First month of the year, ’tis the season of turning over a new leaf and for me that includes lots of new things: new photos, new website and most importantly…new music! Yes, those demos have been taking their sweet time coalescing into something resembling the kinds of new songs I’ve been hearing inside my head – and willing to send off into the world. But the time is nigh!
But first, the photos. I just did a shoot with fantastic (and fascinating) photographer, Jimi Giannatti. Go click the link and see all the great work he’s done with really cool people! Here’s a sneak peek at of some of the pieces of my soul Jimi captured.
FYI – the building you’ll see in some of these shots are from a beautiful mission-style building called San Pedro Chapel. You’d think you were out in the middle of the Sonoran desert but this chapel – standing since the 1930s – is actually in the heart of Tucson in one of the oldest neighborhoods – originally called El Fuerte (the Strong) and is now Old Fort Lowell. It’s a tiny road surrounded by isolated adobes, ranches and native landscape that I didn’t have any idea existed just a mile from my house.
Befitting this season of longer nights, when my thoughts turn to the more magical, love-based aspects of Christmas and other winter holidays – I think about one of my favorite messages in most seasonal movies and songs: fellowship and goodwill toward all.
So many people are so heartbroken and scared right now – myself included – because we had hoped that rhetoric that demeans so many our fellow humans and historically leads to the worst of human nature was a deal-breaker. Others are in a lot of pain and not feeling listened to and threw in with someone who promised a lot of things that sounded damn good. Both sides reject the top-down establishment but both are being pitted against each other.
So I want my left-, right-, whatever-leaning friends to just take a moment and stretch up. Look up at the winter stars that have been there far, far longer than our scrambling around like ants on this young planet in this oh-so-young nation. Continue Reading
Sitting in my sonic bubble. Headphones on, bass plugged in, staring at a sheet of glass – sucked into the vortex of 21st century recording software’s infinite possibilities (Logic, if you’re curious, and the irony of such a name for something that helps birth so many imaginings is not lost on me).
I pour one piece, a three-minute snippet of my analog soul, into this magic box, one take at a time. Notes and melodies and chords alchemized into ones and zeros.
I used to resist this – longing for the “good ol’ days” of 2-inch tape and the legends of Abbey Road, but I now embrace my new electric overlord that lets me massage, prod and nudge these rainbow-colored sound waves until they more closely resemble this auditory loop that constantly runs through my head and won’t let me sleep.
And it’s overwhelming. I’m closer to the ‘rank beginner’ end of the spectrum than I wish when it comes to recording demos – bringing them to proto-life before I share them with the other wizards who will complete the metamorphosis.
So I have a process, a method that I’m sticking to for now. Don’t know if it’s the right one yet, but it’s something to follow so I Have Something To Do when I sit down:
Gene Wilder is gone. To be fair, we hadn’t seen hide nor hair of him in a good long while and I admit he had slipped my mind. Though every now and then I tend to gravitate towards some YouTube clip from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Young Frankenstein. It’s like I have this innate need to look into his sparkling eyes, into a child-like face grounded in a bottomless sense of wisdom and a devilish grin.
That frizzy, cumulus of hair always trying to lift off from his head. That perfect sense of timing. Those moments of gravitas that flip into silliness and back again. How can you not love that? How can you not need that in this world?
This is way overdue but here’s some video and pictures from the 2016 Tucson Folk Festival. For those who don’t know, the Folk Fest – as it’s usually called around here – brings folkies from all over the region. I think over two hundred acts perform over three days! I’ve been wanting to be a part of it for a while and this year it finally happened. Jamie, Mike and Brian played wonderful arrangements to these tunes – some that I’ve been playing around for many years, some are very new and two are either written by or cowritten with my dad, Tom Williams!
This video is a song that I co-wrote with Daddy when he sent me a beautiful stream-of-consciousness email about friendship and roads taken and untaken through the years – called “Across Time”