My fourth album, Nowhere Nights
, will be released February 16 on Red River Records
. If I seem more personally invested in this album, that's because it is a far more personal record than I have ever made, than I ever thought I would make.
Ten years ago, I moved from Portland, Oregon to Bellingham, Washington for what I thought would be four or five years; enough time to go to school, play some music on the side, and move back to Portland. As it happened, I stayed for ten years; enough time to go to school, drop out, drop back in, drop out again, play music full-time, find and lose my way a dozen times and, ultimately, set fire to nearly every bridge I had built in ten years. To say my departure from Bellingham was an emotionally taxing time for me would be a colossal understatement, however, it was not something I ever intended to make a record about - it seemed too personal.
The songs started as writing exercises; part personal catharsis, part daily reminder that writers write. They became, over the course of time, a collection of songs that dealt with the path I cut from Bellingham back to Portland and the wreckage I left behind. An hour's worth of me staring into a mirror without blinking.
As the songs progressed, I began to come to terms with the fact that these were things I wanted and needed to say out loud, to anyone who would listen. So my band holed up with Eric Ambel
at Jackpot! Studios in Portland and we put it all on tape. Come February 16, we'll see if anyone's listening.
There is one song on Nowhere Nights that doesn't deal at all with my life, "I Was A Photograph." That song is written for, and about, Lance Cpl. James Blake Miller, who served in Iraq and now suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Like most, I became aware of Blake when I saw his photograph on the front page of nearly every newspaper in America in 2001, under the nickname, "The Marlboro Marine." However, it was upon reading Jenny Eliscu's Rolling Stone piece
that I became aware of Blake's story, and his struggle, and felt immediately compelled to write about it. If people hear no other song from Nowhere Nights, I hope they find their way to "I Was A Photograph," and to Blake, because his is a story worth hearing, and worth sharing.
I've posted links to a couple of tunes from Nowhere Nights below, and I'll be on tour behind the record all year. I hope I'll see you out there.
I Was A Photograph MP3