October 17, 2023

I released a new album this year called "October". It is not up for Grammy consideration. I don't know how those things happen. 

"October" was fully and independently released by me. I'm no longer on any record label. I was packing up and mailing out promo copies all over the world to press and radio. There were folks that helped me along the way like Tracy supporting everything I do. When I booked the studio time at Hansa in Berlin, my Mom paid for that studio time, she said it was a birthday present but really it was more than that. I have Patreon's that keep me going and co-writers and all the folks that let me sleep in their spare rooms and couches across the world. And PR in Europe with Peter Holmstedt. 

There's so much timing involved. Right before the pandemic I had 20 or so contracts for placing music in different tv shows and productions and then all of them shut down. I'm not egocentric enough to think that I'm the only one that this happened to - I know it happened to tons of folks working in the industry, my point is that something always feels just around the corner and then it's just...not.

Would I like a Grammy? Of course. Would I like a Grammy nomination? Yeah, that sounds great but I don't see it happening.
A lot of my favorite music never won any Grammy awards. The best thing one can say about the Grammys and being nominated and all that is that there is a sort of validation that goes with it. Many people will listen to music based on what wins and that's good. What's weird is how so many people need something, some piece of art to be validated by awards before they will check it out or agree that it is good. It's been proven time and again that most people do not trust their own tastes until someone else validates them.

When the song "Falling Slowly" from the movie 'Once' won best song at the Oscars in 2008 it felt amazing to watch a journeyman performer, songwriter, street busker Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová take that statue home. It opened up a new world for them. But anyone with two ears could tell that song was an incredible piece of songwriting and deserved to be a hit when it was released in 2006. Glen was 38 years old when this success hit for him, a has-been by most music biz standards.

What's my point? I don't know. It's just hard to be in the music business and try to keep your head up. I've had a good run this past year with "October", it's gotten great reviews from American Songwriter to The Alternate Root to the UK, Ireland, Germany, Italy and radio play across the world. But I can't compete with big budgets. All I have are my songs. 

The brilliance of the time we live in is that it is a level playing field for musicians. We can all release music to the world. My "competition" is no longer just local musicians, my competition for ears, streams and likes is U2, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran. Is it the difference between equality and equity? I don't know but I don't for one second begrudge anyone else their success. 

No one is owed a career in the arts. No one is owed monetary success. I'm certainly not owed anything. 

I also know that I'm at a level of musician that many aspire to. When it's where you are though, all you can see is the next level above where you are. 

Recently I saw someone read from their poetry book, it was from the third volume of poems he had published about Halloween. This dude figured out what he loved and he honed in on it. There was that moment at first of "he wrote three volumes of poetry about Halloween????" But that slowly turned into "He wrote three volumes of poetry about Halloween!!!" There is a niche out there and an audience for just about everything and that's what is absolutely beautiful about art in the modern world right now. 

Currently I'm trying to find my next level.

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