Indies like me run our own modest marketing efforts refusing (hopefully) to “farm it out” to 3rd parties to do for me. And at times prefer to be comical about it because I don’t take marketing itself as serious as the music.
For me, the content has to come first -thoughts in the lyrics, intent in the grooves.
Little flash, big meaning.
These are my guitar strings. They’re called “Tone Rockets” and they’re incredible while their marketing is not.
I’ve come up with a more familiar packaging. Well actually, Adam Signore put this beauty together (thanks Adam) and I’m sure you won’t forget it.
Have a laugh on me.
If you’re a guitar player have at them.
Had 3 big shows this past weekend and the amount of people that came out to hear the new music is still making me smile.
And it’s always interesting to see people after patches of time, sometimes years in-between and then someone shows up. They’re still listening to “Say It” and they haven’t heard anything from the past 5 years.
In the end, most of the time, they’re asking for my stuff. The music that I wrote, with a pencil, paper, and beat-up guitar.
I can’t convey how it makes me feel. This idea, that something I wrote, sang, played makes a life better in some way, not just enjoyment, but insight. This is worth more to me than any award I will ever be given or any ownership of a thing, a car or house, something that we don’t take with us in the end.
Maybe insight is the real ingredient that’s missing more and more, or maybe the “general” or the “crowd” or the “public attention” simply aren’t looking at it. Insight.
Insight brings gratitude over patches of time.
This photo (from 2009) was taken in VT at the end of a guitar masterclass workshop (the emphasis was on acoustic blues as you might have guessed from all the acoustic guitars in the photo).
It came up in my Facebook memory feed which surprises me from time to time because I tend to forget about “everything” when there’s “so many” things happening.
I write music, I perform music, and I teach music (on my own with no affiliation to any college, other than maybe the Charlie Banacos school).
I debut one of my new bands tonight (called the “Street Band”) just in time for Fat Tuesday.
That’s 8pm at “Chianti” in Beverly MA. That’s Timo Shanko and Benny Benson in the photo.
Come see me this week.
Thursday (2.15) in Nashua (Riverwalk)
Friday (2.16) in Somerville (Bull McCabes)
Saturday (2.17) in Jamestown Rhode Island (Narragansett Cafe)
Just because I was asked to play this song 3 times in the last week.
“True love is deep, deep as the ocean.” (I stole this line from Ramana Maharishi)
I don’t usually share these sort of notes, but I am today.
“Evan, we can’t say enough how much it meant to us that you showed up and rocked the “house” at Shelter Fest to support affordable housing. You and your band are AMAZING – a big sound with even bigger heart. Love your CD, too. Thank you so much for being there for us. You guys are awesome! Bethany, Harborlight Community Partners”
I know a lot of musicians and artists who either get a day job or move hours out of the city centers because they simply can’t afford housing. When the real estate agents and even the slumlords continue their “squeeze” there’s a massive “cultural loss” that’s a bit incalculable.
When an artist has to spend time making $ to support his/her art, it takes away time from doing the work that makes that art stand out and be fantastic and inspiring.
As a result of this time vs. art focus equation, in the end, we’re seeing more and more mediocrity. Mediocre painting, websites, songs, youtube gurus.
If you find something exceptional and you value it being there, support it.
Social media takes it’s toll on the attention span (don’t take my word for it, simply look around and observe). They ask, was it yesterday or last week?
It can be challenging to remind and answer people about things that have been published (and for a long time already) such as…
Sometimes you have to turn it off so that you can pay attention.
In response to the awful reviews of the Grammy awards (viewership at an all time low and most everyone in agreement that in totality the show was PMC -pretty much crap) I give you a 7 minute long ballad that has a ridiculously arty into and outro and a ridiculously long guitar solo. This weeks track give away is “Airplanes.”
North Shore people, I’m in Beverly this Saturday night playing ShelterFest – a fundraiser for Harborlight Community Partners. (a nonprofit organization that provides local families in need with affordable housing) in Beverly MA.
12pm-9pm (we are last -8pm start), and it’s at a church, how cool is that?
It’s always cool to be mentioned.
