JD and the Straight Shot – Exclusive GIGsoup Interview

JD and Straight Shot have been making waves over here with their melodic and thoughtful brand of Americana. They recently played a headline gig at The Borderline and supported The Doobie Brothers on the UK leg of their tour. GIGsoup caught up with guitarist Marc Copely.

You ​have​ ​this​ ​headline​ ​gig​ ​at​ ​The​ ​Borderline​ ​in​ ​support​ ​your​ ​new​ ​album​ ​‘Good​ ​Luck and​ ​Good​ ​Night’​ ​What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​love​ ​about​ ​doing​ ​a​ ​live​ ​show?

​We’ve​ ​been​ ​opening​ ​for​ ​the​ ​Doobie​ ​Brothers​ ​and​ ​this​ ​is​ ​our​ ​first​ ​headlining​ ​show in​ ​a​ ​while,​ ​so​ ​we’re​ ​excited​ ​to​ ​play​ ​more​ ​music.​ ​90​ ​Min​ ​instead​ ​of​ ​45!

​‘Good​ ​Luck​ ​and​ ​Good​ ​Night’​ ​is​ ​your​ ​sixth​ ​studio​ ​album,​ ​what​ ​did​ ​you​ ​hope​ ​for​ ​when​ ​you started​ ​to​ ​write​ ​and​ ​record​ ​this​ ​collection​ ​of​ ​songs​ ​in​ ​Nashville?

We​ ​hoped​ ​for​ ​making​ ​a​ ​record​ ​true​ ​to​ ​our​ ​band,​ ​which​ ​I​ ​believe​ ​we​ ​accomplished.​ ​We’ve been​ ​playing​ ​a​ ​ton​ ​of​ ​shows​ ​so​ ​we’ve​ ​grown​ ​and​ ​I​ ​think​ ​this​ ​album​ ​sounds​ ​like​ ​us​ ​at​ ​this​ ​period in​ ​our​ ​careers.

​One​ ​of​ ​the​ ​key​ ​things​ ​about​ ​Nashville​ ​is​ ​people​ ​love​ ​to​ ​hear​ ​the​ ​story​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​song. Please​ ​could​ ​you​ ​tell​ ​us​ ​one​ ​or​ ​two​ ​of​ ​the​ ​stories​ ​behind​ ​the​ ​songs​ ​on​ ​the​ ​new​ ​record?

​”The​ ​Ballad​ ​of​ ​Jacob​ ​Marley”​ ​is​ ​a​ ​good​ ​one.​ ​He​ ​was​ ​Scrooge’s​ ​partner​ ​and​ ​this​ ​song​ ​is about​ ​his​ ​penitence.​ ​Dickens​ ​wrote​ ​this​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mid-1800’s​ ​and​ ​the​ ​story​ ​holds​ ​true​ ​today. “Run​ ​For​ ​Me”​ ​is​ ​our​ ​single​ ​and​ ​about​ ​betting​ ​on​ ​horse​ ​racing.​ ​It’s​ ​really​ ​about​ ​capturing​ ​the excitement​ ​and​ ​desperation​ ​of​ ​the​ ​better.

You​ ​have​ ​a​ ​very​ ​reflective​ ​and​ ​thoughtful​ ​tone​ ​to​ ​your​ ​lyrics.​ ​For​ ​example​ ​‘Redemption Song​ ​‘​ ​and​ ​‘Tonight’​ ​​ ​How​ ​have​ ​the​ ​ups​ ​and​ ​downs​ ​of​ ​life​ ​informed​ ​your​ ​songwriting?

Getting​ ​in​ ​touch​ ​with​ ​ups​ ​and​ ​downs​ ​informs​ ​every​ ​songwriter​ ​I’d​ ​say.​ ​As​ ​artists​ ​we​ ​have​ ​to be​ ​open​ ​to​ ​experience​ ​and​ ​then​ ​putting​ ​it​ ​on​ ​paper.​ ​That​ ​can​ ​be​ ​embarrassing​ ​at​ ​times,​ ​but​ ​you have​ ​to​ ​go​ ​for​ ​it.

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It​ ​seems​ ​safe​ ​to​ ​say​ ​you​ ​are​ ​venue​ ​experts,​ ​having​ ​toured​ ​extensively​ ​and​ ​played everywhere​ ​from​ ​the​ ​Lincoln​ ​Centre​ ​in​ ​New​ ​York​ ​to​ ​The​ ​Borderline​ ​here​ ​in​ ​London.​ ​But,​ ​when​ ​it comes​ ​right​ ​down​ ​to​ ​it,​ ​what​ ​makes​ ​a​ ​room​ ​special​ ​to​ ​play​ ​in? 

​It’s​ ​the​ ​people​ ​in​ ​the​ ​room​ ​that​ ​make​ ​it​ ​special.​ ​Otherwise,​ ​it’s​ ​just​ ​an​ ​empty​ ​room.

Take​ ​us​ ​back​ ​to​ ​how​ ​the​ ​band​ ​first​ ​got​ ​started​ ​–​ ​how​ ​did​ ​you​ ​actually​ ​all​ ​meet​ ​and​ ​start playing​ ​together? 

​I​ ​met​ ​Jim​ ​a​ ​few​ ​years​ ​ago​ ​and​ ​we​ ​had​ ​a​ ​band​ ​started​ ​and​ ​played​ ​now​ ​and​ ​again.​ ​I​ ​moved to​ ​Nashville​ ​three​ ​years​ ​ago​ ​and​ ​Jim​ ​and​ ​I​ ​spoke​ ​and​ ​wanted​ ​to​ ​get​ ​more​ ​serious​ ​about​ ​putting an​ ​all​ ​acoustic​ ​band​ ​together.​ ​I​ ​met​ ​Erin​ ​Slaver​ ​first​ ​and​ ​we​ ​thought​ ​she​ ​was​ ​a​ ​perfect​ ​singer along​ ​with​ ​Jim​ ​and​ ​a​ ​burning​ ​fiddle​ ​player.​ ​After​ ​that,​ ​I​ ​met​ ​Byron​ ​House​ ​and​ ​then​ ​it​ ​all​ ​started​ ​to come​ ​together.

How​ ​do​ ​you​ ​all​ ​stay​ ​passionate​ ​and​ ​keep​ ​growing​ ​musically?

Keep​ ​listening,​ ​keep​ ​trying​ ​new​ ​ideas​ ​and​ ​most​ ​importantly​ ​be​ ​open​ ​to​ ​life​ ​experience.​ ​We love​ ​it​ ​and​ ​are​ ​dedicated​ ​to​ ​giving​ ​ourselves​ ​to​ ​our​ ​audience.

You​ ​have​ ​had​ ​great​ ​encouragement​ ​and​ ​mentoring​ ​from​ ​people​ ​such​ ​as​ ​Joe​ ​Walsh​ ​and​ ​the Dixie​ ​Chicks.​ ​What​ ​advice​ ​do​ ​you​ ​have​ ​for​ ​bands​ ​starting​ ​their​ ​musical​ ​journey?

Whatever​ ​you​ ​expect​ ​will​ ​happen ​won’t​ ​happen,​ ​and​ ​whatever​ ​you​ ​don’t​ ​expect​ ​will happen,​ ​will​ ​happen.  

Quick​ ​fire​ ​questions:  

Fender​ ​or​ ​Gibson?  We’re​ ​acoustic,​ ​so​ ​Gibson​ ​it​ ​is.

Oreos​ ​or​ ​Twinkies? French​ ​fries.

Morning​ ​bright​ ​or​ ​city​ ​at​ ​night?  MC: City at Night!

Good Luck and Good Night is out now