TPR#85 Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins – Interview and Music

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Apr 272012

Dave Willis from the Possum Jenkins band talks about how humbling it was to have their latest album Carolinacana fan-funded through a Kickstarter campaign, how they were able to keep the band together for 8 years even while everyone in the band was having lives outside of the band, and playing bards where they have to “keep throwing music at them “til they give up and start dancing.”

Possum Jenkins BandTPR#85 Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins (MP3)

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NC Hops and Roots Fest

North Carolina Hops and Roots Fest

Show Notes:

Possum Jenkins on iTunes

Possum Jenkins web site

Recap of Interview with Dave Willis of Possum Jenkins

Dave Willis from Possum Jenkins talks about how they started in Boone because they all attended Appalachian State University. But now all but one of the members is based out of the Winston-Salem area.  Dave reviews the line up. Jared Church plays bass. Nate Turner is a multi-instrumentalist guitar player, drummer and singer. Brent Buckner is the harmonica player. David Brewer is also a multi-instrumentalist guitar player, drummer, and singer. And of course there’s Dave Willis himself.

Dave Willis talks about looking back on the past 8 years and he says he’s honestly surprised that people can hang out with each other every weekend and multiple times a week for 8 years. He talks about how they thought the band was going to be a short lived project but it survived 8 years even as the members were getting married and having kids etc.

Dave Willis sets up “Know The Way.” It’s a Piedmont blues gospel influenced song. He enjoyed this one because they got Jordan Craig to play trombone, David McCracken from Donna The Buffalo to play organ, and Molly McGinn to sing harmony.

[plays “Know The Way”]

Dave Willis says gospel music is overlooked sometimes but seems to be a building block of just about everything.

Dave Willis says Carolinacana is the first album the feels like they are narrowing down on a sound they can call their own. He says their past albums have been a little scattershot.

Dave Willis sets up “Swinging Door”. This is a song written by Nate and Brent wrote this one. It’s stripped down on the album, but it’s one they play live a lot and it’s evolving.

[plays “Swinging Door”]

Dave Willis talks about the turning point in the band. He says when they first got started they might not have taken it as seriously as they could have. But the turning point for him was the band’s previous release, Collection Of Bad Habits. It was at that point Dave realized they could make a decent album and ever since then he constantly writes and plays and tries to build up a lot of material just because he enjoys doing it.

Dave Willis talks about playing festivals like Shakori Hills, FloydFest, and Rhythm and Roots Fest. They like playing festivals because they get to also see other bands they like. Dave says that he also kinda likes playing bar gigs where sometimes the patrons don’t even want you there and they have to “keep throwing music at them ‘til they give up and start dancing.”

Dave Willis sets up “A Toast.” It was written as a banjo tune but they stripped it down and brought Molly in again to help out on harmonies.

[plays “A Toast”]

Dave Willis talks about how Possum Jenkins got Carolinacana raised the funds to produce the CD through a Kickstarter program. Fans pre-ordered CDs and if people supported with more cash the band would mow lawns or play private parties or whatever. Dave Willis talks about how humbling it was to get that level of support from their fans.

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The Taproot Radio Podcast is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media. The music and interviews in this episode are used with permission of the artists. The Taproot Theme music is called “Meltdown Man” by Derek K. Miller of The episode as a whole is copyright 2011 by Taproot Media.


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Review: Carolinacana by Possum Jenkins

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Mar 142012

The Possum Jenkins Band, based out of North Carolina, wasn’t content to just label themselves “Americana.” They were keenly focused on the musical roots coming out of the North Carolina mountains and have been developing a signature sound which draws from country, gospel, Piedmont blues, folk and soul, not to mention good old fashioned southern rock. Their latest CD, Carolinacana puts the finishing touches on their signature sound, which is sure to please any americana fan. Highlights for me are “Copper Coin,” “Been There Before,” and “All Is Not Lost.”