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By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Rock At Night had the pleasure of speaking with Texan blues musician Billy “Bass” Alford. Billy is the songwriter of Rock At Night’s theme song “Get On Down (If You Feel Up to It)” but also is a blues historian with first hand knowledge, having played with the likes of John Lee Hooker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Mance Lipscomb. He grew up with fellow Texans Stevie Ray Vaughan and Eric Johnson–and has loads of stories to tell about his adventures in the music industry in the 1960s and later in the UK during the 1980s when he played in New Wave bands like The Truth and Zerra 1, whose former member Korda Marshall (drums), later became president of Infectious Records.
In the 1990s, Billy took a hiatus from music and sought other ventures; however, in recent years he started tooling around with songwriting again. Going back to his musical roots of the blues, he found a new voice and vision after going through a bout of throat cancer. Billy is back stronger than ever and is currently recording an album of his original blues songs.
In the interview, Billy discusses his experience as a budding musician in the turbulent 1960s in the midst of racial unrest in Texas; playing with blues greats in his youth; going to the Texas International Pop Festival, which played a couple of weeks after Woodstock; living as a musician in the UK during the 1980s; and all of his “Forrest Gump” moments with rubbing elbows with well-known musicians. This interview is a history lesson you do not want to miss!
Stay tuned for Part II of the interview in the near future too! Check out some of Billy’s music on ReverbNation where he is ranked #3 in Austin, Texas; # 65 Nationally; and #94 Globally.
I grew up in a household full of rock music, studied journalism in college, and then became a scientist.Although my science career has served me well, music has always played a major role in my life. I grew up reading "Creem" magazine; I play several musical instruments as a "hobby";and it seems a camera has always been in my hand. Now, I am combining what I love the most--music and photography--serving as editor of Rock At Night. I travel between the US and UK seeking my dream! My motto: life is short...no regrets. Chyrisse