Ruth Egherman: All right. Thanks for joining us for Beyond the Stage. My name is Ruth Egherman. I’m the Director of Marketing at Livermore Valley Arts, and I’m with our host and Executive Director, Chris Carter. Say hi, Chris.
Chris Carter: How are you doing?
Ruth Egherman: Good. Good. We just talk to Lizzie No who’s performing live at The Bankhead on November 17th along with Sunny War. We also spoke with Sunny War. So you’re actually getting a two interview episode out of Beyond the Stage this week, and they’re performing also with Buffalo Nichols. So it’s three artists on one bill and it should be great fun.
Ruth Egherman: You can get your tickets at LivermoreArts.org or by calling the box office at 925-373-6800. Lizzie No is sort of Americana, I think she would describe it. I think she used that word the most to describe her music was Americana.
Chris Carter: Yeah, if you read about her folk comes up a lot. Yeah, I agree. It’s, you know, it’s, it’s folk ish I guess. Yeah. Folk Americana kind of country, a little bit of everything.
Ruth Egherman: And then Sunny War does, Roots music is how it’s described for her. And, then, Buffalo Nichols is doing a he’s a blues musician. So, I mean, three great artists, three very different perspectives on the music world. Mm hmm. Not. Not actually, not so different. I mean, it’s all very American music, you know, and about their experience. So it’ll be it’ll be really cool night at The Bankhead I think.
Ruth Egherman: So, Chris, you booked this one?
Chris Carter: I did.
Ruth Egherman: Do you have a favorite among the three? Are you allowed to say that on air?
Chris Carter: Yeah, I don’t know. I like I like all three of them a lot. I mean, it’s it’s one of those ones where as soon as you listen to each one of these artists, you kind of want to dive into their their whole catalog. Right. And, you know, the first one I started listening to was Lizzie No and then Buffalo Nichols and then Sunny War.
Chris Carter: I think I’ve listened to pretty much everything that they’ve put out there, and so they’re all incredibly creative songwriters. One thing I liked about Lizzie and I told her is I really like the structure of her songs. Like it just feels very well thought out. And when she said, you know, that’s kind of how she thinks about her songs, too, she puts a lot of time into that.
Chris Carter: And then, you know, Buffalo Nichols songs are just have a kind of a raw feeling to them, you know, really hard to explain unless you listen to it and that. And then Sunny War, you know, same thing kind of, you know, rootsy and just, you know, telling her, telling her story, you know. And they both had all three have somewhat different approaches to their music.
Ruth Egherman: But but they’re also all three of them are telling their stories. Yeah. Through music and their experience, you know, experiencing life through their music.
Chris Carter: Yeah, I forgot to ask. I was going to ask Lizzie about her songs because a lot of them seem very personal. Yeah, those were like, you know, true stories or things that she kind of invented in her mind or kind of or, you know, change the names to protect the innocent kind of stuff. I like that kind of songwriting where it’s it feels personal and I’m trying to hear what they’re but they’re feeling right going through in the song.
Ruth Egherman: And how you might even relate to it. Yeah, some to some respect to her music. You know, I brought up the song Sundown she wrote, and I was just I was kind of blown away by it because it it starts off in this sort of cheerful way. And it felt like, you know, she described it as a conversation between her and her grandmother.
Ruth Egherman: Mm hmm. Right. And that’s exactly what the song feels like. You know, it feels like that. And it’s really special and special that way. You get that real sense of it.
Chris Carter: Yeah, I think they’re great songwriters, and for me personally, I love great songwriting. And you know, when you’re talking about a songwriter, you don’t need a lot of musical elements. It doesn’t need to be overproduced or anything like that. It’s sometimes it’s it comes across, as, you know, really simple. But the way it’s constructed and crafted, it takes a lot of effort and thought and and it connects with you on a more on a deeper level at times.
Chris Carter: And so that’s I think for me personally, I think that’s just my favorite style of music. I would just say a songwriter kind of music with a real emphasis on the songwriting piece.
Ruth Egherman: Yeah. Yeah. I think I, I think I gravitate towards that kind of music as well. Yeah. The storytelling, the songwriting, you know, the lyrics. I’m a lyrics person. Yeah.
Chris Carter: But then I was saying, that’s like when you’re talking to somebody about, Oh, did you. Have you seen this TV show yet or something? And you just get excited about it. And and I feel that way a lot about different artists. And when I hear something new or fun or something that I really enjoy, I want I want to share it with people.
Chris Carter: And, you know, the fact that we can bring it here to Livermore, to our stage is even better. It’s it’s such a cool thing to have this ability to do that. And so I hope people come. I think it’s going to be a really cool show.
Ruth Egherman: All of them, they’re really like sort of at that place where… Hear them now. So you can say I was listening to them way back when.
Chris Carter: Yeah, yeah.
Sunny War: Right.
Chris Carter: Oh, exactly.
Ruth Egherman: So everybody enjoy this. This next couple of interviews that we have with both Lizzie No and Sunny War. I think you’ll get a lot out of them. And then of course you want to join us at the theater on November 17th. Hi!
Lizzie No: How’s it going, everyone?
Chris Carter: Great. How are you?
Lizzie No: Good. It’s teatime.
Chris Carter: I like your mug.
Ruth Egherman: Nice mug.
Lizzie No: Thank you. I like it for Zoom calls because it’s outward facing.
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Ruth Egherman: My name’s Ruth Egherman, I’m the Director of Marketing.
Chris Carter: And I’m Chris. I’m the Executive Director.
Lizzie No: Thank you guys for having me on.
Chris Carter: Yeah, it’s exciting for us. Where are you calling us from?
Lizzie No: I’m from. I’m calling from Brooklyn.
Chris Carter: From Brooklyn.
Lizzie No: Okay. I just got home from the IBMA is in Raleigh.
Ruth Egherman: What does IBMA stand for?
Lizzie No: The International Bluegrass Music Association and Awards. I don’t actually know if it stands for association or awards, but it was like the the conference festival, and awards.
Ruth Egherman: Oh, fun.
Lizzie No: Yeah. Really fun week.
Chris Carter: Did you get to perform?
Lizzie No: I. Okay. So I was just there as a podcaster with my co-hosts Cindy Howes. We do the Basic Folk podcast. And so we were there doing like the podcasting panel with bluegrass situation and then I sang backup for my friend’s new string band Kaia Kater, Tray Wellington, Jake Blount and Nelson Williams formed this new string band called New Dangerfield, and it was like their big debut.
Lizzie No: So we so I sang backup for them last year.
Chris Carter: I started listening to some of your music and it’s really good.
Lizzie No: Thank you.
Chris Carter: I was talking to Ruth. And, you know, we we run a performing arts center, so we have a lot of performers coming through all the time. And I was thinking about your songs and your songwriting, and I was like, I was trying to explain to Ruth. Like, for me, it’s like very well structured. I don’t know if that’s the right word.
Chris Carter: It seems like every every part of the songs are just the right amount of time. And then it leads you onto the next part. And it’s just it’s just so.
Lizzie No: Thank you so much.
Chris Carter: Really, well-written. And just the structure of your songs is so nicely moved throughout the song, and that’s something I really enjoyed about it.
