Thomm Jutz Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

Thomm Jutz Interview by Christian Lamitschka for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

 

Lamitschka:  Music has many new fans throughout Europe who
may be hearing about you for the first time. How would you describe yourself
and the music you play to someone who has never seen or heard you?

 

Answer:
My music is a mix traditional and progressive forms of Bluegrass,
strongly influenced by the songwriting of people like Guy
Clark, Richard Dobson, Gordon Lightfoot, etc. My guitar playing is an important
component of everything I do. I try to expand the boundaries of the Bluegrass
genre to some extent, always keeping an eye on the tradition.

 

Lamitschka:  What is your latest CD and how’s it doing?

My latest CD is called “Crazy If You Let
It”. It came out on Mountain Fever Records in October 2017. Mt friends Sierra
Hull, Justin Moses, Mark Fain, Andrea Zonn and Tammy Rogers are all a part of
this recording. These are some of my very favorite musicians and people in the
world.

 

Lamitschka:  How did you choose the title for the CD?  Is there a story behind the name?

The title song
of my new record, “Crazy If You Let It” is a song that I wrote with Andrea Zonn
and Bill Lloyd. Andrea recorded it on her album “Rise” a few years ago. I
always thought that this song would work really well in a Bluegrass
environment. The song is a meditation on the fact that every day we make a
choice to be positive, to not get carried away by the negative forces around
us.

  

Lamitschka:  Please tell us about the songs on your album
(influences, etc). 

I am strongly
influenced by Texas songwriters like Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark and Richard
Dobson. I spent 5 years touring and recording with Texas songstress Nanci
Griffith. The approach to lyrics of these writers has always spoken to me. I
love the the poetry and musicality of Gordon Lightfoot. I’d also have to say
that Norman Blake and Tom T. Hall are both main influences on what I do.

 

 

 

Lamitschka:  How much creative control do you have over
your music?

 

I am lucky to
work with a label like Mountain Fever Records that gives me maximum creative
control over what I do. As a songwriter I made a choice to write in a variety
of styles, which made it possible for me to have not just a good number of
Bluegrass cuts by other artists, but also to have a lot of placements in TV and
movie. I feel that the more broadly I exercise my “musical muscles” the better
it is for my overall creativity and output.

  

Lamitschka:  Who inspires you musically and how deep do
your musical roots run?

Tony Rice,
Norman Blake, Alison Krauss and Union Station, Gordon Lightfoot, Kate Rusby,
Tim Stafford, all of the people that I write with…It would be impossible to
come up with a complete list.

I listen to a
lot of old time music and old Blues music. I find myself going further back in
time, in terms of what I’m listening to.

  

Lamitschka:  What do you think about today’s music scene
versus its post and where do you see it going in the future?

The scene that I
am involved in is as strong as it’s ever been. There are fantastic legacy
artists that keep the tradition strong and so many great young artists that are
pushing in all kinds of musical directions. Anything that strengthens the focus
on acoustic music and Bluegrass music is a good thing in my opinion. 

 

 

Lamitschka:  What inspired you to become an artist?

I was 11 years
old when I saw Bobby Bare play on a German Country Music TV show. His
appearance, demeanor and the sound of his music struck a chord within me and
set me on my musical path. Writing songs and making records is still the most
exciting thing that I can think of.

I love to sit
down with my guitar, it’s an integral part of every day for me. It’s a blessing
to live an inspired life and by that I’m not just speaking about a life in
music…

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