|Photo by Jon|
With any luck, he'll do it again July 13 when he performs for Kathie Lee and Hoda on the Today Show. His new album is titled Craft, and it's the right name for a guy who takes his songwriting and creativity seriously.
Sikes writes genre-crossing music that is almost impossible to classify. With jazz and blues rhythms alongside classical guitar elements, these songs have the feel of classic '70's rock / folk yet are completely infused with timely social references and themes. This ability to write from unique perspectives is what sets him apart. He's a relaxed easy-going guy and was kind enough to stop and give us a minute.
JK: So you were recently discussed on the Today Show. Hoda Kotb had quite a bit of praise for you after her recent trip to Nashville and now you're scheduled to perform on her show. How did that happen?
PS: It's pretty strange. I was playing a show at The Bluebird, which I do a couple of times a year, and right before we start the guy next to me says, "Hey, that's Hoda Kotb...” Of course, my first reaction was, "Who?" I don't even have a TV... but after a minute I started putting it together. I went through the set and afterwards I went up to her and said the usual stuff Nashvillians say to folks from out of town: "Hey, it's good to have you here in Nashville, hope you enjoy your stay and come back some time" and that was it. I didn't really think much of it. But then a few days later, my phone and Facebook started blowing up. People I hadn't talked to in like 12 years were contacting me, saying, "You know they were talking about you on the Today Show?” Basically Hoda had videoed me and was showing the clip on TV.
JK: So she bootlegged your show?
PS: Haha, yeah after this I'm going after her for copyright infringement. No, I'm kidding, she was really generous and said some very nice things and gave the song about a minute of airtime, which is huge. It was great because it was genuine. And there's no substitute for genuine PR like that. The next day, I got a tweet from NBC because I think that was the only way they could find to reach me. They asked if I could come to New York and perform on Friday, July 13th, and I'm excited about it. It's funny because the whole romanticism behind "being discovered at the Bluebird" sort of happened, in a way.
PS: Actually I have. I played at Lincoln Plaza for an ASCAP award that I got, and they were giving a Lifetime Achievement award to John Mellencamp. It was a really cool highlight of my writing career to get to share the stage with John Mellencamp. Maybe on this trip I can fit in a performance somewhere.
JK: That'd be great. We'll have to let our readers know if that happens. You also have an album coming out soon?
PS: Yeah, actually I really haven't been doing the "artist" thing, haven't really had the desire. I'm more of a songwriter and a producer who enjoys performing. I have no aspirations to chase the road, the fame, or the big record deal. I just don't have that in my blood. But the Today Show appearance is an opportunity to showcase myself not so much as an artist, but as a songwriter. The album coming out in the next few days is called Craft and I called it that because I wanted to point it toward the songwriting aspect of what I do. It'll be on iTunes, but I also have physical copies and one difference is that the physical copies will have a song that my grandmother wrote and I recorded for her. That'll be available on the album, but not on the iTunes version.
PS: Earlier this year, I started up a production company called 7-Layer Productions. I've put together a studio that sounds really great. I'll have people come from out of town who want to do a demo, things like that. I'm working on a couple of albums right now, one for an amazing female artist, Tanya Lynnette Stout, and another for a band Koriander who is a lot of fun and has a really unique sound. They're a little funk and a little country, which is interesting. And then there's my record as well.
JK: So you've got a lot going on, any other plans for all this?
PS: This whole opportunity has hit me by storm. I mean honestly, as far as my expectations for this trip, I just haven't thought past the performance itself. I'm just going to go there, soak it up, and enjoy it. I'm not going to place my expectations any higher than that I'm going to play the best I can, and hopefully continue to write songs, record albums, and keep making music.
JK: Thanks for the time and best of luck.
|Photo by Jon|