Bob Sanborn sings and plays guitar, bass, mandolin, harmonica, and percussion with the groups Driven by Rhythm, Colby Kent and the Stompin’ Ground, and the Parks and Kleist Band. He is an English instructor at Rochester Community and Technical College.
- What sparked your interest in music?
Hearing The Beatles on the radio, and then hearing The Doors and Buffalo Springfield. For many years, I thought what they were doing was so mystical that it never occurred to me that it would be something I would do. It was something the gods were doing and being a part of it was unthinkable to me.
- Most listened to song in the last week?
The Hell on Wheels soundtrack. It sounds a little like bluegrass and a little like Americana.
- Most memorable Rochester gig experience?
It had to be when we played at the Rochester Civic Theater outdoor patio. The people liked us from the very first note. There was an ineffable spirit there, and it was about as much fun as a musician could have in Rochester.
- If you could run sound for one artist no longer among the living, who would it be? Why?
The Doors. I just would want to be there to hear it.
- One book you think everyone should read?
Free to Learn by Peter Gray. I read it as part of my research on active learning. Gray discusses hunter-gatherer cultures. In one chapter, he characterizes the hunter-gatherer life of a child. There is no need for institutionalized learning, for curriculum, for teachers. There is only one bit of evidence needed to understand why our schools are failing: Kids hate school. This says everything we need to know about the problem. Our students don’t like sitting in our classes – they would just as soon crawl over broken glass.
- Kindest words from an audience member?
One lady told us that we were very brave.
- Show rituals or superstitions?
My new one is the hat. I am going to rock the hat from now on.
- If you had to outlaw one song from ever being played again, which would it be and why?
“Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. I am really sick of it. I was sick of it 30 years ago! The sound of his voice is like nails on a chalkboard.
- What makes you stand out as a musician?
I do my homework. When I do a song, it has a lot of effort put into it. Sometimes more than people would even imagine or believe. I figure if I am going to do a song, it deserves to be done with as much thought and planning as possible.
- What motivates you to keep performing?
I like the physicality of it – how it feels to play songs for other people. It feels like a really good use of time.
IF YOU GO….
Driven by Rhythm will be playing at the Redwood Room on Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20. The Parks and Kleist Band will be playing at Chester’s on Friday, August 26 and Saturday, August 27. Be sure to check out Bob Sanborn’s video with Mary Manges on flute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSui0dxvotQ
Kim Zabel is a Plainview freelance writer and photographer. Ten measures is a weekly column spotlighting a local musician. Send nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.