Local Musician Interview – from Kentucky?

Dave and Mom

Hello Everyone.  I know you are going to enjoy this interview because it is from someone who has some real Kentucky roots, Mr  Dave Hicks.  I first met Dave in church in Kansas City, Missouri.  Dave is a fine friend and musician, so just enjoy his musical journey.

BB: Introduction – Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? 

Dave Hicks: Yes. I grew up in Eastern Kentucky near the town of Ashland. If you want to find it on a map, just look at the point where KY, OH and WV all meet together.  I joined the Air Force when I was 18 and spent the next 25 years traveling around the world until I retired in 1999 and settled in IndependenceMO.

BB:  When did you get started in your musical journey?   

Dave Hicks: [I always loved music. No one in my family played an instrument but the radio was always playing. Mom and Dad like Country Music and that is what I grew up listening to. Back then the country stations played a combination of country and bluegrass so I was exposed to both styles of music.

BB:  What happened after that?

Dave Hicks: I separated from the Air Force after my first enlistment and moved back to KY. While I was there I was attending vocational school and one of the guys in school played the Dobro and the teacher played guitar. They would sometimes play at lunch and I tried to get the guy to teach me the Dobro. He told me he couldn’t teach me so I bought a guitar and basically taught myself to play by listening to and playing along with records. I would close myself in the bedroom and play along until
I could keep up. The first song I really learned was Rebel Soldier. My wife still hates that song because I played it so much. During this time I reconnected with Bluegrassand that has been what I have mostly listened to since then.

BB:  Where did you go from there?

Dave Hicks:  I reentered the Air Force but didn’t really play much Bluegrass. I was heavily involved in church and mostly played Contemporary Praise & Worship music in church and small groups. Traveling around in the Air Force I played with a lot of different music but always preferred Bluegrass.  I continued playing in church and a little bit of county/bluegrass when I could.

BB:  How did you get into Bluegrass/Old Time/Other Music?

Dave Hicks: My Mom is probably one of the biggest Bluegrassfans in the world. So she and I have always kept up with the latest releases and talked about our favorites groups. I always loved it and played when I could. Then after settling in IndependenceI met a guy name Bill Barker at church. He told me he played the banjo and would like to get together. He and I played together some and then he took me to the jam at the Blue Rridge Mall and then to HABOT. That is when I really started playing Bluegrass almost exclusively (Thanks Bill). I have stuck with HABOT and have now been a board member for the last 2 years. Since then Bill and I started the weekly CountyMeadow jam which has now become the 4thFriday Picking in the Heartland Jam. I started playing Upright Bass about 4 years ago and it has become my main instrument.

BB:  What is your favorite Bluegrass Band or Artist? and who influenced you the most?

Dave Hicks: Being a Kentuckyboy I have to say Bill Monroe of course. Since I grew up second generation I have always listened to Ricky Skaggs and Tony Rice. I also listen to anything by the original Seldom Scene and Country Gentlemen.

BB:  How many songs have you written?

Dave Hicks:  That’s easy; None. I have written some additional verses to a few of the two verse songs that I play but never have been able to write a whole song. It is a goal of mine to do some songwriting someday.

BB:  What advice would you give to young people wanting to get started in Bluegrass?

Dave Hicks: Pick an instrument, find a good teacher and take lessons. I never did and many times have regretted it. Stay close to the music. Listen to a lot of different artist. Go to jams watch and listen. Play in groups to learn your timing and how to interface with others.  Learn and utilize good jamming etiquette.

BB:  Anything else you want to say to wrap up this interview?

Dave Hicks: Sure. Be serious about your music. That is practice and work on your craft but keep it fun. This music is great for enjoyment and relaxation but if it becomes a job you will resent it. I’m not a musician in the strictest sense of the word but I play an instrument. I’m not a singer but I enjoy singing. Most of all I love getting together with those who share my love for this music
BB:  Thanks again to Dave for sharing his musical journey!

SPBGMA Music Nomination Awards – Midwest Convention

Mr Ed Sellers

Hello everyone.  It is that time of the year again for the Midwest Bluegrass Music Awards.  You will be glad to know that the KC Area has several individual nominations including:  Mike Collins – Songwriter of the year and Male Vocalist of the year (Traditional);  Dave Batson and Karla Campbell – Bass Fiddle Performer of the year;  Jimmy Campbell – Dobro Performer of the year;  Bob White – Guitar Performer of the year;  Ed Sellers – Fiddle Performer of the year;  Jim McGreevy – Male Vocalist of the year (contemporary);  Karla Campbell – Entertainer of the year.

Next time you see one of these folks, make sure you say congratulations to them.  If you want to see the complete list including band nominations, please click this link:  Midwest Music Award Nominations

Hope to see you at the KC Bluegrass Club this Friday.