Happy New Year
So, year number 47 working on my new CD and I can actually say it's just about done. A few teaks and I think we're good to roll it out. So keep an eye out for some festivities.
Two fabulous shows coming up this month! Home Grown AND Tin Angel. Both gonna be fabulous shows, both gonna be ridiculousness, both with a few twists and shouts. Come on by and share in the action!
Yo, this year really flew by quick, right? What the heck? My dad always said that it's like water in the tub. The spinning rings get smaller the closer you get to the drain. Greeeeaaaat.
Come get your rocks off at Home Grown on December 17th. We'll be there in full effect, inappropriate covers and all. Maybe a Christmas tune or two. You know we always blow that place up, so come on out.
Speaking of my Christmas song, take a listen. We had a really cool release at Middletown Music for the disc. It was the first time I played a gig in a humidity controlled acoustic guitar room -- weird, yet cool. The staff was great and their prices reasonable. If you'd like a copy of the entire compilation, contact Mark Rogers through WSTW's Hometown Heroes section on their website. But here it is for download! Happy Holidays, y'all! Check it out here!(Right Click/Save Target As.)
November saw a couple fun gigs at Barrington Coffehouse with John Conahan, as well as Coffee Works. It's been great to break in the electric and it looks like it's pretty much replaced my acoustic as my go-to guitar.
My new song "Mistletoe" is recorded, finished, and about to be pressed for WSTW's second Holiday Compilation. I'm pretty proud of this one. Upon hearing the deadline for submissions, I cranked it one out in a couple days and I think it turned out really well. It also supports the fact that I physically can't pen an upbeat Christmas song. Maybe next year. Now go eat some turkey.
Turn, Turn, Turn!
I mean, what can I say about the Dogfish Head Bocce Tournament that would make any sense unless you were there? We went on at 12:15 and ended our show at 8:45. Spray tan, candy underwear, adult diapers, smoked meats, scorpion women. That pretty much sums it up. We're already planning for next year. Jimmy filled in admirably on guitar and we may see more of him in the future.
Unfortunately, our Home Grown show on October 15th was cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances, but we'll be back there right before Christmas to knock your stockings off. Speaking of Christmas, I just wrote a new song that may be included on WSTW's Holiday Charity Compilation. If you ask me, I think it's pretty durn good and I'll be talking more about it as the holidays approach. So keep an ear out. And also, check me out next month in the strange state of New Jersey!
Our August Rockford Park gig rocked. Always a blast playing outdoors. We had close to 300 people come out to see us and it was the second-highest attended show of the season for the State's entertainment schedule. Pretty cool. It also marked my first band gig with the new axe. Mr. John Conahan also was our keyboard pinch-hitter and filled in admirably, as always.
Speaking of outdoors, yes kids, it's that Bocce time of the year again. Dogfish's Annual Intergalactic Bocce Tournament is right around the corner and it is by far the best gig you can't go to. (Sadly, it's a closed event.) But it is worth mentioning this year because the band and the rest of the festivities will be filmed by a crew from the Discovery Channel, who are documenting the goings on at the brewery this year. Very cool news. So, you might see our mugs on a TV near you soon.
Since you can't make it down to Milton for that raucous ruckus, come by World Cafe Live for an absolutely opposite type of show. I'll be playing solo with good friends John Conahan, Lili Anel, as well as John Byrne and Anna Jarosz. These shows are always entertaining and well for the measly 10 smacks. See you there!
Hot Fun In The Summertime!
Let's see, what's new? I got a brand new axe, so that's awesome. Lately I've been kind of getting sick of playing acoustic and I've fallen hard out of love with my Telecaster. With a little coaxing I realized it was time. I love Gibson ES-335's, but my wallet doesn't. I can't justify spending $2700 on a guitar. I'd be nervous to play it out live for fear I may sweat on it or something. So, I went with the virtually identical Epiphone Sheraton II. I tried the Dots out too, but they didn't play as well as the Sheraton. It just felt right, you know? And the sound is amazing. Buying a guitar isn't an exact science. You can play three versions of the same model and they will all have subtle differences. I think I really lucked out on this one, though. Plays well, great tone, stays in tune well, just a nice guitar. Looking forward to the electric transition for these upcoming summer shows.
Speaking of which, the band will be at Rockford Park in Wilmington where we will be headlining their Summer Concert Series on August 9th. Bring a lawn chair and some food and drink and we'll provide the summer tunes. However, if "nighttime" and "indoors" is your thing we'll be returning to Home Grown Cafe later in the month, so stop by if you only want good food and beer and a rip roaring good time. Details on the Events page.
Happy Summer Y'all!
Making some cool progress on the CD and for real, it's almost finished. I know I've been saying that for a while now, but I can seriously see the light at the end of the tunnel. We just recorded a few tunes with a 3-piece horn section and look forward to mixing it down. It's weird to hear these songs with horn arrangements since i didn't necessarily write them as such, but I think they fit the tunes well from what I've heard. Keep an ear out. And keep an eye out for us in August. Got some banging band gigs in the Small Wonder of DE at which we would love to see you.
In other news, I've been cranking out a bunch of new tunes. I'm always cranking out tunes, but this batch seems to be of a good quality, worthy enough of playing out live. So, swing by if you wanna catch some new stuff before it becomes old stuff...
Summer's Almost Here!
Announcing a couple last minute shows for June. I'll be opening for Jerry Joseph and Wally Ingram at the Manhattan Room in Philly on June 2nd. Come on out cause these cats have some cool resumes, and it should prove to be a jammin' show. That weekend, I'll be returning to Coffee Works on June 6th to rock out with the road-tested and very entertaining John Eddie, who's career includes playing with Springsteen, Seger, and the Kinks.
And a warm thanks to the many who supported me at the Philly Songwriters Project Songwriting Competition. We rocked out with what I thought was a killer performance, but unfortunately it wasn't good enough for the judges. Thanks to John and Zane for coming off the bench to pinch-hit! And of course, always keep an eye out on the Events page. We have some cool shows planned for the rest of the summer with more to be added soon.
Got some cool news!
I have been selected as a semi-finalist in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project's 2010 Songwriting Contest. Out of 600 submissions (representing 22 states and 7 different countries), only 14 musicians were selected. And on Sunday, May 23rd, each of us will perform 2 songs with the audience voting on the winning performer. Sooooo...I'm gonna need your help and support to make me a finals winner. Tickets can be purchased online and more details can be found here.
The night before, May 22nd, I'll be attending the 2nd Annual Benefit Concert for Mental Health in Paoli, PA to witness the Daylesford Abbey Choir and the St. Norbert Youth Choir perform my song "River Run." Come on out to support a great cause, not to mention hang out with me before and after the show! Details and tickets can be found here.
So obviously I'm very excited by these shows. I'm also very excited for my May 7th Home Grown Cafe show. Me and the boys will be bringing the noise back to Newark for the best music money can buy. It's free. Then we'll be double dipping by playing the following day, May 8th, at Old Pine Amphitheater on 4th and Lombard. This gig is one of our favorites every year. We get to play outdoors, soak up the sun, and buy used flea markety stuff afterwards! Can't beat dat wit a bat! See you there...and hope to see you in Ardmore on the 23rd!