Lizzie No: Thank you. That’s a really thoughtful compliment. I spend a lot of time on that part of it.
Chris Carter: Really? You do?
Lizzie No: Yeah. I really think about, like, not only just like what? How can I make this song the best version of itself? Because there’s so many different versions of a song. There’s like the platonic version that exists only in your imagination. And then there’s like the demo version, there’s the studio version, there’s the live version. Like there’s versions where maybe you jam at the end.
Lizzie No: There’s versions where you keep it short. Like there’s so many different ways to present the same material. Yeah. So I think about like, how do I want it to sound on the record? And then like, how am I going to sequence it with the other songs such that it’s like telling a story and like, not every song needs to be like your six minute meditative journey.
Lizzie No: Like some songs should be 2 minutes, some songs should be longer, some should have a bridge, you know, like that stuff that I think is super fun.
Chris Carter: How would you classify your music or what kind of style do you say you’re you’re in? I know you’re a lot of I was reading a lot about like folk, but I heard folk, but I heard some other things, too. And so how would you describe your style?
Lizzie No: I would describe it as somewhere between Americana and Indie. And the good thing about both of those genres is that they are just like umbrella terms for a lot of other like types of American music genres. Like I definitely am inspired by folk and the blues, bluegrass, rock, country, you know, alternative rock, all of those. I feel like I often write folk songs and then arrange them as rock songs, or I’ll write like a soul song and then sing it as a country song.
Lizzie No: So like all of those end up coming together in the music.
Chris Carter: Did you find like when you said, I write music a little bit myself, not professionally in any level, but when you hear it in your head, does it sound different when it gets play? I mean, when it comes up at the end. So like, what do you think it’s supposed to be? It becomes something different as it as the process evolves.
Lizzie No: Yeah, I think that as I’ve gotten better as a producer, I’m getting closer. I’m like shortening the distance between what I hear in my head and what you hear as a listener at the end of the… like when the recordings finished. But sometimes it’s actually really good and fun. When a song surprises you as it changes in the arrangement.
Lizzie No: Like I did this West Coast tour earlier this year with John Calvin Abney and Nelson Williams and like the live arrangements completely surprised me. Like some of the songs that I had released on Vanity, like for example, Loyalty, that’s like a really contained soul song kind of, and then Nelson had this like really creative bass part that made it like, brought like a Latin rhythm.
Lizzie No: So, like, you’re tapping your foot in a way that, like, you might not at the recording. So sometimes it’s just fun when like on the road or in the studio, the musicians that you hire bring, like a completely different idea than you ever imagined.
Chris Carter: Yeah, and they’re hearing something else, and now, you know, you get to hear both of those things. Yeah, really cool. What are your primary instruments? Do you play the guitar mostly?
Lizzie No: I think my primary instrument is my voice. And then I split time between like I think in my life said it’s two thirds guitar, one third harp, maybe. And when I come out to the West Coast, I am going to be bringing in the amazing Will Greene playing electric guitar. He’s part of this unbelievable, like progressive jazz pop, avant garde band called Tredici Bacci.
Lizzie No: And so he has like he has influences for from everything from like ragtime to jazz to country to rock. So as a duo, we get to, like, try out a little bit of all of the styles that I’m interested in.
Chris Carter: Well that’s exciting.
Ruth Egherman: Which did you start first, the guitar or the harp? And the harp harp is really amazing because it’s it’s not a huge harp. It’s like a it’s.
Lizzie No: A mini harp. Yeah, it’s a mini harp.
Ruth Egherman: Is that what it’s called?
Lizzie No: Yeah, it’s designed for music therapy, which is not what I do, but it also works as a great gigging harp. I started out on violin when I was three, and then by the age of ten I was completely burnt out on violin. So my parents said I could choose another string instrument and so I started playing harp in fifth grade.
Lizzie No: And then, yeah, most of my like my early songwriting was all done on harp until I won the American Songwriter Lyrics contest in 2016, and they sent me a Gibson SJ 100. Like the nicest acoustic guitar. You could possibly imagine and I didn’t even play guitar. And so I was like, Okay, I guess that means it’s time for me to, like, learn how to play guitar and like start writing some like singer songwriter guitar songs.
Lizzie No: And that’s specifically when, you know, the Lizzie No project started.
Chris Carter: Yeah, well, guitar’s only got six strings, right? So it’s way easier.
Lizzie No: I find guitar so hard I wish more people would like speak out about how hard it is to play the guitar like the harp. You look at it and you can see what you’re going to play. Yeah. And on the guitar, I find it so mysterious. Like, I’m still I still very much consider myself a beginner guitarist. Like, I’m an okay rhythm guitarist.
Lizzie No: I can get the gig in my band.
Chris Carter: You could? Okay. Yeah, because the rhythm is not too hard. Is that what you’re saying?
Lizzie No: No, it’s because I am the one that knows the rhythm of the Lizzie No songs the best.
Chris Carter: Right?
Lizzie No: It’s because I’m the primary source material.
Chris Carter: Where did you come from? Like a musical family? You said you started at three. Is your family into music?
Lizzie No: My parents really emphasized that for both me and my sister, I sang in choir. I think I’ve been singing the longest. That’s why I say my voice is my primary instrument. My dad’s whole family is very musical coming from the Baptist church. So we sang in church. We sang in the Princeton Girl Choir. We did Suzuki like it was all about music for our after school activities, which I thank my parents for all the time.
Ruth Egherman: So you got the award. The songwriter award in.
Lizzie No: 2016.
Ruth Egherman: Was that when you started songwriting or did you start songwriting before that?
Lizzie No: So I started writing songs like I would write parody songs starting in elementary school. So like I’ve been truly writing songs forever, but like mostly as a joke. And then in high school and college, I started taking it more seriously and playing with my friends. You know, I formed a couple of different bands with friends I had. My first band was a girl band in high school.
Lizzie No: We did like Dixie Chicks covers, Jenny Owen Youngs, Tracy Chapman, like kind of your Lilith Fair country vibes. And then in college I had this really fun, like, folky band with my housemates, and after I graduated, I was like, Am I actually going to try to make a living out of this? And a college buddy of mine formed a folk duo called Devil and the Deep Blue Sea around 2014.
Lizzie No: And we toured out of DC. And so that’s where I kind of like cut my teeth as far as playing live and playing my own songs out. And I went solo in 2016 because I was like, I have a song to sing that’s only mine. There’s something that I got to do that’s like just Lizzie. And that’s when I started playing as Lizzie No.
Chris Carter: That’s awesome.
Ruth Egherman: So was that the song that you won the award with?
Lizzie No: That was the song that I was already playing in my duet. It was called Outlaws, and I still play it at shows sometimes, but I just kind of got the urge. I was I was like very vividly, remember, like sitting in my basement apartment in D.C., I was like 22, 23 and like writing that song and like feeling like it had a future and feeling like that.
Lizzie No: That song was like going to be something maybe. And like later seeing the, seeing the ad for the songwriter contest, I was like, Why the hell not? Even though I wasn’t releasing songs under my own name and the prize was a guitar, which I didn’t know how to play, it was very much like taking a leap of faith, just hoping that like someone would even, like, read my lyrics and connect with them.
