Studio Session: The Flyin’ A’s

The Flyin’ A’s  joined KGNU’s Greg Schultz in the studio for a live interview and performance. They discussed their recent and upcoming tours, songwriting, and their love for Colorado. 

Greg Schultz: We’ve got The Flying A’s in the studio.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Hey there. How’s it going?

Greg Schultz: Doing great. Good to see you guys again. Just saw you a few months ago.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): I know, you came down to Austin to visit us. That’s right.

Greg Schultz: Yeah, it’s great to see you guys. Hillary and Stuart are in the house to play some songs and talk about their music, their Colorado tour, songwriting, and all that kind of cool stuff. It’s always beautiful to have you guys in here.

They have their guitars. There’s my favorite guitar right there, that little Collings, man. It’s just awesome. It’s teeny. It’s a little bit bigger than a ukulele.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): It’s definitely bigger than a ukulele, but I fell in love with it.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It fits in the overhead bin. So when we get over to Europe, we can take it with us without having to pay any extra fees.

Greg Schultz: They’re such great guitars. They project so well. So nice and obviously well designed. A lot of you Texans play those damn things. That’s for sure.

They are made in Austin. I gotta take that tour. Maybe we can do that next time.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Got it. Done.

Greg Schultz: Yeah, that’d be cool. All right. Let’s kick it off with some music. Give us a couple of tunes. What are you guys going to play?

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): All right. Here’s a tune called “I Won’t Stop Loving You”. 

Alright. From our first album.

Greg Schultz: All right. I like it. Thanks for coming in, guys. We always appreciate live music. And you guys have been in here a couple of times a year the last, I don’t know, four or five years.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): I know. We can’t thank you and KGNU enough for having us out on tour.

Greg Schultz: We’re thrilled. I want to give a shout out to Doug Gertner, who made the introduction and had you guys at his house the very first time.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): That’s right. He’s amazing. Good people, really good people. We feel so lucky. So it’s great to be here after spending 10 straight days at Kerrville Folk Festival in a hundred degree weather.

It’s pretty awesome to get up to a beautiful crisp morning here in Colorado.

Greg Schultz: Yeah, it’s been pretty nice. We had a hot day yesterday here, the last few days have been getting warm, but yeah, no complaints. No humidity.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It’s amazing. I lived in Lubbock for five years and man, all this low humidity always makes for a good hair day.

It’s hard to, I miss it being in Austin with all the humidity.

Greg Schultz: I wouldn’t know about that to be honest. My hair is not growing as well as it used to. I usually wear a baseball cap, and this morning you can spot me from anywhere. I look like a road worker.

You can see me from far away. But no, we appreciate you guys coming in. You’re in Colorado. You just left, what three days ago? You give us your quick little travels and what you got coming up here in your life.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): We had 10 straight days out at Kerrville Folk Festival, writing music, playing music and supporting our community.

That’s where we met – out there in Kerrville, Texas. As songwriters way back in the day. Then we hit Santa Fe to do some songwriting with our good friend, The East Side Flash. And then some rest and relaxation in Questa and now we’re here. So it’s great to be here in Colorado, my favorite state on the planet.

And you can tell the Texans where I’m from that I love it here.

Greg Schultz: Yeah, you do. And Questa is really cool. I know you have good friends. You have some friends down there. It’s just beautiful and peaceful and New Mexico has a different vibe. I’m thinking about going down in a couple of weeks just to, I don’t know, take a week off and just get in my car and go.

You get into New Mexico, man. It just seems like when I was working, it would take my stress level down to some level of sanity, so to speak. It really is a beautiful state full of mountains and rivers and deserts.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): And Colorado and New Mexico are right next to each other, but they’re still so different.

They look so different.

Greg Schultz: They do. We don’t have the desert. And they do. We have on the other side of I 25, it turns into Kansas. And that’s no disrespect to Kansas or anybody who lives out that way.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): We head to Kansas later this month.

We love Kansas as well.

Greg Schultz: No, it’s got some beautiful, beautiful places, but New Mexico is different.

And you guys are hanging out in the mountains right now, up in Estes Park. You got some stuff going on, so why don’t you talk a little bit about that.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Monday we’re doing a thing at the Maude Library. We’re doing a kids, believe it or not, songwriting workshop from 2:00 to 3:00. So we’re gonna go through how to write a song, brainstorm with the kids.

And write a song with them, record a song on the spot with them, and then send that MP3 home with their families. Then they have a big poetry slam night there at the library, so we’re going to kick it off at 6:30 with a quick set of music and support some of that. Tuesday we’re playing the marina at 5:30.

We play the first set, followed by one of our favorite bands from Colorado, Chain Station. They are a blast.

And then Thursday we’re playing Summerfest up at the Y of the Rockies. So we’ve got four pretty cool things going on.