While quickly rehearsing a band in Seoul last week through a set of songs the drummer asked me why I waited so many years in-between recordings. Thinking it was a language gap, I asked him a few different questions and finally pinpointed that he had bought my music from Apple iTunes, and so none of my recent recordings (2011 to the present) had come up (and so he thought it had been years since I had made anything). Live Animals anyone?
Here we are in 2018. Where and how do we listen to our music?
Spotify is certainly doing it’s job of dominating the streaming (music libraries on your phone right?) despite their inability to actually pay anyone. Add Amazon streaming and Apple music and you’ve got music stream competition. “Burn” is Here.
CD’s and LP’s (there’s a lot to be said for having the quality in the same room with you).
And their opposites. LP’s in general, are expensive, CD’s cheaper now than ever.
And then there’s an entire group of people who listen to everything on youtube despite the awful sonic quality and commercial adds.
I prefer “Nimbit” (now a 10 year old startup that’s still hanging on) because I can give better quality downloads for less money.
It’s good to have your stamp everywhere but in the end everyone will have their own preference and even that is bound to change quicker in the future.
The C-artist club in Tokyo functions as an original acoustic roots music venue (Boston people: think Club Passim). I had the pleasure of splitting the night with 3 other singer songwriters, all Japanese, and all excited to have someone from the states on the bill.
The club was decorated with blues music items, literally, everywhere. Little statue figure carvings of the T-Bone Walkers, black and white posters of B.B. King, walls adorned with Lightning Hopkins.
Taking the hint I launched into a “blues” set (not something I normally do) because…when in Rome drink Chianti and when in Tokyo play blues music. Right?
The harmonica player is the club owner who upon hearing blues decided to rip his harmonicas out (while he was still in the kitchen). I had him join me for the rest of the set.
I love blues music, always have (some might remember I won the Boston Blues Award years back) but I’m not interested in recreating it the way other musicians do.
There exist rock guitarists who call themselves blues players (some even tout highway billboard signs declaring that they’re the greatest guitar players alive) and there are other “vintage” blues bands that are literally “covering” 1960’s era blues music with nothing inspirational added. Museum music.
But, if you have the ways and the means, and you find yourself in a foreign country where they really crave something “like that” I think it’s good to put aside any agenda, and give them what they want.
And for me personally, it always feels like coming home when I play blues.
2017 was an epic year for me -the United Nations concert in Boston, the gigs with African poet Marc Alexandre in NYC, the St. Barths bucket grand concert (pictured above) and so much more.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this a great year for me.
Moving in forward in 2018!
I give in a number of different ways but performing is the best way I know how. I’ll be helping out the “Shelter Fest” in Beverly MA on Saturday January 27th as part of a day long fundraiser with multiple bands (12pm-9pm) to raise money for low income housing recipients on the North Shore.
I like to drop in and play the guitar pretty much whenever I can…
This was taken at “Slades” a few weeks back -they have a ruckus Tuesday night jam you might want to check out (and I was there again last night).
I’ve been a fan of “the jam” forever, places where strangers meet and musically interact with no preparation or prior decision making. Only your ears can save you in these places where musicians bump and collide with each other onstage in front of an audience and have to figure it out on the spot.
Sort of the antithesis of “TV singing” autocorrect pitches, programed back tracks and sometimes just straight lip synching.
The excitement is in the happening of the whole thing, and really no where else.
The talking heads would write lyrics on strips of paper and randomly put them together, thus some of the lyrical nonsense it led to, but part of the bands charm.
I played “Let Me” on Saturday night for a couple (because it’s “their” song) and later they remarked how odd it was that “their” song was in fact, a break-up song.
I don’t think it necessarily has to be. It could be interpreted as a plea to stay together.
This is the insanity of lyric comprehension, and the charm. Unless you’re going to sing something as literal as “I ran my car over your front lawn” well then, they’re might be room to “attach” your own mood, situation, or feeling to a song.
If everyone hears or sees something different, maybe that’s when art is the most potent.
I stopped competing in the music world a long time ago (think music awards for genres and the like).
Why do it when I can spend my energy listening to the people who listen to me and tell me what they think.
