Weekly Blog

The Big East West Week 18 

I can't believe how fast time flies! The last week in Kansas City, MO went by incredibly fast. I spent most of it catching up with old friends (I say friends, but they're family at this point.) It was hard to leave, but it makes the next time I'm back all that much better.

The show at Records With Merritt was AMAZING!!! I had such a good time sharing tunes with the folks and other musicians there. I can't wait to go back. If you haven't seen the video floating around Facebook, I played "Incredibly Single" for one of the first times (the real first time I played it, I was looking down at the music the whole time. It was VERY fresh then.) 

The gig at The Donut Whole was a lot of fun, tonight! I think it was one of the first times I didn't feel strange as the background. I let loose an had fun instead of worrying that the people weren't listening. I experimented with a lot of new lead guitar parts and discovered a few new riffs as well. I also learned to let the microphone do the heavy lifting for my voice. I didn't feel vocally worn out after tonight! 

I'm looking over my calendar and realizing that the year is coming to an end very fast. I'm excited to announce a return to Stella's and a gig with the ever incredible Antonio Lopez, as well as several others in Colorado (check out the Shows tab to find out more!)

I wish you all a wonderful week! 
Stay choosy!

The Big East West Tour Week 17 

Lincoln was so much fun! I visited the Sheldon Museum of Art, which held an amazing exhibit about identity. That night, was my gig. I highly recommend Crescent Moon Coffee if you're ever in Lincoln. It's a wonderful shop with wonderful people who run it. The gig there was awesome, too! I made a couple new friends who showed me around the city after the show! I was off Omaha the next day.

Omaha held the Joslyn Art Museum which was also amazing. The exhibits range from historical to contemporary and provide a wonderful explanation of the different characteristics of each period. The night I walked around the Old Market, stopping at a Starbucks for their Wi-Fi and a pumpkin spice latte. I mostly stopped because it was raining sideways, but the latte was a nice something warm to hold and sip on. The following day I spent practicing at a war memorial garden. Later that night, sipping a cup of tea, an email notification popped up. There was also a missed call and a voice mail. I hadn't forgotten, there was just a miscommunication about a gig I had applied for. After a phone call, I made my way to Sozo Coffeehouse for an impromptu performance. It was nice to have a stage and an audience to practice new material on as well as a space to experiment. 

It was in Des Moines I missed my first gig. Upon arriving at the venue, I told them I was performing tonight. I shook hands with the man and gave him my name. He simply said "You're late." I had it in my head that I was supposed to be there at 7pm, but I was suppose to be there at 1pm. I've never missed a gig before. And after the way I felt, I don't ever want to again. I took myself out to pizza and a quiet evening with Bon Iver's new album. 

I'm now in Kansas City for the week and then heading to Wichita this weekend. 

Say choosy, folks! (don't miss your gigs)

The Big East West Week 15+16 

Duluth was awesome. My first night I walked along the lake walk, saw a movie, and then returned to an amphitheatre on the lake walk for some practicing. I had a couple stop their bikes to come in and listen for a few songs. I sent them off with a CD and they tipped me for playing. It was nice to practice in an acoustic-friendly space. It was nice to just sing without any kind of pressure of performance, even when the couple stopped to watch. I felt like it was some of the most expressive singing I've done in a while. I gave the songs exactly what they needed, I reopened the emotional scabs. I hoped I could do the same thing at my gigs later that week. During the days, I was either spending time with my hosts, writing, or practicing. The night of the songwriter competition, I choked.
I don't know why I get nervous in front of other musicians, but I do. I think it showed in the first song (Bloody Oak) but wasn't as noticeable by the second (Metaphors.) The winner of the evening was Jacob Mahon, a musician like I have never seen. (click his name to see his performance from that night)
The second performance I opened for a couple of heavy metal acts, which was very exciting! I tried to live stream that performance, but the video froze. You can listen to it here.

I made my way South after that towards Minneapolis for my show with MAREN and the Ungrateful Little String band. It was a fun time! A familiar face from Alamosa showed up and we stayed after the show and talked with my host for quite a while. After some Indian food, some music swapping, and a lesson in Hot Toddy's, it was time to sleep.

