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Andy Cobb - exposing the roots

Andy Cobb - exposing the roots

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The Leader of the band ‘The Itchy Hearts’, Andy Cobb will be performing solo at tonight’s For Locals X event.

Andy picked up the guitar at 14 years old and just started playing. He decided to play some songs from of his early influences, Paul Simon, Levon Helm and Bob Dylan among other 70’s era musicians, then decided he wanted to play and write his own songs.  

This specific turn of events lead him to mainly focus on the compositional aspect of producing music, rather than putting all his energy into being an amazing guitarist. The music he primarily creates and plays is a finger picking method of early country/folk blues, rooted from Alabama, Missouri, Louisiana and Texas, that he finds an effective way to get the music out.

Making a point to not be categorized as a “blues” player specifically, Andy does find comfort in the way blues tends to get emotions across in a song. He explained to me, that this method for discovering this early adaptation of finger picking blues, was from listening to the modern forms of music and looking into their core roots and influences, then repeating that process again and again, stripping away the generational elements and exposing the origins, dating back to ragtime and early syncopation.  

Andy also makes the point that his solo music is very different then his recorded music, as-well-as his solo performances differ in comparison to playing with his band. Playing solo he likes to keep it bare and to the core, while performing with his band he focuses more on the musical expression of a feeling. He likes to keep things authentic when performing solo, using a small amp turned all-the-way up and exposing the Lo-fi (low fidelity frequencies) that can be found on most early recordings.

He also makes me note that his lyrics and music are mainly focused on particular moments and feeling, rather than a story or journey, like most singer/song-writers; he even describes his songs as “abstract scenarios of emotion” zoning in on sounds and not just relying on words to portray that.

Andy’s performance tonight will resemble the early recording artists like Mississippi John Hurt and Mance Lipscolm.

We end our interview, the way I also do, asking the artist to share a word of wisdom based on his own musical experiences, that others can relate to and pull motivation from; here is what he answered: “Rather than try and listen to as many forms of music as possible to develop your musical personality, use the accessibility of today’s modern technology to zone in on and explore how to very expressively be original.”   

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For Locals By Locals Series iii

Alex MacKinnon - musical power

Alex MacKinnon - musical power