Monday, December 10, 2007


Happy Holidays! It snowed here in Utah somethin' fierce this weekend. I went to a concert at Temple Square on Friday with some friends... and the snow was INSANE. I'm glad I wasn't driving. Last year Stephanie Smith and I had to drive home from a gig in SLC in white-out blizzard. I couldn't see the road; I couldn't see the median; I couldn't see the signs. Yeah, I thought I was going to drive off the edge of the mountain and die in one terrific fireball. By the time we reached home (safely) I was visibly, physically shaking and I had to pry my hands off the steering wheel.

But snow signifies other things besides instant death...Christmas! To ring in the holidays, I posted a recording of my arrangement of Good King Wenceslas on my Myspace profile (which you can access from the Links section). I will be posting a new Christmas arrangement every week until Christmas! I've also posted a demo recording of my newest song, Subtraction. I recorded these tunes in my closet on my MacBook so don't expect any stunning sonic wonders. Also, you may want to check the Calendar page. I've added some new gig dates. Merry Christmas!

Monday, November 12, 2007


November is upon us. I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week. How time flies. I'm trying to have a goal to write a song a month for the next little while. That doesn't sound like much, but considering how long I agonize over lyrics...that sounds like a huge, daunting commitment for me. It shouldn't be. So I've got October down. November is already half over. I better get crackin'.

I was in the studio last week recording a duet with the talented Benton Paul for his new album. A few of you may have seen Benton and I perform this at a show or two. It's a really sparse heart-breaker ballad with just the piano and two voices. Benton's album will likely be released at the first of next year. I'm sure it will be fantastic.

Friday, October 19, 2007


I finished my new song yesterday. Although technically it's not 100% "new." I wrote the original version of this song many years ago. I liked the lyrical and musical idea, but hated the finished product. So, having a new and poignant inspiration and reason to rewrite this particular song, I dusted it off, opened it up, and revised it. It's called Subtraction. Some of you may have heard it or remember me playing it once or twice. Now it's brand spankin' new and I'm finally satisfied with it. That's the best feeling in the world. Why don't I write more often? I will tell you why. Because I'm lazy.

Can you believe that after all of the insane traveling I did this summer, I'm already itchin' to go somewhere? I believe they call this malady wanderlust. I've got a serious case of it.

Monday, October 1, 2007

october, new song, and charlie

It's the first day of October! This is a momentous day. Why? Uh...just because I like it. It's getting much colder here in Utah. Saturday was ridiculously cold and now I have to actually scrape the frost off my car windows when I get up early in the morning. This I could do without...both the scraping and the early mornings.

I started writing a song on Saturday. It's been a LONG time since I've written. Way too long, in fact. I read somewhere (I think it was on the blog of one of my fav. bands and friends, Raining Jane) that if you have writer's block it's simply because you're not writing. This was true in my case. I'd sit down for a few minutes, come up with some ideas, and then abandon them. So I resolved on Saturday to stick it out no matter what. And now I'm actually getting somewhere and I'm pleased with the lyrical direction, which is what I usually struggle with the longest.

Last night I was forceably awakened at around four in the morning by a raging charlie horse in my calf muscle. It lasted for longer than I care to remember. Now my whole leg is sore. I would like to know what causes these atrocities. I have a theory that it's because I wore heels all weekend which I don't always do. Cursed heels.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

portland and pumpkin bread

This weekend I had the opportunity to fly to Portland to open for the wonderful Sam Payne at PSU. I'll be honest, after the hassle of last month's flight experiences, I was not looking forward to stepping foot in the airport again. Fortunately, the flights were very uneventful and smooth...and the security lines were short. We were graciously taken care of by the sponsor of the show, the founder of Jim Band Music, Dave Andersen. For the past couple years, Dave and his crew have worked relentlessly and sometimes thanklessly to put together wonderful family-friendly shows in the Portland area. It was an honor to be included with this one, especially on the same bill with Sam Payne. Sam is the ultimate performer. I love watching his shows and I especially love listening to him preface the songs with stories. He's has one of those voices that was born for telling stories, that soothes and entertains all at once. I always walk away from Sam's shows edified and inspired to write.

