Nine Questions with Grace Decker

Name: Grace Decker

Birthplace: Boston, MA

Currently residing: Chez Decker, Missoula, MT

Musical past and present in one rambling run-on sentence: They always said, “You’re a very….STRONG…player”….but I never really understood what they meant until I was in college and had pretty much quit playing classical music and started fiddling oldtime music and then accompanying singer-songwriter Larry Hirshberg and I realized I like to play along, and I kinda like to play hard, and so six or eight years of playing along turned into a bunch of weird, and a lot of the time wonderful, duo gigs as th’ Spectacles, all over western Montana (playing everything from Tom Waits to the Ramones to Lucinda Williams and a lot of Larry originals)… and then, long about 1999, Wham, I jumped headlong in crazy musical honkytonkin’ musical grab-ass with Cash for Junkers, my musical home port and band of brothers…then just as C4J broke apart when multi-instrumemtalist extraordinaire John Rosett returned to South Caroline…I had the amazing luck to be invited into a fantabulous couple years with bluegrass crazies and wide-hearted friends Broken Valley Road Show…and just as THAT was slowing down (a bit)…who’d’a thunk–C4J returned, as fun as ever (and playing better than ever in my humble opinion).. I keep shaking my head at my great good fortune to be on such a great musical ride…plus some side projects and fun recording gigs and other musical communities along the way….and when I catch my breath and look around I’ve been gigging and giggling in western Montana for almost 20 years.

Website: www.cashforjunkersmusic

1. Who are some of your favourite composers, musicians and bands from the past and present?

Birth – Age 8: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Lawrence Welk

Age 8 – 12: Vivaldi

Age 12 – 16: A bunch of crap mostly, but I still have a soft spot for Michael Jackson, Tears for Fears, and The Cure.

Age 16 – 22: The Dead.

Age 22 – now… this is the “heavy rotation” list…

Gillian Welch, Tom Waits, Uncle Tupelo, The Jayhawks, Candye Kane, Khaled, Tom Catmull, Bob Wills, Tarkio

2. Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?

Hammond Song, by the Roches. One of those songs I can’t just “have on”- I have to give it my full attention. I dream of covering it but I think it’s too big to cover.

3. How would you describe your perfect day?

I’d be woken up by my 4 year old snuggling in, and then we all get another hour of sleep, cuddled together. There’d be plenty of time for a long rambling walk in the hills, after a breakfast sandwich with avocado in it. There’d be baking of bread. There’d be time to read. There’d be lots of laughs. There’d be one of those gigs when I can’t tell who’s having more fun– the band or the dancers.

4. What would your friends say they appreciate the most about you?

I hope they would appreciate my love of good times and my wearing of my heart on my sleeve. I hope they also forgive me those things.

5. What is your most valued material possession?

For my 40th birthday, last year, my amazing husband organized friends and family to contribute toward a new fiddle for me… their generosity still leaves me stunned and kinda freaked out at times. I chose a fiddle I love to play, a fiddle that I’m still growing into. And I never play it without thinking of Josh and all the people I know who want me to make music.

6. Who were you, or would you be nervous to meet?

I imagine I’ll be nervous to meet the parents of the girl or boy Alden decides to marry someday. I get all ook, ack, eek around everyone at times, famous or not. One of the nice things about being a musician is that you often get to be the life of the party–AND a fly on the wall– at the same time.

7. If you could blink your eyes and be in a favourite place right now, where would that place be?

West Fork Butte Lookout Cabin, on a crisp fall morning, a cup of strong coffee at my side.

8. Is there something you would like to do more of in the future?

Learn to do and make more things with my hands. After the apocolypse, I imagine everyone will need fiddlers– but they might need people who know how to make things even more.

9. Where would you like to find yourself in ten years?

Feeling glad about having richly lived every minute of the previous ten years, and excited about the next ten.

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