Saturday, August 13, 2022

Blues Musician Opens Up About Life, Music, and Cadillac Funk

When most people think of Mississippi the first things that come to mind are food, hospitality, and the birthplace of the Blues. Blues music has been around since the late 19th century, and people, like blues musician Andrew Yurkow, plan to keep it alive for years to come.

Andrew Yurkow, Mississippi native, Blues Musician and leader of Cadillac Funk /Photo by Michael Fant
Andrew Yurkow, Mississippi native, Blues Musician and leader of Cadillac Funk /Photo by Michael Fant

Mississippi Delta-native Andrew Yurkow is the lead vocalist and manager of the blues group Cadillac Funk. Yurkow opened up about his struggles and triumphs over the past 15 years and his future in the music industry.
“I felt the call to play music in churches and at the annual B.B. King concert in Indianola, Miss.,” Yurkow said.
He has played in over 30 studios and more than 500 venues. He’s performed countless shows from the Mississippi Delta, to Athens, Ga. to Las Vegas.
Yurkow’s fondest, and favorite, memories are performing at Ardent Studios in Memphis, Tenn.’ Rodney Mills Masterhouse and The Georgia Theatre in Atlanta, Ga.; Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Miss.; B.B. King Homecoming Festival in Indianola, Miss.; and The Hill Country Picnic in Waterford, Miss.
However, he’s seen his fair share of tough times. Yurkow has been homeless, without food or money to survive on, just to make something he loves: his music.
“Racism, discrimination, financial stress, living on the street playing for tips, jail, car troubles, equipment problems, staffing all my shows, these are some of the struggles I have faced,” Yurkow said.
“I have lost many friends that I have made music with to many different reasons [from] money, drug addiction, death, and jealousy,” Yurkow said. “That is why I say it is victory to have made it this long.”
Even though Yurkow has faced struggles, he has also had triumphs, including staying true to his musical dream and creating a band that is entering its fifth year: Cadillac Funk.
“Cadillac Funk is a band I formed that consists of interchangeable parts or staff,” Yurkow said. “I created it to have a vessel to get my original material out there. Cadillac Funk is now leaning heavily towards its roots, the blues.”
As for the future, Yurkow hopes to see Cadillac Funk touring and promoting their albums and original material.
“Everywhere they love the Blues,” Yurkow said. “That is where I want to go. Record a lot, travel and play [music].”
– Michael Fant is a student in the Meek School of Journalism and New Media

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