(Steve makes a fine example below)
Evan, Finally, belatedly downloaded and listened to the WAV of Burn. I love this record. What I’d always been hoping for, but too reticent to ask you for: guitar-centric, Evan-only singing, bass guitar!, awesomely clean production. And the new songs so good. I’ll email additional thoughts this week, but I’ve got a ridiculous signal chain (Mac -> Apogee Duet -> Beyerdynamic A20 -> Sennheiser HD 650 headphones), and Burn sounds so good! And those perfectly clean, just barely breaking up guitar tones, oh man.. 🙂
Great jazz saxophone player Paul Ahlstrand sends out very, very entertaining emails that put the “music world” under scrutiny and give great belly laughs at the same time. Paul got nominated for a Boston Music Award this year, and below was his take on it:
Usually when you get one of these missives from me, it is to invite you to a gig that I am doing, but not this time. I am writing to let you know that for the second year in a row I have been nominated for a 2017 Boston Music Award in the category of “Session Musician Of The Year.” The Boston Music Awards are kind of like a local version of the Grammy Awards but with a chintzier swag bag. (The last time I went to the BMA’s, my swag bag consisted of a couple temporary tattoos, a tiny bottle of hand sanitizer and a gift certificate to Condom World) I’m humbled to be nominated by my peers even though I find the whole idea of competitive music to be silly especially in this category. Very few people get to see me do this sort of work. It is often anonymous. How is the winner determined? Is there a sight-reading competition thereby eliminating guitarists in the first round? Perhaps some test of stamina where a megalomaniacal record producer forces the nominees to play the same passage over and over for no apparent reason and the last nominee to storm out of the studio wins? Nope. Random people just vote for you whether they have heard any of the projects you’ve worked on or not. If hell freezes over and I somehow win this stupid thing, I promise not to officially change my name to: “2017 Boston Music Awards Session Musician Of The Year Paul Ahlstrand.” Here’s the link if you feel like voting for me (voting end on 11/1 at 10am):
Paul’s great (his honesty is brutal and refreshing).
Steve’s great (he took the time to write me because he loves “Burn” so much).
The question of “this or that” is always relevant when you have to choose whether or not to spend your time making art for people, or trying to get everyone to vote for you.
We have so many ways of communicating now and such a high rate of misunderstanding. It’s a text, an instagram, a reply to a Facebook comment, email and IM, and without a solid understanding who’s at the other end it can get challenging when gauging humor.
A few years back I posted this photo on Facebook and had a massive amount of traffic show up, mainly congratulatory in nature for “making it” “owning a bus” “being that famous” and every version of that you might imagine.
It was silliness.
Half the people viewing skipped the caption (I was posing in front of Rusted Roots bus, -band from the 90’s) because we were opening for them.
I went back and corrected as many statements and answered as many questions as I could but it showed me that the people who support me imagine that I would have such a bus someday.
But, this can’t be mine.
My bus would be black.
This Saturday the band is in RI @ the Narragansett Cafe (more commonly known as the “Ganny”).
25 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown, RI 02835 GoogleMap
“I went searching for redemption, when all my hope fell right through the floor.
Hitch a ride on the wind, you told me you don’t love me anymore.”
I tend to remain quiet about my extra curricular activities. So for intimacy’s sake, I give you: “5 Thing about me you didn’t know.”
- I played guitar at Wally’s in Boston on Monday night’s for almost 3 years as the somewhat music director for the Boston Music Circus (now defunct). I do miss this band consisting of Mario Perrett on sax, Chris Anzelone on drums and Randy Bramwell on bass.
- I booked a music venue in Lowell MA for just over 6 years (The entire time they were in business, over 1300 shows). It was a lot of unforgiving work but it allowed me to build something special in that community, and thankfully it’s demise had nothing to do with slow business or lack of interest.
- My famed jazz guitar once belonged to Duke Robillard, as far as I know he wants it back and he’ll never get it.
- I was a long time student of the great Charlie Banacos, a man worth reading about (although there’s not a lot of literature on him), and also a man who made great teaching method models (although you’ll never understand his teaching unless someone explains how to use it).
- I represented the “Count Us In” an overseas voting tool for soldiers who might have been excluded in the 2008 election (I was doing a tour of Nato Bases in Spain and Portugal).
Right now for me is all about writing lyrics. Lots and lots of lyrics.
