Van Life: Breadfoot

North Carolina’s singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and all-round professional road dog, Breadfoot (AKA Stephan Meyers) takes his music pretty much where anyone will have him.  His latest album, Salvatella, is both short and sweet, akin to a couple of jars with Michael Hurley at some backwater town bar, just chewing the fat and pondering tales of the heart.  Breadfoot swaps instruments with the assured footing of someone at complete ease and in total command of his craft. Americana-UK catches up with the talented troubadour and wonders if it’s as easy pulling the miles,  and finds out what it is that feeds his ears on them endless freeways.

So, this touring life.  Its one long trip, right?
Might be a lot of folks are of the mind that life on the road is a constant party. Well, that couldn’t be farther from the truth cause I tell ya what you all, for an independent artist and musician like myself, it’s a shit ton of work that requires perseverance and a thick skin.  Getting the show on the road involves piles of post-its, endless enquires, and promotional efforts. I rehearse my butt off and then travel hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles by train, plane and automobile. I load in my gear, cross my fingers on a sound check and then put everything I have into trying to get some toes tapping, touch a heart, make someone smile or just possibly get ‘em to think a little differently about how they move through the world.

Now don’t take that to be complaining. No sir. Just stating fact. On account of the way I’m wired making music and being on the road and getting from one show to the next keeps me from getting too squirrely. True fact. Another true fact and this in no way discounts the experience of performing, seeing and hearing other fresh new bands and meeting cool new people.  I too truly relish the time in-between. Meaning to say, the time on the road especially when I’m on the road here in the states, alone with my thoughts digging the sound of the wheels or sometimes listening to music. Oh and hey if I may, another third true fact? While driving is pretty much the only time I really listen to recorded music.

Ok, so let’s have them toons that you just CANNOT do without.  No hiding that Katy Perry in the glovebox behind the travel mints, you hear?? 
Well, this is made up from actual CDs from the floor of my 1998 Subaru, (which I’m proud to say has over 300K miles on it).

The Sherman Brothers – I Wanna Be Like You
These are the fellas that wrote music for Disney classics like Mary Poppins and The Jungle Book. This track takes me back to my childhood and features Louie Prima on the vocal; swings like nobodies business.

Yaz – Bad Connection
Living out in the county, mostly we had ready access to all manner of bluegrass and classic rock. Just down the road towards Pikeville, there was a fella named Howie who owned a record shop and he turned us on to all kinds of great sounds that he was finding out of the UK. The Cure, New Order, Skids and of course Yaz.  Love this record.

The Tiger Lillies – Jesus On The Windshield
The combination of the music of Martyn and the boys and Edward Gorey’s words is something beyond fantastical. The whole album is wonderful but this one, because I was raised up Catholic and find a lot of hypocrisy in religion, especially tickles me.

X – Devil Doll
I Dig most all X  but this number from Under The Big Black Sun, which actually served as my introduction to X, rocks me particularly hard.

Queen – Seaside Rendezvous
I’ve always found this song to be just great fun. Especially taken by the ‘horn’ section in the break. Yeah, sure, Bohemian Rhapsody has been done to death but it’s hard to deny that there is genius in nearly every track.

Warren Zevon – The French Inhaler (Solo Piano Demo)
This is an incredibly beautiful song and performed just with piano for this demo the desperation and heartbreak really hits ya right slam square in the face.

Thelonius Monk – Locomotive
Love everything by Monk. His use of the space between is just so, wow. More than anyone other musician/composer, his music makes the most sense to my brain. This track is from my go to, Straight No Chaser.

Black Sabbath – Never Say Die
Not from one of Sabbath’s more popular releases yet this one really rocks hard for me. And, truth be told I actually really dig the whole album.

Lynyrd Skynyd – I Know A Little
A track from the first record I bought for myself when I was like, oh, maybe 13 years old. I don’t remember for sure but whatever have always just really dug this tune. A week or two after I bought this album the band went down in a plane. Dang.

Riff Raff / Rocky Horror Picture Show Original Cast – Time Warp
This is one rocking little number from a disc that has been in the player more often recently as I’m trying to get some inspiration for a new project I’m bouncing around in my brainpan. Folks keep remarking about the theatrical nature of my live show. One fan mentioned Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. And another told me they felt I was a cross between Roger Miller and Shel Silverstein. Hmmm.

Salvatella is OUT NOW 

Listen to Breadfoot on Tin Can Review (Resonance FM) 

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