Could you share the story behind your latest song and what inspired its creation?
I had a friend who was a lovely, caring, fun, smart person, but couldn’t seem to find love. I wrote ‘The Far Side Of Lonely’ with her in mind. It says to her, despite how hard it’s been, love is waiting for you.
How do you approach the process of songwriting, and are there any specific themes or emotions you tend to explore in your music?
I find that if I write regularly, the ideas come to me. If I wait around for inspiration, I’d be waiting a long time. I touch on all kinds of themes, from love to strawberry-rhubarb pie, to my boyhood home.
As an indie musician, how do you navigate the balance between creative freedom and commercial appeal?
I don’t worry about it. I create what I create. As many people will be drawn to it as will be. The audience is not invited to the writing room!
What do you find most challenging about being an independent artist in today’s music industry?
Getting people to come out to shows, making a decent amount of money from live performances. But it’s not something I can stop doing, despite the challenges. It’s part of my identity, and I get crazy when I’m away from it for too long.
Can you talk about your experiences collaborating with other artists or musicians? How does it influence your creative process?
I hardly ever collaborate at this point. I write on my own, and I record, mix and master all my own music. I have co-written in the past, mostly for business reasons. It’s such a fraught process, and I find I tend to give ground too easily.
What role does technology and social media play in promoting your music and connecting with your audience?
It’s everything these days. It’s helpful, but it’s time-consuming. On the other hand, before social media and smartphones were available, it was harder to get the word out. Breaking through the noise is the real challenge now.
Are there any particular artists or genres that have had a significant impact on your musical style?
I gravitate to the intelligent Americana writers, like Rodney Crowell, like Brandy Clark, Buddy Miller, Gretchen Peters. The list goes on and on!
Indie musicians often have a close relationship with their fanbase. How do you engage with your fans and build a dedicated community around your music?
I think it grows over time if you keep releasing quality music. Live shows that deliver and engender word of mouth seems to work best for me.
Could you describe a memorable live performance experience or tour that has had a lasting impact on you and your music?
I debuted a new album recently at The Ark in Ann Arbor, MI with a full rockin’ band that the audience just went crazy for. Those nights give you the energy to keep on keeping on. Getting the immediate appreciation like that validates you and overcomes the challenges of living the creative life.
In an era of streaming platforms, how do you feel about the changing landscape of music consumption and its impact on independent musicians?
Well, it’s pretty terrible, mostly because the revenue streams have vanished, other than live shows and merch. I still believe at some point the royalty situation will be worked out so that the creators get a fair share, but when that’ll happen is anybody’s guess. But, as I said before, it’s not something you choose to do. It chooses you, so you carry on and take nourishment from the process and from the hight points.