I started writing songs about 8 years ago. I was waiting tables in downtown Portland six days a week and poring over the Craigslist music section in search of random fiddle gigs (I once played bluegrass at 8am at the mall dressed as a farm animal). I was living in a tiny studio apartment that sucked up most of my paycheck and falling asleep every night to the sound of ‘Cops’ blasting from the neighbor’s tv. I felt like there was somewhere else I’d rather to be. I felt like there was something I needed to say but it was stuck in my throat and I couldn’t make sense of it anyway.
A friend lent me his old classical guitar and I stayed up late one night learning two chords and writing a song, something about a whale and how lonely the deep ocean must be. It was a truly terrible song and I was immediately hooked. I wrote about the city, about the neighbors and the news. I wrote about my own heart, about confusion and darkness and love. I wrote halfway decent songs and songs that make me want to hide behind a tree. I don’t think it was fate or calling or anything as grandiose. I just think I needed a way to talk to the world and regular talking never worked so well for me.
Since that whale song, I’ve written what feels like a thousand (but is probably closer to 182) songs and recorded four albums. I waited tables less and less, then not at all. For the past five years, I’ve been touring all over the darn place, sharing stories and hearing stories and falling asleep in a van in a Walmart parking lot with the overwhelming feeling that there’s nowhere I’d rather be.
In May, I’m flying out to Wisconsin to record a fifth album with the help of some incredible friends. These songs were all written over the past year, on long drives, in motels, and at the kitchen table at home. I’m proud of the stories and hope they feel honest and true. My good friend Shane Leonard has generously agreed to put on his producer hat and his drummer hat to bring these songs to life. Shane is an otherworldly musician and one of the most real and warm-hearted people I've ever met. With his help, we put together a team for the week.
The amazing Brian Joseph will be behind the recording board. He’s a Grammy winning audio engineer who has worked with the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Paul Simon, and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). Jeremy Boettcher will be laying down the sweet bass magic and Courtney Hartman will weave her golden guitar throughout the whole thing. I couldn't be more excited to make music with these folks and I can't wait to share it with you.
Here’s where you come in: If these songs speak to you, if you like the music and the ideas and you’d like to be part of making it all happen, I could definitely use some help. Albums cost multiple body parts to make and to release in a way that helps a touring musician grow. You can pre-order it here, get the vinyl, a shirt, a house show, a lyric book, and all of the proceeds will go directly to making the whole thing possible. Every cent will be used in the making of this album and anything over the goal will go right into the touring gas tank. Here’s a breakdown of where the money will be going:
Studio Rental and Recording Engineer
Paying the Musicians
Post Production Costs: Mixing and Mastering
Album Art and Design
Printing CDs and Vinyl
Kickstarter Fees and Mailing
Promoting the Album: Press Campaign, Radio and Tour Promotion
Risks and challenges
Making art for a living is the strangest combination of passion, hard work, insanity, and dumb luck. You do it because you love it and you can't imagine any other way of existing in the world. Then you try anything and everything to help it grow so that you can keep doing it. You do the facebook and the instagram and the countless hours on the computer booking and the 200 days a year on the road (which you love so much more than the facebook and the booking) and on and on. It's a wonderful pile of madness and none of it would be remotely possible (or even worthwhile) without you. It's a conversation between these songs and you as a listener and I'm so deeply grateful for your willingness to be part of the process.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support.
Here are a few links if you'd like to explore my music (which is not at all well represented by the video on this kickstarter:)):
- (28 days)