Being a musician sucks

Being a musician sucks.

Two years ago, after a dispiriting solo show, I decided I was done/time to "hang it up." The money was not there, My health was not there. My heart was not in it. I felt lost. I felt old. I felt stupid for not going with medical school. I felt jaded. And tired. As I was packing up my gear on stage two gentlemen approached me. Both heard something, some kernel of beauty tucked away in one of the tracks, and they came separately with two different offers. One, to record/produce an album for me. The second, to get me involved with a RedBull event. Because I am eternally optimistic, I took it as a sign.

Two years later, being a musician still sucks.

The nights/weekends rehearsing are long, the social media machine needs to be fed daily (hi!), the recording process ain't fast or cheap (unless you have the talent & resources of jack white) people want their songs for free, or "we pay in exposure", the "ask" (buy my album, support my kickstarter, come to my show) gets tiresome and I find myself working a myriad of flexible (and generally grossly underpaying) non-intellectually-stimulating side jobs to be able to tour, which in and of itself is one of the worst life/work balances.

But...

Nights like last night are the reason I keep on keeping on. To all of you who came out to celebrate my album release with me, who push me to write better, inspire me with your stories, and affirm the power of music, THANK YOU. To all the musicians who have added their talent, time, soul, and voice to my tracks, THANK YOU. To those who believe in me, who encourage me to keep pursuing my art, and my heart, through this wild adventure (despite what society suggest I should be and should be doing at my age), THANK YOU. The joy of creation should be enough, but I've needed all of you over these last years. Here's to creating more with you (and breathing deeper more frequently). THANK YOU.

MIDAS DAYS

My childhood was weirder than yours probably, but that's not what I want to talk about. I want to talk about early memories...those one or two that we hold onto as adults, that we polish, a last vestige of our innocence and a reminder of what if felt like to be pure, non-jaded. One of mine: piling out from the school bus, a sea of suspenders, head-coverings, and Eintrachen, breathing in the sun of Ohiopyle State Park, then taking off on bikes down the Youghiogheny river trail towards Confluence. A nirvana of laughter. Sunday afternoon glory. Dusty apples and peanut butter. Cruising, untouchable. Nostalgia in a zuckertuten. My first itch of a scratch that only got worse. The feeling of freedom.

Midas Days is about freedom. It is about sibling love and rivalry, invincibility vs. vulnerability, age vs youth, treasure vs. what we choose to treasure.

Take me there, to when we still were young // You and me, in the backyard with BB guns* // And everything we touched, it seemed to turn to gold // Life was such a rush, those Midas Days of old // We grew up went our separate ways // Me to travel, you to an MBA // Still everything you touched, it seemed to turn to gold // I wish I had the touch of those Midas Days of old // Ohio-ohio-ohio-ohiopyle // Biking down the Youghiogheny // Feeling so alive and so high nobody could take the shine off me // Ohio-ohio-ohio-ohiopyle // Gold is back in town now baby // Feelin' so alive and so high nobody can take the shine from me

* no, i did not grow up with a BB-guns. Literary license.

"This Road" - Backstory

It's dark right now. Feeling more lost than usual. The bad comes with the good, I get it…just wish things made a little more sense consistently. There is so much wild, unreasonable shit that happens out here and 2 bottles of wine cant hide me from that. I'm tired. The beauty of the road/travel and never stopping can't be sustained eternally, and i find my descent after the highs is fast, slipping down to the dark side of this moon, the pain, doubts, acute loneliness, the hustle, the wish that i could live a little easier while creating…to be kinder to myself, to not go all-in on hope constantly, to own my age and the increasing questions, the buzzsaw of comparisons. I miss community, real friends and real conversations...the feeling of strength and empowerment that comes with them. Some days I’m skating boldly on this ice and many others i'm falling through and looking for a hand to pull me up. I'm pissed that i'm so stubborn, that I believe so naively after all these years in change, and betterment, in art, myself, and success... - Journal Entry 2/16/18

I left NYC in a 4-AM- post-super-bowl-snowstorm and now, nearly 3 years later, I have an album coming out that acts as a condensed journal of the highs and lows and in-betweens of those years on the road. 10 stories set to music. The journal entry above became the lyrical basis of the first song on my new album, This Road:

I'm moving in darkness // Can't see beyond the path of my headlights // Alone

I'm moving too fast it seems // Can't see beyond the twist and the turn of backroads

I'm driving down into this black // Wish you were here to pull me back

This road I'm on ain't the same without your love

I'm driving down into this black // Wish you were here with me // I'm losing track

Traveling is not the same when your skin ain't in the game with me

I'm running out of emotions // Running out of a language that can describe all I feel

So I'm heading back to the ocean // Holding close to the things that keep me believing I'll heal

I still want you on this road, on this road, on this road with me...