Songslinger: December 2023
This is a Songslinger post about all things musically related to what I create. Here you’ll find song recordings, videos, album releases, and more.
Storytelling doesn't just happen on the printed page; it can happen in your ears too.
In case you didn't know, I also sling stories composed as poetry set to music. I call these music-stories "songs." I started writing songs the first time I fell in love (only one song, tragically), and continued writing them after my heart was broken (immediately after the first song and for many, many years thereafter). Telling stories through music has been yet another avenue to vent my emotions and describe and relate to the world around me. And while my music certainly has emotional ups and downs, my experience playing music has always been positive. I had a brief flash as a performing musician and singer. I played in some great venues. I've performed in coffee shops as my kids watched and listened. And even I met my wife by serenading her at one of my shows. Music has been good to me.
I'm telling you this because I've decided to produce an album again. I haven't recorded and produced music since 2008. Life and the Marines and, yes, simple everyday choices have put recording on the back burner. But I've still been writing. And I have a dozen quality songs I'm ready to record, produce, and release.
For the first time, I'm doing country music.
I have long been a paradoxical product of my musical influences. I grew up listening to the great artists of the 1960s, 70s, and 80s (Eagles, Earth, Wind & Fire, Beatles, Elton John, Phil Collins, Willie Nelson, Bill Withers, Chicago, Jimmy Buffet, Michael Jackson, Cindy Lauper, Paul Simon, Harry Belefonte, Frank Sinatra, The Band, Lionel Richie—the list could go on and on). And because of my eclectic musical influences, my own sound has been hard to define. During my short music career, I tried to blend jazz, pop, indie rock, and country. The sound was good, but maybe not authentically me.
Country has always been at the core of my sound.
Whether singing rock or jazz, my sound has always had a country flavor. And I honestly don't know why I never went that direction with my music. Perhaps I thought that by abandoning my roots (I was born in Atlanta and grew up in South Georgia) and joining the Marines and heading out to see the world made me think I would be considered an outsider to country fans. But I don't believe that anymore. (This idea was the inception point of this new album and inspired one of the best songs!)
The world is smaller than it was when I was a child. We're more connected (and yet, ironically, more disconnected in some ways) and we have more access to art nowadays than I did growing up. And anyone with some talent and drive (and a little technology) can try their hand at any genre of music.
I'm finally ready to announce my country music album—but not in the way you'd think. I actually haven't recorded it yet. I've written all the songs (and they're great, believe me!) and I'm ready to start the project, but I need money to do it. I've tried slowly plugging away at it, but the expenses of producing a record (even independently) are too high for me. So, I'm asking for help.
I've decided to crowd source this album and give supporters some real perks. Top-tier supporters will get a free concert in their hometown with all the songs on the record. And everyone in between will get tee shirts, producer credit, and supporter-only acoustic versions of the music.
I'm launching the campaign next year and I hope you'll consider supporting me. On the campaign website I'll have a breakdown of the costs behind producing the album, along with the various supporter reward tiers. There will be a way to contribute from any budget.
Thanks for listening!