In my room as a kid I had a cabinet Victrola with a nickel plated crank, and a couple stacks of 78rpm records. One stack was the Carter Family, Mainer’s Mountaineers, Delmore Brothers, Louvin Brothers, and hillbilly records from the 1930s and 1940s. The other stack was Tampa Red, Big Bill Broonzy, Lead Belly and the like. Out of this stew came the songs I started to write on a Stella guitar when I was 13, and never stopped.
Doc Blanchard taught me the most important part of writing was to strike out all the clever stuff and see if anything was left. When I started putting my music together I realized the basic tracks were stronger without the overdubs - just one guitar and voice, stripped down naked. Mostly done in one take, like those old records from 80 years ago, perfectly imperfect.