The Indie Artist Extraordinaire

One of the most common questions that I get out on the road is how exactly one goes about turning the hobby of music into a full-time career.

My answer usually sounds something like this: Do music: Listen. Create. Play. Share it now, worry about selling it later.  (Seems like a better answer than: uh, I dunno?)

If I had never fallen in love with ‘doing’ music even when no one was listening, I’m fairly certain I wouldn’t be playing today.

At the risk of sounding trite, I think, so often, we put our fullest dreams in the cart and put it straight in front of the horse. My take has always been that music is a gift. In and of itself music can and should be enjoyed simply for the sake of it regardless of the employment possibilities. Thousands upon thousands of musicians are out there plugging away regardless of hope for income, and purely for the sheer joy of what playing/performing does for the human spirit.

Honor the music, honor your creative spirit, honor the listener…Listen. Create. Play.

Nowadays, you need go no further than your own computer to record your songs, your local coffee house to play them, or a click of the mouse to listen to others. If the only measure of success that we attach to music is one of popular recognition and marketability, then I suspect that we’ll miss the full purpose of joy and deep meaning that drew us in to listen and sing in the first place.

We have to water our creativity to make it grow. To inspire as well as be inspired.

I can truly say, it is has been an honor to be a small part of that process. I pay homage to the artists that have moved me to create. I am humbled when I am marked as one who has inspired others. Honestly, I don’t know how I got here, I’m just glad to be here. I get to meet some of the most fantastic people and incredible musicians.

Over the last year, I’ve accumulated quite the stack of music from indie artists/bands, local acts, at-home musicians, vagabonds and fans. You’re out there ‘doing it’ and I’m loving it! It’s inspiring to be reminded that music is just simply a wonderful thing to be able to do.

So in honor of all these amazing folks, I thought I’d share some of what’s going on outside of the mainstream far from the maddening hordes.

Thanks for sharing your recordings with me. I’ve enjoyed listening…


Jacob Jeffries Band took the opening spot for one of my Florida gigs last year. Professional caliber musicians by any measure, Jacob and his crew are excellent performers. Jacob is a crafty song writer with hooks that last for days. I walked away with a copy of Wonderful . My only complaint is that my recording is a CD and not vinyl. Seriously, this is a classic sounding record I would describe as Billy Joel meets Ben Folds. But make no mistake, Jacob is his own man.  Watch out for tunes like “Mr. Weatherbee Freeman” and “Flashlight “. Both are super catchy with romping choruses and a vintage flair that never gets old.

Lorna Bracewell I don’t remember how her record Flowers on the Chains got into my hands (sorry if we actually met Lorna…) but I’m digging it. It’s SO super hard to be an original guitar-weilding, ass- kicking chick songwriter come rocker, but Lorna makes her way without any need to apologize. Begrudgingly, I’ll mention Melissa Etheridge, Joan Jett and Ani DeFranco just so you’ll click through and listen…but then, as fast as you can, never mention their names again…and just say “Lorna!” If I’m lucky, maybe I’ll get a chance to see her live sometime when I’m in Florida.

Trees Leave unites Wyatt Espalin and Cobi Ferguson. Their indie recording The Gospel of Hurt is an honest fusion of the past and the present. Part country, bluegrass, folk and rock…I love this record! This is a work of art, modern southern men with all their joys and sorrows inexorably tied to the past. Wyatt & Cobi seem held by the haunting chains of mandolin strings, cursed by the devil in the electric guitar and released by God in the bowing of the violin…What’s better, is that these guys are local to Nashville…which means I get to see them live!

Share some of your favorite indies in the comments section. (click on the blog heading)

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