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“Five Questions” is a weekly Q&A with an artist or entertainer with Alabama ties. This week’s subject is singer/songwriter Bubba Hall.

1) How did you get started in music?

Books led me to music. I learned to read when I was 3 years old. Not because I was a genius, but because I had parents who were avid readers and spent a lot of time nurturing that love in me. Because of my passion for stories I gravitated to singer/songwriters because of their ability to use music as a vehicle for telling great stories.

Bought my first guitar while in college playing football for Auburn University. No natural ability whatsoever. Very slow learner and gave up a bunch of times over many years but it wouldn’t go away. Played first solo gig at 33 and have been supporting myself performing music for 15 years now.

2) What are your musical goals?

For music to feel natural for me all the time and to write great songs people will relate to, enjoy and remember. Developing a song teaches me things about myself I might not otherwise learn any other way. I am insecure about music. It took me almost ten years into my musical career to actually say to myself, “I am finally a real musician.” And even now there are times when I am in the presence of younger more talented players who have been playing longer that make me doubt myself. That negative thinking is a result of insecurity because I waited so long to commit myself to pursuing my passion. I have no regrets about my timing but the longer you wait to pursue what you love indeed makes it more difficult.

3) What are your ties to Montgomery, and what do you think of the music scene here?

My daddy, who passed away 12 years ago, was born and raised in Montgomery, which makes it extra-special for me. He was truly a great man and an inspirational figure. When I moved to Auburn from Georgia six years ago, performing in Montgomery kept me from starving and helped me establish myself as an artist in Alabama. I met Joe Thomas Jr. in Montgomery, who encouraged me and became as good of a friend as I will ever have.

I will be blunt about the music scene in Montgomery. It is a disgrace to have a songwriter’s night such as the Joe Thomas Jr. Cloverdale show in the city Hank Williams, unarguably one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived, called home and in an audience of 80 there only be three or four musicians in attendance besides the three performers on stage.

4) Where do you find your musical inspiration?

Life.

5) What do you do when you’re not making music?

I devote myself full-time to www.highridgespirits.com, the first and only legal whiskey distillery in the state of Alabama since 1915, in which I am one of the founders and owners. Being part of Alabama history is one of my proudest accomplishments, along with helping my friend Joe Thomas Jr. start the Cloverdale Playhouse theater songwriters night.

 

Do you have an artist to suggest for Five Questions? Send an email to Allison Griffin at algriffin@gannett.com

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