Jimmy Sutton Interview – JD McPherson Bassist

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As Jimmy Sutton, bassist and long time friend for JD McPherson, and the rest of the band continue to promote their newest album, ‘Let The Good Times Roll’, he took some time to answer some of our questions!

At what point in your life did you know you wanted to pursue music professionally? 
Well, when I was in my teens and very early twenties, the thought of pursuing music full time was a pipe dream. I use to be a freelance illustrator and I would play gigs around Chicago on the weekends. It wasn’t until the summer of 1994 that I, along with a fellow named Ross Bon (singer), started a blues Jump band called The Mighty Blue Kings that I eventually chose to pursue music as a full time gig, and I never looked back.

Does the band as a whole have a hand in the song writing and song selection for an album processes?
For the Album “Let The Good Times Roll”, the band had a big hand in more of the arranging side of it all. JD would come in with Melody and Lyrics, and then the band, as a whole, would work on it, and that’s where a lot of the magic would happen.  JD and I co-wrote the song “Precious” – that was a feeling I was trying to get down on tape for awhile, and sent him a rough demo with the title, and I was happy that he came back with beautiful Lyrics and had fine tuned the melody.

What was going through your head when you found out the band was asked to return to the Late Show with David Letterman to perform ‘Let the Good Times Roll’? 
JD had called me just after Christmas and said, “Hey buddy, I’ve got a Christmas present for you. I just heard from our publisist, and we’re going to be performing “let the Good Times Roll” on Letterman, February 24th!” I thought, geez, we’re fortunate! But, then I got a bit nervous and thought, “I’m so used to playing my upright bass. What I’m I going to do with my legs performing on an electric bass!!!” (LOL)

As soon as you guys are done with the tour dates you have scheduled now, some of which are with Eric Church, the band will be heading out on some dates with Robert Plant. Are there any other summer or fall touring plans in the works? 
Off the top of my head, we have a hand full of dates in Spain and the UK, that we’ll be performing in June. We’re also looking forward to Portland’s Pickathon festival, and the debut of a new festival in Oklahoma called Queens of the Prarie.

Do you prefer playing festivals or a more intimate shows? 
Well, that’s a hard question to answer because both have their perks. I always believe in playing to your enviorment. I mean, who doesn’t love the energy intimancy of a smaller show, but large festival shows can also bring out a larger sound and persona from us. I guess I like mixing it up and perfomring both kinds of shows.

If you could create your dream tour, who would be on it? 
James Brown, Elvis, The Flamingos, The Ramones, and we would open. Oh, and it would be an intimate show tour!

Is there an artist that you would love to work with, if you haven’t already? 
For about a decade I’ve been dying to get The Bellfuries (Austin, TX) into my studio and onto HiStyle Records.  I produced an album for them that I genuinely never get tired of listening to it,  and it will be out this Summer – I am excited for people to hear it.  Now I’m thinking about how to produce a singer/songwriter named Jake LaBotz  -I think he’s the real deal and I want to get it right.

Is there any TV shows you or anyone else in the band absolutely has to watch every week?
Well, because of touring, it hard for us to keep up with TV shows on a regular basis, but shows that we’ve been excited about are shows like Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, True Detectives.