Exclusive interview

Doug Muchmore

Where did you grow up? Albuquerque, New Mexico

What influenced you to get into music? I’ve always been told I have a very good voice and often have been told my whistling is very good too. I guess I was a closest musician for many years. I played for antelope hunters around a campfire for many years, but never really played plugged in or at a bar, or other venue for many years. One year we had some doctors come out for a hunt from the Louisiana Medical Association, as I recall. They came a couple of years and loved my original ranch/cowboy music. They really encourage me to get out and do it. I finally got around to taking their advice, and the first time I played in a bar for an open mic it went very well.

What is it like living on a cattle ranch? I’m 67 and am transitioning off of it, and getting it ready for sale. I bought it in ’88 and don’t have any relatives who want to or are capable of doing it. It can be very lonely and as they say, “The work is never done." I know I will miss it, but it’s time for another chapter in life now. I’m back in Albuquerque from the ranch south of Mountainair, NM. 

Does living there inspire you to write songs? ABSOLUTELY…though it can be challenging to live there. I’m 30 minutes just to the paved highway, but I never lose sight of all the beauty there. The sunrises and sunsets are so awesome because there is no light pollution out there and the Milky Way is always visible and stunning unless there are clouds. It is 6,500’ elevation and about 50% wooded. How can I not write about it!! Yes, it is definitely inspiring. 

Where do you record? I use a man named Steve Kinabrew, he has Backtrax Studio in Albuquerque. 

What is a songwriting session like for you? I never rush anything. I always look for a hook and then build on it. I never throw away any thoughts I think of, and find good or something clever I hear someone else say. I often find inspiration in a setting in nature and develop that. I pay attention to syllables in each line in a verse because I think it’s more fluid if they are close in the number of the syllables. Many say a song doesn’t have to rhyme, I rarely have a hard time finding words that do and try to stick to rhymes whether every other line in a verse or every line. A good portion of the time I just write in my recliner while watching TV and don’t worry about when I finish it…that gives me more time to develop it and think about it. I often pull over when driving and make a few notes on what I see. I enjoy it, it’s always fun for me and I don’t get frustrated….you can’t force it.  

What is the music scene like in New Mexico? It’s hard to get paid much, but all of the brew pubs in Albuquerque are filled with music. They usually only give you a free meal and drink tab and allow tips. 

Do you perform live often? For years I performed every Sunday (weather permitting) in White Oaks, NM, from 1 to 5pm at the No Scum Allowed Saloon. It was build in 1892 and it is well known ghost town and destination bar. It was the closest watering hole from the ranch, 72 miles door to door. It was voted a top ten real cowboy bar and is in a territorial town and can be easily found on line. Now that I’m spending about half of my time in Albuquerque, I have been getting booked fairly often. I also go to open mics to stay in a performing groove. 

Tell us about your latest project. I have many songs in the Backtrax Studio, not yet mastered. I may throw another album out as soon as I get my place on the market, developing a theme. 

What can we expect from you in 2020? I expect I’ll get some more recording time in the studio and hopefully put out another album.

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