Another Man's Treasure

Saturday, June 21, 2008

After Kerrville and Swiftsure

So, it's been quite some time since I blogged. A lot has happened since my last post. I've moved to Des Moines, released a new album, and was chosen for and participated as a New Folk Finalist at Kerrville Folk Festival.

Kerrville Folk Festival was amazing. There is so much talent and energy located in that one place for over two weeks! I was swimming with excitement, humility and appreciation. Although I was not chosen as one of the winners, the response I received was very positive and I look forward to next year.

If you haven't heard yet, I've released a home-produced album called "Swiftsure". I'm proud of this album, mainly because it's some tracks I've cut from other albums and they are standing out now in their own weird way. Some new songs surprised me by working well with some older, forgotten songs. "Swiftsure" should be up on soon, so keep checking. If you want a sample of the new tunes I have a few posted on my myspace page.

As always, I continue to play shows in random locations at random times. Someday I'll be touring regularly, but right now I am just concentrating on writing new songs and tinkering on the home recording. I am anxious to release my next album, "Redemption Man". I am compiling songs for it and thinking of production ideas still. I have many good feelings about this album. I can't wait to share it with you.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Red Earth, Blue Sky, White Clouds

Fisher Towers
Originally uploaded by wadetibb.

It's been several days and many miles on the trip.
So far I have:
Played an open mic in Boulder and met some really cool people who covered Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan tunes...and offered to throw a concert in their California town if I make it through. I might be taking them up on the offer!

Saw a wonderful film in Denver that was directed by Sean Penn, called "Into the Wild" . It is based on the true life story of Chris McCandless, a young man who abandons his priveledged life to seek out his own authentic path in the wilds of Alaska. It is quite a tragic story, but very beautiful as well.

Camped at the White River National Forest in a snowstorm, while a snarling wild animal outside was wreaking havoc on my Toyota!

Now I am in Moab, UT about to walk into Arches National Park . I might be here for a couple days, and then move on to the Grand Canyon. We'll see.

I am so happy right now, surrounded by red earth, blue skies, and white clouds.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Embarking on a Journey

I was pulling out Lamoni, IA, after dropping my 9 year old son off at school, when I decided that my trip West this next month was to be on highways, not interstates. I felt my ancestors smile on me the moment I pulled back from the on-ramp and followed Hwy. 169 south. Evidence of this ancestral approval came to me in the form of a"Mayflower" emblem on the back of a slow moving semi trailer. For the first few miles I sat in my Toyota staring at this symbol. Pilgrims and pioneers are littered amidst the branches of my family tree. The most notable character being William Bradford, governor of Plymouth colony and overseer of the Mayflower voyage.
"Take a deep breath and slow down before you begin," I said to myself.
This was not meant to be a Colorado trip...but a slow entrance into myself again.

I traveled the first day across the Northwest tip of Missouri, the path I meant to take on foot 6 years ago, but failed gloriously (a story I won't go into right now, but inspired the song "Her" on my Bowl of Stars CD).
I headed West across Kansas, meandering through small towns and buzzed into increasingly unoccupied fields and vast open plains.
For years, I have studied this region on the U.S. Map, intrigued by the names of the towns and rivers. Names like Bird City, St. Francis, Alma (my grandfather's name), Wolf Creek, all brought about a certain indescribable calling in me like a train whistle at night, or a drum being steadily beat around a fire. This interest was first sparked by my grandma's stories of growing up in Wray, CO during the Dust Bowl era. She also shared with me the accounts of her father going across the dusty plains on a covered wagon, digging wells in the Colorado soil.
I drove throught these towns smiling at the irony of such names given to such ordinary and uninspiring towns. I questioned my own interpretations of the names, and my interpretations of the communities. I was the outsider, and could not understand the nuances of these places unless I stay put for awhile. I moved on into an immense western sunset.

So, now, here I sit on the second day of my trip in Wray, CO searching for any remnants of my heritage in this Colorado town. I remain open on this slow journey and the train lumbers through town...about to the head further west, into the Rockies.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Iron John (Elevator Recordings)

Micah Hammac and I just spent an evening recording in the old freight elevator at Shaky Tree Coffee. The acoustics proved to be a challenge, but for a straight up live recording it worked fine.
The songs we're collaborating on are for Iron John, a new group we're forming. More to follow on that, but please check out our video of a Townes Van Zandt song "Highway Kind".

Monday, August 20, 2007

Main St. Market

Main St. Market
Originally uploaded by TreeBed.

This picture is from far away, but the experience of playing with Buddy Mondlock was too great NOT to write about. Here he is at Spencer Main Street Market (he's the guy in the blue shirt with a guitar).

For those of you who don't know Buddy's music, you must check him out. His songs have been covered by Peter, Paul and Mary, David Wilcox, Janis Ian, Nanci Griffith, among others. He has co-written songs with Guy Clark and Art Garfunkel. He is a writer's writer for sure.

I think I learned more from Buddy's humble and grateful presence than anything. I mean, here's this guy who has been writing and singing with the best of them for years and he took the time to ask me about my music, and swap CD's with me. His songs speak for themselves (check out "The Kid" and "I Count You My Friend")....but his presence was inspiring, and it is after experiences like this one, where I realize that I, too, am blessed to be connecting with the best in the business.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Random Scenarios of a Folk Singer

Lately I've been singing in random scenarios. Most singer/songwriters I know are out there trying to make a name for themselves by running around the country,
sending press kits, wheelin' and dealin' for their music career,
while forgetting to live the songs.

What have I been up to in music you may ask?

Well....I'm singing old Civil War tunes with my banjo on Historical Museum lawns.
I am assisting in hosting Songwriter Circles, Open Mic nights at our local coffeehouse.
I'm playing songs about my old hometown while being in my old hometown...
a strange feeling.
I'm trying to play fiddle to other's music while listening friends are cringing,
but still nodding supportingly!

I'm singing in Free Folk Concerts where folk artists gather to share songs,
so a community can embrace folk music on a larger scale.

I'm making up prayer songs with my son at night and singing them in such a harmony
that only blood can create.

Random is what I do best, and finding "flow" in the midst of turning events is also what I seem to have a knack for. There's no sense in making a name for myself...I can only BE myself. Let everything else come out in the wash.
Ramblin' on...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

I'm Memphis bound

Originally uploaded by chadaelliott.

I'm leaving tomorrow to start my trek down to Memphis for the International Folk Alliance Conference. I have been very excited to make this trip. It will be four days of wonderul music, songwriters, music industry folks, and simply warmer weather!
I have had quite the week. My vehicle has seen better days. I named my 87 Toyota Corolla "Fermina" after a female character in the beautiful novel, Love in the Time of Cholera....because she was a symbol of everlasting love. Everlasting being the key word there. However, she will not be bringing me on this journey. She will rest up for any Spring excursions I might be planning. I am renting a car this time.
I look forward to music most. There is such an extensive list of performers attending that I admire that I can't even begin to list them. If you are interested...check out the site yourself.
If my rental fails me...I will make it on foot. I'm determined...

Playing at the Shaky Tree

Originally uploaded by TreeBed.

I've been blessed to be a part of a community-based music project in the form of a coffeehouse. At least that's how I see it. As an independent folksinger/songwriter, I am always looking for ways to connect people through music and song. The town of Spencer, Iowa has always been good to me as an artist and as a folk musician. As a co-creator, I see my part of Shaky Tree Coffee as just one small way to give back to the community I love. It serves as a venue for other aspiring songwriters and hopefully fills a need in our little town. Yes, one need is good coffee...but a more important need is a gathering place for peace, love, and support.
Thank you, Spencer.