Influences: (in no particular order) Beethoven, Mozart, Dvorak, Miles Davis, Coltrane, Dizzy, Count Basie, Henry Mancini, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Aaron Copeland, Lennon & McCartney, Tom Petty, Randy Newman, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen, Ray Stevens, Ray Charles, Elvis, Kris Kristofferson, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Marvin Gaye, Lucinda Williams, Bonnie Raitt, Paul Simon, Leiber & Stoller, Donald Fagan, Walter Becker, Frank Zappa, Sting, Bob Dylan, John Hiatt, James Taylor, Carly Simon, Chrissie Hynde, Harry Nilsson, Prince, Eric Clapton, Schubert, Elton John & Bernie Taupin, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Bruce Springsteen, Patrick Leonard, Bryan Ferry, Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams, Peter Cetera, Jewel, Robbie Robertson, Kevin Gilbert, Susanna Hoffs, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Tom Waits, Burt Bacharach & Hal David, Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Jimmy Webb, Max Martin, John Fogerty, David Bowie, Brian Eno, Rodgers and Hart, Brian Wilson, Mick Jagger & Keith Richards, Richard Carpenter, Pete Townshend, Buddy Holly, Woody Guthrie, Ray Davies, Jeff Lynne, T. Bone Burnett, Robert Plant & Jimmy Page, J.D. Souther, Alison Krause, Elvis Costello, Van Morrison, Holland-Dozier-Holland, Bob Marley, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Rush, Dave Grohl, J.J. Cale.
Tenth year of participation in the last 12 years. This will be the fourth year working with my songwriting partner and lovely wife. We have been gathering song ideas and concepts fastidiously over the past few weeks and we look forward to another frenzied February!
I'm hoping to incorporate more instruments this year. Last FAWM ended up being mostly composed with guitar and it was fun but limiting creatively. We've added some new gear and we're looking forward to putting it all to work.
Born in North Dakota. Grew up in Washington State. Lived most of my years in Southern California (Orange County) with a two year stint working in the Land of the Noonday Moon (Alaska). In 2017 I relocated back to my old stomping grounds in Central Washington.
Recap of my sordid musical past :~)
Piano lessons as a youngster (hated them but regret that now). Trombone in grade school. I got a chance to assist the high school band director each summer with new 4th grade students during a camp to prep them for the school year. Learned to play a bunch of instruments with the 4th graders (no pressure) including tuba, baritone, french horn, trumpet, clarinet, and drums.
Played in the concert band, marching band, stage band, pep band, and jazz choir (bass) in high school and had a blast. (Band geek anyone?)
Spent several years jamming and sitting in with a several bands on drums and bass (here and there) in So Cal. Spent a year and a few months playing guitar and keyboards in a classic rock band in Central Washington. I play drums, bass, guitar, and keys relatively well and I enjoy writing and recording. I like to play and do musical mad scientist stuff (previously in the little bedroom studio I liked to call the Sonic Dog House - the Sonic Igloo when I was in Alaska - now a basement bunker studio). I have done location recording and the first year's FAWM tracks were recorded in Matt's rumpus room behind the Orange Curtain with my mobile rig.
Some FAWM history:
2009: First FAWM and we did it! I had the privilege of collaborating with some dear friends and great musicians for FAWM 2009 (Julian Spenis). We had a blast and I think we created an awesome album!
2010: Disappointing finish (actually no finish at all) due to technical difficulties associated with living and working at the top of the world (Barrow Alaska). Next year I'll submit early and often to dodge the "cosmic block."
2011-2013: Unable to FAWM due to health issues, returning to school (completed doctorate in psychology), and life in general distracting me from the creative process.
2014: 15 songs this time (with the late addition of one collaboration with another generous FAWMer), Back collaborating with my musical pals again (this time as Fishy Scnitzel) focusing on capturing simple ideas simply. I also used a couple of new instruments that I had been wanting to play more (ukelele and banjo) as well as some other tools I had wanted to try out (a synth program on my phone and Garage Band on my iPad).
2015: Fourth year of FAWM and completed seven songs this year (all on my own - no collaborations materialized) so if I double my productivity (or halve my sleep time) I should be able to get 14 done next year, no sweat!
2016: My first year of completing 14 songs by myself (including one awesome collaboration). It was a very productive month and I realized I could get in the zone and be working on several concepts at once. I actually "worked" at songwriting this year and the output shows the value of that. I utilized lots of different instruments and tools and created a varied musical landscape.
