Cowboy comedy and Bakersfield country
**Morgan:** welcome to Zeitgeist Radio. I'm your host, Morgan Roe, founder of the Zeitgeist Academy. Zeitgeist means spirit of the times, and it is the collection of cultural forces that all contribute to what it feels like to be alive and part of a dynamic culture. Every episode I speak with someone from a unique musical subculture.
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My guest today is Andy Watson, a comedian, podcaster, and country music performer in Central Coast, California. There are a lot of local towns discussed in this episode, might be worth getting out a map and following along in the San Luis Obispo area of California. Andy, welcome to Zeitgeist Radio. Hi, Morgan.
Hi, I'm excited to have you on. This is going to be a lot of fun. So for folks out there, why don't you tell us a little bit who you are and what you do musically?
**Andy:** I I have a lot of influences. I was, I was, I went to college and got involved with college radio. That was in the eighties. It was punk rock and alternative psychedelic and, and then you know, just always loved music really have a passion for funk and I had a funk band for 10 years and then I saw the Ken Burns.
country music documentary and I said, I need to play country guitar. So now I currently have a guitar duo with my partner, Jeff, and we've been having a lot of fun.
**Morgan:** That's awesome. I did not know that about your, your past from punk to country. That is a very different genre shift. Well, what
**Andy:** I realized is that I went to school up in the Davis area in near Sacramento.
And, and there was a lot of psychedelic it was, and I realized it was psychedelic country. They called it cow punk. And and so as I thought about it, I realized all the music that I really loved had a real country
**Morgan:** influence. You liked it cause of the country part. Interesting. I didn't know that.
**Andy:** Cow Punk. The there's a band that still performs the Mother Hips and they sing harmony and it's kind of a rock and roll, you know, Gibson guitar band. There was this band, Thin White Rope, that you know, was big. There was a lot of alternative music going on. A lot different than now.
You know, there's not as many bands. We had the meat puppets were driving in a van and playing in a living room and and so there was, and the, the radio station really hosted these bands and supported them. There's a band Camper Van Beethoven and which had a violin. And then they were, they went on to be Cracker, which was kind of a rock and roll.
They, Cracker played at the Live Oak music festival this year. Nice. These old bands that no one knows anymore. You were
**Morgan:** involved, did I hear recently that you were, you were actually involved with the Live Oak Music Festival?
**Andy:** I have gone every year. Yeah. And it's changed a lot. I, I lament about it was at the Live Oak Camp and there was a lot of jamming.
A lot of bluegrass. Sure. And mandolins and then people would jam all night and they'd set up elaborate camps and couches and but, As things got warmer and the fires happened, they moved it up to up to El Chorro and you know, the vibe is different. There's not as many, there's not as much jamming and they've kind of moved into a like international.
It's more like other festivals. They moved away from bluegrass. A lot of the old guys in town, they're like, Oh, I don't like it. But I, I just, I love music festivals. I go I go to a lot of them.
**Morgan:** There's a lot of, let's, let's. Start with country, because I, and I'm, this is such a good segue into something that I was wanting to ask you about.
There's a lot of different styles, like when you say country, that's become a pretty broad term with people feeling pretty strongly, especially old versus new country, you know, and the twang and the, you know, the new flashy country and the old. So what's your take on all of that as a whole, what the genre is or isn't or?
Or maybe it's all of it. And what do you like to play in
**Andy:** it? I'm very fascinated with the Bakersfield sound. And, and so my guitar duo does a lot of Buck Owens. He was a fabulous songwriter in the 60s. Recorded on Capitol. And it was Harmony. He sang Harmony. And Dwight Yoakam or Haggard are all from the, from the Central Valley.
And so, You know, I joke about how you know, the Okies came, came from Oklahoma to, to, they fled environmental destruction. And now we find them on the central coast and they're on their SUVs and wreaking havoc here at the fancy Paso Robles wineries. But now When I was in school, like no one listened to like corporate music.
It was all very independent and, and country. Now, when I hear it, it sounds like. It sounds like pop, it sounds like metal, they always have these big choruses, and it's gone in more of a pop direction, which, which I don't like. That's not the music I listen to. I listen to the, the pedal steel and more of that old type of country.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah. So tell Nandi.
