Trail Mix | Jonathan Vassar

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I’ve come to learn that discoveries are all about connections.

For proof positive, consider this. I am a big fan of a denim company based in Bristol, L.C. King Manufacturing, and wrote about it here on the blog a while back. My interest in that denim and American made products led me to Piney River Goods, and my new buddy Curtis Patton, who has since made me the coolest belt I have ever owned. And, as luck would have it, Curtis just so happens to play pedal steel for Richmond based songwriter Jonathan Vassar, which has led to this blog.

The only thing that puzzles me about the whole scenario is how has it taken me so long to discover Jonathan Vassar. After listening to his new EP, Things Fall Apart, which released on December 31st, I have been pouring through the fairly prolific catalog on his website. Pretty plain that Jonathan has been putting out great music for a while. I am now most thankful that I have recently collected enough dots to connect to bring me to him.

I recently caught up with Jonathan for a quick chat. Considering that Eastern Virginia had just been pounded by some serious snow, the discussion took a rather wintery bend.

BRO – Richmond just got socked with nearly a foot of snow. You going to get any quiet time to do a little songwriting?

JV – With a four year old and a nine month old, the only quiet snow day time I get is shoveling the drive. I write songs when I shovel the snow, though they are all about shoveling snow, or how cold it is.

BRO – Skiing or snowboarding?

JV – Neither. In the scheme of things, I am more like Curtis Armstrong’s character in Better Off Dead . . . “This is pure snow! It’s everywhere! Do you have any idea what the street value of this mountain is?”

BRO – Snow outside, fire in the fireplace . . . what record is on the turntable?

JV – This is determined by the time of day and the fact that I live in  a log cabin, so the music kind of has to be appropriate. A snowy morning requires something dreamy, like Mountain Man or Hope for Agoldensummer. In the afternoon, I’m going for Dreamin’ Man Live’92, by Neil Young, though in reality this is overturned for my son Casimir’s favorite band, NO BS Brass! I try to calm things down in the evening with Julee Cruise’s Floating In The Night. If I find myself up late with some alone time, I’m listening to Homemade Knives’ No One Doubts The Darkness.

BRO – After a couple hours playing in the snow, do you hit the hot chocolate or the hot toddy?

JV – I hit the hot coffee. The kids get the hot chocolate. My wife, Antonia, gets the hot toddy.

BRO – True confession time . . . when’s the last time you made a naked snow angel?

JV – I confess that I’ve never made a naked snow angel! It sounds really cold. Screw it. I’m going outside right now to try it.

We’ll take your word, Jonathan, that the snow angel got made!

Jonathan’s tour schedule is quiet right now, but it is sure to pick up soon. If you are interested in downloading or streaming Things Fall Apart, Jonathan’s new EP, you can stream or download it, along with a bunch of other great stuff, via his website.

Also, be sure to take a listen to “Harden Your Heart,” along with great new tunes from artists like Dead Man Winter, The Infamous Stringdusters, Moon Hooch, Circus No. 9, and more on this month’s edition of Trail Mix.

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