In preparation for his show at The Bottleneck on Thursday, June 28th, we asked Atlanta Folk musician Alex Guthrie some questions about Atlanta, his tour and Lawrence! Check it!
Be sure to tune in for Part 2, live on-air at KJHK tomorrow (Wednesday, June 27th) at 6pm. We’ll chatting with Alex, discussing some of the same topics and more!
Question: What was it like coming up in Atlanta and being around a lot of different musical cultures?
Alex Guthrie: Growing up around so many different genres of music has made it difficult to describe the kind of music that I’ve come to make. For me that’s a good thing! It seems to me that very few artists in Atlanta fit neatly into a box labeled with just one genre. We’ve all just reached into the grab bag of influences and picked the parts of each style that work with what we’re doing.
Q: Who would you say your biggest influences are?
AG: Is there one that stands out in your mind? My biggest influences are The Allman Brothers, Marvin Gaye, John Mayer, Vulfpeck. It’s super hard to pick a favorite but I’d say that John Mayer’s music has helped me find my own voice and style more than most.
Q:Your bio on your website calls you “the guy from the Jennifer Hudson commercial”. For the uninitiated, that’s a crazy story, what happened with that commercial and what was it like?
AG:I had no idea what I was getting into when I answered a Facebook ad looking for “a guy in his early 20’s with a soulful voice for a live performance”. I auditioned, got the part, and showed up to find a whole camera crew waiting for me. The crew told me to start playing and the rest is what you see in the ad. Completely a surprise to me. A wonderful surprise.
Q:What opportunities has that kind of exposure opened up for you and the band? Do you get more recognized in general or just as “that guy from the Jennifer Hudson commercial?”
AG: This has all been a crazy, amazing roller coaster. More opportunities have come my way since than I’ve been able to accept. Right now I’m on a 2 month summer tour with my band thanks in part to the commercial. Fall of 2017 is when being recognized as “that guy from the Jennifer Hudson commercial” peaked, especially in cities where American Family Insurance had put up billboards with my face on them. Since then, people are knowing my name and recognizing me “as is” more and more often.
Q:Do you have a “craziest show/fan”?
AG:I’ve had a fan or two go through seemingly the entirety of my Facebook profile and like nearly all my pictures. It gets weirder. One such person found some drawing of mine from high school and actually asked me to draw her “like one of my French girls”. As weird as she was, I can respect the Titanic reference.
Q:What sort of unique challenges has the tour presented?
AG:Touring hasn’t presented us too many challenges yet (knock on wood). So far the biggest hurdle I’ve had to jump over has been buying a van last minute. Our rental fell through 4 days before heading back on the road for a 3 week run. I’ve had to spend nearly every waking second researching vans for rent or for sale in a 200 mile radius from Atlanta. Long story short, I’m the proud owner of a new, well new to me, tour van.
Q:Have you ever been in Kansas or even Lawrence before or will this be a new experience for you and the band?
AG: I’ve only passed through Kansas on the way to visit family in Colorado. The band and I are so excited get to spend some time in Lawrence. The other day, we were talking with another band on tour through the Midwest and one of the first things they asked was if were we going to pass through Lawrence. They sang your praises to say the least.