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The Turner Diaries

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Paying bills, playing blues

There may be no more contradictory an artist on the blues scene today than Eddie Turner; the guitar wizard loves classic blues but sees it as yesterday's art; he wants recognition for his creations, but publicly derides criticism as irrelevant.

  He's a college grad and a realtor but also is fond of "living life on the edge." And the former sideman to the relatively sedate Otis Taylor says he doesn't mean in a stereotypical "hey, let's get hammered and smash up the Chateau Marmont" kind of way.

  When he's not selling homes in Denver, Turner is ripping it up on the festival circuit, spending as much time as possible in Europe, where he's something of a sensation. His second disc on Northern Blues, The Turner Diaries, came out a few months back to critical acclaim, a stew of psychedelic rock, latino rhythms, Stax soul and traditional electric blues.

HARDLINEBLUES: So how do you explain your approach to the blues? Because it's certainly not the most immediately accessible, simple style.

EDDIE TURNER: There are certainly a lot of people out there and players who like to play it the old way, and that fine. But there are probably always going to be a lot more people trying to take it somewhere new, where it's personal to them.

It's so easy to become a cover of some act, and I think you need to put your own spin on it, your own experiences, so you're not just  a cover of what went before. You're taking it forward because you have to.

HB: Is your career as a realtor behind you now that recognition for your music is growing?

ET: I still sell real estate because the money in what I really want to do really isn't there. I still have a regular job, absolutely.

HB: But you haven't tried to become more commercial, take a more modern rock approach? You’ve certainly got the chops.

ET: Well you know, if people were used to my kind of music maybe I'd be making a lot of money. But I'm not; I'm doing what I really what I want to do, what I think should be done with the music and I think other artists should do that too, you know what I mean?

I think that if you're of that age and type where you had been doing your typical standard blues -- a lot of guys who are still playing, when they started playing that was new. It's really great, and its important for those guys to keep doing it.

But the other guys who come along and jump on the blues bandwagon, they say they're emulating, but I think they're copying. And therein lies the difference. You can copy The Beatles too, you know? But it's still their music.

HB: But if that's what they enjoy....

ET: Hey, I took the leap of faith and some people don't, you know? I can

From Hardline Blues


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