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Organist John Ginty talks tour, Dixie Chicks, Grammy's, & more

Organist John Ginty plays with heart and soul
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John Ginty has had quite a year. He recently toured with The Dixie Chicks, and has released his critically acclaimed album Bad News Travels, and is kicking off his tour with a headlining show at Steve's Live Music in Sandy Springs, Georgia on May 22. Additionally, he has toured with Jewel, Citizen Cope, Matthew Sweet and is an original member of Robert Randolph and the Family Band. During his tenure with Randolph, he was nominated twice for a Grammy, and a Gospel Music Award for Urban Album of the Year in 2003. Ginty's reviews have been very positive, with exceptional reviews ranging from the Nashville Blues Society to Relix Magazine. We chatted with John about his music, touring, music legends he'd like to perform with, and some of his favorites in music.

How was the tour with The Dixie Chicks?

John: It was excellent, thanks! Great crowds, great shows, I really enjoy playing with the Chicks, super talented players and songwriters. Hope we do more in the future!

What is your familial background with music?

John: I started as a drummer in high school, and made the switch to Hammond organ shortly thereafter. My Grandmother was a church organist in Morristown, NJ back in the 60's. She passed away years before I was born, so I guess it is just in my blood to be an organist. I started playing in a southern rock cover band in the early 90's, and knew that without a Hammond organ, I was doing it wrong! Had to have one, and it was love at first play!

How does it feel to receive two Grammy nominations? Does it put more pressure on you to perform better, play better, etc.?

John: No, I don't really feel any added pressures from recognition like that, but it does make me feel proud that all the hard work doesn't go unnoticed. I guess there is a certain motivation to keep making records that will get noticed, but that's not a bad thing.

Which living legends are on your bucket list to perform with?

John: I would love to play with Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead someday. I really dig the way he and Bob Weir have kept the music and the vibe going after Jerry Garcia's death. There are also a ton of blues guitar players I would love to sit in with sometime. New guys like Joe Bonamassa and Gary Clark Jr., as well as the old school guys like Buddy Guy and Eric Clapton.

Who or what are the top 5 bands or albums you wouldn't want to live without?

John: If I lost my Allman Brothers and Gregg Allman solo records, I would be a lost soul! "Live at Fillmore East" is for sure my favorite, and was a game changer for me as a young musician. "Brothers and Sisters" and "Eat a Peach" are vital, and "Laid Back" and "Playing Up a Storm", two of Gregg's solo records are my absolute favorites. Hell, I even like "I'm No Angel"!! I'm a big fan.

Is there any music that makes you cringe?

John: Certain artists make me cringe, like Meatloaf. I'll cross 4 lanes of traffic diving for the dial if he comes on the radio. Stylistically speaking, I like all kinds of music. There's something good in all of it, pop, jazz, classical, rap, heavy metal. You just have to be open to it, and not shut it all down because of one or two artists you may not like. A great song is a great song, and a great singer is a great singer, so most styles of music have something in there you will dig. Except Meatloaf.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to interview you and hope you have a great rest of the tour!

John: Thank You Lindsey!! I appreciate the support very much!!

Purchase tickets for John's show in Sandy Springs at Steve's Live Music via HERE. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

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