Fun time tonight playing an online album preview show on Concert Window along with Wendy Ramsay! Here’s one of the songs—the title track of the new album, Almost There (release date Oct. 14).
Here’s one of many images I caught at this year’s Newport Folk Festival.
This morning I went on the TV show Bridge Street along with fellow songwriter Ashley Cox to talk about the 9/26 Acoustic Guitar Project Concert in Syracuse, in which ten songwriters wrote and recorded a song in a week on the same guitar. Ashley and I both performed the songs we wrote for the project. Here are the videos.
Ashley’s song, “Get Wise”:
My song, “Till I’m Alone with You” (the first two thirds of it, anyway):
Find more info on the concert, and get advance tickets, at the Folkus Project website.
In the four years since my last album, I’ve forgotten to some degree how intense the experience is of bringing something like this into the world. From creating the songs, to crafting band arrangements, to figuring out how translate that sound onto record, to designing artwork, to sweating every micro detail down to the fractions of seconds between songs…it’s an all-consuming process. And since I am in charge of everything—these are my songs, released on my own label—there’s absolutely nothing to hide behind.
So it feels momentous to put such a thing out there. Thrilling. A little scary.
But when the album comes out next month, it’s time for me to let go—because the album becomes yours then too. What will you feel or picture when you listen to the songs? Where will you take them? That, ultimately, is what matters. I make music to try to build a bridge between me and you.
Last week I launched the Kickstarter campaign for this album. Please take a moment to watch the video (and you’ll get to see a scene-stealing cameo from my dog, Waldo), and consider preordering the album or some of the many other goodies offered there (DVDs, lessons, photos…). Pledges start at $1. Everthing helps, including sharing this project with your friends!
In the meantime, if you’d like to hear some of the new songs live, I’m playing a free online album preview show on Sept. 28. Tune in and say hello! On the show calendar you’ll find a bunch of other upcoming events, including a TV talk-show appearance on 9/23.
Thanks, as always, for staying tuned, and for supporting independent music. Happy fall!
I caught a great show by Suzanne Vega the other night in Ithaca, New York, where she was performing older and new songs as a duo with Gerry Leonard. Here’s my review for Acoustic Guitar.
I took the photo used on the cover of Almost There in the state park a short walk from my home, on a late fall day. I always loved this sign and have taken pictures of it in all seasons; and when I decided on the album title, this was the first image that came to mind. Wendy Ramsay, my bandmate and partner in crime, played around with the brightness and saturation to create a sort of surreal version of the fall landscape, and did a first pass at a layout. I fiddled further with it to arrive at the cover in its present form.
A friend commented to me recently that I use a lot of trail imagery in my songs. It is true, and no accident, since I’m out on the trail with my dog every day, walking and scheming and making lists and playing with lyrics and composing leads to articles. Many of the songs on this album took shape, in part, on these trails.