stiletto,” I shared. He said that he has heard all kinds of...more
Interview wtih Acey Monaro and Ben Burdick: Go Fever
Go Fever is comprised of Acey Monaro on vox and ryhtym guitar, Ben Burdick on bass and vox, Sam Rives on keys and vox, and Keith Lough on lead guitar. We had a chance to visit with Acey and Ben about their background and their approach to music.
Where are you from?
Acey: Maitland, NSW, Australia (although I lived in Sydney...more
Born in Middlesboro, a small Kentucky town of about twelve-thousand people that is bordered by Tennessee and Virginia. Jeff Hortillosa (Horti) says some pretty wacky happenings of the alien-encounter type are reported frequently in Middlesboro, “of the history channelesque type of reports.”
Growing up, Jeff took violin lessons starting at the age of five. “I got ok, but wasn’t super focused on it,” he said. “Then I got into drums...more
Brothers Jeff and Ben Brown grew up in a little town across the river from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Jeff started playing punk originally and has been writing songs since he was 13 or 14. “As soon as my friends older brother started introducing us to the music we liked, I instantly became obsessed with it,” says Jeff Brown. “"I didn't think I could be a musician at first because the popular rock music when I was young was very technical....more
Born on the day of the dangerous quest at 3:33am, Henry Roland arrived to planet Earth somewhere outside of San Antonio, Texas. He played his first show on 6th street in Austin at age sixteen and has been playing music professionally ever since. His first band was called the Gingerbread Men. Based in Austin, the 7-13 piece band toured the country for a few years before ultimately splitting up.
Henry had studied music at UT, but it was...more
“I’m originally from Little Rock, Arkansas,” singer/guitarist Peter Shults shared with me, “that’s where Zula was from.” When he started playing guitar at age ten, he never imagined he’d be playing in a band named for his great-grandmother. “Back then I was just making abstract noise on the guitar,” he said. “It was a couple of years before I really knew how to play it.” Beyond Little Rock, Peter grew up in Saint Louis and San Antonio. He...more
Selena Rosanbalm grew up here in Austin, Texas. Even though she knows better, having grown up in Longhorn country, Selena went to school at Oklahoma City University. “It was a bizarre turn of events,” she laughs as she tries to explain her way through that one with me. After moving home to Austin after college, she spent time in New York auditioning for shows. “I thought that’s what my path was going to be,” she told me. “But I didn’t love...more
Mike St. Clair grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina playing music. Starting with the violin when he was five years old, he took lessons for six years or so. He shared this with me over the phone after his photo shoot with Letitia that day. After he grew frustrated feeling a little in over his head on violin in the all-city orchestra, he switched to trombone in the middle school band ultimately adding guitar to his musical repertoire. Mike...more
Tony Kamel never took formal music lessons growing up in Houston. “I got an electric guitar for my 13th birthday,” he shared with us on the sunny patio of Radio Coffee. “Before that, I was playing an old classical guitar that was my mom’s.” Tony’s first collaboration was playing with his cousin Milhko Bravo in high school. “He and I played together for years after that for fun really, but we also performed a few times.” Tony learned to play...more
Originally from San Diego, California, Jesse went to middle school and high school in Dallas/Fort Worth and eventually moved back to San Diego to go to college. “But then I wanted to come back to Texas,” Jesse shared, “so I chose San Marcos to finish up my undergrad and that’s where I met a lot of people I make music with today. I’ve been living in this area off and on since 2002.”
In school at Texas State, Jesse completed a minor in...more
Jesse Ebaugh started playing piano at age eleven where he grew up in Colorado. “I was allowed to quit when I joined a punk rock band when I turned thirteen,” he said, with his rescue dog Scout listening as intently to his story as anyone in the room. “My hippie parents were drag-a-long parents so I went to every party they ever went to. Listening to all the adults playing music is what made me want to play music. The adults pulling out the...more
Doug Strahan (Stray-Han; two syllables) drove to Austin to join the music scene in 1999. “It was warmer than Illinois and I wanted to learn how to play country,” says Strahan. Upon arrival, he picked up gigs, dug into records, and listened to everyone who was out playing at the time. Wearing a pair of boots he bought with spare change, Doug took off his hat and rolled a cigarette to start our interview.
“No one is untouched by Dylan or...more
Eric Burton was born in Los Angeles, California October 7, 1990 into a family that inspired musicians and was very much into the arts. I’m talking with him as he’s driving down 71, with the sun low in the sky overlooking the city skyline. “My mom was a dancer and aunt was a singer,” Eric said. “I definitely have been surrounded by the love of entertaining and the arts from a young age,” he shares as he’s driving to his next practice...more
Devon McDermott (featured in the photo to the left) and her husband Drew Schlegel decided to move to Austin from Baltimore, Maryland in 2008. “We were just dating at the time,” Devon shares, “but we had a good friend here who needed a room mate and we decided it was a good chance, so we moved down here nine years ago."
In Austin Drew began working with Tinnarose bandmate Morris Ramos (featured in photograph above). “Tinnarose formed...more