Hello 2011!

[caption id="attachment_1009" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN on 12/10/10."][/caption] 2010 ended with a bang! On December 10th we had a blast playing the Student Nursing Association's Christmas Party at Cumberland University in Lebanon, TN. We dusted off "Run Rudolph Run", "O Holy Night" and "Joy To The World" for the occasion and had the most jolly time. For New Years I met up with my buddy, Dave Lowenthal, in NYC; Times Square is now off the bucket list! Dave rocks the bass on a few tracks of my album and plays in a groovin' soul band by the name of OTiS; definitely check dem out!

This past week I had the chance to see CAKE at the Ryman Auditorium. They are one of the few bands from my teens that I still can dig into. Their new album, Showroom of Compassion, is pretty darn good. With each album they tend to lean harder on synthesizers, but the crunchy guitar licks, riffing p-bass and mariachi trumpet lines always hold the music firmly planted in reality. The best part of it all may be the way John McCrea's sarcastic and almost self-mocking lyrics convey serious messages within the context of party/novelty songs.

[caption id="attachment_1013" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="My CAKE BOSS impersonation!"][/caption]

Over the years I've also become more aware of the country influence in their songs ("Stick-shifts & Safety Belts" & "Mexico") and the numerous classic country tunes they've covered; "Sad Songs & Waltzes", "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town", "Multiply The Heartache", and "Excuse Me, I Think I've Got a Heartache". I found it interesting that McCrea spoke of Hank Williams as an early influence in this 2004 NPR interview. Who knew that CAKE and the Ryman were the perfect match?!

Musically, 2011 is shaping up to be a good one. Next week we'll be in Bowling Green, KY playing with friends Willie 3rd Street and Justin Kalk Orchestra. Look for more music and dates soon, Happy New Year!