**Andy:** Cowboy Jeff Jeff and Andy I've known Jeff for a long time. We actually played at a band 20 years ago. I knew him in the, in the late eighties. He's a fabulous musician. He great guitar player, and he also plays pedal steel. And so. You know, I was playing drums. I was playing the bass and and I, I had done guitar, but he was the one that kind of helped me.
He's a great teacher. He's a nurse in Aurora Grande. And he really brought me up to speed. And this was kind of a COVID project where, but I love singing and I love singing harmony. Nice. So Thank you. Yeah, we we have a lot of fun. Nice.
**Morgan:** So I think some listeners here may not have a background in country.
Can you explain what pedal steel
**Andy:** is? Pedal steel is guitar that you is on your lap and you play a slide and it's, it's kind of that, it's, it's, it comes out of, I, I think early pedal steel came out of the Hawaiian slack. Key guitar players. And so it has that kind of blue slide quality that you hear a lot on early country records.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah. I encourage people to go take a listen. It sounds really cool and it's really interesting to watch people play it. My brother in law picked this up recently. And yeah, it's, it's really, it's, have you ever tried to play it? Is it anything like playing a guitar?
**Andy:** No, I have played slide like in a blue style, but Jeff.
Who was up here in Templeton took that on and really and really and really took to it.
**Morgan:** Yeah And that is a very distinct country sound.
**Andy:** Yes, it is and Bakersfield Country, they said in Nashville You heard the country in church and in Bakersfield. He heard it in the bars And I'm so fascinated with A time in the sixties in, in the Central Valley where where there was just a lot of support of live music.
There was the oil workers, there was the Mexicans, the Filipinos and the Okies. And they were, you know, it's, that's where art comes from. It comes from that, that, that mix of cultures. Yeah. And Buck Owens, by the way he had a, he had a a partner that he's saying, and they saying, like, I mean, they were like the Everly brothers.
I mean, they had such tight harmonies and, and his his guitar partner was named Dangerous Dan, who unfortunately he died in a motorcycle accident on highway one in Morro Bay. So there's a little bit of there's a little bit of country history out here in Morro Bay. Yeah.
**Morgan:** Yeah. That's that is a little local, local lore of a sense.
Have you heard that? I've heard that
**Andy:** story. I think someone else someone else now I'm going to Johnny Carson's son died in Cayucos. So there's a little bit more history. I love history and, and also I have a podcast that focuses on local.
**Morgan:** Yes, you do. And I listened to it very recently, just yesterday on my drive up to San Francisco.
So tell me about your podcast a little
**Andy:** bit. I have been I've been active in Santa Maria. I'm a school teacher. And I teach in a primarily Latino population and, and I've been involved in local politics, local elections, and, and I'm, I'm involved with a non profit. It's called Corazon del Pueblo, and they promote arts in the valley.
And it's, it's a community that is bigger than Santa Barbara, but really is really lacking a lot. And, and I've been advocating in the schools forever. To do more arts and it's been just like pulling teeth and now cowboy Jeff and Andy was just a chance to shine a light on local, I mean, our newspaper is just barely covering local issues.
It's, it's a national company. And I just think that podcasting can really fill a void. And I, I, my podcast focuses on Giving people a voice. I I've done podcasts on immigration. I, I did a podcast on farm day. Yeah. I just listened to that. I did a lot of the rodeo. And and I try to mix in a little comedy to keep it fun.
**Morgan:** Yes. Yeah, so let's kind of touch on all of these all these things that you do and then we'll dig deeper into them in a little bit here. So you do comedy as well, and that's how I know you. So, explain how you got into that and what types of comedy you
**Andy:** do. I, just wanted to get out of the house after COVID and I think, boy, the comedy scene is exploding.
And and I discovered the Central Coast Comedy Theater and, and you work over there as well, Sabrina Pratt. And I started taking improv. And then I thought I would give comedy a try. I, I joked that I didn't think I could do comedy because my mother loved me. And but now I think in middle age, I built up enough anger.
