Sunday, May 29, 2011

What I've Been Doing This Last Year

A year and a few months ago, I started writing songs. I've written a fair amount in the past year and am now ready to put songs out into the world and hopefully do some performing.  I'm taking a page from my friend Joshua Barton's 'zine (check out his band Fields of Industry) by choosing my birthday to release songs for the first time (Although, is it considered a "release" if they're just for listening and not for download/owning yet?).

I have more songs that I'm continuing to work on and deciding how, when, and in what form to put them out, but here are five demos (see media player in sidebar) from this first year of writing.  All of these are just me on instruments and voice, except "Heartwood". 

For "Heartwood" I got together and recorded a version of it with Erin Shellman and Bryan Mayer, who are in the band Lake Folk (Check them out, they're awesome!).  Erin sings the female vocal and plays upright bass (with a bow), and she also put some percussion on the track and did the recording, mixing, and recording arrangement.  Bryan chimed in with some sweet lap steel.  I think it sounds great and I'm really proud of this song.  It was and still is strange and cool to hear other people singing my lyrics and bringing new instrumentation to my song.

I've tried my hand at banjo in "That Time Pete Seeger Sang" and percussion (banging on the guitar top) on "Michigan Grey".  "Coast of California" is the first song I ever wrote and so is a sentimental favorite.  "Bricked Up Windows (Out Here in Chicago)" I began writing the lyrics to in the middle of a Joseph Arthur show, in Chicago...while he was singing his song "Chicago".  Go figure.  Stay tuned for more songs and more instruments in the near future.

Here are the songs that I'm putting out with this post:

Heartwood (feat. Erin Shellman and Bryan Mayer)
That Time Pete Seeger Sang
Michigan Grey
Coast of California
Bricked Up Windows (Out Here in Chicago)


  1. I'm now officially your biggest fan:-) You really have found a very appealing sound. Great job Jon!

  2. Haha, you make Shellman Studios sound so legit.