And while re-thinking a few things, I’m simply making some things I do better.
I like the notion that you can read lyrics and they can stand up on their own without music. I also like it when the music pulls you into the lyrics even if you discover them after the fact.
After chugging away at words I’ll put it down for a minute and go back and listen to something “simpler?” but that might be “all” feeling.
Check out the lyrics on this one:
Losing power for a day or two always reminds me how much we’re connected to the “brain” (internet). I’ve got digital recorders, cassettes, mostly CD’s, 3? iPods, 2 laptops, all with music. I am also on Spotify but I’m just getting around to it.
I sent an mp3 to a fan who always listens to me on spotify and couldn’t access his account because of a power outage and wrote me an email about it.
I simply sent it to him but it would be time consuming to send it to everyone.
Click Here and download it if you’d like to have it to (for the winter ahead).
Waiting On A Rainy Night.
A song title as a metaphor for starting over.
Many things that worked before, aren’t working anymore. This seems to me to be a unanimous decision.
There are systems in place, all kinds, political, financial, and “personal belief systems” that simply don’t work in the new world.
And, “We’re all on our way somewhere” so why not burn the old and create the new with conversations, study, and maybe some music too.
Starting over isn’t easy but we do it anyway.
It’s good to share in the new world.
Here’s some words written to me from someone about “Let’s Burn Everything:”
“The meaning of Lets Burn Everything shows that you can start over if you are brave enough. I had been through a lot in my life and my life still has a lot to put me through. I lost everything except what I could stuff into my Dodge Caravan.
I had to start over. Hind sight i lost my son because of my ex. There is that no so easy part. And I tried to keep him in my life but my ex won after 6 years in court and all the horrendous fights. Life goes on and I will die if I do not have resilience. Hope lies in my now. I live. Am alive, waiting for my sons return when my exs poison wears off. He is 20, I have not seen him in 5 years. Thats would tear any man who loves their children down.
When i hear that song it reminds me who I am. I am a grandson of a Cossack, son of a ww2 hero and wounded firefighter, a man built for battle. Lets burn everything, love stands, the essence of who I am rises from the ashes. I keep moving, an unstoppable force.”
I’ve broken and changed a guitar string mid-song before. I’ve been accused of making it look easy but that’s only because it used to happen a lot (in earlier days I’d try to get as many shows out of a set of strings as possible).
The last time we were there in September of 15′ John’s keyboard rig failed entirely. Luckily there was a tuned concert grand piano on the stage and so we moved it out and played the rest of the show on it in a quieter ballad filled way.
The truth is, there are no easy answers. Sometimes the plane is delayed, sometimes the equipment blows up, sometime it just rains on an outdoor stage. You can’t control these things.
But, if there’s a way to play or rather a way to improvise in a setting that has disaster, well then you’re on to something and maybe something happens that’s good enough to tell someone about.
The show must go on.
I get asked about what I’m doing on the guitar when it comes to this and that (most recently about the guitar chords I’m using on this one).
One reviewer called my new cover of “Sitting on the dock of the bay” as anorexic, in the sense that production wise, it’s very, very minimal.
Guitarists may be able to decipher these chord pictures, but I’ve found the general public have found a sort of joy in just seeing it as eye candy.
(note for guitarists: you need to “know” the chords and song structure before applying these voicings)
I didn’t really grow up “with” Steely Dan, but I grew up with aunts that were still listening to Steely Dan and it sunk in. I had the entire catalog by freshman year of college and spent a lot of time learning the material and the players (it’s an entire world for those unfamiliar).
A big thank you to Walter Becker for living the life that he did.
A big thank you to Tom Moon for writing so eloquently about that (great article here).
The music….how does it connect with you?
Because it’s different for everyone.
For some it’s lyrics, others it’s “beat” (rhythm pules etc.).
And still what about the energy of it? The vibration of it?
As you can see above, the boys like to have fun and I think that’s essential.
If it’s not fun then why do it?
A big thank you to everyone at Carolyn’s Sakonnet vineyard last night. They shot a video of us doing “Let’s Burn Everything” and that’s on it’s way.
Last years video doesn’t look to shabby though.
