Reflecting at length upon his intimate relationship with British music from his office in Nashville, Tennessee, the alt-country veteran at the heart of Lambchop discusses freedom, interpretation and the lasting effect on him of 1970s Sheffield with Luke Cartledge
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King
Progressive rock entered my life toward the end of my stay in Sheffield, when I started going to shows. One of the first, if not the first, I went to was King Crimson, for about 75p. I went mainly because I was excited just to see a show, but also all of my friends were very taken with prog, particularly Pink Floyd's Meddle, which had just come out. The prog thing was something new and exciting and it lent a certain air of sophistication, if you will, to you as a music consumer; if you were dabbling in that, it meant you were really into music. I was playing music at the time, but mainly classical music – I was in a youth orchestra in Sheffield, and taking private lessons on cello – and there's a connection between classical stuff and early prog. It had an instrumental aspect to it. What struck me about the King Crimson record was the more song-y things that were going on in it, like 'Schizoid Man', which was quite a thing to see live. They had this guy on the balcony where I was sitting, playing a keyboard that triggered the light show. It was insane. It was also a cool show because it had Bill Bruford still with the group which I thought was one of the cooler times for them. Along with Meddle, and its trippy, dreamy instrumental thing, I guess that had an effect on the young people I was hanging around with then. The Inner Mounting Flame [by Mahavishnu Orchestra] was like the next level up – again, John McLaughlin, another British artist who had a big influence for at least that little period of time in the US.