Thoughts about being eclectic

A lot of the artists I like the most and have been heavily influenced by play music in an eclectic range of styles and visit all kinds of genres. Over the course of a career but also on one album/project.

Many of my favourite bands have more than one singer and writer, which further adds to the range of musical colours on offer.

So to me it is just natural to write and record music without being constrained by having to make sure everything fits into a stylistic box. Not in a "look what I can do" or "how many genres can we get into the set" kind of way, more to serve the songs themselves and give each one what I think it needs. I guess there's a danger of being seen as jack of all trades and master of none, but that never bothered The Beatles, Led Zeppelin or Rufus Wainwright...

I receive a lot of comments at gigs from people who "get" this idea, and enjoy the different places we can go during the course of a few songs. However some people (mainly people like promoters, writers etc) seem very confused by it, almost uncomfortable with music that doesn't stay in one place. What's your thoughts? Do you want an album to be one thing and stay there for 40 minutes? Do you get annoyed with a "folk" act who plays a jazz tune.

Often as an artist you're asked to describe your music in a few words. I think we all struggle with this. Whatever that gap is between folk, blues, americana, jazz, pop, soul, roots... that's where I want to be.

Robert Lane