Not really sure how I let two whole months go by without updating my blog. Thank jeezus my twitter feed’s posted on my main page, so you know I’m still alive and out there.
I guess it’s been a pretty hectic couple months. We really are almost done with this rekkid. Fiddle next week. A couple guitar parts. Harmonica on one tune. And then we’re off to mixing. I’ve got a few new songs, and have been playing them out at shows. There’s been lotsa shows, as usual for me.
Had the pleasure last night of chatting with Nashville singer/songrwiter Joe Fletcher (aka Joe Fletcher & the Wrong Reasons) after a show he did in DC with fellow songwriter Joshua Black Wilkins and my friend Adrian Krygowski. We talked about songwriting, something I rarely get to do. Talked about narrators, characters, writing songs from your own perspective vs. a (different) character’s perspective, story songs, etc. ‘Twas good to hear his thoughts. Songwriting is a fascinating and challenging thing to me. Every song starts out like a puzzle I have to solve, or like a mystery that slowly reveals itself to me throughout the course of its writing. Each one is different; I learn something new every time. I never tire of it.
Anyway – since this record is almost done, I’m turning my thoughts to artwork, photos, and then of course, a new band. That’s the part I’m really looking forward to. Stay tuned. Late summer/fall is gonna be real interesting.
Thanks as always – see you out and about soon!!
Um, Today was a really cool day. Finished an acoustic bit on “Screaming In Stereo”, had the wonderful Maureen Andary of The Sweater Set in to sing harmonies on “The Wisdom Of Flowers” (her lovely voice is also on two other songs on the rekkid) and, get this – had my old bandleader, friend, and inspiration – blues legend Bobby Parker in to play guitar on “Potomac Skies”!! ” I’ve played some of the best shows of my life with him, and it really meant the world that he came in to the studio and played on the title track of the CD. Can’t wait to have you hear it. We’re over 80% done with this thing – can’t wait to get it out to you.
Good day to you. As winter drags on, I’m happy to say I’m working on three new songs. Also, progress on the record is going well – we’ve had Jon Carroll lay down piano and organ, the Sweater Set’s Maureen Andary on background vocals, banjoist extraordinaire Mike Munford on two songs, and some more to come. Getting closer to finishing up here. It’s a great feeling. Stay tuned.
Well, after holidays, shows, conflicting schedules, and sickness, it looks like my producer Mark Williams and I will finally be going back into the studio tomorrow. I will be a grandmaster shaker player by the time this session is over. Can’t wait.
Happy New Year to you!! I’m writing this from the Outer Banks in North Carolina – Carova Beach, specifically, north of Corolla. Where the wild horses roam…
I had a great holiday season, and I’m really enjoying a week of the beach in winter – doing some writing, some eating, and a lot of sleeping. My life picks up again when I get back to DC on Saturday, so I’m really trying to soak up this downtime.
Recording has begun again on my record. Mark Williams, producer, enigineer, and guitarist extraordinaire, is laying down electric guitar parts and solos. When I get back, we’ll get some banjo, some piano, some saxophone, and some harmonies. Then we’re about done tracking.
I’m really looking forward to what this year can bring – stay tuned.
Gearing up for the holiday season here, show by event by party by song. Had a great 10-day Thanksgiving break – went back to Illinois to see family, and took a trip to Lake Jacksonville TX, outside of Dallas, to get away with more family that I hadn’t seen in years.
I’ll be back in the studio this month recording electric guitars, banjo, and piano. Looking forward to completing the recording process in the next month to two months, max.
I’ve got a pretty full calendar coming up in December, including holiday shows at Jammin’ Java (12/23) Iota Club & Cafe (12/17) and Rock ‘n Roll Hotel (12/13). Not to mention my Saxes n’ Strings fall recital at Jammin’ Java on Sunday December 16, and a full schedule of club shows. The holiday shows in particular are gonna be a blast – I’ll be sharing the stage with many of DC’s best musicians and songwriters. Do come out.
Happy holidays – hope to see you out at a show!!
