How would you classify your music?
Sun King Rising plays original southern rock and soul. It’s a modern take on a classic music genre.
Who are some of your top 5 musical influences?
Leon Russell, Joe Cocker, Dan Penn, Van Morrison, and Elton John to name just a few. Since I’m a piano player, Leon and Elton are huge influences. I also am a great admirer of soul singers like the legendary Bobby Blue Bland, Otis Redding, and Wilson Pickett.
What do you want fans to take from your music?
I want the fans to think of better days and the sweet smells of magnolia and jasmine sitting on their porches and listening to music that touched their souls in the humid evenings.
How’s the music scene in your locale?
I’m based in deep south Texas where the blues and Tejano have always been popular. Most of the players in Sun King Rising are based in the Pittsburgh area where I grew up. That area has always been musically rich and diverse. Like all places, the year of the plague has dramatically reduced access to live music gigs unfortunately.
What is the best concert you have been to? What do you like most about playing live?
Personally, my favorite performance of all time was seeing Leon Russell at the legendary Gruene Hall venue in Texas. I was privileged to meet him that night and his piano playing was a revelation.
Is there a song on your latest CD release here that stands out as your personal favorite, and why?
My personal favorite is Milkweed And Thistle. It’s a song about loss that really resonated with me when I wrote it. I’m proud of the lyric and the music. It’s a bit more musically complex than most songs in the genre but still has soul. And it has an amazing lead guitar solo by Steve Schuffert that just rocks!
How have you evolved as an artist over the last year?
Absolutely! My song writing has improved substantially. I think I have developed a personal style that is a bit different from anyone else.
If you could meet, play a gig, co-write a song, have dinner, have a drink with any band or artist (dead or alive) who would it be?
I think it would be interesting to have a conversation with Van Morrison. He is such an amazing songwriter and performer. And he has always stayed true to his art and vision, no matter what the consequences were.
What’s next for you?
I have written the songs for my next album, tentatively titled Signs And Wonders. We are hard a work recording it, primarily in Pittsburgh, with some of the great players that contributed to my debut album, Delta Tales. It will have some of my best songs to date. Expect some sweet southern soul with plenty of horns and a glorious rhythm section.
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