2017: Year of Reckoning
These last 12 months have been a creative year of reckoning. A year ago this month I finally released Borrowed Trouble, which had been recorded in 2012, and stuck in limbo for nearly 5 years. The album takes many of the musical and lyrical themes of my earlier solo work a little further, utilizing a room full of seriously top-notch Nashville musicians, including a horn section and strings – arranged by Mike Leech whose credits include Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield, Dobie Gray, and Merle Haggard. Also in December, I released Solar Twin‘s 2nd single, Black Sky Revisited – which was a way of clueing people into the new sounds I was working on while at about the halfway point of recording the debut Solar Twin album. In May of 2017, I released the 3rd Solar Twin single, The Big Sleep, to coincide with the airing of Seattle’s KOMO News documentary The Demon at the Door, directed by Eric Johnson of which I composed the instrumental score. The Big Sleep was featured in the closing credits of the film. In June, the Damaged Goods album was released, which features all 11 single-a-month songs that I released in 2015, along with 3 previously unreleased songs including the title track which was recorded at the same time as The Big Sleep. In October, after nearly two years working on Solar Twin’s debut album, I released Pink Noise. To me, this is one of my proudest achievements as an artist. It not only feels like a giant step forward creatively, but it really feels like the culmination of my lifelong exploration of music. To close this “year of reckoning” out, I resurrected my old Seattle project Dolour for the first time in a decade, with a pairing of new original Christmas songs, All Winter Long. The title-track was something I had started writing back in the Suburbiac/New Old Friends days, but recently returned to and finished. And Christmas With My Baby was written around Christmastime last year, and felt more like a Dolour song than anything I’d written in a decade, and that really led to the single coming out as a Dolour release. And to make it a proper Dolour release, I was so happy to get Jason Holstrom on ukulele on the song! He was a huge part of the New Old Friends and Years and the Wilderness albums, as well as having a hand in Suburbiac and the Traveling Mercies albums. It’s too early to tell if Dolour will become an active project again, but I do have plans for some archival releases in the coming year, as there is still so much unreleased Dolour music in the vaults. My music is my spiritual journey, and it means so much to me to connect with other people through my music. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this journey with me. This music is how I relate to the world and make sense of life, and if it brings you joy or helps you in any way through your journey – that makes my heart happy.