Besides the music, I guess I'm also a filmmaker. These past two years, my friends and I have converged to make a movie for Dogfish Head's Off-Centered Film Fest. It perfectly fills the time between football and baseball season and gives me a chance to flex some creativity in a different medium. Well, guess what? Our movie placed 1st this year and Dogfish just flew us to Austin, TX for the world premiere and a weekend of royal rock-star treatment. Check out last year's movie here. It placed 3rd and it's 1st place sequel can be seen here!Now that that's over, time to get back in the studio and finish this cd. People are clamoring, I know, but Rome wasn't built in a day but I'm really competing with the Roman time frame. Soon, soon. In the meantime, got some good shows coming up! Check out the events page.
Setting up shows and whatnot. Good times at Home Grown last month and Coffee Works was also a blast. If you didn't catch any of these shows I'll be returning soon! Check out my upcoming shows on the Events page. Also got some other cool things on the horizon I can't quite talk about yet because the details aren't final. But, stay tuned.
Man, it's funny. I was just kicking around my website and I realized just how much I need a new one. I mean, these pictures don't even look like me anymore. My music sounds completely different now too. Well, until I revamp this, consider it a throwback site.Some cool shows coming up, mainly the return to Home Grown for the first of many dates in 2010. Home Grown is always a great time. Not only do they provide a fun atmosphere to see a show, their food and drinks are unbelievable. So c'mon out. It's gonna be a fabulous night. And if you haven't seen me in a while and are used to looking at this website, heh, you won't even recognize me.
Happy New Year
I know it seems like this CD is taking forever, well, because it is. But when it finally comes out I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. We're working on backing vocals and horn parts now and Dave Schonauer is burning the midnight oil and really making it sound good. Of course I'll be filling you all in when it nears completion so keep and eye out...
It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
I've survived Black Friday and now look forward to the most wonderful time of the year (gift-wise, that its). Excited for the holidays and some much needed time off...If you missed last months fabulous Home Grown show, don't fret, we've booked shows through 2010. Check here for the finalized dates soon. Yeah, that last show was, umm, different. Somehow it turned into a dance party and we were the live DJ's. Interesting, to say the least. We also debuted a couple new tunes, "How The West Was Won," and "Another Thing Coming," both to good receptions. Working on a couple more so stay tuned.As per the holiday tradition, help yourself to my holiday song, "I Think I've Been Good This Year." Of course, you can always download it here from yours truly! (Right Click/Save Target As.)
November Is Upon Us!
So, over the past couple of weeks I checked out Leonard Cohen at The Tower Theater and witnessed Pearl Jam close out the final show ever at the Spectrum. Talk about inspiration. Two very different, but equally awesome shows. Of course the Phillies are swift-kicking me in the nuts by giving away ballgames to the best baseball team money can buy.
Had a fabulous show at Coffee Works last week and am looking forward to the full band show at one of our favorite venues, Home Grown Cafe on the 20th. Every gig we've ever played there includes an extremely and inappropriately dirty or vulgar cover tune. Not sure why or how this tradition started, but it's the only place we sink so low. If you'd like to find out what we're going to play, you'll just have to come by. Trust me, it's gonna be a doozy.
And finally in non-music news...Not to be outdone, but the highlight of my past month was attending the 3rd Annual Exhumed Films 24-hour Horror Film fest. All shown in glorious 35mm (not that DVD garbage the kids watch these days). Stayed the full 1440 minutes and once again kept the setlist of screened films...I've been every year and below is the history of movies they have shown over the course of the festival's three years.
Exhumed Films 24-hour Horror-Thon Part III (2009)
Exhumed Films 24-hour Horror-Thon Part II (2008)
1. The Fog
Exhumed Films 24-hour Horror-Thon Part I (2007)
Me and Geto Boyz Be Trick-er-treatin'!
Fall is on the books. My favorite time of the year. Bocce Day came and went, and as always, it did not disappoint. We played over 5 hours of music and boy was it bizarre. It was Dave's first time joining us down at Dogfish and he really added to the day's festivities. In honor of his stellar playing and T-Pain impressions, he received free beer and Cheetos, and if my memory serves me correctly, went home with a clump of rubber poop as a parting gift.Also, I just started up a "Facebook Page" for my music. Check it out and become a fan! I have show listings, up-to-date setlists, and everything else imaginable pertaining to my music.
'Tis the season for booking new shows so keep your eye out!
Yes, it's that time of year again! Dogfish Head's 5th Annual Intergalactic Bocce Tournament. It's the greatest gig known to man and we have learned some, shall we say, very strange covers. Unfortunately, you all can't come. It's a closed event. I just wanted to gloat and share my joy.
Anyway, you CAN come and Labor Day-Weekend it up at Home Grown Cafe on the 4th, smell some animals at the Brandywine Zoo on the 12th, and see me perform with the wonderful Lizanne Knott and John Conahan at Steel City on the 25th!
Aaaaaaaaand We're Back!
Definitely come by and check out my show at the Middle Township Performing Arts Center. Gonna be a ripper as I reunite with my great friends John Conahan and Lizanne Knott, and a new one: Suzie Brown. You know whenever we get on stage together it's an entertainingly bizarre time. Plus you get to benefit the Wetlands. PLUS, you'll get to hang in Cape May!
CD's coming along at a snail's pace, but right now we're working on horn arrangements and soon some harmonies and other wackiness. Gonna be gooooooooood!
Sorry folks! Having some computer problems. Will be back shortly...
Rain, Rain, Go Away!
Sorry it's taken me so long to throw up June's update. I was offline for awhile, but now I'm back in full effect. So far June saw me and the band get completely rained on at the Alapocas Rock Climbing Wall. Superfly event, however, the wet did not want to stop and it eventually washed us out. I believe that's the first time we ever had to cut a show short...well, besides that time at the Brandywine Zoo when we had to stop our set due to the transport of an asthmatic llama with a nervous condition. True story.
The World Wide Clout film premiere party was a resounding success and we are already planning for next year's entry, that is, if we survive past this year's bocce tournament. Keep on giving good vibes for the upcoming cd. It's moving at a snails pace, but it's oh so good and can't wait to let it loose. Soon, soon.
Couple shows in the Small Wonder this month, so swing by. You can even say hello to the asthmatic llama. But be careful. He spits.
So, as many of you know the band recently made a short film entitled "World Wide Clout" and entered it in the "2009 Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Fest."
Well, guess what? We won THIRD PLACE overall...nationally. Pretty cool, right? We just got back from them flying us to Austin, TX and turning us into rock stars for a weekend -- attending a premiere of the winning short films and honorable mentions, hanging with Sam Calagione at a Dogfish tasting, and of course, doing some traveling (by the way, there really is no basement in the Alamo.)
The Film Fest rules stated that entries could be no longer than five minutes in length, must include a story line pertaining to the concept of an underdog, and must include a reference to Dogfish Head beer in the script or have Dogfish Head product placement in the film. If you know us, you can imagine we wanted to go overboard with the idea. We not only wanted a good story, but also wanted to completely saturate it with Dogfish references.
The idea for our movie was born during a hazy and long evening, with a storyline so detailed we could have made a full-length film. Obviously, we needed to cut it down to only 5 minutes so we decided to make, not the movie, but the movie's trailer. So, in essence, our entry was a movie preview for a film that doesn't exist. And by the way, we ended up mentioning 26 of their beers and included product placement in every shot (and we filmed at their brewery). Ridiculous.
Also, it's worth mentioning that this was our first attempt at ever making a film (Brian and I spent the first hour of the first morning of shooting reading the camera's user manual, for God's sake). When all was said and done, we beat out professional movie makers and film students. So, check out our film and let us know what you think! As you'll be able to tell, we had a ton of fun making this. We're really proud of it, and we hope you dig!
