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Ron Roskowske

Ron RoskowskeQ: Where were you born?

A: St. Charles, Mo. I've been in the area all my life.

Q: Tell us a little about your favorite musical instrument!

A: Guitar and slide guitar. I started out on the clarinet when I was 10, and played all through high school and part of college.I switched to guitar because Jimi Hendrix didn't play clarinet.

Q: What are some of your musical influences?

A: The first guitar influences were Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, and Duane Allman.I read an interview by Clapton in which he said to listen to BB King, so I did. From there I went to the other Kings, BB and Albert (my favorite)others are Albert Collins, T-Bone Walker, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Robben Ford, Jimmie Vaughn, Steve Cropper, and Cornell Dupree.As far as St.Louis influences, I'd name Albert King again. Also, some local guitarists would be Dave Black, who's a good friend, Bill Barnett, John Mondin, and Tom Maloney.

Q: What music were you exposed to in your childhood?

A: My uncle played guitar in a duo with Mel Bay (yeah, that Mel Bay). I listened to everything from big band to heavy metal (I was a big Black Sabbath fan). I grew up in Franklin County, Mo., just about 70 miles from St. Louis. A local guitarist from Bourbon, Mo. named Jim Clark was a huge influence on me. Jim played for some time at the Palamino club in LA, and shared the stage at times with Jimmy Bryant, Speedy West, and Merle Haggard. He was a great western swing guitarist. He passed away last year, and was a big personal influence on me.

Q: What music do you like to listen to?

A: I don't get out to the clubs much other to gig, since I have a full time teaching gig as well as a family. I really enjoyed the STLBlues benefit, since I got to see a lot of local groups. I really enjoyed Uncle Albert. I also like a lot of local jazz musicians such as Dave Black again, Paul DeMarinis, and Randy Holmes.

Q: Have you done any recordings?

A: Back in the late 70's I had my first taste of semi-fame in a group known as the Macks Creek Band. We opened for Greg Allman, Grinderswitch, and Mama's Pride, and cut an album. Since then, I've done a lot of local sessions for people, and Soul Bone has been doing some recording as well.

Q: What's your favorite music moment?

A: Any time that I feel that I can connect with an audience is a great musical moment.Several years ago I sat in at Buddy Guy's Legend's Club, and Buddy was there in the audience.(It would have been better if he was on stage) I did talk to him, though.

Q: Describe your musical path

A: Any gig has the potential to be my favorite gig if the crowds happening and the musicians are on.

Q: Describe your musical path

A: I played in garage bands through high school, which led into playing clubs and concerts. In the mid 80's, I decided to return to school and get a music degree. This led to a career in music education as well as playing in various rock,jazz, and blues bands. Playing in some of these groups were Jim,our drummer, and Mark, our saxophonist. We formed Soul Bone in 98 as an outlet for us, playing the music that we love, blues and R&B.

Q: What are your musical goals?

A: I'd like for Soul Bone to work more in the area and do blues festivals, as well as record a CD of orginal music. I would also like to record a solo instrumental CD (probably would be blues based.)

Q: What do you think of the state of St. Louis Blues?

A: I think it's great! When you have artists such as Henry Townshend, Oliver Sain and Johnnie Johnson that call St.Louis home. The newer (relatively) groups such as the Soulard Blues Band, the Billy Barnett band, and others make this a great town! Also, kudos to STLBlues, the Blue Jazzman, who has an internet radio show, and the fine folks at KDHX like Art Dwyer and Papa Ray for spreading the news about the blues in St. Louis-this area is just as important as Memphis, Chicago and New Orleans in the development of the blues, and people should know about it!

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