A Conversation with the Spin Doctors' Chris Barron
Mike Ragogna: Chris Barron. The Spin Doctors. The 20th anniversary of Pocket Full Of Kryptonite. Whatcha got?
Chris Barron: I can't believe 20 years went by. I'm lucky to be in a band that was awesome enough to make a record that people still are remotely interested in 20 years later.
MR: Since this is a celebration of your biggest album, let's cover the whole deal. Can you go into the story including Trucking Company and John Popper?
CB: Well yeah, I went to high school with John Popper, we were in English class. John was a hell of a character to have known when he was 16 years old. I feel privileged to have known somebody that at 16, you just knew the guy was going to be a star. He was just playing the harmonica like that in junior year of high school. He was a mysterious guy that I slowly became friends with. I crashed his car and then he let me drive his car all the time after that, he's just a funny guy.
So, after high school, I was an aspiring musician myself and I was writing songs. You just knew if you had John Popper in your band, you just knew something good was going to happen because he was such a virtuoso. I was trying to get him to do something with me, meanwhile Eric Schenkman was trying to get him to do something. They were already in a band called Trucking Company together, but John had the Blues Traveler. The Blues Traveler formed in high school, and I actually was in a predecessor of Blues Traveler called Blues Band with some of the same guys--John Popper and Brendan Hill who's still the drummer now. So, I knew John, Eric knew John, Eric wanted John to be more involved with Trucking Company, and I wanted John to start a band with me, but all John wanted to do was the Blues Traveler. He figured if he introduced me and Eric, something cool would happen. He was right except we did a rehearsal together and it was great we made some great music together. Then the next time we got together, Eric and I almost got into a fistfight.
MR: (laughs) Seriously? What was that about?
CB: (laughs) Oh nothing, probably some silly thing, Eric has a bit of a temper. I was really green and didn't know how to be in a band and I had offended him somehow. He threatened to kick my ass and I was in his face, then John split us up and we didn't talk for a year. Then I ran into Eric in New York City about a year later and he asked me to do a gig with him, I was like, what the hell. He had a gig at a frat way up in Harlem at Columbia called Delta Phi. He and I started preparing for this gig, and during that period of time, he found Aaron Comess the drummer, practicing in a practice room at the New School in New York City in the jazz program there. Eric came in one day and said, "I found us a drummer." I said, "Really?" Then he said, "Yeah, I heard this guy practicing and I just walked in and asked him if he wanted to be in our band and he said yes." So, that was Aaron. We did this gig up at Delta Phi and we played all night long, people took their clothes off, we had a horn section, John Popper sat in. It was this legendary crazy gig.
So, we started doing gigs up there and this little dump of a bar in New York City called the Nightingale, and pretty soon, we had a weekly gig there. Back then, people came out a lot more, so people were playing every night in New York City. We called it the Manhattan tour, we played almost every night for a year. We were filling these bars; from that, we got a record deal. We toured our brains out and our record company wanted us to come home actually. Pocket Full Of Kryptonite had been out for a while and nothing had really happened and they hadn't really pushed us. They wanted us to come home and we refused, we wanted to stay on the road and keep pushing this.
So, what happened was that a guy named Jim McGuinn, who was a program director at a station called WEQX in Vermont, wrote them this impassioned letter about what a great band we were and how they were making a big mistake not pushing us. Meanwhile, we won a battle of the bands at a radio station in Hawaii. They would put it up against another song and we beat like Bruce Springsteen and R.E.M, and U2 three weeks in a row. When that happened, our record label Epic realized they had something that they should push. So, they turned on the big Epic push machine and six months later, we were platinum.
MR: Look at how many singles you had on that album, like "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and "Two Princes." But you also had the videos and they were directed by Rich Murray.
CB: Yeah, that's right.
MR: And, of course, there was "Jimmy Olsen's Blues." So, when your parade of singles were released, you were being compared to jam bands like Phish and Widespread Panic. Chris, do you consider yourself a jam band, is that an accurate description?
