In the fall of 2011, my band and I spent a week at White Star Sound in Virginia with my friend and producer, Jamie Candiloro (Ryan Adams, R.E.M., PJ Olsson) and tracked a collection of songs I had been writing over the past two years. The songs on my fourth full-length studio album, Fading Light, were written for different reasons, but this particular collection is some of the most intense, emotional and personal work Iâ€™ve done to date.
I grew up in Rawley Springs, Virginia. Rawley Springs isnâ€™t a town â€” just some cabins, trailers, and campsites in the mountains just east of the West Virginia state border. When I was a kid my uncle had October-fest parties. At one of these parties I remember this bluegrass band playing â€œThe Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.â€ Seemed like the whole party was singing along. My mom gave me Music From Big Pink by The Band soon after. From there music became my obsession.
I started messing around with guitar when I was 3, but I wasnâ€™t really playing until 11 or so, and didnâ€™t start writing songs until around age 13. My first shows were open mic nights at local bars in Charlottesville, VA. I eventually moved to DC thinking it could be a good stepping-stone to New York. It was in DC where I recorded my first full album, Blue Dreams in 2004. I just went in with my acoustic guitar and sang for a couple hours and finished the same day.
For about 4 years following Blue Dreams, I found myself lost and addicted to drugs. I did manage to record an album in that four-year stretch, Love Verses Heroin â€“ certainly not the feel good album of the year. When I recorded my third album in 2007, â€¦And I Am The Song of the Drunkards, I was clean and back to enjoying playing music. I formed a band and we just played for the fun of it. There were no expectations, just joy.
In 2010, I was the first artist signed to 9:30 Records in Washington, DC and released a collection of songs I called The Little Fox EP. Since that time, I have been fortunate to perform with Ray LaMontagne, K.D. Lang, Grace Potter & The Nocturnals, Drive-By Truckers and Badly Drawn Boy.
Seems no matter the struggles in life, I always come back to music. Fading Light is my reawakening.