And sometimes we end up playing other shows too, so we’ll make sure to put it on social media if we end up with anything else happening, but we love it up there, man. That’s where we write probably 70, 80 percent of our music is up in Estes Park. 

Greg Schultz: The thin air just filters out all the you-know-what. I won’t say it. I might get in trouble even though it’s only two letters.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It’s just so beautiful in the mountains there. I’ve been going there for a big chunk of my life. And I always cry when I’m coming down.

Greg Schultz: I know, that’s tough.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): When Hilary and I first started dating she took me up there.

We’ve been back, I think, every year since.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Oh actually, I was his backup singer in Austin, and I said, why aren’t you going on tour? And he’s like, I don’t know. I was like, I think I’m going to book a tour. And I booked a tour to get to Estes Park. I booked us a few shows in Denver and New Mexico, just so I could get him back to those mountains.

Cause we’re on a budget so it’s a win.

Greg Schultz: Once you come, you’re coming back.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It’s beautiful.

Greg Schultz: Everybody says, every time I go down to Texas and visit you guys and my friends, Mike and Carla in Austin everybody says, Oh, we love Colorado.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It’s great. 

Thank you for putting up with the Texans. Everyone. I promise we know how to go down the mountain without braking though. We got it. Sorry. We apologize for all those others who are still learning.

Greg Schultz: It’s steep, it’s okay. I’ve learned to temper my expectations and my stress level these days.

So none of that really bothers me anymore. I know, stuff used to bother me all the time. It doesn’t anymore. Don’t worry about that.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): Fortunately we weren’t late to coming here. But sometimes if you’ve got a long line of cars, there’s places to pull off, where they let people pass.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): I just get worried ’cause they’re gonna burn their brakes out.

It’s great to be here. We’re excited about those shows. After that, we head to Wisconsin for a show up in Trempealeau at the hotel up there. Then back to Kansas City. And then we head over to Europe and we’re actually recording our new album – at least half of it – over there in Europe, so we’re pretty excited.

Hey, a special shout out to our friend Greg Miles. He’s one of the people who’s connected us with a lot of the cool shows I mentioned up in Estes Park as well as the Y of the Rockies. So I did want to say that.

Greg Schultz: Oh, absolutely. Shout out whoever you want. It doesn’t cost you anything. I won’t charge you.

No, it’s great to have you guys in here. We’re excited about the show. I’m going to make it up there for sure to see one of those shows, hopefully Tuesday night. And then the Europe tour. I know you guys are just fired up about that and excited to get back into writing some songs and do some recording. Oh, before I forget, when you finish that MP3 with those children, send it to me.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): You got it.

Greg Schultz: I’d like to listen to that.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): They come up with some cool, weird stuff. We’ve done this in New Zealand, on tour lots of places and stepped away from it. But we’re bringing it back and it’s so great to get the chance to show that everyone could be a songwriter.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): It’s a lot of fun and they throw out these crazy ideas and we plug them all in. Oh, it’s awesome

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): We learn a lot teaching them. It’s pretty cool.

Greg Schultz: It’s amazing what we learn from children without getting too philosophical. You listen to them, you go, geez, that, that kind of makes sense.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): That workshop on Monday is open to the public. So if anyone out there has got some kids looking for something to do for the summer, why don’t you come on up to the park, come up to the Y.

Take some hikes, play some putt.

Greg Schultz: What time is it all happening? 

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): 2:00 to 3:00 is when we’re doing the songwriting workshop at Maude Library at the YMCA of the Rockies. 

Greg Schultz: Yeah, folks, bring your kids up, man. That’s pretty cool. If you want to learn how to craft a song and participate in a group setting, it’s a lot easier when you’re with a bunch of people.

You’re not as inhibited. You know what I mean? Especially children. Some just stand up and sing and have a great time. Some sit in the back and eventually move a little closer to the front. You guys play and that’s the coolest thing in the world.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It’s a lot of fun. So we’re excited to do it.

Greg Schultz: That’s fantastic. Good. We’re again, that’s a nice run for you guys. We’ve seen you up there several times. And it’s always a good time. You have some good friends up there too, which is really nice.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Hey, and are you gonna head up to Snowygrass? Snowygrass is a great festival. It happens up in Estes Park.

That’s in September. 

Greg Schultz: It’s September. I don’t know for sure because of my many travels. My July, August, September, October are, they’re all going to be road tripping time for me for the most part. And I’ve got three or four lined up already.

But if I’m here, I’d like to go up there. 

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Our good friend Nadine runs that and they’ve got camping now and it just looks over the lake and Estes Park. It’s beautiful. 

Greg Schultz: All right. So what are you gonna give us here?

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Ah, what do you got? All right. Here’s another song about a love and real life.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Alright, one more tune, let’s do it. What do you want to do, babe? 

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): Let’s do that country song. Are you up for it?

