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Sucker for Pedal Steel

“I play acoustic rock with a twist of country and a dash of the blues,” says Eddie Jason Coven, who arrived in San Diego in 2004 after a two-year stint as a musician-for-hire throughout Northern California. He worked as a session keyboardist for fledgling hip-hop label FTS Productions and played in area groups such as Azariah’s Dream and A.D. Rox until departing in 2006 to pursue his own projects.

Besides solo performing and recording, Coven plays keyboards in Presence of the Holy, a Led Zep tribute band, and serves as vice president of the San Diego Songwriter’s Guild.

“The guild is a great organization that needs a little modernization,” says Coven. “As VP, I do anything and everything the board of directors and our members ask me to — from setting up, booking, and promoting showcases to overseeing guild songwriting contests.”

Coven’s debut four-song EP Tiffany was released in 2008, a period during which he also collaborated with Chris Leyva, Blizzard, Revolution ’89, and Folding Mr. Lincoln. He appears November 20 and 21 at O’Hungry’s in Old Town.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

1. My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade. “I love theatrical rock and love a good dose of emotion in music. My Chem takes these songs and weaves them into a story, from first track to last, taking you on a journey through the life of a cancer patient who’s in his dying days. The production, arrangement, and orchestration of the material is a pure rock-opera experience.”

2. Lifehouse, No Name Face. “I really like the band and the baritone vocals of the lead singer. There’s just something about their first album that, after all these years, I still listen to it.”

3. The All-American Rejects, Move Along. “Great bands seem to be coming out of Oklahoma these days. With the melody, the arrangement of the songs, and the memorable hooks, this is a great record — especially the first track, ‘Dirty Little Secret.’ ”

4. Hanson, The Walk. “I’ve been infatuated with the music of Hanson for years — truly a band that inspired me to be a musician in the first place, almost 15 years ago. This record takes a different direction than previous, as each brother gets to sing lead on a few tracks, giving you a peek into their individual songwriting capabilities, especially that of youngest brother, Zac. He’s become a great vocalist and an incredible songwriter. I’d totally be rooting for him to go solo.”

5. Reba McEntire, Greatest Hits. “I’m a sucker for fiddles, pedal steel, and some good old country music. I’ve been a fan of Reba since I was a small child, growing up under parents and grandparents who always had the radio tuned to a country music station. I love Reba’s vocal range, and her twang.”

BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

“I’m heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.”

WHAT WOULD YOUR GRADE-SCHOOL TEACHERS SAY ABOUT YOU?

“They’d say I was a pleasant student but always seemed to have trouble with my peers — not getting along and such. Truth be told, I was bored in most of my classes. I hated school and didn’t like 90 percent of the kids I went to school with. It wasn’t until I joined a band that I found some sense of belonging.”

YOUR BEST PICKUP LINE?

“I’m a musician looking for groupies. Would you like to join the fan club?”

FIRST PET?

“My first pet was Dusty, a white Labrador retriever, when I was about four years old. I grew up around animals. My parents at one time had seven dogs, two cats, and about a dozen chickens.”

READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

“I’m actually not much of a reader; I’m a writer. Last time I read a book was in college, which was almost ten years ago. But I have been reading through the Holy Bible, New King James Version, just opening it up to random books and random chapters.”

BEATLES OR STONES?

“If you would have asked me a couple years ago, I would have said Stones, hands down. But since then I’ve come to realize what all the fuss was about and really appreciate the music of the Beatles. So, that’s a tough one. But I’m still gonna have to say the Rolling Stones.”

ANY PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS?

“Since I was young, I’ve always had the ability to see auras, apparitions, and figures. They’ve come to me at different times in my life, and the most vivid was about seven or eight years ago at my cousin’s in Stockton, California. I saw the auras of both my great aunt June and another cousin, who had both passed away in that house. I’ve also seen my guardian angel, but the last I saw him was about a year ago.”

IDEAL SUPERPOWER?

“Time travel would be awesome. I could tell Jimi, Janis, Jim, and Kurt to all get sober for a year, stay home, and stay away from white lighters.”

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“I play acoustic rock with a twist of country and a dash of the blues,” says Eddie Jason Coven, who arrived in San Diego in 2004 after a two-year stint as a musician-for-hire throughout Northern California. He worked as a session keyboardist for fledgling hip-hop label FTS Productions and played in area groups such as Azariah’s Dream and A.D. Rox until departing in 2006 to pursue his own projects.

Besides solo performing and recording, Coven plays keyboards in Presence of the Holy, a Led Zep tribute band, and serves as vice president of the San Diego Songwriter’s Guild.

