9th Annual Country Album Nominee
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HOMEBASE/COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Las Vegas, NV
ALBUM NOMINATED: Western Stars
WHERE WAS THE ALBUM RECORDED? Recorded and mixed at OMNIsound Studio Nashville, Mastered at MasterMix Nashville.
WHICH GENRES BEST DESCRIBE YOUR MUSIC? Country painted with Americana, Folk Rock and Bluegrass
WHAT’S THIS SONG “DIRT RICH” ABOUT? It’s about a guy who is thankful for what he has, including a dog named Dude. Each track is like one of my kids. They each have their own story. “Dirt Rich” is the just the first track on the record. It’s also my first/current single.
WHAT UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS OR TECHNIQUES DID YOU USE ON THIS ALBUM? I asked the engineer, Stoker White, to stick an old UREI 1176 compressor in front of my vocal on a few tracks. Steve Earle and Rodney Crowell use one and I love their vocals on those albums. We blew the dust off some vintage RCA mic’s on “Beyond” because I wanted an old Gene Autry western cowboy movie sound. We chose instruments as we went based on what felt right so there are a lot of strange and wonderful creatures in there, some unloved and dusty. I didn’t want a Tele on every track if there was a paintbrush that the song wanted more. I think there are about a dozen different guitars on the album. The main thing was to capture the emotion with whatever felt right in the spur of the moment without thinking about what is commercial. As far as writing technique and structure, I chose these 12 songs out of my catalog because they don’t all sound the same but they work together as a whole. There is a Country Rock song in the middle, “Little Drummer Girl” that kind of serves as an intermission. It breaks all the rules, takes forever to get to the chorus, but I cut it anyway because it felt right for that spot.
WHERE IS YOUR MUSIC AVAILABLE? iTunes, CDBaby, Amazon, Rhapsody, Digstation, Zia or Lou’s Record Stores in the Southwest, or direct from my Web site.
DID FANS HELP FUND THIS PROJECT? They would have. I have amazing friends. Didn’t ask.
DESCRIBE YOUR AUDIENCE: The point of this album was to not be able to describe them. I play unplugged quite a bit at this place here in Vegas called the E-String. The showroom is all ages so I will have a completely different audience as the night goes on. Sometimes though, I will have bikers, little kids, and senior citizens in the same row at the same time. The challenge is to get them all to see themselves in the same story. Of course, I want mainstream Country radio to like my writing and that has happened so far, but some of the songs merge into the Folk-Rock or Americana side of Country. They might not fit on mainstream Country radio, but those songs wanted to be on the album to make it whole, and reach the whole row. I have hard rockers and high school kids tell me that they don’t listen to Country but they listen to this album. That’s the highest compliment I could get.
WHAT MAKES YOUR FANS UNIQUE? Hmm, see above.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO PLAY? In Vegas at the E-String, Nashville at the Bluebird. Both places are about the same size and the acoustics are amazing. The main thing is that people come there to listen which is very cool. Easy to find in Nashville but very tough to find in Vegas.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR MOST MEMORABLE ACHIEVEMENT TO DATE? Anytime when I am playing a full room live and can hear a pin drop. Those are the best times. As far as an achievement, getting the Robert K. Oermann Music Row Discovery award in September was very cool. Oh, and this IMA nomination is very cool, too.
WHAT’S IN THE WORKS FOR 2010? Some regional touring in support of this album. Also, I am really excited about pitching some new songs that I have written for female artists.
FINISH THIS SENTENCE: THE MUSIC INDUSTRY IS….. Half-full.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF SUCCESS? See the lyric to “Dirt Rich.”
WHAT’S ON YOUR IPOD THAT WOULD SURPRISE YOUR FANS? Songs of the Humpback Whale (Remastered)
NAME SOME ARTISTS YOU ARE CHAMPIONING: There are too many mind blowing underrated artists to mention. You can see them at most any writers night anywhere in the world. I’ll champion any one of them who lives for three chords and the truth.