Sound Masquerading as Music: The Inherent Progressivism of Art

Hello, dear reader. 

I write today from my little studio/office in Colorado while listening to a record of ELO's greatest hits. The birds chip and somewhere the continent sighs at the weight bestowed upon it.

I am currently reading a book about the history of conscientious objectors to war, called "Ain't Gonna Study War No More". It's quite enlightening and has me thinking (a dangerous proposition, I know). 

I conscientiously object to much of what society has to offer, including the attempted and sometimes successful hostile takeover of governments by religious zealots seeking to impose their unfounded belief systems onto free peoples, the altogether too common mirthful embracing of anti-intellectualism, and the frighteningly muscular bonds of racial pride, nationalism, and patriotism.

I bring my objection into reality primarily through the study and practice of music, literature, and other arts. Art seeks innovation, making it inherently progressive (definition: going forward or onward).

Do not be confused. If it does not seek to innovate, it is not art. The definition of art notes it is "of more than ordinary significance." If it is only derivative, contains no element of surprise, then surely it does not surpass the ordinary.

To that point, sometimes I fail and make sound rather than music. Probably most of the time. There's plenty of sound out there masquerading as music.

Sound masquerading as music is conservative by nature. The definition of conservative? The inclination "to limit change." 

But in truth, to be conservative is simply to be progressive minus a handful of decades. If cutting edge New York fashion is progressive, then conservative is what they sell at Kohl's in Iowa 20 years later (I can say that, I grew up in Dallas Center, Iowa).

Music, of course, can have conservative elements while still attaining innovation. Perhaps progress manifests itself in the lyrics, in the way the recording sounds (the production), the types of instruments used, the arrangements, or chordal/melodic/harmonic structures.

Technical precision on its own is conservative, in that it abides by existing expectations of what is "right." This is why there are so many bands that are seemingly perfect in every way but somehow unbearably boring.

Still, many great artists have employed technical prowess as a tool to achieve a vision, but it is only one of numerous options in a musician's toolbox.

Artists again and again have eschewed expectations of what is technically correct, exploring greatness in the process. I cite Louis Armstrong, Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan as just a few examples. Only later did their progressive acts become part of the conservative canon (Nina may be an exception to this; her recordings continue to shock. On the other hand, she did finally get inducted into that most conservative of progressive institutions, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame).  

Of course, as someone who struggles to find the right notes and play them in time, I am biased against the oppressor that is technical perfection. I more than likely have a sort of Stockholm Syndrome. He kidnapped me and holds me captive in his basement, yet I continually try to please him. I think I may just love him. Oh god, where am I?

But perhaps sound can become art through the innovation of intent, in that if a songwriter achieves unique expression of self through a musical statement, art is created.

Thoughts done.

Now, some news from my side of the world:

  • Patreon: I continue to record some of my favorite songs by classic singer-songwriters, along with requests, over on my Patreon page. Recent contributions include songs by Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, Carole King, and Queen. Become a member and listen to over 50 songs right now.
  • Documentary: I recently finished a project in which I traveled to 10 recording studios across the state of Iowa over the course of 10 days, writing and recording 10 new songs with 10 collaborating artists along the way. The documentary, Give What You Can Give, will be premiered on June 2nd in Des Moines, Iowa. You are invited. It's free. More info here.
  • Podcast Appearance: I spoke with Richard Sutton about songwriting, the intention behind my song "Mama, I Wanna Be James Brown", what I'm thinking when I get on stage, and share a new song on his podcast Your Own Private Iowa. Listen here.
  • New Music: I am heading into the studio next week to finish a new song. That, along with another being produced by Tad Kubler of The Hold Steady, will be released sometime in the near future. Ears peeled!
  • Spotify Playlist: I am always updating my "Tour Playlist" over on Spotify with songs that I am currently spinning the hell out of. These songs often reflect my worldview and almost always, I daresay, achieve innovation. Check it out here.
  • Summer Performances: I have just a handful of shows scheduled around the Midwest and Colorado for this summer (hopefully more to come after new music drops).
    • 6/01 Waterloo IA
    • 6/08 Des Moines IA
    • 6/09 Central City CO
    • 7/26 Grinnell IA
    • 8/03-8/04 Appleton WI
    • Details here.


Very sincerely



Photo credit: Graham Images & Photography

Musings on The Everly Brothers, Nina Simone, and Bob Dylan

Hi, friends!

I hope you all are well. I'm back in Des Moines for a few days, just home from my shows out of town. The last two were sold out in Davenport and Appleton (thx Appleton to all 200 people who came, wow). Suffice it to say it was really fun, and nice to know some people like my music haha.

This week over on my Patreon page I've got a classic song for you, "Let It Be Me" by the Everly Brothers. (you can subscribe here for $1/month and get access to over 50 covers I've done of classic singer-songwriters)

I never really gave this song much thought until my good friend and record producer Patrick Tape Fleming pointed out to me how great Bob Dylan's cover is on his album Self Portrait.

