Art of the Song / Standing "O" Podcast
About This Show
The Standing "O" Project is a below-the-radar musical rebellion for singer/songwriters and their fans, and this podcast is a weekly musical digest of the fun stuff that happens here. In-depth interviews. Laughs. Creative inspiration. And a closer connection between artists and fans.
Most Recent Episode
Max Gomez - Coffee Break
3 days ago
Our guest this week on the Art of the Song Coffee Break is Taos singer/songwriter Max Gomez. Though still only in his twenties, Max Gomez has always had the heart of an old soul. As a child, the first songs he learned to sing were originally recorded in the 50s by Johnny Cash. As a teenage guitarist he adopted Big Bill Broonzy as his blues master. And as a budding performer, he apprenticed in the rarefied musical climate of northern New Mexico, where troubadours like Michael Martin Murphey and Ray Wylie Hubbard helped foster a folk and Western sound both cosmic and cowboy. You’ll find his hometown of Taos and nearby Red River right there between Colorado and Texas on both your sonic and Google maps. Splitting his childhood between there and a farm in the Flint Hills of Kansas, Gomez is at home in the heartland, too. The youngest of five brothers, by several years—“That’s why I got into ‘old’ music”—Gomez got a children’s guitar for Christmas when he was 10. The family moved from Santa Fe to Taos in the ’80s, and his father, Steve, became a furniture craftsman. “There’s a similarity between my dad’s work and mine,” says Gomez. “He really studied what he did; there were always a lot of books on old furniture in his studio.” Gomez reports that growing up in Taos was “wild. It’s still the Wild West compared to any city or suburb. You can get away with just about anything there, and we were turned loose as kids.” At 14, when Gomez performed at a benefit concert, he played “Sunday Mornin’ Coming Down”—the down-and-out classic by future labelmate Kris Kristofferson. Soon thereafter he was playing at a late, lamented institution of a venue called the Old Blinking Light. “The school I went to was playing in that bar,” he says. Country greats like Mentor Williams and Lynn Anderson frequented the place that led them to become fans of his music. Gomez moved to Los Angeles at 18 to pursue his music career and began writing songs and performing around the city at many notable clubs. He wrote some songs with Shawn Mullins, who later recorded them. “That’s when I began taking it all a little more seriously and turned my music into a job,” says Gomez. n his early twenties he began recording his own songs with producers in New York, L.A., and Nashville. His debut album, Rule the World, was released in 2013 by New West