Welp, just finished recording pedal steel with my friend Bobby Birdsong for my upcoming record. Three days and seven songs’ worth, in my producer Mark William’s Sucker Punch Studios. We got some amazing tracks – I can’t wait to finish this record and get it out for people to hear. It’s gonna sound great. It already sounds great, and it’s really only about halfway done. Well, mebbe 3/4.
In other news, got a new song called “Slow Burn”. I’m starting to play it out live – let me know what you think.
Thanksgiving’s coming up – and I’m making my customary trek back to my hometown of Champaign, IL to see family. This year, we’re also going to Jacksonville Lake TX, for some extended family time. Looking forward to that. I’ll be gone for roughly a week. Hope you have a good turkey day, and spend it with loved ones and good friends.
That’s about all I’ve got – see you out at a show sometime soon…
Well it’s October, and the leaves are falling. As are the tracks on the new record…
We’ve finished all lead vocals, and are 2/3 done with background vocals. After finishing BGV’s, we’ll get some pedal steel happening, courtesy of my friend/steelmaster Bobby Birdsong.
Not a whole lot else to report – my life is spent recording, teaching, and gigging. Oh, and I just finished a new song, tentatively called “Slow Burn”.
See you out at a show sometime soon!!
It’s finally Autumn, which I dig. I must say, it’s been an interesting September so far – and I’m totally late on my newsletter, sorry to say. At this point, I’ll probably just skip September and put one out in October.
I finished all the acoustic guitar work for my new record on Friday, August 31. After a playing a show on Saturday September 1, I hit the road for two weeks – going home to Champaign, IL to see family, then doing a midwest tour with Nashville songwriters Adrian Krygowski and Samantha Harlow.
We played shows in Chicago, Stevens Point WI, Monomonie WI, Minneapolis, St. Paul, St. Louis, and Nashville. Good times, and some new fans. It was fun to play some of the new songs out on the road.
So I’m back in DC now, and will be here ’til at least Thanksgiving. We should be done recording tracks by the end of October – and at that point mixing, mastering, and production will begin. That’s a whole ‘nother phase.
Can’t wait to get back in the studio. I’ve got new songs percolating as well… looking forward to bringing them to life.
See you at a show!!
I’m so happy to report that we got funded!! Had some folks come through in the last hours. Thanks to all who support my music – because of you, my record will get made. We’re already done recording bass and drums for 12 songs, and have acoustic guitars done for 8 of 12. Recording continues apace…
I just got back from a week’s vacation at Folly Beach, SC. Love the beach. Love love love the beach. Played a couple shows down there, including one on Folly Beach Pier that was gorgeous. So now, I’m kind of not ready to be back in Northern VA. Not ready to get my work shoes back on.
I”m back in town for a week, and then on September 1st I go on a two-week midwestern tour with my friend and fellow singer-songwriter Adrian Krygowski. Got dates in Chicago, Minneapolis, Stevens Point, St. Louis, and some other towns I can’t remember at the moment. Dates will be posted soon.
Upon my return, we’ll be hitting the studio hard. I’d like to have all recording finished by mid-October. Check back for updates.
See you at a show!!
So my Kickstarter campaign is finished in less than 24 hours… at this point, we are 60% funded. That is fantastic, but of course short of our goal. However, I’ve got some verbal commitments that I think will put us over the top by the end of Saturday. Let’s hope.
Again – If you haven’t already, please click on the links all over this page, tell/forward to your friends, and help us to fund the completion of this record. It already sounds great, and it’s not even close to being done. So get on board!!
Speaking of recording – it’s been going great. We’ve cut 11 songs with full bass and drums. I am now 8 songs in on cutting acoustic guitar tracks. Everything sounds great – Ethan and Ben played wonderfully last week, and Mark was and is a super speed demon producer – super efficient whilst getting top performances out of all of us.