2017: Only completed three songs this year due to a massive relocation. After more than 30 years in Southern California I moved back up north to Washington state in February 2017 to be nearer my family. I was happy to get done what I did and I was able to develop a great portable recording setup that is light and nimble.
2018: Completed 14 songs with my new songwriting partner/fiancee. We got married during FAWM and even wrote a song on our honeymoon. My wife had never written songs before so it was fun watching her find her voice (both lyrically and literally).
2019: 14 songs again and a whole lotta fun! My wife and I saw our songwriting process mature and my wife's lyrics became more integral to our songs (she is a much better lyricist than I). After a slow start (first song took 9 days!) we caught up quickly. As hoped, the performance and production process improved and we were able to go from concept to demo fairly quickly once we got on track.
2020: Didn't quite get to 14 due to severe illness that knocked us out for 10 days or so. I'm not convinced it wasn't COVID-19, although none of us could have known what was to come at that time. The illness impacted my wife (and writing partner) more significantly than I and she unfortunately was not able to participate as fully as we both would have liked. We still made some great music and had a whole bunch of fun!
|#1||Bona Fide Liar||
|#2||Only God Knows||
|#3||My Old Hippie Bus||
|#4||Heroes May Fall||
|#5||The Wisdom Of The Trees||
|#6||That Sound In Your Head||
|#7||Things Can Change In A Minute||
|#8||The Cancel Culture Club||
|#9||Stark Raving Moron||
Hey thanks for the last minute listen! I appreciate the kind words.
Aw, honoured to be in your last listens! Well done for keeping it up, and yes, see you next year!
Thanks for the comments! We are zooming at 9 btw. You should join us!
Thanks for stopping by and listening to some more of my songs! I've enjoyed hearing your stuff as well. 😀
The last days of FAWM are upon us and I really appreciated the listens and comments - you rock! I'll get a couple more in before my work meeting. 😀
Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting! Also thanks for your kind words on programming. It helps a lot to create a vision of a song, but I usually don't publish songs with programmed guitars. Sounds wrong for me for some reason...
We're recording nearly all FAWM songs with proper instruments - only strings and parts of the drums will stay programmed in the final versions. I am looking forward to the results but they will take some weeks or month. Huge FAWM multi collabs, lots of communication and plenty of stems to mix. It will be post-FAWM-producer-fun ❤ Check Soundcloud (when songs are ready) or Bandcamp (as full album close to the end of the year) if you're curious. Some songs will sound much different!
Thank you for listening and commenting. It was a quick and sweet song fragment to write, and I hope I can expand and do justice to that moment. I’ve also been working on mixing songs, and that was a fun one. Cheers.
Thank you so much for your comment on Light of Night (Y Noson Deffro) - I love that it had that effect on you!
Thanks for the kind comments on Fight For You and Fairytale Blues! I'm absolutely loving the detailed gear lists on each of your tracks 😍
Thanks a lot for stopping by and commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed!
Thanks for the recommendation, I'm gonna have to look into it, though I have no recollection of thinking "out loud" of a reamping solution. Then again, I don't recall a lot of things I've written in comments, especially if it happened in the beginning of Feb. Except that now I sorta remember, but it was more like "if I were to attempt to do what you did I'd run the track through a reamp box into some physical pedals" while the other person did it in the box. But yeah, I've been thinking of getting a reamp box for myself at some point, so thanks.
Also thanks for the comments!
So much common past- piano lessons that I wish I kept up, trombone, marching band, bands, basement studio...
Wow, thanks for your epic listening visit! You chose some of my absolute favourites! And yes, especially proud of Ajax 409 ☺️ So chuffed you liked them, and really appreciate your time listening in March!
Oops. Double comment.
Thanks for taking the time in March to listen to Sweetheart of Abstraction.
Hey, thanks so much for your comment on Sweetheart of Abstraction! It was a pleasure to be involved in it!
Hey, you should join the zoom! It’s in the forums under who’s zooming who?
I saw that you posted a song tonight! I will listen. Thanks for the comment! You should’ve joined on the FAWM zoom tonight! Maybe next week? It’s on Tuesday at 9pm eastern. I will be back to listen soon!
OH man! How did we never connect while you were in OC? Or did we?!! 😀 My memory may be the first thing I'm losing in my old(er) age.
Hello, thank you for the lovely comments on 'Worrying' & 'love the moment' 😀
Thabk tou for your several nice comments.
Thanks for listening to my silly songs and saying nice things about em! Happy FAWM!
Big hellos to you! Happy fawming! I will be listening....