So, I'm a little late in updating this month, but it's for good reason. Throughout much of the early part of this year I've been working with my friends (Goat, Kars, Roby, Gmonky, and Shay-Shay) on our short film, "World Wide Clout," which was submitted in the Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Fest. Well, guess what? We came in THIRD in the entire world. That's right. Out of the entire wealth of humanity, some people thought we were the third best at making a Dogfish Film. Our irreverent stupidity was rewarded with a trip to Austin, Texas, some loot, some schwag, and a lifetime of memories (that were quickly wiped away with all the free beer...thank God I brought the video camera). Anyway, a link to the short film will be up on next month's update.
What does this have to do with my music? Meh, pretty much nothing, except Dave Schonauer's original orchestral music score (which has been compared by some [read Dave, himself] as being John Williams-esque) and two of my original songs. I'll tell you, it was pretty cool seeing our movie played on a real-size movie screen and hearing my music blasted in the theater...
In fact, I'm drinking a bomber of Dogfish "Red & White" right now while I update this. So, of course I have to thank Sam for making my beer and all the folks (including Sam and Mariah) for being wonderful and weird enough to like our movie. We had the time of our lives!
New Cd info on the horizon...
A lot of crazy stuff going on. Let's see, where to start? Much of last month was spent filming a movie for the annual Dogfish Head Off-Centered Film Fest. There's only a 5 minute limit on the entries, so it wasn't too involved, but we think it's really good. Soon enough we'll be posting the movie up on the interwebs, so keep yer pants on!
Please note the change in date for the Steel city show from March to May. Also, got some Zoo gigs set up for the season, as well as a rocking Home Grown show. Check out the events page for upcoming shows...
Still plugging away on the disc. Vocals all pretty much done and edited and looking forward to the next steps!
So, it looks like Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means at least another 6 weeks of me working on my cd. Things are going well, in the middle of editing vocals and planning for the next set of recordings...looking at horns next...
Got some cool shows coming up, so make sure you check out the Events page and come check us out live!
And on a somber note...My biggest fan, Kev, passed away late in December. He was always rooting for me (and the Phils) and I'm honored that we kept in touch for so many years. I'll really miss seeing him bouncing around in his chair and hearing his voice on the phone. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends...
Happy New Year!
2009 already, eh? Time flies when you're having fun, I suppose. So, it was great in '08. Lot's of wonderful things happened, none of which I'll get into here. But I sure am hoping that the next year brings as much fun and growth and happiness as this past one. And my best wishes for you and yours, as well! Musically speaking, things are going swimmingly. I just can't wait to get this CD out and about. We're just about at the point where we start tweaking things and adding weird sounds and trimmings, adding that special something. Gonna be great.
A few fun shows so far for January. Home Grown, Coffee Works, and Tin Angel. Can't ask for more fun over a quick couple weeks. Hope to see you there, as we'll be bringing our best for the new year. Check out the events page for details. It's a new year. So get off your duff and go see some live music!
It's Christmas Time in the City!
This was the first week where it really started to feel like the holidays. Snowed a little. I drank a hot cocoa. Unfortunately, my apartment is too small to house a real life-size Christmas tree, so I decided to buy one of those "Magic Trees" at a fabulously nerdy science store in Manayunk this past weekend. Cost me three bucks. Basically, you dump some funky magic crystals (probably some sort of alum) in a dish, stick in a two-inch tall cardboard cutout of a tree and in a couple of hours...voila! A topiary delight fit for the Baby Jesus himself. It actually kinda sucks, but it was fun to watch grow. If you like checking out paint dry, it will be right up your alley.
Many thanks to WXPN for featuring my Christmas song, "I Think I've Been Good This Year" during their 12 Days of XPN Local Christmas. Listen in the 9am and the 1pm hours, December 16th, on 88.5 in Philly (and surrounding areas), or online at xpn.org. Of course, you can always download it here from yours truly! (Right Click/Save Target As.)
I'm liking the new cd and you will too once it's finished 40 years from now. Tons of craziness coming together. Recently just cut a few songs with Kung-Fu bass master Chico Huff, and this evening I just got out of an editing session working on the martian stylings of Jef Lee Johnson. If you'd like to use more than one sense while listening to my music, come see us live at Homegrown on January 2nd and at Coffee Works on the 9th. Check out the Events page and swing on by!
So, the Phillies win the World Series. Of course, words cannot express my unbelievable joy. Pictures can, though. Check out how excited this guy is at the parade, second from the left in the front row. Then, of course, my man Obama kicks some serious butt and it all of a sudden feels like a sea change of goodness for the forseeable future. You'd think the World Series and the election were the big news. Nope. It was the Exhumed Films 24-hour Horror-Thon to close out a fabulous Halloween. Once again, this event was (sadly) one of the highlights of my year. Watching hours upon hours of uninterrupted craptastic horror films with hundreds of other horror movie geeks doesn't sound like a way to spend a weekend, but for some reason it is surprisingly awesome. Plus, they don't tell you what they are about to show ahead of time, so it only increases the anticipation after each film. In true Deadhead style, I kept the setlist for everyone's enjoyment...
Exhumed Films 24-Hour Horror-Thon Schedule of Films:
1. The Fog
But I digress...the CD is really coming together, slowly but surely. We're doing some overdubs right now, with the whole structure of the tunes pretty much all but finished. This one's shaping up to be very special.
So this may seem like a cop out, but it's really not. The Dogfish head Bocce Ball Weekend just occurred and I couldn't have said this better than Bri-Bri, mainly because I think I may still be hung over. Check out his page for pictures and a more detailed description of the weekend.
Fall is my favorite time of the year.
There is just something about the changing leaves, the sense of renewal, the hurricanes. Seriously, I guess Al Gore was right, huh? We're getting wet and only getting wetter. What does this have to do with my music? Absolutely nothing. But if I was trying to be all deep I'd say something like the word 'fall' has the same amount of letters in it as rock, jazz, and funk. Woah!
Anyway, I wish I could invite you all to the Dogfish Head Annual Bocce Tounament (which we are playing again this year) but it's a private event. We are going to have many surprises and I'll be sure to take pictures. Plus, I'll give a little write up next month with whatever facts I can remember. Keep an eye out, we're in the process of booking more fall/winter dates.
By the way, the new cd is shaping up to be very special and it will be quite a departure from what you're used to from me.
"You can do eet, Keri!"
Of course, an homage to my boy Bela Karolyi. It's the Olympics, gimme a break. Anyway, the new CD's coming along at a decent pace. Just recorded most of my guitar and soon back for a little editing. It's really starting to take form now and I'm getting more excited with each progression. Keep an eye out here for more updates as we get closer.
The New York Songwriters Circle show at World Cafe Live was a great success and thanks to everyone who came out to support me and the other musicians on the bill. We all had a blast and I know each of us enjoyed being a part of this great organization. Read a very special review here.
In the Olympic spirit, come to Twisted Tree in Asbury Park later this month, and Roby will do some backflips and handstands. It's gonna be a fun show!
It's Getting Hot In Here!
Just had another wonderful gig at the Zoo. It was also another hot one. The Andean Condors really seemed to like "Bride of the Black Sea" for some reason. They were dancing around and squawking and such. Maybe my new cd will be a big seller among birds. Who knows? Speaking of the disc, we're finishing up the editing of the rhythm tracks and will soon be recording the next round of stuff to much anticipation.