Ruth Egherman: When you come out here, are you going to bring both your guitar and your harp?
Lizzie No: Yes.
Ruth Egherman: Awesome.
Lizzie No: Yes, I will. We pray to the airlines that they will allow me. And sometimes Gibson is nice enough because I play a lot of Gibsons to like loan me a road guitar. So I don’t have to fly with two instruments because the flight attendants really do give you a mean look when you do that carry ons.
Chris Carter: You’re allowed two carry ons, right?
Lizzie No: But you are not. But not if they don’t like you. Not if they look at you and say, I don’t think so.
Chris Carter: You could just play a song for them. Maybe. Yes. Get them in. Make let them understand.
Lizzie No: Yeah. Busy airline employees love that. They love when you sort of busk at their workplace holding up the line, that’s their favorite.
Ruth Egherman: She says with a tiny bit of sarcasm.
Chris Carter: Well, you said you started off with parodies. Is there remember any of them? Can you you want to share one with us?
Ruth Egherman: I mean, please.
Lizzie No: I actually don’t really remember. Well, okay, this is horrifying. And I’ve only spoken spoken about it one time. And so you can’t judge the quality of my work based on this. But when I was in fifth grade, we did a Civil War reenactment. A lot of this I don’t think would fly in today’s schools. But because I was, you know, pretty popular in my class, I was chosen, as you guessed it, General Robert E Lee.
Lizzie No: And so it was my job to sort of like do team building with my team. And so I wrote like a, like a theme song to the tune of Gloria Gaynor’s. I Will Survive. And obviously, like, none of it is repeatable, but like as a fifth grader, I was like, this will just be fun. Like, it’s like, I’m going to I want my team to win.
Lizzie No: And I and I had a sense of the irony. I did have a sense of the irony. So it was like a sort of sarcastic song about states rights. I was a smart ass. And then I went to a lot of therapy to like, unpack this particular experience. Like, who were the educators involved? Who allowed that to happen?
Lizzie No: I don’t know.
Chris Carter: That’s fascinating. So, yeah, maybe one day to do a little.
Lizzie No: Absolutely not.
Chris Carter: No.
Lizzie No: Absolutely. No.
Chris Carter :Never mind.
Ruth Egherman: Well, since since you brought up civil rights. I was just listening to your song Sundown.
Lizzie No: Oh, great. Thank you.
Ruth Egherman: It was beautiful. And it is one of those interestingly structured songs that starts off in this somewhat cheerful way. Mm hmm. So I was just kind of curious about the story about that. And if you want to share it, and I know it has to do with Black Lives Matter, but I saw that.
Lizzie No: Yeah, I mean, that that’s a good song to bring up in terms of like the distance that can open up between like where you think a song is going to turn out and then where it actually turns out. I wrote that song after a conversation with my grandmother, who grew up in rural North Carolina, sharecropping, moved to Brooklyn, raised a family there, had a like got her master’s degree, had a really successful career.
Lizzie No: And then after my Pop-Pop died, she moved back to North Carolina. And so this was a conversation that we had about how New York has and hasn’t changed and how the South has and hasn’t changed now, like having experienced both and like how my experiences as a young adult in Brooklyn were similar to hers and different from hers, and realizing that there are a lot of battles right now that we’re fighting that like we shouldn’t have to be fighting because our grandmother’s already fought them, you know, like the right to exist in public space as a black person, the right to, like, stay in your home and not be gentrified out of your own neighborhood,
Lizzie No: which of course, like is just an echo of what indigenous communities go through. So that was like it was like this feeling of like historical repeating and like just wishing that we could like move on to a new fight. Like, do we even deserve to be here? Shouldn’t still be the question in this contemporary America, but unfortunately it is.
Lizzie No: And that’s to me, that’s what’s at the root of a lot of the public executions of of black people, and particularly black men that we’ve seen in the past, you know, 10 and 15 years that has inspired the Black Lives Matter movement and other movements for for freedom and justice. It’s like it’s not just it’s not just random chance that certain groups are killed on the street with no recourse, with no justice.
Lizzie No: It’s that the power structure in America is trying to remind us of who deserves to be a citizen, which is to say, who deserves to occupy public space, public office, who deserves to vote, who deserves to, you know, shop in the stores of their choice vacation where they want to hike, where they want to. It’s all about who deserves to take up space.
Lizzie No: So that’s really what Sundown is about, because it’s not just about like who you are. It’s like who you get to be in public space is defined by our race still in America.
Chris Carter: Was it hard to write that song?
Lizzie No: Yeah.
Chris Carter: I can imagine.
Lizzie No: Yeah, it was hard as hell.
Chris Carter: Yes. Well, thank you for doing that.
Lizzie No: Well, thank you. Yeah, that sounds really special to me, I think. And that was back when Bartees Strange was in my band, and he just, like, poured so much of himself into that guitar part. And he and I have so much in common as far as, like, I feel like how we see being black artists in America. So I was really grateful to be working with him at that at that time.
Chris Carter: And that’s really remarkable. Can you talk a little bit more about your writing process? You know, I I’m always fascinated by the creative mind in time. And everybody sees different way of doing this and what’s what’s your process to you? You write down notes all the time. Do you have a little recorder or recording device? And I mean, do you start with the lyrics?
Chris Carter: Do you start with an idea or do you have the music? Like, what’s your process?
Lizzie No: How do you do? All of the above. Usually what will happen is that I will realize, but there’s a melody stuck in my head and I’ll search my mental files for where I heard it. And if it’s a song I know, then it’s a song I know. But often it’s something that my subconscious is raising up to the surface for me to pay attention to.
Lizzie No: And so I’ll try to get a sense of it in my mind, and then I’ll sing it into my voice notes. In my iPhone, sometimes lyrics will come, and if they do, I’ll put them in my notes app or I’ll put them write them down in my journal if I have a piece of it, you know, if I actually have pen and paper next to me and I will just like focus like single mindedly telling tunnel vision, focus on that little scrap of an idea until I hit a wall.
Lizzie No: And then I put it down and I might come back to it, like, often. Like if I’m out and about, I get a lot of ideas while I’m driving or walking or doing some whatever. Distracting third thing, you know, taking a shower, washing the dishes, all that stuff. Later I’ll like revisit the idea when I have an instrument next to me and see if any musical ideas come
Lizzie No: So sometimes that’ll be how I’ll get like a good chunk of the song done, or at least the initial idea, and I’ll record that, and then usually I’ll just let it go for a bit and if it keeps getting stuck in my head and lyrics keep coming, then I’ll know like it’s time to really sit down and shed and like, figure it out.
Lizzie No: But it feels like that. I’m not a sculptor, but it feels like how some sculptors describe finding the person or the figure in the marble. Like you just have. You have this this big block, but somewhere in your mind’s eye, you know that there is a David in there. That’s the hope
Chris Carter: Yeah.
Chris Carter: Somebody told me once, it’s like a path and you’re, you’re you’re taking a turn here and. Okay, now that’s a dead end some way. And then eventually you get to the, the goal at the end.
Lizzie No: Yeah. Sometimes you’re tiptoeing on the path, sometimes you have to bring a machete and all songs are different. Like there are songs that I’ve really had to fight for and there are others that just kind of dropped into my lap.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Is it harder? Is does the music come easier or the lyrics?
