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Stomping Dave prt 3


We really liked that tune on ‘Country Blues’ – the Victim – where did you find that – we

noticed that Dr John is one of the co-composers.


I got that one off a BB King album, The Best of BB King


Who do you listen to in the roots field?


Stacks off stuff; but my particular favourite artists in no particular order would include Tommy Jarrell,

Fred Cockerham, Gribble, York & Lusk, The Mississippi String band, The Skillet Lickers, Joe

Thompson, Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones, The Stripling Brothers, Narmour & Smith, Benton

Flippen, Altamont Black Stringband, Kyle Creed, Doc Roberts, Doc Watson, Flatt & Scruggs, Bill

Monroe, Snuffy Jenkins, Robert Johnson, Elmore James, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Blake, Rev. Gary Davis,

Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie Mcghee, Bukka White, Blind Willie McTell, Doctor Ross,

Sonny Boy Williamson (the 1st & 2nd), Muddy Waters, Howling Wolf, BB

King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix. These things are

always a drag because later you’ve realise you’ve some really important people.(see full list of influences

at the end of this article)


The last year or two I’ve been totally nuts on Tommy Jarrell, constant listening to that in the car because

my lovely wife generally can’t stand banjo music in the house; that’s probably good because it stops me

going banjo mad. Before Tommy Jarrell I was obsessed with Flatt & Scruggs. I got the Bear Family

Records box set and I listened to that constantly. I love the recordings they did with Bill Monroe. Not only

the creation of bluegrass but for me the pinnacle.


My wife likes listening to blues so that’s good, so we get along that way. But she’s partly responsible for

getting me into bluegrass because it was she who first played me Foggy Mountain Breakdown. I think

she regrets that now. We really like listening to gospel stuff too like

The Staple Singers, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, we both adore JJ Cale, and Bonnie Raitt.





With your playing being so firmly in the genre so-to-speak and being so busy – what do

you listen to? Personally as I’m playing constantly in a similar field I listen to anything but blues when I’m

not playing


Like I say I have to listen to what my wife likes a lot of the time, she does have a pretty eclectic taste

though so its o.k. she likes a lot of soft rock, pop & folksy stuff some I like some I tolerate, and world

music which I also adore, also we both really like jazz, I like some of the more out there stuff such as Sun

Ra more than she does though, lots of different stuff, but I do still love to listen to blues when I can.

Obviously as your going round performing, especially with all the disparate types of venues I play, you

get exposes to all types of music, some you like, some you don‘t.


A year two back a friend of mine gave me pretty much the whole of The Blues Collection, so

I’ve been filling a few of gaps of people I missed or hadn’t managed to get round to listening to much

such as Professor Longhair whose music I’ve really fallen in love with. There’s such a bewildering and

inspiringly massive world of music in general, it’s part of its mystery and appeal but I would say that is

true even if you limit yourself just to the blues.


To be honest though when I purchase CDs it’s very rare that I buy a new CD, there is so much classic

stuff that I have heard about that I want to listen too, or I want to collect. I do quite often listen to Paul

Jones on radio 2 to get idea of what’s new in the blues scene. Also from time to time enjoy listening to

Mark Lamar, Bob Harris and Mike Harding.


How do you approach writing songs?


I love re-interpreting old material so that takes up much of my time. Sometimes things just come to you

and you have to write them down. Sometimes songs take years to come to fruition. Say What You

Mean which is on the Original Blues CD for example I first began work in the early 1990s

before I finally got round to recording a proper version of it.


I go through long periods of not writing songs, mainly in general tend to be more interested in learning

other peoples material. When I decide that I want to start on a project of original work then things seem to

happen pretty quickly, I usually just start jotting down lyrics. Sometimes I’ll go through old ideas and

rework them. Sometimes I’ll just randomly open a book a find an interesting sentence, or phase to get me

started, and then make myself complete them. Sometimes I just try to go into a hypnotic state and let the

pencil write itself, sometimes the results of the that can be really bad, it has worked on occasion.

Sometimes reading a book will give you an idea, or sometimes something someone says to you will make

you think “that would be a good idea for a song.” I make little books of lyrics, already to go. But I’ve

currently, in general, lost interest in working on original stuff, because I’ve been so into the old-timey

music, but I’m sure I’ll get back into that soon.


I notice that song that opens the most recent acoustic album ‘Still Some Joy’ it fits – like all

good songs – into various genres but the country style genre particularly- are you gong to write more in

that vein?


I think you mean There’s Still Some Wonder, I don’t know if I’ll write more in that vein, I’m really

proud of that song I think its one of the best songs I’ve written.