CB: We were definitely jamming, and we were definitely a band. I think improvisation has played heavily into what we do. I think we had a lot more focus on songs than on some other jam bands, we were always song-oriented. I came to music as a songwriter and everybody else was very much into having good songs. We didn't want to noodle over a couple of chords and it wasn't about long extended solos for us. There's also an element of extended solos to the whole Spin Doctor thing, but we really wanted to make sure the songs were good.
MR: I would have considered you an improv band, especially with what was defined as a jam band at that time.
CB: I don't know, I think we're a jam band because we came out of that whole jam band thing. We definitely jam and improvise, we emphasize songs more than other jam bands.
MR: Who were your inspirations, who inspired you to writing songs?
CB: I had a guitar teacher when I was 12 or 13 who's name was Barry Peterson from Princeton, New Jersey. He taught me a couple of chords and a Harry Belafonte song and a Fleetwood Mac tune, and I took some chords from each one and just started playing them in a different order. He came in for my next lesson and I was like, "Hey, I put these chords together, what do you think?" He was like, "Yeah, you take a couple of chords you like and you play them and go, 'dadadadada' over it and pretty soon that turns into lyrics. You then write that down in a notebook with the chords and that's how you write songs." I was like, "What?" He said, "Yeah." I said, "What about notes and squiggly lines and all that stuff?" He said, "You don't need that stuff. You think Bob Dylan and John Lennon know how to read music?" I said, "Yeah?" He said, "No, they didn't know how to read music. That's how they wrote songs too."
I was never good at playing other peoples songs, and I wanted to sing and play songs, so I started writing my own tunes. So, that's how I got into writing songs, once somebody said, "No, this how you do it," it was pretty simple. I was already writing poetry and I was already playing guitar, it was a pretty easy step for me. I listened to a lot of Paul Simon, I always thought he was a great lyricist and I always thought he was a great writer. Musically and chord wise, his songs always took you places and were always surprising musically. So, at that time, I was really into that, and then I got into Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan has this majestic, tremendous, architectonic ability to make a song have this gigantic scope. Then I was into Bob Marley because when I was a kid, I was always kind of political, I always liked the way he could boil down a cause into a song. I always liked movies and painting, sculptures, and art museums. Not to be pretentious or anything like that, but one thing I learned from Eric Schenkman, the guitarist for the Spin Doctors, was to get into other stuff, to find influences outside of rock 'n' roll to write from. You can find inspiration in a lot of stuff, personal relationships, things that you see, things that you do, memories. It doesn't always have to be just rock 'n' roll.
MR: I want to read you something Rolling Stone wrote about you in '93 and I want to get your reaction to it all these years later. "Their popularity is based on universal rock 'n' roll virtues...The Doctors aren't trying to blaze new trails. They know we've been down this way with The Stones, Curtis Mayfield, and a few of their other touch stones. But the proof, plenty of it, is in the party." That's a beautiful thing to have been said about a band. And Pocket Full Of Kryptonite sold something like 10 million copies?
CB: I think it's 47 billion copies.
MR: Oh, that's right. All these years later, what do you think about it all?
CB: Yeah, we were so lucky to have touched on something that a lot of people responded to. We didn't sit down and say these are going to be our influences, and we are going to prove our point in the party. All of that stuff was an afterthought, it's so flattering to have been on the cover of Rolling Stone and I'm really been super grateful that people saw fit to write about us and dance to us and pick up a copy of our record. I know a lot of people have gotten a lot of happiness out of it, that's deeply gratifying. To talk about the influences and what he's saying there, it's true, we didn't set out to blaze a new trail and be particularly original. We weren't trying to create this new musical motif that had never been heard in the world, like a Miles Davis or something like that. We felt like if we could achieve a certain level of virtuosity in what we were doing that we would be able to let our personalities come through in a really pure way.
