Tim Surrett

Bluegrass is stripped down country music…
Interview with Tim Surrett (Balsam Range)

© Lilly Drumeva-O’Reilly.

On the 24th of September 2013 at IBMA’s conference in Raleigh North Carolina I had the chance to talk to Tim Surrett, bass player of the band Balsam Range. Here is what he shared with me:

Why do you like bluegrass music? What is so exciting about it?
I don’t know. I got hooked it at a young age. The sound of it appealed to me. The power of what could happen with acoustic instruments. Another thing about it is that it is unaffected; it’s the only kind of music where you use only your hands, your instrument or your voice. It’s all completely natural.

How old were you when you started playing?
I was just a kid. My dad played bluegrass so I’ve been around it all my life. My dad was a singer – more of a country singer – but he sang some bluegrass too, so I learned it a young age.
What is the difference between bluegrass and country music?
Bluegrass is kind off a striped down version of country music I think, a more acoustic version of country music.

Do you also play country music?
Yes I have played electric bass on some country albums. But mostly I play bluegrass.

Apart from bluegrass what other genres do you like?
I like rock and roll. I like classic country music, the old stuff.

You are currently a board member of IBMA. What it your position?
I represent the artists, composers and the publishers. It is my constituency. Basically I represent the other bluegrass musicians. Today we had a meeting where they could tell me their ideas about the future of IBMA.

Have you played in Europe?
No I haven’t. We had some enquires do it but it didn’t work out.

Do you know where your ancestors are from?
From France I believe.

Thanks Tim, that was all.

Lilly Drumeva