I grew up in the South
- Thomaston, Georgia (population 10,000). The music that I call
"Southern in nature" takes many forms: country, gospel,
Dixieland, r& b,
ragtime, blues, and combinations thereof ...
For someone to try to describe, or put labels on, the music of the South
more explicitly, would be almost impossible. I say this because of
the many different lifestyles found there: from the old black men
and their blues guitars and harmonicas, to the country boy and his
5-string banjo and fiddle; from the churches all-day singings (and
eatin'-on-the-grounds), to the New Orleans Dixieland and ragtime bands.
Besides, all this music is music "of the people" in its purest sense and
is not really meant to be strictly defined or categorized - only enjoyed.
As a boy, listening to the singing in the church choirs, playing my
parents' records on the phonograph, listening to the music on the local
radio station, and hearing my mother (good) and father (he knew 5 songs)
play the piano all left their musical mark on me. Some of my earlier
instrumental (keyboard) influences: Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis,
Little Richard, Piano Red, Ray Stevens (a friend), Floyd Cramer, and the
great Oscar Peterson. And some of my rhythm and harmony influences:
Sunshine Boys Quartet (with J.D. Sumner), Jimmy Reed, Staple Singers,
Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Jerry Reed (another friend), Pete Fountain, and
What we've tried to do on this CD is to capture a little bit of the
"musical soul" of my beloved South. We've really only scratched the
surface, for as its people are indeed very different and varied, so is
their music. The supply is limitless ....