"My friend Rob [Francis] and I play in a band at Maranantha Fellowship. He plays electric bass, and he went out and bought a standup bass. I told him we were looking to find a standup bass player, and he had the bass and started learning our material."
Q: Why call the band Dread Pirate, Roberts?"
A: "Well, Bryan's last name is Roberts, and then there's the movie ['The Princess Bride']. I've watched that over and over. I've got a number of kids, and we just loved it.
"I kind of brought the name up almost as a joke. Bryan and I never used it when we played out as a duo. It was always Matt Lindsey and Bryan Roberts, but when we brought Rob on, we thought we needed to get a band name.
"It's kind of funny."
Q: What do you play?
A: "We play a lot of jazz standards -- older jazz. Once I got to the mid-1950s, that's about as far as I got into jazz. I don't know. That's just where I felt the best jazz was.
"Bryan and I are both into Charlie Parker and Django Reinhardt. We share those common interests. I come at music from the flat-picking side, like from Doc Watson or Tony Rice, and Bryan comes at it from a more jazz/rock point of view.
"We meet in the middle and do everything from traditional fiddle tunes to Charlie Parker and Chick Corea. We're working on a song by Stevie Wonder. I guess we're not really putting any limits on genre. We're taking music from many genres and putting our own twist on it."
Q: The band gets billed as "jazz grass." Did you come up with that, or is that an actual musical genre?
A: "You know what? Jon Steele kind of coined that for us. I think that's the closest anyone has gotten to putting a genre to it. I think it describes it pretty well."
Q: You do a lot of flat-picking contests. You're a flat-picking guitar champ. Do you think you'll compete with this band?
A: "Well ... no. The flat-picking is more of a solo thing, but we're thinking about playing the Appalachian String Band contest at Clifftop this year -- that is, if I can talk them into it."Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.