Dec 17, 2012
Check out our song, "1 Corinthians 2:1-2" that we recorded alongside our friends The Verses Project. The Verses Project is a group of worship leaders out of Oklahoma City that started bringing scripture to music and art to give believers another avenue to fully immerse themselves in God's Word and help them memorize passages. My friend, Zach McNair told me about the project a few months ago and I was very interested. I got in contact with Joel and Ryan soon after and began the process of choosing the available verses and putting that scripture to lyrics and music.
Though it may not seem difficult at first glance, putting 2 verses word for word to music can be.. well.. hard.. I mainly had to just speak out each phrase until I felt I could hear a melodic direction to them and then wrote the melody and rhythm of the verses only by voice. Once I had a general landscape of a melody I sat down with my guitar and added in the chord structure around that. All in all, it was a blast to work on and I had a great time doing it. After emailing Joel and Ryan and bouncing a few thoughts off of each other, the basic structure of the song felt secure and we booked a day in November at Red Tree Studios in Magnolia, TX with our friend Michael Razmandi and recorded the song. Also! Neil and his soon to be brother in law Will, actually designed the artwork for the project. We think everything turned out great and we're excited for others to not only see and hear what we've put together but for the song and artwork to be used as an effective tool to help you and others memorize this verse.
Check out the song and artwork HERE.
Aug 20, 2012
Jul 12, 2011
We just got back home from a run of shows in the Midwest. Because our bass player Neil is out of the country doing some mission work this month, we invited our good friend Jacob along to fill in for the shows. Jacob plays bass in a fantastic band called the Lonely Hunter.
Check out their Self titled EP HERE for free!
I wanted to post a video of Andrew and I playing an acoustic version of Talk About It at a house show in Kansas City, MO w/ another of our friends Aaron Hale. Check out his music too at: www.aaronhalemusic.com
Our last show was in Bushnell, IL at Cornerstone Festival. This is the first festival we've gotten to play at and needless to say, we loved it!
Until Next Time..
Jun 7, 2011
Mar 28, 2011
A few months ago, Gatlin was able to head over to London to play a string of acoustic shows for the purpose of scouting out the music scene. With an understanding of what it would take to get a few shows full band in England, he came back, met with us then we started toying around with the idea. Pretty soon, we came to the conclusion that this idea would really just take some hard work, a lot of planning, a few bucks, pseudo connections, and time (off). It basically meant we had to plan for a week and shoot for it.
Thats kind of the extent of the initiation process. Having been there multiple times, Gatlin kind of spearheaded the booking process. After several shows booked we realized we could do a few more and basically fill our whole week…. so we did! 5 shows later, we had our first out of the country and nearly first out of Texas experience planned. With a few close calls on getting into Europe, from me (Neil) and almost losing my guitar on another flight.. it went seamless.
We shared the stage with some stunning artists. One show (at the Troubadour) we played with a few other bands. In particular - Tom Williams and the Boat. We highly recommend getting their album Too Slow. Its fantastic.
From the people we met, to the venues we played, to the castles we saw, to the ales we drank, London is a place we greatly look forward to returning to.
I took the camera and did a little documentation along the way. Here is a video I compiled from the trip, along with some images of the week. Now - all the photos of us playing live and all the footage of us playing live are from our good/new friend Mamun. SUCH a talented photographer we were blessed to cross paths with. Please check his stuff out - m24instudio.
Oh yeah! Gatlin and Blake got engaged while we were there. Big congrats to an awesome couple.
Feb 24, 2011
During our acoustic run in London last November we would walk by this fantastically haunting, yet beautiful cemetery near where we were staying. Every morning we would walk slower and slower by it's entrance and just kind of daze at the mid 19th century cement and marble gravestones surrounded by these beautiful trees, grass and leaves. Luckily we had Blake's 5D with us on the trip, as well as Neil's Zoom H4n audio recorder. So we chose to stop by the graveyard and record a song one morning, after being stopped by the grounds keeper and almost chased off by some large cat sized squirrels this is what we came out of the "grave" with..
I chose to play a song that I wrote while we were recording that didn't go on Carry Me Home but a recorded version will definitely end up on an album or this journal in the future.
Dec 30, 2010
This year was a great year and to make it even better I enjoyed some spectacular music. This is a list of my favorite albums (and song from those albums) this year. Some of these albums are from 2008-2009 so please don't be mad. Sometimes it takes a while to get into certain albums.. or even buy them! Anyways, all of these albums got some serious spin time on my hard drives, cd player, and record player.
Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More - White Blank Page*
Phoenix - Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix - 1901*
The Swell Season - Strict Joy - High Horses*
Two Door Cinema Club - Tourist History - Do You Want It All?*
Sleeping At Last - Storyboards - Naive
Josh Ritter - So Runs The World Away - Rattling Locks*
Paper Route - Absence - Dance On Our Graves*
Snow Patrol - A Hundred Million Suns - The Golden Floor*
The National - High Violet - Conversation 16*
Athlete - Black Swan - Don't Hold Your Breathe*
(I put a little * next to the bands I got to see).
I think what made this year of music even more special for me, is that I got to see 9 of these bands live sets which were all incredible in their own way. Which made from some good stories with some great friends. By far, my favorite performance of the year had to be The Swell Seasons show at Warehouse Live in Houston, TX. Everything about the way that band plays music is stunning. Anyways, I hope you enjoy reading and hopefully listening and eventually buying any of these artists music.
Have a great 2011!
Dec 2, 2010
The other day I was going through some boxes in my closet and found my first Moleskine writing pad and an old folder full of scrap pieces of paper, business cards, envelopes and old homework papers, letters and schedules from high school. Both of which were my primary sources of songwriting from the first year I started writing to probably my first year of college.
I thought it would be fun to find some of the original sheets of paper that the songs from 'The Oceans and The Stars' were written on as well as 'Carry Me Home'.
I flipped through, unfolded and dug around for about 45 minutes and these are a few of the pages I came out with..
I absolutely love the creative process of writing songs on paper. The trial and error of it is really challenging and helpful when you know that the word, phrase or sentence that is scratched out doesn't work and that wrong idea usually ends up inspiring the new idea that replaces it.
Over the past year or so I've actually started to do some of my writing on my computer with a great writing program called Journler, which I recommend you to check out if you are doing any type of writing.. BUT for me the creative process is handicapped when I'm just punching in lyrics to my computer. So I try to start the bulk of my writing on paper and then transfer that over to my computer for records just in case I lose my notebook and to record the actual song idea inside the Journler application.
Nov 23, 2010
The past two days have been an incredibly productive 48 hours. On Saturday, Taco flew in and without letting him rest, we set out to a full day of walking, getting on and off of the tube, filming, planning, and looking right at traffic stops, not left..
If any of you know Taco Romero, you know that this man does not run without coffee, and combining him with severe exhaustion, and even more severe jet-lag minus a Venti Starbucks double shot on ice with seven pumps of classic and 2 extra shots of espresso.. he may begin to go a little haywire. And if there were any way for me to do a blog post chronicling the faces Taco makes when falling asleep sitting and standing I would. But sadly I love Taco enough not to put a picture of him in that vulnerable state on the internets.
Filming the performance videos in the city was incredibly fun and I think they are all going to turn out well. I'll post one of my favorites from the street that EVERYONE has to walk down to get to a large shopping center called Covent Garden.
The past two shows have both been wonderful. The Spice of Life was an open mic I played on Monday night and I played my first "proper gig" in London at the Half Moon Tuesday night.
I'll post a video of the songs I played at The Spice of Life and a street video today and post some of the songs I played at the Half Moon and some pictures of our voyage to Taco's favorite coffee shop in my next post tomorrow.
Nov 22, 2010
Yesterday I got to play my first gig in London at a venue called The Stage Door. It was a great evening filled with some absolutely stunning songwriters and I was honored to be able to play with them.
Blake got some footage from my set! Check it out!
We're having a great time here. Taco flew in this morning and we are heading out to check out the venue for tonight called, The Spice of Life. SUPER EXCITED about this place.
Nov 19, 2010
Well this evening I don't have too much to give you.. We have desperately been working on a performance video we shot last night but due to some issues with audio and video not syncing correctly I can't post a video that is pleasing to your ears or my ego at the moment.. I assure you, as the week goes by this will be fixed and there will be plenty more opportunities for us to post some videos..
Anyways, today we woke up and set out to find the venue that I was going to play at and do a little promotion around the area with some great cards Neil and I made before I left. After a little time searching for King Henry VIII Hotel, (the location of the open mic night for this evening) we found out that the open mic night doesn't actually exist anymore.. I wish we could have captured the look on all of our faces, as well as the puzzled hotel clerk, who I'm sure thought she was being pranked.
