Jordan Minor (www.jordanminor.com) is a part of the crop of young songwriters who’ve been hanging around Cheatham St Warehouse for the past few years. With the Bottom Dollar Band, he’s been playing shows around Texas while working on the release of “The Cottonwood Tree” That cd is finally out, and fans have been picking up copies at shows and online. Minor is a master storyteller, and his songs are mostly about the working man. From the Irish immigrant working on the railroads so that his sons can be American born , to the hard working man going broke because of lack of healthcare while his brother gets free care in jail, to the new style bootlegger growing pot to save the family farm. He tells the stories of hard working Americans looking for a break. His official cd release party is being held on Sunday March 25 at 3pm at Cheatham St Warehouse, and will include a barbecue and special guests. Minor has a fine hand on the grill to go with his musical talent. He recently answered 10 questions for me.
Who are your songwriting influences?
As far as other songwriters go there are probably too many to list. I think everybody tends to have their own writing style, so I don’t know if I’ve been influenced in that regard. I guess Billy Joe Shaver, Fred Eaglesmith, Springsteen, Kristofferson, Chris Knight, and Adam Carroll are probably some of my favorites. My buddy Robert Haedge is really one of the best songwriters that I’ve ever come across. He’s by far my favorite, I hope more people get a chance to hear his songs soon. My biggest songwriting influences are my friends, acquaintances, neighbor’s, etc. Just life in general.
When and where was your first public performance?
At church when I was a kid. My dad is a Southern Baptist preacher, so I spent quite a bit of time in church growing up. I remember singing “Go Tell It On the Mountain” with my best friend Dusty when I was around five years old I guess, that was probably the first. I love those old gospel songs and I even work a few of them in when I’m playing at bars and honky tonks.
What was the first record or cd you purchased with your own money?
I can’t remember the first one, but I do remember buying a Jimi Hendrix greatest hits cd when I was in 6th grade. It was called “The Ultimate Experience.” That was the first cd that I actually played until it wore out. I bought it when my parents were out of town and I kept it hidden for months probably, just listening to it on my headphones or at friend’s houses. I kept a lot of rock ‘n roll hidden so that my folks wouldn’t throw it away. Of course once I started listening to gangster rap, the rock ‘n roll stuff seemed pretty tame to them.
What was the first live concert you attended?
I couldn’t tell you that. It would’ve definitely been a concert with a church group. Maybe Amy Grant or Michael W. Smith. When I was fourteen or so though, my folks let me go see The Allman Brothers with a friend of mine and his mom. Susan Tedeschi opened the show with Double Trouble as her rhythm section. That was a great time.
Which venue would you most like to play that you haven’t yet/ and which is your favorite venue to play?
I’d love to play the Grand Ole Opry but they’ve trampled on everything that they stood for, so I’m not sure how great that’d be in this era. I used to go to Antone’s to see shows when I was in high school. I’d love to have my band on that stage. Or an acoustic show at the Saxon Pub would be great too. I’d just like to play for a decent sized crowd that’s enjoying my tunes. Gruene Hall and Cheatham Street Warehouse are always a good time. I also love playing the Happy Cow in Hunter, TX. That place is full of genuinely good people that actually listen to my original tunes and seem to enjoy them. They also have an awesome chili cheeseburger, so that may sway my opinion a bit.
What is the best career advice you’ve been given, and by whom?
Kent Finlay says “The harder you work, the luckier you get.” That’s great advice.
Who are you listening to now?
I can’t stop listening to Rod Picott’s album, Welding Burns. It’s a great record about working class folks. Scott Biram, Mike Ethan Messick, Owen Temple. And I just got the tribute to Guy Clark album too, it’s excellent.
What is your best story about life on the road?
Driving 6 hours to play in a former strip club for a crowd of about 7 people was interesting. I play bass with Forest Wayne Allen in my spare time, so anytime I travel with him is a great story. I think Forest could get lost pulling out of his own driveway, but he’d have a great time doing it!
What recordings are available to the public and where can they be purchased?
I just released my debut album, The Cottonwood Tree, on March 6, 2012. You can get it at Lonestar Music, iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, and maybe a few more places online. Or come see a show and grab a copy from me.
When and where are you playing next?
I’m having a cd release party at Cheatham Street Warehouse on Sunday, March 25. The doors will open around 3pm, we’re gonna barbecue and play music all afternoon and I’m pretty sure I’ll have a few special guests out too!