A Face In The Crowd: Alec Bolton

If you’re here, you know what we’re plugged into. But we want to know what YOU have in the headphones! That’s why we’re introducing A Face in the Crowd. At any given time we may pull a perfect stranger out of the crowd and ask what you are listening to. We’ll even mix it up from time to time and pick the brains of some of your favorite musicians. For this edition of A Face in the Crowd, Mother Plug Music welcomes: Alec Bolton…

What is your name?

Alec Bolton


What is your occupation?

As of right now, I’m a musician. I play guitar and sing in an acoustic duo called The Brook and the Bluff. I also play lead guitar (and sometimes bass) with a couple of different groups from time to time.


Where are you from?

Mountain Brook, AL


Did you grow up in a musical family, with a musical background, or with a musical influence?

Yes, my family was pretty musical. My three sisters can all sing, but my dad can play just about any instrument. He taught me how to play drums, guitar, and piano when I was growing up. His dad is a jazz pianist and cello player, so it definitely runs in the family.


What did you grow up listening to?

I grew up listening to my dad’s favorite bands: Van Halen, Boston, Rush, and the Doobie Brothers to name a few. Those were big influences for me when I started learning guitar.


What are you listening to currently/ what new music are you listening to?

 I’ve been listening to a lot of the band JJ Grey and Mofro lately. I really dig their blend of blues, funk, and southern rock. I’m also loving the music coming from some of these Alabama bands like the Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones.


What’s the best concert you’ve ever seen?

Honestly, it was Metallica. I saw them in Phillips Arena in Atlanta a few years back and they blew my mind. They’re not even one of my favorite bands, but the show they put on was incredible. The pyrotechnics were unreal.


What’s the best concert you’ve seen here in Birmingham?

Umphrey’s McGee at WorkPlay back in 2011. It was the first time I had ever seen them and I remember being blown away by the sheer talent and musicianship of every one of those guys. The small, intimate venue really added to the experience as well.


Was that at your favorite venue here/ what’s your favorite venue to see music here?

Yeah, I would say WorkPlay is my favorite. The sound is great and the size of the room makes you feel much more involved in the show. For me, that makes it a much more enjoyable experience. I’m a fan of the new Iron City venue also.


And finally, any great stories from the road that you would care to share?

A few months ago, I was up in Zanesville, Ohio playing a country show with a singer named Carleton Anderson. We drove up from Nashville that morning, which took about 6 ½ hours, to play at a country venue called The Smiling Goat. Well, it turns out Carleton also had a solo gig the next morning in Nashville at 11:00 A.M. Again, that’s a 6 ½ hour drive. So we finished our show around midnight, immediately packed everything up, and drove all through the night to get back to Nashville. I think we finally arrived around 7 AM. Carleton, who had driven us 6 1/2 hours to Ohio, played a full show, then drove us 6 1/2 hours back to Nashville the same night, THEN gathered his stuff and played another three-hour show the next morning. With no sleep at all. That is dedication.

This interview was conducted during the CukoRakko Music and Arts Festival on October 3, 2015 by MPM writer, Josh Matthews.