Great news! You know the band I've been working with over the past year called Akron Engine? Well, we're releasing our very first album, "Silhouettes," on Friday, November 30th!
Earlier this year, we decided to record an album and wanted to take a fresh approach to the recording process. We didn't go into a studio, we created one at a friend's home perched in the mountains of Woodside, CA overlooking Half Moon Bay (thank you, Darren!). Check out a short video of the recording process here!
I hope this posting finds you well and gearing up for the Fall season. I had a great trip back to Akron, Ohio at the end of September to support a great cause. Team Go Ghana is the fundraising arm of a new non-profit organization started in Akron and focused on providing medical supplies and services, clothing and other support to the people of Kpandu, Ghana. The organization is sending a small medical group to the area for three weeks in October to assess the most urgent needs of the people and treat patients for malaria, dehydration, snake bites, tetnus and a many other ailments. Go Team Ghana will then be assisting Kpandu with the construction of medical facilities and implementation of other support systems that will assist the people in living safer, healthier lives.
The send-off party for the trip was Saturday night (September 24th) at Ken Stewart's Lodge in Akron, Ohio. Although I won't be going to Ghana with the team, the organization [...]
I think it was back in October when I was speaking with two beekeepers about royal jelly. It's literally a fluid secreted by worker bees and fed to all of the larvae of the colony. When the worker bees are ready for a new queen they select several larvae to receive higher amounts of the substance contributing to their transformation into queens. I found it to be an amazing and mysterious process. Like magic.
At the time I was just getting into the recording process for the album. We were cutting demos and figuring out which songs we wanted to record. The songs we had to work with were all written over the past year. In that year I worked hard to deepen the writing process. I learned new things musically and about myself through it. It required looking back at all kinds of people and experiences and interpreting them in a way that helped make sense of why things are the way they are. Royal jelly seemed to fit as a metaphor for the [...]
The sun is coming out in San Francisco again. It's been a long, wet month of March. One particularly rainy night I was in Berkeley to play a show called "Under the Covers" hosted and organized by Kate Burkart (she played too!). The show took place at the Berkeley Art House Gallery and Cultural Center and consisted of three Bay Area singer/songwriters covering the artist of their choice. So, Kate Burkart covered Lucinda Williams, Melissa Phillips and James Deprato covered Tom Petty and I covered Neil Young.
Learning other artists' music was how I learned to play the guitar and was probably a major influence in the way I construct songs. In fact, I don't think I wrote a song for the first two or three years I started playing music. Just tried to soak in as much as I could from those I admired through internalizing their music - words and melodies. Somewhere along the way though I felt compelled to put my own words down and find my own voice [...]