- December 6, 2019
The multi-instrumentalist opens up on influences that shaped his The Griot Swings the Classics.
The original idea was for a public access cable television show where strange music happened. The program was to be called Room 19, and would be accompanied by a monthly printed program guide, entitled (you guessed it) Ink 19. While the video show never got off the ground, Ink 19 did, and in June of 1991, the first issue was published.
Five thousand copies of that initial issue (pictured at right) were distributed throughout Central Florida, from our home base in Melbourne (a growing community on Florida’s Space Coast, so-called for being home to Kennedy Space Center and many workers and related industries) all the way to Orlando, an hour and a half to the west. As time went by, more cities and outlets fell under our sway. In late 1993, we entered the Tampa metropolitan market. By 1995, we’d added Atlanta to our growing territory, and in late 1997, Miami and South Florida came under our influence. Additionally, we launched this Web site, http://ink19.com, in 1997, putting a global audience just a mouse-click away.
Ink 19 has been in publication for almost a quarter of a century, and we’ve no intention of going away now. To the contrary, we’re constantly seeking new opportunities to expand our coverage and to continue to offer the most exciting, entertaining, diverse, and honest music publication around.
Over the course of our history, we’ve covered an incredibly diverse range of music in stunning volume. In the last year alone, over 200 bands have been covered in our Ink Spots and Live Ink sections, and well over 1500 new records have been reviewed in our Wet Ink section. No other regional publication (and indeed, few national publications) can match our diversity and sheer quantity of coverage.
To give you an idea of just how diverse we are, in the past year alone, we’ve covered (in interviews and/or live reviews) legendary artists like the Pretty Things, Blondie, and Cheap Trick, modern rock stars like Stone Temple Pilots and Ben Folds Five, metal heroes such as Type O Negative and GWAR, ska from Pilfers and Skavoovie & the Epitones, rockabilly from Mike Ness, indie-rock giants like Guided By Voices and Sleater-Kinney, punk from the likes of the Misfits and Bouncing Souls, insurgent country with the Blacks and Alejandro Escovedo, emo from Jets To Brazil and Sunny Day Real Estate, hip hop from Kool Keith and Public Enemy, reggae from Toots & the Maytals, goth from Black Tape From a Blue Girl and Voltaire, industrial from Ministry and Meat Beat Manifesto, electronica from Moby and Orbital, humorous stuff from Mojo Nixon and “Weird Al” Yankovic, swing from the Count Basie Orchestra to the Brian Setzer Orchestra, innovators like the Art of Noise and Atari Teenage Riot, alt-radio favorites like Afghan Whigs and Cake, and so much more.
Additionally, Ink 19 always has its eye on emerging artists from the Southeast scene, and we’ve helped bring many such acts, including Marvelous 3, Less Than Jake, the Mercury Program, Underwater, Jucifer, the Causey Way, and Hot Water Music, to the attention of a wider audience.