I think if you can do anything expressive to the point where your personality purely shines through, then you're going to be original. I think the only original thing in the world is a personality, there's no two that are exactly alike. If you can get your personality out in your music, you're going to be original on some level. I think people who were innovators, what's really innovative about them is that they are so good that their personality comes out. Even Miles Davis. He created that tone and was doing a lot of stuff that had never been done before, but in a way, it was kind of an extension of his personality, he was such a good player. I don't think he thought a lot about all of the stuff...maybe he didn't, I don't know. I think if he was thinking about it in this way, like, "I'm going to do this really original thing," I think it wouldn't have sounded as honest and cool. I think what most innovators are doing are just being really honest and operating musically on a level where they can make the personality just come out.
MR: Can we get the back story of a song that has some personal element attached to it?
CB: Other performers talked about how they wrote songs and it sounds really cool, but I always feel like a dweeb when I do that. One song on that record that has a nice back story is "Jimmy Olsen's Blues," which is the song that gave a title to the album--Pocket Full Of Kryptonite. It's the first song on the record and when I was 19 years old, I was doing an internship in Providence, Rhode Island, at a country/western radio station. I had some friends that went to Brown University and I was staying with them, so I was spending a lot of time at Brown and I was broke. So, I came up with this ruse to eat. I stole an apron from the cafeteria and I would put the apron on and I would walk through the cafeteria like I worked there. Once I got out into the eating area, I would take the apron off and I would just start eating. I'm an essentially honest person, so I didn't feel good about basically stealing food from the cafeteria. I was sitting there feeling kind of bad, but also being glad to not be hungry anymore. A young woman walked in and looked just like Lois Lane, so my songwriter mind was working. I was looking at her and thinking if she's Lois Lane, I'm certainly not superman, who am I in this drama. I thought I'm more like that nerdy photographer guy, Jimmy Olsen, and that was the beginning of that song.
MR: Nice story. So, what bonus material is being included in this new double disc of Pocket Full Of Kryptonite?
CB: It is the original record remastered and it sounds fantastic. It's got our two, I want to say "demos," but back when we made them, we needed those recordings to get gigs and stuff. We wanted to get a record deal and make a record because that's what you did back then. You needed a record deal to make a record because it was too expensive to make it on your own. We made these two cassette demos, one was called Can't Say No and it had 6 songs on it, and then second one was called Piece Of Glass that had 8 songs on it. So, that's on. It's a two disc set, the first one is Pocket Full Of Kryptonite and the second one is this two demo set. A couple of other unreleased tracks--a track called "Turn It Upside Down," which is the title of our second record though the song was never released. Then there is great liner notes by Cree McCree, the famed rock journalist. If you never were really into the record, it's a great starting point and if you were it's a great collectors item.
MR: Another thing that catapulted the Spin Doctors was the performance on Saturday Night Live. Is there a story there?
CB: That was absolutely a total thrill. We're sound checking and it was during the Adam Sandler/Chris Farley years. We're sound checking and they both walk through the studio and we're playing "Little Miss Can't Be Wrong" and Chris Farley just stopped and did the white boy overbite dance, funked-out for a second to it, laughing at himself. I was like, "Wow, that's Chris Farley rocking out to 'Little Miss Can't Be Wrong.'" Then talking to Adam Sandler, I didn't really watch the show back then so I didn't really know who he was. He said, "So where you coming from?" I was living in downtown New York and he was saying how did you get here, meaning what flight did you get in on. I said, "I came here on the F train." (laughs) My old apartment, you could take the F up to where they shoot 30 Rock and Saturday Night Live in 30 Rockefeller Center. So, then people started coming up to me and Lorne Michaels was like, "Is it true you took the F Train up here?" Joe Pesci was the host. The guest host has their dressing room across from the band, so we were huge fans of Raging Bull and Goodfellas, the Scorsese, Pesci, and De Niro movies.
