MEET…Graham Nancarrow

MEET Nashville recording artist (by way of Southern California) Graham Nancarrow. Graham has a new band out called Graham Nancarrow and the Goddamn Saints. Two songs are available now for purchase or stream and another one to be released on June 5th titled “Stay High”.

I believe the two songs available now showcase the diversity of the band’s sound, “You’re the Reason I Drink” is upbeat and is grounded in the Bakersfield sound, while “Don’t Buy Her a Drink” has a more serious tone. Both are great choices to release to let audiences know what the band is about and capable of!

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?
BLT with avocado!

The Beatles or Elvis? Why?
That’s a great question. As a kid, The Beatles & Elvis were the first two albums I got. I’d have to go with the All-American, on this one. The King of Rock’n’Roll, Elvis Presley!

Lyrics to live by?
“So often times it happens that we live our life in chains, and we never even know we have the key” – Jack Tempchin

“Desert Island” album?
I LOVE THIS QUESTION! I won’t cheat and choose a “Greatest Hits” record.
“ON A DARK DESERT ISLAND, COOL WIND IN MY HAIR” Tie between The Eagles “Hotel California” cuz who doesn’t like THE EAGLES?! Sublime “40 0z. To Freedom” because it’s got like 22 songs, you can dance a bit to it, it’s fairly versatile, it’s got the punk so I can let off steam when I’m stranded and frustrated, it’s got the reggae to chill, it’s also got them coastal laid back vibes that go well with a island life.

What country music artists do you listen to the most?
Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Steve Earle, Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson

How would you describe your “sound”?
Roots, Rock, Honky-Tonk

Where do you see your musical career in 5 years?
In 5 years I see my music career being very successful and fun. God willing, there’ll be heaps more good times with friends onstage, playing music, recording and writing doin’ what we do! That’s what life is all about for me, music, travel, new experiences, different cultures, and LOVE. Lots of flights and road trips and honky tonk bars. I’m on a mission to keep this thing goin’, despite the odds. I’ve got to smile, it’s imperative for me. I’ve already had so much fun in my music career. I look forward to every new day. Every day is a gift. That’s why they call it the present.

Are there any instruments you don’t play but wish you did? Why?
I don’t play pedal steel and I don’t play fiddle. I don’t wish I played pedal steel because it seems so difficult. I do however, kinda wish that I played the fiddle come to think of it! I think it’s a rad instrument to play as a frontman, even just being able to break it out for a few songs during a gig. A good crowd digs that kinda stuff. The Hag used to do that. The word “fun” comes to mind again.

What was the best advice you have received?

  • Trust the process.
  • Help others.
  • “Always have a backup guitar.” Tim Flannery

What advice would you give to yourself at the start of your musical career?
I’d say, take a look at the big picture, the long game. Try and enjoy every moment because music is supposed to be fun and life goes by quick! I’d advise to not take things in life too seriously because most things pass and what seems like a big deal in the moment turns out to be just a blip on the radar, as my friend Leron used to say. Don’t worry about success to the point of frustration. It’s not an easy game, take it in stride and take it easy on yourself. Be the best you can be and smile more. A simple smile can be incredibly infectious.

Where does most of your inspiration come from?
Real life experiences. My dog and my Gibson Hummingbird. I love words and history. People and different cultures inspire me. I’ve been fortunate enough to do quite a bit of traveling in my lifetime. That I’m really inspired by nature, physical exercise gets my blood going and gets my blood going. My heart and mind follow. I always get inspired watching a favorite band live, or just having music ON can inspire me to get something done or workout, write a song, whatever it is. Inspiration for me, can come from just about anything. A little passing thought or a even just a smell can take me to a completely different place and inspire me. Other artists inspire me all the time too. Nashville inspires me because I’m surrounded by so many artists that are constantly creating. That’s enough to get me off my ass and work hard right there. It ain’t going to just come to me. I believe in hard work. If I want it, I gotta work for it. I’m grateful to be able to do what I do. It’s a thrill and there has yet to be a dull moment.

What do you consider to be your biggest achievement in your career so far?
The biggest achievement in my career so far, has also been the most challenging one, but it is one that has made me grow. I moved to Nashville a few years ago to make a living playing and writing music, full-time. I was terrified of co-writing and doing the Nashville thing. Conquering that fear has brought me so much growth and joy. Sure, it was hard to leave my hometown. Encinitas, California one of the best places to live on Earth. I didn’t realize how good I had it out there until I left town, of course. During my move to Nashville I broke 4 vertabra in my lower back mountain biking in Telluride, Colorado and that slowed things down for me A LOT. A month after my accident I started singing again 5 nights a week down at Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville.  I slipped into a bit of a minor depression and felt pretty hopeless for awhile about overcoming the physical pain of my injury. I feared my career could possibly be over and I’d be in pain forever. I overcame that!

Another big achievement for me has been releasing this new music that we just recorded at Sputnik Sound with my friend Mike Fahey. Until recently, I hadn’t released anything since I moved to town. Sharing these releases has been very rewarding for me. I feel like I am officially out of that little lull I was in. So grateful for this life. I’ve got a lot to be happy about.

What’s on the horizon for you that you would like to share?
Lots of new music is on the horizon right now. I started a band called Graham Nancarrow and The Goddamn Saints with my friend John Bohlinger. What a dude! Super talented, incredibly fun to be around, and just a genuine human being that I’m proud to call a dear friend. We’ve been having a blast with this project. Our latest singles, “You’re The Reason I Drink” and “Don’t Buy Her A Drink” are out now on all platforms. The next one, “Stay High” drops on June 5th and is available for Preview & Pre-Order on iTunes.


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