I’m not writing this to impress you. I won’t tell you stories of my conquests and adventures - fueled by an open bar - at the laundry list of hip, summertime festivals from sea to shining sea. I can’t cite articles listing me as “The Top ≥1 Band(s) to See at This Years SXSW/CMJ/CMW/AmericanaFest/etc”. You won’t find any Instagram photos of me sitting-in with the headliner on the encore of a sold-out, moved-to-a-larger-venue, rock n’ roll show - singing some old tune we all already know at the top of my lungs, arms-over-sweaty-shoulders, six-to-a-mic, with enough in-vogue personnel (armed to the teeth with tambourines and unplugged electric guitars) on stage to sink it. There aren’t any acoustic Manhattan-highrise videos of my tunes at some label/magazine/publishing house/blog/PR firm accompanied with B-roll shots of me, wind-strewn hair, moodily smoking a cigarette on the roof of said building; nor are there any such videos set in LA. I can’t tell you about these things because they simply haven’t happened.

But it's okay, let's get to know one another.

I won’t bore you with the history of my exploits as a member of forgotten bands, or as a side man, or the number of times I’ve been welcomed to the stage as “a special guest” or as “our good friend” on this, that, or the other instrument (re: Apache Relay, Ray Price, Gill Landry, Jenny Lewis, The Devil Makes Three, The Weeks, The Flea Marketeers, JP Harris and the Tough Choices, The Wild Feathers, Chance McCoy of Old Crow Medicine Show, G. Love, Brent Cobb, Mumford and Sons, raLand baxter, Desert Noises, etc). And as any halfway educated individual can surmise, I find myself in this position (that of the 21st Century troubadour) as the result of failed relationship upon failed relationship, both in the workplace and in my personal life. But that’s all in the past. What’s done is done.

“If we’re always looking in the rear view mirror, we’ll only see where we’ve been and not where we’re going,” said someone famous once, or something to that effect.

Take a moment and reflect on performing Johann Sebastian Bach’s Ciaccona from his Violin Partita #2 in D Minor, BMV 1004. If we stay fixated on the opening harmony, we’ll never fully appreciate the uplifting and glorious Bb Maj (bVI6) chord (let alone the sublime parallel major section, bars 133 through 208) found on beat two of m. 209 that starts the piece’s grand finale. That inspired bit of chromatic-mediant-relationship harmony J.S. tosses in would go completely unnoticed and over-shadowed if we focus only on that initial, ominous D minor harmony that got us started. Hear the harmony that’s happening, not that which has already happened. And if our ears wander at all, let them wander to the unknown and exciting future, not to the familiar and hackneyed past.

So, come one and come all! Fear not missing accolades or assurances, given willy-nilly by the pillars of cultural awareness - those safety-bumpers of trendy society that indicate who is and who is not worthwhile. Let’s embark on this great American adventure together, like Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer (minus the racism), down the mighty Mississippi, through the hills and valleys and caverns and beaches together! Pioneers, all!

Don’t let [Pitchfork] interfere with your [love for music]. -Mark Twain