Giving THANKS in a time of ANGST!
Greetings to my N1M subscribers and friends! As I write this, we are approaching the intense holiday season that includes both Thanksgiving and Christmas. And while things are superficially going "forward" in that holiday manner, many of us are encountering understaffed restaurants and stores, crazed debates over masking and vaccinations, and an uncommon level of intensity regarding health and economic matters. Unrest is the order of the day, wouldn't most of you agree? And yet, the arts are still there to soothe us and affirm our values, and friends (and hopefully family) are there to connect and bond with. From both those things, I take my inspiration and find ways to keep going. And I love to write and record songs as much as ever before.
My forthcoming album, "KEVIN-ish", has proceeded in fits and starts, with the schedules of both participants and the engineers influencing the rate of things. Some of you have already heard finished tracks that will be on this disc such as "Something From Your Heart" and "Beer and Wine," but I'm pleased to post a brand-new mix for a song called "Broken Joe and Broken Jane." This is mixed but not mastered, so I am only making it available for streaming for a few weeks. Many of you have been clamoring for new stuff from me, so I hope this will whet your appetite for what is to come. The "Broken Joe" song is a collaboration between me and New York poet/photographer Ami Wilber-Mosher. Ami and I seem to have a mutual interest in the plight of the downtrodden and the intense struggles that life imposes on many people. Her little tale of two troubled souls who miraculously find love and solace with each other, touched me deeply, and I suggested we make a song together out of the poem. At last the results are here, and I am very pleased. Jacob Detering at Red Pill Studio engineered the session, and some nice harmony vocals are provided by rising St. Louis singer/songwriter Caroline Steinkamp. I'd be very interested to have some of you drop me a note to let me know what you think of this track and the theme it embodies. EMPATHY is at the heart of most of my music, and this song certainly aims to illustrate that concept.
What else is going on? Well, November 12th was Neil Young's birthday...many of you know that Neil was a huge influence on my music and life, and one of my bands is actually a Neil Young tribute group called "Shakey Deal." We will open for the Bob Dylan tribute band Hard Rain, led by my buddy Michael Twente, on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 pm here in St. Louis at the Sky Music Lounge, a supercool and classy venue. It would thrill me to see any of my N1M subscribers at this show, however unlikely! I am working hard at organizing my music and my song publishing concerns...I am nearing the milestone of 300 original songs, which constitutes a "catalogue" in most respects. However, only a third of those songs exist in some recorded form at present, so I have my work cut out for me. i still truly believe that many of my very best songs are things no one has yet heard. I hope to remedy that in the next few years. I'll say this, though, there is NEVER a shortage of things to write about. My preferred themes such as loneliness, societal distress, the ups and downs of love, dealing with one's past, friendship, loss and the passing of time...are all more relevant and omnipresent than ever. My problem is never WHAT to say about things; it's more a matter of finding TIME, and being organized. That can be hard in the age of Covid, and apparent non-stop divisions in our country and the world. But music can be a unifying and affirming force; I've seen it over and over again. And I believe in what I'm doing. It heartens me that many of you also seem to support me; I appreciate your notes so much. Keep it up! I will likely post another new song in January, and then this thingamabob I am trying to shape into an album should "bloom" by early spring. That's my plan. But ha...SPRING is a ways off. We are having autumnal moments at present, and a cold winter still awaits us. As that comes about, may you all stay healthy, engaged in the compelling activities of this thing called life, and warmly connected to your loved ones. Happy Holidays, my fans and friends, and may surprising and welcome gifts always be just around the corner for you, just as my song "The Box it Comes In" states!