Sunday, January 25, 2015

Looking forward to 2015, reflections on 2014

Personally, the first half of 2014 was difficult for my family with the loss of my father.  I believe he would have been proud of my accomplishments within the past year.  My father was integral to my musical development starting a young age.  Recognizing my ear early on along with my elementary school music teacher, my parents were supportive of my joining the Atlanta Boys Choir even sending me abroad to perform, about which my dad bragged even into my adulthood.  When I was in college, I was having a tough time of it not knowing exactly what path I should take when he suggested music.  I went on to study classical guitar and was engaged and enthralled by the study of the guitar and music.  My dad was quite a musician himself with a beautiful voice and knowledge of the keyboard and music theory.  Singing of course with the family at Sandy Springs Baptist church where my grandfather was minister, he would later go on to study voice in college and sing barbershop, which he loved, with the Marietta Big Chicken Chorus.

At the beginning of 2014 I thought there to be no way it could exceed the previous year, but was happily mistaken.  Last year was the point in time where my heroes became my peers.  When I was in high school one of my best friends Morgan, drummer of the Squares, purchased Rhino's Cowabunga surf compilation box set and I remember hearing a certain tune in particular.  It started with ambient bells and was slow, moody, and thoughtful and has resonated with me ever since.  That piece was Insect Surfers' "Polaris" and last year I had the opportunity to play the song as a part of the band for Instro Summit.  Still reeling from the experience, shortly after I got home I received an email from Ivan Pongracic of the Madeira asking if I would be willing to fill in for their rhythm guitarist, Patrick, on a river cruise in Milwaukee which of course I couldn't refuse.  Ivan is one of my favorite guitarists of all time and Madeira is one of the top surf groups in the world.  Both were experiences I will cherish for the rest of my life and am grateful for the opportunities.  As if that weren't enough, MOONBASE were finally able to record and release our debut album "Creation Myths". 

2013 found me serving a different role for me as producer for the very first time.  2014 found me serving yet an even more different role as promoter.  What started as a simple question asking friends if they would be interested in attending or playing a monthly surf show here in Atlanta has grown into quite a success, pulling in what I believe to be an excellent number of patrons and some of the best bands not just that the South, but the entire country has to offer.  Out of the show, the Southern Surf Stomp, has also emanated a blog, twitter feed, Facebook page, and podcast.

Honestly I don't know what this year will hold but have high hopes and expectations.  I already have some excellent shows and plans for the Southern Surf Stomp.  MOONBASE wishes to perform more out of town shows.  Both The Mystery Men? and Jeffrey Bützer and the Bicycle Eaters expect to record.  Of course I'd love to produce and fill in for more groups but will have to see just where the year takes me.

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