Friday, December 27, 2013

This was last New Year's Eve

Yes, that's Tim Shue, the great and terrible. Mainly great, actually, but you need an Oz reference every now and then. It was a great night.

This year I'll be in Goshen watching some friends tear up the stage: Shiny, Shiny Black and Andru Bemis.

Photo by Anna Knutson

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hard at work songwriting

I just returned from the Dallas area where I went primarily to write songs for the next Surge On Smith album. The writing process went well, although it was definitely work. And I mean that in a good way. There's something to be said for working hard, and while I do believe that good art includes hard work, on many levels I'm a lazy writer. Now a lot of progress can be made in songwriting (and many areas in life) through dogged persistence. If you keep writing songs you will get better. And I have. But then there are those weak areas that just take work.

Surge On Smith, by the very nature of the project and the writing partnership with Kelly, gets at some of my weaknesses. I tend to be vague and I'm not good at story songs. This work is adding a layer of concrete, vividness, and linear movement to the gleeful sense of timing, love of melody, stabs at honesty and love of imagery which has been the core of my work to date.

Photo by Chriss Welter Wasinger

Monday, December 16, 2013

Surge On Smith Live in Deep Ellum

We tested out some of the new material we wrote at two concerts during my Texas time. We had the great privilege of sharing the stage with the talented songwriter Eric Beatty.

Joel Tolley made the live show something much more interesting with his work on the upright bass. Good stuff. I am continually surprised at the responses we get to this Surge on Smith material. In my over twenty years of making music, I've had the chance to be a part of some amazing partnerships and musical endeavors. I love the moments when we were able to give something of real value to an audience and engage them in a way that goes beyond just singing a song, but those moments can be rare. The regularity with which they occur with Surge On Smith surprises and delights me and I am privileged to be a part of writing and sharing these songs.

Photo by Chriss Welter Wasinger