FEATURING KENNY MALONE
I’m thrilled to announce that the first video and tune from my Fiddle/Sticks project are now viewable and listenable! Back in June, Nashville session legend Kenny Malone and I met for two days at Zac Brown’s new Southern Ground Studio in Nashville, TN. We came partially prepared with melodic pieces, a whole bunch of toys, and our vibe open to collaboration and experimentation. I’d love to be long-winded about this, but I’d rather you enjoy the video.
Okay…here’s the quick synopsis: We composed and honed melodies, implied harmonies with drums, and developed arrangements. Kenny beat on a set of 5 djembes, a drum kit, inventions of his own making, and my fiddles (relax…with chopsticks). As you may imagine, I played fiddle. We created structure. We gave ourselves to improvisation. We laughed. We cried. I had a rhythmic fiddle lesson. We conversed about career and industry, beliefs about rhythm and music, life changing epiphanies, inventions and inspirations from dreams, lyrics, the dance, and of course drummer jokes.
Stay tuned for a future podcast of our interview and conversation. The 5 djembe composition “Five and a Fiddle” is available for listening here or by clicking below.
During years of live performance and recording together, Kenny and I have never gotten to know each other as well as we did in these two days. I hope you enjoy these sneak peeks.
(photo credit: Matt Mangano)
But wait! The fiddling and sticking doesn’t stop there. On October 3 & 4, I collaborated for two days with Futureman, percussionist for Béla Fleck & the Flecktones and inventor of the Drumitar. We changed gears from F/S:1 and set up a mobile studio in an awesome photography warehouse called CRAFT Studio. I’ll be digging into this music soon!
The online Fiddle/Sticks hangout is up and ready for you guys to jump in. Hosted by me, this private Facebook group will be the place for progress updates, exclusive content, and whatever you want to discuss. More info here, or by clicking below.
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On November 4, I have been asked to present at the TEDx event in Asheville, NC. I’ll be performing my Singularity piece, Heartbeat Kid, and speaking about chasing the elusive creative muse. It’s an honor to be included, and I’m very much looking forward to hearing and meeting the other participants.
SINGULARITY ALBUM UPDATE
The Singularity album is nearing completion! I’ve been squeezing in recording between solo touring, touring for other folks, all things Fiddle/Sticks, and a bit of tractor time. As at the concept would imply, I’m recording/producing it all myself, and there’s just one track left to go.
I was out west Singularity-ing (that means just me) in my little powder pearly blue Kia rental. I decided to take the scenic route from Aspen CO to Carbondale CO since I had the time and the weather was gorgeous. I checked the questionably smart phone for a mountain traverse. I found one and cruised the scenic CO country roads, passing a few folks going the other way, and a few homesteads. Slowly, the cars and homes thinned out, and then I saw the “Pavement Ends” sign. I’d been going for a while and thought I was on track…how much farther could it be? So, I kept going, me and Powder Blue – no cars, no homes, no livestock – just hoping I didn’t get a rock in the rental winshield. Up and up I drove, around ruts and rocks, until I crested at the “entrance” of the White River National Forest. And LO! there was a park like map in a display case. But, what’s this? All the roads (ATV paths & trails?) were labeled with numbers and no text. I couldn’t figure out which way to go or even where I was. And that phone’s not so smart without service. I was about to turn around when a lone pickup truck crested from the other direction. “Oh yeah,” he says, “I just came from there, just keep going straight.” And that was the only person I saw until I reached pavement again…which is right when a rock hit my winshield.
Enjoy your adventures!