Sunday, October 12, 2014

Post Card

I love idea behind post cards. You send someone you care about a little snapshot of where your travels have taken you, and you have just enough room to include a little message about what's going on in your world.  That's a pretty good explanation of what this record is, too. My little snapshot that I'm sending out to the world. You can still get postcards, but nobody much sends them anymore since we can text and email. You can also still find good music that someone actually plays and sings, but you have to go looking for it and avoid the auto-tuned crap that gets shoved in your face. This record is far from perfect, but that's how it should be. Perfection is stale and boring, mistakes and imperfections are honest and real, and I prefer real.

I also get that we music fans have been cheated for decades by an industry squeezing blood from the stone that was our empty pockets. I get that people just don't want to pay for music anymore unless they do want to. I buy records and cds and mp3s from artists that I believe in and want to support, but I have also downloaded a lot of music for free. I think that people should be able to hear the music and share it, and if they decide that they want to support the artist that created it, then so be it. With that in mind, I will be releasing this album so that you can all name your own price. You can download it for free and pay me afterwards if you like, or you can pay up front, or you can simply have it. I want people to hear these songs. I hope some of you will throw me a few bucks here or there to help with the cost of printing some discs or vinyl to take on the road when next summer rolls around, but most importantly I just want to put these songs out there for everyone to enjoy. The main location for downloading the album will be Noisetrade. My page there is linked here. The album will also be available on my Bandcamp page here. Both are great sites that help independent artists, so use whichever one works best for you. I'll also be posting the songs on YouTube on release day as well. Those links may or may not work between now and the 21st, but on that day you will be able to use them to get the record.

So that's it. Post Card is ready to go, and you don't have to pay a dime for it. Thanks for the support, and hopefully I will see everyone soon.

Friday, October 3, 2014

So I Made A Record

I am really excited about this record. You guys that know me, which at this point is pretty much everyone reading this, know that I generally have something to say about, well, most things. I fought it for a few years there, but creating music really is what I have been called to do. I haven't been part of a record that's been put out since 2008. That's kinda crazy to think about, and it makes me wish I had written more, but I am proud of the songs I'm about to put out there. There are seven songs on my new record. There were originally going to be more, but a few of those morphed into songs that Alicia and I are working on and will record in December. Two of the songs are my versions of old Boss Kean's Ditch songs. We had about half of a record ready to go when I left Richmond, and we never got to record those songs,  but I wanted to resurrect at least two of them. As a result, the record starts off with Singing Hymns and Better To Fly. I wrote those songs and the guys from BKD...Shane, Ryan, Tommy, Robbie, and Jimmy helped write the music for them. I modified it for my one man band style, but the soul of those songs belongs to those guys too. The rest of the songs are new, and every song on the record features me playing every instrument. I recorded the vocals, guitars, bass, and drums. You name it, I played it. The record is far from perfect. To be honest, these are really just demos that I am going to release as an album, but the more I listen to, the more I appreciate raw, honest recordings, so I didn't want to fancy it all up in a studio. Some of these songs may make it into a studio for the next record, but I have no issues letting this collection of songs stand on its own. I sure hope you guys enjoy it. The title of the record is "Post Card" and the track listing is as follows:

1. Singing Hymns
2. Better To Fly
3. Forward Together
4. Go On, Move On
5. Ten Room Coffin
6. Who You Are
7. Into The Wind

As far as availability of the record goes, rest assured everyone will be able to get it. Music should be shared, and this record hopefully will be. I will have more details on that as the release date approaches. In the meantime, I hope everyone is well, and I hope you guys are excited about this record like I am.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Record release date and shows

It's been great to get out and play some shows over the last few weeks, and we have some good ones coming up as well. In exciting and overdue news, my new solo record is ready to go. The official release date is October 21st, and I will be posting more info. about the record as that day approaches too, so check back to hear some of the story behind it. I'm beyond pumped to get these songs out and share them with everyone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Exciting New Collaboration

I am very pleased to announce that I will be working with the good folks at here in the knoxville/pigeon forge/gatlinburg area.  Be sure to check out all of their local artists and show them some support!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Twisted Mike's Saturday!

Very excited about this show. Alicia will be singing some tunes with me, and I can't wait to see Dallas Danger play again. Good times!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Honoring a Good Man Gone Too Soon

We who choose to be born will all die, and we will all leave a legacy in our wake. I have been incredibly blessed to be able to spend time with some amazing folks who have gone on to the next phase, and though I am sad they are no longer around, I continue to remember the good that they brought into my life and our world. One of those folks is my cousin Anthony Wilder who passed way too young in the spring of 2013. His legacy includes a beautiful young daughter who I can't wait to watch grow up, and his spirit serves as a ready reminder of how we should all live. Anthony, like all of us, had his struggles in life, but when I think about him I always remember that he was happiest when he was serving others. He was a big man with a big heart for giving. No matter what he was dealing with, he was always ready to listen and offer a helping hand. More than anything I remember his laugh and smile during good times. His soul lives on, and wherever he is out there, he is still reminding me that giving of yourself in the service of others is the real secret to finding joy in this life.

When Anthony passed, I was honored to receive his bass. I remember when he first got the guitar how proud and excited he was about it. He was definitely a music lover. He was also a tinkerer, and some of the guts of the bass had been pulled out, probably to be used in some wild fashion in one of his neighborhood-shaking car stereo installations! I held onto the guitar thinking that someday I would fix it up and use it to record or play live myself, but I sat starting at its case not long ago and realized that doing so would not be the best way to honor his legacy. Anthony was happiest when giving to others, so I knew what should be done. 

Driving through Knoxville on I-40 I would pass by the Joy of Music school constantly, and I was always intrigued by what exactly the place was all about.
 Looking at their website and talking to some musicians around town, I realized that the school really does some awesome things. From their website: "With a volunteer board and one staff member they undertake the mission of providing a quality music education to financially disadvantaged, at-risk youth." I cannot overstate the impact of music education on my life, and I applaud these folks for providing free instruction to those who might not otherwise receive it. We all hear about sports programs that help disadvantaged kids rise above their circumstances, but music seems to be undervalued as an avenue for self discovery and betterment. The good people at the Joy of Music School have filled this void in our community and taken it upon themselves to provide a great opportunity for young people. I knew that Anthony would be happy to know his bass was helping kids better themselves, so I reached out to the school to see if they would be interested in having it. Ed Sublett, manager of volunteer resources at the school, let me know that they would be very happy to accept the bass in Anthony's honor.

Anthony would go out of his way to help others, and I knew he wouldn't want a non-functioning instrument to be given in his honor, so I sought out some help in getting the bass back in shape. Steve Vandergriff of Rik's Music & Sound had helped me out before getting one my guitars back in great shape, so I reached out to him for help with the bass. I told him the plans for donating the instrument, and he graciously repaired the instrument for me. A new wiring harness, tuning peg, and strings got the bass ready to rock and roll once again. Many thanks to Steve for doing a great job on it, and go see him and the folks at Rik's if you're in Knoxville and need anything music related.

Ready for the kids!
The bass went to Ed Sublett and the Joy of Music School in honor and remembrance of Anthony Wilder today, and his legacy of giving will continue through who knows how many lives. Ed let me know that the school will place a decal on the bass honoring Anthony as well. I feel truly blessed to have had the opportunity to be a small part of this story, and I know Anthony will be smiling whenever a kid jams on his bass. Please support all music education, and remember to tell your loved ones that you love them because you just never know if you'll get another chance.

I love you and miss you, man. See you on the other side.