When the Soul Gets Blues, The Blues Get Soul

If you’re in or around Steubenville, OH this Friday, come out to The Spot Bar and check out the new tunes and some old ones.

My socks, underwear, and toiletries are stuffed into two guitar cases and a 1945 tube amp. My pedalboard arrives at the studio tomorrow with my shirts and pants and pedals and cords. My wife and children and I will leave tomorrow morning for the Twin Cities (where they will stay) and from there I’ll head to Pittsburgh where Dan Bozek, the studio engineer and producer, will pick me up and take me to Steubenville where I’ll be recording my first full-length studio album, Late to Love.

I was nervous, in an indulgent, petty, and time-filling way, earlier this week. But tonight I really got scared for good reason. My summer teaching appointment was canceled, because of enrollment issues. Timing-wise it seemed like a worst case scenario and for an hour or so things seemed as bad as they could get. But I have an amazing support system (at home and online) and I’ve also been blessed with so many things, including this music project and you, dear readers, and this digital community of support.

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There is a song I wrote in grad school, when we were really broke. Back then I titled it “Broke Mexican Blues,” now it’s titled “Always Already Blues.” The song is about the true meaning of being rich — “Being rich ain’t nothin but being in love.” I was nervous about singing that lyric because this was about as close to not broke as I’ve been. Well, not anymore. I’ve been far, far worse, though, so no need for melodrama.

Truth be told I’m overjoyed at this new hurdle. It is going to force me to work this situation and not be complacent — for instance, Wiseblood Records graciously agreed to pay their share of the costs at the mastering stage, to give me a bit of a break in upfront expenses— but, most of all, it is going to make this hard. It’s not going to be easy.

There is nothing wrong with hard work and some bumps and bruises. Giving a soul singer something to feel in the heart and gut is a gift. If a bluesman gets the blues, that’s precisely when you want to hear him play. So, the way I see it, I’m doing more than alright: things have never been so good!

I’m happy cause I’m a bit blue; I’m not doing too well which is why I’m exactly where I need to be to record an album like this one.

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In the meantime, you can help us out by tossing some coins into the PayPal tip jar (on the righthand sidebar), which will cover some of the costs of feeding the band over the next week. We’ll eat one way or the other, don’t worry too much about that, but if you’d like to buy us a burger or some chinese take out, we’d be much obliged. Kickstarter did exactly what it says: it kickstarted things, now we just have to finish them right.

I’ll try to post something from the studio next week, just to let you know how everything is going down.

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Late to Love promises to be just wrong enough to be right.

 


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