BT: Mchael, thanks for your time today - we're really enjoying Iron Man. How does your recording process work?
MB: We have all of our stuff together before we go into the studio. We have all of our arrangements down, so it doesn't take us that long to track the album. We'll do anywhere from 12 to 16 songs and then weed them down to 11 or 12 songs. We don't go over an hour long - Bruce [Iglauer, Alligator's founder and president] doesn't like to have albums more than one hour long, so the time limit is 59 minutes and 59 seconds (laughs).
BT: How do you view technology's impact on the Blues in general and your music in specific? Listeners can find you in a number of ways these days.
MB: It's helpful to have Myspace, iTunes, Facebook and all of the other stuff. A lot of the mom-and-pop CD stores have closed - you only have a few places like Best Buy that stock a lot of CDs. Blues is not a big industry - it's a grain of sand in the big bucket. A guy like me has to use all of his avenues.
BT: How would you describe the current state of your genre?
MB: People are still going to shows. Even when times are tight, people will hold on to that extra 20 bucks and go out to see a show. They may not drink as many drinks, but they'll still come to support Blues artists. People work their 40 to 50 hours a week and deserve to blow off a little steam. There are a lot of loyal Blues fans and that's a great thing.
BT: Blues and Jazz artists do very well in Europe, sometimes even better than they do in the U.S. How do you account for that?
MB: You know how America is - we take advantage of something we can easily get a hold of. But over in Europe, they can't always see these artists - they may have to wait a year or two or three to see you again, so they come out to the shows.
Tickets are $12 - $10 with a Magic City Blues Society card - and can be purchased by calling 324-4545. Old Car Heaven is located at 115 35th Street South.