Lizzie No: It depends on the song. There are songs like, for example, Deep Well Song off of my last album, Vanity, that started out as the lyrics because I wanted like the rhyme scheme is is very particular and is the like that’s a very formally like straightforward song. So I saw, you know, I saw it on the page and I tried out a couple of different keys and melodies.
Lizzie No: Like that’s a template that probably could have fit over a number of different musical schemes. So on that one, it was definitely like I wrote a poem and out, out it came. And then later I had to kind of figure out where it fit musically. And then there are other songs where like, like my song Monuments off of my first album, like I In a Dream heard the violin melody like, (vocalizes)
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Lizzie No: But and I woke up and had to write it down and see what came next. So you just never know where it’s going to come from. Does that answer your question?
Chris Carter: Yes, you did. You did. It sounds like you’re you’re allowing yourself to be open to all these different ideas at different times.
Lizzie No: And also, just like anyone like I listen to a ton of music and I go to a lot of shows and often that will be the inspiration. Like, Well, I see what they’re doing with that, with like I love what they’re doing with steel drum here. Like, let me see if there’s anything like that, like that sound that I could get into a song or I love this rhyme and like, I’m not stealing people’s lyrics, but just like if I see someone making a move that I think is cool, I’ll try to see what what of that,
Lizzie No: Can I translate into my own work?
Chris Carter: And then who are what influences do you have musically? Like who who’s influenced you the most?
Lizzie No: The new album coming out January 19th on Thirty Tigers and my own label Miss Freedomland, and I’ve been thinking a lot about the influences on this new record because it’s a mix of like Americana, Uncle Tupelo, Jason Isbell, Aimee Mann, like songwriters and then like Minnie Riperton and Donny Hathaway and a little bit of gospel too. So it’s kind of all over the place.
Lizzie No: And the guys that play in my band are also extremely musical people with like such a broad range of influences. But my bass player is John Batiste, former bass player. So he has this sense of like jazz and pop that really brings a lot to the band. So our influences are kind of all over the place.
Chris Carter: In your one thing I saw, you were at SF Jazz this summer.
Lizzie No: That was fun.
Chris Carter: You’re going to Stanford Live, I think pretty soon. I mean, you’re kind of what’s this like for you to kind of move on to these stages here? It’s got to be pretty exciting.
Lizzie No: It’s crazy because, like, I love, like touring. I love touring no matter where I go. But there’s something really special about the California tours because I went to Stanford and I definitely, like when I was an undergrad, did not think that I was going to be like a full time musician that was so far outside of what I thought, like a real job could be for me.
Lizzie No: But I went to as SF Jazz like when it opened and saw Vijay Iyer and I was like blown away by his playing and also by the venue and the thought of, like, I could, like a person could do this with their, their lives. And like I went to Hardly Strictly Bluegrass when I was in college, you know, I saw the Bing concert hall get built.
Lizzie No: And so this was like a formative time when I was like trying to figure out who I was and if there was a place for me in folk and Americana music. And now to be back bringing my original music, like I’m almost tearing up that, like performing arts centers like you guys would like, invite me to play my original music.
Lizzie No: Yeah. And of course, the fans in California are amazing and so friendly.
Chris Carter: Well, it’s good music. It’s worthy of performing arts center. So we’re looking forward to it.
Lizzie No: Thank You.
Chris Carter: And this particular show with us you’re you’re playing with some other and you have some other artists that are going to be with you, too. And it’s Buffalo Nichols and Sunny War. Have you worked with them before? Are you familiar with them?
Lizzie No: Oh, yeah, they’re Sunny and Carl. Are some of my favorite musicians working right now, period. I have admired their work for forever. And actually a funny story is like back in 2019 or 2018, we were all booked at Americana Fest and it was my first year going or first or second year going. I don’t remember, but I noticed that they’re just like there were there was a diverse lineup at the festival, but as far as like the cool hip afterparties, I was like, It’s all white people playing these after parties.
Lizzie No: Let’s do our own. So Carl, with his old band, Nickel&Rose, he’s now known as the Great Buffalo Nichols Sunny War, Tré Burt and I did our own Americana Fest afterparty, and like I had met a couple of them before, but like it was such a special memory. And I felt like we kind of we kind of had this bond from it from early on.
Lizzie No: And it’s been so amazing to see what Sunny and what Carl have done with their music, because I feel like they are kind of defining what contemporary blues and Americana are becoming. And I sort of can’t believe I’m even on the same bill with them. They’re like such cool artists.
Chris Carter: They are. Well, I think it’s going to be incredible and we’re going to try and get as many people out as possible to share this music with them. One thing I like to ask a lot of people, or especially musical artists, is what are you listening to right now? What’s the what’s the most recent song you had on your.
Lizzie No: On my Spotify.
Chris Carter: Spotify. There you go. I just want to say CD player again.
Lizzie No: Okay. Well, I was I was running so the last my it was my workout playlist. So I had You Drive Me Crazy by Britney Spears. But I’ve been listening to a lot of Miko Marks, Mikayla Ann, I love Erin Rae’s new live album. I listen to a lot of S.G. Goodman, Ben de la Cour, like a lot of the Americana songwriter folks, and I’m really excited about the next album from Kaia Kater.
Lizzie No: She’s a good friend of mine, and I just saw her play at IBM and she’s an unbelievable banjo player and songwriter.
Chris Carter: Thank you. Now you’ve given us a lot more homework to do right now.
Lizzie No: I could make music recommendations all day long. It’s number one favorite pet topic.
Chris Carter: That’s awesome. When you have your own podcast too right? Tell me about the podcast.
Lizzie No: The Basic Folk podcast. Yes, it is like it is such a fun side hustle that has become like my huge passion. We broadcast on the Bluegrass Situation Podcast Network and the tagline is Honest Conversations with Folk Musicians, which to me is vague enough that we get to do whatever we want. We recently had like Ben Harper and the Milk Carton Kids on.
Lizzie No: We do collaborations with the Why We Write podcasts on Folk Alley called Folk Debate Club, where we debate like authenticity versus performance or our most recent one was your career versus your soul. So we just like, we love to dig into like the work behind the music, the spirituality behind the music, like what makes musicians tick. Yeah. And Cindy Howes and like a super talented podcaster, and she taught me everything I know.
Lizzie No: So we co-host.
Chris Carter: Wow. Now I’m going to have to check that out, too. You given me anything to listen to.
Lizzie No: I love to give homework.
Chris Carter: And I appreciate that.
Lizzie No: Let’s get into it.
Chris Carter: I like doing homework. Well, the last thing we want to do, I always do this a little game with everybody. I hope you’re okay with that. It’s just a way to get to know you better. It’s super easy. We call it either or so I’m going to give you two options and you just pick one. Great. So if I were to say, starts out easy, maybe it’ll stay easy.
Chris Carter: I don’t know if I were to say sunrise or sunset, what would you say?
Lizzie No: Sunset.
Chris Carter: Okay, what about spring or fall?
Lizzie No: Spring.
Chris Carter: You’re the first person to say spring mountains or coast.
Lizzie No: Coast.
Chris Carter: Coke or Pepsi.
Lizzie No: Coke.