That brings us to now, where I've been fighting a cold for the past week at my cousin's house. I've spent the time remembering how to use my feet with the new gear and also working on bringing some old songs new life- not to mention spending time with my family and some other familiar faces in the area. Today I posted a new cover video you can watch on the Video tab. Tuesday I'll leave for my show in Lincoln, then I'll pop over to Des Moines for my show there, then I'll be back in Kansas City for my show at Records With Merit

I'm still taking suggestions for places to visit and play during the West part of the Big East West Tour! 
Stay choosy, folks.

The Big East West Week 14 

I found myself in Iowa City this week at Gabe's, a bar famous for live music every night. I was informed by my hosts that the dance-floor upstairs is known to move when the dancing gets crazy. (The folks at Gabe's confirmed this, though I didn't get to witness it myself.) My hosts were a really fun couple. As they showed me around their property, I was introduced to their horses, and we even ate fresh raspberries! Gabe's was a fun time, too. The groups originally scheduled to perform with me cancelled, so an acoustic duo from Deaf-Kitty Blind-Dog came in and filled in for them. They had such soul in their voices, a very polished act with a rawness that struck me. Since having the pedal board stolen, I've been struggling to make the songs feel like they're enough on their own. This duo made each song look effortless and passionate. I want to keep using my good technique, but sometimes I think I get lost in technique instead of the song. 

Milwaukee was a fun time after Iowa City! My host and I went to a trivia night at a German beirhaus and Koops for a killer burger and custard. The next day I got some computer work done, read a lot of "The Art Of Asking" by Amanda Palmer, and then hit Art*Bar for my gig there that night. What a cool local hangout! Local art, lots of people, and a seriously great atmosphere! I look forward to going back!

I've spent the last few days in Green Bay writing music and practicing. I've learned that fresh cheese curds squeak when you eat them, Packers fan are serious about their football, and there's a reason they're called "cheese heads" (I think if i had any more dairy, I might become cheese. Totally worth it, though.)

I'll make my way towards Duluth, camping somewhere in between here and there tonight. Tomorrow I'll make my way to Dylans' home town for a songwriter competition and another group gig. After that- southbound once more.

Stay choosy, folks!
With love,

The Big East West Week 13 

I spent another couple of days in Bloomington, continuing to rest up, working on a few songs, and learning the banjo I fixed up! My last day there I fought to finish the song David had set me to. I thought I had it, but the more I lived with it the less I liked it. Steve Jobs said to look back and connect the dots to move forward, so I looked back at the song. I realized there were themes I had missed when I was first trying to write the last bridge, themes of water and the way time works as a part of our lives. Those themes led me to the right words, and with a little tweaking for the right rhymes with David, we had a completed song. It's safe to say you'll be hearing it at the upcoming gigs (there's a lot of upcoming shows)! Thank you for including me in such a great song, David, I can't wait to write the next one with you. 

From Bloomington I left to St. Louis. I've spent the last several days with family, which has been excellent (minus one wicked hangover). Today we were at City Museum, a recommendation from David and his family. WHAT FUN! The amount of work and imagination that must have gone into converting that building astounds me. It as an old city office building that has been converted into an amusement park/adventure park. There's a bus that hangs (safely) off the edge of the roof, a ferris wheel, several slides, water features, and so many nooks and crannies to explore... My inner child was VERY satisfied :D

If you didn't know, there's a live video from the Clemmer House Concert where Amanda Biggs and David Clemmer perform a few before yours truly and then one big group jam that was magical... Anyway, check it out for yourself to see what I mean.

Stay choosy, folks. Love you!

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Sky Choice @ Coffee House Cafe

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Coffee House Cafe, 6150 Frankford Rd., Dallas, TX

"Well behaved dogs join owners on the patio of this community friendly coffeehouse with all-day menu."- Coffee House Cafe

Dogs+Coffee+Live Music= Heaven


Sky Choice @ Opening Bell Coffee

Opening Bell Coffee, 1409 S. Lamar St. , Dallas, TX

Opening Bell Coffee and live music after the weekly songwriters meeting. Stick around for more live music by yours truly! Suggested donation of $5


New Holland Tour Kickoff @ Neutral Ground Coffeehouse

Neutral Ground Coffeehouse, 5110 Danneel St., New Orleans, LA

SOMEWHERE BETWEEN THE GOOD AND THE BAD, WITH A POCKET FULL OF GOOD MUSIC AND STRANGE FOLKS, LIES THE NEUTRAL GROUND IN ALL IT'S HEAVENLY GLORY.- Neutral Grounds Coffeehouse Helping New Holland kick off their tour with several other songwriters. See you there!