Tuesday, January 29, 2008

On The Road Again. Issue #34

This Thursday I'll be out of town with TJ Sherrill for two solo acoustic dates in Coeur D'Alene and Spokane. Not the big road trip it was last Fall, but it will be great to get back to a few out of town venues where people will now know the songs after having the album for a few months. On Thursday evening (1/31), we'll be at MOONTIME CAFE in Coeur D'Alene starting at 8:30. I remember the food being really good there, and even better that they provided complimentary meals to performers. Last time I played here a little boy had his eye on my KS buttons the whole time getting closer and closer until he seemed sure I wouldn't yell at him for taking one no matter how many times I told him it was okay. I love it when little kids are in the audience because it might be the first time they have attended a musical performance of any kind and they always have the look of "what is this guy doing?" in their eyes.

I'm really excited to get back to the CATERINA WINERY on Friday night (2/1) which funny enough is exactly the same bill artist-wise as it was last time with hometown star MARK WARD closing the evening. Spokane seems to be a place where their singer songwriters get a lot of love and it showed last time we played with Mark when he brought out a lot of his faithful. It's a great venue because though it is not a huge concert hall, the audience handles themselves as if it were so with attentiveness and genuine interest in hearing new music. I also remember the lighting system being EXTREMELY HOT so MENTAL NOTE: drink lots o' water.
I hope to see folks who purchased the album last time out, and it should be a very rewarding and fun night.

A quick story I wanted to share with you about how much a little note can mean to someone...
In winter of 1999, I was in the new music listening section at Tower Records (R.I.P) when I came across a band called WOOD. The band was from England and was anything but my usual taste of music from across the pond normally in the form of loud sneering English guys whose guitars were bigger than they were. These guys were MELLOW. Singer James Maddock had one of the coolest voices that sounded like it was hooked up to a cigarette machine and a forever gargling whiskey crooning over lush acoustic based arrangements.

I don't know if it was the time or place I was in my life but the album, "Songs From Stamford Hill", quickly became one of my favorites ever and is now in my "Top 5" of all time. After having a moderate hit with the lead off track "Stay You", the band seemed to all but disappear off the face of the earth in the following couple of years. Every time I searched for a website or article on the band I could hardly find anything worthwhile reading much less news on the band. Over the years I would periodically Google the band and would be left empty handed though still loving the album. Yesterday, I tried again and managed to find a myspace page for James Maddock which included new songs of his and performance dates in what seems to be his new home base of New York. I quickly sent him a message describing how much I enjoyed and was influenced by his music over the years and that "Songs From Stamford Hill" still got a lot of mileage on the the other side of the country. Last night, I received a message back from him thanking me for writing, seeming genuinely happy that someone was still enjoying his older works, and a few words of encouragement/feedback regarding my own materal.

This made my day.

One of my ever present wishes that I hope to give to others is that my music has the chance to influence someone the way he and many others have influenced me over the years. What makes a melody stick in your head for years? What is it about a collection of songs that always makes you remember a certain time in your life with such happiness and good memories? I don't think that there's a formula, but I do think that providing that experience is what all songwriters secretly (and in my case not so secretly) strive for in the material and writing. It's all about communicating and as humans what we all want is to be heard and understood; and to hear that others feel the same.

Thanks for reading and hope to see you at the shows...



No comments: