Sometimes it’s hard to believe I’m still doing this. Whatever this is. I guess I mean writing songs and singing them. The music keeps changing, like I do. Even my reasons for doing it (the one’s I admit to myself) seem to change. But here I am, still plucking away at my guitar, looking for something. Maybe just looking.
I really like the idea of an album. It’s sad to me that the art form seems to be dying. When I listen to a batch of songs written by the same person, in a relatively short period of time, they almost always tell me a story. If it’s a good record, the album can be more than the sum of it’s parts. I love that. It’s a kind of magic, like songs themselves.
As I started listening to the rough mixes of what will be my new album, the story these songs tell became more obvious to me. It’s odd that I could be telling a story and not even know it. But that sort of thing doesn’t surprise me the way it used to.
This album’s story seems to be a dark one. Just look at some of the song titles: It Don’t Get Easier, Longshot, Sad Town, Down On Me, Ain’t No Way To Get Home Now. There are plenty of up-tempo songs here, but not one that I’d call happy. These are songs about frustration, desperation, lust, and death. I had no idea that was where my head has been, but there it is. You’re welcome.
Still, I’ve never been more proud of a set of lyrics than these. If there’s any light in these songs, it’s in the craft. These songs aren’t whistling in the dark, or even wallowing in the dark; they’re hanging out in the dark with some good whiskey, making friends with the shadows.
And it’s a story of place, and places. One of those places is Milwaukee — somewhere I’ve actually never been. On the album, it’s possibly somewhere I’ve imagined. It exists in the blurry line between hope and self deception, between denial and disbelief. This is a story about going on, in a world of disappointment and heartbreak. It’s a story about going on without the promise of a happy ending. About going on without knowing the reasons why anymore.
I’m calling the record Milwaukee.