So, he was in his dressing room and I was in my dressing room and we sort of looked out of the door at each other. He then came walking in our dressing room, and we were in awe. He said, "So what label are you guys on?" We said, "Epic, Sony." He said, "Sony, you know Tommy Mottola?" who is the president. We all said, "Tommy Mottola, yeah he's a great guy." Then Pesci said, "What are you going to say about him he's your f**king boss!" (laughs) Leading up to it, we were all wondering if Scorsese and De Niro would show up, and, of course, they did and that was a huge thrill. That was my first time being in a room with somebody as famous as Robert De Niro. Then afterwards, they had this party and Dan Aykroyd is standing there and I thought I had to meet Dan Aykroyd. So I'm thinking of a way to walk up to him and start talking. "Well, he's a harmonica player from The Blues Brothers, and John Popper is my friend, so I will start talking to him about John Popper." So, I walk across the room and I get up to him and I'm like, "Mr. Aykroyd," all awkward. "I'm Chris from the Spin Doctors," and he was like, "Yeah, I know." That was a huge moment for me, Dan Aykroyd knows who I am. I must be getting somewhere.
MR: How did the family react to you being on Saturday Night Live?
CB: They were all really excited. I'm pretty lucky I come from a pretty grounded family and everybody was a lot more interested in how I was doing as a person. They were all really thrilled with what was going on. I got lousy grades in school, I was the one where everybody was like, "How's Chris going to make a living?" They were all glad I found something that I was good at and could make my way in this world.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
CB: First and foremost, play music and be a real musician, practice. Learn to sing on pitch, learn to tune your guitar. Learn to be a real player, there's no substitute for real musicianship. If you're a songwriter, read poetry, dig deep, work hard and you will be rewarded. There's never been a magic bullet, a hand doesn't come out of the sky and hand you a magic contract. Even the people who have some magic post on Facebook and it's gone viral. Before they did that, they probably did a lot of other work to get to that point. The whole thing of an overnight success, it's a myth for the most part. You could wait around for it, but it's like waiting around to get struck by lightning. Sometimes, it can be as destructive as being struck by lightning. What you really want to do is to create a life where you're making music to live and you're living to make music and you're going to be a lot happier.
MR: What story don't we know about the Spin Doctors with regards to Pocket Full Of Kryptonite?
CB: Well, we all basically hated each other while we were touring that record. We all have really volatile personalities--well, we don't all have volatile personalities, but the four of us together is a pretty volatile mix, it used to be. Now we all have kids and are forty years old, we get along now, but there was a lot of fighting. Back when we were playing clubs in New York City, Eric had the presence of mind to say something that was really great, I'm glad that he said it. We were playing all these clubs and we were starting to have these people that really liked our music to show at these places and knew that there were a lot of people playing there. It was a great scene. It was 3 o'clock in the morning and people were standing on the sidewalk smoking cigarettes together. The stages were 6 inches tall and you would step off the stage and there was no dressing room, and we were just hanging out and the fans were our friends. Eric, one night, said, "You know, these are the good ol' days. No matter where we go, we are going to look back on this time and say that was the best."
In a way, he was right. He was right in a way that was more profound than he meant it to sound in that these are the good ol' days now. Twenty years later, it's great to have people who are interested in the record and fans of the record and I get people coming up to me and say, "I met my wife to that record," younger people coming and saying that was the first record they ever bought. I think in this life, you want to feel that you being around meant something, even if it's that you made a funny little record that people could smile to. To me, I don't need to set the world on fire but it's nice to know that I had a little part in putting a smile on a few peoples faces.
MR: Chris thank you, this has been a blast. All the best with the 20th anniversary celebration of Pocket Full Of Kryptonite.
CB: Thanks for having me, I appreciate it Mike.
