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Q&A with Bob Stirner, BORIS GARCIA guitarist/bassist/vocalist  
Posted: 14 years ago by KindWeb Ed
Q&A with Bob Stirner, BORIS GARCIA guitarist/bassist/vocalist
2,365 Viewed  - 0 Dug it

After reviewing Boris Garcia's third release, Once More Into the Bliss, we thought it would be great to talk to Bob Stirner and find out a little more about the band:


KW - We understand that fellow band member Gene Smith brought you into the recording sessions that ultimately led to the formation of BORIS GARCIA. How did the two of you meet?


BS - Gene and I have known each other pushing twenty-five years, [and] had played together informally a few times.  We both belonged to the “club of mutual admiration.”


KW - After twenty years of performing Grateful Dead cover tunes in Living Earth, you took on a dominant songwriting role in BORIS GARCIA. Was the transition a smooth one?


BS - While Living Earth was known for its “Dead thing,” there was also a great body of original songwriting output, in particular, between the years 1989 and 1996.  So, songwriting per se was the norm.  Treating the arrangements à la Boris was different, but also way more validating for me.


KW - What inspired you to write "Ballad of Captain Jack," the epic centerpiece of Once More Into the Bliss?


BS - My musical influences are pretty wide and varied.  I have always listened to Celtic music and music of the British Isles, to a great extent.  Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span were, and still are, my “favs.”  In a sense, “Captain Jack” was conceived as an “owed to” [composition].  I have always had a soft spot for Sea Shanties and the combined power and haunting ethereal of that genre.  More notably, it should be pointed out [that] the song is very political and topical, in that the pirates are not after gold, but “green,” and we ain’t talkin’ lettuce or dollars here.  I have real ethical problems with current marijuana laws around the land.


KW - "Other Side" is, arguably, one of the most melodic and atmospheric numbers in the BORIS GARCIA canon. Can you give us some insight into the meaning behind the song?


BS - “Other Side’ speaks of my belief that we will all “meet on the ledge” someday, and proves comforting on many levels.  Buddy Cage insists that the song speaks of Jerry Garcia and his passing.  Given the absolutely haunting masterpiece body of pedal steel that he contributed to the song, I will not argue the point.  LOL


KW - Tell us about working with Railroad Earth’s Tim Carbone during the recording of Once More Into the Bliss. What prompted the band to tap him for the role of producer?


BS - Tim is a jewel, an unbelievably talented musician who is equally talented as a producer. His poise, Zen, friendship, good vibes, and ears are what glued this project together and forced us to look outside of the box.  His presence and skills sent us, once again, down a new path…“Once More into the Bliss.”  We are humbled and down-right tickled to have had the opportunity to share the “Bliss experience” with him and [we] look forward to [working with him in] the future, as well.  Our good friend David Gans had worked with Tim on many an occasion and David, being the Boris fan that he is, encouraged Tim to check us out at a Mexicali Blues gig.  All else just kinda fell in.


KW - Over the years, BORIS GARCIA has opened for headliners like Railroad Earth, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Hot Tuna, and Little Feat, among others. Do you recollect a personal favorite stage experience?


BW - Given all of the amazing opportunities that Boris Garcia has been afforded as of late, I would find it difficult to earmark a favorite, …or perhaps….all of the above!!!


KW - What bands or recording artists are currently on Bob Stirner’s playlist?


BS - Well, let’s see …. Railroad Earth’s Amen Corner, Townes Van Zandt’s Delta Momma Blues, Sonny Sharrock’s Ask The Ages, Ian Matthews’ Matthews Southern Comfort, The Grateful Dead at Harpur College [Dick’s Picks vol. 8: Harpur College, Binghamton, NY, 5/2/70] with the QUINTESSENTIAL “Viola Lee Blues,”  [and] lot’s of jazz, to name a few.