And they write about it. Thanks BC.
Early on I remember reading somewhere “your ancestors worked twice as hard for have as much” in response to “the gripe.” What an incredible world we have and yet people will find reason to complain.
Seeing a fake news (or rather an “angled” news article) about Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen “hitting the road” to tour because he can’t sustain his income on record sales alone really hits home in the “record sales revenue” debate. And, it doesn’t.
Did the 69 year old invest, diversify, own anything in the 30 plus years of 6 or possibly 7 figure income earning? Just how much is his bottom line and how much does he need to pull in? Is it so bad that he needs to “hit the road” to eat?
The article makes it sound that way.
The best part about the music “biz” is that the clothes have come off. And, that’s the worst part too. You can dress pop music up with millions of fake hits and pings from the third world corridor to tell the youth, “this is popular” and “this is the song of the summer” but you don’t get the same results.
And yet, self funding is heavier than it’s ever been, and for those curious enough to look for it, there’s great art being made out there.
I’m happy with my crew of supporters. I’m surrounded by people who have an intelligent imagination and information (some more than others) on what it is that I do everyday, and why it is that I do it.
They come out of the woodwork. They send me thank you’s, and sometimes just money because they want me to keep writing, keep producing.
And that’s why I do it.
20,000 people on a beach in CT (Short Beach in Stratford, CT). And, it’s going to happen again this Saturday night. GO
“Living lately on dreams and wine”
There are those who know more about me than I let on…
I play with a lot of musicians in a lot of settings, what we refer to as moonlighting.
Only sometimes it happens on a beach in broad daylight (apologies for the lack of guitar, I had to put it down in order to take the video).
“Burn” is making it’s way around the radio world.
A supporting DJ (I’ll keep it anonymous) asks the following:
“A question about your “Peg” cover. The tempo is so significantly different. Not being musician I still want to say something intelligent when I play it.
Was there a reason within the song to redefine it? Or is it because it’s your signature style?”
Answer is, I’d get bored just recreating what was already done.
You’re either a “live” version of something else (literally translates to “tribute” or “wedding” bands) or you’re creating something of your own and it’s something no one has heard before.
And, of course you can do it with someone else’s song.
If you’re going to record one one of your favorites, why not make it your own?
While Alex and Ani’s vineyard in Sakonnet RI is both beautiful and also somewhat remote in comparison to other vineyard climates (in France and California you find vineyards literally right up against each other) amazingly enough, they are having a sonic issue with their neighbors who live miles away who have managed to tie up the series legally this year.
The entire music schedule for 2017 was cancelled in early June.
Many apologies for anyone who chalked up their calendar for the July 19th date.
Hopefully we’ll see them again next year!
I sent “Burn” to MVYRadio so they could debut it Tuesday and somehow the WXRV the River 92.5fm got hold of it and played Monday night.
It’s not the worst problem to have and in the “arts’ world this sort of thing happens a lot.
The important thing is the attention and the support. You don’t need to know a lot about the music world to get a glimpse of how challenging it might be to pioneer your own music and live as an independent musician.
I have a history of playing for and working with New England radio stations and it feels good when they support me by playing my new stuff.
WMVY (Martha’s Vineyard Radio) played “Burn” literally, all day Tuesday (first at noon, then 8pm and again at 9pm) and 92.5fm the River played “Let’s Burn Everything” Monday night for their Homegrown show.
“Burn” is available today!
It’s been a journey putting this together. I see it as a sonic reboot in a lot of ways and I thank David and Greg for helping me make this. Go Here to download (MP3 or WAV).
1. Let’s Burn Everything
2. Last Night
3. Voices In Paris
4. I Still Think She’s Mine
6. Waiting On A Rainy Night
7. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
8. In The Air Tonight
It’s the most relevant. When someone tells you about that movie they saw or that speech they heard. Or maybe it was a great story that sticks out in their mind that they read in a book.
In the ocean of attention deficit it’s actually worth talking about. It’s worth listening to.
I have received so much from people from word of mouth, and I’m always striving to do more with sharing and giving including benefit concerts like the one on Sunday at Gillette stadium for the Buzz Off (pictured above).
They might thank you for it later.