It's always a little anger underpinning
**Morgan:** comedy. It's actually really funny that I am involved in this. I think that the improv is a good mix. And we actually had Jill Gibson on as a previous guest here to talk about the musical improv. But yeah, I, I can be a little picky about comedy cause yeah, it seems like it's, there's, there's themes that everyone uses that I'm just like
**Andy:** I've heard that from other other women, especially like the, can you tell me more about that?
**Morgan:** Yeah, I'm just, so, so, for example, like, most local comedy the themes are about being overweight, being single being ugly, and... Being socially awkward.
**Andy:** And then there's the sex stuff as well.
**Morgan:** And then there's sex stuff too. And, at least with the sex stuff, they're like having a good time.
You know, and it's otherwise, it's just depressing, like it seems like those, oh, and smoke and pot. Those themes. have, have made up, I think 95 percent of the local comedy that I've heard. And I'm just not, I'm just like, there's so much else to life. So the ones I really like I just went to see Brian Regan.
He's pretty, I mean, he has a whole skit on how to make a peanut butter sandwich. That's funny and it's clean and yeah, the clean, the clean, I can, I can. you know, take or not. But yeah, he's, I, I, I had a good time at his show. And I don't know. I tend to like stuff that's like, I heard one guy in Portland give a great skit about going to a zoo, you know, and just taking these, these things that we do in everyday life and not just constantly all this self deprecation stuff.
I'm kind of not, Not a big fan of that. So anyway, that's a little little tirade of my own,
**Andy:** but I try to stay clean. Yeah, I try to do topical, like I love Bill Maher. Oh yeah. And so I like to do the topical humor. I joke writing is difficult, but that's kind of what I aspire. I'm going tonight to the poor house.
They have a fabulous show up there every Wednesday night. And they're bringing in Oh, they're bringing in people from the Bay Area and the, and Bakersfield. And so the shows are fabulous. Nice. There's a lot of people up here that support comedy.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah. Well, the musical theater or the musical improv.
part has been really fun. And then that's how you and I got connected too. So so you talked about the, the comedy and the and the standup a little bit. Talk to me about the musical improv because we have we have done a little bit. What, what made you join that
**Andy:** part of the group? Well, I love singing and and we were talking earlier that I had, I did choir in Santa Barbara at Santa Barbara high school with Phyllis Zimmerman and she was a tough lesbian with a limp smoked.
And drank and was really tough. And, but we really got a lot out of it. But I was, I was raised in the church. My father was a preacher and so I, I sang and then when I got to Santa Barbara high school, that was really the best program. We sang acapella and, and I went to Europe and so, and I come from a a theater family.
We used to, I went to high school in Santa Barbara. We would come to Santa Maria for the theater. And so when we, when musical improv came up, I said, Oh, that was a natural fit. Nice.
**Morgan:** So let's go back to your podcast. So what's the purpose of, so I, let's clarify your, your duo is called Cowboy Jeff and Andy and your podcast is also called Cowboy Jeff and Andy.
**Andy:** So, yes. And the other, the other thing is that I'm a teacher and I, I don't, I really didn't learn. Schools didn't teach me a lot of creativity and, and as I look at the next chapter, I said, I really wanted to develop myself as an artist and and what artists need to do these days is connect with people, social media, and so the podcast was a way to, to market the guitar project and also just to It's, it's fun to connect with people and I know you've had a lot of fun with it.
Oh, it's super fun. And I had a lot of fun. There's a lot of Santa Maria is just really a throwback and I, I think probably a Tascadero has a lot of those elements. And for example, we have the Elks Club. We have the largest Elks Club west of the Mississippi. Wow. And they have cook your own meat night, which is a hoot and I cover the rodeo.
And I remember when I first moved to Santa Maria. It was in the late nineties. They had the rodeo queen contest and they would, you know, the elk would interview these young women and, and they would giggle and give their, you know, it was like a beauty queen contest. And then and they had a beard growing contest, the beard arena.
So I entered the beard I entered the beard growing contest and this year and After I shaved off the beard in front of the school at the talent show.
**Morgan:** Oh, I bet they loved that.
**Andy:** Yeah. And we we developed I do characters and I, I have a cowboy Jeff and Andy character. I was going to ask about that.
