about 3 pairs of boots
The wide and deep roots of Americana music reach back into the West Coast's folk-rock scene just as much as they do the South's blues and country traditions. The husband-wife duo 3 Pairs of Boots, comprised of Andrew Stern and Laura Arias, is the latest evidence supporting the California case.
“We grew up in San Francisco, where concerts mixed artists from many genres together on the bill — Jimi Hendrix and Albert King, Cream and James Cotton, Miles Davis and Grateful Dead,” Stern says. “Music did not have the same boundaries then as it does now, and it still doesn’t have boundaries for us.” Luckily enough, Americana's borders are pretty blurred, themselves.
Stern and Arias originally met through a “Singer Wanted” ad. Within a year, they were not just bandmates; they were also spouses. Ever since, they've rolled their way down a long, winding road through various genres — including rock, dance, Latin, fusion, prog rock, and punk — only to end up in the melting pot of Americana with all their influences and experiences still intact. “This music encompasses all of the artists who influenced us: the Beatles, Buffalo Springfield, the Who, the Smiths, Cocteau Twins, Tom Petty, Nick Drake, and more,” Stern notes. “They all have a place in what we create now.” Indeed, with 3 Pairs of Boots, jangle-pop guitars might well sidle right up alongside a two-step groove.
3 Pairs of Boots do what they must. “We’ve spent a long time playing music, without what one might call success in the traditional sense,” Stern says. “So, you have to find the joy, wherever it is, to keep you going. The pure joy of writing songs and playing just makes us feel good.”
Stern does most of the songwriting, though he always writes with Laura’s voice in mind. Having a man write from the female perspective can be tricky. So, what happens when you add on classic country themes in the #MeToo era? “I find it quite interesting and very enjoyable to write about subject matters from a woman’s perspective, like being a screenwriter for actors.” Stern confides. “I have been blessed to be married to an incredible woman and she has taught me well.”
Stern and Arias sketch out scenes with ordinary details so that they might be relatable to anyone and everyone. “Simplicity is one of our main goals in the lyric writing,” Stern says. “When trying to tell a story or paint a scene, one doesn’t have very much time to get the point across, so you have to imply and leave room for interpretation.”
3 Pairs of Boots’ journey has led them to a place where they are thriving, in their element, embracing their past, and clearly making music for the future.
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