By Erin Harrington

The Band, Bob Dylan, Scotty Moore, Keith Richards: Jim Weider has played with them all. Ironically enough, you have probably never heard of him. In an interview with City on a Hill Press (CHP), Weider talked about his past experiences at Woodstock, playing rhythm guitar for the 1985 reincarnation of The Band and the demanding lifestyle of a musician.

Weider has now joined musical forces with Rodney Holmes (drums), Mitch Stein (guitar) and Steve Lucas (bass) to create the mixture of bubbling sounds that is Project Percolator.

According to Weider, the music-driven experiences of his past have helped lead him down the road to where he is today. Project Percolator is an exhilarating attempt to break free from his musical rut.

*CHP*: You were lucky enough to be involved in the original Woodstock festival. What was the "Woodstock experience" like?

*Jim Weider*: Going to that festival was something that could never be replaced. It was a period in time when the youth was aligned. No one had computers or [advanced technology] for communication, so everyone was focused on the newest record that would come out. The songs had a meaning. Each group had something they were delivering to their generation.

*CHP*: You have had the opportunity to work with some great artists like Bob Dylan, Levon Helm and The Band. How has your experience with them affected your musicianship?

*JW*: All of these musicians at that time were about the melody. The song was very important; it came first. If I learned anything, it was how to work as a band, and be a unit. As a back-up musician you learn to support the melody, and support the musicians.

*CHP*: What was the inspiration behind making your new album, "Percolator"?

*JW*: I was backed into a corner from being in The Band and being a blues/rock player. I was getting bored with my own music. I wanted to change up my style, and so I decided to get into making up some drum loops, and tweaking them, and writing to them. I was lucky enough to get an amazing drummer Rodney Holmes to lay the drums down. Then, the record came alive.

*CHP*: How did you come up with the name "Project Percolator"? What is the process of naming albums and songs like?

*JW*: The record is a groovy and bouncy kind of record, so I named it "Percolator" because it just felt right. Naming tunes for instrumentals is always a trip. You torture yourself and in the end, it doesn’t really matter that much.

*CHP*: What advice do you have for young, aspiring musicians?

*JW*: I would say go back to the roots and learn all about blues, jazz, country and where all of it came from. Work your way up from the roots so that you can have a good, deep background and you can play all different styles. That’s how you have to survive if you want to be a musician. You have to be able to adapt and change.

*CHP*: From first playing guitar at age 10 to where you are now, what has been the most difficult thing about being a musician?

*JW*: As a musician, you’ve got to be dedicated. And stay positive. You’ve gotta love it, because it’s no place to be if you don’t. It’s a very hard life and you’ve gotta love it to the extent of pure dedication. Otherwise, it’s better just to enjoy it… and stay out of it. Stay on the outside, because the inside is not an easy run.

_Jim Weider’s Project Percolator will be playing at Moe’s Alley in Santa Cruz. Performance dates are Friday, Jan. 26 and Saturday, Jan. 27 at 9 p.m. For tickets, call (831)479-1854 or visit www.moesalley.com for more information._