Music Interview: The Great White Trash

By Latifa Pelletier-Ahmed

Let’s go back to the good old days when musicians wrote music, when an audience could actually be integrated and engaged and the soul of an artist could be fed by the intricacies of daily life instead of greed. This isn’t nostalgic radio–it’s Craig Cardiff, a man with a mission to honour the sacred connection between musician and the audience. Soon, ready to raise his guitar in our own city with his smooth folk rhythms, and honest lyrics of life and poetry, prepare for Cardiff.

Drawn to music due to his inability to play sports, Craig was first influenced by the well-established greats Bob Dylan and the Beatles. From there he began to explore the potential of translating life into words. According to Craig, “The words are more important than the instrumentation and the melody. I love to write and I think lyrics are crucial.”

Perhaps some may think that poor poets compensate their lame lines with music. Such is not the case for Craig, as long as you enjoy poems about driving and childhood.

“A lot of the songs try to be pretty honest and try to capture the common experience,” says Craig.

However, Craig does not encompass all of experience so he depends on the life and vitality of his audience to infect him with the fever of creativity. The cycle of which Craig illustrates.

“It’s not necessarily about me, but the stories I get to collect. The weird part is that after the show people come and say; ‘I have a story better than yours,’ and you end up turning it into a song.”

Craig demonstrates that somewhere in the world there really is room for honesty. Somewhere in the world there is someone who still sees beauty in the forgotten and overlooked. “I just think there’s some pretty mind blowing stories and things happening out there, that we ignore as normal and everyday,” shares Craig.

Following his reverence for audience intimacy Craig advocates Living Room Shows. Anyone can contact Craig to perform in his or her living room in these unique shows provided they can guarantee about 40-50 people. With sufficient crowding it’s not as much space as you would think. To those of you who might think this novel Craig responds, “Living Room Shows became popular in the late ’70s and ’80s when the music industry changed, and a lot of singer/songwriters weren’t able to find work.”

What this all really comes down to is bridging the gap between the musician and the audience. Although Craig’s music may not rise above the usual indie folk-pop mold and feels he has no fears about ever becoming famous, one shouldn’t miss this opportunity to get in touch with a genuine artist. It is more or less certain he will lull you into an intense hypnotic state, where you will want to share your feelings and be kind to others. If this doesn’t happen you can likely coerce him into making your life story into a song.


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