What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
RB: This record was a “prove it” album for me. I had all these songs and I knew I wanted to produce and play everything on the album myself. I said, “Ok then, Reno, show me what you got.” There was a learning curve involved in figuring out how to do it all myself and it certainly didn’t come without its struggles. I scrapped a lot of stuff along the way and started over again. But ultimately, I made the record I wanted to make. Every note and sound is exactly the way I wanted it to be. The most fun I had was proving to myself that I could do it and now I know that. Will the next one sound the same? Probably not because this album made me a better producer. But I’m excited for what’s next.
If we want to know you, which song do we have to listen to? And why?
RB: I think the song “Lessons From A Shooting Star” encapsulates where I was while making this album. It’s got a little bit of everything in it – love, angst, melody, not one but TWO guitar solos ha ha. It’s the most rock and roll thing on the album to me.
The music industry has changed a lot (or so they say). What did it bring you? And what not?
RB: I really tried to not think about that at all. I just wanted to focus on making the best album I possibly could and trusted that the rest would fall into place. The pro’s of having a large company behind you is the money for publicity, radio, the big push. Having that all go off at one time is ideal. However, doing it at the indie level like I am (with my little label Electric Western), folks discover you slower. And the ones that find you found you for a reason. So I know that the fans I do have were made organically and are genuinely into the music.
Who is the best musician in the world nobody has heard of yet? And why will this change very soon?
RB: One of my favorite bands in Nashville is filled with some of the best musicians in the world. They are called Steelism. The guys sit in with me on shows from time to time. Jon Radford is the best drummer I’ve ever played with. Jeremy Fetzer is one of the most precise and soulful young guitar players out there today. Spencer Cullum Jr does things with the pedal steel I’ve never heard before. And Jon Estes not only plays bass, but arranges horns and strings. Talented brood they are. Check them out. Their music is an instrumental amalgam of Booker T. And the MGs, Ennio Morricone and The Ventures.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixed tape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
RB: Hands down . . .
“I’d Have You Anytime” by George Harrison
“Until You Came Along” by Golden Smog
“Forever” by The Beach Boys (with Dennis Wilson on lead vocal)
“I Saw The Light” by Todd Rundgren
“Summer Wind” by Sinatra
What’s up for the next couple of months?
RB: I just finished up an LA run of shows. I’m in NY now, then head back to Nashville to start writing for the next album. I’ll also be putting out some singles and one offs in the next few months. Stay tuned at www.renobo.com!
Read the other Passports