In his version, the voice is more isolated (without the iconic harmonies), and his delivery really sells the intent of the words. Sometimes in music, when everything is crystal clear perfect with strings plucking along, you don't hear the emotion within the voice. I think that's why the original presented a barrier to entry for someone like me who wants my music to be very raw and emotional. You go back after realizing how great the song is, though, and then you love the original. Or at least I do! And like 10 million other people haha.

All that being said, Bobby D's version is still very pristine, which brings me to another version that sold me on it further, and that's the one by Nina Simone, which is a live version (from her album of the same name). It does feature the harmonies on and off, backed with piano and bass and light drum accompaniment. Per usual, Nina's interpretation is the most powerful (she is the winner at this always).

So anyway, the song is a good candidate to be stripped down even further (it's all about the desperate lover, making his plea, down on one knee and all that...there's usually not a band behind a man in such situations). So here that is. I particularly like the lonely piano opening. (when it comes to tinkling on the keys, I am forever inspired by Keith Jarrett's Koln Concert)

This one's for Patrick!



P.S. if you are in Iowa in the next two weeks, I am doing my Iowa Music 4x10, which you can attend in studios across the state for free (more info here). 

And if you can't make that, I am playing at Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Iowa on April 28th with Gloom Balloon and Pink Neighbor. Details here. 

double P.S. Patron producers are Richard Ford and Cliff Ford (thx fam!)


photo: sofar sounds washington dc

The Iowa Music 4x10: A Creative Tour of the State's Recording Studios


Hi, friends!

I hope you are well. I'm writing today to tell you about an exciting new project I am planning for April 2018.

It's called the Iowa Music 4x10. Over the course of 10 days in April, I will travel with the DEFT video crew to 10 different studios across the state of Iowa to write and record 10 original songs with 10 Iowa artists. You're invited to join us in studio to witness the recording of each song (more info below).

A short documentary of the journey will highlight some of what the state of Iowa has to offer in musicians, artists, recording studios, landscapes, cities, and people. The documentary and video of each performance will be screened for free on Saturday, June 2nd at the Vaudeville Mews in Des Moines, Iowa, then made available online for free public viewing.

Full Schedule:

April 14: Ames - Alexander Recording Kompany w/ AIBU

April 15: Auburn - King of the Tramps Studio w/ King of the Tramps

April 16: Otho - Junior’s Motel w/ Tina Haase & Brandon Findlay

April 17: Dubuque - Dyed In the Wool w/ Medicinal Purposes

April 18: Shell Rock - Chandler Ltd. Studio w/ TWINS

April 19: Solon - Magic Barn Studio w/ David Zollo

April 20: Davenport - Future Appletree Too w/ The Candymakers

April 21: Iowa City - Flat Black Studios w/ Brian Johannesen

April 22: Des Moines - The Establishment Recording w/ Annalibera

April 24: Des Moines - Midday Studios w/ Gloom Balloon

June 2: Des Moines - Documentary Screening at Vaudeville Mews (2:00-4:30PM) - FREE & ALL AGES: RSVP on Facebook



The public is invited to attend the recording sessions for free, though spots are very limited. Please email me at with the date you are interested in attending for more information on time, location, and availability.


Christopher the Conquered’s Iowa Music 4x10:

10 Artists

10 Songs

10 Studios

10 Days


If you're in or around Iowa, I hope you can come out for a date, or at least the screening in June.

I will also be performing in Des Moines twice in advance of the screening:

March 31st at Noce | 7-10PM | Tickets:

April 28th at Vaudeville Mews w/ Gloom Balloon & Pink Neighbor | 5:30-9PM | Tickets at Door | Every ticket comes with a Gloom Balloon or Christopher the Conquered VINYL or CD of your choice.




Support provided by Iowa Arts Council.


P.S. I know this is by no means a comprehensive tour of Iowa's recording studios. These studios were selected by diversity of location and availability. We hope to include a little about some other studios in addition to the ones on the schedule.

How to Live + Conquered 4 Life Podcast w/ Paul Thompson (Prince, Dolly Parton, Stevie Wonder, Weezer)

Hi, Conquerors.

I was recently going through some papers and found a note I wrote to myself earlier this year, not coincidentally around the time of the inauguration of the current POTUS. Here it is.

In other news, I've just posted a new episode of my podcast Conquered 4 Life. Our guest on this episode is my neighbor Paul Thompson, a musical jack of all trades who has worked with PRINCE, STEVIE WONDER, WEEZER, DOLLY PARTON, and more. It's a wonderful discussion about his work with all those artists and his thoughts on all sorts of topics in music, including the attack at Ariana Grande's concert in Manchester in May of this year.

