I think serious, curious musicians owe it to themselves and to the music-loving public to avail themselves of all the tools. You run into a lot of people who are consciously leaving vast swaths of their potential musicianship undeveloped in the name of staying pure. Those kinds of decisions don’t achieve the desired result, because the stuff that they’re emulating was a full expression of the width and breadth of what that musician had to offer; the limitations were sincere and not an affect, not a choice.
These are simply the times that we have grown up in—we have the internet and we have unprecedented physical access to the world, and it behooves us to go exploring. You’ll find avenues that are closed to you. We’re limited enough as beings without intentionally limiting ourselves.
From “Acoustic Routes: A roundtable with younger generation acoustic masters Chris Thile, Chris Eldridge, Aoife O’Donovan, Sarah Jarosz, and Julian Lage,” in the December 2017 issue of Acoustic Guitar. I interviewed this extraordinary group in Binghamton, New York, before one of their collaborative concerts billed as American Acoustic—easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, and an amazing and deep conversation as well. These musicians are as thoughtful as they are talented.
You can read the whole interview here. Photo by Genevieve Fridley.