JamTrotting the Globe ~ Uniting Music, Travel & Cultures

INTERVIEW: Devon Scott Dicker – Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter

Devon Scott Dicker
Devon Scott Dicker has performed from NYC to Los Angeles, playing with his band of top line studio musicians, as well as solo performances. This includes opening up for a number of established artists, such as Asia and Tokens! Devon has an innovative use of the acoustic guitar, along with a wide range of vocal styles and experimental grooving music.

Devon also recorded and performed with his band, which includes bass, drums, percussion, trumpet and keyboard. Devon’s former band consisted of musicians who have played and toured with greats like Neil Diamond, Guns & Roses, Doobie Bros, Albert Lee, Tower of Power, Tracey Chapman, Rita Coolidge, Joe Cocker and Aretha Franklin. Devon wrote songs that were included in the soundtracks of two theater-release movies “Hard Rock Nightmare” & “Deadly Moves” from Universal Studios.

Devon Scott Dicker has over 400 original songs which enable him 
to open up for a wide variety of musical acts 

1. How would you best describe yourself and your music as an artist?

I’ve gone from heavy metal/rock to jazz to Latin to folk to even some country. Currently I’d say folk music is probably where most of my song writing lies.

2. What are your current musical endeavors?

To play around in a small musical situation, playing both original and covers. I’m currently playing with Nancy McIntosh (singer songwriter and contributing writer for The Traveling Harmonica) on developing a cover set of materials. I also play open-mic nights at several places just to play new folk song materials I’ve been writing.

3. When and where did you first discover the love of your instrument and how did it FEEL being on a stage the first time?

Started singing at four years old by singing on street corners and for neighbors who paid me in either nickels or ice cream (preferably ice cream). Started playing guitar at sixteen. My first gig was at Folk City/Greenwich Village NYC. Second was at CBGB in NYC.

Devon Scott Dicker concert photo

4. What were your greatest influences as a musician?

Hendrix (of course!), Santana, James Taylor, Beatles. These were my initial influences. Currently I listen to everything! And I mean everything.

5. How has your music evolved and expanded over time?

Definitely keeps evolving, especially my lyrics. I’ve written over four hundred songs so far and they keep coming. Hopefully I can get at least one “hit” out of them

6. What’s the cultural difference in playing locally and overseas? Or between cities and countries? Got a great story?

Toured up and down the Pacific coast, but that’s it for travelling. One funny story is when I was lead singer in Thundercatz, we were on tour with the famous G.L.O.W. wrestlers from their weekly TV series. We played at the Mason Jar in AZ. A very small but well-known club. Back then we had lots of heavy metal theatrics; Electric chair, chain saws, bikini girls hidden in monk robes, fire, fog, you know all that 1980’s shtick. Our set started with a dark stage, two 14’ castle towers and monks with torches, as well as a drum riser with huge dragon wings. For the middle of the stage, we had it covered in spider webs. You know that material you use on Halloween and pull it apart to stick on your porch or cover your bushes with. I would come out after some intro sound effects and burst through the spider webs with a spot light on me and start singing. When my cue came, I started to push through the spider webs and got stuck. “Like a fly shaking around trying to get out”. It seems the roadies put way too much webbing on stage, and the fact that I had fringed leather with chrome spikes on it, just had way too many places to get caught in the web. So there I was for the whole song, trying to sing while being stuck in the spider web. Finally the roadies came and pulled me out. I was embarrassed, yet elated because the audience loved it!

Rocklord, Devon Scott Dicker

7. Do you ever Jam off the cuff with local musicians and what’s it like interacting with your jam fans? If not, why?

Back in Los Angeles I often jammed with quite a lot of local musicians. You know, friends of mine from the studio, clubs, etc. I also enjoyed jamming with musicians from well-known bands like Doobie brothers, Tracey Chapman, Albert Lee, etc. That’s a great way to pick up new techniques from established pros. Now that I’m in Ashland, OR, I have jammed with a whole lot of musicians especially, when I’m auditioning them in creating a new original situation. Its great hearing players come from different musical styles and playing with them. I jammed with this guy in his late 70’s, where his main style of music was Christian. Really good at chord improvisation and inversions on guitar. I was totally impressed.

8. Please tell us about your favorite or most memorable musical career event?

There are quite a number of occasions where there are musical events. Opening up for Asia on tour. Also writing the song “One Nation” for our wounded veterans through the Fisher House organization which produced a single and video which appeared on over four million videos as an opening trailer for movies starring Robert Deniro, John Travolta, etc. etc.. I received appreciation thank you letters from President Bush & Obama, including approx. twenty senators & Governors. This was my effort to bring awareness to our wounded veterans and their families. I’m proud of that one.

9. What is it like touring? Being on a big stage with all the lights and people?

Do you prefer large or small venues? – The largest amount of people was opening for Asia. That was about 8000. After that it’s just smaller clubs of up to 300-500 people. I do like small club venues as it seems more personal.

10. Do you have any suggestions or tips to JamTrotters on how to carry their gear when traveling on bus, train or planes? TSA? Regulations?

Make sure no one steals anything! Watch it, lock it, anything will do. When I toured in the late 80’s with Thundercatz (heavy metal) we kept a pit bull with the gear when we weren’t there. Worked like a charm!

11. Is there anything you’d would like to share with JamTrotting travelers…tips about places, restaurants, clubs, sights, etc.?

Not much there except I do love the LA clubs. The Rainbow Bar & Grill on Sunset Blvd. was my favorite hangout place in LA. Also FM Station, The Cat House, Whiskey and Troubadour.

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