Yeah. And, and I had this rival. His name was El Chapo de Sinaloa and, and he was might've been a little bit more macho than me. And he came that night and. But he was wearing a handkerchief over his, over his face, and turns out he came down with a case of alopecia. Oh no, what's that? And I was giving him a little, I said, Hey, hey, where's your, weren't you on Fast and the Furious? He didn't like that comment at all and then his wife came walking toward me and she had her slapping hand ready to go and, and this, the emcee intervened with his wide girth. So and, and Jeff had the line, which I really liked. He said, you don't want to get slapped by a girl at a beard growing contest.
So I need to develop the comedy more. It It takes but that's my dream is to do like a old, like Bo Coen's had a show. He had his own TV studio and he was a really early pioneer where. He would produce a show and there were regional country shows. Dolly Parton was on the Porter Wagner show. There was a big show in New Orleans.
And and so these guys produce their own shows, put them out. And also Buck Owens was. He was driving down to LA a lot and he had the early Gibson guitars, the early Gibson Telecasters. So so I was really inspired by that. He was, he was kind of a hound dog too. I hear stories about women going up to the Crystal Palace and he, you could dance with him, but he was a little handsy.
I think he and Merle Haggard I believe that. They had a love triangle. They both had shared the same woman. Oh boy. And then Merle Haggard, I did write a song about, about Merle Haggard and he was born in a boxcar and was really had a troubled life. And really his life was saved by music. So I just appreciate all those stories from the Valley.
I think the Bakersfield sound is a little. Under, not covered as much as maybe the Nashville. Yeah,
**Morgan:** yeah. So let's go back to that, so you said you, you wrote that song, so you've written several songs,
**Andy:** yes? Yeah, and I have I wrote a song about Merle Haggard and it's called Run, Merle, Run. And I've done a song about the Madonna Inn.
Yes. I've written a song about the oil. An oil well in Orkut and I'm kind of, I, I'm trying to be the, you know, the Mark Twain of the Santa Maria Valley. That's kind of my goal.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Well, and I think that the origins of, of a lot of country and bluegrass does this too with a lot of storytelling.
It's taken, taken a journey, the whole, you know, it's, it's not a, like you mentioned the corporate, these big choruses, you know, it, it takes you somewhere.
**Andy:** Yeah, and I, I really aspire to make fun of the big choruses, so I'm really kind of going more in the satirist direction, I think. Yeah,
**Morgan:** cowboy comedy.
So tell me about about the, the character of, of is it Cowboy Andy or cow, is it Cowboy Jeff and Andy? So it's Cowboy Andy and Cowboy Jeff.
**Andy:** Okay. Yeah, and we've done some, we've done some skits about where, you know, we're under the, under the thumb of CNN enterprises, corporate, and and they're wanting just us to improve our revenue and you know, we're, we've been working with our, our corporate leaders to maybe generate a little synergy where.
Trying to develop a Cowboy Jeff and Andy tri tip. We think that has a lot of, has a lot of potential. Nice. But it's, it's just fun that I'm doing mainly with improv friends. Yeah. And I'm looking to broaden To, I mean, interviewing being interviewed by you and you're going to do my podcast, it's, it's a way to kind of branch out and, you know, get beyond Santa Maria and get to the central coast.
There's a lot of music history in San Luis Obispo. I, I, I, there's a weekly jam with one of the original guitar techs for Ernie Ball. And and there's a lot of guitar makers up here, so I'm looking, I just love history. I just don't think I think there's a lot of history out there that really hasn't been covered.
**Morgan:** I love that and what, what I really enjoy about your, your podcast is it's, it's very, it really is hyper local. You are all in on your community and you know your community and you know, you, you interview like, like this farm days episode, you went out and interviewed all the, You know, all these guys from, from local farms right here in the Central Valley in Santa Maria.
**Andy:** Yeah, I love learning. And this is a, an area that I didn't know a lot about, but huge farming operations. It's, farming in Santa Maria Valley is a two billion dollar industry. And on the other hand, I teach children that are the children of farm workers. Many, they say half of the farm workers in Santa Maria are undocumented.
We do have workers on the H 2 visas where they have motels on Broadway. And I'm teaching in a school of a thousand kids that was built for 400. Oh boy. And so communities like Santa Maria see, see this low cost labor force that, that farmers rely on.
