When asked to compose a piece which responded in some way to folk songs or storytelling, I was immediately excited. I have a deep fascination with folk tunes and this prompt instantly transported me back to my childhood traveling down dirt roads through East Texas to visit family or listening to old country music on the way to church on Sunday morning. However, it was remembering all the times in middle school and high school sitting in front of a T.V. watching an old VHS tape of live Stevie Ray Vaughan concerts which sparked the inspiration for this composition.
While learning to play guitar, I would sit and watch that VHS tape and hope I would one day be able to play like the man who helped define what Texas blues was for me (spoiler alert: I can’t play guitar like Stevie Ray Vaughan). Scuttle Buttin’ is a fast-paced, highly energetic work inspired by the tune from Stevie Ray Vaughan of the same name. A “scuttle butt” is an old term for a water cooler and “scuttle buttin’” is an old term for gossiping around the water cooler—how stories get told a lot in the South. Scuttle Buttin’ is full of quotations from blues riffs, harmonies which evoke a jazz-based sound, and aggressively picked and slapped bass to mimic the sounds of a Texas blues band.