Saturday, May 28, 2022

On Uvalde

What we have in this country is a culture problem. We’re a culture born of armed revolution and built on the backs of slave labor—a practice that itself led to civil war. 

We’re a culture that expanded west through the armed slaughter of Native Americans, a culture that made heroes of the men who could draw and fire the fastest, who acted as judge, jury, and executioner on the wild frontier. We’re a culture who’s fetishized flintlock-wielding colonizers, sixgun slinging sheriffs, Tommy gun toting gangsters, and AK-armed druglord kingpins. 

We’re a culture who deals with each other through violence and prioritizes incarceration over intervention. We are castle doctrines and concealed carry permits, hundred-round magazines and rapid fire rifles. We are road rage. We are hotel-window snipers and high-school-aged lone gunmen. 

Guns are the problem. Mental healthcare is the problem. The mythologizing of ourselves is the problem. 

We the People are the problem.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Let the countdown begin...

It's been a whirlwind of activity around here for the last couple of weeks as we get ready to fire up the gigging/touring/marketing machine for the summer and fall of 2022. 

For one thing, if you head over to the TOUR page, you'll see a bunch of new concert dates, some in-person, some virtual. I'll be honest, I'm really stoked about playing all of these shows. At the same time, however, this summer and fall will definitely be the most rigorous performing schedule I've had in years. To pull it off, I'm going to need to be at the top of my game both musically and physically. Cue hours and hours of practicing, working out, and self-care. In my 20s and even 30s, I could coast along when it came to sounding, looking, and feeling good. In my mid-40s, I can definitely feel time stacking the deck against me. There's a much wider gap between good enough and fighting shape. Now that I'm back in training mode, I truly appreciate the phrase "deferred maintenance."  

Stick Men of the world, unite!
Stick Men.... Reassemble!
Work on finishing up the Beat of a Broken Heart album continues. Guitarist Dave Alexander and I have been knocking out solos and overdubs for the last few weeks. Our former Stick Men bandmate Tony Macklin even joined us in the studio one day to lay down a VERY hip, understated bass line on "Unbound." Tony is one of those players who personifies the difference between being a 
bass player and being a guitarist who can play bass. I'm the latter, he's the former. I can't speak for all guitarists, but I know that when I play bass on a track, it often ends up following the same patterns and paradigms as a rhythm guitar track. True bass players, on the other, just think differently. They fill in different musical spaces and tend to think more holistically about the shape of the bass lines and the structure of the tune.  Surprise is one of the joys of being in a band. As a solo musician, I can get by as a guitarist, bassist, harmony vocalist, etc. but in all of those instances I usually know, going in, what the parts are going to sound like. They're gonna sound like ME. But if I bring in different players with disparate techniques, musical backgrounds, and personalities, then the result is almost always more surprising. Ninety-nine out of a hundred times, it's also better.

Speaking of recording, I guess it's time to log off, head down to the studio, and record some 12-string tracks. See you soon!

Monday, May 2, 2022

Upcoming Album Release and Live Shows!

 Hello, everyone!

Please excuse the mess while we get set up. Just a quick note to let you all know that we're currently (and finally) finishing up the new album, Beat of a Broken Heart and have already started booking live shows (both in person and online) for summer and fall of 2022. Looking forward to seeing you very soon!