Chris Carter: This is way too fast. Okay.
Lizzie No: I’m decisive. I’m not making this hard enough.
Ruth Egherman: This is a woman who knows what she likes. Doesn’t need to think about it.
Chris Carter: Dogs or cats?
Lizzie No: Dogs.
Chris Carter: Dogs. Are you drinking out of a tiger?
Lizzie No: I am looking at a tiger mug, but I have the most. I don’t actually know if this was sent over in my press kit, but I have the world’s most perfect puppy. You do something that’s very important to me.
Chris Carter: We did not read about that.
Ruth Egherman: I did not get that. No.
Lizzie No: It’s a little known fact.
Chris Carter: The most perfect puppy.
Lizzie No: He’s the best puppy ever made.
Chris Carter: What’s his name?
Lizzie No: Berlin.
Chris Carter: Berlin. I like that. Okay. City or country?
Lizzie No: City.
Chris Carter: City. Driving or flying?
Lizzie No: Driving.
Chris Carter: Bob Dylan or the Beatles.
Lizzie No: Bob Dylan.
Chris Carter: Major key or Minor Key.
Lizzie No: Major.
Ruth Egherman: Oh, see, now you’re one of the first to say major. Mm.
Chris Carter: So why Major.
Lizzie No: There’s more chances for surprise. Like, I like to come in if I’m going to do something dark and challenging, I like to come in with a big smile to do it. And that’s what the major key provides.
Chris Carter: It does. It makes you feel good. And then you can surprise people. Rock and roll or country.
Lizzie No: But so that’s one of the hardest questions that’s ever been asked because they are the same to me.
Chris Carter: Mm.
Lizzie No: I can’t distinguish between. You can’t. Okay. I cannot. If I had to choose between rock and roll and country I would say the blues.
Chris Carter: Well that was my next one was going to be jazz or blues.
Ruth Egherman: Blues.
Chris Carter: Blues. All right. Well, this is I think I know the answer to this one guitar or harp. Or maybe not.
Lizzie No: These are getting so hard.
Chris Carter: Sorry. I told you, these might get tough.
Lizzie No: Harp.
Chris Carter: Harp.
Ruth Egherman: All right. She says, trepidatiously.
Lizzie No: Oh, gosh. I love them both.
Chris Carter: I was going to ask you, you have a Gibson guitar. I was going to ask you, Martin or Taylor, but I might say Martin or Taylor or Gibson.
Lizzie No: I’m going to choose Gibson.
Chris Carter: Right. That’s what I figured. Last one. This is easy. Livermore, California, on November 17th. Mm hmm. Which is the night you’re going to be performing in Livermore or anywhere else in the world on that night?
Lizzie No: Guys Livermore, California.
Chris Carter: Yes.
We’re going to have so much fun.
Chris Carter: I’m really looking forward to it.
Ruth Egherman: Yeah.
Chris Carter: You’re like Lizzie, You’re like one of the artists when you know what a fun part of our job is. We. We get to preview a lot of artists, and we go to these conferences and we often go to showcases. And I’m always learning about different performers that I might not known about before. And sometimes I hear about somebody and I look them up.
Chris Carter: I always look them up any time I look them up, and sometimes I look them up and then I can’t stop listening to them. And you were one of the ones where I just could not stop listening to you when I first discovered.
Lizzie No: Thank You so much.
Chris Carter: Thank you for writing such good music.
Lizzie No: Thank you.
Ruth Egherman: So many of us have this. This concert circled on our calendars. Yeah. Got to be. Got to be there for this one. It’ll be fabulous. And so thank you very much. And I’m looking forward to it, the eclectic group of up and coming voices in America. So be really fun.
Lizzie No: Sunny War and Buffalo Nichols are like they both have just the most amazing albums out right now. So I can’t wait to play with them.
Chris Carter: Yeah, her new album is great.
Lizzie No: Crazy, so good.
Ruth Egherman: You guys really have fun in the green room, huh?
Lizzie No: I think so.
Chris Carter: Sounds good. Well, you’re off the hook.
Lizzie No: Thank you so much.
Chris Carter: And. We’ll see you soon.
Lizzie No: See you soon. Thanks for having me.
Sunny War: Hi, Chris.
Chris Carter: Hi, Sunny. Yeah, I’m Chris. And where are you? Where are you calling us from? Are you in L.A. or are you Nashville now?
Sunny War: I’m in Chattanooga.
Chris Carter: You’re in Chattanooga? Neither of the places I mentioned. But you’re in Tennessee? Yeah, that’s. Well, we’re really looking forward to having you come out on November 17th. And I was just talking to Ruth. We were listening to your new album, and you’ve gotten quite a bit of praise for it. And I’ve heard No Reason on the radio several times now too, which is pretty cool.
Chris Carter: So this will be your first time coming to The Bankhead and I guess we want to just start a little bit and just ask you about like how do you describe your sound and I know for me like listening to that the record, I felt like your music was really mesmerizing. I don’t know if that’s if that’s the right word.
Chris Carter: It’s hard to not. It’s like hard to not get into, if you know what I mean.
Sunny War; Oh, thanks.
Chris Carter: Yeah, I just I felt like I really needed to listen to every part. You know, sometimes you listen to music and you’re kind of putting it on the background while you’re doing something. But with with this Anarchist Gospel album, I, I had to, like, put everything down and really listen to it and just how would you describe the sound that you have coming out of that?
Sunny War: Like, I think I would just describe it as like a finger style guitarist that likes everything that’s kind of that’s kind of like wanting to do a little bit of everything without committing to anything or I guess kind of like folky and bluesy, but also just open to other stuff too.
Chris Carter: Yeah, yeah. I could hear a lot of styles in there that Ruth was telling me what her favorite song was on the album. What was it, Ruth?
Ruth Egherman: Oh, the one. The one that really struck me was Whole. It just. It just the way the music started, I was just like, oh, I like, this is. This is the beat. This is the the the rhythm. All of that that I really liked and came through. Now I had it on while I was working. So it’s one of those things where it’s like, Oh, that grabbed my attention, you know, while I was designing some poster image or something like that.
Ruth Egherman: And so it was it, it’s, but it’s a good album and it’s easy to listen to. But I have also read a number of articles and about you and it sounded and especially with maybe this album like you’re getting into more of the poetry side of it first like your and I know that Chris asks a bunch of questions about your process, but it to me the lyrics have always been until recently, maybe in the last couple of years, the lyrics have always been what’s to me to listen to a song.
Ruth Egherman: But now you’re moving into that direction as well as that. Is that a correct assessment?
Sunny War: Yeah, because I think before I was just I only cared about the guitar. So a lot of the lyrics were like not I don’t know. Like that was always like the last thing I thought about was like, how can I fit words into it? Instead of like like, what is the song saying? I guess. And now I try to write more without a guitar because I, I used to try to write at the same time while playing.
Sunny War: But I think I just get distracted. So I am, like actually like just writing poems now more and trying to force it. Try to force writing, I guess.
Chris Carter: So do you. Are you always writing like or like or are you just kind of constantly thinking about, I could write about something I should write about or do you? What’s your process there? As Ruth is saying like create creatively? How do you come up with some of these ideas.
