May 162018

How did the blues, or a particular musician or song, inspire the work you will present at Waterline?

My contribution was inspired by Blind Willie Johnson, whose recording career spanned only 1927-1929. His songs are very haunting, timeless; he sang them as if they possessed him and needed to be exorcised. And while the hands we were dealt in this world couldn’t be much different, I still feel a thin, common thread when it comes to melodies and vibe, and staying true to yourself in the creative process. He made “blues” music during a time when no one was doing so for money or fame, only because the songs moved him and he wanted to affect his listeners. I think that’s an important lesson, and one which I hold close.


Dave is a singer/songwriter, music teacher and producer from St. Charles, releasing 4 CDs and 3 more with his Swillbilly band Dick Smith. He’s performed around the Midwest and points beyond for years, with his songs receiving airplay on public and college radio worldwide.

He occasionally writes for his blog, BLathering On Gratuitously, and since 2016 has been writing for a trade publication, having over 70 articles published.

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