Singer-Guitarist BOBBY LONG Talks Guitar and Announces US Tour Dates

Posted by Michael Mueller on October 15, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Bobby LongSinger-songwriter Bobby Long, whose song "Let Me Sign" is included in the soundtrack to the blockbuster film Twilight, returns to the U.S. beginning October 22 at the CMJ Music Festival in New York City. You can see a live solo performance of his song "In the Frost" below, at the bottom of this post.

Although Twilight appeals primarily to teens, Long's songwriting belies his youth. His raspy vocals convey a weathered authenticity rarely heard in young artists, not unlike a young Bob Dylan. Long's guitar approach is elegantly simple, with tasteful embellishments and well-placed extended chords helping to fill out the arrangements. spoke with Long about his unusual fingerpicking approach as well as his guitar and songwriting influences.

Who were your two biggest guitar influences?
In terms of fingerpicking, I love Mississippi John Hurt. He has really influenced me on nearly everything i have played, though I still can't mimic him—he's just too good. Overall, Jimi Hendrix was the first thing musicically that ever bit me, but i also love Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath.

I noticed that your fingerstyle playing is thumb and index finger, as opposed to the more common 3- or 4-finger approach. Where did you pick that up?
My dad plays like that. I taught myself guitar, but I guess being around him and something in the genetic gene pool made me play that way. I find it more comfortable and haven't ever really questioned it. I think it limits me with certain aspects of fingerpicking, but it also gives me my own style and a different feel. 

Who were you biggest songwriting influences, from both composition and lyrical standpoints?
Lyrically the two artists are Bob Dylan and, especially, Leonard Cohen. Songs like the "Partisan" and "Chelsea Hotel" had me in a whilrwind when I was younger. I think Dylan's the best, but there is something about Cohen's stories.In terms of songwriting, The Beatles are the best, but I'm also into Jeff Buckley and modern-day Elliott Smith.

Long plans to begin recording his first studio CD in 2010, after a series of European shows in January.

Tour dates:

10/22 Canal Bar, New York City
10/24 The Bitter End, New York City
10/25 Arlene's Grocery, New York City
10/27-28 Los Angeles, CA
10/29 San Diego, CA
10/31 Memphis, TN.
11/1-2 Nashville, TN
11/4 Tuscaloosa, AL
11/5 Atlanta, GA
11/7 Tampa, FL
11/10 Vienna, VA
11/11 Philadelphia, PA
11/12 Columbus, OH
11/14 Minneapolis, MN
11/15 Kansas City, MO
11/16 St. Louis, MO
11/17 Boulder, CO
11/18 Denver, CO
11/19 Seattle, WA
11/27 San Francisco, CA
11/28 Los Angeles, CA
11/29 Hermosa Beach, CA

12/1 Los Angeles, CA
12/3 Los Angeles, CA
12/5 Portland, OR
12/7 Oklahoma City, OK
12/8 Dallas, TX
12/9 Austin, TX
12/11 Houston, TX
12/12 New Orleans, LA
12/13 Vicksburg, MS
11/14 Louisville, KY
12/15 Chicago, IL
12/16 Detroit, MI
12/17 Pittsburgh, PA
12/19 New York City

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