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The spark of inspiration

By JOHNETTE RODRIGUEZ  |  October 15, 2014

What keeps inspiring you? I’ll hear friends listening to something and say, “What is that?” It could be from years ago or it could be Katy Perry. I recently bought a turntable to play some vinyl records. We put those on, and it was a shared experience with my husband. It made me think of when I was younger and we’d get together and listen, which is not very common now.

What musical strains inspired Southern Comfort? A lot of this music I hadn’t heard, such as the field recordings. Sometimes I had some pre-conceived idea about a type of music, but when it’s personal, it has something to do with your life and you hear it differently. The Cajun/Creole violinist/accordionist Amédé Ardoin was willing to go into places that were dangerous for a dark-skinned man, and it got him killed. Rhiannon Giddens from the Carolina Chocolate Drops has drawn on some of the black-face minstrel history. Sometimes we want to bury that, but some amazing art has come out of that.

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