How did you begin playing music?
When I was living in Oxford, Mississippi, I started playing in a bluegrass band, The Sincere Ramblers, then developed my career in Austin, Texas.
How does your background in southern studies influence your music?
The songs are in many ways exactly what I studied in school like folklore, short stories. ... It was a great degree for a southern musician. Sometimes I wonder if I write about things people in the south don't want to hear about or people not in the South don't care about, but that's when I'm feeling cynical. I am writing about what I know, in hopes that the story is bigger than me or the region I'm in, and I think in many times it is.
How did you transition into folk music?
I loved folk music in college and listened to it a lot, I've always loved folk music. Playing on ones own, folk music is a lot easier to play, but I enjoyed playing blue grass. There are some similarities.
What do you love about the south?
I love the diversity of people, the importance of music and literature, and the spirituality inherent in the south.
What do you hope people will gain from listening to songs about these stories?
I don't go about the music with an agenda. I'm a musician. I like to put on a good show. I think it's quality music, and people like to listen to intelligent music and listen to views that might not be their own. I hope they have a good time and come away learning something.