Interview with Matt Mullins, The Boatmen

1. How long have you been together? How did you meet?
(Matt) We have been together as the Boatmen since July of 2009. Nick Durm and I have known each other since YMCA youth soccer 10 and under I believe and have been playing music together now for almost ten years. We knew of Randy through his quite famous name around these parts and had seen him play various shows over the years. In 2004 I decided I would go and cut a solo record with Randy Gilkey @ his studio in Oak Hill, WV. Once I finished that, I gave Nick a listen and he then also decided to go cut his solo record with Gilkey. After that we continued to hang out with Randy and play some music sporadically until he joined our previous group. Nick, Randy, and I were in the band Old School Abbey for several years before we spilt. We had a weekly gig at a raft company in Fayetteville, WV as OSA, and we started playing as a 3 piece. Randy then introduced us to his buddy, Rob Gross. Rob then sat in with us on hand drum one week. The instant harmony and connection with the 4 of us was something we’d never experienced before. We all felt that we were onto something.

2. How did you come up with the name, The Boatmen?
A woman in the crowd one Monday, who had known us from Old School Abbey yelled out at us “You aren’t Old School Abbey, who are ya?” since we were set up underneath the Wetsuit room there were 3 signs that hung above us: Wetsuits, Boat Women, & Boat Men ….One of us said “Well, we are either the Wetsuits or The Boatmen” and the name has just stuck ever since.

3. What’s your favorite song to perform? Why? Changes quite often but right now “Ophelia- The Band”

4. What are the band’s hopes in the near future? To sign with a booking agency and sustain a comfortable lifestyle from playing music.

5. Who are The Boatmen’s idols? Why? Dusty Rhodes simply because he is the Coupon-clipping, Copenhagen-dipping, son of a plumber, if you will, daddeh! We also idolize The Band, Bob Dylan, The Who, CSN&Y, Weezer, The Temptations, Larry Keel and Natural Bridge amongst others.

6 How do you describe yourselves musically? Harmony driven – Americana “Soulgrass”

7. What is your most memorable performance? Why? Anytime we get to share the stage with our friends Larry Keel and Natural Bridge is always a memorable time. Sitting in with Keller Williams was also a memorable experience. Floydfest both times were amazing. Also feel free to ask us about performing with Afroman and The Spin Doctors, both were good, but better to leave those as un-published stories.

8. What are your upcoming shows? Boatfest !!! Our Own Music festival in Fayetteville, WV ..We Play 2 nights with a stellar lineup (including Larry Keel, The Poor Taters , The Half Bad Bluegrass Band, Stuart Hill, The Greens, The Floorboards, Motion Theatre & many more ) @ Cantrell’s Rafting Co. But all our scheduled shows can be found at

9. How can fans buy your merchandise? Do you have cds for sale online?, we are also on iTunes, cdbaby, amazon, youtube and all that stuff. Google “The Boatmen WV” and you’ll find plenty of goodies. You can also buy merchandise at any of our shows 99% of the time. Or feel free to find us on facebook and just write us about it. We completely run all of our social media by ourselves and we love hearing from friends and fans.

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