Interview by Joseph Hett
We recently had the chance to chat with guitarist/vocalist/producer Marc Copley of JD & The Straight Shot. In this interview, Copley speaks about his musical upbringing, career and being out on the road. Make sure to check out JD & The Straight Shot’s new album “The Great Divide” (Album Review) and catch them on a nationwide tour this summer with Matt Costa and Matt Hartke (Tour Dates).
MRM: How did you get into music?
Copley: When I was a kid my friend who lived down the street from me played and we were hanging out one day when he taught me “Lyin Eyes” by the Eagles and it was off to the races from there
MRM: Who are your influences?
Copley: There are really so many, it’s difficult to comment. But I feel the biggest influences I have are people I played with or have heard locally like Duke Levine, John Leventhal, and my buddy Adam Levy as well as the usuals like Hendrix, Albert King ,etc.
MRM: How were you involved with BB King?
Copley: I opened for him a lifetime ago.
MRM: Could you speak about your time with Billy Squier?
Copley: I love Billy so much. He’s a great person, great musician and singer. I had an absolute blast playing through a 100-watt Marshall every night!
MRM: Do you prefer playing blues, rock or Americana?
Copley: I love playing good music.
MRM: Speaking of Americana, how did you join the Americana band JD & The Straight Shot?
Copley: My friend Charley Drayton called me about it and went over to a rehearsal. Next thing I knew we were opening for the Eagles.
MRM: How was it producing JD & The Straight Shot’s recently released all-acoustic album “The Great Divide”?
Copley: Great! I love the producing part of the gig for sure. Plus, with a band that’s that talented, it makes the job a real pleasure.
MRM: My favorite song off of “The Great Divide” is “Dead Men Tell No Tales.” Do you have any behind the scenes insights about that song?
Copley: JD & The Straight Shot violinist/vocalist Erin Slaver (Interview) brought that song in to the band and it was pretty much written outside of the chorus. I came up with the whole “I’m going down” thing referencing Freddie King on that. Then we jumped in and all instantly went for a dirtier blues vibe on it.
MRM: The last time JD & The Straight Shot played in Charlotte, NC was last year opening for The Eagles (Show Review). Do you have any fond memories of the Queen City?
Copley: Charlotte’s a great town. I remember meeting some really lovely people there.
MRM: Do you prefer playing arenas or theaters?
Copley: I just enjoy playing! I’ll play anywhere.
MRM: What can fans expect when JD & The Straight Shot (with Matt Costa and Matt Hartke) come to Charlotte at the Neighborhood Theatre on June 2 (Tickets) on the nationwide SiriusXM’s Coffee House tour?
Copley: A killer show. Three different artists but the common ground of it all being about the songs.