We came to find out that the cool open mic night in London, CANADA was still going on but not anywhere close to where we were.. Honestly, who knew there was a London in Canada?
After some time to burn off our frustrations we went ahead and started looking for some other places to play. We sadly didn't find any but we did make some great connections at some fantastic venues for another thing we will be doing in the Spring.
We also made our way to one of the oldest venues in London to see a couple local bands play. One of my favorites was a local act called "Family" - they had a great unique sound, in the likes of Fanfarlo, The Freelance Whales.. Great music!
Here are some pictures Blake took of the day.
Love and Greets
Well hello there! Our first day in London went very well! Our plane flew in around 9AM London Time (3AM Texas Time) and we basically spent most of the day trying to adjust ourselves to the time change and stay awake. I'm sure if there weren't so many movie choices on the plane I might have gotten some good sleep.. :)
We ran straight to the tube as fast as we could from the airport after getting a serious interrogation from the immigration officer there.. one word of advise for any musicians wanting to travel, don't tell the man letting you into his country that you are going to play some gigs and then expect him to believe you aren't getting paid money to do so..
After we drug our luggage from the tube to the place we are staying, we went downtown and ate at a buffet in China town and then walked around the city for a couple of hours before retreating back to our home for the week. We hung out at the apartment for a couple hours, shot some video on the balcony with most of London's commuters in the background and then went and ate some fish & chips at a pub called The Greyhound. Holy crap, those fish & chips were good!
Well, that's all I can write this morning. Today we are headed downtown again. First show is tonight at Tall Poppy Presents.. Really looking forward to it!
We'll post some video's tonight.. or whatever time it is.
Nov 11, 2010
Amongst the regulars at Revolution Bar in College Station, Gatlin showed up with Andrew and I tagging along for support to play two back to back acoustic shows at a songwriters night. The evening opened up with Chad Petty. He played an hour, then Gatlin, then Chad again, and then Gatlin again making the night come to a close a little after 2:00am.
It was nice just being a listener. To the music and also to the folks that paraded that bar, what seemed daily. It's awesome to sit back and watch the reaction to people listening to the music. True, some were there to drink, some were there to socialize, but at some points of evening, everyone was there to listen. That is a great moment. Overall, such a good night. And as Gatlin said - it was some serious practice for the upcoming trip to the U.K.
Such a cool place tucked away in College Station's hipster brother: Bryan. If you are in the area, go check it out… and also check out Chad Petty - that guy plays nearly every night somewhere in the 77840 area.
Enjoy some pictures from the evening:
Nov 8, 2010
Nov 5, 2010
Yesterday we had the pleasure of playing in College Station at possibly one of the best local coffee shops - Mugwalls. Not only was this a great place to play, but we also opened the evening for a screening held by Invisible Children. If you haven't ever checked out what they are about, we encourage you to take a look around their site. It's unreal what goes on outside of our walls.
After the event concluded we headed to go play at Northgate Vintage's First Thursday event held every.... first Thursday of the month. It was great to see old friends there. Due to some time.. and parking constraints, this was a solo concert for Gatlin. Check it: (low light + iphone quality.. please understand.)
Such a cool place. If you are in CS on a thursday, especially a first one, go check out what they have going on there. (On University, above Pita Pit). And if you are too tired, visit our friends at Mugwalls, their coffee is delicious.
Later on, folks.
PS Northgate Vintage now sells our CDs and Vinyls!
Nov 2, 2010
Later this month I will be traveling far across the Atlantic Ocean to play a few acoustic gigs, in and around the great city of London, England. I'm so excited for the crazy opportunity and to get to play the songs from Carry Me Home over there and hopefully build some lasting relationships with the people we encounter there. I will be posting a blog after every day and show with either some photos, video or audio.
(If you have any friends, family or if you are in London it would be great to meet you at one of the shows.)
Here are the shows we have booked so far:
Tall Poppy Presents
The Stage Door Pub
The Half Moon
12 Bar Club
The Electric Acoustic
And I'm almost certain there will be multiple performances outdoors and in the subway stations.. :)
Oct 14, 2010
The guys at The Album Project have really been kind to the band since Carry Me Home released. Gatlin answered some questions The Album Project had about the recording process, the genesis of songs and what else the band plans to do with the album.
Check it all out here!