Yesterday, we spoke with Chris from Bumper Jacksons about their upcoming set at the Urbana Music Festival this weekend. Today, we have a Q&A with Eddie of Fast Eddie & The Slowpokes, who will also be taking the Urbana Music Festival stage on Saturday. The music is set to kick off at 2 p.m., and it’s the perfect primer for an evening of great music on Flying Dog’s front lawn that night (you know you can win tickets, right?). But we digress. For now, check out what Eddie had to say about some of his favorite places to play around the country and how his band came up with such a neat name. Enjoy!
So, take us back to the beginning. How did Fast Eddie & The Slowpokes did get started? How long have you been together? When/where/how did you meet?
We got together in 2011 for a one-time gig for the D.C. Blues Society Fish Fry. We all met at the Old Bowie Town Grille blues jam. After the fish fry gig, we got a lot of favorable comments so we decided to give this band thing a try, and we’ve never looked back.
Where are some of your favorite venues/places to play around the country and why?
Our favorite place has to be the Hard Rock Cafe in Memphis. That’s where we performed during the 2013 International Blues Challenge. We also liked the Pride of the Susquehanna River Boat that we have played the last two years for their Blues Cruise. Our newest favorite is the Villain & Saint in Bethesda. It just opened in April but it is very music- and musician-centered with a sound man, a light man, a great dance floor and even a green room.
How did you guys come up with the name, “Fast Eddie And The Slowpokes?”
When we did the first DCBS gig, we didn’t even have a name. But when asked on the spot, I threw out Fast Eddie & The Slowpokes, and it just stuck!
What’s your impression of the local music scene, both here in Frederick and in D.C. and Baltimore? Do you think Frederick is thriving and growing consistently, or is it not really on your radar?
The whole area is filled with places to play but there is such a disparity in a venue’s level of actual support for music. Just because they book bands doesn’t equate to support. That includes willingness to pay a reasonable wage to bands, promoting events on their own social media, websites, signage, posting flyers. While bands have a shared responsibility in this business of promotion, it is often the venue’s perspective that it is solely the band’s responsibility. There are a few venues that still book great music seven nights a week so patrons come no matter who is playing because they know the music will be good. That creates a built in crowd that can be boosted by the band’s fan draw.
Can you tell us a little about some of the band’s best moments? Conversely, can you tell us about some of the band’s lowest moments?
We won the D.C. Blues Society Battle of the Bands in 2012 and represented DCBS at the 2013 International Blues Challenge in Memphis. We were also nominated for a WAMMIE in 2013.
Who are some of your major influences and why?
The Nighthawks, Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as many others. Their success speaks for itself, but they inspire us through their continued re-defenition of themselves without compromising their roots music tradition.
Can you name some local artists we should keep an eye on who we might not already know about?
Moonshine Society, Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark Blues Band. There’s such a rich blues tradition in the DMV, it’s hard to only name a few.
And finally, what can we expect from your set at the Urbana Music Festival?
You can expect a wang dang doodle of a set combining blues, soul, and rock-n-roll that will make you shake your tail feather! You can leave your lawn chairs at home.