Track listing for the record (in no particular order):
This Disaster Zone
Leave The Light On
(Let’s See) What Happens On The Highway
Wisdom Of Flowers
Red Letter Days
Screaming In Stereo
Come Read My Heart
Sunsets & Glass
So there you have it. Bass and drums are done on all, and I’m 8 songs in on acoustic. We still have a long way to go: lead vocals, harmonies, keys, pedal steel, saxophone, more guitars, etc. This recording is really a process of layers – recording and overlapping. It’s fun. I’m glad you’re along for the ride.
As of 2 am Saturday/Sunday night, I’m taking a break from recording and heading down to Folly Beach, SC (outside of Charleston) for a week’s worth of R & R with my girlfriend and a buncha friends. Yes, I’ll be playing a couple shows. No, I won’t be doing much of anything constructive besides that. For a whole week. And I can’t wait.
I’ll be hitting the studio hard upon my return on Sunday 8/19, though – look for updates, tell your friends, and remember how thankful I am for your support.
Good news – funding is going well!! I am over 25% funded, and I still have 11 days to go. We’re hopefully on track to get this album funded – but we’re not there yet. If you’re just visiting this website for the first time, PLEASE click on the video below, or on the “Be a part of the new record” button above. It’ll take you to our Kickstarter site, which lists all the great musical stuff you can get by contributing to the making of our new record. You will be the reason for its success – let’s make it happen!!
UPDATE: We’ve already begun recording. This past Sunday 7/29, drummer Ben Tufts, bassist Ethan “Ethoid” Foote, producer/engineer Mark Williams, and myself went into Sucker Punch Studios in Bethesda, MD to begin laying rhythm tracks. As of Tuesday nite, we’ve recorded nine songs, with an additional two to be recorded next week. So 11, possibly 12 songs will be on this new record.
The rhythm tracks are amazing. recorded live in studio. We’re bringing these songs to life in a way they’ve never been heard before. Screaming In Stereo, This Disaster Zone, Landing Lights, and many other favorites will be on the record – and they sound great. In some cases reworked, refreshed, and sounding brand new.
Of course, these are just the bass and drums – all the other instruments have yet to be recorded, and that’s where we need your help.
AGAIN – please click on the links above and below, watch our Kickstarter video, and get on board with the creation of our album!! Be a part of something special, unique, and new.
Thanks so much – more to come!!
BREAKING NEWS: MY KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN HAS GONE LIVE!!
So I’m finally recording a new record. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m really excited about it, but I need some funds beyond my own to help make it a reality. I’m offering some great rewards for donating to the cause – everything from a basic mp3 download of the record, up to house concerts and custom songs written just for you!! PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE take just a minute and go to my KICKSTARTER page and read up on all that we’re doing and offering.
Recording starts Monday July 29- I can’t wait!! We’ll be redoing a few songs that you already know, such as “Screaming In Stereo” and “Caving In”, and of course recording several new songs. The deadline to contribute and be a part of the creation of this album is Saturday, August 11 at midnight. Recording begins next Monday and is set for a November release. All amounts are important and hugely appreciated, so please, take a moment and check out the REWARDS page to see all the stuff we’re offering.
And above all: PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD!!! Tell your friends, post on Facebook, send out an email. Word-Of-Mouth, and your support, will make this record a reality for me.
Here’s the link:
And here’s the video embed link:
I’ve written some more about what’s behind this record on the updated “The Record” page on the tab above.
Thanks so much for your support – please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you have. Thanks again!!
Ok, Ok… I know it’s been two months since I’ve posted on my website. BUT I have been keeping up with my newsletters, so that counts for something, right? Right? Anyway. Lots has been happening. Tons of local shows, in preparation for recording which commences at the end of July. Full-length, full-band. Full record. Stoked.
Look for a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to start next week or so. More then!!
Just sent out the May newsletter, a week late. Sorry, it’s been a hectic week!! If you’re not receiving it now, click on the “mailing list” button above. It’s got performance dates, news, and videos. Basically, my website in yer inbox:-)
Feeling pressure to complete songs. A little under the gun here. Oh well, I tend to step up under pressure – hope I can continue that trend.