Matty Alger pounds a heineken as part of his drum solo finale as the rest of us look on (saxophonist Tim Mayer, bassist Rick O’Neale and myself -still donning the kufi).
This was at the Bazbar in St. Barths (Gustavia harbor) in March of 2007 in a run of concerts that would make it onto “A Night at the Bazbar.” This month marks the 10th anniversary of the release of that recording.
I’m offering a 75% discount on it now.
1. Let’s Burn Everything
2. Last Night
3. Voices In Paris
4. I Still Think She’s Mine
6. Waiting On A Rainy Night
7. Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay
8. In The Air Tonight
One Mission is a Pediatric Cancer charity that helps children and families through the emotional and financial challenges of cancer treatment. Since 2010, almost 5,000 heads have been shaven, more than 5.7 million dollars have been raised and over 7,000 patients and families have given support to the charity.
This is how I give back. I have to play guitar for them because I’m already rocking a dome.
June 4th. Gillette stadium. Go
I write music primarily on acoustic guitar. I love it as much as the electric.
I’m happy to tell you about a bunch of acoustic shows on the near horizon. Some of them will have Greg Toro on bass, others David Moore on hand percussion. Join us!
Sunday May 14th in Salem MA (Mercy)
Friday May 19th in NH (Auburn Pitts)
Sunday June 4th Gillette Stadium (Buzz Off for kids with cancer)
Saturday August 5th Bourne MA (Pan Mass Challenge)
Upon hearing of Jay Geils passing I rang up his manager and long time guitar partner Gerry Beaudoin to offer my condolences.
And of course we talked about Jay.
I claimed that he was the J.D. Salinger of the rock n’ roll world. Like Salinger (author of Catcher on the rye and after fame, possibly one of the greatest examples of a recluse), Jay was very much an anti-celebrity.
The flash, the parties, the “village roadshow” of the entertainment business was always something he seemed to want to escape from.
On the other side of that was genuine engagement: When you were talking with him, you were talking with him. He was always interested in “Real.”
He was both hero and anti-celebrity.
Backstage at the Veterans concert last year with Barry Goudreau, David Hull, Paul Nelson, John Cafferty and Johnny A.
I have a history of helping with benefits because I love to do it. All the energy that my friends, family, and fans have contributed to me gets cycled back.
In short, I call it the big Giveback.
Sunday June 4th I’ll be playing the “Buzz off for kids with cancer” at Gillette Stadium.
I still think they’re great and I keep my collection around, along with my iPod and various online music sources.
In 2017, everyone has a different listening habit. Some people I know who have converted to online streaming, in actuality, listen to music less often (perhaps frozen by the library presented).
Others prefer the vinyl undertaking and they seemingly get more “return” on their experience by having a greater sound quality combined with that thing that’s in demand these days….attention.
The radio appears drowned out, as in people don’t really listen. Commercial radio might as well by the mainstream nothing music that gets piped in at Moes while you wait for a burrito.
“Burn” is on it’s way. Do you want to have it in a CD format?
Our first time. Who’ll be there? (On Fbook)
A big thanks to everyone who made this concert happen. St. Barths couldn’t have been finer, and the concert could not have been better.
Love from snowy Massachusetts!
“I’d believe in you if you think I could, and if I asked you to do the same for me, I know you would” My Gift Track to you.
We will be playing the main dock concert on Friday March 17th in Gustavia harbor, for the St. Barths Bucket.
Apologies for the inconvenience guys.
There were problems with Saturday March 4th @ the Burren.
This show has been rescheduled (Go Here).
I was the special guest at the Beehive last night, playing jazz and blues with the Sunday night residency crew. At request I sang “What’s going on.” I had a revelation during the performance of how pertinent the song still is, so many years on. Great art with such great meaning. Great songs.
Time lends perspective and shows us what is meaningful and what is fluff.
At times when I hear people complain about how bad, or rather, meaningless the music of “now” is (pop music if you rather that term), I remember that every year in music history has spawned awful village roadshow music with no meaning other than entertainment. It’s not a new phenomenon, we just forget because we’re paying too much attention to the screens in front of us.
There are plenty of “What’s going on” and there will be more to come. How soon do we recognize and/or identify with them?
