Dirty Dozen: Aaron Lee Tasjan

Like a modern day Cosmic Cowboy, Tasjan creates a heady blend of country-flecked rock-n-roll, veering from acoustic blues to garage-pop psych to smooth Nashville sounds to lush Laurel Canyon fare… filled with Tasjan’s remarkable story-telling, imbued with wry wit, a sharp tongue and a lot of heart – bringing to mind the showmanship and humour of Josh Tillman (Father John Misty – whose bassist Eli Thomson produced Silver Tears), as well as Harry Nilsson and Tom Petty.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
I was born at an early age in the first American state to ratify the Constitution, known as Delaware…you know, like in the movie Waynes World? I grew up mainly in Ohio though I also lived briefly in Orange County, California where I started playing guitar. For the past 16 years, I have been a student of recorded music albums, the state of the conscious mind, poor decisions and trousers.  I enjoy small bedrooms that produce reflective sound, wasting my time and listening to my roommate Laur play his guitar really loud and good in my room.

How would you describe your music?
It’s about six-feet even, one-hundred and fifty-three pounds, kinda shifty and fairly aloof. Used to come around the Wawa Deli market and steal candy bars as youngster.

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
Kevn Kinney is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He started off in music as a roadie for a punk rock band called the Haskels. He formed Drivin’ N’ Cryin’ in Atlanta Georgia in the 1980s. They rose to fame thanks in part to college radio and major touring opportunities with REM, The Who, Neil Young and many more. He is also a brilliant folk singer and has 2 kids, 2 grandchildren and can still rock’’roll with the best of them.

What are you currently promoting?
Peace, love and understanding.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I’m not that particular about my songs, particularly, when it comes to pride.

What are you currently listening to?
John Moreland, John Calvin Abney, Lilly Hiatt and Lucinda Williams.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
Now That’s What I Call Music 23. Billy Ray Cyrus in his element. Love that dude.

What are your hopes for your future career?
I went to a fortune teller in Cincinnati about this and she told me about the time Jerry Springer sat in with her band in the 1970s, so I feel like it all sounds promising.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
Folding up dollar bills into really kick ass origami.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
The hours.

And the worst?
I can’t do it when I’m sleeping.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
I could use a ride from the airport if no one is busy on January 23rd around 11 in the morning?

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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