**Morgan:** Yeah, so it must be interesting in the schools. So do they have a music program there
**Andy:** in your school?
they have banned and a Year about five or six years ago. I mean the schools in a low income district They have a lot of money and and they had a choice between PE teachers or music teachers and they you know They went in the sports direction And so it's been pretty thin Fortunately There was a proposition in California last year.
It was a dedicated property tax money for the arts. And so we're ramping up, but it, for our district to do anything, they have to have the state kind of push it up, man. And, but that's why, that's what really inspires me because, because there's so much room for growth. And I just see, I teach ukulele and.
Man, I, I put a ukulele in a kid's hand and, and you've taught music. It it's a miracle. It just, the lights go off and they, and it's, and the schools, I mean, I, I, it is the standards and common core and it's just drill and kill. These are kids that, that need especially with the social, emotional learning and, and COVID, they need an artistic outlet.
And I start teaching music because I just see that there's a need. Ukulele was one. Man, I'm ready to start a ballet folklorico troupe. What? And that's going to be a white guy teaching Mexican dance. That's going to be something.
But I just see that this population needs this. But it's difficult. People that are... working. It's a, it's a working class community. So the arts is just, is, is there's this indigenous art, actually there's a lot of musicians you know, this Mexican bandas and, yeah, and mariachis and a lot of harmony.
But not a lot of venues. A lot of the, a lot of the venues closed down. We used to have more bars. We used to have real saloons, and now they. They, you know, there are big steakhouse shaws, they remodeled it and. They just kind of scrunched the bar and, and they put in white granite. And, and so there's a lot less places to play.
The good news is, is Orchid is really popping and, and sometimes, you know, you need more of the middle class To really come out and pay and really support artists. So I, I'm looking to, I come up to a Tuscadero a lot, St. Louis, but I'm looking to get into Orchid and also get into the, the St. Ness Valley.
There's a big scene, but boy, Paso is just packed. I mean, you throw a rock and, and and it's just loaded with tourists and. And so those guys are supporting arts. So I think in my retirement years, I might be spending a lot of time up here.
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**Morgan:** , so when you guys, do you guys perform live?
**Andy:** Yeah, we, we do.
It's been a while. That's the thing that we're not as good at is the marketing side of it. And so and we've been kind of focusing on the podcast, but Jeff has been on vacation. And. And so when he comes back, we're trying to kind of market ourselves and the podcast is kind of part of that. Yeah.
And we, we, we need a drummer. It would really help to kind of broaden the band, but I was in a funk band. For 10 years, it was built around a Hammond organ player. Her name is Kalua. And. And we had a lot of fun and had a decent amount of gigs, but Kalua got in there, got into a more popular band and, and man, I think we had 15 guitar players.
So, so it was, and then I, I played the drums and then I, we needed a bass player. So I switched to the bass. So I did a lot. You're
**Morgan:** one of those guys. You can fill in anywhere.
**Andy:** Well, now I can it's nice to be versatile. Yes, it is. But But it's it's difficult to keep a band together. I yeah, there was a band that I met up here Jalan station and They were really good, but couldn't keep couldn't keep a drummer.
They play more acoustic and then there's a Financial part of the band. Have you been in a band
**Morgan:** before? You know what? I have been in a lot of groups I've never been in a band like, like with mostly instruments, you know, I've been in, in groups with lots of singers like sextets or barbershopper and singing kind of the older like 40s, 50s style tight harmonies, Pointer Sisters, Andrew Sisters or arrangements of other songs from that era.
So that's really fun. But I think it would be so fun to be in a band.
**Andy:** Yeah. I would like to do a rock, like a rock
**Morgan:** project. Yeah, I would too. That would
**Andy:** be so fun. The Band X. Have you heard the Band X? The Band X? I don't think so. They were from LA, but it's kind of the fast, it's, I love, I love harmony.
It's John Doe and it was just, it was harmony and just fast, kind of I mean, it's really interesting all these this confluence of music that comes together Again, they were very influenced by country. Yeah, they had that kind of Ramones fast and that was kind of a heyday for punk in the 80s Yeah, fascinating time period LA was really on on top of a lot of things back in that time.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah Yeah, I know that that one thing I do like of some of the older countries you know, they they would have these duos and it would be a guy and a girl or you know two guys, but There were, there were female parts that, you know, you could, you could sing. So, because I'm always harmonizing this stuff and trying to, you know, jump in whenever I can, even if it's just one person singing along, I'll make up a harmony because I like that.
