Tell us about yourself and your music
My name is Claude Hitt . I was born in Raceland , Louisiana . My dad (Paul) job transfer him to Singapore when I was 10 years old. I received a Yamaha acoustic guitar for Christmas at 13 years old. I started jamming with my childhood friend Bruce Walston. The jam sessions continued every weekend for 2 years till Bruce’s family moved back to Texas.
My junior year in High School I was invited to join Scott Shively rock band ‘Southbound’ . We played dances and outdoor fairs at school. I learned a lot about music from Scott who was an excellent piano player.
Graduated I moved back to Louisiana . I formed Stonewall with Grant Falgout and Jeff McWillams we played dives around Lafourche parish. I included my originals with covers of Black Sabbath , Quite Riot , UFO, and some Blues. After a year we went our ways.
I changed my focus to recording ,writing and entering different contest. I recorded with Joe Trappini , Jesse Dunn , Kim Dufrene , Jon Edenfield , Jon Tyree , and now with Tim Curry. Winning a few honorable mentions.
Having problems with musicians in my area . I traveled to New Orleans for open mics. The next 8 years I performed at the Howling Wolf , Carrolton Station , Buddah Belly , Checkpoint Charlies , Rusty Nail, Hurricanes ,the Clinic, and Lucky’s were I started paying my dues and networking.
I befriended fellow musician, Bradley Baker ,Tim King , Mike Clark and it was with their help that I hosted an open mic at the Pontchartrain Landing for 2 years. While hosting the open mic Bradley and I formed a duo ‘Don’t Hitt the Baker ‘. We had a Tuesday night spot at Igor’s Luckys for over a year.
I started landing 3 hour gigs with my acoustic guitar at the Pour House , Banks Bar and Grill , Neutral Ground Coffee House , and The Fair Grinds .
I met bass player Bob Netcoh at an open jam and with Gary Hille on Drums we formed Extended Recess and recorded my lastest release ‘Dialect Error on the Bayou’ with Tim Curry.
We been playing originals and covers in around south east Louisiana.
Talk to us more about your latest release
My new release ‘Dialect Error on the Bayou has 5 songs. Obnoxious , Cool Me Down and Fais Do Do on I-49 were re-mixed for ‘Dialect Error. Seattle I’m Coming Home and ‘On the Bayou’ were written and recorded late last year.
The recording was recorded on Tim Curry’s lap top at different locations . From my house in Raceland to Bob’s house in New Orleans. The Guitar Center for Ellie Crandle back up vocals and Gary Hille drum parts . Seth Kaplan cello part was recorded in his bathroom while a cool breeze was blowing through the window. It was a fun , Tim was easy to work with.
What inspired you to write this release?
I haven’t recorded or wrote for 3 years . I was relying on past material that was still going over well at open mics and my gigs.
A co-worker was questioning me about the music in Seattle and Kurt Cobain. I started thinking if anyone met Kurt Cobain at the airport before his un-timely death. This lead me to write ‘Seattle I’m Coming Home’. I did research on Seattle . I learned the nickname of Seattle is the Emerald City that helped bring more life to my song.
‘On the Bayou’ was tucked in my head for a few years. A report stated that Louisiana has the highest rate of spousal abuse . One day my neighbor was working in her yard the lyrics started to form. I felt I needed to record both songs . I contacted Tim .
Any plans to release a video?
I have a video of ‘Seattle I’m Coming Home ‘. Tim and I finished just the other day. We entered an acoustic version for NPR’s Tiny Desk / Ask another.
Any plans to hit the road?
I would love to hit the road . A Texas tour or Florida tour would be great.
For now Extended Recess will be playing in the Turnaround Tap room in LaPlace , Louisiana February 3rd doors open at 8 pm. Twist of Lime in Metiarie April 8th show starts at 9 pm .
I have 2 solo gigs at the Neutral Ground Coffee on Danneel Street in New Orleans February 7th and 21st.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
Americana ,I have mixture of music. My originals are folk (The Desert)) , blues (Late Last Night and Obnoxious) ,1950’s (S-10) Rock( Fais Do Do on I – 49). But still keeping my overall sound noticeably my own . The difference is my songs are recognizable to a listener. My own style as to say.
Who have you been listening to lately?
Lord Huron , Z Z Top , Dave Mason, Roger and the Gypsies
Tell us about your passions
The racetrack (Horses) , traveling , working around the yard and my wonderful granddaughters.
What else is happening next in your world?
Trying to find gigs( booking agent would great) , start writing with Extended Recess , quit my day job for music…Taking my grand daughters to the Zoo…
Thanks for an awesome interview, Claude!
Connect with Claude Hitt and Extended Recess Band