The Shootouts photo by Jamie Escola
Americana Highways’ Key to the Highway series
Fans always clamor to learn more about their favorite, most beloved musicians and those who travel with them. There’s such an allure to the road, with its serendipity, inevitable surprises, and sometimes unexpected discomforts. This interview series is a set of questions we are asking some of our favorite roots rock Americana artists to get to know more about them and what they’ve learned and experienced on the road for music. We are sure they have key insights to share and stories to tell. Here’s one from lead singer/guitarist Ryan Humbert of The Shootouts.
Americana Highways: How do you like your coffee or other morning wake-up beverage?
Ryan Humbert: I don’t drink coffee! Never have. Neither of my parents were into coffee, so I didn’t really grow up around it. I don’t actually like the smell or taste even. That said, you can’t go wrong with a big cool glass of water in the morning to get your body hydrated!
AH: What’s the most interesting or strangest motel/hotel or place you have stayed (while on the road for music?)
RH: Right outside of Hershey, PA we stayed at an Airbnb that was an old bank! People could sleep in the vaults, even! On top of that, it was decorated with a 1950’s diner / rockabilly vibe. It was super cool, and had a lot of activities like a pool table, instruments, etc.
AH: If one CD is stuck in the player in the van for the entire tour, what do you hope it is? And why?
RH: Anything by George Strait. It’s bad luck for us to be on a tour without listening to the King! Our favorite song is “I Can Still Make Cheyenne.” The only time we didn’t listen to George, we got a flat tire. We won’t make that mistake again.
AH: What’s one personal item you must have with you on your road trip?
RH: Phone chargers! For sure.
AH: What is your relationship with food? How do you handle this on the road, and what’s your favorite dish on the road, (or restaurant, and what do you order there)?
RH: Like a lot of bands, we struggle with food on the road. There aren’t always healthy options, but we do our best to make sure we’re eating some fruit or salads whenever available. We love checking out local restaurants while in new towns. You won’t find us at many chain restaurants, unless it’s the only game in town. Mexican is always a favorite in this band.
AH: If you could pause your life for a few weeks and spend some time living in a place you only have passed through, which would you choose, and why?
RH: Montana. It’s absolutely stunning and I think a bit of a hidden gem – underrated, even. Everyone always wants to vacation in warm weather but give me the mountains anytime. I was continually stunned by the scenery while driving through Montana.
AH: What quote or piece of advice have you gotten from someone on the road that has really stuck with you?
RH: Always take time to recognize, thank, and make time for your fans during and after a show. Oftentimes, they’ve spent a lot of time and money to be with you that evening. They deserve to be treated to the best show you can put on and made to feel welcome at the venue. It’s how you continue to build relationships with folks in every town you play.
Find more information on the Shootouts, tour dates and more, here: https://www.shootoutsmusic.com/
See other Key to the Highway interviews here: https://americanahighways.org/category/interviews/key-to-the-highway-series/ (click here for: Vince Herman Jimmy Smith Ben Nichols Bruce Cockburn Charlie Musselwhite Nicki Bluhm Jim White Danny Barnes Patterson Hood Jerry Joseph BJ Barham Rodney Crowell Todd Snider Elizabeth Cook Tommy Womack Eric Ambel, Dan Baird, Robbie Fulks, Malcolm Holcombe Jon Langford Steve Poltz, Lilly Hiatt Sarah Shook & the Disarmers Sadler Vaden )
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