1. Jimmy Olsen s Blues
2. What Time Is It?
3. Little Miss Can t Be Wrong
4. Forty Or Fifty
5. Refrigerator Car
6. More Than She Knows
7. Two Princes
8. Off My Line
9. How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?)
10. Shinbone Alley/Hard To Exist
11. Hard To Exist - b-side
1. Jimmy Olsen s Blues
2. Can t Say No
3. Hard To Exist
4. At This Hour
5. 40 or 50
6. Big Fat Funky Booty
7. What Time Is It?
8. How Could You Want Him (When You Know You Could Have Me?)
9. Hungry Hameds
11. Two Princes
12. Refrigerator Car
13. Rosetta Stone
14. Freeway Of The Plains
15. Turn It Upside Down - Live at Kingswood Music Theater, Toronto, ON, 7/19/1993
16. Little Miss Can t Be Wrong - Live at Continental Divide, New York, NY, 9/25/1990
Transcribed by Theo Shier
A Conversation with Keb Mo
Mike Ragogna: Hey Keb Mo, aka Kevin Moore, how the heck are you?
Kevin Moore: Hi Mike, how you doing?
MR: I'm doing fine, sir. It seems like your brand of blues has shifted on your new album album, The Reflection. It sounds much more R&B and jazzy. Was it intentional or is that what just happened?
KM: Well that's what just happened. "Intentional" meaning there was a "premeditation towards," but there was none of that. That was just the way I went. When it was all said and done and I finished it, that's the record I made and I went with it.
MR: We crossed paths back at Universal on Amy Grant's Greatest Hits, you were featured with her on the new emphasis track.
KM: Yeah, she had cut it before and she asked me to remix it and redefine it. So, I went in and remixed it put it together like really cool.
MR: Ever since Rainmaker, you've been putting out albums periodically in the '90s especially and won a few Grammys in the process. Like "Muddy Water" from Slow Down which was a tribute to Muddy Waters. Another was for your Keep It Simple album. "Just Like You" got you your first Grammy, the one including Jackson Browne and Bonnie Raitt, right?
KM: Yes, it was.
MR: And you have some great duets on this album such as "Crush On You."
KM: I had met india.arie several years ago. I was running into her at gigs and in Australia, we share the same birthday as well, October 3rd. The song "Crush On You" was written by my friend Kevin So, who's actually with my band this year. He had this song "Crush On You" that he played me and I freaked, I said, "That's a great song, what are you doing with that song?" He's an independent artist and he had it on one of his records and he played it at a show and I thought "Man, that's really cool." This time, making my record, I said, "Ya know, would you mind if I took a crack at that song?" He said of course because it's kind of a stretch and I wanted to see if I could pull it off, because it's not something I'm really adept to so much. But I love the song so much that I just worked real hard to learn it and represent it well.
MR: It sounds like you to me, not much of a stretch to these ears, sir.
KM: Well it wasn't, it was a song I didn't write and I wanted it to be really right, for the sake of respecting the song. I thought India on it would just be really cool, I went to call her to see if she would do it. So, I called her and said I was going to send her the song. I sent her an MP3 of what I had done so far and she sent back, "Yeah I like it, I will do it." So, she did it and sung it and sent the files back. That's how it happened. It's really a huge deal for me, "no" would have been a great answer, I was okay with it. But I was so grateful when she said she would do it, I wanted to represent, well, a great song and a great artist doing a duet with me on it. I wanted to give it all I had.
MR: Also you have a cover on this album that was surprising, The Eagles' "One Of These Nights," and you smoothly turned it into a Keb' Mo' song. What made you chose that song?
KM: Usually, all my choices in songs, originals, and covers, are made based on some kind of connection to the song or some kind of opportunity that makes it go. This opportunity was when Don Henley was honored as Person of the Year by Musicares. I was invited to sing a song--"One Of These Nights"--that's when I worked up that version. I wanted to pay tribute to him and the song, but I wanted to do it in a way that was accessible to me. I always remembered that his wife was like, "I really like what you did with that song." So, I said, "Okay, let me see," then we went into the studio and cut it. I originally tried to get The Eagles to sing background on it, which is kind of a stretch and it was kind of a big ordeal. I also could have probably pulled it off, but it was such a big ordeal that I said it was too hard. When something is too hard, I kind of shy away from it, not because I'm not up for a challenge. But when it's hard like that, it's maybe not the best choice.