Sunday was the autumnal equinox. Stephanie Smith and I are somewhat fanatical about the fall season, so we had been planning our autumnal equinox celebration weeks in advance. We couldn't have planned better autumnal weather...overcast and cool. We inaugurated the celebration by lighting a pumpkin spice candle which was almost unnecessary since we made pumpkin bread from scratch and soon filled Steph's kitchen with the natural scent of pumpkin and spices. Then, in the company of her family, we enjoyed different breads, imported cheeses...gouda, swiss, portsalut, and fruit. Could one ask for a better fall celebration? I submit that one could not.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


Autumn is my favorite season. But this has been a rather strange month for me for various reasons and there's been a hint of melancholy to the approaching season. I still love to look up on the mountainside and see the scrub oak leaves turning orange and I eagerly await the scarlet of the sumac...but it's just the tiniest bit sad to see things dying. It's sad to realize that the vibrancy is one last ditch effort before death, before the frost and bite of winter and loneliness. So I remind myself that it's just change...and change brings growth. There's beauty and wonder in the change if I choose to look for it. So I will.

I love the word autumn; I love everything about it--its letters, its length, and especially what it denotes. I can feel its crispness in the air when I say it aloud. There are a lot of things I want to do this autumn. I want to go hiking when all the leaves on the mountains have changed and the air is cool and smoky. I want to go to a corn maze at dusk, when the light is just beginning to fail. I want to carve a pumpkin and then roast the seeds. I don't even like roasted pumpkin seeds. I want to make warm, gooey pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and share them with my friends as we laugh and talk outside among the fallen leaves.

Friday, August 24, 2007

home again

I'm finally home again after an exhausting...but wonderful...summer tour. I love music, in case you hadn't noticed. It's been such an awesome experience to share mine with so many wonderful people. One of my favorite things about being a musician is that I get to meet new and exciting people at every show...guaranteed. It's something I look forward to. I love the fast pace and I love facing new situations every day that force me to grow as a person. Yes, even flight Paris.

So, what's next? I plan on sitting down with the ol' guitar a lot these upcoming months and writing a lot of new material. I have so many experiences, emotions, and ideas percolating in my head. They need to come out. And I'm sure I'll be doing plenty of shows on top of that. I'm not one to turn them down. The future is exciting.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

if it's nae scottish, it's crap

Hallo from the land of my people...Scotland. Oh my, I love it here. Every single piece of land in Scotland is beautiful...stunningly so. I'm looking out the window of the B&B across green rolling fields dotted with grazing sheep. All the houses are straight from a story book, including the one I'm in...and I just laugh to myself every time I look outside because I can't figure out how one place could be so amazing. I feel some songs coming on. Unfortunately, my guitar is in Germany...and I'm 1600km away (that's right, I said kilometers.) My hands are feeling the deprivation. Sometimes you don't realize the significance of something or someone until it's gone.

I've seen lots of ancient castles and villages and abbeys here in Scotland, but that thing that has impressed me most (other than the scenery) is the people. Everyone is friendly, helpful, congenial. There's a slower pace of life. Most people are willing to help each other out. It's fantastic.

I could do without the poor exchange rate though. Man, this sterling thing is killing me.

Well, it's late. Off to bed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

bonjour from paris

I'm in Paris...and I love it here. I'm not one to like big cities. Usually they just overwhelm me and make me anxious. Not Paris. There's something different about it. Paris, je t'aime.

My show in Germany was fantastic! I want to give a huge thank you to all of the people who came out to the show, despite the fact that many of them couldn't understand a word I was saying. (Thanks to my good friend Matthias for translating!) Fortunately, music is the universal language. I hope I said something that was meaningful to you.