Many of the traditional songs within your genres are in the ballad / narrative style; have you

anything of your own in mind in that sort of style?


I think my songs so far if they have a narrative, tend to be more vague perhaps than the ones you find in

traditional songs. Although I guess some do contain a vague kind of narrative There’s Still Some

Wonder and Did You Ever? spring to mind. But nothing remotely comparable or as

wonderfully fully formed as The Ballad of John Henry, Bury Me Under The Weeping

Willow or the Wreck of The Old 97, or The Wreck On The Highway for



My released song writing so far has mainly been limited to the acoustic and electric blues styles, so that

could be why. In the same way Hoochie Coochie Man or Manish Boy (don’t think for a second

I’m comparing myself to Muddy Waters!) could be said to have a narrative, but the narrative is not as fully

formed or as direct as the previous traditional songs I mentioned. Not to say one is better than the other,

just that the narrative is more sculpted. I have not released any original Stompin’ Dave bluegrass material

to date.


I also notice that you draw primarily on American sources – any thoughts about English

and European tradition


I keep thinking maybe one day I might end up getting into English music but I haven’t yet, I have dabbled

a little. I doubt it because I’m so into American music. I really enjoyed Steve Knightly set even after I failed

to damage any of his instruments. He sings one of his own songs which is about how people only ask for

stuff like Duellin’ Banjo’s (which I’d just played which made me feel even more guilty and foolish that

evening) rather than music from their own soil, and he has a very good point. But as I’m sure you, and he

know American music has a lot of roots in Celtic and English music, look at Cecil Sharp’s theories on

Appalachian music. I think it’s the African influence on the American music that gets me.


Also much to my delight I found some video on Youtube of Steve Knightly and Phil Beer playing in a

bluegrass band in there younger days, so even they have been known to succumb to the allure of

American music.


I’m surprised at the sheer quantity of your recordings; it’s almost as if you’ve got to get it all

down now? Are you in a hurry?


I don’t know, maybe? I just have a wide range of interest and a love of making recordings, also I have

been trying to find where I’m wanted, but I’m not sure in retrospect that’s been the right approach.


Talking about instruments – Do you do your own set-ups?


I’m not very practical at all, I’m generally at the mercy of others. So I wouldn’t fit a bridge for example.

Except maybe for banjo bridges they are not too bad, to fit. I do try to keep an eye on my intonation on my

guitar and banjo, so I might l fiddle around with that if I think I’ve a problem.


Do you come from a musical background / family / 1st or 2nd



No, but my parents love trad. jazz. My granddad loved to play comb and paper.


Tell us about Dave Saunders


Dave is a very good friend of mine and I really enjoy performing with him. He is starting to work more and

more with his old band The Producers, so I wonder how much time he will have to perform with me soon.

Which I don’t mind because The Producers have always been his great passion. They are also a

wonderful band, and its great to see them out performing regularly again. I was a member of the

Producers 1999-2000 which is how I got to know Dave. I learnt a great deal from Dave & the

wonderful Harry Skinner.


What are your immediate plans?


Looking forward to The Boogaloo Blues Festival next weekend.


Long term ambitions…


Just take each day at a time, and to keep enjoying making music, and learning about music.


Favourite of your own albums


Tommy Jarrell, Sail Away Ladies, Or do you mean my own work?

In which case I guess One Foot Across The Pond.


Favourite of your own compositions


Current unreleased song I Feel So Sorry Now


Advice to musicians starting out?


Have fun above all. Try to find as many teachers, and mentors as possible.

Get as much advice, from good people, as you can.


Finally, you’re called Stomping Dave – the dancing is really great – how did it come



I joined Appalachian dance team Spank The Plank as a musician before I went to University.

Spank The Plank are based in Bournemouth they are still going. A lovely man named John got me into

the solo style of flatfoot dancing. We had it all planned from the start. Thanks John.


Thanks for talking to us and we hope that you continue to enjoy your music to the




We heard about Dave’s appearance from Monica Madgwick who described it as ‘absolutely brilliant’ – and

she knows a good thing when she hears it!