Sunny War: Mostly, just use my notes app on my phone. Yeah. And that kind of like might put a couple of lines in randomly every other day unless something really like sometimes I really like if I have a, like a verse and I already know what I want it to sound like musically. Like sometimes I can do a whole song, but sometimes I’ll just say like a certain phrase will sound interesting and then I’ll just put it in my phone and then I might, I kind of go through all of the stuff like every couple of weeks, like see what’s in there and see if I want to like keep working on any of them.
Sunny War: Then a lot of times I read everything in there and I don’t like any of it, I don’t like any of it, so I just throw it away.
Ruth Egherman: But Wow. do you have one, just like one ongoing long list of phrases and you know, different things like that, words you’ve might have heard there that you’re constantly adding to. Or do you actually like I don’t like any of these. I’m throwing them. I’m throwing them all away.
Sunny War: Well, there’s like a hundred and something different notes in here right now. And some of them are like all some of them are like a whole song, except there’s no music. But it has like all the verses done and all the like the choruses and stuff. And then some of it is like one thing that would be really cool.
Sunny War: So I would have to build around it like some of it. I think I’ll just like try to get something out, but then like later I’m like, I don’t want this is just a mean song. And I was just mad about something, so I don’t want to use that.
Chris Carter: But isn’t that what they tell you? Like if you want to say something to somebody, write it down first before you say it or what’s the email? Delete the email before you send it to so you get it out.
Sunny War: Yeah, it does do that. I’m doing that a lot.
Sunny War: I don’t know.
Ruth Egherman: Oh no.
Chris Carter: Well my, my favorite song on on it is New Day, by the way. I really I’ve listened to that. I keep listening that one over and over again. I really like that song. You know, I think No Reason is is the one that’s really getting a lot of good airplay. But so. So you’re a guitarist, right? It’s guitars, your primary instrument.
Sunny War: Yeah.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Definitely. And you’re finger fingerpicking style. That’s. Where did you learn that?
Sunny War: I learned it because my step dad’s friend played banjo and he knew how to play guitar. But I always saw him playing banjo and I think I just thought it sounded cool. And I tried to like when I was first learning how to play, I only had him. And then my uncle who played bass, who plays upright bass like those are the only people I actually saw playing a stringed instrument.
Sunny War: So I think I was just like just kind of copying what they were doing, trying to get a sound out of the guitar. I heard a lot of like, I heard a lot of fingerstyle music, so to me it sounded correct. And then I learned Blackbird when I was like 11 or something, and I thought that sounded better than anything I ever played also.
Sunny War: So I just thought this just sounds better.
Chris Carter: Well, there’s.
Ruth Egherman: Do you play other instruments?
Sunny War: I play banjo.
Ruth Egherman: You play banjo? Yeah. Will you be playing banjo on our stage at all.
Sunny War: No, I’m not. I’m not ready for that. I’m like, maybe, maybe one day because I am writing with the banjo now a lot.
Chris Carter: Yeah. It’s all, it’s an underrated instrument in the fingerstyle. I mean, I think you’re right. Like Blackbird like that. That’s one of the first songs I ever learned how to play on the guitar. It there’s something about playing that style where you can, you can. It’s like you’re a whole band by yourself, right? You’re playing the bass notes and and the melody all at once.
Chris Carter: And it it just sounds so great. That’s that’s my favorite thing about the guitars. You can just do it by yourself, and you can do a whole song and you don’t necessarily need a band to play with you. Do you have, like any guitar influences besides your family, any anybody you like since you’ve grown up that you were like really excited about or just kind of wanted to, to mimic.
Sunny War: I tried to be like Chet Atkins a lot when I was in high school and then.
Chris Carter: He’s fast. Could you play it? Can you play that fast?
Sunny War: I can play pretty fast. And I really like in a jazz way the yeah. And I think just like I got a lot just from him doing like lead and doing the bass lines. I was like trying to listen to like I really like Mississippi John Hurt and just, I was, I was like obsessed with pretty much anybody that was doing a bass line and a lead part.
Sunny War: And I was always trying to, like, figure out how many parts he could do. And I guess, like, I think Elizabeth Cotton and Mississippi John Hurt and Chet Atkins were like my favorite.
Chris Carter: That’s yeah, I, I recently found a couple of records with Chet Atkins and Les Paul playing together, which is a lot of.
Sunny War: Oh, yeah, I seen the video. Yeah, they have it on YouTube.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Those guys are flyin. That’s fun. So what can we expect? So this show that you’re doing in November, you’re playing with well, you’re not playing with them and it’s it’s you with Buffalo Nichols with Lizzie No, what’s the show going to be like?
Sunny War: And it’s going to be like, I don’t know, like me and the guitar.
Chris Carter: You got your setlists ready to go?
Sunny War: Not yet.
Chris Carter: Not yet. Okay.
Sunny War: But I’ll probably play, like at least four songs from the new record and then a lot of stuff from previous albums and some kind of interesting covers like I’m doing like a Beatles cover, like I’m doing some weird covers too every once in a while.
Ruth Egherman: So do you have a favorite song of yours and a favorite song that you like to cover?
Sunny War: Oh my favorite song to cover is Freight Train, Elizabeth Cotton, and then my favorite song of mine is Whole, Right now. I think.
Ruth Egherman: Yeah, it’s.
Chris Carter: Ruth’s favorite song.
Ruth Egherman: That’s mine, too. Yeah, I like to tell you. And I know you’re you’re you’re a bit on the festival circuit right now, are you? Because you’re going to be at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, right? Are you going to be there? Yeah. Yeah. You were recently at the Winnipeg Festival and I’m not sure what it’s called, I’m not sure I like.
Ruth Egherman: It’s at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada. Yeah. Something like that. Yeah. My brother has been going to, he lives in Iowa and he’s been going to that for four years, although he took a lot of time off when I had kids and is returning and he tells me this story. I talked to him after he returned. I said, So how is the how is the festival?
Ruth Egherman: It’s been a long time since you been and it’s like I was. It’s really fun and it’s changed a lot because this one day I was just sort of wandering around checking out different stages and I came across the stage where they had some amazing musicians. But there was this one musician that was just absolutely blew me away.
Ruth Egherman: And because we’re in the business of presenting musicians, I’m always curious about who these musicians are that are blowing my brother or my sisters or whoever away he was. Her name was Sunny War. And I’m like, Oh my God, she’s playing here. So he had a whole bunch. So I told him that we were we were going to be talking to you today, and he had a whole bunch of questions for you.
Ruth Egherman: Now, he’s a teacher. He’s a teacher. So he always asks, did you have a teacher? That was a was an influence on you and who that was? And why does that exist for you? I know you moved a lot when you were growing up, so maybe you do have those relationships or did you and they were lifesavers or inspired you or whatever?
Sunny War: Oh, I had a teacher in Nashville named James Nixon for a little while, but I think like you, he was like the only guitar player that thought it was okay for me to just keep playing weird, like to just keep doing the hand style thing. And I think it’s because he was like he was a blues player, but it was like he was like, because I’ve met other guitar teachers that were like, that’s not like if you’re going to finger pick, you need to use more than two fingers.
