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“Old Soul” Lincoln Schofield Orchestrates “Rock 'N Roll” Showcase at Wicked Willy's

 

Written by Elias Stimac

With a name like Lincoln Foley Schofield, you know this singer-songwriter has rock ‘n’ roll in his soul. Fittingly, Linc (as he is known in private circles) has created a bi-monthly showcase and music celebration inspired by the classic rock, blues and folk music which made Greenwich Village the music and cultural center of the world in the '60's and '70's, entitled “Old Soul Rock 'n' Roll.”


Lincoln Shofield and his Old Soul Band

Linc created the event with the guidance of Sam McKeith, a former William Morris agent who represented Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Wonder at pivotal times in their careers. Sharing similar views on the state of the music business, together they worked to create a showcase where common musical and cultural bonds could be celebrated and grow.

“Old Soul Rock 'n' Roll” is held at Wicked Willy’s the first and third Wednesday of every month and goes from 6pm-4am. Each show features a collaboration of talented risings artists, special guests and Lincoln Schofield and his band "Old Soul". The evening features Jaxon Twain on keys, T-bone Motta on drums, and Caitlin Gray on bass. Past guest performers include Danny Louis and Matt Abts of Gov’t Mule, Jimmy Vivino of the Max Weinberg 7, Mike Merrit of Levon Helms Band, as well as many talented rising artists. Linc is planning to open similar shows in Nashville, Austin and other major music markets, and partner up with other like-minded organizations, creating bigger and better music celebrations.

Linc was raised on the west side of Syracuse, New York, and with the guidance of his father, he developed a love for folk music, rock 'n' roll, and an admiration for the Woodstock Nation Movement. His debut solo acoustic album, "Trespassing with Woody," was released in January of 2005. In May 2006, he moved to New York City and became a booking agent for the world famous concert venue S.O.B's, where he worked on hundreds of live shows including shows by Kanye West, Wyclef Jean, Talib Kweli, and Gil Scott Heron. He was also the lead booking agent for Global Jams, a showcase featuring the best touring Jam Bands, including Phil Lesh and Friends and Warren Haynes of Gov't Mule. The Music Marketing Department of MTV hired Lincoln in 2007. He worked on the 2007 and 2008 Woodie Awards, and other shows including “SexCred with Dr. Ruth,” “Backstage Pass,” and “Best Music on Campus.” Over the last three years he has performed at some of New York City's top venues, including the Apollo Theatre, and the Highline Ballroom.

For more information, visit www.lincolnfoleyschofield.com and www.oldsoulrocknroll.com.
OLD SOUL ROCK 'N ROLL
Wicked Willy's
149 Bleecker Street
(between Thompson & La Guardia)
New York, NY
212-254-8592
Doors: 6pm?Showtime: 7pm ?Cover: $5.00
Subway: A,C,E,F,V to West 4th Street

Elias Stimac: What was the arts scene like growing up in Syracuse, New York?

Lincoln Schofield: Syracuse, to me, was an exciting place to grow up. The city hosts great art, music, and community events all year round. My favorite place for music was the Dinosaur Barbeque, famous for blues and barbeque. I was probably 10 years old the first time my family went to the Dinosaur for dinner, and it easily became my favorite restaurant -- and stayed that way throughout my childhood.

Elias Stimac: How did you father influence your musical aspirations?

Lincoln Schofield: Both my sister and I were blessed to have parents who supported our dreams. My father’s life logic for us was simple: “Find what rings your bell, and ring it as loud as you can, for as long as you can.”

Elias Stimac: Describe your experience in the third row of the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band concert at age 18 and how it affected your career choice?

Lincoln Schofield: When I found out that Springsteen was going back on tour in 1999 with the E Street Band, it was big news for my family. We all loved him, but I studied him. Fifteen minutes before tickets went on sale I started calling from our house phone and my moms old 10-pound cell phone. Just redial after redial until finally I got through. The show was a magical experience for me at a pivotal time in my life. At that point my high school band Dirt Poor was my favorite thing in the world. We were playing shows in our basement for 30 friends sometimes, and I was in love with performing. To see Springsteen together with the E Street Band showed me what making rock 'n' roll a career for myself could be like.

Elias Stimac: Why did you move to New York City?

Lincoln Schofield: I moved to New York City from Key West in May of 2006. I loved the Island life, but it felt like I had retired before I started a career. I came here to learn the ropes and make my way. A friend of mine who was living here at the time finally convinced me to move here. He said "If you come here, you'll get your chance."

Elias Stimac: Talk about forming the band with "Soul”-mates Jaxon Twain on keyboards, T-bone Motta on drums, and Caitlin Gray on bass.

Lincoln Schofield: The way Old Soul came together was an evolution – I knew all the individuals in the band from different places and we all had separate histories together. The chemistry I had with each of them felt right, and when I introduced them to one another and when we all played together, the chemistry multiplied. Jaxon is my long lost Australian friend I first met when he was an exchange student at Ithaca College. We were 19, he was living under my stairs and playing in a band together. After a year and a half, he moved back to Australia and we didn't see each other for six years, until one day I got an email saying he was moving to New York City in three weeks. That was a year and a half ago. T-bone and I had played in a number of bands together, and he's my favorite drummer I've ever played with. I started bringing him in to play on my regular gigs and it worked. I met Caitlin on the Internet and she played with me on this weekly gig I had across from Madison Square Garden. Satchel was playing in my showcase at Wicked Willy's and I loved his personality and approach to music. When I brought all these individuals together for a show, the chemistry worked.

