Sparks, Cowan, King Wilkie interviews online

Here are three interviews we found this past few days in local newspapers’ coverage of upcoming entertainment events.

First up is King Wilkie, whose Reid Burgess was interviewed in The Dallas Morning News on July 23. He spoke with Mario Tarradell about the band’s decision to break with their traditional bluegrass sound for a more melancholy pop approach.

“I don’t think anybody wanted to go back in the studio and make the same bluegrass record,” Mr. Burgess, 27, says by phone from Richmond, Va. “Over the course of about five years we did every arrangement of a bluegrass song that we could possibly think of. I’m not the same person I was then. It would make sense to not do the same type of songs. We were steering ourselves in that direction. We were writing songs that sounded this way. We didn’t want to do the same thing again. It was starting to sound forced.”

You can read the entire interview on the Morning News site.

The Vail Daily ran an interview with John Cowan on 7/23. John spoke with Ted Alvarez about his current CD, New Tattoo, and also about his days performing with Sam Bush, Bela Fleck and Pat Flynn as Newgrass Revival. He suggests that he is enjoying returning to that Newgrass vibe with his road band.

"This incarnation of my band is the first time since New Grass that I’ve felt we could get back to that special place and make magic happen," he said. "For me it’s coming back to something I know really well ‚Äî It’s been a coming home of sorts. We’ve had this line-up of the band for over a year now and the response from the crowds has been overwhelming."

That full piece can also be found online.

On July 27, the Cabot Star-Herald in Cabot, AR carried an interview with Larry Sparks. The piece is primarily about the new Sparks release, The Last Suit You Wear, but touches on Larry’s long career in bluegrass along the way. At one point, writer Charles Haymes brings up how much bluegrass has changed over the years, with pop and country influences being absorbed into the sound.

However, Sparks has stood as tall as a redwood tree, remaining unchanged and loyal to the genre.

“I’m exactly where I belong,” Sparks acknowledged. “I love bluegrass music. I’ve always felt that bluegrass music needed me and I know that I’ve needed it. I think we’re a good match for each other. “

That one can be read on the Cabot Star-Herald site.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.

  • bluedog

    I want to make a comment about the author, Charles Haymes, the one you speak of who wrote the article about Larry Sparks in the Cabot Star Herald. He writes articles and does nothing more than spit out other articles he has acquired in forms of out and out plagiarism. He doesn’t even get paid for it, he does it for free it is so phony.

    I would not believe a thing this man says anymore. It has came to light recently that he has a pretty shady past, which has made him lose all credibility as far as I am concerned!!

  • mtndas

    I’m glad that the author of the King Wilkie piece mentioned the group’s obvious appreciation of The Bryds, Rolling Stones, Gillian Welch, etc.

    Rambling on about connections to Yonder Mountain String Band and Allison Krauss just because a band is labeled, “progressive” doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.

    Low Country Suite grows on me with every listen. It’s a well written album, wonderfully produced and nicely played vocally and instrumentally. Put it in a 5 CD changer on random along with Gram Parsons, Buffalo Springfield, New Riders of the Purple Sage and the Grateful Dead’s Working Man’s Dead and you’re in for a great evening of music.

  • I’m not sure why the first commenter felt the need to post such invective directed at Charles Haymes.

    Those characterizations are at odds with his reputation within the professional bluegrass community, and absent any sort of evidence or citation, deserve no serious consideration from anyone reading them.

  • badger

    The post from commenter 55152 concerning Charles Haymes has absolutely no merit whatsoever as to his professional or his personal character. The ridiculous verbal discharge is proof in its own right of the character and the professionalism of the writer…a nasty vindictive emotional individual with a penchant for melodramatic and thoughtless actions towards others.