Sunny War: You can’t just do that, but it’s really kind of a banjo technique. So it’s not it’s not like un… like people do it. But then I had, I think another person I consider a teacher is Greg Cruz, who’s like a busker dude inVenice who played like Johnny Cash and Hank Williams stuff on the boardwalk. He like let he let me play with him on the boardwalk.
Sunny War: And that was kind of how I started busking, was like playing with him. And then I just learned a lot of like kind of classic songs and stuff and he would like encourage me to take solos and stuff, but I didn’t really how to do that, but he was just very like, just go for it, like and that was like my first time playing in front of people.
Sunny War: So I feel like him and James Nixon were teachers.
Ruth Egherman: For how long were you in Los Angeles? Because you were in Venice? Venice Beach busking there. How long were you there?
Sunny War: I think was busking and when I was like 13 after school and then really doing it hardcore, like by the time I was like 15, but I, I was traveling or I was going up and down the coast a lot and then when I did like so I guess I kind of left for a while. Then I came back when I was like 21 and I stay, I was busking till I was like 24 or something, but I left.
Sunny War: I went to Texas though. Then I came. I always left and came back. So I don’t know, I would say at least ten years on and off.
Chris Carter: So at what point were you this is like this is what I’m going to do for my life. Like, when did you decide music was your your path?
Sunny War: I still haven’t decided that you’re still.
Chris Carter: Working on it. Yeah.
Sunny War: I just like trying to get through. I don’t know. I tried to go to school and I dropped out, so I was still, It’s like if even if I was still busking, like, I would still probably try to get, like, some gigs at clubs until I figure out what I’m going to do to survive. So I was still kind of stuck, like not sure what to do, but I like playing.
Sunny War: I want to keep playing, but I don’t know because I just I kind of want to go to, I want to be a chef also. So I kind of want to go to culinary school. So I would have to like decide I was going to stop to go to like a two year program.
Chris Carter: Well, you’re incredibly talented musician, so whatever you choose in life, I hope you hang on to that at all for your whole life.
Sunny War: I want to do it. I just want to be stuck in it.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Yeah, well, you could be like a singing chef or something like that. Yeah, that would work.
Sunny War: Like, there’s a lot of people in Nashville that they all they’re all carpenters or whatever, but they play it like Newport Folk Festival and stuff and there. But it’s like they also have a trade. Could be like, I’m going to stay home for six months because they could do something else. And I kind of want to try to get like go to school because it’s like you have to just be touring all the time, which is cool.
Sunny War: But then it’s like, it’s like I don’t want to be like, feeling like I’m too tired to do it and then I don’t have any other thing I could do or something, you know.
Chris Carter: Oh, I hear you. My, my uncle was in a heavy metal band and they, they would tour half the year and then he’d go home and work in construction and it was the same thing.
Sunny War: That’s too hard. That’s too loud.
Chris Carter: Yeah. He can’t hear anything now. He’s he’s a lot older now, but this was in the eighties and nineties and it was kind of a speed metal where you could be metal band. Yeah, he played the drums, so. Yeah, I don’t think.
Sunny War: That’s hardcore.
Chris Carter: Anymore.
Sunny War: Does he have nice leg, he has nice legs, I bet.
Chris Carter: Yeah. I, I’ve never really looked at his legs.
Sunny War: Okay, because those are metal drummers that cause they do the double pedaling like their legs are like ripped like all.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Well, my, my grandmother would go to the shows to all the time and so he, she told me how much she enjoyed watching him play, but I don’t think she could hear her anymore after a while either. They anyway. Sorry, I lost track of what I was talking about. Do you ride a unicycle? I read somewhere. You ride a unicycle?
Chris Carter: How did you learn to do that?
Sunny War: I found one at a yard sale for $20 when I was like 14 or something. And then it took me like six months to learn how to ride. I just kept practicing it, and now I have to. I have a normal one. And then I have a six foot tall.
Chris Carter: And how do you get on it?
Sunny War: I have to climb on like off the wall. Like I have to climb on somehow and then get to jump off of it. Or you’d have to climb off of it.
Chris Carter: Do you wear a helmet?
Ruth Egherman: Sometimes it’s like a dad question.
Sunny War: Well, once you get it or you have it, it’s like a bike. It’s just a different kind of bike because it’s like.
Ruth Egherman: Yeah.
Sunny War: You can, you can go backwards or forwards. So it’s like people always fall forward. Like, yeah, it’s just like it’s kind of like core.
Ruth Egherman: Strong core muscles. Yeah, yeah.
Chris Carter: Can you good for you ride the unicycle.
Ruth Egherman: About drummers.
Chris Carter: Can you ride the unicycle and play the guitar at the same time?
Sunny War: I don’t want to try. I don’t want to I don’t want you to put.
Chris Carter: That into your your performance, into your show to be kind of fun. Well, let us know.
Sunny War: I’m not going to wear a helmet, but I can’t put my guitar in danger.
Chris Carter: Okay.
Sunny War: I can put my my skull in danger, but not my guitar.
Chris Carter: Well, if you need us to provide a unicycle for your show, let us know. We’ll track one down. Okay. What kind of guitar are you playing right now?
Sunny War: I’ll swing my gear. 1989 Guild True American. And that’s the same guitar for like ten years now, I guess. And I don’t. I don’t like any. I have other guitars. I just don’t like them as much.
Chris Carter: But that’s your, that’s your main one then. Yeah. Is that the one you record with you. Yeah. So what are you excited about? Like as far as music, is there anything that you’re really into right now that you might want to recommend to us all?
Sunny War: I’m listening to old stuff. I’m listening to the Kate Bush, right now.
Chris Carter: Oh, yeah.
Ruth Egherman: She’s having a resurgence.
Sunny War: I never really listened to it before. And then I’ve been just listening to Steely Dan.
Chris Carter: Yeah. Let me ask you, this Sunny, somebody said this question to me the other day and I thought it was a good one. If you could put together a music festival with five five artists living or dead, who would they be?
Sunny War: I would put like Elliott Smith and Gwar and Run the Jewels, and then Bad Brains, except 30 years ago, and then I guess who else would play? I would put Death on there just could be the headliner.
Chris Carter: That’s like a heck of a show.
Sunny War: Yeah, it’d be tight.
Chris Carter: That’s awesome. Well, really happy to have you join us. I want to do one other thing with you, Sunny, if that’s all right. We like to do like a kind of a game with our artists. It’s super easy, but it’s I call it either or. So I’m just going to give you two options and you just pick the one you like.
Chris Carter: If I said dogs or cats, what would you say?
Sunny War: Dogs.
Chris Carter: Dogs. All right. Coke or Pepsi?
Sunny War: Neither.
Chris Carter: Neither. Okay.
Ruth Egherman: Sunny drinks Dr. Pepper.
Chris Carter: Dr. Pepper.
Sunny War: I don’t like soda.
Chris Carter: Fruits or vegetables?
Sunny War: Vegetables.
Chris Carter: All right. The color red or the color blue?
Sunny War: Red.
Chris Carter: McDonald’s or Burger King.
Sunny War: McDonald’s.
Chris Carter: Okay.
Sunny War: Because I’m a patriot.
Chris Carter: Yeah.
Chris Carter: Nashville or Los Angeles.
Sunny War: And I don’t know. Neither.
