DI3: finding our place on the musical map
DI3 started out at the Dave Isaacs Trio: me up front and a rhythm section behind me. Pretty typical power-trio setup, with the guitar hero up front and the bassist and drummer kicking things along. I led the band, booked the gigs, and took responsibility for pretty much everything that needs doing to keep a band moving. The three of us have grown to be great friends, and as the personal relationship grew the musical relationship deepened at the same time. A gradual metamorphosis was happening, as the other players (Brook Sutton on bass, Rob Crawford on drums) began to put more and more of themselves into their parts.
Now after five years of playing together either with me up front or working as a backup band for another artist, we’ve gotten to know each other really well musically. The trio is now three equal musical partners, I just happen to sing (and write most of) the songs. Now we’re even starting to write together, which is changing the complexion of the music in a very cool way. I feel very fortunate…I am a fan of these guys and what they do, and have learned a whole lot about groove and pocket from playing with them. We’re all improvisational players to start with, and as we’ve gotten tighter as a unit our ability to turn on a dime and head in a new direction has developed to a high degree. Any one of the three of us can lead a song somewhere it hasn’t been before by just throwing out a new idea. It’s cool and exciting and fun.
But the burning question is, does this make us a “jam band”? There’s so much associated with that label that doesn’t really fit us our personal or musical style. Being based out of Nashville we like songs. Being fans of roots music of all kinds, we love a groove. Bassist Brook is from New Orleans and you can feel it in every note. Drummer Rob’s jazz background and writing style adds a whole other dimension. And ultimately I’m still a rock & roll guitar player at heart. All of this comes together as a coherent style, but we have yet to nail down what to call it. I think we’re gonna leave that part to the listeners, y’all may know more than we do.
I’m not sure I know what “Americana” even means these days, though many of my favorite songwriters fall into that category. But if America is still the great melting pot that created jazz, soul, and rock & roll, then Americana music should be a mix of different elements that create a new whole. So by that logic we play Americana music….at least, American music. I’m about as much of a mutt as a person can be, and our music is definitely not pure-bred….no orthodoxies here except for an agreement that there really are no restrictions on what we do. I think that enduring music comes from this kind of melding and morphing, and we have every intention of enduring – whatever you want to call the genre. And please do feel free to chime in with your thoughts…listen to the music, what does it sound like to you? I’m too close to it to know, and I’d just as soon not think about it. What do you say?