Never Saying No: Interview with Bob Bailey of Sweetwater Academy

Bob Bailey, Guitarist and Vocalist

You can’t talk about the music scene in Fort Wayne without mentioning Sweetwater Sound. Some of the best musicians in the city work there, either in sales roles or as instructors in the academy. Bob Bailey is the academy’s executive director, a role that has him managing teachers from Sunny Taylor to Eric Clancy (and even Alicia Pyle).

But, by the time Bob had come to Sweetwater, he’d already been across the country and back as a guitarist, vocalist, salesperson, and session musician. We talk to him about his music background, his philosophy of teaching, and his role in what has become the largest trade show open to the public in the country, GearFest. Finally, Bob talks about his favorite part of his job, working with the kids who attend Rock Camp every year.

Bob has experienced the music industry from every angle imaginable, and he’s just an amazingly engaging storyteller. I let the episode run long, partly because Bob is involved in so many parts of the music scene, but also because he’s a great storehouse of knowledge. (Plus, we were just having fun.)

You can see Bob performing with his band Expanding Man or with The Sweetwater All Stars.

Take a listen and let us know what you think.

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Alicia Pyle and Bob Bailey