Discover Artists That Joined The 11th IMAs: Will Scott
HOMEBASE: From Indiana originally, now living in Brooklyn, NY and Philadelphia, PA
DESCRIBE YOUR GENRE: Americana, Blues, and Rock
CATEGORY ENTERED: Song and album categories in Blues and Americana, also Folk/Singer-Songwriter, Love Song, and Eclectic song categories
SONGS SUBMITTED: A number of songs from my new album, Keystone Crossing
ALBUM SUBMITTED (If applicable): “Keystone Crossing” produced by Scrote featuring guest performances by Dayna Kurtz (Vocals) and Deacon Jones (B-3)
LABEL: The album is on my own label, Weather-Tone
PLEASE LIST THE ARTISTS FEATURED ON THIS RELEASE.
Will Scott – vocals, acoustic guitar, songwriting
Scrote – producer, electric guitar, arranging, and songwriting
Dave Palmer – Piano, B-3, Moog, and other keys
Ben Peeler – Lap Steel, Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar, and other strings
Dave Piltch – Upright and Electric Bass
Jerry Roe – Drums and other percussion
Bob Hoffnar – Pedal Steel on “Last Rest Stop”
Dayna Kurtz – Second Vocals on “Derry Down”
Deacon Jones – B-3 on “Last Rest Stop” and “You Are The One I Love”
WHAT’S THE STORY BEHIND YOUR BAND NAME? WERE THERE ANY CONTENDERS?
My given name is William Scott. When I was young, I was called Bill Scott after my paternal grandfather. I started going by Will in high school.
DESCRIBE YOUR LATEST RELEASE.
“Keystone Crossing” is an honest, fairly straightforward, record with some twists here and there. It draws from a number of styles, especially Americana and blues (with rock and a tiny dash of Flamenco), blending them into a soulful roots record. The project is already receiving excellent reviews in a variety of genres:
“Continues to stake his claim as America’s most soulful country blues artist” Four Stars – Q Magazine
Top Blues albums of the Year – Classic Rock Magazine
“Shows off Scott’s rich, deep, trembling voice in the very best possible light” Nine Stars – Americana UK
“Brings blues, country, gospel, and Western swing to the table and delivers cohesive, haunting results” – Guitarist Magazine
“An eclectic master of all things Americana” – LucidCulture
“It’s the voice that gets you. A deep, dark, hurt thing, it compels you to listen, whatever story it’s telling.” – Rock’n’Reel
“It’s the slightly twisted, even maverick nature of his original songs that’s the most intriguing” – Folk and Roots
There’s a lot of personal and family history on the album – although much license has been taken. (Contrary to the lyrics of “Broken Arrow,” I have a great relationship with my mother! Hi Mom)! My step-father used to sing Johnny Shines “You Are the One I Love;” and it was one of the first songs I learned on guitar. “White River Rising” was inspired by a flood in Southern Indiana, and by Midwestern religiosity, in general. The album title comes from a street near where I grew up that I was not allowed to cross when I was younger.
In terms of production, I wanted something that felt a bit more live and slightly more stripped-down as a follow-up to my 2009 release, “Gnawbone.” I was thrilled to get to work with Dave Palmer, Ben Peeler, Dave Piltch, and Jerry Roe in Los Angeles. The producer brought them to the project and they were a perfect fit. We tracked at an excellent studio in Hollywood owned by Latin pop star (and former member of Menudo), Draco.
DID YOU USE ANY UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR EFFECTS?
The album’s producer, Scrote, plays some great, non-traditional, electric guitar. Otherwise, it is a fairly straightforward approach with the instrumentation. I worked with some cool custom slides from Diamond Bottleneck (glass and steel), and Rocky Mountain Slide Company (ceramic).
WERE THERE ANY ‘HAPPY ACCIDENTS’ IN THE STUDIO OR DID YOU RECORD IT AS PLANNED?
We received a call from a music supervisor while we were in the studio who was working on a film with Bruce Willis. He described what he needed for a particular scene and it turned out to be very close to a couple of the tracks we had just recorded. We took a couple of hours away from the record to put together a track using the rhythm from one song and vocals from another. As it turned out, we liked the new arrangement better than the earlier version and put it on the record as “Just to Ferry Me Over.”
HOW DID YOU FUND THIS PROJECT?
