——— How did you originally get the rock & roll bug? What music did you hear in the house growing up?  My Dad listened to Bluegrass & Country. The Statler Brothers, Flatt & Scruggs, Johnny Cash, Alabama, Oak Ridge Boys. Watched Hee Haw! My Brother listened to Kiss, ELO, BTO, Foghat, Peter Frampton.

———— What was the first record you ever bought and how does it grab you today? Boston, Don’t Look Back. Still love it but it is considered Classic Rock now.

———- Since you don’t actually play an instrument or sing (outside of the beer tent or car), how do you explain your love affair with ‘Outlaw Country’ to new friends?  Just love Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Hank Williams Jr., Willie Nelson style more than ever because Nashville has always dissed them thus become the “Outlaw” term. Today, Nashville created Pop Country thanks to Scott Borchetta and changed Country music. You either love Pop Country or hate it. The hatters love Outlaw Country. I really love the new Outlaw Country artists Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson, Cody Jinks, Jamey Johnson etc.

——— Who is on your shipwrecked island playlist today?  Sturgill Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Marcus King, Billy Strings, Government Mule, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver.

——— Was your first concert experience really Alabama at Buck Lake Ranch?  Yes, I went with my Family in 1982. I remember every moment so well and even still have pictures from my photo album.

———– You’ve spent a good deal of time & love now revamping Buck Lake Ranch, once the ‘Nashville of The North’. What color can you share on the lay of the land for Midwest promoters in 2018?  Cut throat more than ever. People just do not realize the cost to put on a show these days. There are a couple big promoters who keep driving the costs up to try and keep small guys out. They buy massively which keeps their costs down.

———– You cut your teeth as promoter of the highly successful, annual BBQ, Blues & Bluegrass Festival in St. Joseph MI over the last 5 or so years, how does that experience inform your belief in and approach to the revival of Buck Lake?  Well as any promoter knows, it takes 3 years to build something out and become profitable. We are so excited for Buck Lake Ranch because of the Rich music history it already has. It has been awhile since Buck Lake has had anything going on so 2018 is going to be the “ Come Back” year. We have over 75 local, Regional & touring bands booked for the season. We have created our “Jammin in the Bowl” Series to be held every Saturday from Memorial Day to Labor Day. We have Blessing of the Bikes & Abate biker rides to The Ranch. We created the Americana Music & Arts Festival & many more events to come.

————- What new artists are you keeping an on eye for future festival plays who you’d love o see at Buck Lake someday soon?  First and foremost, Jake Kershaw. The kid is another amazing Blues artists who will be on everyone’s radar real soon. As you know, I have been following Marcus King to stardom and Jake is right behind him. Jake has a new CD “Piece of my Mind”, everyone should go buy! Also, a young lady Erin Coburn who also has a new CD “Queen of Nothing”. These are two very amazing young artists who you will see on the legendary Buck Lake Ranch Bowl Stage real soon. 

———— If you could book a dream 3 band bill, to be broadcast worldwide, dead or alive, who would be on the bill and what’s the ‘theme’ as you see it?  Well right now it would start with the Eagles. I am a huge Glenn Frey fan God rest his soul, but I just am also a huge Vince Gill fan and I love the current sound. Next would be Stevie Ray Vaughn, a man who had a relatively short career in just 7 years but made a massive impact on musicians worldwide. Third would be Hank Williams Sr. To most it may seem like a strange lineup but it goes with my love for versatility. As a promoter & music fanatic, I love many styles of music. So I love to bring in different styles from Blues, Classic Rock, Southern Rock, Outlaw Country to Indie, Progressive & Traditional Bluegrass, Folk & Jazz.

————– If you ever did become a musical artists, what would you call yourself and what song do you cover your first time on the Grammys?  That is a tough question to answer. Music is written about life experiences, tragedies, heart breaks, failures, successes and so on. So thinking along those lines, I would name my band Gullible. I have had a life full of challenges because I was over trusting, deceived, believed if someone gave me their word they would stand up to it. Not so anymore, you can trust no one except for a few closest to you. As for a song, Chris Stapleton is my favorite song writer. I would sing “Tennessee Whiskey” on the Grammys. Also, “Nobody to Blame” by Chris as well.


1.0 – When did you start playing guitar and what was the first song you ever wrote? I was about 12 or 13 when I started playing guitar. The first song I remember writing and finishing was called “Why Bother Here.” I was about 13 I think.
2.0 – You perform as Silbin Sandovar, does having an alter-ego of sorts impact your music at all? Nah. Not really.
3.0 – You bring a wide fusion of influences to your music, can you explain its origins? I just always liked older things. And I like variety. I love the idea of hybrids, musical mutts if you will. I don’t like “pure-breeding” in my music.
4.0 – What do you like to write about? I like the story song. Always have. The songs are about anything that revs my imagination. Sometimes it’s about me, sometimes I approach songwriting like script-writing. I write with other people, other personalities, other voices in mind.
5.0 Who were you listening to in high school? The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Still love the former?
6.0 – If you could do a duet with any artist, who might it be? Great question. Emmylou Harris. Dolly Parton. Jenny Lewis. PJ Harvey… Would definitely be a woman. 
7.0 – What is most rewarding to you; playing live for people, the writing process, or recording new music? A good live show is hard to beat.
8.0 – What’s the vision for RocketHubTo grow to the point where the company is a lot more than simply crowdfunding. I like to think that Rockethub (and businesses like it) will perform in a similar function as record labels and film and television studios do. I hope we can improve upon things by creating a better, fairer model for creative people.
9.0 – Are other ‘captive’ club promoters receptive to it, or are some leary of helping?
I’ve had no problem at all incorporating Rockethub with my work as a booker or promoter, the brand has a very positive association with the places I work.
10.0 – What advice would you give up and coming artists looking to build a following in NYC? It all depends on what your path is, what kind of music you make. In my experience I would say that artists need to be patient and persistent– building an audience is just that–BUILDING–and building is work. And artists need to work smart. Working smart is having a strategy. There’s no one right way of doing it but I’d recommend doing some research– go out into the field of your given city or town and find out:
*what the best venues really are in terms of sound, size
and value
*follow the heat–find out and try to become friendly with artists who
do have a following and figure out ways to collaborate with them
*don’t overplay your market/city/town–unless you have a clever working
strategy–even the big dogs can and will die from overexposure.
Space your major gigs properly and pick up new fans at open mics,
guest appearances at other peoples shows, benefit concerts,
*Be a giver. Have something to give, to barter with. Artists that only care about when they’re playing and don’t try to be part of a community or scene are almost always the ones that come whimpering and whining about no one coming to their shows or not being able to find a drummer or a guitar player for their band. When starting out especially–we are each other’s audience. All the great bands and artists didn’t come out of nowhere, they all came from or started a scene or community of some sort–The Beatles, Stones, Bob Dylan, The Byrds, etc etc.