Here’s a tease. Enjoy.
A teaser from one of the new ones “Voices in Paris.”
SUNDAY MORNING BLUES on WZLX. Carter Allen has been spinning this one.
I meet a lot of people. And, I talk to a lot of people. And you might imagine, sometimes I meet people and then they show up to a show after 1, 2, or maybe 6 years.
And sometimes they take photos of me. In this case, a supersized glossy of me onstage on the South Shore winning the Boston Blues Challenge (I’ve got some friends who are competing in the Memphis Blues Challenge this weekend in fact). A salute to them.
PS -I used to wear this particular hat to signify the Boston connection. Thanks Mark R.
I think 2017 will be particularly remembered as a year of change -socially, economically, politically, and for me, musically.
I’ve opened the band up to new members and have been writing a lot of new material. What does that mean? New songs, new show, new faces. What does it sound like?
“Loyalty” is on Spotify. If you use it please “Follow” me on it Go Here.
On a show hiatus until March (except for a Feb NYC run with a slam poet -read below) and then we go, go, go!
Friday March 3rd in Jamestown RI (the Ganny)
Saturday March 4th in Somerville MA (The Burren)
Saturday March 25th in Newburyport MA (the Grog)
Friday March 31st in Salem MA (Opus)
Saturday April 8th in North Andover MA (Crossroads Music Series)
Details and links on the Shows page.
Purportedly, Miles Davis never listened to his recordings once he was done with him. In his words (I’m paraphrasing) “it’s like looking back, and I only want to look forward.”
Years spent in the writing studio, then the recording studio, then the editing studio, it’s easy to forget the “essence” of the material, especially when it’s easier to be focused on “how” good it can sound, or how perfect you can make it.
I wrote in a prior blog about the current “auto-tuning” trend, now maybe becoming the “sing along to back tracks and lip synch” trend; The moment itself is gone.
Recently I was recording a guitar intro on something new and it came out completely spontaneous. Instinct begged me to immediately erase and continue on, over it. I didn’t.
After a few listens I wondered how I could justify writing something that happened both naturally and on it’s own. I’m thinking it’s really that good. I’m hoping it’s really that good.
Sometimes sloppiness can have feel that the auto-tune can’t replicate, and maybe that’s the humanity behind art. And hopefully, the humanity in recording it.
We met on this stage. This is Marc Alexandre, a rather passionate and visionary slam poet from Cameroon. I met him in Bordeaux this past November and I’ll be accompanying him this February in Manhattan and Pennsylvania (Feb 15-18).
Both shows are colleges and open to the public, More information will be on the Shows page.
I can’t describe accompanying Marc. It’s magical stuff. I will endeavor to “capture” it either via video or audio.
Thursday Feb 16th @ Albertine in NYC Details Here
There are many scenes (especially in the arts). There’s the large party (the half time show with the Gaga’s and the Mars) and then there’s the rest of the world (which is us -really the 99%).
The Micro-communities of cool people.
Years ago we played the Crossroads Music Series and it was so good in so many ways. A music series in North Andover who might have guessed? If you haven’t heard of them till now it’s because we might be drowning in the Super Bowl Ad noise, that’s ok. Jump on it, this show will sell out. CROSSROADS
We’re all on our way to somewhere
This time I’m looking for the Love Redirection
Starting over isn’t easy
We do it anyway
Searching for the right words at the right time
I trust my hands because they know what to do
They shed light on everything
Let’s burn everything, Let’s burn everything, Let’s burn everything
To the ground then we’ll find our love still standing
I’m going to rise from the ashes
I’ll look the world dead in the eye
We all play a part in the madness if we could only see
Time will burn on it’s own pretty faces they come and go
When you reach the bottom then you’ll know
Let’s burn everything, Let’s burn everything, Let’s burn everything
To the ground then we’ll find our love still standing
Spotify (the industry leader in streaming) requires 250 “Follows” on an artist page before they…give me control of that page. 85 current “followers.” If you have a spotify account, asking for your help:
Me in my own words.
Started out as most suburban kids do, playing a borrowed guitar in my bedroom to B.B. King blues records in my early teens (so little did I know of a future I’d have playing on the same stage with him so many years later), and dragging crappy Peavey amplifiers from one garage to the next learning how to play with others. Everyone knows a loud drummer when he hears one. After he’s heard one.
