Click the dropdown menu under "Music" above for pages devoted to specific albums and EPs.
The opportunity to perform this 20-minute set came up suddenly, and thankfully I said "yes" before my nerves got the better of me. Aside from playing a few songs for family and friends (two weddings and a funeral), I haven't performed since The Furious Light tour ended in August 2015. It was a little harder than I expected to jump back into it, but I'm glad I did. If you listen closely enough, I bet you can hear the anxious quiver in my voice and my heart just about beating its way out of my chest. By the end of it, though, I was buoyed by the melody and the goodwill of those cheering me on. My dogs may have snored through it, but this "Quarantine House Concert" got me back behind the microphone with a guitar for the first time in almost half a decade!
LATEST STUDIO ALBUM
For years I’ve been “too rock for folk” and “too folk for rock.” This album embraces both extremes and blends them in a way I’ve never been able to before. This was exactly the record I needed to make--with precisely the people with whom I wanted to make it: my brother Brian (guitars) producing and my friends Brian Yost (drums) and Tara Hanish (cello). We set out to make something that was honest and raw, as well as sonically engaging. It’s the truest, fullest expression of myself I’ve been able to capture so far.
DREAMING OUT LOUD RECORDS
One of the things I’ve had the most fun with over the last few years is populating dreamingoutloudrecords.com. The first “Dreaming Out Loud Records” release was in 2000, a time when burning CD-Rs at home was a luxury. Since then, we've published 40-some albums, EPs, and singles under the following motto:
All music. No business. Always-free-to-download music from a prolific group of friends raised in Northeast Ohio—preserved from the highest quality elements available and presented with supplementary media-rich PDF liner notes filled with images, lyrics, and interviews to enhance listeners' appreciation of the artists' vision.
For a few years Dreaming Out Loud Records was an LLC, but it's morphed into more of "records" in the sense of:
record noun | ˈrekərd | a thing constituting a piece of evidence about the past, especially an account of an act or occurrence kept in writing or some other permanent form.
Or like Ani DiFranco sings in her song, "Fuel":
people used to make records
as in a record of an event
the event of people
playing music in a room
You'll find everything from experimental instrumentals, singer/songwriter acoustic stuff, country, rap, rock, and all-sorts-of crossover genres on the Dreaming Out Loud records website. It all comes from either myself, my family, or my immediate circle of friends. I don't know what they were putting in Rittman's water supply when I was growing up, but we've sure made a whole lot of stuff!
SHELTER IN PLACE: QUARANTINE MIX
In March, a newer friend asked me for a coronavirus playlist to help him pass the time he was now having to spend at home. He doesn’t yet know me well enough to realize what a task I might make of such a thing. This innocent request resulted in weeks of wracking my brain and culling through my music library for a satisfying mix of songs for the theme at hand. Eventually, I settled on sticking to tunes available on Spotify to prevent myself from spending too much time ripping CDs, matching volumes, and editing the ideal flow between songs. I also figured this would be a good way of connecting folks to the libraries of the artists represented. I did not attempt to cater to any cultural relevance or “coolness.” I simply picked songs that sung to me and whose titles formed a sort of narrative of their own. I hope you find some solace, strength, or comfort from these 48 songs of hope, isolation, resilience, and beauty!
Click the image above or HERE to listen on Spotify.
NOTE: Many of the songs included have previously been featured on my annual mix albums. Check out 15 years of those HERE.