September 11, 2019 - Patrick Heller
Here the Heller Brothers continue the interview talking about inspirations, coffee, beer and even boilermakers to start it off. This part goes more into cigar box guitars that Scott has made. The first one was with their father. There were two smoked salmon boxes and that is where he began. Then his church was undergoing renovations, Scott asked the man in charge of construction, “Gunny” for a piece of wood. After some negotiations and a promise of one of the two new guitars a deal was made and away he went with a large piece of wood. The first one he made the neck too long on and had to cut it down to even be able to string it. It is still about 2 ½” longer than a normal cigar box guitar and therefore it brings out a deeper sound. It is known as a baritone guitar.
The guitar sat for over a year because he didn’t know how to play it. He went to a cigar box festival in York, PA to get opinions on it. There he got bit by the culture and the music. He went home and prayed on it; some of the songs he made on it are “When I get to Heaven”, “He Loves You”, “One Step Closer”, & “Eyes of Faith”. All different styles from punk to basic blues.
The brothers discussed how he played guitar when he was younger and then quit and came full circle to play again. Scott didn’t like what his then teenage son Shawn was listening to and took him to the music store and introduced him to other types of music. Shawn went on to become and accomplished bass guitarist himself. It got Scott thinking and upon meeting James Brown III, the hardest working man in showbiz, (and a metal head drummer who can put a beat to anything); they began playing together. Later on, they were joined by an accomplished guitarist named George. They finally formed Deep Blue Shag and his music career was off.
He had a moment of nervousness his first time playing “The Egg” in Albany NY. But that is truly about it, he credits his teaching and standing in front of a class every day to the lack of nerves. When he hands out c.d.’s he likes to tell people “we don’t suck”, “we’re the top of the bottom” and the “cream of the crap”.
Patrick & Scott finish this section with more music. They talk about his song “Jesus Is My Rock”; this is his English/Spanish song. His first attempt to translate was using google translate and it failed in the sound test when he played it for Sonia, a Spanish speaking friend from his job. She then helped him fix the translation so that it said what he was looking for. Tune in for part 3 of this fascinating interview as the brothers wrap it up discussing the mission of spreading God’s Love Musically in the Capital Region of New York. A link to part 1 and part 3 are below.
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The music used in the show is by the Agape Blues Company whose music includes many original songs, Christian hymns and contemporary worship songs played in a blues style, as well as traditional blues music with Christian lyrics. They use both homemade and traditional instruments in creating our unique sound. You can find info about the group here.