I love Europe. With a few language courses and some time, I could definitely see myself living here. There's a different pace of life that I find refreshing. Now, I'll be honest. So far I'm not a big fan of German food. Every possible liquid is carbonated...including water. German ice cream, however, is another story. I could eat hazelnut ice cream until the day I die. Germany itself is lovely. I was a little surprised to see so much farmland. I guess I had ideas of what Europe should look like and it surprised me...pleasantly.

I'm in Paris for another couple days, hitting all the spots one must hit when in Paris. So far I've been to all the places I really wanted to see, including the cathedral that I've wanted to visit since I was sixteen, Saint Chappelle. It was so worth it, better than I had ever imagined it would be. Went to Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, La Basilique de Sacre Coeur, Versailles. Today's adventure is the Louvre...and scouting out some excellent pastries. There's a creperie stand right outside my hotel. I've had a crepe sucre for breakfast every day. If I could, I would transport this little stand back home and sit it right outside my house. Yum. But now I need some suggestions from you knowing Parisians or Paris regulars...where are some great places to eat?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

new york city

I flew back into Salt Lake City last night from New York after an exhausting three day trip out east. I've been fortunate in all of my travels thus far to have largely avoided airlines headaches such as flight cancellations and delays. I guess the odds were against me for keeping that record. Stephanie and I played a show in the Tetons of Idaho Tuesday night, drove all night to make it to the airport in SLC for our 6:00 flight to NY, and hopped on the plane. We had a plane change in Atlanta, which seemed to be an easy enough switch. The weather in Atlanta was a little cloudy but didn't seem all that threatening. We were sitting in the terminal waiting for the flight when an announcement over the PA informed us that due to weather, our flight to Long Island had been canceled. After a nightmarish experience dealing with Delta airlines (whose customer service, I am convinced, is the worst out there), we had to reschedule our flight for the next morning...but not to Long Island. The only available flight was to the LaGuardia airport, which is about an hour away from Long Island. Which means not only were we going to miss our show that night, someone was going to have to drive two hours to pick us up. We asked Delta if we could get our bags. They wouldn't release them to us. They were continuing on to Long Island even if we weren't. (Our baggage consisted of my guitar and all of our merchandise.) We asked them to put us up in a hotel for the night. They gave us a discount voucher for a Best Western that had no rooms available. We had to find our own hotel, catch a shuttle from the airport, miss our show and instead spend the evening in a hotel in Atlanta, and then catch the shuttle for the red eye flight the next morning. We arrived in LaGuardia and our hero arrived in the form of Dave Dircks...the founder of the Acoustic Long Island podcast. (The show we would have played the night before.) Dave picked us up at LaGuardia and then drove us all the way out to the LI airport to fetch our bags, which Delta assured us would have arrived by then. Of course, they hadn't. We were informed that they would be arriving that hour before we needed to leave for our show in Manhattan. Dave took us to lunch, took us to buy the supplies we were missing, took us to his house to freshen up for the show...and pretty much saved the day. He drove us back to the LI airport at the time Delta told us the plane would be coming. No...of course had been delayed an hour. So...we waited...and an hour later FINALLY had our luggage (but not before the conveyor belt broke causing further delays. Oddly enough all this happened on Thursday the 12th, not Friday the 13th.) Dave then proceeded to drive us all the way out to Manhattan for our show, missing his dinner appointment in the process. Dave is our hero.

The show was great. Stephanie and I shared the stage with a great performer/songwriter named Andy Mac at a swanky little club on 34th Avenue called Mo Pitkin's. A big thanks to Lena Chen of Chilen Music for putting on the show and inviting us out to play. And the biggest thanks of all to Dave Dircks. Holy Hannah. What would we have done without you? Despite the craziness of it all, I still had a great time. Yesterday we got to go to a pizza place in Brooklyn that everyone is always raving about. Grimaldi's. It was excellent. New York City is a crazy place.

So, now I'm home again and I've got a few hours of down time before I head out to play my show at the Sandy Amphitheater tonight. Monday Steph and I head out to Seattle for more traveling fun. I'm looking forward to that. I think Seattle is my favorite city in the U.S.