Artist Interview: SW LaFollett
Tell us about yourself and your music
I am a guy that likes a wide range of music, but because of my musical limits won’t be writing anything that will threaten Beethoven’s 5th. I like to say I write simple songs that relate to folks on different levels. I’m into the smile factor, if it makes you smile it’s gotta be good… right? I started out just me and a guitar, then a trio, then a band(s), and as the circle goes, I’m back with just me and my guitar. It’s the cowboy in me I guess. Maybe because of that, most of my songs start out in a folky kind of way and evolve into having a country feel. I can’t read music and usually don’t even know what key I’m playing in, so to me, that lends itself to a spontaneity that I think gives the song life and sets it apart from a more polished work. Although I do have quite a few ”polished” songs. It is all about the song and hopefully how it move you, the listener.
Talk to us more about your latest release
”Sunshine” is my latest release and something I am very proud of. I recorded 25 new songs, but chose the 11 that you’ll find on the CD because I was wanting something a little more laid-back. A ”Sunday morning cup of coffee” kind of record. I am lucky to have some great players here, too. Bradley Kopp not only produced the album, but played acoustic & electric guitars, dobro, and added background vocals (one half of the legendary ”Neverly Brothers), speaking of legends, ”Cosmic” Bob Livingston of Jerry Jeff Walker and The Lost Gonzo Band lent his immense talent and expertise on harmonica and bass. Grammy award winning accordionist Joel Guzman, fresh off a tour with Paul Simon, came in and tracked some beautiful parts. Between gigs with Ryan Bingham, Mr. Richard Bowden came in and played some really sweet and moving fiddle. The great Glenn Fukunaga of the Dixie Chicks laid down some really fantastic bass lines, most notably on tune ”Lost Cowboy”. David Webb added incredible punch with some rocking Hammond B3. And rounding it all out the great veteran Phil Bass on drums and percussion.
The above mentioned ”Lost Cowboy”, ”Sunshine”, ”Leaving Oklahoma (The True Story Of ”Pretty Boy” Floyd)”, and ”That’s What I Need” are standout tracks on an album full of standout tracks.
”Sunshine” was recorded just outside of Austin, Texas at the tiny and funky RedBoot Ranch Studio deep in the heart of Texas. Beautiful.
What inspired you to write this release?
Inspiration dwells in such a wide wide range of colors. I’m inspired by life in general and by things that move me. Hopefully folks hear something in me they like or are moved by. The chance that I might touch someone musically, I suppose, inspired me to write this.
Any plans to release a video?
Yes, an actual written and directed video is in the works. I want something that will be timeless and not look dated after a few years. Until then, I have ”videos” using photos of me.
Any plans to hit the road?
Playing small dates around Austin.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Nobody out there is doing what I do and there are are few of us who are legitimately writing all their material. Everything I do I write myself, SWL.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Beside me (laughing). I’ve been listening to ”Sunshine” a lot because we just finished recording it, but I dig Corb Lund. He reminds me of me. I dig his writing style or at least how the end result turns out.
Tell us about your passions
Life. Knowing how blessed I am to be where I am and to be appreciated by the folks I love.
What else is happening next in your world?
Recording new material and beating the Devil at his game. I have enough material to, if I had the time and money, record at least eight albums. That would be great fun.
Thanks for an awesome interview, SW!