Ten Shots with CW Ayon-One Man Band

By Georgetown Fats
October 2012

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" - Charles Caleb Colton

Whether it is from legions of PR Agents looking to sell their clients, musicians looking to sell their material, or blues patrons desperate for acknowledgement, blues as a genre and a medium is loaded with imitators. Unfortunately this rush to find the next guitar, harmonica or vocal progeny and link them to a historical musical great overlooks a lot of great and talented artists more interested in playing in their own style rather than attempting to be someone else.

CW Ayon sings and plays like CW Ayon, which is to say CW Ayon’s music is extremely refreshing. In a musical world full of soccer moms trying to emulate the songs from people they could never relate to, or weekend warrior dads doing their best to stave off adulthood by spending time in their garage bands, Ayon keeps it real bringing refreshing originality into the blues.

In support of Lohmador, Ayon’s fourth full length release and first on the Solitary Records independent label, an opportunity to receive a pre-release copy of Lohmador and interview “Coop” presented itself. After repeated spins of Lohmador, if you have not had a chance to hear CW Ayon’s music before there is a damn fine chance you will.

Georgetown Fats - What came first? Where you a drummer, a guitar player, a harp player or a vocalist?

CW Ayon-One Man Band - Well the first instrument that I tried to learn was drums, and when I say learn I mean use whatever I could find around the house that would make noise or help me get used to a drum setup. It seems like I've always been singing, ever since I was a little kid. When I met my wife Carol in 1997, she had a guitar and she taught me a few chords and I just seemed to take it from there. I just recently started playing the harp about a year ago.

Georgetown Fats - What is the hardest part of being a one man band, when your rhythm section gets into a fight with the guitar player?

CW Ayon-One Man Band - *Laughter* Yeah sometimes my guitar player can be a real prick. I really never thought about any particular part of it being difficult, I guess I would say that trying to keep beats and rhythms from sounding too similar.

Georgetown Fats - Given your influences are obviously some of the heavyweights of the North Mississippi Hill Country like the Kimbrough and Burnside families, does it seem odd to be compared to the Black Keys and the White Stripes?

CW Ayon-One Man Band - I used to think so, but nowadays a lot of people know who the the Keys and the Stripes are way more than Kimbrough and Burnside, and I really enjoy being able to introduce people to their style of blues. Then they can trace the lineage to the newer guys themselves.

Georgetown Fats - As a one-man band, how do you prevent that ‘aw-bleep’ moment when your brain turns on attempting to prevent your five or six-way independence needed in order to prevent the song from chugging along?

CW Ayon - I do as little thinking as possible *laughter*. If I start to get too caught up in what I'm gonna do then I start getting nervous and the doubt kicks in. When I just get up there and do my thing it just goes a whole lot smoother. No set list is perfect for that; it forces me to get creative on the spot.

Georgetown Fats - Are you in Spanish G, open D or a secret turning in the majority of your tunes?

CW Ayon - I use open E, standard and open G alot. Open G is by far my favorite of them all.

Georgetown Fats - Lohmador marks your fourth full-length release and your first on Solitary Records. How has the transition gone from DIY Artist to being signed to an Indie Label?

CW Ayon - Well the transition is still ongoing, it does still feel kinda weird to have to keep someone else updated on everything. But so far it has gone really great. Josh over at Solitary is an awesome guy and I know it's just gonna get better.

Georgetown Fats - Are there any plans to tour regionally or nationally in support of Lohmador? CW Ayon - Yes there are, I'm itching to get out on the road before the end of this year. It's all still in the early planning stages though.

Georgetown Fats - The BBS’ own Elliott Morehardt has paid you quite a compliment with his statement with; “Ayon’s vocals are also a departure from the typical whiskey- and smoke-soaked sound we are so used to. Ayon’s youthful vocals are clear and skilled, yet there’s no lack of feeling or soul. This musician understands deep blues with a real passion, all-too-often lacking in the blues scene we’ve been witness to for decades.” Has your unique vocal sound opened more doors for you, or created more confusion considering how there tends to be a very narrow opinion of “what is blues”?

CW Ayon - Ya know, when I first started out I had a bit of criticism about it, but I just ignored those guys and I don't hear anything about my voice these days. I'm fairly confident in my voice and I know what I can and can't do, so I just take it from there and try to have fun.

Georgetown Fats - On Aint No Use in Movin’ the cover art calls into question a Cialis commercial audition. Is there anything you’d like to admit?

CW Ayon - *laughter* That's funny cause I don't watch TV and I have no idea what you're talking about.

Georgetown Fats – No TV?? *cricket sounds*

Georgetown Fats - If I were to crack into your car CD player, what disk would I find that would surprise the hell out of me?

CW Ayon - Hmmm, I don't know I've got all kinds of stuff from Native American Powwow music to Ray Stevens and the Nacho Libre Soundtrack.

Georgetown Fats - Are there any tales from the road you care to share? Names can be changed to protect the guilty, but I am either looking for something that makes the lay-fan understand that playing music professionally is actual “work,” or a humorous road tale? In a pinch, ratting out a roadie or “Chah-lie” (CR Humphrey of Old Gray Mule) would be perfectly acceptable.

CW Ayon - When Charley and I were touring up to Cleveland last year we finally stopped driving and got a hotel room (with 2 beds, there was no big spoon little spoon stuff going on), then we just laid there for hours making fart noises and laughing our heads off like a couple of kids, we were delirious from driving all day. Mostly the driving and loading and unloading of equipment is what takes up most of the time.

Georgetown Fats - Say no more..... *laughter*

Georgetown Fats - The “Deep Blues” community is a remarkably tight group both supporting and pushing each other collectively to greater heights musically and professionally. Can you give me an idea of just how helpful it is to have a national network of support of patrons and colleagues available to you before you even leave Las Cruces?

CW Ayon - Yeah man all those guys are great. They don't really get down to the Southwest too often but when they do me or my friend Gabe try to help them out as much as possible. I've had a few chats with some of them recently to help me book some dates for a tour. Without their experience I wouldn't even know where to begin.

Georgetown Fats - I will admit, it absolutely is a recycled question, but it always manages to get great responses. What do you plan on putting in your contract rider once you’ve ‘made it’?

CW Ayon - What's a contract rider?

Nothing really, I'm pretty self-contained; maybe for the sound guy to just make me sound bigger than I am.

For additional information on CW Ayon or to order any of his four full length disks please check out:

www.reverbnation.com/cwayon

www.facebook.com/cwayon

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