A Bit of Reflecting
At the end of this month, I'll be turning 30. I'm not one to compartmentalize my life or career, but looking back it definitely feels like I'm just starting to hit a stride going into my 30s. From college up until a few years ago, my approach was to focus on my own music and do whatever day job I could find to support my music. It seemed to work for a while, but ultimately I just needed to be playing, and playing I've been doing full for almost three years. Without a day job, I was able to focus a lot more energy on making Tributary. Life was pretty chaotic after moving to NYC, and amongst all the noise I wrote and recorded Life Is Loud. Tributary, on the other hand, was conceived from a calm, reflective state of mind. Finishing this album gave me a real sense of accomplishment, at least momentarily, which is something I didn't experience with past recordings.
This past year I've started playing more gigs as a sideman. I've come to realize that sideman work is incredibly important in developing one's own musical voice; many legendary musicians started out as a sideman before gaining any notoriety for their own music. One of my goals is simply to play in as many different types of bands as possible. Currently I'm playing somewhat regularly with singer/songwriters, a hard rock band, an indie-rock band, a pop band, and a bluegrass/reggae band as the mandolinist. And of course there's always my trio in the mix. I plan on expanding this list and finding new challenges.
I've also been doing more recording in my spare time. Experimenting with different sounds and production techniques, and writing a lot of new material. This stuff is all over the board, but it's been a great way to purge all the ideas I get that usually disappear. Though to be honest, a lot of the ideas aren't that great. The process does, however, get lame ideas out of the way so the best ideas can take shape.
I'm lucky to be doing something I love. I usually wake up early, make coffee, and start going through the paces of my routine--check email, see what's going on for the week, practice, and then try to do some of the booking, scheduling, rehearsing, marketing, social networking, etc. that comes along with being an independent musician. I'd probably work 12 hour days and forget to eat if it weren't for my wife keeping me grounded. I owe a lot to her for all the support and encouragement she's provided over the many years I've been trying to do this music thing. And of course, thanks to everyone else that's supported us by buying some music or coming to the shows. Every little bit makes a BIG difference.
Thanks for stopping by.