“Anything you’re passionate about is a lot of hard work. It requires hours, days, years, but just don’t give up. That is the only thing that’ll bring you down. I can’t tell you how many days of work I’ve had to endure on two or three hours of sleep, how much money I’ve had to personally invest in equipment, and how much personal sacrifice I’ve made to get to this point.”
“Over the past 10 years of my career, I’m willing to bet I’ve logged well over 500 hours of having an instrument in my hand. And I’m still not as good as I want to be. But I’m willing to put in another 500 hours. You have to love every single second of it, because it’s your time and your art. If you can bring yourself to love your work, then you can never go wrong.”
“What always keeps me going is the fans. Looking out on a crowd and seeing people singing along, smiling, grooving, or laughing makes me understand why I get to do this for a living. For that reason, I’ll never turn down a request to play music.”
“About a year ago, I met a couple from Radford, and one of our mutual friends gave them a copy of my first demo. They instantly loved it, and we ended up becoming great friends. They even asked me to perform one of my original songs for the first dance at their wedding in Fort Worth. It was nothing short of magical. That made me realize that even on a small scale, I’m helping change the world and people’s lives. It’s hard to think of that week in Texas and not smile.”
“Last January, I was able to release my first solo album under my own record label Middle Ridge Records. We recorded at Windfall Studios with Dave Fason. I played every single instrument on the album except for bass piano (provided by Dave) and violin (performed by Laurel Brooke). We instantly received radio play on 101.5 FM, and I’ll never forget the first time I heard my song, “Where You Are” being broadcast across the airwaves.”
Local musician Seph Custer has been lighting up the stage lately, playing between 100 and 120 shows a year. In addition to playing acoustic and slide guitar with several groups, as well as in his solo act, he also sits in with a number of musicians to play mandolin (one of his personal favorites), banjo, bass, ukulele, fiddle, or dobro.
When he’s not playing on the stage, he works at The Harvester Performance Center in Rocky Mount as a truck unloader, stage assistant, and runner, and has had the opportunity to work some prominent shows including Merle Haggard in 2015.