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Five Questions with Brandon Reeves, blues guitarist and songwriter
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Brandon Reeves fronts the blues band The Deacon Brandon Reeves.

The Deacon Brandon Reeves
When: 9 p.m. Friday
Where: The Monkey Barrel, 115 Washington St., Gainesville
How much: $5
More info: 770-287-0970

For blues artist Brandon Reeves, his first inspiration came from guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

Hendrix isn’t a blues guitarist, Reeves admits, but in an odd way he turned Reeves on to artists like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters.

"I didn’t know who these people were but I saw their credits on the album, so I kind of got into it backwards," Reeves said.

The Gainesville native who plays guitar and writes songs is also the lead singer for The Deacon Brandon Reeves band. He used this love of the blues to create his most recent album, "Emilia," which is a collection of his favorite songs he wrote.

"I’ve been writing songs for a long time ... these particular songs just seemed like they fit together so that is the reason why I decided to make the CD," Reeves said.

Reeves and his band — made up of bass player Derek Morgan and drummer and stepfather Mike Terrell — will bring their own brand of blues music to The Monkey Barrel on Friday in Gainesville.

We caught up with Reeves to talk about the new CD, his love for the blues and what it is like playing music with his stepfather.

Question: What do you have planned for the Monkey Barrel show?

Answer: Well we’re a trio, so the bass player that will be playing with us is Derek Morgan and the drummer Mike Terrell, my stepdad, and he plays with a couple other groups; he plays with the King Daddy Polecats and he also plays with Captain Luther (Howdy and the Prozac Cowboys). So, he’s going to be playing with us that evening and other than that we’re just going to have a big time.

We do a lot of covers but we do have a brand new album out, so we like to mix in the originals as well. We like to do a mixture of the two.

We’re a blues band and we do like Muddy Waters songs and Howlin’ Wolf tunes, blues songs, but we also do Johnny Cash songs and we kind of do some funky songs, so we mix it up a little bit.

Q: Tell me a little about your new CD, "Emilia." Did you write all the songs yourself or were they a collaboration?

A: Well, I’ve been writing songs for, since I was 15 or 16 years old I have been writing songs, and the first 3,000 of them were horrible. I think that is a requirement. If you are going to be a songwriter, you have to write 3,000 horrible songs and then they maybe start to get a little better.

There’s an instrumental song called "Working for Blues" that we almost always play that I think people like and I think it is a fun song to do, so we always play that one. It is hard; they are like all my children so I feel bad about picking one over the other. The other instrumental song "The Snowman" is a tribute to Jerry Reed who died this past year, so Jerry Reed was an amazing country guitar player and that tune is for him and the reason it is called "The Snowman" is because he played the snowman in "Smokey and the Bandit." I like a ton of them; there’s a few songs about people killing each other and stuff like that, that’s one of my favorite things to write about.

Q: What is it like playing with your stepfather?

A: He’s a great drummer. He’s one of my favorite drummers that we play with. We rotate a couple people in and out. We’ve never found anybody who could just do everything with us, and because we do blues and the music is kind of a improvised music, as long as we can find somebody who can do that then it is always fine.

Q: When did you start getting interested in blues?

A: When I first started playing guitar I was 11. I got into Jimi Hendrix who’s not really a blues guitar player but he’s like a blues rock guitar player. I started getting into him and then he would cover songs by these people Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Albert Collins.

Q: What artists are you into right now?

A: I’ve been listening to Tom Waits a lot ... and Bob Dylan. I love Albert Collins and BB King; I kind of went back and have been listening to some BB King records.

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