The IMC Magazine Issue 7/September, 2015 - Page 11

In fact, Nick Nixon chimed in and told the story of how he met Jimmy Hendrix when he was stationed at Fort Campbell, Kentucky and would make trips to Nashville where they became friends, jamming together. When Andy T Nick Nixon Band performed, Long sat at the back of the stage, struggling to keep from joining in on the guitar.

There was equal admiration for Long from the Blues band who praised his sound and performance afterwards.

Born in Wigan, England, Long headed off from his home in Wiltshire at the age of 17 to study music for film at London Metropolitan University. After years of open mic nights and a portfolio full of his own music, Long headed to America after graduating from University. A little over a year ago, Long married his wife Nikki, and now makes New York his home. “Being married is great I'm really happy and feel lucky,” Long said.

I asked him if he preferred being at home in New York, back in England, or on the road where he has put in so much time over the years. “I think at home in New York,” he said. “I love touring, but I most love writing so I guess I would have to give it to New York.”

Family and friends are very important to Long and that comes through in everything he produces, whether it be songs or poetry. When I asked him if he had a most treasured instrument it came as no surprise his family was a part of that answer. “Probably my Dad’s guitar or my Mam’s voice,” he said.

Speaking of writing, Long told the WoodSongs audience that he wrote 25 songs in a little more than a month and a half, road testing them for about a year before deciding which songs had staying power. Those songs made the cut for Ode to Thinking.

On Long’s second album, Wishbone, the song Help you Mend turned into an anthem of sorts for many of his fans giving them inspiration and hope through many of their life trials. I asked him if he thought there was a song like that on Ode to Thinking.” I think ‘1985’ maybe,” he said. “It has already got a big reaction from people I've spoken to so that's nice.”

Long also reflected on what it means to him when fans connect so personally with his music. “It's great,” he said. “It’s probably the biggest compliment a songwriter can be given and always a nice surprise. I feel like I'm selfish when I write, so it's a thrill when people take something for themselves from one of my songs.”

The song ‘Something Borrowed, Something Blue’ seems to be a song that many fans are latching on to, singing along with Long at his live shows. I asked him if he had a favorite song off the album. “It keeps changing daily,” he said. “I think ‘The Dark Won't Get Darker.’”

One thing that keeps Long connected to his core fan base and allows him to continue to build that fan base and expand is his consistency with touring and playing gigs each time he releases an album or recording. “I'm just thankful that I have them,” Long said. “I really honestly think they are the most loyal and supportive around.”

While he has toured the United States extensively, it has been a while since he toured his native England and Europe. That is something he is looking forward to this fall on the Ode to Thinking Tour. “I really have never been more desperate to be anywhere,” he said. “I can't wait! Just to play in front of those nice people will be a real thrill!” So look out Europe, the Ode to Thinking tour comes to you from October to December this year.

I asked Long if there were any favorite venues he has performed at and if there are any that are now gone where he will miss performing. “It always seems venues are closing,” Long said. “I love too many venues to pick any out but I would love to play at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.” Well, Bobby Long, this Colorado native looks forward to visiting Red Rocks to see you perform there for the first time, one day.

Long has a great international fan base and wants to make sure his fans in Australia don’t feel left out. I asked him about a potential tour down under. “We are working on it, and I really cannot thank people over there enough for keeping interested in me,” he said. “Great country and people.”

"I Rebelled against becoming a musician at one point, though there was no fighting the natural progression"