Cary Hudson The Exclaim! Questionnaire

Cary Hudson The Exclaim! Questionnaire
Blue Mountain's latest album, Roots, sees them interpreting old standards. Cary Hudson tackles the questions.

Current fixations:

Larry Brown's new book Billy Ray's Farm, crappie fishing, mushroom hunting, fine marijuana, and learning qigong.

Mind altering work of art:

Chinese cinema, particularly The Bride with White Hair, and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Most memorable or inspirational gig and why?

Playing at Red Rocks with Willie Nelson a couple of summers ago — I named my dog after the man, I love his music, and the setting was amazing.

What has been your career high and low?

My career high would be the first time I played an original song for an audience in my first band the Hilltops, and it worked. My career low happened with the same band a couple of years later — leaving Nashville after a gig at which we got shorted on our money, we backed into the car parked to our left. In a hurry to leave the scene of the crime, we pulled up and backed out again — into the car on our right. The police tracked us down at our hotel. The next day our van broke down in Holly Springs, Mississippi. We caught a ride home and left our van at a garage to get fixed. Upon returning the next day we found that our amps and guitars had been stolen. That might be the only time I considered a day job!

What should everyone shut up about?

Bill Clinton. He did a great job, who cares if he has a fondness for having his skin flute tootled? Who doesn't ?

I would drop everything to play a benefit for:

Bringing back the black panther to the wilds of Mississippi — maybe I'll organise it.

What trait do you like and dislike most about yourself?

My favourite thing about myself is that I can play music — learning to do that well has taught me most of what I know about life in general. My least favourite thing about myself is the way I behave after drinking too much whiskey!

What would make you kick someone out of your band and/or bed, and have you?

When they're not passionate about it anymore.

When I think of Canada I think:

Of songwriters and comedians and Moosehead beer.

What is your vital daily ritual?

A walk in the woods.

How do you spoil yourself?

I sleep late, don't work, go into town for a massage, and have dinner and a bottle or two of wine with a friend.

What was your most memorable day job?

Case manager for the Mississippi department of Mental Health, making home visits to schizophrenic and manic-depressives who had been released from the state hospital. I know I'll get a killer song out of that experience one of these years!

If I wasn't playing music I would be:

A novelist or a farmer.

What is your greatest fear?

That a snake will get in my sleeping bag.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

To make my ass light up like a lightning bug's when I'm playing a really good guitar solo. (Do they have lightning bugs in Canada?)

What makes you want to take it off and get it on?

Dancing to the drum and fife music at Othar Turner's goat roast picnic outside of Como, Mississippi affects me like a primitive fertility ritual. And I'm not the only one judging by the rest of the crowd!

Music and sex: Is there a difference? Why?

Not much, except that I love playing music in a group. With sex I'm into the old fashioned one-on-one, so far.

Strangest brush with celebrity:

It seems like I see Kim Gordon from Sonic Youth walking down the street almost every time I go to New York.

Who would be your ideal dinner guest, living or dead, and what would you serve them?

I would love to have Jesus over for dinner and a chat — I would serve fried catfish from my pond, fried green tomatoes from my Grandpa's garden, and have plenty of water handy for turning into wine.

What does your mom wish you were doing instead?

My Mom is great. She loves my music and is nothing but supportive. She just wishes I would find a nice girl and start making grandbabies!