Three Qs with … Rizorkestra

Rizorkestra, the one-man-hipster-blues-band extraordinaire, is on tour throughout the summer and is coming to Santa Barbara to perform at Elsie’s on Tuesday, May 23, and will also be broadcast live on KCSB 91.9 FM at noon on Monday, May 22.

You list a lot of interesting characters as personal heroes; who would you say your greatest influences are? I’m an extremely avid amateur musicologist, so I try to dig up the earliest American pop I can. Lots of interesting cats … think Leadbelly and Woody Guthrie. Then think of two generations before that — 1890s to 1929-ish. That’s some of what I play and listen to. Charley Patton … lots of good stuff, man.

Right, right. Real lo-fi and basic. No bells or whistles. Yeah, ya know, that’s why I like the early stuff — real primitive. That music is like, well, I like to think of it as almost like a Japanese watercolor painting. You can find a beautifully clean, sculpted line in the music.

And the kazoo fits in . . . Ha ha!! Yeah, I picked up the kazoo in the early ’90s. It’s the most democratic of instruments, meaning anyone of any talent level can play it. I don’t want to give away too many tricks of the trade, but the kazoo can give the same range and pitch as the human voice.

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