PM: So you're youngest of eleven, born to musical parents. Are any of the other siblings musically inclined?
PM: Wow, isn't that something--even though the parents were, the ten before you did not even go that way as hobbyists or anything?
EC: Well, they were all half brothers and sisters. Mother was musical, but her husband was not necessarily as much so. And then Daddy, he was musical, and the same with his wife. And it was sort of a hobby in both their lives. It took off more when they met and got married and had me. They were in their forties, and were brought together by playing in a country band together. So I was born into a scene. And they were at a nice relaxed place in their life, and they did not let my emergence into this world change their lifestyle very much.
EC: So I just went along to the bar. My mom played in bars with her guitar out to here, with her Gibson just banging up against my head, singing Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette and everything else
And so when I was born, they didn't get babysitters very much. They just kind of took me along. So I was always in these seedy little juke joints down in central Florida. I say "seedy," but it was different then, I think. It was a heavy drinking culture, but not a heavy drug culture--not violent, just a lot of drinking.
PM: And your folks are still around, right?
PM: I've seen a picture of your mom on your site.
EC: Daddy is on there too, somewhere. Yeah, they're great. As a matter of fact, Daddy just turned 80. He got a bass guitar. Tim and I found him a new little bass for his birthday. And Tim just called me yesterday, he was playing in a music store with Chuck Meade [of BR549 fame] and he called me. He was like, "Hey, I found a little amp that your dad can carry around," because it's small.
EC: We've got him an amp, so now all he needs is a cable.
PM: What bass did you find him, do you know?
EC: I don't know, it was--
PM: An old bass.
EC: Yeah, it was just an old bass. So probably some sort of copy--it looks like an old Fender P Bass.
PM: So if Tim was playing in a record store with Chuck Meade, what were they doing, an in-store for Chuck, or?
EC: They were just playing. There's some sort of little music room in some music store in Kansas, and back there they just sell out shows regularly. And so Tim and Chuck happened to be the attraction, and they just played together. They share the set, and they go back and forth and trade songs.
PM: What a cool show, Tim Carroll and Chuck Meade.
EC: It was the first time they ever did it. And Tim called me after and he said it was great. He said, "We sold out two shows."
PM: That's a lock. I mean, who thought of that? Who booked that show?
EC: I think Cowboy Keith [road manager of BR549 and other acts, he co-produced Tangled in the Pines].
PM: What's the venue called, where is it? We wanna link to it.
EC: He wasn't even sure. We were sort of discussing it. I'll give you his email address.
PM: Okay. You hit the stage early, performing before you were 10--but by the time you got to school at Georgia Southern, you were moving in another direction, in the computer and accounting area?
EC: Yeah, I double-majored in accounting and computer information systems.
PM: So were you performing also then at that time in your life, or had music kind of taken a back seat at that point?
EC: I would go and find little bars and little country bands that were playing, but it was rarely part of the college scene, it was usually part of the backwoods Bullock County scene that did the kind of the music that I understood how to do. This was a time when a lot of the hippie jam bands and things like that are taking off, and the Dave Matthews Band, and all those. And I liked the Allman Brothers, and the Kinchafoonie Cowboys would come down from Athens, and we'd go to Athens to see bands. I loved some hard rock bands that would tour through, one was called Roscoe. And so I either liked the heavy metal stuff and the punk stuff or the back country stuff. I wasn't so much into the other.
PM: Into the jam band thing.
PM: Never were much of a hippie, say?
EC: Well, I own a pair of Birkenstocks that are pretty well worn out.
EC: I don't know. I don't know. I'm probably just a product of a little bit of all that.
PM: Yeah. And musically you'd come from a different world--
EC: I did.
PM: From a stone country world.
EC: I was raised by people who had skipped a generation. I did not know anything about the Beatles until I met Tim. [laughs] I mean, I knew who they were, but...
EC: I'd hear them and then I'd later be thinking, "Oh, that was in that car commercial." But there was never any of that in my home.
PM: The Beatles and the Rolling Stones and the British Invasion, that wasn't part of your growing up?
EC: No, huh-uh. My parents weren't against it or anything, it's just--
PM: Holy jeez. That's unbelievable.
EC: So that music has been a wonderful fun discovery for me. continue