I meant to write something like this and post it yesterday (Tuesday, October 25th) but life got in the way. However, in a serendipitous and characteristically-mystical turn of events, I find myself now sitting down to write this from the small table and chairs that sit in front of Room Number 8 at The Joshua Tree Inn, in Joshua Tree, CA. The significance of that is, of course, that this is the very room at the very motel where the great Songwriter and Progenitor of "Cosmic American Music", the beloved Gram Parsons, drew his final breath 43 years ago. Gram is a Songwriter to which I owe much, both directly and indirectly. His music was seminal and unique (for its time), but its influence is its real legacy. Anyway, I digress as one may be prone to do in a place with such a special history. But suffice it to say, that without Mr. Parsons, I would not have the news that I come to keyboard to share today.
Today, I am proud and excited and nervous and relieved to share two brand new albums with the world. They are two albums that have vastly different feelings, and vastly different origins, but both were made with a love of the music that was being made. Bear with me while I wax poetic and a tad overly sagacious about these for a minute or two...
Be Good or Be Gone - In 2010 I was a man in flux. My band, which had been a massive part of my life for many years, had dwindled, and while it declined I jumped to a potentially greener pasture (only to learn that that pasture was spoiled) and I was writing many many songs. So, in an effort to recoup some artistic "mojo" (read: purpose) I started work on an album. However, I know now that I was not mentally prepared to bring it to fruition and also, I was doing it for some of the wrong reasons. I worked on it not-so-diligently for a couple of years on and off and eventually, once I had completed the actual recording of it, I put it on an eShelf (ie a hard drive) and left it there. Certainly not forgotten, but not sure either. There it sat for ages. I would listen to the rough mixes, and make mental notes for when I eventually decided to resurrect it. But mostly it sat there. Until DOG DAZE came around...
DOG DAZE is an album that is impulsive and reactive. In short, this album was written and recorded swiftly and with a certain amount of reckless abandon. I challenged myself to complete 2016's RPM Challenge and make an entire record in February of this year. What the result became was an album that was immediate, and flawed, but never over thought, and in turn became an album that is very much awash in my base instincts. I didn't have time to "craft" these songs - so they are literally snapshots of when I picked up the guitar. Many were done and dusted in one or two passes through. Once I was done with this record, I was feeling like it had to be released. I am really so proud of this one. But it also re-sparked my interest in Be Good or Be Gone.
...which brings me to the Summer of 2016 whence I was finally able, with the not-small-amount of help from my friend and brother Steve Grywalski, to mine the muck and mire that was the Be Good or Be Gone sessions and to chisel and whittle them into what we have now.
Then, I enlisted the saintly Kris Hayes and his impeccable ears to master these things, and here I am. Two brand new full length albums. Of which I am so proud of both. And I am so so excited to share them with everyone.
Please, give them a listen, tell your friends, laugh to the songs, cry to the songs, live with these songs. They are no longer mine. They are yours.
"So take me down to your dance floor,And I won't mind the people when they stare,Paint a different color on your front door,And tomorrow we will still be there."
- Gram Parsons "A Song for You"
Wednesday October 26, 2016
The Joshua Tree Inn, Room 8
Joshua Tree, CA USA