August 11th, 2009
A few more pics from the NPMT.
Here are a few of Steve Poltz with his band, The Rugburns. Steve is such a talented artist, and more prolific than I had remembered. He’s been at it for a long time…since ‘92 by his account, but I met him in ‘92 and it sure seemed that he’d been at it for a few years by then
His site is here: poltz.com
These guys are incredibly energetic, and played tons of songs I remembered well…but no Gold’s Gym Guy…c’mon Steve, I know you could hear me yelling that out!
Here’s a pic from the songwriting panel, featuring: Jack Tempchin (The Eagles, Tom Waits, etc), Steve Poltz, Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) and Quino (Big Mountain). These guys spoke candidly about what it’s been like writing songs for a living and the ups and downs of the writing cycle. Each played a song or two, mostly new material, and talked about how they found inspiration. Amazing.
Jack Tempchin talked about his penchant for three- or four-chord songs. He reminded me of other songwriters I’ve seen who approach the guitar as not much more than a vehicle for getting the song out, rather than something that needs to be practiced for all hours of the day.
Steve Poltz showed us his mastery of finger-style playing for a couple songs and more than established his ranking among the best in the business. He says he gets up early nearly every day and plays/writes. He called his songs gifts that he’s happy to receive. I get a feeling that beneath his humbleness, he’s an incredibly hard worker.
Scott Russo (Unwritten Law) was late for another engagement, and so played a new song and left early, but before he did, he talked a bit about growing up playing Green Day on the guitar and played a few riffs from them. He said, something like, good artists borrow, GREAT artists steal. He makes a good point about using your influences to your benefit.
Quino (Big Mountain) played his classical guitar and talked about the success of their song, Baby I Love Your Way. He spent quite a bit of time in Hawaii and told stories about the scene there and how it influenced his music.