Chris Carter: Neither. Okay. Neither. I’m going to say.
Sunny War: They both …they’re becoming the same place. I choose Chattanooga, Chattanooga, like nobody’s people don’t know how cool Chattanooga is.
Chris Carter: All right. Let me ask that again. Yes, Nashville or L.A. or Chattanooga. Chattanooga, Chattanooga. Okay. Jazz or blues?
Sunny War: I don’t know. That’s I can’t answer. Okay.
Chris Carter: We can say pass.
Ruth Egherman: Is it like is it like picking between your favorite children or something?
Sunny War: I don’t know. It’s like there’s just really good guitar players in both of those. So I can’t be like, I don’t know, I don’t like jazz, but I like a lot of jazz guitarist. And then it’s like, I don’t know, I’d rather go to a jazz festival than a blues festival. But I like a lot, I don’t I can’t choose which ones that is.
Chris Carter: Well, that’s going to get harder. It’s country or rock, rock, rock and okay. Drums or bass.
Sunny War: We need both of them.
Sunny War: They got to be together.
Chris Carter: Okay. Elvis or the Beatles?
Sunny War: The Beatles.
Chris Carter: The Beatles. So I read you like AC DC and Motley Crue, so AC DC or Motley Crue?
Sunny War: AC DC All right. Motley Crue’s They do. They don’t have an Angus Young. They don’t?
Chris Carter: No.
Sunny War: That’s what they needed. I know.
Chris Carter: Major key or minor key? Minor key. Minor key. Well, I didn’t have a Fender or Gibson was my question.
Sunny War: Gibson yeah.
Chris Carter: Gibson. Okay. Yeah, one wheel or two wheels.
Sunny War: One wheel.
Ruth Egherman: What about the The Simpsons or South Park?
Sunny War: The Simpsons I think, yeah.
Ruth Egherman: Yes, yes.
Chris Carter: All Right. Last one, Livermore. That’s where The Bankhead Theater is on November 17th, which is the night you’re going to be there or anywhere else in the world on that night.
Ruth Egherman: I guess Livermore.
Sunny War: Good answer.
Chris Carter: Have you have you ever been to Livermore?
Sunny War: No.
Chris Carter: No. Have you been. You’ve been to the Bay Area though, right. To. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So we’re we’re kind of in the east.
Ruth Egherman: Of San Francisco. Yeah, yeah.
Sunny War; I’d probably have been there then.
Chris Carter; Well, it’s a great space and I think you’re going to sound great there. And we have a really wonderful audience and I’m really excited that you’re coming out so thank you for doing that. Thanks for all your music and all that you do and wish you the best of luck in everything else. But I can’t wait to see you in person and and have you listen to you play.
Chris Carter: So thank you for that. And we’ll let you go now. But. All right.
Sunny War: All right. You, too. I’ll see you guys at the show. All right. Thanks.
Chris Carter: Really take care.
Ruth Egherman: Bye bye. She was fun to talk to. I really enjoyed her.
Chris Carter: Yeah, she has a lot of interests in addition to music, which was pretty cool. Some of her hobbies I liked.
Ruth Egherman: She rides the unicycle. Mm hmm. Which is a strange interest. I’d love to see her on one.
Chris Carter: I’d love to see you on one or anybody else.
Ruth Egherman: Oh, God, I can’t ride a unicycle. I tried for years with my neighbors, but could not.
Chris Carter: I could do stilts. I can walk on stilts. I can do a pogo stick pretty well. I don’t think I can ride a unicycle.
Ruth Egherman: I have the feeling if you could do stilts, I bet you could do a unicycle.
Chris Carter: I, I maybe I don’t know.
Ruth Egherman: I think, I think it’s got to use some of the same muscle groups and balance technique. I’ve never done stilts though.
Chris Carter: Oh, well, they’re kind of like long crutches with laces for your feet because you’re so you’re kind of holding them close to your body. So the unicycle, though, it’s like you’re not the center of balance. It’s different. I feel like.
Ruth Egherman: Now you think, well, of course stuff. I mean, now, I mean, I feel like, you know, I ride my bike to work and riding without handlebars. Remember that song by the Flobots. I can ride my bike without handlebars.
Chris Carter: No, I don’t.
Ruth Egherman: Sorry, you don’t. That might’ve been about the time you were having kids. My kids? Maybe you’re old enough to, like, be picking out their own music. And my daughter was in love with the Flobots I don’t know what that was fun to listen to the whole group.
Chris Carter: It’s a band. Okay. Yeah, yeah. You know. You know what else I could do, Ruth? Is I can juggle.
Ruth Egherman; Can you!
Chris Carter: Did you know that?
Ruth Egherman: I did not.
Chris Carter: Three balls at once or any three items that you give me. I can juggle or I can do two in one hand. I can’t do four, but. Oh.
Ruth Egherman: This is fun.
Chris Carter: Well, yeah.
Ruth Egherman: And we have some fun in the office with you juggling. Yeah.
Chris Carter: When I was a kid.
Ruth Egherman: You’re juggling all the time?
Chris Carter: Well, when I was a kid, I would juggle. My mom would get really mad at me because I would juggle fruit. And so I would eventually I would drop it, you know, so the apples or whatever, everything was always bruised or jacked up. And so that was that was how I learned how to juggle was taking stuff out of the.
Ruth Egherman: Fruit with fruit. Do you use actual juggling balls?
Chris Carter: No, I don’t think I’ve ever owned any juggling balls.
Ruth Egherman: Oh my, my youngest juggle as well.
Chris Carter: Yeah.
Ruth Egherman: And she, she has a, she has a set at I think I still live at my house but she has a set of juggling, they’re actual juggling balls. They’re like they’re sort of like a sort of like a hacky sack, but with Oh, you’re not. They’re they’re a little bit bigger than that.
Chris Carter: You know, how I got into it was I remember in elementary school in P.E., we had to juggle handkerchiefs, learn how to juggle handkerchiefs. And it’s the same concept, except instead of going like this, you’re doing this. So you’re.
Ruth Egherman: Now I feel like I could juggle handkerchiefs
Chris Carter: Yeah, handkerchiefs are easier because they’re just kind of floating.
Ruth Egherman: So I’m going to go home and try it.
Chris Carter: You can juggle balls too. They’re not. It’s not that hard.
Ruth Egherman: You just you have to have some serious hand eye coordination.
Chris Carter: Not really and.
Ruth Egherman: Reflex.
Chris Carter: No no.
Ruth Egherman: No, no. Don’t take the mystery out of it. For me.
Chris Carter: It’s like riding a unicycle. Once you do it, once you, it’s hard. You know, you can do it anytime. Muscle memory.
Ruth Egherman: This is good stuff. We’re not keeping any of this, Sunny War can ride it…so thank you for joining us for Beyond the Stage featuring Sunny War and Lizzie No who will be performing live with Buffalo Nichols at The Bankhead Theater on November 17th. So get your tickets now at LivermoreArts.org or by calling the box office at 925-373-6800.
Ruth Egherman: I’m Ruth Egherman.
Chris Carter: And I’m Chris Carter.
Ruth Egherman: Thanks for joining us. And we’ll see you at the theater.
Chris Carter: Bye.