Daniel Fluitt

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

By Kate Kinder
Editor in Chief 

Daniel Fluitt of Knoxville, Tennesee. His hobbies include music, moonshine, and socializing.

Are you currently touring? If so with who?
“Not currently, although I have been playing a few one off shows solo throughout the Southeast. I have been mainly working music festivals for my current employer: Sugarlands Distilling Company.”

Who all have you toured with?
“Over 13 years touring over 40 states with Thrift Store Cowboys.”

When and why did you start playing?
“I started playing music with our guitarist, Colt Miller, when we were sophomores in high school. Not many people get to play their whole career with the same person, but we have. I have always loved to sing and music is just in my blood.”

Which instruments do you play?
“Mainly sing/songwrite, but also play rhythm guitar in the band and occasionally the lap steel and musical saw.”

What drives your passion?
“Just getting to make creative, beautiful music with my best friends. Nothing makes me happier.”

Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration? What is your usual songwriting process?
“I have a history degree from Texas Tech, so I use stories and events that are interesting to me to try and recreate the events in my own words. I also can be inspired from just walking around, experiencing my surroundings, and coming up with ideas from the beat of my own footsteps. “

What was the first song you learned?
“Silverchair, Bush, Jimi Hendrix. We were 16.”

Is your family musical?
“Both my parents can carry a tune, but weren't overly musical. They did support us in every way possible.”

Which famous musicians do you admire? Why?
“I don't really admire "famous" musicians. If they are famous, there are usually many people/ money/ connections that make them so. I admire folks who write amazing music and make their living off of it. Folks like Jason Isbell, Cory Branan, Black Lillies, Devotchka.”

Which famous musicians have you learned from?
“Probably Devotchka, whom we have toured with, taught us the most about being professional when on the road.”

What are your fondest musical memories?
“We played a sold out show in Phoenix with Devotchka. There had been a monsoon earlier before the show, in which it rained over 8 inches in a little over an hour. We were onstage, just starting our third song, when all the power in the building went out. Instead of waiting around or freaking out, we simply unplugged. I grabbed my guitar, Amanda Shires grabbed her fiddle, Colt grabbed his accordion, and Todd Pertll (our pedal steel player) grabbed his banjo. We walked down in the crowd and played a song completely acoustic. The entire crowd was silent as we played and surrounded us. As soon as the song was over, the lights came back on and we finished the set. People there said it was the coolest moment they have ever had at a concert.”

Were you influenced by old records & tapes?
“I loved old country (still do) and my first CD I ever bought was Pearl Jam "Ten.”

What is a typical week like for you?
“Right now, I travel a lot for Sugarlands, doing events ranging from black tie symphonies to camping at festivals for an entire week. Just getting our moonshine out there.”

What's your favorite thing about being on the road?
“Definitely getting to play the show. Everything else about being on the road is not all that fun. Occasionally we would have a day off to go explore / hike / camp, but most days are hours in a van, loading out, setting up, waiting to play, then breaking down, loading back out and finding a place to sleep.”

What's the funniest thing that's happened on the road?
“There are far too many to think of just one. Most van rides are ridiculous laugh fests.”

Best place to eat while on the road?
“Anything that isn't venue pizza.”

What's the best town play in?
“For us, it would be Lubbock, of course. Other than that, we really love Cedar City, Utah and Tucson, AZ out west and Athens, GA and NYC out east.”

Since everyone was a startup once, can you give any smaller or local bands looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?

“Just create good music, and let that speak for itself. All the other pieces will fall in line, but it’s hard to sell yourself if you don't believe in your product.”

Thank you Daniel your so awesome!

xxx West Texas Sweetheart

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