Dave very kindly gave us a full list of his influences – this is the result of a lot of hard work and well worth

checking out; to get you started we’ve uploaded some video


Old Time: Tommy Jarrell, Fred Cockerham, Kyle Creed, Da Costa Woltz Southern Broadcasters, Oscar

Wright, Matokie Slaughter,The Skillet Lickers, Eddon Hammons, The Stripling Brothers, Gribble York

& Lusk, Joe Thompson, The Mississippi String Band, Uncle Dave Macon, Grandpa Jones, String

Bean, Eke Robertson, JE Mainer, Gaither Carlton, Wade Ward, Charlie Poole, Narmour & Smith,

Kessingers Brothers, Fiddlin’ Doc Roberts, Jimmie Johnson, Burnett & Rutherford, Wilson Douglas,

Glen Smith, Benton Flippen, Doc Boggs, The Lewis Brothers.






atch?v=-nKktAZvTIg&feature=related TOMMY JARRELL







Old-time dancers: Ira Bernstein, Stanley Hicks, D. Ray White, Algia Mae Hinton, John D. Holeman and

Quentin “Fris” Holloway.


Revivalist and new Old Time: The New Lost City Ramblers, Mike Seeger, Pete Seeger, Ralph Blizard,

Robic & The Exertons, Fuzzy Mountain String Band, The Highwoods String Band, Bob Carlin, The

Rockinghams, The Fiddle Puppets, Ira Bernstein, Riley Baugus, The Carolina Chocolate Drops


Vintage Country/Hillbilliy: Cliff Carlise, The Allen Brothers, Frank Hutchinson, The Maddox Brothers

& Rose, Grandpa Jones, Cowboy Copas, The Armstrong Twins, The Mile Twins, Merle Travis, Jackie

Guthrie, Bob Wills, Jimmy Lee, Roy Rodgers, Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Gene Auntry, Tex Williams,

Sons Of The Pioneers, Hank Snow, The Carter Family, The Louvin Brothers, Woody Guthrie, The Almanac

Singers, Charlie Monroe


Classic Bluegrass: Snuffy Jenkins, Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Flatt & Scruggs, (Mac Wiseman, Josh

Graves, Benny Martin, Chubby Wise), The Stanley Brothers, Arthur Smith, Don Reno, Red Smiley, Bill

Harrell, Mac Magaha, The Osborne Brothers, Scotty Stoneman, Jimmy Martin, Vasser Clements, Jim

& Jesse, John Hartford


More Bluegrass: Eric Wiseberg, Curly Herdman, Bill Keith, Bill Emerson, Pete Stanley, Alan Shelton, JD

Crowe, Curtis McPeake, The The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Cumberland Clan, Tony Adams, The Dillards, Alun

Munde, Dan Crary, Bela Fleck


Delta Blues: Big Bill Broonzy, RL Burnside, Bo Carter, Arthur “big boy” Crudup, John Lee Hooker, Son

House, Skip James, Papa Charlie Jackson, Robert Johnson, Tommy Johnson, Leadbelly, Mississippi

Fred McDowell, Mississippi John Hurt, Doctor Ross, Charlie Patton, Muddy Waters, Bukka White, Big Joe

Williams, Sonny Boy Williamson 1, Robert Lee Mcoy


watch?v=n3bp4ohqugI&feature=related BUKKA WHITE



Piedmont Blues: Barbecue Bob, Scrapper Blackwell, Blind Blake, Reverand Gary Davis, Blind Boy Fuller,

Peg Leg Howell, Blind Willie McTell, Brownie McGhee, Bumble Bee Slim, Sonny Terry





Memphis Blues: Memphis Jug Band, Frank Stokes, Furry Lewis, Sleepy John Estes, Memphis Minnie, Joe

Hill Louis


Piano Blues: Albert Ammons, Charles Brown, Leroy Carr, Cow Cow Davenport, Champion Jack Dupree,

Meade Lux Lewis, Professor Longhair, Big Maceo, Pinetop Perkins, Memphis Slim, Otis Spann,

Sunnyland Slim, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Roosevelt Sykes, Jimmy Yancey


Blues Shouting: Big Joe Turner(Pete Johnson), Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Jimmy Rushing,





Jump Blues: Louis Jordon, Louis Prima


Chicago Blues: John Brim, James Cotton , Bo Diddly, Buddy Guy, Big Walter Horton, Howling Wolf, J.B.

Hutto, Elmore James, J.B. Lenoir, Louisana Red, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush, Hound Dog Taylor, Little Walter,

Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson 2


More Blues: Peetie Wheatstraw, Gus Cannon, Cannon Jug Stompers, Lonnie Johnson(Eddie Lang),

Tampa Red, Bumble Bee Slim, Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, Blind Willie Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe,

T-Bone Walker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Victoria Spivey, Washboard Sam, Papa

Lightfoot, Snooks Eaglin


More modern blues: BB King, Albert King, Albert Collins, Robert Cray, Eric Clapton

Other Musicians I really love: Sun Ra, Jimmy Hendrix, Thelonious Monk, Sceaming Jay Hawkins, Chuck

Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Fats Domino, Ray Charles


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