New Album – Week 2 Demos and Survey

Click HERE to listen to three new raw songs I wrote last week: I Will Never Give Up, Nothing Better, and Thanks to You.  After you’ve listened to the songs from this week, you can complete the survey below and help me choose which of these three songs has the best potential to be a great fully produced song and for my new record.

Stories Behind the Songs

I Will
Perseverance.  We are all born with childlike dreams that inspire and make us believe we can do great things.  As we grow older, those dreams are challenged for a number of reasons and we can choose to give up or keep fighting.  Don’t ever give up on the things that make you truly happy.

Nothing Better
There is nothing better than close friends and family.  These lyrics are about my kids, but they apply to any close relati...

New Album – Week 1 Demos and Survey

Click HERE to listen to three raw tracks I wrote last week: Leave It All Behind, Movin’ On, and You Asked Me For Help.  After you’ve listened to them, complete the survey below to let me know which one of the three you think has the best potential to be a great fully produced song for my new record.

I really want this new record to reflect my love for two genres: reggae & rock.  So I’m aiming for 5 reggae and 5 rock songs that truly represent me and my sound.

Which of the three demo tracks do you think I should spend more time on and fully produce and put on my record?  Complete the survey below to let me know!

The power of music in advertising

Music has the power to move you

Music affects our mood every day. But are you aware that music can influence your choices? For example, music can affect whether you like a product — there is science to prove it. Gerald J. Gorn did an experiment in the 80’s to find out if background music in commercials influences a person’s choices.

Choosing songs and products for the experiment

In 1982, Gorn gathered college students for a series of experiments. But the students had to identify the two components of the experiments, the music and the product.

First, the students identified two kinds of songs. They identified a song they all liked and a song they all disliked. Everyone agreed they liked a song from the movie Grease and disliked a piece of classical Indian music.

Second, a light b...

You Never Know Who’s In The Crowd

During gigs it’s hard to tell if people are random drunks ignoring my performance or they are people resonating with what I’m doing.  I have to avoid reading too much into body language or facial expressions.  I decided a long time ago to just treat everyone in the crowd like they matter because you never know who’s in the crowd.

Last Weekend

Last Friday, I was playing a 3 hour set at Griffin Tavern in Flint Hill, Virginia.  This is a great joint off the beaten path in the shadow of the majestic Shenandoah mountains.  There were a handful of people during my opening set eating meals and enjoying the music.  But once I got back behind the mic after my break I realized I was only playing to the bartender and staff...

Live Looping Milestone

Here’s a clip of me daring to loop vocals live.  I’ve hesitated to loop my vocals (even though I’ve been doing live looping for the past year) because of all the feedback possibilities.  I finally figured out some of the main culprits of the feedback and gave my audience at Paddy’s in Stafford, VA a taste of what I’ve been working on.  Hope to see you at the next show!

#1 Thing I Learned From Street Performing

IMG_0003I’ve struggled my whole musical career to know the answer to the following question…

How much do you charge?

However, I recently spent five days straight playing on the streets of Fredericksburg, Virginia.  My wife and kids were visiting grandma and I had time to myself.  So of course I figured out a way to get battery power to a small amp and my guitar pedal board!  After those five days I finally feel confident I have an answer to how much I charge to perform.

While I played on the streets people tipped me a lot.  I came to know how much people are willing to freely give me based on my talent and their perception of my value...

Upcoming Shows – Hawaii Included!

GigsI’ve lined up a number of great shows for the next few months that I’m really looking forward to.  I played for the first time at a great Irish pub in Stafford last month called Paddy’s and they’ve asked me back and I couldn’t be more excited to spend time with the great people at that venue again.  I’m going to be in Stafford, Culpeper, and Fredericksburg Virginia in the month of November.  But I’m most excited that I’M GOING HOME to Hawaii in December!!

In 2012 I left Hawaii and essentially “broke up the band” when I left my band Upstanding Youth without a singer/guitar player...

Why Defend Liberty T-Shirt?

Why did I make the Defend Liberty t-shirt?

On the 4th of July my wife usually lets our kids paint some t-shirts to celebrate the holiday.  This year, I decided to join in and tried to think of a design that would represent my love of country and dedication to defending the values that make the U.S. great.  Along that train of thought, I came up with the logo on this shirt.

Made from freezer paper, an exacto knife, a sponge brush, and black paint.

Made from freezer paper, an exacto knife, a sponge brush, and black paint.

I used to design my original idea, printed it out, placed the print out under some freezer paper, traced it with an exacto knife, ironed the stencil into place on the t-shirt, painted it with a sponge brush, and then smiled at the result...

Kickstarter Song Reward – She Gives Me Light


That cool dude in the sunglasses, that’s Spencer Oscarson on tour with Upstanding Youth in 2007 – like a boss.

Last year I offered to write an original song for anyone who donated $100 or more to my Kickstarter project.  A lot has happened since completing that goal and so I’ve sadly been behind completing all the rewards.  I’m all caught up now except for the songs I owe to some very special people.

Today I’m writing my newest song – She Gives Me Light.  I wrote this song for a really good friend, Spencer Oscarson, who has been a huge supporter and fan of my music for a very long time.  At one point he came with my band Upstanding Youth on tour in 2007 and helped out in so many ways...