Archive | April, 2014

Q and A

16 Apr

For this blog entry, I asked you–the fan– to do a Q and A with me.  I thought it’d be nice to answer some questions from the listeners (plus I’m short on new stories right now) and here’s what you all came up with.  Truthfully, some were hard to answer.  I thought people were going to ask me easy questions like, “How have you managed to stay sooooo good-looking for so long?” (it’s a gift from God) or “How come you’re soooo talented?” (same answer as before).

Nonetheless, thanks for the questions!  I’m sure we’ll do this Q and A again soon!

What was the hardest song to write?

The hardest song I ever tried to write would be a rap song.  I just don’t have mad flow or a good rapper name.  But seriously, 90% of the songs I write have some degree of difficult moments to navigate through. There is that 10% of songs that kind of fall in my lap and I write in one sitting, but they are rare.  Sometimes a verse doesn’t work or a chorus isn’t catchy enough.  Sometimes I’ll have a song idea and end up scrapping the whole thing and going in an entirely different directions.  But there are some ideas I have that just hang around until they actually find their place in a song.

An example of that is my song “The Problem” from “Listen Closely”.  The chorus to that song—which is “I want it, I need it, I’d steal for it to feed it….just to have it and hold it….it’s all that I think about”—has been bouncing around in my head for nearly 8 years before I finally use it in that song.  Some song ideas just need time to marinate!

What is your favorite original song to sing?

I don’t have a favorite song.  When people are deciding on which CD to buy at my shows, they ask me “which one of them is your favorite?” And my answer is always, “That’s like trying to pick between my kids.”

I guess it’s the same with my songs.  I can say this, I really like playing the new songs I’ve written, because they’re still fresh to me.  It’s exciting to see how they play out for the first few performances in front of a live audience.

What song (if any) are you sick of singing?

I don’t get sick of singing any songs on my list, because they’re on my list for a reason—I enjoy playing them.  If you’ve been to my shows, you know I have a list of covers song and original songs that people are allowed to make requests from.

However, there are songs that people can request at the wrong time.  There are instances I’m playing a show in front of an energetic crowd, wanting to hear upbeat, fun songs and someone comes along, requesting a bunch of slow, downer songs from my list.  Sometimes what you want to hear is not what the audience wants to hear.

But I can say I’m never excited when someone requests “Brown-Eye Girl” or “Sweet Home Alabama”. 

When are you going to put a show on in Sedalia?

That’s a great question!  For those who don’t know, I spend most of my childhood growing up in a town called Sedalia, Missouri before I moved to Kansas City.  I would love to play a show on my old stomping grounds! But when?  That might be a little more difficult.  That might take someone in Sedalia helping make that happen.

Do you have one favorite all-time singer?

Okay, I don’t have a favorite song, I don’t have a least favorite song and I don’t have a favorite singer.  Wow!  I’m not very good at answering simple questions.  So here’s a list of people off the top of my head who have given me chills at some point in my life.

Eddie Veddar, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Tori Amos, Maynard James Keenan, Tracy Chapman, Ray LaMontagne, Fiona Apple, John Mayer, Marcus Mumford, Trent Reznor…..

I’m sure there’s more, but those are off the top of my head.

Which song are you most proud of, out of them all, and why?

The songs I’m most proud of are the ones I’ve written about my kids.  The best part of what I do is this little legacy I’m leaving behind.  Someday I’ll kick the bucket, people will forget I ever existed, but these songs (I hope) will be passed on through my kids’ lives.  I can think of nothing better than my grown-up son and daughter playing my songs for their children one day.

When you write your songs, about how long do they take on average? Lyrics or tune first?

They can take 10 minutes or 10 years, depending on how many roadblock my mind wants to setup while I’m working through it.  I always start with the music first, then come up with lyrics.  Without sounding like a hippy, I try to let the music tell me what the song might be about.

What’s your inspiration to Sunshine Girl? Football or baseball? Beach or mountains?

It’s about the one and only, Shelby Wood—my daughter.  We called her Sunshine Girl when she was a baby.  I prefer watching football, but liked playing baseball better and I love the beach and the mountains equally (but probably the beach, because it’s warm)

So there you have it!  Next round of Q and A, I would appreciate some softball questions like, “How can I model my life more like yours?” (answer: you can’t… question)