MR: In this case, what you did with that song as a result of not having The Eagles on it might have been a better choice since it has your own unique vibe on it.
KM: Exactly. The universe puts everything right under your nose. I had my wife and a lady named Vida Simon and Heather Donovan sing the song, they knocked it out the park.
MR: So, about your new album, The Reflection. Tell me if I'm reaching here, but I think it's a journey, an exploration on how to become a better person, and relationships. Like for instance, in "The Whole Enchilada," now that you've got the one you love, you've got a choice to be a better person.
KM: Now is when the work starts--the wedding is not the ending, it's the beginning. It's the beginning of a great journey for the two of you if you chose to go on it. The line that sums it up, "It's about to get different you're going to need a new device."
MR: My favorite line in "Inside Outside" is when one points one finger, three point back. Can you go into that song a little bit?
KM: The song was written by myself and Skip Ewing, a Nashville writer. He called me up and said he wanted to write a song with me, he was coming out to LA for a trip. I ended up moving out to Nashville later, but at the time, I didn't know that's what I would be doing. So, he came out to LA, and we set an appointment and we wrote that song. "Let's write, but let's not try to write anything 'country,' let's just try to write a song." We both wanted to do something different than what we had done before. We talked about it inside and outside, and about what you see on the outside is what you're projecting on the inside. I tried to share something I find to be true a lot of times, I don't know if it's true to everybody. I didn't really try to write about everything, but it's an experience I've had.
MR: Let's cover a few more songs. "My Baby's Been Telling Lies" with the great line, "My baby's got a body built for sin."
KM: Vince Gill came up with that line. Once we had written it, we had a go back through the lyrics and it was like, "That line doesn't make sense," but it does make sense, we just left it in.
MR: And many males thank you for that.
KM: (laughs) It was the only way to go.
MR: What was it like working with Vince Gill? You guys are pals?
KM: Yeah, we're friends, it was really cool. When you work with a guy like that who has won over 20 Grammys, when you work with a guy who's in the Country Music Hall of Fame and who is an icon, you can't believe he's your friend. He's the most regular, kind, and gentle guy I've ever met. At first, I had to get my head wrapped around it, and he helped me by his actions, by really being a friend. So, the Vince Gill collaboration was very natural and very organic, I didn't have to call him up and say, "Do you want to do something?" The fact that we wrote a song and the next natural step was to record it, it was just really natural, as was Dave Koz doing the saxophone solo on "One Of These Nights," as was David T. Walker playing additional guitar on the record. It was just really natural. When I moved to Nashville, he put me in touch with Bruce Bouton who played the guitar solo on "Inside Outside," he's my neighbor and he plays with Garth Brooks. Everything really happened naturally. I kept at the record because I wanted it to be something special.
MR: Speaking of something special, the song "We Don't Need It" is really beautiful and pretty topical considering the economy. I love how you tell your family you were laid off and how you now won't be able to get things for them like running shoes for your son and a new dress for your daughter. Then, one by one, your family tells you what they're going to do to help, like rake leaves and have a yard sale, because all they need is you.
KM: As a kid, that's what I felt. I grew up in a middle class Compton family with my father. I didn't care about the fact my father was broke, I was with my dad.
MR: And you're no stranger to the children's music world, you did Big Wide Grin.
KM: It was produced by a friend of mine named Kevin McCormick who plays bass with Jackson Browne. He said, "Why don't you do this song called "The Flat Foot Floogie," and I'm like wow. So, I got Camryn Manheim, the actress from The Practice, to come sing it with me. He also wanted me to do "Isn't She Lovely." I mean, you don't just cover Stevie Wonder if you're a blues guy. I was really scared when he asked me to do it. He's a really good producer, a really good guy, and a very musical cat. We met while I was playing guitar for Deniece Williams and he was playing bass, then he went to play with Jackson Browne. The material was so much fun, like doing "Love Train." We did "Big Yellow Taxi," the Joni Mitchell son. It was a fun record.
