20 Years of "Dreaming Out Loud"
Updated: Feb 7
July 31, 1998—Twenty years ago tonight—I was part of a well attended private show my friends and I put on and played at a place we called "The Cabin." It was a spot where we hung out every Friday night that spring and summer. Playing music around the campfire; drinking Coca-Cola classic; smoking cheap cigars; and having long talks about "love, sex, religion, and U2;" we formed friendships that nourish me to this day. It was a place of life-changing acceptance we often talk about on the podcast LONG WALK SHORT DRINK—especially the "Cabin Kids" episodes (1, 11, 31, 35, 48, and counting).
Normally, the music was impromptu, but this night was different. It was the last time everyone who'd been coming there regularly could be in attendance before many of the group started going off to college, military service, or off along any number of avenues that would take us each down different paths. Eight of us played music in some way, and a lineup was organized that weaved us together in different combinations to form a three hour program of our favorite cover tunes—and just two originals. I played a selection of Pearl Jam, U2, and Dave Matthews songs.
In an effort to capture this one-of-a-kind event, I checked out three cameras from the local cable access center and attempted a multi-cam concert film. The evening was everything I'd hoped and more, but the resulting footage was often too dark and out of focus. Eventually, I'd go on to add interviews that helped create a structure and edited it all into my first documentary: DREAMING OUT LOUD.
That evening, that doc, and those people really set the blueprint for how I'd build the things I wanted to see and make. I still use the moniker Dreaming Out Loud for the things I create with those folks. I'm grateful to still have many of them in my life. Decades have passed, but the spirit of this night persists.