Like so many singers, RJ Comer’s roots are linked to the church choir, but also like many, the path is winding and storied from there. The LA story teller finds his songs boiling out of the Americana and Blues that run deep through his veins. “My mom was a choir director and started me on a path really towards classical music. My dad and grandpa were folk guys playing banjo, guitar and ukulele. They were the guys who provided the music around the camp fires, so I got the best of both worlds,” he recalled.
Unfortunately RJ’s dad passed away when he was a kid and as life often happens to families when one of the parents dies, RJ’s life took a tough path. “I went to music school after high school but I just wasn’t ready,” he said. “So I spent a lot of my 20s getting into trouble.” That path however opened up a lot of material for a songwriter to draw on. “Music was always the thing I was going to do,” he said. “Even now, I’m just a 52 year old guy trying to make music for a living, and I’m having fun doing it.”
RJ describes himself as “a northern boy from Chicago with a southern boy’s heart.” His new EP, Nightly Suicide, is what he calls “an Americana Rock record. I think of Americana music as a spectrum,” he said, “and like the name of your magazine implies, there’s so many different rhythms in the Americana spectrum. I include certain kinds of Blues in Americana, and there’s an Americana Rock genre’ that this current record is really focusing on. My first record really focused on the swamp sound where I played banjo on every track, and there’s fiddles and so forth. That one was mostly made in Louisiana. I like to explore that entire spectrum rather than say I’m just a folk singer. I explore that entire spectrum with my live shows, and with each of theseforth coming EPs I’m going to be exploring a different sub-genre’ of Americana.”
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