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Notes from The Lookin’ Drawer: Baz Mcsherry Interview

Musicians

Baz McSherry — Lead Vocals
Rachel Toman — Fiddle, Vocals
Jonny Toman — Bouzouki
Darren Crossey — Upright Bass
Alison Crossey - Bodhran

Charismatic singer/songwriter from Northern Ireland discusses the creation of the band’s album as well as a glimpse into his musical childhood.

Like a veteran stage actor, singer songwriter Baz Mcsherry uses his mastery of pacing, vocal delivery and charisma to his advantage. His voice has the nuance and depth of Christy Moore while possessing the soaring seraphic range of Sting. His first name is catchy…Baz. You can’t miss it. And judging from the videos for The Lookin’ Drawer, you can tell that this artist has what it takes for mainstream appeal yet never losing the things that define his music: solid harmonies, entrancing melodies and mesmerizing vocals. Even the album artwork can catch one’s attention. It conjures mystery and nostalgia. It already tells what you can expect in this album-rich atmospheric tracks and deep lyricism. Together with the talented band members, The Lookin’ Drawer is an album that is artfully crafted and worth enjoying for years. And yes the album title is also the name of his band.

It is an honor to have an interview with Baz Mcsherry . Something I was looking forward to ever since a link to his video A Song of Tribute to Sarah Jane got sent my way by a friend. It was destiny.

1.How did you come up with The Lookin’ Drawer as an album name?

We were looking to name the album and didn’t want to name it after any particular track. The name, “The Lookin’ Drawer”, originated from a conversation between myself and Jonny Toman, (the album’s Producer).We got to talking about our grandparents and Jonny mentioned that when he came to visit them as a boy, he would run past his grandmother to play in his favourite drawer in the kitchen. The drawer contained items his grandfather acquired from antique auctions, e.g. old fashioned playing cards, pocket watches, flick books, lighters, marbles , trinkets etc. His grandmother used to say about her grandson , “ There he is away into the Lookin’ Drawer again!” . I thought Wow I wanna Look! That’s the name of our Band now too, from the album our band was born. 

2. How long did it take you and the crew to finish this project up?


It took us about a year and a half. We recorded it ourselves. We literally had to build a studio ourselves and make it fit for the purpose. We had some technical problems, blew three computers up, lost some material, started over, wrote new songs and took our time. 

3.Wow! Sounds like so many challenges there. Ok, I know that recording and also the production process can be a hassle as they involve staying late at night and making sure the finished product is something that you can listen to for years. What kept everyone sane during this album-making process?


Two things mainly – the music and ourselves. We took the clocks off the wall, turned all phones off so we had no concept of time until we were driving home or woke up. There is this incredible motivation generated when your listen back and like what you hear, and that’s what happened. We knew the songs were not finished until they told us they were, and the more we added the closer we got to hearing, that’s it lads! 
I say, “ourselves” because the craic was really really good, when the concentration started to fade we would act the wag, mess about, have a drink, go for a feed, have a coffee, make prank phone calls etc. The band have a pretty childish sense of humour (thankfully) and it takes little to amuse the innocent and less for us a lot! 

4. How was childhood  for you and how did you become a musician?


Childhood was a great time, I am still there. Most of it was spent looking out the window, (just the same as now really). Spent a lot of the time listening to my folks’ record collection at the kitchen table, collecting old tapes and songs. I had a great system in the class room for collecting songs, my circle of friends were heavily into football and football cards/ stickers for scrap books. They would give me the ones they didn’t need, (the extras) and I would barter these with the other boys for the parents’ tapes and records. This meant they would have to go home sometimes and steal to order. It’s amazing the lengths a young pup will go for a Mark Hughs and Hank William EP! They would be going through my stickers saying – “Got –Got- Need –Got”, and I would be going through their parents records saying the same. Then a deal would strike. 
Once I heard Christy Moore sing I wanted a guitar, that’s how it all started. 

5. Do you have another talent that we don’t know of?


I have none, but….
Jonny makes a deadly scrambled egg,. mmm !
Rachel is very funny, can do any accent, and is my all time favourite singer. 
Darren has a great musical trivia, is tall, (which comes in handy for reaching things), and is the calmest member of the Band – bringing the Chill vibe.
Alison remembers the names of everyone she has ever met, and is a great organizer too, keeping us all right.

The Lookin’ Drawer is available for purchase through his website and itunes.

 
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