Come on out to the New York Songwriters Circle show at World Cafe Live on July 24th. The Songwriter Circle is an in-the-round performance usually up at The Bitter End in New York. They've just started a partnership with World Cafe Live and, of course, I'm delighted to be a part of it. I'll be playing with my good friends Lili Anel and John Conahan, along with Ian Axel, Bret Mosley and Erin Sax Seymour.
And finally, a bummer of an FYI: The WHY Festival in Wilmington, originally scheduled for August 2nd, just got cancelled.
June Carter Cash!
Almost done with the rhythm stuff on the disc. Along with Roby and Corey, I've been recording with Erik Johnson of The Fractals, who is absolutely cracking on drums. What's funny is, years ago before I met Erik I used to use my fake ID to get into his shows in Newark, DE, when he was with the band Huffamoose. When I met him recently I didn't put two and two together and only after our first session did I realize who he was in relation to my illegal partying years. Crazy small world.
Not much to say...Things are good. Let's see...recent events: Saw Eddie Izzard perform on my birthday, was a potential victim of fraud at the DMV, ate a sea urchin, got in a car accident with a taxi, bought a new bike, went fishing, took a trip to Monkey World 6, and most importantly, I saw the light. Good month, that was.
April Showers Bring More Shows!
Nice little show coming up at Milkboy with David Janes on April 15th. Always fun to play gigs with people whose music you also enjoy. Come out and see us. We will play you good tunes while you drink coffee. Then it's off to Puck on April 26th for a much anticipated show with Lizanne Knott and John Conahan. I'm not only looking forward to this show for its rollicking display of idiocracy, but John will also settle a bet that was made on Saint Patrick's Day by playing one of my songs. Of course, I have a doozy lined up for him. Then it's back to WXPN where we will be returning to play one of our favorite gigs: performing on a moving trolley tour bus around the city. Yes, you read that correctly.
What else? Oooh. Stephen Malkmus came to the TLA last week and of course I was there. Sometimes, I wish I wasn't such an honest and overall decent human being. SM's lackeys were bringing out his gear as I was standing outside the venue after the show, and there was about a span of two minutes where I had a clear opportunity to walk off with his Gibson and Fender. Yikes! Remind me not to hire those guys.
And in completely unrelated news, I'm very excited for the recent start of the Phillies' season, which ushers in seven straight months of me feeling like I'm repeatedly being kicked in the balls. Excitement!
Screw The Ides of March!
The new CD is coming along slowly but surely. We're wrapping up the recording of the rhythm tracks and looking forward to some editing and overdubs. Been spending a lot of time in Dave Schonauer's basement messing around with Pro Tools and arguing about tempos, as well as playing the Wii. Not sure which is more fun...probably the arguing.
March marked our return engagement at the Brandywine Zoo...outside in 40 degree weather. During one of our summer shows it was 107 and we almost passed out from heat stroke. This time we got arthritis. But at least they let us out of our cages long enough to rock for a couple of hours. The llamas loved it.
Also found a great new music venue called Studio LuLoo in Haddon Township, NJ. Good people, good music, good vibe, good cause. What more do you need? We were the featured artist last week and I encourage everyone to check this place out. Open mic is on Tuesday. Yeah, it's in New Jersey, but so are a lot of other great things, namely: Lucy the Elephant, marshland, Morey's Pier, and Jon Bon Jovi!
I invite you all to come on out to our upcoming show at Homegrown Cafe in Newark, DE. It will be a homecoming of sorts since I grew up there, (or at least got taller) and it should be a rocking Good Friday show. FYI: We will not be playing any songs with meat in them for those of you observing the holiday.
February, 2008Gung Hay Fat Chow!
February has found Roby, Corey, John, and myself in the studio. As of right now, all the rhythm tracks are in the books and next in line are the edits. This CD is going to definitely have a different feel this time around. Where "All These Words" was stripped down and earthy, this one is going to be a lot more dynamic, dealing out more of the funk and soul we do live...and even some rah-ga - in three part harmony, no less.
I've written it before somewhere in one of these posts, but Dave and I will be doing our fair share of experimenting, looking towards different percussions and strange sounds and some vocal toying. We've already been conspiring with the rough mixes to resoundingly cool results. Can't wait to get deeper in the process.
As for shows, we have a Slapty gig at Coffee Works on the 15th, which is always a good time and are planning some big things this summer (and even earlier). Get your bum over to the events page and check the schedule, or if your British, the shed-jyool. Nudge, nudge. Wink, wink.
January, 2008Happy New Year!
It's the morning after a long year. As my former drummer, and fellow alien to the weird world of Connecticut, Bradley Schmaling (from "Luggage" fame) quipped on New Year's Eve, "It's not just 2008, Mitchell. You better get ready and say hello to 2000-Great!" It's been a trying last few months, but spending time with some very close friends reminds me of what life really is all about. I'm also very excited, as this month also provides a sense of renewal for my music. Finally, the time is right to go into the studio to start work on the next album. Got some dates, got the songs, got the peoples, got direction, got the inner-fire.
Starting work in the studio is always an exciting, albeit nervewracking time. But with one album already under my belt, I've pledged to learn from the past and change some of my ways, namely being more open to the experimental side of making an album. Last time I went in with a vision and a strong sense of what I wanted. Now, I can barely listen to my first CD because I think of all I would have done differently. So look forward to some interesting approaches this time around.
Also look forward to some upcoming gigs. Just not yet. I'm in the process of booking for the new year and am still finalizing some dates with venues. Keep an eye out in the events page for updates. 2000-Great. That cracks me up.
December, 2007Bah Humbug!
After much deliberation I've decided to take Christmas off this year and choose to be bitter about the holiday season. The Little Drummer Boy can suck an egg for all I care. Mele Kalikimaka my ass. If I see one more Kay Jewelers commercial I'm gonna go postal. For what it's worth, If you'd like to hear me perform my sweet original holiday song before my enigmatic Grinch-like transformation click here. (Right Click/Save Target As.) It continues to receive radio play and has garnered more attention than any song I've written thus far. Ironically enough, I only perform it a few times a year due to its time specific nature.
Despite my anti-Christmas persona, I gotta cool Christmas show tonight: The annual WSTW Toys For Tots Benefit at Kelly's Logan House in Wilmington. Last time I was there was in high school using my fake ID to buy cheap Miller Lite's. Ah, what memories. So, it will be good to be back. I also am severely looking forward to my Tin Angel show on January 12th. I will be performing in-the-round with my two partners in crime, who I also believe share my Christmas sentiments, Lizanne Knott and John Conahan. Look for Robert to join us on stage with Englebert Slaptyback.
More shows for the new year in the works including Burlap and Bean as well as a possible return to the magnanimous DogfishHead Brewpub in Rehoboth, DE!
November, 2007Fall is in the air!
The leaves are falling and the clock will soon be falling back. November 17th brings a return engagement at Steel City Coffeehouse with my fabulous partners in crime John Conahan and Lizanne Knott. Last time we played there it was a spectacular event so don't miss out this time around.
I'm also playing a different kind of show for WXPN on the 11th and one I'm very much looking forward to. On November 11th I'll be rocking out on a bus full of XPN members on a Mural Arts Trolley Tour. Hopefully it will go well because if I get kicked off the trolley in the middle of North Philly, man, that would be one long walk home! Joking! Should be a blast! More shows to come! Check the events page for details.
The Phillies blew it. The Eagles still suck and we all know what the Sixers are gonna do. I guess all I have til Spring are the Flyers, which isn't so bad. This all boils down to me writing more music and looking forward to playing more gigs, which I guess I would want to have happen in the first place...
