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 Watson's Riddle feat. Chuck Leavell

 Watson's Riddle feat. Chuck Leavell

 Watson's Riddle feat. Chuck Leavell

What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of recording a new album?

Steve Watson : Coming up with interesting melodies is most challenging. It is easy to write a chord progression but much harder to come up with a meaningful and emotional melody. I am fortunate to have a great producer/drummer in Paul T. Riddle that I can bounce ideas off of. We go through many rewrites before we agree on a keeper. My skin is very thick when it comes to constructive criticism. I was a session guitarist in LA for 10 years and I became very accustomed to someone saying no before they said yes. Constructive criticism brings out the best in anyone if their ego can handle it.

What would you define as the most life-changing event so far in your musical career?

Steve Watson : Attending the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music gave me the opportunity to play in the Concert Jazz Band, tour the world, play in a band conducted by the great Whit Sidener and establish musical relationships with some of the best musicians in the world. The school was a game changer for me.

What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?

Steve Watson : I am most proud of the new Watson’s Riddle CD featuring Chuck Leavell. My life long dream has been to write and record a CD of my original material. With the help of Dr. Douglas Appleby, Paul T. Riddle, Chuck Leavell, and Tim Lawter this has happened.

What are you most proud of at this point in your life and career?

Steve Watson : I am most proud of the new Watson’s Riddle CD featuring Chuck Leavell. My life long dream has been to write and record a CD of my original material. With the help of Dr. Douglas Appleby, Paul T. Riddle, Chuck Leavell, and Tim Lawter this has happened.

If you were magically allowed to spend an hour with whomever you chose in history… alive or dead… and really be able to get inside their head, who would that be?

Steve Watson : Without hesitation, this would be Wes Montgomery. I would talk to him about his phrasing and time-feel. I would ask him about how he transcribed all of those Charlie Christian solos with the technology he had in the 1940’s. I can actually answer all of my questions without talking to Wes - in one word, GENIUS. He is my all time favorite jazz musician.

What aspect of the creative process, from concept to market, do you personally find to be the most rewarding.

Steve Watson : I love the recording process. Being in the studio and working on a record is something I could do 24/7. I love working on new ideas and sounds. I need someone there, telling me when to stop. It is that much fun for me. I always think that I can top the last take, or that I want to try another amp and guitar combination. Maybe it’s because I spent 10 years in the studios in LA.

When the times arise for you to give back for the success and abundance you enjoy, what kinds of opportunities do you look for?

Steve Watson : I look for the opportunity to pass on the art form of jazz to younger musicians. I teach at one of the best art high schools in the country, “The Fine Arts Center” in Greenville SC, as well as Furman University.

I feel strongly that this art form will not survive without dedicated educators inspiring young musicians and listeners to enjoy America’s Classical Music. It is an art form that was born in America and it is our obligation as jazz artists to help young musicians and listeners have a passion for it. I have the unique opportunity to do this all day, five days a week.

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