"I forgot who I am, and I'm making it up."
Today I am a strange spiral, sitting in a Phoenix hotel lobby sipping strong coffee and staring off into space. With my Silver Lake square on Sunset suddenly stripped of all the trappings of home and my brown baby grand, keeper of so many secrets and stirrer of so many spirits, on its way to its next adventure, I find myself spinning, gathering speed, ready to slingshot into a future beyond speculation. Segovia starts in the same key in my headphones as the Jose Gonzalez record on the hotel speakers, and the universe reminds me again to breathe deep and let it all unfold.
After last year’s Andrew McMahon summer tour with OAR and Allen Stone (all of whom have amazing new music on the way), I felt drawn to the fall in the northeast and wound my way back into the changing of the leaves, the year’s songs rattling in my bones. Meanwhile Jer Coons was tearing up the floors in his Park Hill Studio back home, and upon my return we, along with our co-producer and engineer Eric Maier and our spirit guide/construction expert Nelson Lime, set about kicking down walls and installing windows, moving pianos, painting, drinking all night, stumbling the streets and ultimately emerging with a record once the trees had all been worn bare to welcome winter. It’s called “I Am a Guest” and seems to sum it all up, for now. More news to come soon on that front.
As 2014 beckoned so did the warmth of the west, and I wandered back to my small bootleg studio to again share my wall with the dancers and to set up shop for some recording and rehearsing. I woke up the morning of my return and cut off all my hair to put an end to an era and felt the year truly begin, albeit a few days later than the calendar would insist.
I’ve been grateful to barely notice or quantify the passing of time, the palm trees swaying fast and the billboards a blur as though seen through the window of a speeding train. So many opportunities to play, write and record with some of my favorite singers and songwriters have kept me a willing passenger on a wild ride.
I just finished tracking keys for the upcoming LP from the Damnwells - some of the most simultaneously beautiful and badass songs I’ve had the pleasure of playing on. Do yourself a favor pre-order a copy here.
I’m also excited for everyone to hear the upcoming White Sea record I played a small part in last year while between McMahon tours- the wonderful Morgan Kibby of M83 has created a massive landscape of dreamy arena-sized synth-rock with this batch of songs, and the single and its glorious accompanying video should give you a taste of what’s to come.
Beyond that I’ve also been playing some music with my friends Genevieve and Chris of Company of Thieves for Genevieve’s new solo project. Keep an eye on her website for more info- the new songs are huge and this girl is such an inspiration as a writer, a performer and a spirit.
Some more new music is in the works with Andrew and our bandmates for some more exciting projects, but for now I’m on the road with my old pal and frequent collaborator Erin “Syd” Sidney playing with ARIA award winning Australian songbird/shredmaster Mia Dyson on a string of southwest dates that will ultimately lead us to the horrifyingly amazing circus that is SXSW. One of the best singers and guitarists I’ve ever heard, and she’s got a new full-length on the way that sounds like Bonnie Raitt snuck in and cut a record with the Heartbreakers during the sessions for Damn the Torpedoes. The new single is up exclusively on Billboard this week and the record is blazing its way through a crowd funding campaign with my good buddies over at PledgeMusic.
Now it’s on to Tucson - check Mia’s tour dates and come check out a show if we’re going to be in your neck of the woods.
Chief, the spirits have got me-