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What do you like about Kansas City as a music town?
We love Kansas City because it's got a lot of variety and a lot of things to see and hear, but it's not too big to ever make a dent in. Different genres coexist peacefully here, and sometimes blend together to create really unique styles. The musicians in town are friendly and approachable, and there's a great spirit of collaboration and mutual support among the bands in KC. We don't feel like we have to get into a who's-cooler or who's-hipper contest with anyone else because everyone's doing their own thing, and for the most part seem to be genuine fans of each other's work.
Well, we dropped the "and the Wild Ones" a little over a year ago, but it's all right because a lot of people still call us that [Coyote Bill & the Wild Ones]. We have a new drummer in Cody Castille — he's the son of Billy Beale and he's been with us for a year or so.
Any recent releases or anything on the horizon?
We hope to have a new CD out before the end of the year. In October, we are going back to play at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas. It will be our second year in a row there, and we are really excited about that. Other than that, we've been playing shows all over the area and generally flipping the bird at the blues bourgeoisie.
In a perfect world, how would critics describe your music and band?
Rugged and raw. Fun, entertaining, electrifying. Energetic and regicidal.
Who are some other nominated acts you're a fan of?
Them Damned Young Livers, Linda Shell & the Blues Thang, Margo May — because they are all really talented and hardworking and have been busting their arses on the local scene for a while now. Plus any band that calls themselves the Pizza Party Massacre has got to be great. Don't know anything about them, but I like them already.
What's your favorite KC venue, and why?
A lot of the status quo blues venues in town won't give us the time of day, so we play wherever we can.
What keeps you in KC rather than moving to a bigger music city?
Hell, I don't know. I can say this: Four years ago, I competed in one of the Kansas City Blues Society's solo/duo competitions as a solo act. I didn't win, and afterward one of the judges said to me that he couldn't vote for me because I didn't grow up in the KC area, so he didn't consider me a local artist. Well, since then, my band has been nominated for The Pitch Music Awards twice, so that jackass can suck it.
We completed two European tours earlier this year. I've also changed things within the band: Go-Go Ray joined on drums, and Chris Alexander just joined us on the bass. This year, I won a BMA (Blues Music Award) for Best New Artist, which is a huge honor. We filmed a DVD earlier this year from the Girls With Guitars Tour. We filmed a live performance in Worpswede, Germany, and it will be released as both a DVD and a CD. The release party is August 31 at Knuckleheads.