We recently posted links to Davey Craddock & The Spectacles new Going Home EP and we were so impressed with the range and quality of his songwriting on it that we wanted to get Craddock straight into the firing line for our Six Strings Q&A feature.
What was the album that first led you down the dusty path of americana music?
In a funny kind of way, the first album that got me interested in the roots of American music was an Elvis compilation I nicked off my mum when I was about 12. Everyone talks about the rock ‘n’ roll but Elvis was a country boy at heart and he sent me looking for artists who inspired him. Ryan Adams’ Gold was another album that confirmed to me the idea that Americana didn’t need to be crusty cowboys singing about trucks, bars and horses and that it can come from an urban environment.
What’s been your favourite gig you’ve played?
Supporting Old Crow Medicine Show in Perth a few years ago was a buzz. Being the only guy in the bar while they sound-checked was a music nerd’s dream. In terms of pure, unadulterated fun though the gig we filmed at the Carnamah Agricultural Show for our Keep On Waiting clip was a blast.
How did you learn to play your instrument – from friends, tuition, listening to records?
I had lessons from year 5 until about year 11 as a school kid and I jumped between a really diverse bunch of teachers. One guy was a bit ‘showbiz’ and ran a dance school with his wife as part of his business, one guy was 21 and a Nirvana nut, another was a classic salt of the earth former pub musician and there was also a classical Spanish guitar-style dude in there. I guess it gave me a nice rounded introduction to the instrument. In terms of technique though I think I learnt the most from jamming along with my mum’s BB King and Elvis CDs. I’m an ordinary guitarist at best, but those blues scales and 12 bars are really the rosetta stone for rock ‘n’ roll songs and I’m glad I drilled them into my brain.
Do you feel there is a country/folk music community in Australia?
Definitely, but I think there’s a bit of a distinction and divide between the full-on, Tamworth country crowd and the more ‘alt’ indie folk/country community. In Perth there are acts like Big Old Bears, Kill Devil Hills and Felicity Groom who we’ve played with and I feel an afinity with. Tame Impala (who I think are phenomenal) have prompted plenty of young musicians in WA to form psych rock acts and that experimental community seems to be really really strong in Perth. I’m a bit envious of that scene actually as the indie folk/alt-country scene feels smaller and I’d love some more bands to play and hang out with!
What has been your favourite americana release this year?
I loved Justin Townes Earle’s Nothing’s Gonna Change The Way You Think About Me Now. It’s not strictly americana but Dr John’s Locked Down is another of my favourite releases of the year so far.
What are your aspirations for you/your band over the next 12 months?
We’re releasing our first EP together as a band on November 2 at the Fremantle Arts Centre and I really just want as many people around Australia to hear it as possible. If we can get enough plays on community radio around Australia and if we can get it to all the folk/alt-country fans out there we’d love to put together an east coast tour. I’m also keen to start work on an album as the songs are banking up.