New EP Campfire Extraordinary streaming everywhere on July 16th!  

artwork by Jake Manders

My new EP Campfire Extraordinary will be streaming on all major platforms Tuesday July 16th! It is a collection of six cover songs played mostly solo acoustic. I wanted to get some documentation of the cover songs that I do in my live sets. So I set up the mics in the dining room one night and played through a bunch of songs that I play regularly. When I listened back I was pleasantly surprised at what I heard and thought it might be nice to release some of them. I did two more sessions after that and picked what I felt were a group of songs that sat well together. The songs also tell a lot about my musical personality and influences.  

Paranoid. The opening song by Black Sabbath is one of the first songs I ever attempted to play on the guitar when I started at age 13. I always loved this vocal melody and the despairing lyric.

After The Gold Rush. Neil Young is probably my greatest musical influence and this is one of his very best songs. Usually played by Neil on the piano. The second verse contains the greatest lyrics I have ever heard.

A Face In The Crowd. This is one of the songs that made me a Tom Petty fan. Very haunting, but completely relatable. I added some chord voicings on the guitar that use the notes from the instrumental melody and hopefully add to the melancholy vibe song.

Little Lies. I didn't realize this was Fleetwood Mac when I heard it on the radio as a kid. I thought it was a newer 80's band because of the, at the time, modern synthesizer sounds. Christie Mcvie wrote incredible songs that can stand up in any environment. With just an acoustic guitar and a rough voice, this song still sings.

Angeles. This is the kind of song that can actually seduce you. Elliot Smith could just pull the listener into another world with enticingly sad songs. I tried to emulate his flamenco-like finger style guitar playing but could never get it. So, I instead used a country blues finger picking pattern with alternating bass notes played with the thumb.

Dancing In The Dark. I know this one has been covered by everybody and their cousin but it's hard to resist. Bruce Springsteen's songs are very challenging to sing for me because he changes the phrasing of each line to accommodate the lyrics. He could sing the same melody with three words, or thirteen words. It's like he reinvents the song with each line. Masterful. That's why they call him the Boss.

 

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