Got a Mothers’ Day show coming up from 12-4pm this Sunday at Casanel Vineyards – and yes, my mother will be there. Do join us for a fantastic brunch out in the countryside!! www.casanelvineyards.com.
Also, got a fun show coming up May 24th at Iota Club & Cafe – a nostalgia “1977″ show with several great DC area musicians. I’m gonna be singing Jackson Browne. Come on out.
More soon – cheers.
Lots of news. Well, lots to me, at least. Got some new songs floating around, and more coming shortly here on the horizon. Stocking them up for the Cross Kentucky album recording in July.
This past Monday, I played new music at Iota Club and Cafe as part of the “Nine” Songwriter Series, hosted by my friend and fellow songwriter Justin Trawick. Had great time collaborating and playing saxophone with the other performers. Special thanks to Justin, Andy Zipf, Anthony Fiacco, and Ryan Walker for sitting in with me. Take a look on my ‘MEDIA’ page for a performance of one of my newer songs. “Landing Lights”.
In May, I’ll be doing a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the recording of the Cross Kentucky record. In June, the band will do a date or two in DC’s Acre 121 to prepare for recording. Super excited about all this.
In the meantime, check my calendar for shows. May is gonna be busy indeed. See you soon!
Well, what a hell of a time down in Austin. I haven’t been so electrified, impressed, drunk, tired, and inspired in a while. Yes, it was my first SXSW, but it definitely won’t be my last. Met some great people, saw some great bands, and played a pretty decent (unofficial) first showcase, thanks to DC’s Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie series of showcases. Lotsa DC people down there- think we represented pretty well!
Best bands I saw: Blitzen Trapper, Little Willies, Madi Diaz, Rhett Miller, Heypenny… I probly saw 30 or more acts while there, but those stuck out. Played saxophone with Justin Trawick and Andy Zipf after my Wednesday showcase – good times.
We drove down in 26 hours straight, got there by Wednesday morning, stayed in a great rented loft on South Congress, and took two days to drive back. Spent St. Paddy’s Day (Saturday night) in Memphis, and was back in DC by midnight Sunday. Good times, but next year, I’m damn well flying.
Now it’s back to the regular day-to-day of DC living: lotsa solo shows, lessons with my studio Saxes n’ Strings, and trying to finish writing my next record.
Check my schedule, and come out and say hi. Peace.
I know it’s been two months since my last update, but there’s been a lot happening – plus my computer got stolen in mid-February, and it’s just now been replaced.
First things first – I’m leaving in an hour to drive to Austin, TX for my first visit and performance at SXSW, or South By Southwest – the biggest music conference in the US. I’m playing an “unofficial” showcase at the Crow Bar on Congress St. as part of the Sweet Tea Pumpkin Pie set of showcases – a showcase series running over several venues, spanning the entire week of SXSW. I’m driving down with 2 other singer-songwriters: Alex Vans, and Adrian Krygowski, both DC-based musicians. Drummer Ben Tufts is coming along for added firepower. This is the first time I’ve been to Austin, and I’m really looking forward to it. Updates will definitely be forthcoming.
In other news, I’ve met with my friend, producer/engineer Mark Williams – who owns Sucker Punch Studios in Bethesda, MD. I’ve worked with him in the past, on my first (non-released) acoustic EP. We’ve agreed to a timeline of late June/early July for the recording of my full-length, full-band Cross Kentucky record. Very excited about this. Writing continues for this project, and you can expect to see lots of Cross Kentucky shows upon its release. Preceding the recording session will be a Kickstarter fundraising campaign lasting for most of the month of May. I’ll be making a video for the campaign, and you’ll hear more about it shortly.
That’s sorta it. My lesson studio, Saxes N’ Strings, is humming along nicely – I’m looking at an early June recital date for it at Jammin’ Java. Local shows are as busy as ever – check my calendar, and come out and say hi.
Thanks again for supporting my music. Hope to see you at a show sometime soon – don’t be afraid to say hello!
