It's been almost exactly decade (give or take a few days) since I last spoke with folk/Americana/pop musician Jim Almand about his tunes—gimme a break, there's a lot of you musicians out there to get to—but something called me to get in touch ahead of his upcoming performance at Cowgirl (8 pm Tuesday June 18. Free. 319 S Guadalupe St., 982-2565). Almand is a local treasure, one of those standby musicians who reaps the rewards of solid playing and a solid sense of humor. Let's find out more, shall we?
It's been a while, Jim. What have you been up to? Musically speaking, I mean.
Knocking out CDs, a few tours overseas, mostly the UK and Scotland. I don't really go over the channel much, but I knock around London, Manchester, Liverpool, the Highlands of Scotland. You can do a lot of traveling [as a musician]. You're not really doing it for the money, and it's great, but mostly you're sitting in a train or a car watching the country go by. Every couple years I'll go over there, just mostly for the fun of it. I have some guys I write songs with over there. I know a fair amount of old rockers, and most of them are English. My name dropping is mostly old UK guys.
Santa Fe has a lot of definitions for what Americana is—sometimes it's just anyone with an acoustic guitar. How do you define what you do?
I kind of have musical attention deficit disorder, which means I like to play different things. I do everything from Merle [Haggard] to [Miles] Davis, plus a lot of my own stuff, which is … well, I call it more of a pop-jazz kind of music than I do Americana. Then I do a kind of a folk-rock kinda thing. I'm hanging in there as much as I can, but I'm kind of lazy—I haven't really pushed it that hard. I could've pushed it harder, but I'm not sure I'd be that much more well-known. I got into music because it was fun, and my ongoing line has been if it's not fun, I wouldn't keep doing it.
You've been doing this a long time. What's your secret?
I don't know. Don't piss off the owners, you know what I mean? Make sure the bartender knows you and you tip the staff. I try to play my own stuff, but also just enough covers to get and keep the gig. My long game is hanging in there as long as I can, and enjoying my life.