"I believe that we are getting back to simplicity of music, that’s what I miss most. Pop Music today is homogenized crap force fed to us by big radio stations backed by big corporate money. Music of the past was at least real and not processed garbage from talentless puppets. My hopes are that musicians get fair pay for their streaming royalties and big companies stop making more money than the artists."
Scott Weis: Raise Your (Blues) Hands
Growing up in North Jersey, Scott Weis set his sights on learning from the best. He became a gopher at the legendary House of Music doing odd jobs and guitar parts for major recording artists to earn studio time with Charlie Conrad. Scott Worked his way through various local bands as a guitarist before long singing with Premier Talent Agency NYC as a touring guitarist for many blues and rock artists. By the late 90’s Scott. took a break from touring. In 2005 created Scott Weis Band. Scott says: ”I just wanted to make a record to describe who I was, music is a spiritual thing for me.” Scott highlight was Blues Hall of Fame inductee in 2012. In 2011, Scott released "Almost There". He watched the album climb the charts as he lay in bed suffering from a broken neck not knowing if he would recover. Scott returned to the stage in early 2012 after getting a call to open shows for Dickie Betts. Scott realized then, that he should not give up.
(Blues Rock Soul guitarist and singer, Scott Weis / Photo © by Peter Schepers)
Over the years Scott has shared the stage with Joe Cocker, Etta James, Dickie Betts, Greg Allman, Tinsley Ellis, John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Buddy Guy, Dr John, Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, Blackfoot, Marshall Tucker, 38 Special, The Outlaws, Robin Trower, Mighty Sam McClain, The Meters and many more. Scott has released various full length CD’s and more on the way without the help of any label. Scott Weis Band has over the years have had lineup changes, the original lineup known as Scott Weis Band, they reunited to record "Simmer Me Down" and continues to tour delivering their own style of rocking blues. Todd Lanka and Andy Pace played as the Scott Weis Band and now are known as Scott Weis & Soul Krewe and have morphed into a New Orleans based blues and funk style with the essence of Americana. Scott's eighth album has released in 2023 and titled “Raise Your Hands”, contains eleven original songs and two covers.
How has the Rock n’ Roll Counterculture influenced your views of the world and the journeys you’ve taken?
I was raised with family members who were at Woodstock and of that era those who hitchhiked across the USA to get away or family members who were farmers having American Indian pow wow’s on their farm. One of my uncles would take me to a house where all these musicians would go play, it turns out it was the pink house where the Band would rehearse.
Later in life I ran into Levin Helm, and he said oh yea you were Skippys kid the one that would stum guitar on the front porch. As the band jammed inside. I went to grade school in the first open school no walls some of the teachers were Hippies. So for me I was steeped in the counterculture.
How do you describe your sound, music philosophy and songbook? Where does your creative drive come from?
I believe that I am a culmination of all of my influences, and live in the moment musically speaking. My philosophy is closest to the blues because I tell stories of my experiences or impressions of life and believe that music is organic and must come from the heart. A spontaneous reaction that happens to create harmony. Where my drive comes from, I believe that it’s a something you are born with luckily I was raised by a family that encouraged letting me be me.
"I believe that all things root back to a form of gospel, songs of faith trial and tribulation handed down from generation to generation expressed through different eyes and traditions. That’s what has made this huge gumbo pot we call American Music." (Blues Hall of Famer Scott Weis / Photo © by Guido Jünger)
What moment changed your music life the most? What´s been the highlights in your life and career so far?
I would say that each of life’s challenges and tribulations have made me stronger step by step. Having faith in myself first and faith in others allowed me to transcend life’s hardships. The highlight of my career is every time I play, humbly taking a stage and hearing a crowd cheer is my highlight.
What do you miss most nowadays from the music of the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of?
I believe that we are getting back to simplicity of music, that’s what I miss most. Pop Music today is homogenized crap force fed to us by big radio stations backed by big corporate money. Music of the past was at least real and not processed garbage from talentless puppets. My hopes are that musicians get fair pay for their streaming royalties and big companies stop making more money than the artists.
If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
I wish auto tune was never invented lol, I’d say musicians that tour and have albums out get fair wages and medical benefits to help them survive and live a normal lifestyle. Most people listen to music so musicians that live that life should not have to struggle.
What are the lines that connect the legacy of Roots Music from the Blues and Southern Rock to Americana to beyond?
I believe that all things root back to a form of gospel, songs of faith trial and tribulation handed down from generation to generation expressed through different eyes and traditions. That’s what has made this huge gumbo pot we call American Music.
What is the impact of Blues Rock music on the socio-cultural implications? How do you want the music to affect people? (Scott Weis / Photo © by Leah Marie Kirk)
Blues Rock through my eyes ... Is a generational thing as all music has progressed through the years so has blues rock. Our influences are different these days than our peers, we have the influences of southern rock and 80’s rock as well as all the basic and traditional blues and jazz it’s a natural progression that is unfolding now with peers my age. I’d like my music to form a bridge in the listeners mind to something that inspires them in the future or just let them be able to forget about life for a while.
"My philosophy is closest to the blues because I tell stories of my experiences or impressions of life and believe that music is organic and must come from the heart. A spontaneous reaction that happens to create harmony."
What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from your experience in the music paths?
Stay close to your heart and don’t bend to corporate temptation, be true to yourself experience life and live to tell about it. Faith in yourself and telling life’s lessons will inspire others to hopefully transcend the static of the world we live in today and be able to overcome.
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