If you’re like me, the first thing you want to know is “where are the songs?” Take a listen on my Facebook or Soundcloud page.
Here’s the backstory: about six or seven years ago, my brother and I were wandering around the country, bumming it, thumbing it and generally up to no good, when we stumbled on some lovely folks who followed the Vedic scriptures and liked to sing the names of God. We were raised with lots of music and singing in our life, and joining in felt natural. It turns out those names have a certain attractive quality about them, and pretty soon we were singing them all the time.
I couldn’t relate to what was playing on the radio. I was hungry for songs that spoke to my experience – searching for God, looking everywhere, getting lost and then finding Him sitting patiently next to me the whole time. I remembered the songs I grew up with – hymns, traditionals, porch songs, farmers songs, common sense songs, real life songs. I remembered their easy reverence, their keening hope and I kept waiting for someone to write more songs like that. Then, words started popping up in my head, then tunes, then chord progressions and it occurred to me finally that maybe I should stop waiting and start writing. The song I chose for the video is the first one I ever wrote. You can hear the whole thing here:
“Everybody Knows” from Take Shelter
These songs have been percolating for over five years now and I’m fairly bursting to get them out of my head and into yours. There’s a lot more where they came from, some fully formed, others in various stages of disarray, and I’m looking forward to freeing up some creative energy to focus on new work. I was never sure what avenue these songs would take to a wider audience, but I always knew that writing and singing them was at least a reminder to me of what’s important, and what I want to hold onto. They have helped me through a lot of tough times, and I hope they can help you too.
Last winter, a couple of favorable circumstances converged and I decided to finally bite the bullet and commit some of my songs to tape. I landed in Austin, Texas first and enlisted friends (old and newly met) to experiment with some of my songs that needed a bigger sound behind them. We holed up at an awesome little studio called Big Orange for five days, and pulled off some pretty cool stuff. You can listen to one of the Austin songs below and download three of the best as part of the rewards:
“Trouble” from the Austin Sessions
With limited time and money, though, I decided to focus on recording a consistent album of songs that stood on their own, with (mostly) just me and an acoustic guitar. I was blessed to know Kristina Stykos, who records out of Pepperbox Studios at her home in Vermont, and she very graciously poured herself into the task at hand. We found our sensibilities were well in tune with each other, and the process was natural, fun and exhilarating.
with my brother Josh on the hand ocharina
Cost-wise, I was able to fund most of the recording and mixing out of pocket, but I ran out of money towards the end and there are more costs associated with getting the CD ready to ship. It needs to be mastered (the final fine tuning that ensures consistency across songs and makes it radio-ready), and I need to complete the graphics, layout and printing for the lyrics booklet and CD. I’m planning to choose simple, plastic-free packaging, but I would like it to be well-designed and executed.
If you’re not familiar with Kickstarter, take a look to your right. There are options to pledge different amounts in exchange for a copy of the CD when it’s finished, and other awesome rewards. If I don’t make the total amount I need to finish the CD, then nothing will be charged to you. But with dedicated fans like you, who read all the way to the bottom of the page, I’m confident I can make it and you will be receiving a download link or a CD in your inbox or mailbox soon!
Thank you for your support! I couldn’t do it without you.