Buckit’s John Dillon (left) and Chad Cardiff ham it up at Charly’s in Flagstaff. Courtesy photo
ChadCardiff: You know, our biggest challenge, being the Trailer Park Troubadours, was to get others to see what we were really about. Our show was the trailer park that time had forgotten about, dressing in polyester and plaid singing about something many could relate to. Comedy with a killer band, stories with a beat, little slices of life, as we liked to refer to our show.
Richie, obviously, is a legend in the Nashville music scene. When the Troubs started out inNashville, we were a duo, Antsy McClain on acoustic, and myself on bass. The music was fun, tight and clever but had been missing that extra level. Richie having produced most of Waylon’s albums, took us from that fun little duo who could sit around the campfire or living room with a group of friends, to putting a killer band behind us and opening up for greats like Waylon, Brooks and Dunn, Robert Earl Keen, and T. Graham Brown.
First off, I love this town. Flagstaff has always had a special place inside of me. I went to NAU several years back—not saying how many—and fell in love with the college and town and promised myself I’d come back to stay. The clean air, trees and especially the peaks makes this a great place to be relaxed and inspired when it comes to writing. I had always promised myself that I’d come back, and leaving the Troubs in ’05 was a perfect opportunity to make the move from Nashville. Not only is this a great town, but I think we have a nice little music scene here. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know those in the scene, very inspiring.
Vision? Ha—I had not picked up a guitar for two years after leaving the Trailer Park Troubadours in 2005. I had a room full of guitars, amps and gear. The same strings were on my acoustic after I had dusted it off in 2007 to start writing again. All I wanted to do was start writing again and get my chops back. I had met Rob Ross, our drummer, through a mutual friend who had asked me to come jam with him one time. After about an hour, we looked at each other and said, “Ya’ll wanna do a few shows around town?”
… We like to call our music, “groove rock.” It’s that driving groove in-the-pocket, sound that can just about relate to anyone and their musical tastes. OK, maybe not you banjo players out there, but I may have grabbed a few of their ears too. I was raised on just about every style of music you can think of: rock, country, bluegrass, ’80s rock and funk. There’s not much I don’t like.
Yeah, sometimes, but thankfully I have a great band who is very patient with me. They chuckle at me when the guy that wrote the tune forgets his own lyrics. They just let it pass—ha. They are a great band, with really good ideas. Actually, I love it. It’s so fun to see an idea, thought or project come to fruition. I get plenty of help from the guys in the band.
I constantly get told that we just look like we are always having a great time. I’d have to say that is an understatement; we have a lot of fun as a band. Once again, I think the guys just tolerate me. I have a terrible habit of being dead serious and derail the whole thing with a messed up remark to one of the guys or about life in general. After that, it’s all downhill. One of my favorite lines after a show is, “Hey guys, thanks for not suckin’.” Thankfully, I work with a group of pros who know how to get the job done! … I love humor in a song, especially if it’s clever, with a good groove and hook. Anyone can go right to the lowest of common denominators to be funny, but it’s twice as hard to be clean, clever and funny.
Buckit, as a whole, are a product of the ’70s and ’80s music scene. We come from so many musical influences. I have always loved solid blues-rock jam bands, and Thorogood knows how to get it done! He’s definitely been one of those solid influences on us and our music. It’s truly an honor to play for them.