I do have to say that the Dogfish Head gig was one for the ages. The raucous crowd and the insanity which progressed throughout the night will not soon be forgotten. I met some wonderful people and the band had the time of our lives. Big thanks to the folks down there at Dogfish for making us a part of your wonderfully bizarre day!
If you know me, then you know that I am a rabid Philly sports fan. Probably in an unhealthy way. While typing this, the Phils just fought their way into first place. And even though it took them 159 games (with only 3 left to play) and a Mets collapse, I'm beside myself with the prospect of playoff baseball here in Philly -- a feeling I haven't felt for 14 years. Unless of course, this will be another in the long list of heartbreaking experiences I've had since childhood when my hopes are dashed on the rocks by the sweet singing sirens that are Philadelphia sports teams. With that said, no matter how many times I get my spirit crushed, I'm still here bitterly hoping. I'll be at Sunday's game. Could be a big one. I encourage you to find me in my regular spot behind the bullpen and buy me an adult beverage.
Speaking of adult beverages, on Saturday the band's playing a private show for Dogfish Head Brewery's Annual Bocce Tournament. I'll fill you in afterwards. Should be an interesting day. People dress up, have wacky team names, and it's basically an all around day of debauchery and side bets. This year, the brewery decided to have music accompany the festivities (with a little begging on our part). All I can say is, last time I was down there, me, Roby, and Bri-Bri hit up the Dogfish Head Brewpub in Rehoboth and had 90 minute draft IPA's run through a bong filled with fresh hops. Are you kidding me? Where can I buy one of those things?
Just returned from a wonderful road trip vacation to the Florida Keys. The only thing that helped get me through the 21 hour drive, besides the 12 Red Bulls I drank, was listening to a radio station somewhere in SC which billed itself as "Stress-Free radio." For a straight two hours I sung along to The Carpenters, Lionel Ritchie, The Bay City Rollers, and other craptastic hits of years past. The vacation itself was a refreshing time for me as well as a time for renewal. A noticeable byproduct of this is my lack of hair. For the first time in 12 years I no longer have a ponytail due to a burst of questionable spontaneity whereby I had it hacked and donated to Locks of Love.. I suggest anyone who wants to get their long hair cut to check out this organization.
Another cool experience I had was snorkeling off of Key Largo and having a 4-foot lemon shark. swim past me. They are on the top ten list of "world's most dangerous sharks" and I figured I should skip the pretenses and attack first. It would have been a fair fight considering the size differential and his home field advantage, but the fact that my thrashing around might damage parts of the protected coral reef caused me to reconsider. Yeah, what a load of crap. Actually, I did encounted a 4-foot lemon shark but the truth is I was a little freaked. Looking at 3-inch parrotfish and angelfish then turning around and seeing that thing coming towards you would freak out anyone. I kept eye contact and slowly worked backwards till he was out of sight. Yeah, I watch "Shark Week" on Discovery Channel.
Now I'm back and focusing on the music. Don't miss my gig this weekend with Lizanne Knott and John Conahan up at Puck. Then it's a Wilmington onslaught to close out August, zooing it up on the 25th and then Rockford Park on the 27th. Afterwards it's Milkboy time with Dylan McGuire and Adrienne Hamilton. Check out the Events page for complete details!
Just had a wonderful evening co-hosting the "Locals Only" radio show at 89.7 Rowan Radio. Robert and I rolled over with Englebert Slaptyback, did a few songs off the upcoming album, then afterwards drank coffee and ate scrapple at a New Jersey diner furnished with multiple and various pictures of "The English Hunt". Rowan Radio's "Locals Only" show, which airs Every Tuesday at 10pm, has been a fan of mine from the start and it was great to be able to give back by contributing to their show. You can check the program live and online here.
Speaking of the new CD, we've pretty much mapped out the instrumentation and know which direction we want to go. There are a few final cuts that need to be made and we're about ready to start up. I've had a lot of questions about this one and all I can say at this point is that it's going to be a bit of a departure from the last, and sure to have a multitude of the best musicians from Philly and beyond. I can't wait to get rolling on it. Stay tuned.
Just played a marvelous show in Love Park today. I swear though, everytime we do a show there weird stuff happens. On the way over I was regaling Corey with bizarre stories from years past and not two minutes after we arrive some random guy comes up and asks if he could buy one of the shirts off our backs. He was serious. Apparently, he was coming from another job and needed a clean shirt in order to run sound for some event on the other side of the park. Whatever, dude. Of course, Robert finds an old shirt in his car, buried underneath loads of other weird items (i.e. jester hats, punching pads, beer bottles...no, really), and gives it to the guy. Love Park 1, The Band, 0.
The weather was blistering hot, as was Lizanne Knott's set. She kept the crowd rocking as usual with her beautiful voice and relentless sense of humor. John Conahan jumped in with a few smoking tunes of his own, as well. By the time we hit the stage we were all thirsty from rocking out/sitting out in the sun. Much to our delight, the city organizers gave us water bottles advertised as "PhillyTap," which was described on the label, surprisingly enough, as Philly Tap water. As thirsty as poor John was he "would die of thirst before he drank Philly tap water." I had no problem drinking it but Ol' John proved the wiser as, I joke not, I got shall we say, "intestinally ill" after getting home. Love Park 2, The Band 0.
Around midset, two quick Love Park goals put the score way out of reach at 4-0, with the scoring coming from the man painted entirely in gold riding a golden bike through the park, as well as the homeless guy flashing what seemed to be gang signs at our drummer. We did score a last second open netter as we took a few good, campy photos in front of the Love Park statue, but once again, Love Park kicked our butts with a blowout 4-1 score. Oh, we played really well and everyone seemed to enjoy it, but who's worried about that? Bizarre beat us yet again. No matter how many times I play there, Love Park never disappoints. Undisputed. Undefeated. Always fun. And always weird. Pictures soon on myspace.
I've finally figured out what's gonna be on the next disc and we should begin recording shortly, hopefully within the next month. I'm very excited to be heading back into Morningstar because I know special things are about to happen. I just love all those guys. As I've said before, I'm looking to stretch out a little more on this one and get a little weirder, which shouldn't be a problem for me. Anyway, I'll keep you all updated on the process as it unfolds. And to answer my most asked question: Yes. "Piece of the Pie" will be on it.
We recently enjoyed a fabulous show at the Old Pine Community Center, courtesy of the inimitable John Shaughnessy, with the following week playing the 2nd Annual Delaware Digital Scavenger Hunt after-party at Bri-Bri's palatial Wilmington estate. Both shows included calls from the outside to turn down the music. I'm not sure if that's a good or bad thing. Nevertheless, The Bri-Bri show featured a reunion of sorts, as our former bassist David Moore jumped in on the first set. Fun was had by all. Except for the guy across the street who called to complain (probably after the Flavor Flav cover song). Upcoming shows include two special appearances with the exceptional Mr. John Conahan and the extraordinary Ms. Lizanne Knott.
Not much new to report. Right now we're in the process of putting together some fabulous shows for the summer and we're also looking forward to a couple sweet daytime outdoor gigs coming up soon.
Some other big news is that I'm currently in the pre-production phase for my new CD, more specifically, choosing around 12 tunes from about 40 possibilites. It's like a parent picking their favorite child. Tough job. The list changes every damn day. Right now I'm thinking through arrangements and vibe and all that good stuff that makes creating a CD so much fun. I learned a lot recording All These Words and I'm really looking forward to letting loose this time around. If all goes as planned, recording will take place this summer. And if you'd like to donate to the Erik Mitchell Homeless CD Foundation, I accept checks, money orders, food vouchers, Septa tokens, and good wishes. Tax deductable, by the way. For only the price of a cup of coffee (more like 20,000 cups of coffee) you can help create new music. Where the hell is Sally Struthers when you need her?
