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Mike Belitsky

A Conversation with Travis Good of The Sadies (cont.)

PM: So what are your favorites on this new disc? Are there some that just turned out great in your mind?

TG: Well, I really like that first song, because lately I've been listening to a fair bit of Clarence White.

PM: Oh, yeah.

TG: It's fairly obvious.


PM: Sure. It's very Clarence-y. But I mean, beautifully so. Clarence would smile.

TG: I hope so.

PM: Oh, yeah.

TG: I hope he would smile and not phone his lawyers.


PM: The very first day I got to Nashville, years ago, I walked into SIR [Studio Instrument Rentals, a rehearsal and cartage establishment] and Marty Stuart happened to be in there messing around with a couple of guitars. And somebody said, "Hey, this is Frank Goodman. He's just here from California." Marty goes, "Hey, how ya doin', man? You wanna play Clarence White's guitar?"

TG: That is so cool.

PM: [laughs]

TG: He wrote the liner notes to Nashville West, have you ever read that?

PM: No.

TG: It's a live Clarence record, and Marty does the liner notes. He says he owns that guitar, and he feels that it's basically public domain, and anyone who has interest should be allowed to see it and play it.

PM: It was unbelievable. It was sitting right there, the double-body Telecaster.

TG: Yeah...

PM: I said, "Hell yeah, I want to play it."

TG: Does it weigh a ton?

PM: Oh yeah. I thought it was a magnanimous thing to say to somebody new in town: "Hey, how you doin'? You want to play Clarence White's guitar?"

TG: Yeah, really.

PM: So I love the way that you and your brother do your thing on stage. It's so unique and it's so amazing. Have you guys done it right from the top together, like teenagers and all?

TG: Oh, no. We never played together until I was probably 24.

PM: It's funny how that happens.

TG: Maybe I was more like 27, even.

PM: You were both playing, obviously, but with different bands?

TG: With different bands, yeah. I mean, we're pretty close in age, so we never got along. And then we were playing punk rock music back then, too. That basically was a result of our parents having a really good collection of country records.

PM: So then the thing to play is punk, of course.

TG: That's it!


TG: It wasn't until years later, we were done with school and moved out of the house, that we came back and stole all the records.


TG: My Dad always like, "Where the hell is my Louvin Brothers record? Where's my Hank Wilson's Back?"


PM: That's a monster recording.

TG: Oh, man.

PM: "Rollin' in My Sweet Baby's Arms," and stuff. Oh!

TG: I was telling Keelor from Blue Rodeo about that. Just two days ago we were listening to that, and I was like, "What's funny about this is just the situation of my growing up. This is where I first heard a lot of these classic songs."

PM: Wow.

TG: I hadn't even heard the original before I heard Leon Russell do it. And I was also saying to Keelor that it's not such a bad introduction to the whole thing. Usually, to hear a remake would be really a bad start, getting off on the wrong foot kind of a thing. But not with that particular record.

PM: No. And a lot of the country blues that I grew up listening to, it was the same way: I didn't hear the Willie McTell or the Blind Blake versions until I was full grown. I learned from listening to Ry Cooder, or from Mike Seeger or something. As long as the interpreter you're listening to is good--like you say, you can't go wrong with Leon Russell.


PM: Because I mean, when I finally did get to those old records, it was like, "Yeah, it's cool. But damn, that is scratchy."

TG: [laughs] Yeah. Oh, I've got to do some name dropping now, just because it just happened last week.

PM: Absolutely.

TG: I played with Blue Rodeo, they did a show in Toronto, and their opener was Kristofferson. And me and Dallas played with Kristofferson. We did six songs with him. That was pretty cool.

PM: I just met him recently in Nashville, just in passing. And his aura--walking up to him to say "Hey, how you doin'?"--loomed pretty large.

TG: Oh, yeah.

PM: So I can imagine playing guitar next to him was pretty happening.

TG: And he's pretty quotable. He walks up to Jim [Cuddy], the other singer from Blue Rodeo. I think they had about 16,000 at this show. And they're all cheering away after the one song from Kristofferson. And Kristofferson walks up to Jim and he goes, "See that, Jim? Sometimes the good guys do win."


PM: Classic.

TG: And Roy Hawkins showed up at that gig, too.

PM: Unbelievable. And what city was that?

TG: That was in Toronto.

PM: Oh, man. So did Dallas get off on that?

TG: Oh, yeah. We were star struck. [laughs]  continue

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