An Interview with Ralph Stanley

TheOriginalVanGoghsEarAnthology

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Ralph Stanley has been entertaining the masses with his distinctive voice and banjo playing since 1946. Influenced by the traditional music of rural Appalachia he formed the Clinch Mountain Boys, and later The Stanley Brothers, with his brother Carter.The rest became history. As a banjo player he developed the unique “Stanley Style” recognized fast, continuous forward rolls followed by the index finger. In 2002 Stanley won a Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance for his version of O’ Death, produced by T-Bone Burnett for the for the film O’ Brother, Where Art Thou?.

What was it like growing up in Southwest Virginia? How were times most different back then? Do you ever miss those days?

Growing up in the hills of southwest, Virginia was a wonderful place to be born and raised. Of course we faced hard times, but the good outweighed the bad.

What do…

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An Interview with Kazuhiro Tsuji

TheOriginalVanGoghsEarAnthology

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Kazuhiro Tsuji is an award winning makeup artist and fine art sculptor. His work has appeared in several exhibits and such films as How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Planet of the Apes, Click, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, to name a few. His hyper realistic technique brings characters to life in a way that astounds the eye and delights the senses.

What were you like as a child? What are some of your most fond memories from your early days?

I had some hard times in my childhood. So I used to spend time alone, riding my bicycle, making something, drawing. Sometimes I went to junkyard and took things apart. I played with insects and animals. Visited traditional craft stores and watched people make something. Those were my escape and most fond memories.

When did you first know that you were an artist?

I think everyone is…

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An Interview with Erick Thomas

TheOriginalVanGoghsEarAnthology

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Erick Thomas is the founder of and lead guitarist for Harlen Simple. The four piece band out of Virginia also features Travis Williams (vocals), Kenny Morrow (bass), and Ricky Coleman (drums). Their album Pay Up Charlie from Potomac Records mixes rock, funk, blues, and soul in delightfully eclectic fashion.

Since there isn’t a lot known of you yet, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a pretty laid back guy, or at least I think so. I’m a big music junky so my nights off from playing are spent checking out friends of mine who play and sitting in if they’ll have me. When I’m not doing that, I’m in my backyard with friends smoking racks of ribs, arguing about sports and talking about music while my dogs run around.

I’m also pretty sure I’ve got the world’s most patient wife, Aimee, who puts up with all of…

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