The Living Room Floor Band is the musical alter ego of Nashville singer/songwriter Raleigh Squires.
MuzicNotez: First off, it’s an honor to be doing this interview with you, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us.
What motivated you to start creating music? What age did you begin?
- The Living Room Floor Band: Thanks for the opportunity. I was singing songs at an early age, 4 or 5, and the first two songs I just learned out of the blue was “SixteenTons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford who had a TV variety show at the time and then “Blue Suede Shoes” which was a big Elvis hit but my mother had a 45 by Carl Perkins, who wrote the song, with “Honey Don’t” on the B-side which was a Beatles record sung by Ringo later. Then, when I saw The Beatles on Jack Paar before their later Ed Sullivan appearance, I was hooked. There was an old guitar in the house handed down by one of my mother’s uncles that had poker hands painted on it, four aces and a royal flush, that my oldest brother fooled around with some that I started messing with.
MuzicNotez: Who were your musical influences, idols, or bands growing up that have helped mold you into the musician you are today? Or helped mold the music that you create?
- The Living Room Floor Band: I spent a lot of time with my great-grandmother as a kid and she never missed Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs on TV every Saturday afternoon. She would always say I should learn to do that because I could “pave my own way.” Then she’d offer to pay for guitar lessons if I ever wanted to learn how to play. Her only source if income was her social security check. She was such a big country music fan that I found Hank Williams’ obituary newspaper clipping in her Bible after she passed. So, when the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan I was 10. So I called her up and collected on the guitar lesson offer. That led to me starting a garage band with some schoolmates in the 5th grade and performing for people and getting applause was a huge rush. But I was an athlete in high school and I was in the same class with a guy named Randy Scruggs and his skill level put mine to shame which kind of stunted my desire to make my music ability public. I was a better basketball player than a musician so that kind of went on the back burner. My first wife and mother of my daughter was a huge country music fan and an aspiring songwriter when we met so I brought the guitar out to impress her. John Denver and David Gates and Bread were huge at the time and I learned all of their songs and began to experiment with writing my own.
MuzicNotez: What’s the ultimate goal you want your music to achieve, or for you to achieve in your career as a musician? Any particular message you wish to send?
- The Living Room Floor Band: I had artist aspirations early and actually auditioned to be the lead singer in Restless Heart, but Larry Stewart had a more distinctive voice than mine and he got the job. I really didn’t have the ego to become an entertainer so I became more focused on writing and had landed a writing/plugging deal with Mel Tillis’ companies so I’ve had a longtime goal to write multiple #1 radio hits on multi-platinum albums that would make me rich and free me up to do that forever with no financial worries. I made it onto multi-platinum albums by the Oak Ridge Boys and George Strait but never had that big radio single that is the key to making a lot of money as a songwriter. Those kinds of songs happen when people feel the emotion presented in the song and that’s always my goal, to make people feel or think something the song conveys. All of my songs are meant to do that so some are political or hopefully uplifting in some way.
MuzicNotez: What’s the greatest concert you’ve ever been to or performed?
- The Living Room Floor Band: Two concerts come to mind. One was James Taylor and the other was Willie Nelson with Merle Haggard and Bob Dylan.
MuzicNotez: After years of song writing for others, now you’ve created your own solo project called ‘The Living Room Floor Band’, what has it been like recording your own music for a change and creating it all your own way?
- The Living Room Floor Band: At 69 after almost 50 frustrating years in the business of writing and trying to get other artists to record my songs, it becomes apparent that maybe those days have passed me by. Again, when I saw the latest Beatles documentary and watching the process of their songwriting going all the way through the evolution of an idea becoming a piece of music made me realize that I had a shelf full of songs that have never seen the light of day and that I owed it to them to make something of them. Making them public makes them indelible marks on the world. Whether anyone likes them or not doesn’t matter anymore.
MuzicNotez: Your debut album with this solo project is entitled ‘Flaws And All’, how would you describe this release?
- The Living Room Floor Band: I have a lot of songs that have been “demoed,” recorded in Nashville studios by some of the best musicians on the planet to present and entice some producer or artist to hear a “radio record.” I’ve been lucky enough to have some songs recorded by some of my favorite artists like the Oaks, Strait, Vern Gosdin, Don Williams, Wille, and Alison Krauss, but most haven’t. Most of the music we hear today is computerized, meaning that music software has been used to “tune” vocals and even edit some of the music and I’m very computer literate. But I’ve always created my song “worktapes” on my own with a drum machine and a recorder in my living room floor. I simply went back to that process because I’ve always had fun doing them and being gratified and satisfied with the end result, oftentimes more than the professionally done recordings. I’m not a great musician or singer for that matter and that’s why it’s called “Flaws And All,” but I was happy enough with my product I decided to just put ’em out there as is in whatever ways available. I had spent $15,000 on the two master tracks that are included and I knew I couldn’t afford to do a full album that way. But the satisfaction of doing them myself and the character of them being all me is a bit of a rootsy DIY distinction of those tracks.
MuzicNotez: As a long time song writer, what’s your song writing process like? What inspires you?
- The Living Room Floor Band: Sometimes it’s a melody waiting for some lyrical inspiration, a title, story, or idea or vice versa, where a phrase, title or idea prompts a melody to go with them. One line usually leads to another. One of the things I wanted to do on this album was to show the evolution a songwriter usually goes through to present his final work.
MuzicNotez: What else are you working on? What can we expect to see and hear from you in the future?
- The Living Room Floor Band: I’ve got a number of other tracks started and in various stages of completion and a number of others on a list I plan today in the same way. Hopefully, this project will make some headway and I’ll have an open door to go through with the next ones.
MuzicNotez: Anything else you wish to say about yourself or your music? Any message for your fans?
- The Living Room Floor Band: I’m extremely grateful to have what little talent and skill I have and I consider myself extremely lucky to have had the success I’ve had and to have been given this gift. My hope is that some folks out there hear something meaningful in some of these that makes them feel good or makes them think about something they haven’t thought of before.