**Andy:** we'll have to do the George Jones and Tammy, Tammy show. I, I just get so excited about musical improv because really the sky's the limit as far as satirizing country and singing harmony. Yes. I was, thinking about Jesus Christ superstar, and you know, I want to buy, I want to buy a car, you know why should I buy, you know he's always climbing up that mountain.
Jesus keeps climbing up that mountain. It's like, where are you going? He's a
**Andy:** And we love Sondheim.
**Morgan:** Oh, man, there's yes, Sondheim is. Jill likes Sondheim. We had a whole rant about Sondheim. We kind of went off the rails a little bit talking about Sondheim when she came on. But,
**Andy:** The thing about teaching is you know, I'm teaching kids that are eight years old and, and we do a lot of fairy tales and fairy tales are dark.
Yeah. But I think kids need a little of the dark and light and Into the Woods. Mm hmm. Really provided that. So I, I don't, I don't, I don't dumb it down.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Kids, kids can handle a lot. And not necessarily, and I'm not trying to say that in a way that's like promoting, like laying it on too heavy, but they, they, They have a much greater capacity, I think.
And working at the music school, you just see everybody, all types of kids come in, all different ages. We taught everything from early music up until, you know, adults could come in, take lessons, be in a band. And and yeah, music was a way, you know, these kids would come in and they'd be dragging, they'd be dragging their guitars on the ground behind them.
They'd be, you know, whatever. And then they'd go into their band rehearsal and they'd just come out all excited. You know, there's, there's definitely. I think especially in a band type of environment or just when you're making music with other people can be really healing and, and invigorating. Not just for kids, but for adults too.
I know. I feel that way still when I sing.
**Andy:** Yeah. And, and also when you teach the children of farm workers, it's and we are working on government right now and Hmm. And it's. And there's kind of this undercurrent of racism that is in our politics, and, and it's really hard to, to not talk about that, and, and we study how women got the right to vote, so we were talking about Montana being a pioneer, and And now people are trying to prevent people from voting.
So it's just, it's a tricky time. We need a new immigration law. And we studied Ronald Reagan today. The Republican debate is tonight at the Ronald Reagan library. And one of his achievements was that immigration bill in 1985. And I have a colleague that her mom achieved legal status because of Reagan.
And so anyway, there's a lot of activism going on in Santa Maria and And in California statewide and so that's, it's exciting. I'm from Texas and there's a, you know, a lot of Latinos in Texas and, and so things are changing. Yeah.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Do you find yourself living down there? Do you find yourself being influenced by the music?
Such a vibrant music of just the Hispanic music, the mariachi and the bando. You mentioned that. And I've seen them. You, you walk around here and you go to the festivals and, mariachi, I just never really was exposed to it very much growing up or, or, you know, living in Portland, Oregon, it's not a scene that I encountered very much.
And so, boy, I went to the tamale festival here. Oh, and there was a group just walking around, they'd, they'd stand and serenade you, and then they'd go somewhere else and serenade, you know, just kind of going in these little spots all around the festival. And man, when he was singing, I was like swooning, like, wow, I get it.
Okay. Wow. It was awesome. It was very cool. Very excellent musicians and seeing it live at a festival like that was like, okay, I got to learn about this. This is cool.
**Andy:** Yeah. Banda is it's, they use the tuba. It reminds me of the second line in New Orleans where these are parade bands. Violins, a lot of horns and the Mexican music.
They love the crooners. They love these guys with big voices. You know, the, the the country guys are all nasally, but the but the, the Latinos like the, like the big voices. The other thing is that Buck Owens, he, he would wear a bullfighting outfits and, and his music is very influenced by By Mexican music.
I saw a band. I was so excited. I saw a band. I was at the siren and I saw james hunter. He's kind of a retro english crooner, but there was this band los tranquillos and They actually played at my house three years ago and They sing like It's like beach boys beetles Psychedelic harmonies, and it's like there's this whole Mexican scene that is this kind of retro California soul, and he is from a, the lead singer is Manny, and he's from a musical family, but really prose, and I was I was looking for him and then I just stumbled onto him and my friend was very impressed because my friend blew off that party.
