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The Got-It-Good Blues

Then and now with Tony Vega

"I've been really blessed. I don't believe in storing my treasures here [on earth] anyway. So, looking for an easy life, that doesn't make sense. I have no complaints, none. I've got it good. I have a wonderful wife, a great family. I get to make a living playing music that I love. What can I complain about?

"When we go overseas, people expect us to sound like one particular thing. If you look for us in a catalog over there, we're under 'White Blues/USA.' And white blues is something other than blues; it's not the real thing. I'm too rock for the blues purists, and not rock enough for the labels. We're still 100 percent independent, so we never have enough money to just go in the studio and record for weeks and weeks at a time. It's always a question of what's the best record we can do for the amount of money we have.

"I don't make the same kind of money that other guys make, but I bet you most people would love to trade places with me," he says. "I don't have to go to some nine-to-five job that I hate. I get to play my guitar all day. I'm up on stage or in the studio, and I'm doing what I really, really love to do. With pride, with humility, I am getting to do what I love. What else can I ask for?

"Whenever I get down, I remember -- I'm not in Iraq, I'm not in Cuba. I'm getting paid to drive 30 minutes down a road that doesn't have any land mines in it, to play music that I love, and then come home, go to sleep in my own bed with my wonderful wife, and the police aren't going to come knock down my door because I played the wrong song. Whatcan I complain about?"

For more information about Tony Vega's CD Then & Now, visit www.thetonyvegaband.com.

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