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Naked Souls Is A Year Old

It’s hard to believe that a year ago tomorrow Naked Souls will be a year old. Yes, we did it! And I hope you follow that link and read it. It was a fun time and I am still eternally grateful to everyone that helped me put the CD out there.

Did it live up to any of the crazy expectations I had? Nope, not even close. But it did live up to most of the realistic expectations I had. It was a hard road, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It was fun, and I can still go back and listen to it without too much second guessing about things I was never completely happy with. So I got that going for me…

To celebrate, I’m going to knock the price of the CD down to $5 on the BandCamp page as well as the actual CDs I have with me at shows. I’m also going to be playing at the Adelphia Thursday, November 1st as part of Songwriter Night with Todd Burge. It’s a free show and there will be a ton of great songwriters performing: RACHEL FIGLEY, CAREY MURDOCK, BRUCE DALZELL, DAN CUNNINGHAM, WORMZ   HAYFIELD AND CROW, JUSTIN ARTHUR, and MICHAEL IAFRATE.

I’m really really happy that Carey Murdock will be here. I had to cancel on a house concert with him for October. So I’m happy I’ll get a second chance to see him perform and show him the hospitality that we try to offer every house concert performer.

Hope to see you there!!

Friends With Perks – A Songwriters Tale of Friendship

I’m horrible at reviews, so I don’t do ‘em. I host house concerts, though. And excuse me, but I do a pretty good job of getting great acts to come play. When I started hosting, it was because we never had anyone interesting come to town to play. Very very rarely did anyone pass through that moved the dial. Thankfully, some establishments opened in the area geared towards bringing cool acts to the area. Now, I just host because I love it.

It’s the music, for sure. But it’s also the personal relationships you develop with the artist. I got this right away with my first house concert with Kevin Montgomery.  Maybe I was living in the dark in 2007, I wasn’t really hip to the idea of concerts in your house as a thing and how many artists were doing it. He was doing this crazy tour called, 50 States In 50 Days. He was playing a house concert in all 50 states in 50 days. Not 50 business days. 50 days.  On top of that, Kevin was sponsoring a charity. A gesture that really stuck with me. That was 2007, and Kevin has done three  such tours since then. Sponsoring a different charity each time. It’s been my pleasure to host the West Virginia leg each time.

Kevin is an extremely busy, but personable one. It amazes me what he remembers. That he stays in touch and that he’s so thoroughly engaged with his friends. I’d call us fans, but he treats us more like friends. A trait not uncommon with all the acts that have played my house concerts. Yesterday was a special day, because I received my copy of Kevin’s latest work, Some Comfort (my favorite Kevin has put out and I’ve only had it one day!). Also, we confirmed him playing at the Children’s Home Society of Parkersburg September 24th. The charity he has settled on for the long haul, The Orange Duffel Bag Foundation is special because it is focused on Foster Children that have aged out of care. It’s directly linked to what my friend Steve Tuck faces at the Children’s Home Society. I’m happy that we can do the show there. Glad we can have Kevin back again. Glad Kevin got me started on this crazy adventure.

Another act that recently released a new CD, Blackwater Mojo. Was recently in the area. But I wasn’t, and I hate it. Don’t get me wrong, I love their music. But I would have liked to have seen them. To just hang out. I like the day after a house concert when the artist can stick around. The day of the show, everything is rushed before and after the show is a party. But the next day is calm and relaxed. You get to interact on a normal level. When you find you have something in common with someone, it’s fun and interesting. As a songwriter, it’s really cool. Right now, I just hate that I missed seeing my friends.

The new CD is called, Cold Holler. It’s absolutely fantastic. I hear a lot of things I would expect to hear from them. But there’s a couple songs that I’m just blown away by. And haha, the one in particular is called, Blown Away. I’ve heard it live, but the studio version is so full. I guess because they are a two piece, when they got in the studio and were able to flesh the songs out, they could add all the other parts that were running through their heads. And those parts are something else. Well worth your time to follow the link above and give it a listen!

Finally, Peter Katz also has a new CD that came out in April. As I told you before, Rob Szabo produced it. I really haven’t taken it out of the CD player since I got it. I’ll never forget meeting Peter. He’s so positive and upbeat. I know I’ve told the story before, but when I was showing him around the house he wanted to just go skipping around the first floor. I wanted so bad to join him. I had just put my dog down and had knee surgery the two weeks prior. So I was dying for anything to pick me up. Although I couldn’t skip, it was a huge life to my morale. A supremely incredible show and experience. Influential on a lot of levels as well.

Being a songwriter myself, I’m always looking to be influenced and inspired. Peter did a lot more than just introduce me to the world of loop pedals, though. I do love mine and all the ideas I’m getting with it. But he has a sincerity about his songs and as himself that is almost too good to be true. I’m just left to marvel at him. I have video of that around here somewhere. I’m making it my goal to show, because it’s just too good not to be out there.

These people all have influenced me in one way or another. I’m happy to say that they have all played at my house and are all people I count as friends. I hope I’ve pointed you in the direction of some music that you find both enjoyable and inspiring.

Live @ The Adelphia Music Hall

Just a friendly reminder that I’ll be playing at the Adelphia Music Hall tomorrow night at 8pm. Followed by Matt Colombini and Colton Settle Band. Three acts, three bucks. Looks to be a great show! I’ll have CDs for sale and hugs for free ($2.00 hugs available upon request). I am genuinely excited to be playing out in the valley. Don’t forget, you can Robot yourself a CD on My So Called Life.

