Thursday, February 21, 2008

Doug Hoekstra at Lazy Daze 2-23-08

I wrote a preview for the Saturday, February 23, 2008 Doug Hoekstra show at Lazy Daze.

Here is the NUVO blurb.

I wish I could have printed a longer piece - I really enjoyed his answers to my questions, so much so that I purchased his book. I've only read the first story and I'm really digging it.

Here is the full interview, be sure to check out his Web site.

Have you played Indianapolis before?
No, I’ve performed all over the U.S. and much of Europe, and I’ve passed through Indy many times going between my home of Nashville and my hometown of Chicago – but I’ve never played in your fine town. Looking forward to it!

Tell me about your new album:
Blooming Roses is my sixth cd of “new material” (there have been a couple live and “outtake” cds) and although artists always say this, I do feel it’s my strongest work yet. I tell people that it seems, as artists, we spend half our lives developing a style and then once we get to that place, we spend the rest of our lives trying to distance ourselves from it. Meaning, you want to build on what you’ve done and developed and retain elements of that, yet also stretch and take your music to new places. And, so I feel like “Blooming Roses” does this, it's rooted in whatever it is I do, and yet branches into new places too, and as a result, I’m very happy with it.

The CD was recorded primarily at True Tone Recording studios in Nashville, with David Henry producing (David Mead, Josh Rouse, Vienna Tang). David did an excellent job, producing, playing cello, and generally helping shape what I wanted to do. We also brought in a bevy of Nashville’s finest to help round out the sound and I think the CD is a nice blend of “band cuts” and more orchestral or layered pieces. I’d say the title track, “Blooming Roses” is a favorite of mine; a true story about people from different backgrounds coming together over stories of their children – nice Stax-band groove on that one. “Gavin Geist” has been a favorite of folks live – it’s a more acoustic song about a boy I went to school with who was an outsider, was bullied, struggled, and eventually became self-actualized, for lack of a better word. I’m also really fond of the “Everywhere is Somewhere,” the album’s closing track. I cut that at the end of a tour, in Stavanger, Norway at Out of Tunes Recording with members of Thomas Dybdahl’s band (Oyvind Berekvam, Eirik Lye) at the helm. We did it in a day at this studio just off the coast, with the sun blazing and the fjords shining in the distance and I think there’s a nice magic to that song.

What can people expect at your show?
Well, I’ll be playing solo, so you’ll get a variety of songs from my six-CD catalogue, you know, fast and slow, happy, sad. I’ll probably use loops on a couple things, blow a little harmonica, and tell a couple stories. Chances are I’ll also read a short selection from my “Bothering the Coffee Drinkers” book in the middle of the set. It’s a collection of music-related fictions that came out last year and won a Bronze Medal for Best Short Fiction, in the national Independent Publisher Awards. I’ve always written prose, as well as songs, and since the book came out, I’ve read from it live – folks generally dig it and the book reflects back on the music and vice-versa, to complete the picture of what I do. I really strive to make each show unique, so much of how I present the evening will depend on who’s there, how folks are feeling, what kind of connection we make. That’s the best part of playing live, really, each gig is its own separate entity, dependent on every circumstance and individual that contributes to making the night a good experience.

Anything would you like the fans of Indianapolis to know?
Just that I’m looking forward to coming to town and meeting all the good people supporting live music. Needless to say, we’ll have books and CDs for sale, as well, and lately at the live shows, I’ve been doing the Radiohead model – i.e., letting the audience “haggle” or price the product at whatever they think its worth. This has been an interesting and successful experiment – it seems it acts as another way to break down the barriers and allow the audience to take ownership. People rarely offer a price less than what I would ask for, but it helps everyone feel part of the process, it’s a cool thing.
Oh, and if you can slide the websites in the article, Nora, that’d be great –,

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