American songwriter and musician Grayson Capps will headline this Friday’s FREE concert at Pajarito, part of the local-favorite Gordons’ Summer Concert Series. We were able to connect with Grayson to discuss his music, his life, and what guests can expect at the 7 p.m. show on July 8. Here’s what he had to say:
PM: Your work is obviously inspired by your experiences with people and places in the South. Have you spent any time in New Mexico or Los Alamos? Tell me about that.
GC: It’s been a long time since I’ve been to New Mexico. Maybe 25 years with my first band House Levellers.
PM: If my research is correct, you and your family are incredibly talented: several of your songs appeared on the soundtrack of the film A Love Song for Bobby Long (which starred Scarlett Johansson and John Travolta), and not only was the film titled after your song of the same name, the movie was adapted from a novel written by your dad. Did your dad encourage you to become a songwriter? Who are some of your music heroes?
GC: I was inspired early on by a local man in Brewton named Fred Stokes. He had a lovely low cigarette whisky soaked voice and played an old Martin guitar, mostly old old country songs.
PM: Along those same lines, I understand your wife, Trina Shoemaker, is a producer, engineer and mixer with three Grammy Awards under her belt for her work with Steven Curtis Chapman and Sheryl Crow. You two seem like a pretty powerhouse music couple. Do you work together often?
GC: Trina records and mixes all my music. She is a powerhouse genius of a woman, a complete inspiration to be around.
PM: You’re not only a powerhouse music couple, but you’re a rock ‘n’ roll dad. How is music a part of your family?
GC: Music is always going around the house. Either I’m practicing or Trina’s mixing. It’s what we do and my children are very much a part of it. Being a dad has changed me for sure, but I know for the better. The way I was going at it before I don’t know if I’d have paced myself enough to be functional now.
PM: After Katrina, you left New Orleans to live in Nashville, and within the last few years, you’ve returned to Alabama. How is it to be back home? Is it hard to leave and come to a place like the New Mexico desert? 🙂
GC: Home is great. I love the coast of Alabama, but traveling is in my blood. Having a solid home helps me enjoy coming to a place like Los Alamos. I am really looking forward to spending some time in New Mexico.
PM: I saw where you provided vocals, guitar and harmonica on Paradise Right Here, which has been described as “an all star collective” featuring you, Will Kimbrough, Anthony Crawford, Corky Hughes and Savana Lee. This album was just released this year. Are you working on anything else?
GC: Yes and I wrote several songs on that record that I will be performing on this tour. I am currently working on a new solo record.
PM: You’re a part of the Gordon Summer Concerts, which is a very popular concert series here in Los Alamos, and you’ll get the center stage at our ski resort. Our community loves these events, where they can bring their families, spread a blanket on the lawn and listen to some good music. What can those who attend your concert on July 8 expect?
GC: Well, I tell stories through my songs, so I hope to take folks through a sonic and visual journey through the Deep South while my guitarist Corky Hughes will help the journeys transcend to the ether. We are super excited to be invited to Los Alamos and hope to have a mutual magical time with everyone there.
If You Go
The music begins at 7 p.m.
Be sure to bring a lawn chair, a blanket and your dancing shoes!
The Cafe will be open during the concert!
About Grayson Capps
Born of the Southern literary tradition, Grayson Capps possesses a profound poetic wisdom and marries it to steamy front-porch blues and open road Americana. Capps’ husky, whiskey-soaked vocals bring to life the down, but never out, characters who reside in his songs. Greasy slide riffs and finger picked steel guitar create the foundation for stomp-on-the-floorboard grooves, sanctified funk, earth grown soul and gospel refrains. For more information, visit www.graysoncapps.com.