11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: John McTigue III

John McTigue IIIAfter logging in 30 years drumming all over the world behind some of Music City’s best artists, John McTigue III has stepped out and assembled a “duets” record with some of his local friends. The resulting debut LP, “It’s About Time” is the first under John’s name and is a remarkable musical potpourri that he co-produced with guitar wiz Kenny Vaughn.

John stays behind the skins for the record’s versatile dozen tracks, seven of which are instrumentals (including some original compositions) and five that feature lead vocals from two of Nashville’s best kept secrets: Greg Garing and Tim Carroll. Listen to “Talk to God” as John pounds a strong beat against lead vocals and fuzzy guitar from Carroll.

Your jaw will no doubt drop if you look over the list of artists McTigue has worked with. In addition, the Berklee graduate was a founding member of Brazilbilly who along with BR-549 helped revitalize the Lower Broadway music scene late last century.

Thanks, John, for visiting 11 Questions and for one of the most enjoyable records of 2021. I’m sure we will see you soon playing with Carlene, Rodney, Emmylou and who knows who!

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

I’m originally from Phillipsburg, PA which is central Pennsylvania. I moved to Nashville the summer of 1988 from Boston, MA. I had graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor’s degree in 20th century composition and I decided to move to LA, New York, or Nashville. I had a really good friend from high school that was living in Nashville at the time and my girlfriend was a songwriter originally from the south, so we decided to check out Nashville. At that time Nashville was a “small town big city” which was very friendly and affordable.

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

The first record I ever bought was Alice Cooper’s Love it to Death which was purchased in a K-Mart store in Altoona. PA. The last album I bought was Elvin Jones’ New Agenda from a small local used record shop called Bromma Records in Abrahamsberg, Stockholm. Both were vinyl.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

The first concert I ever went to was to see was Rush in Buffalo, NY. The last concert I went to was to see Ween at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

Willie Nelson.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Dose and Five Points Pizza.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

Dino’s.

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Noel McKay, Dylan Walsh, and Shannon Lawson.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

Ryman Auditorium, Sid’s Gold Room, Robert’s Western World, The Acme and The 5 Spot.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Leland Sklar.

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

I just finished my own record and it was released on July 23rd. I’ll be traveling to Switzerland in September to do a festival with Rodney Crowell. I’m also playing with Carlene Carter on The Outlaw County Cruise in early 2022. In between that, I’ll be doing some sessions and local gigs with The Cowpokes, Moot Davis, and The Tennessee Walkers.

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