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Mike Evin House Concert

MIKE EVIN 1Yeah, that’s what I said. We’re hosting Mike Evin June 12th. Peter Katz suggested he should play here. Mike and I agreed. So here we go, 2015. I’ve certainly been hesitant about hosting a show. But I think Mike brings a special something to the table. I’ve become a fan since first listening to his music. He has great songs and presence as a performer.

There are many ways to listen to Mike after visit his website. YouTube, Facebook, and really his music tab is the best place to go.

I’ll be delivering some invitations to folks in the area and setting up a Facebook event for everyone else. As always, if you have any questions, just shoot me an email to johnnypm427@yahoodotcom.

Here’s a couple videos to warm you up.

Something I really like is that he has a really melow side as well as high energy. You can pull back to let this sink in.

And then you get this, which is just spacey and upbeat.

One Is Too Many

tom medvickI feel awful for a lot of reasons. Not like my whole life is mixed bag of suck, bad. But like another really close friend of mine has died too soon. I don’t know that I am totally over Joseph passing. I have, however, found a pretty good place to be in my head. I believe that he would want more than anything for me to carry on with life and music. So I’ve done that. I’ve gotten a huge amount of support from Megan to do that. Really, everything has pointed me in that direction.

Just when I get in that place, though, my good friend in music and life Tom Medvick recently passed away. I haven’t said anything about it on here because when I look at the front page, all I see are my thoughts on Joseph. I don’t want to go down that road again. That doesn’t mean anything. Joseph and Tom both knew everything about me. They were both in that special place in my heart. Like I said, I just don’t want to go down that road again.

I want to move forward and make them both proud of what I’m doing. It just hurts, because much like the plans Joseph and I had for our next musical steps, Tom and I had plans to work together again. That possibility is gone now. It’s natural to have regrets in this situation. And as much as I did with Joseph, I do as well with Tom. It brings back into focus for me the need to spend my energy with the living rather than reliving the guilt over the dead.

I don’t know where to go with this and maybe I don’t need to. He was the best. My good friend Rudy Panucci put together an awesome podcast with a lot songs from Tom’s various bands. I’m lucky enough to have been there for most of that. So please do head over and give this very important show a listen.

Show Announcement: April 4th – Coffee Bar

COFFEE BARHooray! I’m really just excited to have The Coffee Bar downtown. It’s a hip place to have a cup…a really good cup…of caffeine goodness. Please do check out the link to their Facebook page. April 4th from 7-8.

Obviously, I’m also happy to be playing out again. That I’m doing it in a place I really want to succeed is just all the better. It’s an hour show, so that’s a nice way to work myself back into shape. Hope to see you all there!

My Couch By Couchwest Submission – Ego Wins

Here’s my submission for Couch By Couchwest, Ego Wins. The link will take you to the website, which I highly suggest you do! Couch By Couchwest is an online music festival run completely by submissions by independent artist like myself. It’s a great idea for a lot of reasons. One, that it coincides with SXSW week in Austin. So, for folks like me that just play to play it’s a way to get some exposure and get exposed to other indie artist. But the real beauty of the festival is the lack of seriousness. Sure, there are some serious songs. But it’s based on the model that fun comes first. It’s not so much a competition as it is an exhibition.

I’m hooked and hope that you will be too! Here’s my video, but please do yourself a favor and go to CXCW and give some videos a spin.

Couch By Couchwest 2015

CXCW2015I’m happy to say that it’s that time of year again. Much of my recent writing has been focused on Joseph, and I’m sorry about that. He was and is such a big part of my life. I just didn’t feel like it would be cool to go on as if nothing had happened. As I said before, he would want the music to continue and for me and you to be happy and have fun.

So with that in mind, it’s CXCW2015 time! I have a new song uploaded and waiting for tomorrow so I can activate it and the world can enjoy it…I hope. It’s called, Ego Wins. It’s kind of a comparison between Ego (that voice in your head) and political pundits. I’m forever fascinated by the idea that people choose sides, not between right and wrong, but between left and right. That they look to media outlets that skew the news to prove that their side is the sane and just side, and the only thing that keeps the world from spinning off its axis. And if you listen to either side too long, you get trapped in this echo chamber of partial truths that are just true enough to make the story seem plausible. As sad as it seems to me, that’s what sells.

Why can’t I just write a happy song? That answer is that I don’t think I was meant to do that. I have before and probably will again. But when I put myself on the spot to write a new song, like every other songwriter I guess, I go toward what I know. Lately, that’s this middle ground I keep searching for and the reasons why we as a country seem to be so against compromise and harmony.

Enough of that, though. There’s going to be some great songs and great performances over the next week on Couch By Couchwest that I just can’t wait for. I hope you’ll join me in exploring all the fun that is to come, and I hope you’ll find an artist that you never knew you were looking for! It happens for me every year and it’s what keeps me coming back.

And here’s some art I’ve done for CXCW2015

CXCW2015 CXCW2015 2 CXCW2015 3 CXCW2015 4 CXCW2015

Letters To Joseph: Making Sense of the Chaos

LETTERS TO JOSEPH2Some people excel in chaos. Others like a more orderly existence. They each bring something to the table that the other needs or desires. They fill in gaps that the other needs. And when they work well together, it can be magic. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m talking about me and Joseph.

I’m order and he’s chaos. In a way, we butted heads a lot. Not in a confrontational way, mind you. More like two solutions to the same problem. I can hear myself saying over and over, “sing like you’re going to sing when I hit record so I can get a good level. If I get all these levels right, It’s going to be much easier to mix.” Followed by Joseph, “I’m just going to feel it when I do it and it’ll be fine, man.” We were both right and both wrong. Depending on what you think is more important.

I can’t stand chaos. I like everything to have a place, so when you need it you know exactly where it will be. A lack of chaos is comforting to me. When everything is simple I can do very complicated things with ease. When everything is complicated I struggle to do the simplest of things. Joseph was the exact opposite. But somehow we meshed very nicely as friends and in the studio.

He could count on me to have everything squared away on the technical side of recording. To write guitar parts that mattered, but didn’t crowd out the rest of the song. He could count on me to be in control so much that if I had to change directions, I was ready. Like a good fucking boy scout, I was always prepared.

I could count on him to glide into any situation with a style and ease that made me jealous. He needed exactly zero prep time to be brilliant. There were times I would want him to sing backing vocals on a song, and a couple hours later it was more than I could have ever hoped for. Even if he had never heard the song before, he would just saunter up to the mic and proceed to blow my mind. He has an understanding of how vocal lines and harmony work together that I’ve really never seen in anyone else.

There was a time when we first started working together that I would question everything he was doing because it just didn’t make sense to me. I’m not going to lie, there were notes hit that I didn’t think had any business in the song we were working on. But he convinced me to wait to hear the finished product before I made up my mind. He was right, of course. The combination of all the wrong notes I heard was just a thing of beauty. I literally told him it sounded like angels on It’s Not The End. And that no, I was not too high to know the difference. I miss that day. By far, it’s not my best song. But I don’t know that I had a better time recording any of the songs we did together. There’s a lot that doesn’t come through in the final mix that I wish everyone could experience. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it when I tell you that there was order from all the chaos that went into that song.

Letters To Joseph

LETTERS TO JOSEPHI try to think of how best to write something about my friend, Joseph Henry. It’s not easy, because he was not easy. I mean, I still expect him to pop through the door any minute. I know it’s not going to happen. But still….Likewise, I’ve found it impossible to write a comprehensive ode to my friend. I don’t know how you do that. But I do know how to visit a subject from time to time.

There are so many things we recorded that are still in the can waiting to be mastered. It makes me sick that it isn’t done. But that’s where we are. Maybe if I can do a few posts from time to time as I finish songs we’ve done together. I think sharing a little bit about him and his music should be part of the deal too. Songs that we played on. It’ll be good for me and you. With that in mind here’s an example why, no matter how much I did for him I’ll always feel like I got the better end of the deal.

If you’re like me, you have these “well it’s all over” moments where you think the music has finally passed you by and at most you’ll pick your guitar up once a month. And then less and less as the years go by. But then something happens, like meeting Joseph, and you’re right back in the middle of making music and leaning into the day to try to capture it all. That’s what being with Joseph was like for me. I had a genuine thirst to make music again. Not that I wasn’t doing anything. This just took it to a new level.

This is the last song Joseph and I played on. It’s called Back of the Line. This is a demo that still needs some work on my part. But I like what we did with it so far.

Picture on the player via Meg Buskirk


The Slow March To Respectability Street

Lord, I hate the time between work and work. Work being the recording and mixing/mastering. Especially right now as I’m building a new PC that will probably take over the world it’s so powerful. I really am quite impressed with the array of circuits I’ve assembled. It’s slow work, though, and doesn’t do much to move the project forward. Once it’s finished it will be a great asset. But for now, it’s just something else that takes me away from what I love to do.

I guess the thing that kills me the most is that I have all these songs that are in various stages of completedness. So much potential, it drives me crazy. But I have to keep reminding myself that nothing comes easy. It is truly a long slow march to respectability street. If I believe in what I’m doing then it will get done and it will be as glorious as I let it be. Having said that, I can’t wait for you to hear it. It is literally killing me.

More Couch By Couchwest

cxcw123Time to hit on some highlights from some other artists that I’ve seen on Couch By Couchwest.  I may not get through all the videos until after it’s over (03/9/14-03/15/14). But these are some things I know I know.

I have to start with friend, brother, and fellow guitarist in The Feast of Stephen, Joe Vallina. Joe may be a robot. He’s for certain a good guitarist and songwriter. I’m happy he decided to share. Here he is with, To The Phono-matic.




Next is Mat D. I don’t know what to say, other than he is the read deal. Just gritty dairy goodness.


The Miners doing Walnut Lane. I don’t know, man. I just really like the steel guitar. It’s a little loud and a lot cool.


Like I said, I haven’t had a lot of time to watch. Maybe more than anything else I want people to head over and check out all the different kinds of music and find their favorites. I’ll get back with more later.

Couch By Couchwest 2014

couch by couch westWe’re really happy to be part of Couch By Couchwest 2014. If you don’t know, CXCW was started for those of us too poor or too unmotivated to make the trip to Austin, TX for musical gathering known as South By Southwest.

Instead, artist (mostly independent artist) submit a video of a live performance of an original or cover song made just for CXCW. It’s incredibly awesome, but I warn you now that not every artist is the next superstar waiting to happen. Most are like me. Just good artists/songwriters looking for a place to share their music.

The fine folks at CXCW don’t ask for money, retweets, or anything really. It’s just grass roots dairy goodness. As a songwriter, you go to share your music. But as a person and a music lover, you find a lot of inspiration and make a few friends along the way. If you are a semi-pro musician/songwriter or even if you are just semi-anything, go give this a look and listen. You won’t like everything, but I promise you’ll find something (at least one) that you just can’t put down.

I’m backed up pretty bad with life right now. But hopefully as the week goes on I will be able to add some of my favorites from this year’s CXCW. For now here’s my submission, Company Song.


Am I a Songwriter?

CIRCLE LOGOIt’s a good question to ask every once in a while. A look in the mirror moment and confirm or deny. What purpose does it serve? Who benefits? On and on. None of that is why I do it or did it. It’s a love and a way of life that kept me whole. And if not writing songs, I’m sure there’s something you do that you can point to as more than a hobby. It’s a passion.

Sometimes life interrupts and you spend time away from the process. Or find that the process is no longer possible. If you’re smart, you find a way to do both. Having said that, I really regret nothing. If anything, I just wish I had time to have my cake and eat it too. I’m spoiled like that.

Back to the question, though. Am I a songwriter or am I someone that writes songs. I think of a songwriter as someone who can’t turn it off and a person that writes songs as just having the ability. The truth is, I’m a walking melody and my footsteps are the beat. My left foot is the kick drum and my right is the snare. Honestly, I wasn’t really aware of it until I sat down to write this. It’s just one of those things that’s on the tip of your tongue all the time. So much so that you never really see it.  And of course, my voice or my whistle is the melody.

The good thing about it is that I’m always exploring melody. It’s spilled over into the time I spend with my son. He doesn’t speak yet. So we communicate more with noises and gestures. I don’t practice this or do it purposefully, it just comes out. I love it, and I hope it someday spills over to him and he carries a song in his heart all the time like I do. On the flip side, though, it only stays with me as long as I am not distracted by a new task or issue.

If I was smart, I would attempt to record the melodies and revisit them when I have time. I’m not, though. I guess I haven’t made the transition to parenthood in that respect. I still believe my creativeness is a never ending well. But the longer I go without applying this creative gift to a focused effort, the more I get anxious about if I can still put it all together into a single thought.

I don’t know, maybe I’m a songwriter that stopped practicing. Like a lawyer or doctor that went on sabbatical. I don’t want it to stay that way. But the responsibilities before me demand my time and attention. Like I said before, I’m fine with that. The loss of myself does at least give back in love and enjoyment of those around me. Why keep the webpage, though? Well, someday I’ll be back and I’d hate to get rid of this place that I’ve chronicled the last decade of my life and music. It’ll be fun to look back on one day and take stock of my life.

Dean Fields June 7th House Concert

DEAN FIELDSWe’re happy to have Dean come play for us June 7th. He’s a wonderful songwriter and performer as you’ll see below. We love witty, and this snippet from his bio reminds us of us in a way. But we never forget the catbox smell.

It takes a long time for me to wake up. Often Ill get up in the middle of night, change the cat box, and go back to bed with no recollection of it.   Im an over-thinker and an undecider.  I make up words.  I went to grad school to pursue music and left grad school to pursue music.  I moved 7 times in 3 years between 4 states.  I have 300 voices with 300 accents for 301 different moods.  I cannot park a car.   My wife is the coolest person I know.  And she is not a horse.

Show starts at 8pm. We ask for a $10 donation and hope you’ll follow Dean on Facebook and YouTube. Visit his website Dean Fields

House Concerts Are Coming


It’s been way too long. I miss them as I’m sure some of you do. Thankfully, our friends over at Vulcan Army Booking have lined us up with Good Night, States. The show will be Friday May 17th. I’ll work out the particulars later and update the House Concerts page. I don’t have the time it takes to do this band justice in a post. They did a tour with the Lumineers this past summer and I really need to read up a little bit on that before I go any further.  So for now, I just want to share some of their music with you. Hope to see you there!

Good Night States

This is my favorite song, so far…Ceilings. I hate to make comparisons, but makes me think Pixies. There, I said it.


This Is Where My Life Comes Full Circle

Image via

Image via

Growing up, at least the part where I was learning to play guitar, I was a huge REM fan. At the time, their music was completely original to me. It was low-fi, melodic, angry, happy, and just plain original. I didn’t even care what Michael Stipe was singing about. I just enjoyed the music and the melody of his voice.

Having spent the majority of my young life listening to heavy metal, it was weird to me that I would gravitate toward something so completely different. But I did. And it really changed everything for me as far as music was concerned.

So like I do from time to time, I did a youtube search for REM and came across this video of Pilgrimage performed by the Long Players in Nashville. If you are unfamiliar, the Long Players are a loose group of mostly studio and touring musicians that get together every so often and perform a classic CD from start to finish and have guest singers step in to perform various songs. A friend and school mate of mine, John Deaderick plays with these guys. Whether you know it or not, you’ve heard him play with just about anyone who is anyone and I’m really proud of him for all he has been able to accomplish in the music biz. It never ceases to amaze me at who he has shared the stage and studio with.

This particular song, the Long Players had Don Dixon, the producer of REM’s Murmer to sing. As I’ve mentioned on here a time or two, Don Dixon played bass and produced RJ Cowdery’s first CD One More Door, which was recorded here in my house.  It still hasn’t quite sunk in to my brain that I got to share my house with the producer of REM’s Murmer as well as RJ, Todd Burge, and a couple members of the Mountain Stage band. Maybe it never will, but I can tell you it was so incredible and uplifting to walk into the house after work and hear the beautiful music that was being made.

Seeing this video this morning just brought a rush of emotion and tied several distinctively different parts of my life together all at once. It’s cool, and I love it!

Muse Recorded for Couch By Couchwest

Hey all,

If you can’t make it to SXSW, you should go check out CBCW (Couch by Couchwest). Stay at home and check out all the great bands and artist that didn’t get to perform at SXSW. Everyone uploads a video/videos made especially for CBCW to Youtube and the folks at CBCW make the playlist. If you are looking for a way to find some new artist, this is it.

I figure I got time for just one this year. Maybe more. We’ll see. I did Muse, recorded in the attic with one of the stage lights that pulses more the louder you get. Thanks for listening/watching!