And then I was like, Oh, these my house, the gig that you didn't see, you know? So but but I love, I need to find more local bands. I have not found. Many local bands here that I'm like, Oh man, I got to see them a lot. I, I'm not a big cover band type of guy and I love the blues. But. It's not like, I was in Chicago and, and other, and New Orleans, I've traveled a lot there and there's just more of a scene but I'm anxious to get out there more.
Maybe I just haven't got out there enough, but I, I think the scene's
**Morgan:** growing. I, yeah, from what I've seen and just in the very short amount of time I've been here, there's, there's a lot, I mean, it's almost overwhelming. There's a, there's a lot more going on than, than you think. And it seems like it could be a kind of a small.
Small town compared to, you know, the cities like San Francisco LA Bakersfield, even, I think we're smaller than them.
**Andy:** Oh, yeah. What I, what I see with the podcast is that there's a lot of strength in the small town. Yeah. And And so I think Atascadero, this area, kind of has people know each other, they've been to school together and hopefully young people will get off the screen and pick up a guitar.
**Morgan:** yeah, well, and I think your, your podcast definitely leans into that a lot, the, the local and the strength. It's very cool. What link do you see between comedy and music?
**Andy:** I've studied comedy and I read. A book about the Smothers Brothers and there's a whole tradition of, of comedy duos doing music, Adam Sandler and, and so that's kind of the direction I want to go in satirical songs, Tom Lair I, I just think there's a, there's a whole tradition of that, which I kind of want to get into.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Yeah, I think it's so interesting. I know that you've traveled a lot. Let's go back to the musical improv really quick here. So, you've seen all kinds of shows and you mentioned Chicago. I think you've, L. A. as well. Tell me a little bit about, about that. Some of the shows you've
**Andy:** seen. I was blown away in Chicago with the amount of theater that's going on there.
There was a troupe that did improv in the style of Shakespeare, which just, I, I went and saw it three times. I was like, Whoa, and they, and musical improv where they'll take a play or they'll take a top, like a, a suggestion and then they will do a whole. Our with an accompanist and a drummer and and do a musical.
I saw improv in the style of Shakespeare. So it is just bursting with theater and something that has been kind of created here. They're doing shows every week. It's slow wine and beer. And of course. I went to Rosa's Lounge which has, I went to a lot of blues clubs and there were fabulous clubs like, it was like the dance halls in Louisiana, you know, and, but a lot of tourists, a lot of Europeans come for the blues and So, and I've been, I've spent a lot of time in New Orleans.
I would go on the jam cruise and I actually went on, Seven Jam Cruises. What is a Jam Cruise? It's a music cruise. You ever heard of the music
**Morgan:** cruises? I've heard of music cruises, but not
**Andy:** this one. It is, it came out of the Post Grateful Dead scene and it was a lot of bluegrass, a lot of funk and then that kind of that kind of hippie dippy, you know, intricate guitar work and you go out on a ship and you just for four days you just it's just all music and actually they had a master's camp at sea and And I did it a couple of years with my keyboard player where they brought in these pro musicians and they did clinics.
And I I had a clinic with Butch Trucks, who was the drummer for the Allman Brothers. And he told me to get a backbeat that I had no backbeat and he was kind of curmudgeon y. There's this guy, Colonel Bruce Hampton. Who was in this band, the aquarium, aquarium rescue unit. And they were kind of a Zappa, like a Zappa type band.
But Otiel, his bass player is playing with the dead the dead and company. So the aquarium rescue unit was kind of a farm team for the Allman brothers and the dead. And, and then a lot of blues. There was this band, the North Mississippi All Stars that came from a musical family of Memphis.
They had recorded his dad was a famous producer that recorded a lot of those Delta blues artists. And this, these were the sons that were doing I mean Luther Dickinson is a fabulous slide guitar player and his brother's the drummer. And, They were on the cruise. You can talk to them. And so I, I really enjoyed that a lot.
Unfortunately, the scene has, you know, music changes and a lot of that scene is gone. I mean. You know, I, I'm not going to see the Grateful Dead iterations anymore, but I went to college in the eighties and there were people that that they knew every set list. I mean, they were, Oh, did you know that they saying eyes of the world on December?
