Legend in Progress: Musician Arrie Bozeman’s melodious journey

Local musician and Decatur, Georgia native Arrie Bozeman, 28, is fully immersed in all-things music – from songwriting and playing live shows to building and repairing guitars. Her passion for music has her set on the path of a life as a career musician…and a bonafide legend in progress. 

Takin’ it to the streets

I’ve always loved music. When I was a kid, my parents always [played] stuff like Frank Zappa and The Beatles and Hendrix…and all kinds of crazy awesome music on their turntable. They had quite a good record collection, and very good taste [in music].

When I was seven or so, I wanted a guitar. So my parents got me a little acoustic guitar for Christmas and some lessons with a fella named Bill. I picked it up and had a good time with it. That went on for about a year, but then my teacher moved out of town, so I put it down for a while. [I] picked it back up when I was a teenager and…[took] lessons with a guy named Chicago Joe.

My first public performance was when I was probably 15 or something like that, and it was a recital. I started the song two frets away from where I was supposed to start, so I was totally in the wrong key, and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. I totally screwed up and it was very embarrassing. But the best [embarrassing moments] are usually recorded.

Bozeman’s mother, Lorna, is one of Arrie’s biggest supporters. And fans – she attends almost every local show her daughter plays. 

“She was very shy when she first started playing with Hollin [Gammage]. She would just literally be up there with her eyes closed because she was petrified of the audience. But she could play. And she would never sing. Never.” Lorna said. “I think a big ephiphany for her was when she went to Charlotte. So she started playing…and writing. She was writing a little bit before, but not so much,” Lorna recalls. “I think that’s when she really started to open up. And [when] she learned about harmony, she started to sing more comfortably.”

Every time I play in front of anybody I am nervous – unless I’m drunk. And then I am just a little less nervous. I don’t get trashed, though – I’ll have a couple, and it’s not as nerve wracking. I’m trying to get to a point where I’m not nervous anymore…I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to accomplish that. But, for instance, I hate playing by myself in front of people. There’s nothing worse than sitting on a stage by myself – if I have to play by myself, it’s pretty ridiculous. I get this thing sometimes, and it’s dumb…and I know it’s dumb and I don’t know why it happens – but I’ll be in the middle of playing one of my songs and I’ll think, ‘Who the fuck wants to hear this?’ I get these waves where I think that my material is stupid, and nobody wants to hear it. But I want to get over it, because…I feel like the songs come for a reason…a lot of times [a song] is not for me, it’s for somebody else…that’s going through something; I feel that and get inspired. I’m trying, currently, to get to a place where I don’t have those feelings of doubt anymore.

“I don’t care to be famous, but I would like to make a decent living off playing music.”

I think a good way for me to accomplish that is to play gigs by myself, which is awful to think about. Up until this point, I’ve really been a ‘support person’, in other people’s bands – and I prefer that position, honestly. But, I’m trying to get to the point where I am owning center-stage a little bit more…I think people want to see me there.

USED WITH PERMISSION. COURTESY OF SHANA BLAKE VOCALS.

My mom came to me one night and asked if I wanted to go learn how to build guitars…she had come across a school online called Atlanta Guitar Works. . My parents had paid for my education, and put my sister through college, but of course, I was being a musician, so I didn’t really go to school after High School, I just went and started playing music.

So in 2010, I went to the six-week trade school. I learned how to build guitars, and all the in’s and out’s of repair. Brian Malone is of the instructors there and still brags about me to this day for rocking out so hard. They like having me around – they actually invited me back to school…to help students there. It’s a real honor to know those guys, and to know I did a good enough job for them to have me back as some kind of help.

[First] I built a hollow body, and then a baritone acoustic. Since then I have built about a dozen instruments for various people via word of mouth. It’s what gets me most of my work. I’ve been doing a fair amount of repairs around town, too. People give me shout-outs on Facebook for the work I do, which gets me more business. As much as I hate/love Facebook, I have to stay on it because it’s free advertising. To me, the best advertising is word of mouth.

I’m not totally freelance. I work for a fella at Tribute Guitars. I make replacement necks for Fender and Tully…super high-end, really fancy shit. Note: Tribute Guitars has not yet launched their site on the Web.

I don’t care to be famous, but I would like to make a decent living off playing music.  I’m currently doing ok but there is certainly room for improvement. In 10 years, I’d like to be doing session work and building instruments. Pretty much what I’m doing now, just [with] 10 more years of experience and exposure. I think if I keep saying ‘yes’ to things that make sense for my career, I’ll be in good shape.

 


 

Arrie Bozeman is currently a member of five bands: “I Love This Band” (Pop cover band to the stars),  The Jess Goggans Band (Americana/Soul/Funk/Blues), OC/DC (Tribute), The Atlanta Rock n’ Roll Allstars (Funk cover band) and The Ain’t Sisters with longtime friend Barb Carbon

Print Friendly