What else has been going on lately? Well, the "Beyond Measure" choir show through the Philadelphia Songwriter's Project was nothing short of amazing. Everyone involved did such a marvelous job in producing an unforgettable evening! I still haven't really processed the experience of hearing one of my songs rearranged and performed by a hundred voices. I know the event was recorded and soon will be released to the masses. Keep your eye on the updates for new news regarding the recording.
Spring Is Here!
There's been a lot of cool stuff going on these past few months, from our WXPN flower show gig to our bizarre experience at The Arena. My TV appearance went well and in a week or so, I'll have that posted up on myspace or maybe even here.
We also just played a great show at Havana in New Hope, even though Corey was laid up in the hospital (too many low-end bass notes gave him a concussion). While there, I ate a $16 cheeseburger. Well, kinda. Since we musicians got half price on food and drinks, it suddenly became edible at 8 bucks. Bleu Cheese and applewood bacon...mmm...but I digress. After the show, me and Robert walked over to John and Peter's and ran into none other than Dean Ween, who quickly was bought a Jameson by yours truly. My brush with musical geniusness was fitting too, as we debuted "Don't Laugh (I Love You)" across the street mere minutes before. The boognish decended upon us two-fold that evening.
Some crazy-cool stuff on the horizon: We're returning to the Tin Angel next week on April 5th. We'll be playing with Tom Gillam's Tractor Pull, who if you haven't seen yet, do it now. The dude is a Philly institution and rocks the house. That weekend we'll also be playing the first show ever at the Stonehenge Ampitheater in Wilmington and look forward to performing like never before. I mean, we're talking crazy covers learned on the spot, guest vocalists, flying furniture, and good meats. Everyone should come. It's across from where the old Knight's of Columbus used to be. Technically it's a private event, but if you can find it, that's probably worth the price of admission. Happy Birthday, Wooly!
Last but not least: "Beyond Measure" is hitting the universe on April 14th! I'm so excited for this show because it's a one-time event featuring local choirs performing local singer/songwriter's material. One of my songs, River Run, will be featured. I've talked about it before (check my previous updates), so you should know what it is. Bottom line: If you miss it, there's probably a pretty good chance you'll curse the day you were born. On that note, Happy Spring and I hope to see you all soon!
Hello Young Lovers, Wherever You Are...
On the heels of Valentine's Day, I got some cool news to break. I've known about this for a while, even mentioned it last summer, but have been waiting for an opportune time to publicize it in more detail. That time is now...
Last June, my song River Run was chosen out of a couple hundred entires in the Philadelphia Songwriters Project's "Songwriting for Choir" contest. My song, along with 9 other local songwriter's tunes were arranged and will be performed by Philadelphia's leading Choirs and Vocal Ensembles. I crashed one of the practices last week and I must say I was very impressed. I even got to sing lead with the choir! What an honor! While practicing with one of the very talented choirs was a rush, it will be a truly unique experience to hear my music come to life through over 100 voices. Needless to say, I'm very excited and proud to be a part of this project.
The program is entitled "Beyond Measure" and will culminate in a gala performance at Centennial Hall in Haverford on Saturday, April 14th. Click here to see a short promo on the event, and direct yourself here to find out more information about the other songwriters and to purchase tickets.
And while you're doing all that clicking, make sure to get your tickets to my upcoming show at the Tin Angel, this Sunday! Who knows...maybe we'll blow something up there again...
Happy New Year!
Thanks for making our last Tin Angel show a big success! We'll be back by popular demand on February 18th so make sure to swing by. We'll be doing some of my new material and some of your old faves, plus as always, we'll have some tricks up our collective sleeves. Hell, the time before last we blew up the bass amp. What's next? Can't tell. You'll have to come out for yourself and see...
Continuing dates are popping up on the Events page, including my return to Kaffa Crossing and my debut at the Arena in the Great Northeast. And definitely make sure to come out to our Illuminare show on February 3rd, as we help to kick off their Late Night Music Series. That performance is not to be missed! If you do, I'm sicking my drummer on you...and he knows where you live.
Stay tuned, next month I will have some very special announcements!
I'll be out of the country for close to two weeks, but before I go I want to let you all know that there are some great shows coming up: Tin Angel, Kaffa Crossing, with shows at Grape Street and World Cafe Live in the works. Hope to see you there!
The holiday show at Milkboy was a tremendous sucess! We raised a ton of money for Toys for Tots and had a blast while doing it. Thanks to Irene Molloy for putting it together.
My Christmas tune continues to move forward in the music scene. I was informed last week that it was chosen to be in the daily regular rotation at 93.7 WSTW, breaking out of the local show and into the mainstream. I happened to just catch my song on the station a few days ago and they followed me up with Christina Aguilera and Maroon 5. What the hell?! Thanks to all who've helped make the song a success.
And in my last post of 2006, I'd like to wish everyone health and happiness for the holidays and a renewed sense of purpose in the New Year.
Download: "I Think I've Been Good This Year". (Right Click/Save Target As)
Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
First off, please welcome Corey Bonser to the band. Our new bass player is a performance major at Temple for, get this, saxophone. If only he had two extra hands, eh? While Corey is still too young to legally enter a bar, he adds poise and creativity well beyond his years. Corey's in the process of learning a ton of my material, but you'll see him out on the road with us immediately.
Secondly, my Christmas song, "I Think I've Been Good This Year" has been picked up by Delaware's hit radio station "WSTW" to be included in their "Toys for Tots" benefit CD. The CD, entitled "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," is a compilation of over 20 local artists performing holiday music. If you're in Delaware and would like to pick up the CD and support "Toys for Tots," the disc is available at Borders, Accent Music, Bert's Compact Discs, Rainbow Records, and Wonderland, as well as Gymboree Learning Center, Suburban Equipment, and Acme Market .
Come join me and a slew of other local artists at The Colosseum, in Wilmington, DE, on Thursday November 30th for the CD release party. This is gonna be a great evening of music for a good cause. Check out the Events page for the details.
Download: "I Think I've Been Good This Year". (Right Click/Save Target As)
Fall is my favorite time of the year and I'm excited to compliment the season with some more shows. We have a few in the works and soon will be announcing our Fall/Winter dates. Keep an eye out.
In a couple weeks on November 18th, I'll be participating in a fundraiser for the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's REACH program, which helps kids/teens with developmental disabilities transition into adulthood. I'm honored to take part and continue my work with this wonderful organization. By the way, those kids are my most loyal fans! Love 'em! If you'd like to contribute to the fundraiser email me.
Another cool bit of news: The wonderful Leigh Goldstein, who some of you may remember as the ubiquitous emcee at The Point's Tuesday open mic (may it rest in peace), contacted me about a Point get together. A bunch of us old Point open mic dogs are gonna reunite and have a good old time, and oh yeah, fill the night up with music. Stop on by Puck's in Doylestown on December 1st and relive some of the old days...where open mics were open mics, and bad jokes were a requirement.
Figured I'd check in. Not much new to report...Summer's over, the school year has sprung and I've been crazy busy, hence the lack of shows recently. I decided to take a little time off after a busy few months to regroup my senses a little.