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Yeah, sure. All right. Here’s a country song that I wrote with Stuart. And it’s a cheating song. No cheating necessary for us, but here’s a cheating song for all you.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): I think we were actually in a fight about something. We were in a fight about something and made up writing a cheating song.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): That’s how I knew I was with the right husband this time.

Greg Schultz: Oh, beautiful song, man. I love that. The best songs come from the heart and sometimes they come when you’re mad at each other, you get it as songwriters, I think. Maybe it’s gotta be cathartic.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): It is.

And it was funny cause it started off with me banging on the guitar. I was so angry with him. And then I was like, Oh, wait a second.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): She ran to the back part of the house, about as far away as she could still be in the house, but as far away from me as humanly possible.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): And then I started writing it and I thought, oh wait.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): And then she came back out and she said, wait a minute. I think I got something. I think we should write a song. .

Greg Schultz: Oh my God, that’s a true story. It’s so great to have you guys on because you just play with your heart. You lay it all out there. You are what you are and people really love that. You’re telling a story of why you wrote this sad song.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): That’s it. And it’s one of those things where the hard times, those cracks that almost break us, those cracks are what lets the sunlight in. And part of that’s the music for us. And it’s also cheaper than therapy so that works and gives us an opportunity to connect with the audience, but also let people know they’re not alone.

We’re going to all dance together. We’re going to lift your spirits, but we also might help share a little bit of our troubles along the way so you don’t feel so lonely in it because together’s better.

Greg Schultz: It’s very – it’s a human emotion to say the least.

And most of us, like you said, don’t even know how to say, “I’m sorry”. No matter if it’s your mom, your dad, your kid, your significant other, it’s hard to say “I was wrong”. Oh, geez, I think I was wrong, but I’m not gonna say I was wrong.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): I feel like I gotta write a song about that. We’ll put it on the list.

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): I thought I was wrong once. But I was only mistaken.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): What’s that from? Is that a line?

Greg Schultz: That’s a good one. Oh, hey, you can go back and listen to the song. I want to co write.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): I’ll say this, a big shout out to KGNU.

We spend our career planning, writing music from the heart. We’re independent musicians. Everything we do, all the funds we raise with our shows goes right back into creating new music and doing things like that. But community radio is the lifeblood of what we do. So we want to thank you and all the donors out there and organizations for bringing us on, supporting country music with such a great morning show.

And what a gift to be here.

Greg Schultz: We’re just happy and proud that you guys are here. It’s a unique show. It’s not often you can come in and see somebody play CDs, play, I’ve got some vinyl over here, we’ve got Tidal, we’ve got Spotify, we got a cassette player up there.

And if you can wind that little thing with your pencil and find some of those old cassettes. We’re honored to be able to do this and to have folks like you guys come in and just spill the beans, man. I just love these sad country songs.

What can I say? Drinking songs and country songs, right?

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): They get to your heart.

Greg Schultz: They do. Blues and country are kind of soul brothers and sisters in that respect. That’s my opinion anyways. Okay, we’re going to do one more song. Tell us one more time where we can find you on social media and all that kind of cool stuff.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): So you can find us at theflyinas.com. And you can also find us on Facebook, you name it. Instagram, YouTube. We’re all over those places. 

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): We have a friend that calls us the Flyenas, because there’s no G.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): That was me getting artsy on that when we created the name. But yeah we’re going to be playing Monday. We’re doing the kids 2:00 to 3:00 songwriting workshop. 6:30 to 7:00 we’ll be doing the opening set for the Poetry Slam. So if you got some poetry or some music bring it on up to the Y of the Rockies at Maude Library.

Tuesday we’re playing the Marina in Estes Park. We start at 5:30 and then followed by us is Chain Station. They are rocking awesome so we can’t wait to hang with those dudes again. Then Thursday we’re playing at the Y – a big series they call Summerfest in an outdoor amphitheater that’s just to die for. Once again open to the public.

It’s pretty awesome. So we feel very fortunate to be doing that. And then follow us if you want and you’ll find out where we’re playing around the country and Europe. And by the way, hello to all those listening in from across the pond too. We’ve got quite a few friends who are tuning in from England.

So, on their happy hour right now. So great to see y’all. It’s five o’clock for sure there. 

Greg Schultz: It’s happy hour here. We just don’t have any cocktails.

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Hey, there you go.

Greg Schultz: All right, what are you going to take us out with, guys?

The Flyin’ A’s (Hilary): Oh, do you want to do a Mickey Newberry tune?

He is a big influence on a lot of us Texas writers. If you don’t know who he is, please check him out. Feel free to Google on your phone while we’re singing.

Greg Schultz: Thanks for coming in guys. We appreciate it. Beautiful stuff. 

The Flyin’ A’s (Stuart): Thank you so much.

Greg Schultz: The Flying A’s, folks.

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