Steel guitar and Dobro player Cindy Cashdollar has appeared in all Rods’ promotional appearances in the USA including the stunning Nokia Theatre performance. She is well known for her work with the likes of Leon Redbone, Graham Parker, Bob Dylan (on his Grammy winning "Time Out Of Mind" CD), Jorma Kaukonen, Peter Rowan, and the stellar Cajun group BeauSoleil. As the steel guitarist for eight years with western swing kingpins Asleep At The Wheel, she won five Grammy’s. Their critically acclaimed " A Tribute To The Music Of Bob Wills and The Texas Playboys" and "Ride With Bob" CD's afforded Cindy the chance to work with some of the premier country artists of our time, including Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, George Strait, and The Dixie Chicks.
She is currently a member of Van Morrison’s band and slotted into Rod's band perfectly. SMILER caught up with Cindy during her busy promotional schedule to find out more about this accomplished musician.
SMILER- WHAT A FANTASTIC NAME IS IT REAL?
It is a real name… I’ve come across a surprising number of Cashdollar’s in my travels over the years… some are Mohawk Indians and some, like my family, are a mix and Dutch.
SMILER- YOU HAVE BEEN A GREAT ADDITION TO ROD'S BAND, HOW DID YOU GET TO JOIN?
Rod saw me performing with Van Morrison in L.A earlier this year.
SMILER- WILL YOU BE GOING ON TOUR WITH ROD?
I am waiting to see if schedules will work out for next year.
SMILER- HAVE YOU GIVEN ROD ANY STICK ABOUT WINNING AN AMAZING FIVE GRAMMY'S TO HIS ONE?
I have a feeling that his might have way more fun stories than mine…
SMILER- ROD AND VAN MORRISON ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES BUT ARE THEY ALIKE TO WORK WITH?
Totally different, but, as a side person, that’s what keeps this business interesting. I will say that both were very influential to me early on… I first saw Van in concert when I was 12 years old and it was an incredible experience. I was huge fan of Rod’s as well… thought “Gasoline Alley” was the coolest thing to happen to music when it came out and I still think the same. Rod made people in the USA appreciate a form of “Roots Music” that was there all along but they didn’t know it until then… to me, it was a very significant turning point in what was going on musically during that time.
SMILER- HAVE YOU GOT ANY FAVORITE SONGS IN THE SET?
That’s a very tough question and I’m sure my answer would change on a daily/weekly basis, I like the way it has a bit of everything, and it’s a good mix.
SMILER- AT SMILER ALTHOUGH WE WERE PLEASED WITH ROD'S RECENT AMERICAN SONGBOOK SUCCESS WE ARE REALLY GLAD HE HAS GONE BACK TO ROCK AND EARLY SIGNS ARE THE SUCCESS IS CONTINUING BUT WHY DO YOU THINK UNLIKE OTHER WELL KNOWN ARTISTS ROD HAS HAD NO TROUBLE MAKING THE TRANSITION BACK?
I think it’s because he has real heart and feel for all forms of music and he’s also been very diverse throughout his entire career, artists who can enjoy (and feel) a lot of different styles can usually put their own stamp on just about anything and sound true doing it.
SMILER- DO YOU THINK ROD COULD RECORD A GOOD COUNTRY ALBUM?
No doubt about that!
SMILER- FOR OUR MEMBERS WHO WOULD LIKE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT CINDY CASHDOLLAR WHAT WOULD YOU SUGGEST THEY LISTEN TO?
I’ve done a lot of different things, so it’s hard to say! Website is www.cindycashdollar.com . There’s links on the homepage to my bio, discography etc… so that will give an overview as to what people might to check out.
SMILER- WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER TO BE YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE?
There are definite highlights for every phase. The very first gigs I did at VFW halls and local bars were just as significant to me as certain ones that came later on and currently. It’s all connected in a lot of important little threads that are hard to single out, but, to tie in with your question #5, it’s a very special thing to get the chance to play with artists that you admired and were influenced by very early on and that you admired. That in itself is a highlight.
Cindy Cashdollar was interviewed by Mike Walton on the 23/10/06