Come check us out at The Well in Feasterville, PA on October 7th. Rad place. Good people. We got the cure for what ails ya, including some new material and I'll be joined by Kevin and Robert, on bass and drums, respectively. Also, keep an eye out for some upcoming shows at bigger venues.
I do have a few more cool items of news to report, but I'll leave you in suspense for the time being until they unfold a little more...
See you around!
Greetings One and All!
Thanks to those who made Bethlehem Musikfest an awesome time! Polka tent is where it's at! Check it! This Friday , August 18th, I'll be braving the sun once again at Love Park. In June, we almost passed out on stage, but had our last laugh at the evil humidity and made it through unscathed. This time around I'll be joined by Super John Conahan and his trusty sidekick, Fender Rhodes 88. You never know what's gonna happen at Love Park. Honest to God, last time I witnessed a "skateboarder vs. police" battle royale, along with at least 30 women on the far end of the park doing the Electric Slide to no music. To this day I still have no idea what that was all about. Be a part of the craziness. In any event, I may need someone there to help me with CPR if it's as hot as last time.
Fergie's late night, next Wednesday, August 23rd. Last time we played there it was off the hook fun...and I'm not just saying that to get you to come. It was probably the most fun I've had with my clothes on (and a drummer present) in years. Besides everyone's favorite Frenchy Canadian Ninja, Robert Desjardin joining me on drums, Mr. J. Conahan will also be along for the ride to add that certain keyboard flavor only he can. As if it couldn't get any better, the Woo-Hoo guy will presumably be serving the drinks. And if you have no clue what that last quip refers to, come find out. Hint: For years I've run into this dude in Maine and Florida and all parts in between. Maybe you have too. Hope to see you there!
Bethlehem Musikfest is coming up in a couple weeks and I am stoked. Should be a fun show. Full band, by the way. I love daytime gigs...just something about playing out in the sunshine, I guess. So, if you are unemployed, underemployed, facing an impending layoff, or like to call out sick from work, and are looking for a good day of free music, come on out Thursday August 10th, high noon. I know that a Thursday afternoon show isn't conducive for most of my showgoers, but who can pass up on souvenir beer glasses and ostrich burgers?
On a sad note, Connie's Cafe will be closing August 5th. I had a very memorable show there in March and had one scheduled for late August. I loved playing Connie's and I know many other musicians who share my sentiment. The place caught undue flak from some folks because it was in a strip mall, but you know what? It was always a great environment, people came out to listen, and Connie always treated the performers well. The best was that it smelled like the boardwalk....ice cream and cookies. If you never have been and would like to be part of the sendoff on August 5th, this is your last chance. Stop by their website for more details on the final show.
Summertime and the living is easy!
Had a ton of great shows lately and I'm excited to report I'll be playing the Bethlehem Musikfest in August, through the Philadelphia Songwriters Project. Needless to say, I'm stoked to share the stage with the likes of LL Cool J, David Cassidy, and Kenny G. That's right...Kenny G. There are close to 6 million artists of all genres playing the festival this year, so come check it out!
Speaking of the Philly Songwriters Project, I recently won a slot in their "Songwriting for Choir" contest. River Run, was chosen out of 150 entries, as a song to be performed by the area's best vocal ensembles culminating in a very special night of music.
Over the next several months, I'll be working with choir directors and the choir arranger, reshaping my song for multiple voices. All ten chosen selections will be featured in a high profile performance, which according to the Philly Songwriters Project, "will bring about a higher level of industry, media and public awareness."
The performance will be held Spring 2007. More details to follow! In the meantime, support the PSP and their efforts to further the local music scene!
Hey all you iPod people out there, good news: I'm now on iTunes...which means that you can listen to my music while your shadow dances around the city just like in those campy commercials. Rather than searching for me and wading through the Eric Burdons and Joni Mitchells and other similarly named artists, simply go here.Got a big show on Memorial Day at Club Passim up in Boston. Passim is one of the top folk music clubs in the country and I'll be a part of their annual Cutting Edge of the Campfire Festival. Check out that lineup! This is gonna be a great weekend of music! So pack up the grill and take a road trip up to support me and the rest of the Philly local artists also performing, i.e. Chris Kasper, Nik Everett, and Melody Gardot.
Speaking of Philly Local, I continue to get airplay on XPN's local show and I truly appreciate everyone's support in requesting my music. If you have a second, throw an email over to email@example.com and let them know you wanna hear some more of my tunes. Thanks so much and I'll see you in Boston!
Spring has kept me very busy with a ton of gigs. I'll be closing out the month of April with three biggies: The Hinge Cafe, Coffee Works, and of course, my triumphant return to the Tin Angel. This is a rallying call to the troops to come out to these shows, as my future bookings are predicated on their attendance numbers.
Just a quick shout-out to my REACH kids who might be reading this: It was awesome to see you all again and to meet so many new faces. I had so much fun playing for you and can't wait 'til next time. You guys are, by far, my best group of fans! Keep in touch and I hope to see you all soon!
One cool thing I forgot to mention was that last month "The House Of Osiris" was voted a semi-finalist in the International Songwriting Competition. The ISC is widely considered to be the industry's most prestigious competition and to finish a semi-finalist out of over 50,000 entries is pretty sweet. I'm very proud of that one.
And a final "PS": I was at a Phillie's game last week with former Ju-Ju Bees bandmate and Hairball and the Packard Bells frontman, Wooly, when we ran into one of our Philadelphia sports heroes, Michael Barkann, face of Comcast SportsNet and host of Daily News Live. I happened to have a copy of "Project Tubbz" on my person, which is me and Wooly's rare 2005 homage to both a) Philadelphia sports and b) ripping one of our friends. Not letting the opportunity pass us by, we gave Barkann a copy for his listening enjoyment. He promptly tried to eat it, but not before we caught this picture. God help us all.
Just want to thank everyone for supporting my Tin Angel gig last week. Things went so well that they invited me back for a return performance on April 30th. Hope to see you there! As before, tickets are limited and available online through the club's website here.
Got some new gigs coming up...one that is extra special for me. On March 25th, I'll be playing at Connie's Cafe in Laurel Springs, NJ. with my main man and bass virtuoso Dave Moore. Now, this just isn't any other show with accompaniment. Me and Dave's musical journey began more than 10 years ago, when I was still in high school. Our debut occured at St. Mary of the Assumption Church, when we (along with a few others) sang and played the regular Catholic fare during mass.
I'm not Catholic or particularly religious for that matter, but hey, a gig's a gig. It's funny because back then I didn't even own or know how to play a guitar; I played the bongos...with a big Grateful Dead "Steal Your Face" sticker on them. Imagine us long-haired hippy teenagers rocking out the "Liturgy of the Eucharist" with the mainly elderly crowd staring in what was either chaste meditation, or blind confusion. I'm not a betting man, but if I were, I'd bet the farm on the latter.
Well, March 25th marks the first show Dave and I will have played together since our infamous Church gigs. But this time, we're putting the "Ave Maria" on the back burner to rock out some songs from my new CD and other choice selections. Come bear witness to this historic musical reunion...or you're going to hell!
Gigs are aplenty so be sure to check out the Events page for a complete and up to date listing of upcoming shows. In fact, there is one in particular I am very excited for...
Mark your calendars because Thursday, March 2nd is my debut at the legendary Tin Angel in Philly! But wait...there is also a little competition going on. Four others are playing with me that night and if I have the most guests come to see me compared to the other artists, I will be invited back to the Tin Angel to open for a national act.
