UI alum Scottie Long showcases acoustic style in first album

Scottie Long, a University of Iowa alumnus, released his first album, Acoustic Rewind in April with a bright, easy sound.

Lauren Arzbaecher, Arts Reporter

University of Iowa alumnus Scottie Long recently released his first album, Acoustic Rewind, in April. The seven-song collection features easygoing guitar and expressive lyrics.

Long became interested in music while in Iowa City, playing at local restaurants and venues around downtown during his time at the University of Iowa.

“My music roots are in Iowa City, even though I grew up in Illinois,” he said. “Iowa City is where I really learned music, mainly through meeting other musicians, playing live shows — with a band and sometimes solo gigs — but I did take some music classes at the university while I was there.”

After graduating in 2006, Long took some time away from music. He moved back to his hometown of Elmhurst, Illinois, and went into professional sales. Long realized after several years away from performing that he still had a desire to create music, and he began to work on the album.

“During school at Iowa and the year after, I really pursued original music and performing cover music most intensely,” he said. “I got away from it in 2007 and basically had a 12-year hiatus. Then this past winter, I really got the itch, even more so in the spring, to re-record some of that older material that I wrote in Iowa City and put some new material with it.”

Though it has been more than 10 years since Long actively studied at the UI, he said revisiting songs he wrote from that time brought back memories of his years as a Hawkeye. The album conjured memories of the past not just for Long but for other musicians he performed with, such as Pat Timson, who played bass in a band with Long while they were in college.

“A lot of the songs on that album I was surprised to hear were ones he wrote and we performed when we were in college,” Timson said. “When I heard that album, it immediately brought me back to the Yacht Club, College Street Billiards, and all the places we played. It was good reminiscing.”

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Most of the tracks on Acoustic Rewind are made up of guitar and evocative vocals, the entire album encompassing a bare-bones style. Long shows a range of guitar skills, some songs containing hearty chord progressions while others bounce along with intricate riffs. He croons about past loves, memories, and home with an easy, soulful voice.

“I treated this album like a way to start over, a fresh start,” Long said. “That’s why I kept most of it stripped as a demo. Basically, what you hear recorded is what you’ll hear live. There’s no effects on the vocals, and there’s a little reverb on the electric guitar in the last song, ‘Unknown Love,’ but most of the other songs are just on acoustic guitar.”

As Long returned to performing, his technique has changed a bit. He has become better at singing, he said, and performing cover gigs helped him to learn to play in a variety of musical genres. Even though his style has evolved, Long said his favorite things about music have stayed relatively constant.

“Connecting with people is definitely my favorite thing about performing,” he said. “In the moment of playing music, getting to see someone’s emotions change from music is always fascinating for me. There’s so much connection and so much we can all share around music, and it’s fun to hear everyone else’s music stories.”

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