I’ve still got lots to say…
I haven’t picked up a guitar for any reason other than to noodle or entertain my son, Young Master Oliver, in two months. Two months ago I got struck by the muse and frantically wrote and recorded a rough first take of a song called “Can’t Let You Go.” It’s been even longer, years, since I performed my own music in front of an audience. That part of my life may be over…but then again maybe not. The desire is there. The love of the grimy greasy connection with a sweaty audience will always be there.
Though I’m at that age where many say “well, if you haven’t done anything by this point you’re not going to” I still have that need, that compulsion to write and to be heard. I’m looking forward to putting school in my rearview mirror so I can invest that time in releasing my first real record later this year.
I’ve been writing songs since before I could play an instrument. I was “that” kid with a spiral notebook full of lyrics and a head full of melodies. Thoughts and feelings have been clawing out of me for as long as I can remember and that hasn’t changed with age…in fact it’s only become more urgent. I still have lots to say and I’m not going to keep it bottled up inside.
There’s something deep inside of me
There’s someone else I’ve got to be….
I’ve often felt like I’m living someone else’s life…like I’m somehow going through the motions and wearing some kind of mask…like I’ve never fully committed to being who I really want to be, who I really am…like I’m walking a tight rope refusing to commit to either side.
I’ve never fit in.
I’ve had a nice professional career, solid resume and all that jazz, but I never really felt at home and always seemed like an outsider in this “business” world.
It has always felt the same way in the music community. I wrote songs and performed, sure, but I wasn’t a “real” musician…whatever that means. I always felt “less than.”
It kind of reminds me of junior high and high school. I wasn’t a jock, I wasn’t a nerd, I wasn’t a burnout, I wasn’t, well, anything. I had friends in every group but I was never fully embraced, nor did I fully enter any given group.
But somewhere along the lines I really stopped caring about fitting in, about “being who I really am” and just sort of started being who I actually am. To my surprise this has happened without noticing or even trying.
Which brings me to my point….
My point is that I finally have a point. I know who I am and what I want to do.
Freedom has a lot of definitions. It can mean a lot of things. It can mean having enough money to tell anyone to go screw themselves. It can mean having nothing left to lose…so you can tell anyone to go screw themselves.
Or, it can mean knowing exactly who you are.
For years I thought I had to live in one box and the fact that I wasn’t neatly packed in the “musician” box or the “mature business person” box or the “whatever else” box created a lot of internal struggle for me…and for sure those around me.
But now…screw it. I’m all things at once. I can prioritize. I can pick something up and do it for a while and then put it down and do something else for a while.
In the end, I am who I am and I know who that is: father, husband, son, brother, friend…who’s just trying to write a few good songs along the way.
I may not sell out shows or “hit the big time” but that doesn’t really matter. I may not become CEO of some dynamic firm but who cares?
I want to write music and have it be heard. I would like to get on stage again at some point, both as that solo singer-songwriter on a stool but also plugged in with a greasy band in a dive and make noise that rattles walls and souls…but it will happen when it’s right for me…and not because I’m desperate to recapture my youth or make up for lost time or anything of the sort.
I also want to be a good member of the music community here in Houston. I want to cultivate solid, collaborative relationships through Cathedral Records and I want to tell our collective and individual stories.
We all have a story to tell. All those stories are important and should be heard.
That’s one of the most important things I want for Cathedral Records…to be a storyteller. To document our collective experience as we’ve lived this life in music. These lives we live, they’re so different yet we are bound by our passion, our creativity, our need to share our thoughts and visions and the voices in our heads and by being willing to put ourselves out there to the world…naked and unashamed.
I am a songwriter. Really, at my heart that’s what I am. I may not be a good one, may not be a popular one but that’s what I am. No matter what I’m doing in life as a father, husband, son, brother, friend…it always comes back to needing and wanting to write songs along the way.
Cathedral Records is how I stitch everything together. It’s the tie that binds all the different pieces of my identity. It is the label through which my own music will be published but it is also the medium I have chosen to provide support, encouragement, and maybe even a little guidance to the Houston music community and to provide a resource to the younger aspiring musicians coming up behind us trying to figure out how to do this music thing.
That will take a lot of different shapes. I’ll provide representation to artists I think need to be heard and help them get their message across. I want to help venues and artists connect in a healthy, productive and mutually beneficial manner. I want to advocate for independent artists. I want to encourage collaboration and cooperation among the artists so we can all benefit and I want to brag about and promote all the incredible people in our community.
I want to tell our story.
In the coming weeks I’ll be sharing stories about some of Houston’s most interesting, dynamic, talented, and passionate community members. I hope you all enjoy reading about them as much as I’m enjoyed hearing them tell their stories to me.
Be Well and Kind,