June 13, 2024

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Interview with Carson Mallon: Blues is a mosaic of different styles and flavours

Interview with Blues guitarist Carson Mallon. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music. How exactly did your adventure take of? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Carson Mallon: – I grew up around Blues music. My dad always had blues going on the stereo at home. I was pretty young when I figured out how to play records through headphones. There were many mornings before school I would get up and listen to my dad’s old Blues LP’s. As a guitarist, I’m self-taught. My style is a little raw. I like it that way.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

CM: – When I first started playing blues guitar, I had to learn how to play lead. I always considered myself more of a rhythm player. That changed pretty quickly when I had to improvise a solo on just about every tune we played.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

CM: – Honestly, much of it comes down to absorbing as much good music as I can. Listening to what’s going on and trying to figure out how to do it. I find this helps with ear-training. As I’ve kept up with learning this style of guitar playing, I find it easier to pick up licks and riffs from recordings. The tricky part is coming up with my own style. One bit at a time.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

CM: – Intellect comes into play during practicing and writing. Soul takes over in performance.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

CM: – Gotta give the folks what they want! They want to dance most of the time, so that’s what I give them. If folks dig what I am doing, I am going to keep doing it.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of standard tunes are half a century old?

CM: – There’s something kind of ineffable about roots music. If you get it, you’re in. It touches you. Blues is a mosaic of different styles and flavours. When it comes to electric blues, there’s something dangerous about it. There’s attitude, raw emotion, mojo, and it makes you boogie. My hope is that it comes through and touches the younger generations.

JBN: – If you could change one single thing in the musical world and that would become reality, what would that be?

CM: – More venues, better pay for musicians … the usual.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Association 2023

JBN: – Whom do you find yourself listening to these days?

CM: – I’ve been all over the map lately. Blues-wise I’ve been surfing YouTube for old singles and B-sides. I just scoped some videos of Jimmy Guiboche. That guy can burn. Other than that I’ve been re-visiting a couple of my favourite Joel Plaskett albums, and Neko Case’s Middle Cyclone. What a deadly record that is!

JBN: – Do you like our questions?

CM: – Sure, great questions! I feel properly interviewed.

Interview by Simon Sarg

Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/useujba/

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