It's been a while since we posted our monthly feature. Our final local spotlight for this year is is focused on Douglas Belvins. Mr Belvins answered our normal sampling of questions about his music, song writing process and the reason he writes/performs solo.
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
For my new album "Wellspring," I'm hoping to do some shows with some help from my friends Jarrod Svezeny (drums) and Derek Scalzott (bass) as an electric band, and we're also going to do our best to work in Tarra Layne (vocals), though she's busy enough doing shows of her own. I recorded most of "Wellspring" (& my first album "Dust Sketches") playing all the instruments myself only because it's so difficult to get people's schedules to miraculously align for long enough to do a few recording sessions.
I'd describe my sound as folk- and blues-influenced songwriter-rock, though that's a bit lengthy! I'm hugely influenced by musicians that are focused on the song, rather than just a particular sound. "Wellspring" consists of my best efforts at really paying attention to songcraft, as The Beatles did with 1960s rock, or Dylan has done with blending the folk storytelling tradition into rock, or blues greats such as Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker did turning rambling, one-chord dance music of their generation into a three-minute soundbite that told a story within the constraints of a record. (I'm in no way comparing my music to these guys, I'm just fascinated by their work and their processes)
Are you all originally from the Pittsburgh area? Families here as well?
Do you all create music full time or is this more of a part time venture?
Do you have day jobs?
How do you create your music? What is the song writing process?
What are your goals for the band? What would you like to accomplish? Are you trying to get signed to a label?
What advice would you give to local acts trying to make it?
Have you all toured nationally? Or do you usually stay more regionally?
Being in the Pgh area, do you find it more difficult to try and succeed?
What are some of the obstacles you face trying to create some 'success' in Pgh?
What are the positive benefits of being in the area?
Is there a venue you have enjoyed playing more than others in the area?
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