The Front Row: The Steeldrivers

Nov 14, 2017


The Texas Tech University Lecture and Performance series has an event this Friday night. Jo Moore, director of the series, visits with the Front Row to talk about the upcoming performance by The Steeldrivers.

Tell us about the series.

We have a Grammy-winning group called The Steeldrivers coming Friday, November 17 at 7p.m. at the Allen Theatre. They are stupendous. People may remember a singer, who was little known until a couple of years ago when he swept through the Country Music Awards, named Chris Stapleton. Well Chris Stapleton was the lead singer of the Steeldrivers, so this is the group that accompanied him during that time. But on their own they won a Grammy award in 2016.

They’re interesting. They’re a blues, soulful, blues band and country all rolled into one, if you could imagine.

It seems like there’s a lot of crossover in genre and this group would be one of those.

I agree with you, and one of my interests is in this kind of genre blending, fusion of music, because I think it’s very eclectic. While we love the purity of obviously classical music, and straight country music, and straight blues, there is an edginess and a freshness to combining it, if it’s done well. And this group does it very well.

There’s a wonderful quote that I read about the Steedrivers by the pop singer, the English singer Adele, and she says, “they’re a blues, country, bluegrass, swagger band, and they are brilliant.”

So we’re really looking forward to them coming. As you know, one of our goals is to bring excellent performers and lecturers to campus, and so we’ve had several Grammy winners. We’ve had several Pulitzer Prize-winning authors.

There is a certain level of excellence for these performers. How do you do that?

I think our patrons help support that, it's one of the reasons and why it happens. I will find somebody that I think is eclectic and interesting and as you know it’s a fine line between educating your audience and also playing to your audience. One of the highest compliments we ever get is we may not know exactly who that group is, or who that author is, but there’s a trust factor that starts going into it and people say, “we know it’s going to be interesting.” So I think the patrons really support the series, which gives me the confidence and the ability to pick people they’re going to like.

I’m a huge NPR fan and one of the things that I absolutely adore are the tiny desk concerts, so a lot of times what will happen is I’ll go to these booking conferences and I’ll talk with these agents and I will find a group that I think is interesting, that I think will work for Lubbock, or that I want to bring to Lubbock for folks to hear here and inevitably, if I go and Google and see that there’s been a Tiny Desk Concert, it puts this little stamp of approval on it for me and I get so excited.

Listen to the full interview at the top of the article.