It is currently 34 degress here in NY. There is still 2-3” of snow on the ground, and the trees are completely bare, not even budding yet.
Regardless, today is the first full day of Spring, and I will celebrate it as if it were 64, sunny, and green!!!
An old friend of my sister wrote this on her Facebook wall…
*If anyone is debating driving just remember floors don’t taste good.*
I have the weirdest feeling that there is something highly philosophical in that statement. Is that just me, or am I just stupid?
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!!!!
With a new year comes some big changes. Most people like to make “New Years Resolutions.” They make promises to themselves to be better people next year. New year, new start.
I have made several New Years resolutions myself…
- Eat better
- Exercise more
- Be more charitable
- Take more time to thoroughly enjoy life
- Write more
- Make more friends
Let me talk a little bit about that last one, if I may. I want to make more friends. That’s a bit of a challenge for me. For those of you who have ever met me or know me personally, you know that I am very socially inept. I tend to withdraw in a social setting, like a party or a crowded restaurant. It’s rare that I’ll be truly involved in settings like that. But I’m not trying to change that. That’s something I’m afraid will always be a part of me.
Rather, my goal is to make friends in a completely different way. It’s a way that is not normally accepted as a “social interaction.” And I’ll admit, it is an unusual relationship to most people, but not to me. In fact, it’s the only kind of relationship that I truly enjoy initiating.
It’s the relationship between a musician and his audience.
I don’t know if you know this, but this kind of relationship is very sacred. Ask any serious musician about their relationship with the audience, and they will tell you exactly that. Most singers or songwriters are not entirely after fame and fortune, like many people dismiss them to be. That’s just an added bonus for those who are. The truth is they are looking for that kind of sacred relationship with the people they perform their songs for.
Musicians and songwriters pour their hearts into the songs they perform and write. And then they give it away to their audience. Normally, that would be terrifying, but somehow, with the power of music, it is easier. People like me are afraid to just spill out their emotions in mere words. The fear is that there will be some sort of falling-out with the person you give it to. With music, there is less fear, and no falling-out. It’s hard to be easily explained.
There’s a song by Ellis Paul that I love that somewhat explains one aspect of it. The song is called Words.
Words are better when they’re written down
They fall to the page with no sound
And if you let them sit awhile,
Give them time and distance.
You won’t hear the rattle in the voice
That gives a fool away with no choice
Time is all you have tonight
So take the time and get this right
People like me don’t do well with one-on-one conversations. I’m the kinda guy that stammers and stutters when he doesn’t know what to say. I prefer to do exactly what the verse says. Write it down, take your time, and get it right the first time. This way I can say what I want to say, and not be afraid that it’ll come out wrong.
The other aspect of it is that I love music. Music has always been a very important part of me. My parents taught me to love music at a very young age. And the music that I grew up on has an impact on the kind of music I play and listen to now. My dad is a big fan of singer-songwriters from the 70s that wrote very intricate songs and deep lyrics. He tells me that the first lullaby he ever sang to me was “Sweet Baby James” by James Taylor. So around the house, we would listen to artists like Jackson Browne, James Taylor, John Denver, Jim Croce, and that’s just the J’s. And it has morphed into the kind of music that I listen to now. Contemporary folk artists like David Wilcox, Richard Shindell, and Ellis Paul are the kinds of artists that inspire me to play music and write songs.
Music has a way of portraying emotions that words alone can’t do. It’s so powerful that you don’t even have to sing, play an instrument, or write a song to experience it. It’s as simple as listening to the right song that speaks to you. That’s the beauty of the artist-audience relationship that I long for.
Over the past few months I have been writing more and more songs that have a very deep connection of what is going on in my heart. I’ve gotten better at writing songs that better communicate my fears, my pain, my struggles, and my joys. And as we start into a new year, I hope that I can communicate them to you, and that you will listen and understand.
I know this sounds cliché, but I think this will be the start of a beautiful friendship…
I’ve seen and heard a lot of great musical performances this year. But this appearance by NEEDTOBREATHE on Conan on Halloween is the most AWESOME!!!!
And no, I don’t think a grown man dressed as Taylor Swift is creepy at all…
This is one of very few songs that actually make me cry every time I hear it. It goes right to the heart of whatever turmoil I have in my life, and it reminds me that no matter how bad things may seem, love is stronger than all of it.
This video was made in dedication to the victims of the Newtown CT shooting.
Way too many hearts are full of fear, hate, defeat, evil, loneliness, and darkness… And not enough hope, dreams, strength, life, and most importantly, LOVE.