Krista Hess is an unbelievably talented musician who I recently had the pleasure to interview. She’s a great guitarist and singer and plays with the Sad Sam Blues Jam and Dear Salem.
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Who or what got you into the blues?
When I first learned my pentatonic scales, I played them over 12 bar blues. Ever since then I was hooked.
Which blues artists have influenced you most? And how?
The most early one was Stevie Ray Vaughan when I heard him on guitar hero. The way he kind of growled and shouted when he sang really affected me in “The Sky is Crying”. Another big influence has been Joe Bonamassa. I love the way he mixes rock and classical elements into his blues.
You play with Sadie and Sam Johnson in The Sad Sam Blues Jam which is an incredible blues outfit and a very young band in terms of the ages of the members. How did you get together with them?
I was introduced to them through a friend. I ended up jamming with them and from that they asked me to sit in on one of their shows. I never stopped sitting in.
You guys recently released an EP, do you have any other plans for recordings going forward?
I’m not really aware of any upcoming recording plans with Sad Sam.
As a musician myself, I absolutely love playing live and get so many great feelings when doing so. What does playing live mean to you and how do you feel when playing?
Playing live is definitely a thrill. There is just so much energy going on from the audience and the music. Playing live is not only a way to express myself, but it’s a way to share deeply with people through music. I want to make others feel what I feel when I play.
What are your fondest musical memories?
One of my fondest memories was when I went to a Lincoln Brewster concert. Lincoln’s technical ability and soul on the guitar humbled me and gave me chills. This was the first time I really knew I wanted to play guitar for living.
What does music mean to you?
Music to me is love. Music is a universal language that should be used to connect people and draw them closer.
What drives you as a musician and songwriter?
My job is to use this amazing language with my guitar to bring others to another state of mind; to make them forget the sorrow and mundane routines of everyday life and to give them hope.
Everyone knows the very first song they learnt to play on their respective instrument, what was yours?
The first song I learned was Time of Your Life by Green Day.
Is there a song, album or artist that has been influential in the way you write and play?
Someone that really influenced me was Stevie Ray Vaughan. He really inspired me to play with that aggression and soul and I really wanted to acquire that big sound.