I mean, it was just the passion for the Grateful Dead at that time. And you see a lot of that passion still, but it was kind of this jazz. I love guitar players and James Hunter, who was at the Siren, fabulous guitar players. And so I kind of, I'm attracted, attracted that a lot of horns, a lot of horns too.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Which is also. Bando and funk , that's around a lot of your life. Bondo,
**Andy:** Banda, Banda, Banda, Banda. Oh yeah. Banda. And the,
you know, it's, it's a, it's it's a waltz. Yeah. But, and I, I still want to learn more because in Santa Maria there's these older, this older generation and they hear some certain songs and boy, the Kleenex comes out. They cry. Yeah. And then I ask like they're 50 year old children and I'm like, what are those songs?
And I don't know. So that, that tradition is being lost. But I'm anxious to kind of do some interviews and, and look at those.
**Morgan:** Oh yeah, that would be a very cool episode. Yeah. Because, so what about the, I've heard, when I was first learning about Banda what I heard was that the kids are like, Losing their minds over it.
Oh, the teenagers. Well, good are and the and the group that I saw in a Tascadero that the the guy who was singing and and I was swooning. He was probably 16 17, 18. Like he, his voice was amazing. His stage presence was awesome. His tone and pitch were just off his phrasing. He was good. And he was, he was young.
**Andy:** I hope I, I do know that this music is in families and you know, if you want to hear something, go to the guitar center on a, in Santa Maria on a Sunday. I've heard you. Singing a lot of harmony and so so it's, I mean, I, that's what I love about Santa Maria and, and also the central coast is that the diversity and, and great art comes out of that diversity.
**Morgan:** Yeah. Awesome. Well, I could, we could obviously talk a whole lot longer, I think. Is there anything else you'd like to share about Cowboy, Jeff and Andy before I get into my final question of the podcast?
**Andy:** Just that we're doing it every week. We're on Apple podcast and and we'll, I'm going to put on there my performance dates.
I have a couple of comedy dates coming up in. At the beginning of October and we have a musical improv I believe on the 26th at slow wine and beer. So I'd love to get people out there and and and support it. Yeah,
**Morgan:** and I'll put links in the show notes and everything so People can do, definitely check out the podcast.
So I've got one last question. I ask every guest this do you know what the word zeitgeist means? No, I do not. Okay. So it's a German word and it means basically means spirit of the times. It's kind of like the feeling of what it's like to be in any particular time, era, culture, politics. It all, it all kind of goes together.
So a zeitgeist moment I've taken to, to using to describe, cause we've all had this where you're listening to music. And something just clicks and you feel part of something bigger than yourself. It's not just the tunes that are coming in, like the music entering your ears. You're, you're part of a scene, you're part of something bigger than yourself.
What was a recent zeitgeist moment for you? Or a, or a particularly memorable one in your
**Andy:** life? I have a band that I love. And it's a band that I first saw. They've been around 25 years and they're called the New Master Sounds and they are British funk. They're almost a super group. It's just a solid rhythm section drums, bass and a fabulous Hammond organ player and a fabulous, Jazz guitar player, kind of in the, in the style of Grant Green.
It's basically funk jazz. And when I was down in San Diego, it was called Acid Jazz. And there was this band called the Gray Boy All Stars, Carl Denson. He still plays with Carl Denson's Tiny Universe. He plays with the Rolling Stones the keyboard player in that band. And I toured with Pink Floyd.
So these are just all fabulous musicians. But the New Master Sounds, I mean, when I got divorced, I was at a, you know, I was at a show and that was healing to me. And I think that's how people respond to music throughout life. And the New Master Sounds have not been able to tour. I went to the UK to Leeds.
And it was a little social club and that was where they were from. And, and they, they said, welcome the new master sounds they've toured all over the world. And they've come back after 25 years and they just rocked. I mean, it was. It was amazing. It was a moment that I traveled to go and see this band and and you know, you see your favorite band and there's just nothing like it.
And I, you know, I like good bands and, and I know good bands and a band that's been playing for 25 years. They got something and maybe they're not a household name, but but there's a lot of bands out there that really can jam.
**Morgan:** Awesome. Well, Cowboy Andy, thank you for being on my podcast.
**Andy:** Thank you. Thank you.
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