Indie-soul fusion is coming to the beaches. What is it?
Hundreds of artists descend on the Delaware beaches during the summer, but not too many come under the genre of indie-soul like singer/songwriter Mike Heuer.
The nationally touring musician is a full-time performer and trained classically. Heuer is now tagged as an indie-soul fusion artist and will be circling back to the Delaware beaches throughout the summer to perform shows.
The first show will be at Blackwall Hitch in Rehoboth Beach on March 25 at 9 p.m.
For someone who is not familiar with indie-soul fusion, can you give a brief intro?
Indie-Soul is a term I sort of coined. Genres are really ambiguous these days, so I suppose it helps to uniquely define your music. My original material is a mix of soul, pop and folk — with a dash of funk, blended and served chilled. I heard a quote one time by an artist who said their genre was whatever they were listening to, going through, and their mood at the time they wrote a record. That makes more sense to me than sticking to one specific pre-determined type.
MORE SUMMER MUSIC: Chicago, Leno, Hayes heading to Freeman Stage
You were trained in classical music. What was the first tune you learned and what inspired you to transition to indie-soul fusion?
Aw man, I can't remember the name of the first song I learned. I was taking classical lessons from this guy Brian in Alabama and he taught it to me. The transition just happened naturally as I grew up and was exposed to more music. I was really into James Taylor as a teenager, then funk and jazz in college — so those are both big influences.
With experience at major performance venues, weddings, private events, bars/clubs and intimate listening rooms, where else do you aspire to perform?
That's a lot already. More major performance rooms, definitely. I used to live in Colorado and have a strange obsession with Red Rocks, so headlining there someday would be pretty rad.
READ MORE:Rusty Rudder opens for the summer
Besides in person at various venues, where else can your music be heard?
www.mikeheuermusic.com, www.facebook.com/mikeheuermusic, as well as, iTunes, SoundCloud and BandCamp.
Your album "Goodfire" is just over 1 year old. How has the reception been since its debut and do you and your bandmates have any other future albums in the works?
I could have done a better job promoting the album, but the reception has been all positive. I write most of my material and have studio players in to record. I am lucky to live in an area with a ton of great musicians. Annapolis is pretty sweet. I am always writing new material and the next drop will probably be a single. Stay tuned.
Can you explain the theme of your album and what was the main influence to producing it?
The themes are all over the place in that record. The songs were written at different times in my life and the recording process dragged for like two years because of unforeseen issues — it is definitely not a concept album. Women are definitely a recurring theme, good and bad. My mom was the inspiration for the last song, “It's Alright.” Other not-so-healthy relationships inspired “Badfire” and “Save It.” God is also a theme in almost all of the songs, especially “Spirits.”
Of the 200-plus song repertoire, how do you remember each song? If you ever did make a mistake when performing, how did you handle it?
Ha, I have a huge binder of tunes. Haven't made the jump into the iPad game yet (I like paper). There are around 20 that I like playing and rarely forget; the rest I need cheat sheets for. As far as mistakes go, you just roll with it. I've been playing professionally for about seven years and that's definitely something you learn. The show must go on.
With original music getting more recognition today, is your goal to go all original or do you like the variety?
I do enjoy playing "original renditions" of cover songs that I like. That can be really fun. Aside from that — original all the way. What's the point in having creative ability if you don't use it right? Writing your own music that people enjoy listening to is just plain awesome.
IF YOU GO
What: Mike Heuer music
Where: Blackwall Hitch in Rehoboth Beach
When: Saturday, March 25 at 9 p.m.