MR: Sometimes, children's releases talk down to kids, but you made an album that was enjoyable for parents as well.
KM: It's family fun--something for the kids, something for the parents. I call it more of a family record. It got nominated for a Grammy for best kids record that year.
MR: You're no stranger to Grammyland.
KM: And I got my butt whipped by Elmo. (laughs)
MR: You also participated in events with the No Nukes organization.
KM: A little bit. I participated with Bonnie in a lot of her causes--nukes, mines. I actually talked to her today and she was on her way down to Southern California to do a No Nukes thing with Jackson Browne. I've participated in a lot of things, I've performed at one No Nukes thing. I can't say I'm deeply involved in it and I can't really take credit for that. I would say yes that I'm really connected to Bonnie, and Bonnie is a real champion of causes. I have so much respect for her. Every time she calls me to help her, I help her without a question. Through that, I think I've gained an undeserved reputation for being an activist.
MR: Well, today, you're doing that by talking to a solar-powered radio station.
KM: Well that's good, I've got solar-powered lights on in my yard. We've used bio diesel for our tours, and I turn the water off when I'm shaving.
MR: What advice do you have for new artists?
KM: My advice is love what you do, and know that you're going to accomplish whatever you need to accomplish. Be very clear about your goals.
MR: Clear about where you want to be in five to ten years?
KM: Where you want to be moment to moment. Be very clear where you want your career to go and believe where you should be. As far as how you're going to accomplish it, nobody really knows that for sure.
MR: Keb, thank you so much for spending some time today.
KM: Thank you so much, Mike.
1. The Whole Enchilada
2. Inside Outside
3. All The Way
4. The Reflection (I See Myself In You)
5. Crush On You
6. One Of These Nights
7. My Baby's Tellin' Lies
8. My Shadow
9. We Don't Need It
10. Just Lookin'
11. Walk Through Fire
12. Something Within
Transcribed by Theo Shier
Mariah McManus "Say It Again"
Mariah McManus, a 19-year-old multi-instrumentalist, was heard nationally on Grey's Anatomy with the track "Unarmed" that is featured on her album Nice To Meet You, which drops September 27th. The album, also featuring the single "Say It Again," was produced by Nashville's Thomas Doeve and Aaron McManus, Mariah's brother. Her popularity growing, even Matthew Perry has tweeted about her.
Matthew Perry on Maria McManus
Regarding "Say It Again," Mariah says,"It's about actualizing your dreams and captures that moment when you realize your hopes and dreams are coming true and can coexist with your life. It's accepting the life transitions that accompany getting what you want. Aaron took 'Say It Again' to the next level, as he contributed the hook."
BLOGGING FROM THE BEAUTY SHOP
Tonight's performers were singer-songwriters Heather Mae Foard and Michelle Annette Craft who are currently on an East-To-West tour in search of American music. "Living on the road has taught me to surrender to being in the moment, to accept the now as it is," Michelle says. "Whether we've had a crowd of two or a crowd of 150, whether we've battled insomnia in our van or slept in the comfort of Grandma's guest room, the show must go on. Being repeatedly pushed out of your comfort zone has a way of shifting your outlook on life. There's just too much fun to be had on this planet to waste time fretting about what could have been."
Heather has taken on even more creative responsibility while performing around the country, her goal being to write a song every day for a year. "Before starting this project, I would sit with a song for months, years even, waiting for inspiration to hit me," Heather admits. "'One Year of Songs'" has taught me how to brew creativity on the spot. Not every song I write is going to be a hit, but in writing both good and bad songs, I've realized it's the fact that I'm doing it that matters."
Michelle Annette Craft (left), Heather Rae Foard (right)
photo credit: Mike Ragogna