Hope to see you there!

December 14th @ The Boulevard Tavern

Great news! I’ll be playing at the Boulevard Tavern in Charleston on December 14th. I’m really excited to play for all my Charleston friends! It’s always too long in between times I can say this. I’ll be playing from 7-10, doing all the songs from the CD. Plus I got a couple new songs written and hopefully a couple surprises as far as guest appearances and the cover songs I’m working up. So, I hope everyone can make it out. Also, free CD to anyone that does the robot while I play My So Called Life.  Go ahead, if you all do it and there’s a hundred people in the bar, I’m fine with that. I’ll just take pictures during the extended vocal solo. Because that’s a win for me on every level.

In other news, like I said in the previous post I had really grown tired of the old look of the website. That black on black was just too depressing. Even for me. I may add some Unicorns and Rainbows if this still isn’t happy enough to suit my tastes. But I’m thinking we’re probably good.

Lastly, I’ve added even more videos and I updated the player on the music page. You’ll see on the right hand side that there is a direct link to Naked Souls and something called B Sides (old songs and songs that didn’t make the cut for the CD). The pictures will give it away. Something called, Project Active Media is in there as well. Last but not least, a link to our spiritual leader Todd Burge. So, you know, updates.

Thank You To The Band

As I’ve talked about before, I need to say a huge thank you to the guys that played on the CD. Without them, it would not sound nearly as good.

Joseph Hale – Joseph was here with me throughout the entire process. Not just playing or singing, but fully vested. Every time I thank him he tells me how much fun he had and it was the best use of his time. It’s always so humbling. I will never be able to thank him enough. I hope to start, though, by helping him get his debut CD out. I know nothing lasts forever, but I hope we can work together as long as we have the strength to do so.

 

Todd Burge – Todd has been a huge influence on me and it was just so cool to have him play bass on a song, Gone. Todd is working on a new project called Building Characters. You can check it out here on facebook, or go straight to the rocket hub site where he is basing this project. There’s a great video explaining everything. But it’s not just him, he’s trying to raise money for charity as well. It really is a strong message. It’ll be the most important five minutes of your day. Oh yeah, Don Dixon and Tim O’Brien will be playing on the project as well. I mean…seriously!!

 

Hardy Scragg – I’ve known Hardy my whole life and I really can’t imagine him not being part of this CD. We’ve leaned on each other musically and otherwise for so long, it would be empty without him. Hanging On is a song I wrote when I was living in Charleston and Hardy never let that one die.  It was certainly proper that he would play bass on it. Like Joseph, Hardy did a lot of listening. I’m sure even when he didn’t want to. I’m surprised he didn’t call me at least once and ask why I sent him an mp3 that didn’t sound any different than the last one. I guess he knows my ego just needs stroked every once in a while and he’s good at picking up on that. Hehe!

I’m so thankful to you all for helping me with this!

I also have a little promo video for Naked Souls. The weather was too nice not to go for a drive and mount my phone on the dash. The video didn’t turn out nearly as good as I would have wanted. But it does give me some ideas. I guess the next step is to make a video. Right?

 

 

Like I was saying…

I mentioned something about CD Baby in my last post, but never put any links up. Now that everything is a go, I thought I should. The reason I went with CD Baby and Band Camp is I like BC better as a listener but CD has more options as far as really putting your music in a lot of places like iTunes, etc. The physical CDs that I’m going to take with me to shows will be here in a couple days. I need to confer with the principles that helped me record this before I set a date for the release party.

At some point, I want to say a few words about each of the folks that helped me and inspired me to do this. But right now I feel rushed to do a few hundred things. Most importantly, practice these songs and not sit at the computer. I’m seriously considering going southpaw with the mouse for a while. My hand really hurts that bad from the past two months of mixing and the last couple weeks of Photoshopping I’ve done over at Smoking Musket. If you haven’t, you should go check this one out if you like WVU sports at all. From a creative standpoint, I think it’s the best thing I’ve done. I truly felt inspired, and to do it exactly like that. Most things don’t turn out that way.

I’m going to try to at least take 15 minutes a day to post something here this month. So please do come back and check out what’s going on. If you like what you hear, please feel free to share it with everyone you think would be interested.

John

We Did It!!!!!!!!!!

The CD is out. Which is silly, because it isn’t technically. But the gathering of songs is most certainly out. It seems like forever since this project started. I’m so happy to be at the point I’m at right now. Which is sleepy, dreading going back to work tomorrow, and knowing that all the particulars are not yet set in stone. So please don’t go buying the CD just yet. I may not have the cover art uploaded until tomorrow.  Then, I guess we can start to plan the world domination and stuff.

You should expect me to set a date for the house show sometime after the 15th of November.  Maybe after Thanksgiving. We’ll see, I’ll have to practice like the Devil to make it happen before. Nothing wrong with that, though.

I’d also suggest you send me an email if you download the CD now, so I can email you all the cover art stuff. Some folks dig that stuff, and I just wanna help where I can.

So, you’ll notice that there is a tab up top for Music. I know there is a way to make that take you directly to the band camp page. I’ll figure that out later. Like tomorrow. But for now, you can click a couple times, or just click play. I know some people that like to click a lot. It’s like a stress ball of sorts. Hope you enjoy it! Thank you all!