Victor Wooten tells Appalachian what to expect

Michael Bragg

Victor Wooten, a bass player, music producer and five time Grammy-winner, is set to appear at
Legends Wednesday.

Wooten comes with his new jazz band and will promote his new albums “Word and Tone” and “Sword and Stone” through his own record label, VIX Records.

Ticket prices for the show are $10 in advance for students and $15 at the door, which opens at 8 p.m.

The Appalachian got a chance to talk to Wooten about the process of recording his new album, the environment of his shows and how he shows appreciation to fans.

The Appalachian: How did you choose the musicians with whom to work on “Words and Tones”? I assume it is a different recording process than a project with Bela Fleck and The Flecktones seeing as you have been with them for a few decades.

Victor Wooten: The songs will often dictate who should play on them. I have a core group of musicians, including my brothers, who I often work with, but sometimes opportunity is the key. A person may show up in town or at the studio and I’ll invite them to record. That happens a lot. Or, I may get a phone call or email which will start me thinking, “This person would be perfect.” I’ll either have them come to the studio or I’ll send them the track. My process is different from the Flecktones because the Flecktones always record as a band. When recording my CDs, I’m often in the studio by myself.
TA: How many cities are you playing this tour? How did you choose the locations? Did demographics play any part, any studies done to see where you would be best received?

VW: The cities are chosen mostly by my manager and booking agent. After a plan is formulated, they bring it to me for discussion. Where we’ve played in the recent past is a big consideration, as well as whether college is in session or not. We also have to consider whether we can physically make it from one show to the next.
TA: How many studio hours/months did you spend recording with the other members of your band?

VW: It’s very hard to say. My mind doesn’t really work like that. I just record when I need to and stop when I’m done. I can say that one song has been in the works for almost ten years, but I usually work much faster than that.
TA: What label will “Words and Tones” be distributed through?

VW: I’m proud to say that I recently started my own label, VIX Records, so that I can be in control of my own music. So, these two records will be released on my label. But even more recently, we struck a distribution deal with Compass Records. They are the company who released my very first record many years ago. they will help distribute them. The new records “Words and Tones” and “Sword and Stone” should be available on September 25.
TA: A lot of students show interest in your music, especially in the music department. Will you be available post-show to sign autographs, shake hands?

VW: I always do my best to hang around after every show to say hello, sign and take pictures with the audience members. I want to thank them personally for supporting me.
TA: What should the concert attendees expect from a Victor Wooten Band show?

VW: As always, I promise to show people things they have never seen or heard before and leave them with thoughts and feelings to ponder. The audience should expect to have a great time, that’s all. Other than that, come with an open mind and leave the rest to me.

Story: WILL GREENE, A&E Reporter