On the Road

Country-rock musician F.C. Westcott, a native of Colorado, has a need to play music that steams from his youth. His musical inspirations seem to be “drawn from the old time country and traditional music that his father and aunts would play at family get-togethers,” according to his website. And as a youngster Westcott played around with the saxophone and the piano, but for Westcott, it was his need to pursue a musical career while listening to the music of Steve Earle that lead him to “want to write songs…[Earle’s] album Guitar Town, helped me find my calling as a songwriter.”

MMFFCWestcotas a youngster
More recently, Westcott has been in Austin, Texas, and has put a band together, and has completed two opening shows, one in Grand Junction, Colorado, and the other in in Austin, Texas, to support his debut release titled Unfeigned. In this interview Westcott talks about his music and his hopes.

G.M. Burns: How did you come to be interested and involved in Americana music?
F.C. Westcott: I was listening to artists that are now considered “Americana” before the genre was really coined. Although the music that falls within it’s loose boundaries has been around for decades, “Americana” is a relatively new classification. I would say that I first dove into that kind of music around 1994. I was out of college, in the working world and not inspired by the music on the radio. I discovered Steve Earle, Guy Clark and Townes Van Zandt and it spread from there as I dove deeper.

G.M. Burns: Can you describe what Americana music means to you?
F.C. Westcott: It really is just music that doesn’t comply with contemporary boundaries. It tends to contain artists that keep a tighter grip on the roots. Authenticity is a foundation and it takes us back to time when blues, country and folk music were sometimes indistinguishable. Yet, it sometimes has rock and roll influence. It really is a broad category. Ask 100 people and you will get 100 different interpretations.

Do you feel it has changed in the last twenty years? (In what way?)
Yes, during that time frame, it has become and actual genre. So, it has grown tremendously and has given an identity and audience to artists that were once considered obscure. It has grown so much that the large corporate industry is starting to pay attention and develop artists that have Americana credibility. This goes against everything that “Americana” stands for but the machine has no conscience.

MMFFCWestcott the musician
What kinds of music are you listening to these days?
I bounce around a lot. I like Jason Isbell, and John Fulbright is amazing. Paul Cauthen is a Texas artist that I am digging! I am actually exploring the blues a bit and have rediscovered JJ Cale.

What future music projects are in store for you the coming year?
Over the next year, I intend to tour and perform as much as possible, continue writing and collaborate with other prolific writers.

How do you feel that music, in general, helps to promote healing in people’s lives, and has it done that in your own life?
Music is a universal language. For me, diving to the heart of a matter and forcing myself to deal with issues that are difficult to talk about, is therapy. I do not wear my heart on my sleeve in life but I do in my songs. When I do so, I find that others relate. I find that happy songs are uplifting and painful songs are healing. So no matter what, music improves the human condition.

Would you like to add anything else to what you have already said?
I am FC Westcott. Come and see me!

by G.M. Burns