The Art Of The Sit-In | Roosevelt Collier

Written By: Chad Berndtson

:: The Art Of The Sit-In - Roosevelt Collier ::

Welcome to a new JamBase column that's all about conversation. We'll talk to the busiest, most adventurous and most ubiquitous artists from the scene to hear some stories, have some laughs and really get a sense of how they've mastered what we're calling the art of the sit-in.

Kicking things off is Roosevelt Collier, who's just as often an "artist at large" these days as he is tearing things up on lap and pedal steel guitars with his family band, sacred steel staples the Lee Boys.

[Photo by Michael Weintrob]

He'll be all over the place these next few weeks, with planned sit-ins and jams or performing with his Hendrix cover crew the Bayou Gypsies and an electro-jam summit with DJ Logic and Marco Benevento in New Orleans on tap.

Later this week alone he'll be performing at Potbellies in Tallahassee (Sept. 27) and heading to the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park for Fall 2013 Disc Jam as a Saturday headliner with guests Rick Lollar and Lee Boys drummer Earl Walker.

In early November, he'll open for Widespread Panic in Miami, and a night later (Nov. 6) he'll be hosting a late night after show, "Roosevelt Collier & Friends" in Jacksonville that'll include drummer Anthony Cole of MOFRO, bassist Matt Lapham of Shaki Nasti, and special guest J.J. Grey. All that goes down before he returns to Bear Creek, where in addition to trying to break his 2012 record for sit-ins (that'd be 20), he'll be performing a set as the Roosevelt Collier Band with Nigel Hall and Oteil Burbridge scheduled to sit-in and a tribute to the late George Duke on the menu. This is a busy cat.

JAMBASE: We've seen a number of festivals start to promote this "artist at large" term over the past few years, and you were one of the first to get that tag. You’re everywhere. How did it happen?

ROOSEVELT COLLIER: I think Bear Creek in 2012 was the first time I was described that way. But before that I was already jamming with everybody. Man, I don't have a preference. Whether it's "oh man, I gotta jam with these guys" or "that might be cool," each band brings its own thing. My whole thing is to fit my style into their style.

What people go to a show for is that big explosion, you know? That big moment where everyone oohs and ahhs and you know when it happens because the crowd goes wild -- folks go crazy. That's the goal. But I usually just see who's playing at a place I'm going to be at, and if it's folks I know they've probably called me already. There's no fit that has to happen.

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