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Interview: Sundance Head on His Soul-Country Style, B.B. King, and the Challenge He Faces as an Artist

Our next featured guest is a talented musician who makes all his fans feel like family. His following’s actually been dubbed “fam base”. And, boy, can he sing! His brand of soul-country music captivated both television and studio audiences during season 11 of NBC’s ‘The Voice’, which he won. Now he’s holding their attention with singles “Everything to Lose” and “How I Want to Be” along with stellar live performances across the country with his 3 piece band. Please welcome back to…Sundance Head! Sundance we think it’s awesome you’re billed as a country singer yet draw in lovers of R&B and soul music. Some of these people for so long would have never given country music a chance.


TRUAX_SUNDANCEHEAD_SHOW-77_reSundance: I’m pretty proud of that! That’s why we call the brand of our music soul-country. I cut my teeth on Motown and soul music. I really wanted to be a blues singer growing up in Houston, I just couldn’t figure out how to make any money doing that back home. In order to get into the Texas music scene I had to figure out how to play country music. I wasn’t traditionally country. So we came up with our own genre – soul-country. My whole purpose is to be able to speak to and perform to everyone. Plus I wanted to sing like Marvin Gaye and do falsettos like Al Green! For those who want it explained technically, what sonically is the difference between traditional country and soul-country?


Sundance: Well, we don’t have a steel guitar in our band. I play a lot of blues chops on the guitar while delivering a country vocal. Our bass player, Dave Walters, has a lot going on sonically that you wouldn’t expect in a country song. Touring is giving people a chance to experience that, and a lot of them aren’t ready for that. But when they hear it they realize it’s not like everything else. Being unique is a positive and it’s important to us to stay that way. Did you draw any influence or inspiration from B.B. King?


Sundance: I actually love B.B. King! One of the first CDs I got when I was a kid was one of B.B. King’s. He was my favorite singer for probably 5 or 6 years before I realized what a great guitar player he was. Overall I thought he was just a great singer. One thing that affected me and really fired me up was B.B. King told this story of how he worked on a plantation all week for $12 until he realized he could play guitar and make $12 a night. And it was such a blessing of how much honesty and love B.B. King left the world through his music. How affected were you by his passing?


Sundance: Man, it was unfortunate. I really wanted to meet him. We were actually supposed to cross paths. We were going to play together at Little Walter Music Festival in Louisiana, but he passed away. We still played that show with his band. Do you think it’s necessary for someone to try and fill that space B.B. King left open?


TRUAX_SUNDANCEHEAD_SHOT05-35_reSundance: There’s a couple of guys trying to do that now, but it’s going to be hard to be as honest with a guitar and a vocal the way he was. Not only was he a blues guy but he lived through some of the darkest times of being an African-American. I’m not sure anyone else is going to understand what he was trying to tell us. Hopefully someone does in part. I like Gary Clark Jr. I think he’s got something going on. But let’s face it, everyone wants to be B.B. King! Sundance you talked before about the artist you want to be. We got to see you perform live and watch an audience be moved by your music, especially when you sang “Everything to Lose”. And you make it look so easy. But what’s the biggest challenge you’re facing as an artist?


Sundance: I would love to have a 15-piece band with a horn section, just kicking ass and doing it like the old guys did it! I just can’t afford that. At some point I’d love to that, but first I have to get established. Then I can do what I want to do. Right now I’m just trying to figure out how to play this game in the business because there’s a whole lot of stuff that goes on that I never even thought about. I thought all you had to do was be confident, put your heart into it and do your best all the time. I didn’t realize all the politics and all the games. That’s the hard part I’m having is trying to figure out how to fit in with that and not sellout, but at the same time advance. What’s your thoughts on your increasing popularity?


Sundance: It’s very interesting because the more popular I get, I seem to piss off my old fans. It’s kind of a weird thing. As soon as they hear you might be doing something you may not have normally done, they say you’ve sold out. Really we’re just trying to figure out how to advance in the business. Now I have an opportunity to play my music in front of people I may have never met before. And welcome them into your “fam base”, right?


Sundance: Well, yeah! This group, they support us 100%. They’re behind us. They help us on social media, they’re the social media warriors out there helping to spread the word. I think we’re doing good for where we are right now but we still need to have more people see us. Sundance, when can we expect to see you release a new album?


Sundance: People ask me all the time what’s going on with it. For me it’s taken me 38 years to have this type of interview with you, so I feel like I don’t need to rush the record. It may be the only record I do for the rest of my life. I want to make sure it has integrity and that it really means something to me. I want every song to be a great song. I just don’t want to throw something together for the sake of being relevant. I really want to get behind it with everything I’ve got. |

CREDITS: Written by Mr. Joe Walker | Sundance Head – as Himself | Photos –Provided | Producer – Liquid Arts & Entertainment | Creative Director – The Liquidation Committee | Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Copy Editor – Mr. Joe Walker | Site Editor – Doug Sims | Webmaster – Doug Sims | Twitter – @LiquidAEMag | Instagram – @liquidmagazine

Liquid Arts & Entertainment is committed to presenting engaging conversations with top artists. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Sundance Head.

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