are you? Is this where you wanted to be when you started playing as
now I am in sunny Las Vegas. Last week I flew out to Salt Lake City
to start a tour with my friend, Chris. So far, we've played four
shows, and the experience has been nothing short of phenomenal!
In fact, you've caught me in a particularly triumphant mood, as
last night was one of the best shows I have ever had the pleasure
of being a part of. Quite simply, this is *exactly* where I wanted
to be when I started all of this, and I've never been happier or
more inspired. Life rules! I love music and performance SO MUCH.
I love seeing all my friends across the country and making totally
great new ones. Whoo!!!
was a somber, spare affair. The Wreath has everything, from
waterfall keyboards to trumpets that cut like Revile bugles to a
woman singing the blues. It's an evolution. How did you get there
and why the change?
My goal is to
approach each album -- and recording project, for that matter, whether
it turns into a full-fledged release or not -- with a fresh vision,
independent of what I have tried before. I tend to think conceptually,
with feeling and sentiment in mind, all the way.
New England is intended to be an ultimately hopeful record,
I noticed that some of the reviews -- albeit very positive -- were
putting me into the "shy, sad singer-songwriter" category.
That is an excellent category to be in, don't get me wrong, but
it's not fully me. With The Wreath, not only did I want to
do something different production-wise, but it was very important,
to me, to do something more emotionally varied. To express more
joy and majesty. It is still a somber, winter album -- as was the
intent -- but it takes more steps toward bliss than New England
time I saw you perform was on your birthday (Sept. 7, 2004), where
you stood on a chair in the middle of the crowd holding a guitar.
Was that a typical set or was it a celebration? What are we in for
-- which I adored -- was typical in the fact that my shows are always
different. This tour is just me and an acoustic guitar, again. I
do have an incredible backing band that I have toured with, also.
I love that you mention a "celebration," because I want
my shows to be "sets" *and* glorious releases of life
and shared joy. Like church, except not creepy! One thing that never
changes -- when I perform alone -- is that I just can't stand on
a stage and hide behind a microphone. That *immediately* throws
up an unnecessary wall of distance between those "who paid"
and those "who are getting paid."
My entire motivation
as a traveling performer is to break down those walls, to connect
with people, to create something that the cover charge will never
buy, to MAKE PEOPLE REMEMBER WHY THEY STARTED COMING TO SHOWS IN
THE FIRST PLACE. I remember going to shows in high school, and I
remember what they DID to me! I would come home, totally drenched
in sweat, so inspired, so happy, so in love with life and the MOMENT
that I just experienced.
go to a show, pay your seven bucks, lean up against the wall, sit
on your hands, and it's almost like people are afraid to make eye
contact. Sometimes you can't even tell if the BAND is having a good
time. Sure, there are exceptions, of course, but I'm sure you know
what I'm talking about. I just want to move people, to create something
together and, at the very least, give people a Saturday night worth
talking about the next day. I just love what I'm doing so much,
and I feel very lucky to be doing it, and I never want to take it
for granted, whether that means belting it out for five people in
a basement or 100 people at Sokol. Life is what you make it, you
know? I just want it to be awesome. For everyone.
you go to a show, pay your seven bucks, lean up against the
wall, sit on your hands, and it's almost like people are afraid
to make eye contact. "