I’d even sing on occasion.
Started this thread (more an invitation to a self made biography) while on a plane to Portugal to start an armed forces tour for troops coming back from middle east conflict in 2008, and it went unfinished. Why did it go unfinished?
More than likely because I never did like talking about myself. Awards, accolades, praise, comments, ahh the parade around the art that I was always somewhat defiant about. My dream was born in a basement…Continue Reading
I know of a great musician who never plays for anyone.
I know of a great writer who can’t even maintain a blog.
And, I know a talented actor who sits and waits for someone to choose her.
Don’t we all know someone who fits a version of this story?
They wait for the “Voice” or the knock on the door.
You can spend decades trying to perfect the song or just play it only for yourself in solitude to your hearts content.
But, it won’t be art until you share it, play it for someone. And that may be why sharing is the greatest component to all the new world of connection.
My Birthday party this past December 23rd. Saxophone players (left to right) Seth Bailin, Chuck Langford, Mario Perrett, bassist Greg Toro. They came to jam.
Dec 23rd is a tricky time to have a party. There are many who want to show up and with the madness of Christmas shopping and holiday lead-up, ultimately less people actually show then what is possible. And that’s also what makes it cool and special -to see who made it!
Always count the ones that show up, not the ones that say they will and don’t.
There’s an ecosystem of music lovers, creators, and supporters who make it happen. They’re responsible for all of these moments and snapshots that come in all forms, texts, chats, emails.
January is always a time for what I refer to as the “Reconnect.” You know….the Gettup. More for me than just “what happened in 2016 and what will happen in 2017,” but more a month for me to look at everything in it’s current state and make decisions on where it’s going to go.
Rather than reflect on the music, I think about the song I haven’t written yet, and look forward to the next bend in the road. I also think about all the people who are a part of my story and actively reach out to them.
Reach out -use this contact form or email me (I read everything that comes in).
Art as a vehicle for insight, expansiveness, a genesis of ideas and emotions while Entertainment existing as a tickling, fondling, and ultimately forgettable experience in the form of sensory stimulation.
Times Square on NYE, -ultimate entertainment. Tits, ass, dancers, and the same song they’ve been pipe feeding you for over a decade. All abbreviated.
The real question isn’t why she was “playing along” (most likely reason -it was in her contract for a super load of $), but the real question: Was the public more amazed that she was doing it or more amazed that it technically failed?
We all ultimately decide to either give our attention to Art or Entertainment. While Art can be entertaining, Entertainment in itself, becomes lacking in purpose more and more as time goes on.
“Loyalty” is now on Spotify. If you are a Spotify user (specifically or marginally) please “Follow” me as the admin has new rules and I need 250 peeps on my page before I get control over it.
“I’ve got wishes but I keep them all to myself
They don’t belong to you or someone else
The conversation always changes but it never ends
There’s always a road ahead”
New songs coming. New ideas unfolding. I have been looking forward to this for…a year?
I want to thank everyone who made 2016 another great year. I could spend time recapping but I’ll do that in January more strategically.
Till then … your NYE GIFT might you accept it.
The Backroom Series at the Burren in Davis Square is becoming “the” music listening room in the area. Early concert 7pm-9pm (one big heaping set of funk) for small $, and easy parking. Tickets HERE
There’s going to be some of this in Paris this week:
The Discovery of a great American Artist. Excellent evening.
Thanks EGB (Evan Goodrow Band) – Restaurant Le Ferset
Jumping on a plane in a few minutes to France and Spain to do shows and writing. Lot’s of writing! This came in from “Premier Guitar” last week, apparently, they listened and as you will read below, enjoyed “Loyalty.”
If you don’t have “Loyalty” yet, get it HERE.
“Connecting the dots between rock, funk, and soul with his high-wire guitar playing and raw-boned-but elegant vocal performances, Evan Goodrow’s Loyalty sounds like an arrival. It’s the impressive work of a disciplined, self-aware performer who has captured his own unique genuine, soaring sonic and heart-felt vision.”
—Ted Drozdowski, Premier Guitar