Speak to Me and I will listen…

Live at the New York Marathon 2000One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got was from film composer Christopher Young, creator of the music score for Spiderman 3, Hellraiser and many other films. I had just moved to Los Angeles and was telling him that I was nervous because I have a habit for east-coast sarcasm that might be taken wrong sometimes in Hollywood circles. Chris said something that was so general but so poignant that it has never left me. He said, “I think the successful people are always asking themselves what am I doing wrong that I need to minimize and what am I doing right that I need to do more of”. He likened it to his own habit of picking apart his own music in front of the client.

I’ve carried that piece of wisdom with me and referred to it many times. What he was talking about, what many film composers have talked about using different words, is problem solving. None of us get into what we’re doing without obstacles or the feeling like we don’t have enough money or good looks or we’re not in the right location or outgoing enough to succeed at what we’re trying to do. But every problem presents us with choices, whether to push through, change our direction, take a different path, reverse course, change the rules or ignore the rules.

In 2013 I was faced with a dilemma. I was writing new songs, some of the best songs that I had ever written. I wanted to record and release a new album but I wanted to do it from a very different angle. I really felt the songs were written from a place of giving, and I wanted to find a way to include that spirit of connectivity and involvement in the album. In March 2013 I began laying out my plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to fan-fund my new album This Box Makes Noise. The Kickstarter succeeded in September and the album was released in May.

Many positive effects came from that campaign, of course raising the dollars allowed me to musicians, studio, producer, but more than anything it gave me a starting point for reaching out for help and support from other people. So many people showed generosity and support to me, financially but also with help promoting the album and moral support and positivity. Generosity is what inspires me, and the idea of music as a shared experience.

The album led to a tour, which gave me the chance to visit radio stations and perform songs from deep in my catalog. One song that got some great feedback after I performed it live on the WOCM in Ocean City MD was The Next Seattle. As a thank you for being one of my subscribers I want to give that live recording to you for free – no strings attached.

Download The Next Seattle here.

If you like the track you might also consider checking out This Box Makes Noise. It’s my latest album and it’s full of Americana Folk-Rock tunes that I like to think you will really appreciate 🙂

Talk soon,

Joe

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