In the rhythmic cadence of Vincent Poag’s music, we find a harmonious blend of cultures, time periods, and personal reflections. Today, we have the pleasure of unraveling the creative tapestry woven by this seasoned artist. From the beer-soaked celebrations of Eastern Europe to the transformative eras of Broadway and the ’60s, Vincent Poag crafts a sound uniquely his own. Join us as we delve into the intricacies of his musical journey, exploring the magic behind his compositions and the stories that breathe life into his songs.
1. “Here Here Beer” hints at the cultural love affair with beer in Eastern European countries. When immersing yourself in these new styles, what did you find most challenging about capturing the essence of a culture that is not your own, and how did you navigate this to ensure authenticity in your music?
While traveling through the great Bavarian cities during Oktoberfest, I was exposed to their unique style of dance, dress, and music. The Eastern European lovefest with beer was unbeknownst to me. I was blown away by it. These exuberant vibes sparked what I thought was a good idea for a song. I wanted to capture the spiritual culture with the music. How the melody came to me remains sorcery. I hope it feels authentic.
2. Could you tell us about a particular moment or experience during your travels that directly sparked the creation of “Here Here Beer”?
Probably it was a performance by a local vaudevillian troupe with their distinctive energetic style of music and dance. The dancing was athletically powerful, complete with foot stomping, hand clapping, kicking, and heel slapping. The music was traditional folk supported by fiddles, horns, accordions, and bagpipes. Dynamic uplifting fun.
3. Rooted in the rich Broadway traditions of the ’50s and the transformative music of the ’60s, how do you meld these classic influences with your creative drive to forge a unique ‘Vincent Poag’ sound?
We are all a product of our influences in our formative years. Some are drummed into us. Music has this illusive magical hypnotic allure that affects everyone differently. It gets into our bloodstream to become part of our DNA. All these genes get mixed in a big pot, and what comes out is a painting in the form of an artist’s individuality. Creating something like a song out of thin air is simply magic.
4. While many songwriters describe their craft as a means of self-expression, you’ve likened your process to writing a mini-Broadway play. Can you walk us through how you develop the “characters” and “narratives” within your songs?
Usually, my songs start with a seemingly simple idea that must be developed. Could be a word, phrase, or melody. Often it’s a phrase accompanied by a melody. Occasionally the words come easily, but mostly it’s frustrating work with mini rewards. The story is continually evolving, often ending in a totally different place than initially intended. Like it had a mind of its own. I liken it to mini-Broadway as it’s a compact version of all the elements of a play in a song with imagery through words.
5. Your songs carry emotional and intellectual impact. Beyond feeling better after listening, is there a particular mindset or action you hope to inspire in your audience?
Strong family values. Kindness, generosity, decency, forgiveness, and faith wouldn’t be a bad start.
6. Given the familial and small-town vibes of your upbringing, how does the concept of community manifest in your songwriting, especially in songs that touch on broader social issues?
I don’t really think about that when writing. I’m a very private person. My songs are like little children, quite personal. This is probably consistent with most songwriters. Even the songs that touch on social issues come from a private perspective. Whether it’s poking fun at reality or sympathizing with feelings, I’d like the message to be hopeful.
7. Looking ahead, can you share a vision or theme you’re eager to explore in your future projects that you haven’t tackled yet?
Maybe write a few songs for a Broadway musical. Can’t stop anybody from dreaming. Aim high!
Listen to “Here Here Beer” below: