r preston maddox
My musical influences from an early age ranged from classical to folk to rock-a-billy to big band to traditional country and bluegrass to soul/R&B and finally rock. Doses of Spike Jones, Weird Al, Jim Stafford, and Ray Stevens probably didn't help my classical upbringing. But I 'came of age' in the 60's, a time of tumultuous change. And while I came to utilize several different instruments my first love is the guitar, an instrument which has also come into it's own in my lifetime.
The word "renaissance" is French for 'rebirth', so as far as the boundaries of the music the world had known prior to then the 60's and 70's were truly a renaissance period. Much of the popular commercial music scene is faddish and has no lasting legacy. But as the giants of classical music such as Bach, Beethoven, Liszt, Schubert, Handel and Haydn have endured for hundreds of years with the originality of their talents continuing to influence writers and musicians to the present, likewise, I predict names like James Taylor, Gordon Lightfoot, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jimmy Page, Jimi Hendrix, Chet Atkins and scores of others from the not too distant past will prove to have created works that will endure long beyond their time here on earth. I've been blessed to have been influenced by dozens of others, many the world never afforded fame and success; but I carry them with me and in the music I write and my belief is that these have a bond with me that will endure in ways only yet to be revealed.
When I was younger I wanted to be just like all of these in talent and presentation at one time or another, but was pleasantly surprised to realize I was freed to transform into a composite of all of these who found their way in some small part into my repertoire. Never achieving a match with any on an individual basis, but taking enough of what they offered and molding it into something of my own. In this day and place some refer to it as "Americana". I tend to shy away from labels that will put me in a box - when I write something, what comes may have a smattering of one, some or any number of these mentoring examples.
My goal and desire is to write music and lyrics that appeal to the emotion, intellect, and soul of the listener. To make you think, to make you weep, to make you laugh. To touch something in someone else borne of common experience or trial with which one can identify. To let you know the you're not alone and someone else understands and has been there . . .