Happy new year to ya!! I think people can stand a grace period of about one week, where they’re still in the “happy, happy, new resolutions and good cheer” mode – and then real life sets in and all that goes by the wayside, as bills from Christmas start rolling in and people realize it’s January and spring is still 3 months away.
Well luckily and thankfully, I’m not quite in that mode- I had a 2.5 week break where I did nothing but hang with my family & friends, ski, and go to Nashville for a great new year.
I’m starting 2012 off slow – after a busy first week of shows, I now only have a couple for the rest of the month. Chief among them is another Musicians On Call performance for our recovering troops at Walter Reed Naval Medical Center on January 25. Apart from that, and expanding my Saxes n’ Strings Studio, I’ll be spending my January down time quietly, writing a new Cross Kentucky record that I’ll record later in the spring. There will be many details forthcoming about that, but for now, I’m in writing mode.
I hope you had a great holiday break, and I hope 2012 brings you all that you hope and deserve. See you sometime soon!!
Merry Christmas, Happy holidays, happy shopping, etc. I guess I’m finally into the swing of it all- or will be, after I hold the recital for my lesson studio Saxes n’ Strings this Sunday at Jammin’ Java, one of the best venues in the DC area. It starts at 1:30pm, will feature performances from 16 of my students, and it’s free!! Come on by for a coffee and some great live music from some talented young kids.
Hope you have a great holiday season- after my recital, I’m taking two weeks off for family, skiing, voice-rest, and battery-recharging. See you in 2012!!
Well, Thanksgiving has come and gone, and we’re staring the holidays in the face. I have no idea where the last 7 weeks have gone, but I’ll do my best to remember.
I’m writing this from the comfort of my parent’s couch, wrapping up a four-day Thanksgiving in my hometown of Champaign, IL. Played a great acoustic show for some hometown folk at Memphis On Main, and had a great article written about me in the News-Gazette. Thanks so much, Melissa!!
I spent a couple days last week in Nashville, and played saxophone for the first time- at the Full Moon, on Broadway, and at an all-star blues jam last Monday night at the Red Rooster. Good times- really looking forward to playing more often down in music city.
I’m writing songs for the next Cross Kentucky record now- look for a kickstarter campaign in January, so’s I can record this thing right- both in Nashville and in the DC area.
Hope you had a great Thanksgiving- see you at a show soon!!
Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the inaugural Cross Kentucky show last week at Velvet Lounge!! Our set went great, and benny and Alex Vans killed it. I sat in on tenor saxophone with Alex for a tune- always fun to play with him. Check out my ‘media’ page for a couple videos from the show – and stay tuned for an announcement about our next show.
On the solo front, I’ve got a couple cool shows coming up: the first is Musicians On Call, a program sponsored through BMI, Inc. that allows musicians to play for veterans in hospitals and recovery facilities. I’ll be playing for hospitalized veterans at the new Walter Reed Naval Hospital in Bethesda, MD on Friday, October 14 at noon. I’m incredibly honored to be asked to perform for this program, and I’m really looking forward to it.
Another cool show will be the legendary Bitter End in New York on Sunday October 23, 9pm – it’ll be the first time I’ll be performing in NYC in over a year. Just a short 20-minute acoustic set, but I’ll be debuting a couple new songs. Should be cool- if you’re in NYC, come out and say hello! It’s been a minute.
I’m writing new songs, and figuring out the next step in Cross Kentucky’s recording project – stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, check out my show calendar, and come out and say hello. Thanks again for supporting my music!!
TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT!! Cross Kentucky’s first show as a full band is going down at Velvet Lounge in Washington, DC. We’re sharing the bill with roots-rockers Benny, and with local guitarist Alex Vans and his group. I’m really excited for this show… it’s been a long time coming. Show starts at 9, $10 cover for three bands. Bring it!!!
I’ll update my site here in the next couple days, with some video from the show and some other good stuff. In the meantime- hope to see you out tonite!!
Well I’m happy to report that the debut gig last weekend for my 5-piece band Cross Kentucky went great. We p