My first album in over 20 years is nearly finished and as much as I hate asking (for anything), I would appreciate your support for this project (PLEASE check out the Kickstarter campaign for this solo record entitled “Oxygen.” 21 days left! There’s a video that explains everything…). It was a bit strange to be, once again, a musician in identity and so I thought it apt to write this post. It’s about music, creativity, and passion, and…sometimes how necessary it is to do things you don’t want to do (like ask for help) when doing so is the right thing to do for you on multiple levels.
I imagine most of you know, but music has been a big part of my life for most of my life. At times it was just about the biggest part, and at other times, about which I will write in this post, it was relegated to a rather surprisingly tiny part.
After years of being a full-time singer/songwriter/indie musician in Los Angeles and eventually being burnt out by years of being a full time musician in Los Angeles, my wife and I with our then 19 month old daughter, moved out of LA to a small northern California town. Almost immediately I put my guitar in its case (both literally and figuratively) and barely looked at it for quite a long while.
Toward the end of my LA/musician stint I had almost entirely stopped loving songwriting and performing in the way I had in the beginning and throughout most of my career. Music had become something I had to do, was supposed to do, just reflexively who I was. Within a few years of arriving in our new location I began writing books and working as a nutritionist/health coach/small steps coach as it is also very much a pursuit I am passionate about. But music was always there. Always lingering in the background. I’d see my guitar case in the corner of my studio and could almost hear it:“I’m still part of you,” it’d say, “eventually you’re gonna get me out of here and play me.”
We recorded the last Sid Hillman Quartet record in 2005 (check out this documentary on the band) , moved out of LA in 2006, and it was not until 2018 that I began to write/play music again in any substantial way. And I did start writing…and writing…and eventually found myself with an album’s worth of material.
And so with a co-producer and Quartet drummer, Mike Taklender, over the last year I have recorded and mixed an album at a great studio in Los Angeles. Back in LA again, back in a studio again, but this time with the passion and love that had almost disappeared for a spell.
Moral of this post is…never let the things you love and/or are passionate about leave you. Our lives take turns – some we make by choice, some happen to us – and that means we cannot always do everything we want to do when we want to do it. But every now and then, if and when you can steal a moment of quiet, ask yourself if it’s the right time to bring a passion back into your life. The answer may be “no” on that day and that time. But continue to ask from time to time. Trust me, the answer will eventually be “yes.”