Tell us about your tour vehicle.
On this tour I am renting a Hyundai Elantra. I used to tour in a giant Chevy 2500 Van. The Elantra gets 4 times better gas mileage. I’ll pay less to drive someone else’s car than my own.
How do you eat cheaply and/or healthy while on tour?
Mainly by eating infrequently and whatever venues give me to eat. I keep massive amounts of Diet Cokes and granola bars in the trunk.
How many strings do you break in a typical year? How much does it cost to replace them?
I bought 6 sets of acoustic strings for the month tour I’m on. They cost $24- or would have except Billy at South Austin Music gave me a deal since I gave him a cd the week before.
Where do you rehearse?
Sunny at Space rehearsal complex in Austin runs a class operation. They keep crazy to a minimum.
What was the title and a sample lyric from the first song that you wrote?
I started writing pretty early. I can’t remember which song was first. I’m sure it was earnest and painful.
Describe your first gig.
My first paid gig was in the Fall of 1990 at a place called EL Chino in Austin. It served Chinese and Mexican food. I had met Troy Campbell and Jud Newcomb at an open mic at The Chicago House and they asked me to play it. That night I met Rich Brotherton, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jo Carol Pierce, Kris McKay, Robbie Jacks, and a few others. Troy gave me $15-20 and I couldn’t believe it. I had driven 2 hours from San Saba to play it.
What was your last day job? What was your favorite day job?
I have painted houses for over 20 years. I twice painted a house in exchange for making a record.
How has your music-related income changed over the past 5-10 years? What do you expect it to look like 5-10 years from now?
My income from music fluctuates wildly. Sometimes I have taken long periods off from playing.
What one thing do you know now that you had wished you knew when you started your career in music?
I’m not quite as special as I suspected I was.