Back to California

Before I left for China, I wrote and recorded a song delivered to me in a dream, called Madness. It’s about making the constant choice to actively love the world, which admittedly continues to be a struggle. Too many times, I’ve let anger get the best of me. The linked recording was made in Brentwood, TN and mastered by Jay Perris.

I always wanted to go to China and explore this legendary country and culture. In recent years, I told myself that my days of international travel were over for a while. I began to take pride in being American and wanted to focus my efforts on helping the country that grew me. What a pleasant twist of fate that my romantic quest took me to China so soon!

As my time in China winds down, my thinking has turned again to Long Beach, as was the plan! After a layover in LAX and a flight change in Chicago, Li Shuang and I will land in TN, where we will celebrate the New Year. We’re embarking on a mini tour in early January and will arrive in Long Beach on January 20th.

And now to the music centric part of the news!

While my time in China was largely about other things, I did land a four-day-a-week performance job. In addition to practicing in my free time, I used that opportunity to polish up and get ready for my return to Long Beach.

Here are some of the things that I am excited about doing…

Recording, Mixing, Producing!
After recording over 150 Nathan Douglas’ songs; after recording and self-releasing two albums and so much in between; after working with about five dozen different artists as an engineer; I am STOKED to put all this experience to use. I’m sure this can be used as evidence of my insanity, but I am thoroughly thrilled at the notion that I can continue to dive deeper into the details of manipulating sound. I absolutely love performing and making my own stuff, but getting to work with the musical canvases of others has become a similar joy. I am excited to return to Long Beach and help artists get the best out of themselves and get it on record to share.

The Funhouse Porcupines!
Lead by Ringleader Robby Ravenwood and featuring Nathan Douglas and Noah Grove! The Funhouse Porcupines can be cited as one of the driving forces in my return. I had a blast playing the pizza box on one of many special nights outside Walt’s Wharf in Seal Beach. Busking as a Funhouse Porcupine opened my mind to the beautiful possibilities that can emanate from music on a street corner. The Funhouse Porcupines are fun, silly, quirky, sensitive, inviting, and versatile. I am very excited to start working with these guys in a month, and to many fun evenings of music as a Funhouse Porcupine!

I seem to have hit a stride with songwriting. Songs come to me often and easily and I have begun to see how I can use the craft of songwriting to create art that has practical benefits for the people I know. My vision for the future of my songwriting is hazy, but I am excited to continue to work at this craft and see what opportunities unfold beyond writing for myself!

Solo Performance!
I have been working a lot on cleaning up the details of my performances. I am reaching new levels of comfort and confidence as a performer. I continue to broaden my understanding of contexts and timing. I am thrilled to continue to work hard and put the hard work to use and make music!

Noah Grove Band!
I am very much looking forward to the task of finding a band. Now that I have some experience working with many different musicians, I know what I am looking for and how to lead. I am excited to go through the process of discovering the Noah Grove Band and can’t wait for when we can start making music for everyone!

Artist Coaching!
To get where I am now, I have come through a lot. I have valuable insight into artist development and what it takes to be a working musician. I will be making myself available to newer artists who want help on their path.

Working Guitarist!
I have been putting work into fine tuning my ability on the guitar and I have a couple of nice guitars and equipment. I will be looking for opportunities to be regular instrumental accompaniment for a few other artists in the Long Beach area.

I could probably come up with a few more (event curator, flyer maker, philosophical thinker), but I think I managed to get the central categories down. I will be writing newsletters, and probably some essays on working musician tips. I’ll be editing photos and videos and I aspire to release some music videos in 2018. And perhaps most importantly, I’ll be becoming a husband.

Around January 7th, Li Shuang and I will hit the road for Long Beach. So far I booked a show on Friday January 12th at Fralo’s in San Antonio. I played there on my tour last year and was paid generously. I may be playing in Albuquerque on the 14th. We are planning to come through Memphis, Little Rock, Houston, Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Albuquerque, Phoenix, Flagstaff, and Vegas! If anyone has any gigging leads/ideas, let me know!

I wish you all the best. Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year!

This song was recorded in the last days of my Nashville rehearsal studio on a broken guitar..

♫ ♫ ♫ Back to California ♫ ♫ ♫