Revenue from CD sales and live shows in the US and Europe provided funds for Keystone Crossing.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO SUBMIT TO THE 11TH IMAS?
I like what the Independent Music Awards represents and the sincere effort they put into promoting and supporting the artists who submit. The impressive list of judges certainly doesn’t hurt either. As a 2009 nominee in the Blues Album category for “Gnawbone,” it was never a question whether to enter again with Keystone Crossing.
WHO IS SITTING IN YOUR AUDIENCE? WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE?
They are brilliant, often artistic, and always quite good looking.
HAVE YOU EVER HUNG OUT WITH ONE OF YOUR MUSICAL HEROES? WHAT’S THE STORY?
Years ago they had a benefit for blues guitarist Lefty Dizz at Buddy Guy’s Legends in Chicago. I was maybe just old enough to get into a bar and very much into Chicago blues then. A good number of people came out to support and I’d say nearly half were blues legends. Buddy Guy was there, Junior Wells, Lonnie Brooks and more. That was probably my last opportunity to see Lefty and Junior play and I got to see them playing together while hanging out in the audience with blues royalty.
WHAT’S YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE?
Playing Glastonbury twice ranks high on the list. Every show is memorable, however. I feel quite lucky to get to do what I do.
WHAT’S YOUR BEST/CRAZIEST TOUR STORY?
I played a show in Berlin this past summer; and it seemed like every five minutes someone was coming up saying they were from Brooklyn. It felt like half the borough was there. Some of them were friends from New York who were traveling and just happened to come to the venue.
ARE THERE ANY SONGS YOU WISH YOU WROTE?
There are lots of songs I would love to have written. One of them is Jan Bell’s “Right to Love” that I cover on “Keystone Crossing.” It says so much so clearly with so few words. It is a perfect heartbreak song.
WHAT ARTISTS ARE YOU LISTENING TO THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS?
I listen to a lot of flamenco (Camaron de la Isla, Paco de Lucia, and others). Usually, I am easily drawn in by great singers. I am a big Cindy Lauper fan in part for that reason. She gets passed off from time to time as an 80’s bubble-gum pop star, but she makes great music… and I still like her versions of “What’s Going On” better than anyone else’s (sorry Marvin Gaye).
NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING.
Jan Bell – Writer of “Right to Love,” founder of The Maybelles, and former IMA winner (www.janbellmusic.com)
M Shanghai String Band – Indie Americana and Bluegrass with fantastic songs (www.mshanghaistringband.com)
Jolie Holland – Already fairly well-known, nobody sings like Jolie (although some try) (www.jolieholland.com)
Preacher Boy – A pioneer of alt. blues, brilliant writer and performer (www.preacherboy.com)
Samantha Keely Smith – Her work puts music on canvas (www.skeelys.com)
Dayna Kurtz – More people should know about Dayna! (www.daynakurtz.com)
Jesse Lenat – Americana as it should be… soulful. (http://www.myspace.com/jesselenat)
Christian Gibbs – As Rolling Stone puts it, “a country brother to Tom Waits” (www.cgibbsreview.com)
Elyas Khan / Gentlemen and Assassins / Nervous Cabaret – I like anything Elyas sings (www.elyaskhan.com)
Paranoid Larry and His Imaginary Band – and excellent song craftsman… and completely insane (www.paranoidlarry.com)
WHAT IS YOUR DREAM SHOW LINEUP?
I have a number of dream show lineups. Tony Joe White with Chuck E. Weiss on a bill would be cool! The Luminescent Orchestrii, Gentlemen and Assassins, with The Dead Exs would do nicely for an eclectic international rock binge. For blues, Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Junior Kimbrough, with Hound Dog Taylor. For Americana and country, Blaze Foley, Townes Van Zandt, Buddy and Julie Miller, with Solomon Burke.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS…
Still in business. Things are continuing to change, of course, closing some doors and opening others. There have been better times to have rock star fantasies, but all in all it is not a bad time to be an independent musician.
WHAT DO YOU HAVE IN THE WORKS FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR?
The album is just now getting released in the US, following two tours in Europe. I will be touring this side of the pond regularly and beginning work on the next album. I’m also pursuing some additional licensing arrangements.
HOW CAN FANS FOLLOW YOU? WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE?