21 Jul 2016.
I've had a blast playing honky-tonk style music with a group of musicians headed by Liam Kelly (aka Old Man Kelly) for a few years now. One of the most fun aspects of it is playing Liam's original songs, which, for my money, are gems of the genre. Last year he wrote a new batch of songs, folding some Western swing and Appalachian old-time into the mix. As I listened to the demos, my first thougt was: "Man, I can't believe I get to play on this record."
As luck would have it, I got to help produce a bit, too. Little things like tweaking songs or nudging the mix, that might make an already great record that little bit better, are seriously satisfying when you love the material!
It's just released. I've been listening to it over and over for enjoyment- I highly recommend it. Get it here.
16 Oct 2015.
My buddy Bob Wright has started a new music series called MOTH, which stands for Music On The Hill. It takes place on the second Friday of each month at the Roanoke Unity church, which is situated on a gorgeous wooded hill. He's asked me to play the second concert of the series, so I'm going to play my first concert in ...lots of years.
The first half will be the entire Spiriti program that I've been working on since October came out. The second half will be a mix of originals and some other favorite pieces.
The concert in Nov 13 at 7:30. See the above link for more details.
4 Sep 2012.
I created background music for my friends at Bent Castle Workshops, who have a great new Kickstarter project up. It's a gorgeous steampunk-styled homage to Jules Verne in the form of a deck of cards. I love how the music came out.
17 Jun 2011.
I am a huge fan of everything my buddy Ben Crenshaw does. He's the amazing graphic artist who designed all three of my album covers, as well as that of my wife's band, House Red. His jewelry designs are world-renowned. But the rarest of his talents is that of a master game designer. With his longtime art partner Chris Pallace, Bent Castle Workshops has invented and published a couple of tabletop card games that I find to be absolutely classic.
My favorite of these is Numbers League. It's raucous good fun, and kids love it, even though a side-effect of playing is that you become a math ace.
Ben asked me for some advice in February of 2010. He had wanted to convert Numbers League to a computer game since its inception, but it didn't feel right to do it for a regular computer. When he saw the iPad for the first time, he thought- "Now there's our platform." The advice he wanted from me was how to find and hire someone to program such a thing.
I'd never written a game, much less any GUI (screen-based) software, but I was very curious about the language and framework behind the iPad. I asked Ben if he'd consider letting me take a crack at it. Much to my good fortune, he agreed.
The learning curve was steeper than I expected, but with a little persistence, I was soon writing code. As the basic game started taking shape, Ben's vision included lots of levels and options to satisfy an extraordinary range of tastes and proficiency levels. Numbers League quickly turned into a truly enormous project. Still, to see Chris and Ben's beautiful artwork dance around on the iPad screen was exhilarating enough to keep me going.
I originally intended to let a professional game guy write the music for Numbers League. After much cajoling from Ben and my wife, I experimented with Logic Express and discovered that much of the soundtrack was already in my head. I was surprised at how much I loved recording the sounds, voices, and especially the music. I'm really proud of the game in general, but especially glad I took on that part of it.
It's hard to believe it's June of 2011 now. I've been a bit of a hermit throughout most of this project. On days that I'm home, I've been getting up in the morning and working clear through until time for bed. Now it feels a bit like the end of a really, really long college semester. I think Shawn and I are going to ride our bikes to the theater this afternoon and watch a movie- how decadent!
The game is in review at Apple as I type this. Once it hits the App Store, if you have an iPad I'd be honored and grateful if you pick it up, particularly in its first week, so we can get a boost into the charts!
The Numbers League website is: http://numbersleague.com/.
11 Jul 2010.
I finally have some sheet music ready! Per many requests, I've scored the last track from each of the albums. They're all title love song, so the title of the book is 3 love songs. I'm going to take orders and send them myself, so please order from me, and I'll include a nice thank you note!