Today we’d like to introduce you to Simon Flory.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
Born in rural Indiana shortly after my family moved “west” from southern Virginia to start a livestock feed store, I spent my childhood without television, working on blueberry and seed corn farms, traveling in a gospel band, running cross country, camping and writing songs.
After earning a degree in writing and theatre, I moved to Chicago and founded the country band, Merle The Mule while working as a multi-instrumentalist in an old-time banjo/fiddle duo with teacher Ed Tverdek and as a student and employee at the Old Town School of Folk Music. In 2008 I moved to the Ozarks of Arkansas where I worked closely with local musicians and met my mentor and friend Donny Catron of the legendary bluegrass band The Tennessee Gentlemen.
My first solo record, self-released “Unholy Town”, led me to Austin, TX where I continued to work as a solo performer and multi-instrumentalist with “kindie” rock band The Que Pastas and Leslie Sisson (Moving Panoramas) before co-founding the Austin based country-bluegrass supergroup, “High Plains Jamboree” with Beth Chrisman, Brennen Leigh, and Noel McKay. In 2016 we were official showcase artists at Folk Alliance International, IBMA and Americanafest where Rolling Stone called us, “One of the best things we saw”.
I now reside in Fort Worth, TX with my girlfriend Anita and dog Chisos, where I split time between playing locally and touring, songwriting and studio sessions, teaching lessons and most recently working on my upcoming solo release “Radioville” due out 3/1/19.
Please tell us about your art.
I’m constantly inspired by folks living their everyday lives. No matter what “genre” my music bends to: bluegrass, country, folk, old-time (all of which are now included in “Americana”) my compositions are as much short-story sketches as they are songs. I don’t want to be a living museum piece of “roots” music, I want to shed a little light on the struggle of real human lives, not caricature them. My goal is to tell stories that find a home and make an impact of positive change in someone’s life.
Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
I think the role of artists has always been the same, as in-it’s always changing. Avant-garde or underground artists-those I most relate to-have historically been the voice of our culture in times of political and social change. Today, the majority of Americans look to our celebrity and political classes for that voice. How our modern culture fits into the American narrative from the Vietnam era to today is what I’m speaking to. The forgotten and hidden among us with little choice but to live the freest of lives, unencumbered by consumerism and debt but often described as outsiders and misfits. Go to live music shows, listen to and read the lyrics of unknown singer-songwriters and poets, go to independent art galleries, record shops and bookstores, talk to folks and truly listen, there you will find the voice of today’s artists and the perspective we so desperately need as a divided nation.
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
The best way to keep up with me is through social media. Instagram is a fantastic source for announcements. My website has up-to-date videos and links to my music and calendar as well. I really appreciate the support of the DFW community in my transition from Austin. The shows I’ve played in the last year have given new life to my career.
The very best way to support my work at the moment is to participate in my vinyl pre-sale campaign found here:
I’m partnering with local vinyl pressing plant Hand Drawn Pressing, and their merchandise division Bandwear, to offer exclusive items such as canvas chain-stitched record sleeves by Daniel Wright of W Durable Goods, a handwritten lyric chapbook by renowned folk artist Taylor W. Rushing and signed copies of “Radioville” featuring guest artists Charlie Crockett, Dylan Bishop, Summer Dean, Noel McKay, and Brennen Leigh.
- Website: www.simonflory.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @slflory
- Facebook: @simonflorymusic
- Twitter: @simonflory
“Personal Photo” by Ben Bender and Make Something Beautiful
Seated hat pic, Jon Chamberlain
“Radioville” cover art by Taylor W. Rushing, photo by Lyza Renee
live solo shot with guitar by Dave Grimaldi
group shot anonymous