a crooked road

On Friday I’ll make the trip to a pretty little dot of a town along the Crooked Road, Virginia’s heritage music trail, to play some songs for a live audience. I figured in the spirit of the place I’m headed, I’d try some tunes that invoke a handmade style. It will be August. It will be sunflowers as far as I can see. I …

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an open path

We try to arrange our lives, our careers, and our relationships into straight paths for easy journeys … but there are no straight paths. I'm reminded of this on days I ride down the road toward the sea, and suddenly turn right along the inlet shore. My traveling companions, words and music, move alongside me shattering and rearranging themselves.  Together we wander a different beach, reach no conclusions. That’s a form of poetry. Discovering avenues …

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invisible

For the next two days I’m living in a sunny, spare room over a bookshop, in a one-pump, two-church town by the sea. It’s a kind of self-imposed exile. I have this song to finish, and, well, to begin rediscovering who I used to be … . I don’t know anyone here. I’ll wander around among the streets, be quiet and observe …

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worshipful

Standing alone on a small empty stage beneath a wash of spotlights, soundchecking acoustic guitars, it’s easy to see that a dimly lit concert hall is a house of worship. Melody is a profound spirit, after all. I mean, who can say what it is? When I was starting out, I felt every time I walked on stage I …

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bulletproof

When I go on tour, I meet a lot of interesting people. After a show near Woodstock this week, a sweet man calling himself Star Blanket handed me a mysterious bag whose contents, he said, would make me … bulletproof. I opened it and looked inside it, and it was white willow bark, a cage necklace, and a …

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that’s beautiful

My friend Ryan stopped by this afternoon. I played him a song I started recording last week. (I’ve got an acoustic guitar, a lead vocal, and a temporary background part on it so far.) “That’s beautiful,” he said. I never know what to say after someone says, that’s beautiful, except to agree with them. For me, beauty is …

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beach place

There's a place on the coast that I go to now and then for stretches of isolated songwriting. It's a place where I can gaze out at sea for hours and listen to the waves bring the eternal note of heartache in. A new set of songs I'm writing is evolving as an intricate, relationship breakup album. …

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