Needless to say, this is a huge opportunity for me, so if there ever was a time to come out and support my music, this is it! The club will ask folks at the door who they are coming to see and will literally be counting heads. Judging from the hype surrounding this event, it will likely sell out soon, so get your tickets early and often here.
Bring your friends and family cause I'll also have CD specials at the show, in thanks for your support. And remember, when you arrive, make sure to tell them you're there to see yours truly!
Hey Good People!
If you know me, you know I'm a Philadelphia sports maniac. Always have been, always will be. It's the cross I bear, if you will. With the Eagles year virtually down the tubes as early as this past October and still another three months until the Phillies start what will surely be another gut-wrenching season, what's there to do (besides watch the Sixers and Flyers) but play more live shows!
So I've just added more dates to the Events page. Apart from playing at some wonderful local venues, I'll be gracing the great state of New Jersey with my presence a couple times. I've always wondered if there is deeper meaning behind the fact that you can travel into New Jersey for free, but need to pay a toll to leave. Not sure. Either way, hope to see you seeing me soon!
Oh! Another thing that I forgot to announce earlier: I'm now on MySpace. Yeah that's right. While it primarily opposes my vision for the direction of society-at-large, insofar as unnecessarily increasing media globalization while cheapening an already skewed sense of internet communication by redefining what a true "friend" is, at least now we musicians can increase exposure to our music while at the same time stalk people from the comfort of our computer rooms.
Good news to share! Less than a month after the pressing of my CD, it's been getting play on 88.5 WXPN! Needless to say, I'm very excited by this and if you'd like to continue supporting my stuff, I implore you to put a little pressure on the powers that be and drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org requesting more of my music! Be the spark that creates a buzz!
So, I was talking with my good friend and local singer/songwriting maven Lizanne Knott a couple of weeks ago and she suggested I come back into MorningStar to record a Christmas song for the studio's upcoming Holiday Compilation CD. Pressed for time, I pondered over which classic to crank out -- perhaps some Bing Crosby action, a little Nat King Cole tribute, or maybe just a nose-harped version of one of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas songs. Flustered with having to make a choice, I threw my hands up and wrote my own.
"I Think I've Been Good This Year" is my take on a lonely man's hopeful holiday wish for the one thing he desires, but always seems to elude him. Considering that I penned it in two days, recorded it in three hours, and learned the mandolin for it (I've had one for years but never knew a chord until the night before recording), I'm really proud of this one. It's being submitted to XPN in consideration for their upcoming holiday programming, so keep your fingers crossed and your ears peeled.
But you don't have to wait by your radio just to possibly hear it on the air. Anyone who purchases my CD or signs up for my mailing list before January 15th will get an mp3 of the song sent directly to their inbox for free. The MorningStar Christmas compilation is not being released commercially, so this is the only way to get a hold of the tune.
Also, I've got some upcoming shows in the works, so make sure to check back for live dates. Blessings to all of you and best wishes for the New Year!
I'm excited to play the Double Shots Cafe again. The last show was a blast and we had a fine turnout. So if you're not doing anything on the 2nd of December, or even if you are, cancel your plans and come check me and Adrien Reju out. It will be a fun-filled, frothy latte party for all who attend.
A couple other cool things have happened in recent weeks. Naila Francis wrote a beautiful article about me and my new CD in The Intelligencer, which I hope to have posted up here soon. The weirdness all started when I received my copy and noticed that in the top left corner of the front page of the Life section was a small picture of Willie Nelson, while underneath him across the page was a larger picture of yours truly accompanied by my article. My only thought at the time was, "Whoa, cool. I beat out Willie Nelson."
So, the next day I went shopping for a microphone and I had a couple hundred bucks to spend. After an arduous testing process in Guitar Center, one that no doubt drew blood from the ears of employees and nearby customers, I went with the Audix OM5. When I got home I found a link to artists currently using the OM5 mic. You guessed it. Willie Nelson.
Later on that day I get a phone call from WXPN. When the woman on the phone mentioned she was calling from the radio station I was puzzled as to why. Something having to do with my CD? The "Musicians On Call" program? Revoking my membership? No. I just won the grand prize of two tickets to the Patriot Theater in Trenton, NJ to see none other than Willie Nelson. (The show was great, by the way.)
Needless to say, I'm a little weirded out by this. Like, I'm waiting to wake up with Willie standing over my bed or something. Maybe he'll be in my kitchen fixing up some biscuits and gravy tomorrow morning. The question I've been pondering for a couple days now is, "How do I find meaning in this since I don't believe in coincidences?" Do I need to start braiding my hair? Should I cover "Whiskey River" at my next show? I never thought of myself as a bandana type of guy.
Well, Willie, I'm sure you're reading this. Look, I'm a big fan...but please...stop following me. Better yet, come to the upcoming Double Shots show and maybe Adrien and I will let you do a few songs...if you're nice.
So much great music has come through the Philly area lately, it's been hard to keep up. Besides some great shows by local artists, in the span of just ten days I've gone to see Beck, David Gray, and U2 -- all great seats I might add. While these concerts were spectacular, they also served the dual purpose of getting me fired up to start playing out live again. And I'm doing just that. Come join me at the Double Shots Cafe on Friday November 11th, where I'll be performing with Amanda Kaletsky. Double Shots is a great new cafe/coffee house in
I'm also proud to report that after unnecessarily long bouts of perfectionism on my part, the CD is not only complete, but is off printing and should be in my hands by the 11th. I'm excited about getting the finished product out to the public and as I've mentioned in previous updates, I'll be planning a CD release party shortly so keep an eye out. I have a handful of samples from All These Words on the Multimedia page, so if you like what you hear come check me out live.
In light of all that’s been going on in the Gulf Coast, I’m proud to be a part of the All Together Now initiative this coming Tuesday, September 20th. A large group of Philadelphia based musicians will be giving their time and music at a number of venues around the city in order to raise money for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. I’ll be playing at Indre Studios through the Philadelphia Songwriters Project, so come out and support the cause. Check www.phillysongwriters.com for more info about the Indre event or http://xpn.org/hurricane_concerts.php for the entire series of benefit shows.
In recent happenings, I just played a special event at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and thoroughly enjoyed my time there with the teens. They were both energetic and engaging and I learned a great deal from them. With all the recent time I’ve spent in the studio, it’s great to be able to get back out and perform live again. Keep an eye out for me, as I’ll be playing more and more in support of my upcoming cd.
Speaking of All These Words, the cd is all but finished and I’m very proud of what we have. The final master and all the graphics are complete and it’s being sent out to print next week. Shouldn’t be long now, so keep checking the events page for info regarding my upcoming cd release party.
Hey everyone! Welcome to my new website!
I’ll be getting back out and performing soon, as most of my free time lately has been spent at grammy award-winning MorningStar Studios cutting tracks for my first CD. My time spent there has been unbelievable, as I’ve had the opportunity to create with some of the industry’s best musicians and engineers.
My work at MorningStar has been long and hard, but productive. I’m in awe of how good this CD sounds so far and I can’t wait to bring it to the public. We’re just about done; all the recording and mixing is in the books. Right now we are tweaking some mastering and should be on to printing soon. I hope to have things completed by the end of summer so keep checking back for an official release date, as well as info on the CD release party.
And please sign up for my mailing list so I can deliver info straight from my fingertips and into your inbox. You’ll find out about upcoming dates and merchandise, as well as whatever random stuff I feel like writing.
As always, thanks for your support and don’t be a stranger. If you see me play out, come say hello!