Tonight brings about the return of Blake Rainey, who most recently performed in Savannah at this year’s opening Thursday Night Opry; Trinity Sanctuary Concerts. He begins a three night run of area shows at The Jinx with Waits & Co.‘s five-piece version including Jared Hall on keys, and Ira Miller on drums opening up the evening; 10pm / $5. In anticipation of that I managed to fire off a ‘Five Questions with….’ list for this post, though both Do Savannah, Connect Savannah, and Night Shift with Ryan of Rock 106.1 have already posted great previews & ‘Best Picks’ for tonight’s gig.
This is gonna’ be one humdinger of a show, if I do say so myself!
HL: You’re headed back to the Savannah area for a three night stand, with The Jinx on June 1st being the highlight performance & kick off show. Are you and the Demons getting excited for this run down to the lowcountry?
BR: We are very excited to be coming down to Savannah June 1-2 and Tybee on June 3. I definitely love this part of the state. And the Jinx is an ass kickin’ establishment!
HL: Helicopter Rose has been getting some great press, and you recently performed up in NYC both as a solo artist & your occasional gig with All-Night Drug Prowling Wolves. How was the reception in the Northland, and do you have any further plans for touring?
BR: I had a great time up north and look forward to returning. Brooklyn has some great folks putting on shows there and I hope to be going back sooner than later. I also plan on playing Nashville and Knoxville this summer and hopefully a few more dates in the midwest.
HL: You’ve got an extensive Atlanta pedigree, performing with some of that city’s great musicians. What can you tell us about the last decade of cutting your teeth in that city’s vibrant music scene?
BR: Atlanta has some great bands and great clubs and all around great folks who help keep the scene alive. As with anywhere, it’s had its ups and downs over the last 10 years or so, but it is still kicking and I just hope it keeps getting better. The Star Bar, The Earl, and 529 are where it all happens. If we can keep those doors open we’ll be doing good.
HL: Who are some of your musical influences, and do you specifically draw from that well for your own songwriting, or is your sound your own?
BR: I think at this point it’s definitely my own. I have no qualms about wearing my influences on my sleeve because all of us get it from somewhere else – whether we want to admit it or not. That’s the nature of rock ‘n’ roll. Elvis and The Stones and Led Zeppelin got it from the blues artists before them and they would be the first to tell you that. I don’t really consciously draw from anywhere. I just begin writing and let it come out as it does. Being a somewhat traditional artist things are always going to get compared to all the guys that I love that came before. I am influenced by pretty much any real American and country music from the last 50 years as well as punk rock, bebop jazz, and 80’s college rock. Johnny Cash, Joe Strummer, Merle Haggard, Miles Davis, Paul Westerberg, Dwight Yoakam, Elvis Costello. Something like that.
HL: Is there anything else that you’d like for our readers to know about upcoming projects, tours, shows, or your record label?
BR: I’m working on a mostly acoustic EP in my basement studio right now that will probably be the next to come out on our Southern Lovers Recording Co. label. I also plan on getting the full Demons band back into the studio as well, as the next LP has already been written, more or less. The Young Antiques, my other group, are also planning a new studio album. It looks to be a busy couple of years for me.
Blake Rainey will also be performing solo at Foxy Loxy Cafe tomorrow night (Friday), and with the full band again on Saturday evening at Tybee Island Social Club. Check out their websites for times & details.