“The guild is a great organization that needs a little modernization,” says Coven. “As VP, I do anything and everything the board of directors and our members ask me to — from setting up, booking, and promoting showcases to overseeing guild songwriting contests.”

Coven’s debut four-song EP Tiffany was released in 2008, a period during which he also collaborated with Chris Leyva, Blizzard, Revolution ’89, and Folding Mr. Lincoln. He appears November 20 and 21 at O’Hungry’s in Old Town.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

1. My Chemical Romance, The Black Parade. “I love theatrical rock and love a good dose of emotion in music. My Chem takes these songs and weaves them into a story, from first track to last, taking you on a journey through the life of a cancer patient who’s in his dying days. The production, arrangement, and orchestration of the material is a pure rock-opera experience.”

2. Lifehouse, No Name Face. “I really like the band and the baritone vocals of the lead singer. There’s just something about their first album that, after all these years, I still listen to it.”

3. The All-American Rejects, Move Along. “Great bands seem to be coming out of Oklahoma these days. With the melody, the arrangement of the songs, and the memorable hooks, this is a great record — especially the first track, ‘Dirty Little Secret.’ ”

4. Hanson, The Walk. “I’ve been infatuated with the music of Hanson for years — truly a band that inspired me to be a musician in the first place, almost 15 years ago. This record takes a different direction than previous, as each brother gets to sing lead on a few tracks, giving you a peek into their individual songwriting capabilities, especially that of youngest brother, Zac. He’s become a great vocalist and an incredible songwriter. I’d totally be rooting for him to go solo.”

5. Reba McEntire, Greatest Hits. “I’m a sucker for fiddles, pedal steel, and some good old country music. I’ve been a fan of Reba since I was a small child, growing up under parents and grandparents who always had the radio tuned to a country music station. I love Reba’s vocal range, and her twang.”

BIGGEST INSPIRATION?

“I’m heavily influenced by Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.”

WHAT WOULD YOUR GRADE-SCHOOL TEACHERS SAY ABOUT YOU?

“They’d say I was a pleasant student but always seemed to have trouble with my peers — not getting along and such. Truth be told, I was bored in most of my classes. I hated school and didn’t like 90 percent of the kids I went to school with. It wasn’t until I joined a band that I found some sense of belonging.”

YOUR BEST PICKUP LINE?

“I’m a musician looking for groupies. Would you like to join the fan club?”

FIRST PET?

“My first pet was Dusty, a white Labrador retriever, when I was about four years old. I grew up around animals. My parents at one time had seven dogs, two cats, and about a dozen chickens.”

READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

“I’m actually not much of a reader; I’m a writer. Last time I read a book was in college, which was almost ten years ago. But I have been reading through the Holy Bible, New King James Version, just opening it up to random books and random chapters.”

BEATLES OR STONES?

“If you would have asked me a couple years ago, I would have said Stones, hands down. But since then I’ve come to realize what all the fuss was about and really appreciate the music of the Beatles. So, that’s a tough one. But I’m still gonna have to say the Rolling Stones.”

ANY PARANORMAL ENCOUNTERS?

“Since I was young, I’ve always had the ability to see auras, apparitions, and figures. They’ve come to me at different times in my life, and the most vivid was about seven or eight years ago at my cousin’s in Stockton, California. I saw the auras of both my great aunt June and another cousin, who had both passed away in that house. I’ve also seen my guardian angel, but the last I saw him was about a year ago.”

IDEAL SUPERPOWER?

“Time travel would be awesome. I could tell Jimi, Janis, Jim, and Kurt to all get sober for a year, stay home, and stay away from white lighters.”

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Outtakes:

FEARS OR PHOBIAS? “Drowning, and heights, and fear of falling off a cliff or some tall building.”

LEAST FAVORITE TV COMMERCIAL? “The Geico ads with the googly-eyed stack of cash. I hate those.”

DRIVE-INS OR INDOOR THEATERS? “Indoor Theaters. Never been to a drive-in.”

LAMEST CHRISTMAS GIFT? “I believe it was a sweater from my late Aunt Frances, which I never wore. I think my mom ended up re-gifting it to one of my cousins. But it was the thought that counts. Aunt Frances never forgot me on Christmas. She always got me something.”

WORST MOVIE? “Dumb and Dumber. I like comedies, but I don’t like stupid humor. Parts of it were just gross and plain stupid, not humorous.”

VIDEO GAME FAVES? “I haven’t played video games in years. In fact, I just sold my GameCube, since it was collecting dust. But I was a Nintendo fan who loved the Mario Brothers games, Zelda, and Donkey Kong. Remember the original Nintendo? Duck Hunt? That game was awesome!”

Nov. 20, 2009

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