ALEX MCMURRAY

Diary

06.08.2015

random questionnaire

Hey I'll be performing at a thing called Milo's Music Parlor at 6:30 next Tuesday at Tasseology 1228 Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard NOLA. They do this pre-interview. I guess so they know what to ask on the show. Here's the Q&A. I case you were wondering and, hey, it's content!

 

1.    How long have you been in New Orleans and where are you from?

Been here since August 1987. I can't do the math. 28 years? I was born and raised in Red Bank, New Jersey, in the house my father only moved of very recently.

2.    What drew you to New Orleans? or Why New Orleans?

I came here by accident. I wound up at Tulane University because it was the only school that I applied to that gave me financial aid. Hated it at first and spent my freshman year trying to get into a school in Oregon. When they wait-listed me that pretty much sealed the deal because by the time I was accepted all the financial aid money was gone.

3.    Current bands & other musical projects. What is the history of the current project?

I put out records under my own name and perform solo and with a group songs that I've written. I also play with a band called Tin Men. I'm in a band called The Write Brothers with three other songwriters. I have a band called The Valparaiso Men's Chorus that does sea shanties. I do a lot of work backing up other singers and songwriters. I try to keep busy. I have no other skills.

4.    Are you able to play music for a living or do you have other projects or work that fill in the gaps?

I make my living doing music.

5.    What do you like the most about New Orleans?

I like that if I lay down naked on Royal Street someone would probably come and put a blanket on me.

6.    What would you like to see change in New Orleans?

I think the roads and the schools could use a little help.

7.    Something about New Orleans tradition or culture you find peculiar.

I don't understand why folks here are so phobic about using turn signals. Is it that they don't want to let on what their future plans are? Is it a privacy issue?

8.    When you’re on the road touring what do you (and the band) do to break the monotony of long drives?

I used to smoke but I don't do that anymore. If I'm not driving I like to read.

9.    What is something about yourself that most people would find surprising? (talents, obsessions, past jobs, etc.)

I dug ditches for a while in Bay St. Louis. That's pretty much the most glamourous gig I've had. Washed dishes. I was a substitute teacher in NOLA public school. I've had some of the worst jobs you can have. I double-majored in English and Philosophy at Tulane, which I like to say is like having degrees in dish washing and drying.

10.  What music artists/genres were you listening to in high school?

Standard New Jersey stuff. Ramones, Van Halen, Pat Metheny, B-52s, Talking Heads, Grateful Dead.

11.  When did you first start listening to the music genre you play today?

In the early Nineties I learned that I was never going to be able to get people to dance so I stopped trying and started learning Gershwin tunes and checking out Tom Waits, Nina Simone, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Danny Barker, etc.

12.  Are there any musicians/artists who had a significant influence on your writing/playing/style?

See above. I like Dave Van Ronk a lot. The great Jamaican guitarist Ernest Ranglin. The Beatles of course but probably The Kinks more so.

13.  What are your future plans?

Just about to put out a new CD with Tin Men. Trying to figure out how to make a solo CD.

14.  Any websites/links you want to share with the audience?

i've been using this one for sea shanties for a while now. http://www.contemplator.com/sea/index.html