Elias Stimac: How did you come up with the idea for the concert series at Wicked Willy's?

Lincoln Schofield: I had been living and performing in Greenwich Village and I started to realize that the neighborhood wasn't just a place where great artists had thrived -- I found a lot of great new artists making music that I wanted to see on the charts. So I made “Old Soul Rock 'n Roll” because I thought that it was a shame that just because these artists didn't have the know-how to keep up with all the bullshit you have to deal with to be a musician these days they wouldn't get proper exposure. The idea was to create a place where these artists could come together, feel at home, develop and grow.

Elias Stimac: Tell us about the role that Sam McKeith played in the series.

Lincoln Schofield: Sam McKeith has been one of the most influential people in the founding of “Old Soul Rock 'n Roll,” and in my life over the last couple of years. When we met it was clear that we had a lot of things in common regarding the way we saw things and what we wanted. What I mean by that is how we saw and felt about the music business and what we could do to change it and get out the creative elements we were both pursuing. We soon realized that our points of view were very much in line with one another. It was a symbiotic relationship because we complemented each other -- I had a handle on the technology and current trends within our culture and he had a great deal of experience and wisdom because he had been on this road before and had seen it flourish. He would advise me, and I would give him my feedback on his "Renaissance Music Review" which he is producing now. When we would get together so much would get accomplished it would just be a non-stop conversation for hours on end. As “Old Soul Rock 'n Roll” started conceptually and then became reality, every decision was bounced off Sam. As I take this on to the next step, we continue to talk regularly and his guidance continues to be invaluable.

Elias Stimac: What makes Wicked Willy’s a desirable venue for the series?

Lincoln Schofield: Wicked Willy's became the right venue for this event for simple reasons. We needed a central place where all these elements could come together and grow. Some of my musician friends complain that the stage is too small. I thought they might be right for a minute, until I went to the world famous Tootsie's in Nashville where Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings got there starts. I went to one of the guys that worked there and asked if that little stage in the window was the original stage and he replied, “Yes.” It was about half the size of the stage at Willy's. That made me realize that it wasn't about the size of the stage that you play on, but the moments you make on the stage.

Elias Stimac: Tell us about your former “day jobs” with S.O.B.’s, Global Jams, and MTV.

Lincoln Schofield: S.O.B.'s was my first day job in the music industry, and at the time it was a great opportunity at the time. I was exposed to a lot of new music, and I was working on the cutting edge of trends in the music business that weren't going anywhere. It allowed me to be creative, learn and develop new systems that would in turn help my career because when I left the office I could go home and do the same thing for myself. When MTV needed someone to work in the Music Marketing Department I was already ahead of what they were doing. They were surprised at the systems I created on my own without having someone telling me or explaining to me how to do it. I enjoyed S.O.B.'s a great deal because it is very much a family. MTV was a great experience, but it was corporate and I don't thrive in that setting. It was more relaxed than I like, nobody seemed to work too hard, and what was important there didn't seem to be what should be important. Everybody was stepping on each other to get ahead and what shouldn't matter, mattered -- typical corporate protocol. My experience in both of these places helped me sharpen my vision for what I wanted and how I would go about making it happen, for my career as an artist and for my concert series. What I ultimately wanted for Old Soul Rock 'n' Roll in the end, was to keep the original essence of rock 'n roll that I fell in love with pure and alive, celebrate it for as long as I can, then pass the formula on. I didn't want my kids being surrounded by the music I suffered through in my time.

Elias Stimac: Talk about playing some of the landmark NY clubs such as Apollo Theatre and the Highline Ballroom.

Lincoln Schofield: I have had the opportunity to play at some historical places. The best memory I have is a show at the Apollo Theatre in February 2008. I was playing for my friend Bazaar Royale and he called me hours before the show to let me know we were performing. I was relaxing on the couch from work before he called and said he was picking me up in an hour. I looked over to my roommates and said, "Guess I'm playing Apollo Theatre tonight."

It was a special show for a few reasons. It was the night I met my girlfriend, but I won't tell that story here. There were a lot of younger kids at the show and they were extremely receptive to the music and the messages in Bazaar's songs. For young kids coming up - particularly in Harlem, Bazaar's music has a lot to offer. There was a great moment as we were getting ready to leave the theatre, we were taking an elevator down and a group of young girls got in with a parent. They whispered something, then together sang the hook of his song "I Know Pain." It was nice seeing directly how the messages you put into the music you make have real impacts on people, especially younger people.

Elias Stimac: What advice do you have for NYC musicians trying to find their niche in the industry?

Lincoln Schofield: Get tough, stay humble, be true to the kid you were when you started this dream... and never give up. In addition -- one of the shames and blessings of the state of the music industry today is that you have the power to control all of the aspects of your career. The flipside of that is that it takes away more of your time and you become less of a musician and more of a music business entrepreneur... that's how it feels anyway. In a way, I feel that if you intend to make a business of your music, that’s how it should be. I grew up watching the “Behind the Music” series on VH1 and hearing all of the stories about starry-eyed naive artists that would be taken advantage of their entire career because of a bum contract they signed in a parking lot when they were blackout drunk. I knew I needed to learn how to not make those mistakes, and I suggest aspiring artists do the same. Learn from history as much as you can.



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