Today, we are speaking with Bud Summers, who has been cutting albums independently since 2008.
The Way is your new album. Can you provide us with a brief insight into your process? What were the steps taken between the first thoughts about a tune or melody to the creation of a full track?
When I’m ready to start on something new, I find it helpful to attend a few NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International) meetings at the local St Louis chapter. I don’t write country music by any means but, they provide some guidelines that can help anyone craft better songs. Also, getting my songs ready for presentation and critique puts a little pressure on me to get things done. I’m always writing- saving lines, titles, chord progressions and riffs on my phone or in a notebook- but I have to have a little push to force myself to finish songs. I have written entire songs in my head while driving, but most often I take snippets and ideas that I’ve come up with during normal daily life and sit down later with a guitar or piano to finish them. I have an old barn on my property that I’ve converted into a music space for writing and recording.
The music on The Way is distinctly your own, but hints of blues, classic rock, jazz, and other genres can be gleaned. What acts and performers were the biggest influences on the overall sound of The Way?
All of my music tends to filter through the early influences of my mom and dad. Dad was a highly regarded string bass player and was at home with a jazz combo or with a symphony orchestra. My mom was a public music school teacher and shared her love of Classical Music, Opera, and Musical Theatre. Also, like many young guitarists, I gravitated toward rock and blues music in my teens.
In college, I received superior instruction and motivation from professors Harlan Hock and David Engelke. I continue to learn as much as I can about writing and recording through various groups such as NSAI and St Louis Cubase Audio Engineer’s Club.
What are your favorite songs from your deep discography?
My favorites change often but I have a deep connection to songs that seemed to come to me as inspirations like “Comin’ Home”, “Aldeberan” and “The Great Divide”
How can interested NeuFutur readers locate samples of your music?
You are a prestigious performer, playing around the Midwest a number of times a month. What are some highlights of your schedule in the final quarter of the year?
Actually, the final quarter of 2015 will be spent mostly relaxing, writing and recording new material for release in 2016. I was touring heavily from March through October of 2015 covering the entire Mississippi Valley from New Orleans to Lake Michigan and all points in between. Some of the highlights of my tour were dates in Memphis, Nashville, Chicago, New Orleans, Grand Rapids and of course a slew of dates in the St Louis, MO area and in the Grand Rapids/Ludington/Western Shoreline of Michigan. I make my home in Illinois about thirty minutes from downtown STL and have always considered Ludington, MI as my second home.
What changes have you noticed in music – promotion, publication, recording – since your first album was released?
My first solo album came out in 2008 and there have been huge changes since then. I think I was promoting my music on Myspace around that time and I didn’t have Twitter or Youtube or Facebook then though I imagine other folks were already using those platforms. Right now, I think Youtube, Twitter, and Spotify are the biggest tools I use for getting my music heard and Facebook is still good for getting people to know where I’m playing. I also truly enjoy putting together my weekly email that I send out to a host of subscribers. I was using an old hard disc recorder for my first two CDs “Golden” and “Eons” but in 2011 switched to computer based recording with Cubase. It took some time to adjust but I feel as though I’m getting better all the time.
Finally, do you have any additional thoughts about life and the universe for our readers?
Be supportive of other artists in whatever ways you can and work harder than anyone else does.
Thank you so much for your time.
Thank you, it’s been my pleasure.