Uncle Scotchy Talks Split Personalities, Dirty Blues, and Boozing Better Than Your Daddy
He will get you, your mama, and your dog drunk. He'll smile, wink, and write a tune to commemorate the evening. But then he will knock your grandad's dentures out and steal your brother's guitar, car, and life savings just to make a gig, like, say, Crossfade Presents The Local at The Stage.
So that's Uncle Scotchy. But Eric Garcia is Scotchy's mild-mannered other half. And Crossfade spoke with both men about split personalities, dirty blues, and boozing better than your daddy.
Crossfade: Who, what, when, where, why is Uncle Scotchy?
Uncle Scotchy/Eric Garcia: Uncle Scotchy is an alter-ego. He's born from a lifetime of self-mistreatment, frustration, sorrow, anger and ... comedy. His biography is as interesting and true to me as any other. What the fuck. Nobody really knows me anyway. Who wants to open the paper and read "Eric Garcia solo at the Douche Bar"? I might as well pour my guts out as Uncle Scotchy.
Where is the line between Scotchy and Eric Garcia? Which one is the "real" you?
Shit, I don't really know anymore, man. I have been known to pull the cork quite a bit. It's nice to have someone to blame for all the dumb shit I do and say.
I have taken to the name quite nicely, though. The guys in the band I front, Juke, all call me Uncle Scotchy. I host a radio show on 88.9 FM WDNA on Sunday nights at 11 p.m. called Blues With a Groove Radio Review, and that's my radio name now too.
Hell. I go over to my buddy, Jaime from King Bee's house, and his kid opens the door and yells, "Papa! Uncle Scotchy's here!"
I called it "dirty blues." But how would you describe your tuneage?
You got it, dude. Dirty. Musically and otherwise. I've been playing the harmonica since 1988. But the guitar for just a few years, all pretty much open-tuning slide shit.
The feel just comes straight from my ass and it comes out how it comes out. I've always tapped my feet when I play music, so I'm just hooking it up to different contraptions. So now I'm a one-man band.
Most of my subject matter is ridiculously personal. But my new, favorite song is about a jackalope. So "dirty" blues to me is now singing about what I want, and playing it however I want. When I'm on, it's like I'm pissing the stuff out of every orifice. Um ... And that's good.
Is there a reason Scotchy goes it alone? Does he have trouble interacting with other human beings?
You won't find a one-man-band who has been the star quarterback on any high-school football team. If you look at some of them -- Ben Prestage, Bob Log III, Scott H. Biram -- they are pretty much a hard bunch with a funny edge. Personally, I'm great with other human beings. But it's myself I have trouble with. I guess that's why I do it.
Who exactly are you "Uncle" to? Are there actual nieces and nephews (besides Jaime from King Bee's kid) running amok in the world?
Goddamnit, i guess the "Uncle" fits because I'm usually a little older than everyone I have been playing music with for the last grip of years. I'm always gettin' drunk when I'm playin', and I'm always the one who has to regulate when shit needs to get handled with the band at a gig or whatnot. So I suppose my nieces and nephews aren't around the world so much. But they sure are playin' in a lot of other bands now.
Continuing this conversation of family trees ... No doubt, you belong to a long line of American wildmen, folk heroes, and degenerate songsmiths. You know, Hunter S. Thompson claimed to be related to Muhammad Ali. So whose blood does Uncle Scotchy have in his veins?
Fucking Hunter. Beats me at everything. My dog was named "Ali." So I guess we got that goin'. I'd have to say I'm the lovechild of John Lee Hooker, Charles Bukowski, and Chuck Yeager.
What is a "Cowboy of Shame"? From your song, he seems to be a dark plains rider. But then there's that line about "Girl, I can ride all night." Are we talking about a cattle man who's a stud-for-hire too?
God, I want to re-record that song. Yeah, that is a complete crap song that's really fun. I came up with that little cowboy riff and thought it would be cool to do a cowboy-blues song. It's about all kinds of psycho chicks and how I never stick around. "Girl, I can ride all night/I will camp out by your flame/But the sun won't hit my saddle/'Cause I'm the Cowboy of Shame." Yippie ki yay, motherfuckers.
Last thing: Are you, in fact, a better boozer than our daddy? And if so, narrate an average night of jamming and drinking with Uncle Scotchy.
I don't know if "better" is the right word for it. My fondness for scotch and whisky is well documented. I've got a good girl now, so I'm tryin to curb my wicked ways. I used to average at least ten large cups of Johnny Black on the rocks during a three-set gig every month at the Poor House in Ft. Lauderdale. Then the after-gig shots were when things got fun.
I believe that Crossfade's own Jason Handelsman came to a bar one night to cover a Juke gig a few years back. We did so many Jack Daniels shots that he was vomiting in the parking lot before the third set began and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Most of the time I don't remember anything. So it doesn't matter much anyway. I just make up the time I had. Just like the story of the infamous Uncle Scotchy.
Everymen, The Wholetones, Brain Chips, and Uncle Scotchy as part of Crossfade Presents The Local at The Stage. Thursday, July 28. The Stage Miami, 170 NE 38th St., Miami. The rager begins at 9 p.m. and admission is free. Call 305-576-9577 or visit thestagemiami.com.
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