Listen here on my website

Listen/Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes

Here are the three of us:

Anyway, enjoy!

As always, you can support me by:




Escaping Ego + News: Conquered 4 Life Podcast, Shows, Best of 100 Conquered Songs

I was recently a guest on the podcast Depression Session with Chris "The Genie" Biagini (who is the co-host of my podcast Conquered 4 Life), and in talking about what is driving my art these days, I verbalized something I'd been thinking to myself in recent months: I'm actually kinda happy. And by that I mean, I have a strong sense of self. I am no longer concerned with validation by musical peers, by the industry, by anyone. My motivation in making music is now simply this: It's what I do best, so why do anything else? I suppose you could say I've fully recognized my "calling", though I hate when people talk like that. The last album I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll was me working through the last of my need to find approval, though it seems to understand the point of it all, I had to go through the humbling process of promoting it and releasing it, finding people who care about it and a lot of people who don't, and then even when you think you've got everything figured out (Ryan Adams likes my music! Reddit hammer strikes! Billboard is writing about me!), you realize that getting noticed is just the first step. After that, you've gotta deliver more than ever. So let's just say I've stumbled here and there on the follow-up, but now looking back on my tunnel vision approach to my career, I wouldn't have it any other way. I needed to be put on a pedestal and have it kicked out from underneath me to kill the one final demon standing between me and truly sincere art: My ego.

Scroll through an artist's social media pages, read their interviews, listen to their banter, you see ego everywhere. I believe the idea that a performing artist needs to have at least some ego to have the initial confidence to get out on stage in the first place. The thing is that ego is really just a filler when the artist has little confidence in his or her own art. Ego manifests itself when an artist has to make sure everyone knows they're great. "Here's a photo of me doing something really cool!" "Here's me with someone famous!" "Wow, thanks blog no one has ever heard of for saying something about me!" I am guilty of all the above, and I trust I will be tempted to repeat such things occasionally. Eventually though, as your talent develops and you find your voice, you just know you are doing something meaningful. The process and the result become the focus. Everything is there. What people think of it is ancillary at best. This is true self-confidence. Ego, on the other hand, is a shield. A form of defense to keep you going when you have no idea if your work is distinct. 

So why do I feel like I am moving into a new phase of my career, one in which I'm escaping ego? I think there are a few reasons, here's some ideas:

  • Being validated by some big names and big press, then realizing that none of that really matters. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if someone important says you are good. It just matters if it connects with people, in their hearts. Popularity isn't an indicator of emotional relevance.
  • Writing for the 100 Conquered Songs Project. Spending every day working on songs about other people's happiest and saddest moments has helped me to truly understand how much bigger the world of human reality is, and to get away from my own anxieties.
  • Finding a partner who provides me with respect and support and a source of mutual artistic interest, while also being a good constructive critic. Having an honest opinion from someone who knows you on a personal level is very valuable. Also, having someone to talk about life's problems with means you don't have to put every emotion into every song, every time. It has opened up the possibilities of what I do with my art.
  • Maybe a sense of self grows with age. I've probably been slow to mature in life, for reasons not worth delving into here.

Anyway, those are just some ideas. Regardless, I'm excited for the future of my work. I hope I can come up with something that moves you.

Actually, I have something now that may move you. As you probably know, I've been working on a project called 100 Conquered Songs since last July, in which I am writing songs for 100 different fans from around the world, based on the happiest and saddest moments in their lives. Well, I've finished over 80 of those now, and so I figured it'd be a good idea to compile a playlist of some of my favorites, as a primer for anyone who hasn't been following along super closely. Check it out:

Many thanks to National Endowment for the Arts and Iowa Arts Council for providing financial support for that project!


And now, some other updates from my world:

  • We just recorded hands-down the best episode of Conquered 4 Life, my podcast with co-host Chris "The Genie" Biagini. Our guests are the musicians who made my album I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll possible, H.D. Harmsen and Drew Selim (bass and drums, respectively). We talk about how I am as a bandleader, what makes a good bandleader, rules for being in someone else's band, the eggshell covered terrain of creative collaboration, communication, and mutual artistic respect. We also continue our series Build-A-Band Workshop, analyzing The Genie's lyrics, which opens into a very good conversation about songwriting generally. It's split into two parts, but you can check it all out in two places:
  • As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I was recently a guest on The Genie's own podcast Depression Session. Listen here.
  • I have just posted a number of new shows for this summer around the Midwest and beyond. Check it:
  • My Patreon project has been growing fantastically! Thanks to all my supporters on there. Join them if you like and get exclusive recordings and more:
  • My New World Songbook series at Noce in Des Moines ends this month! Last show is on May 28th. Tickets here
  • Composer LJ White wrote a piece of music for Chicago's experimental chamber orchestra Ensemble Dal Niente, based on my album I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll. Dal Niente will be performing it at their annual "Party" in Chicago on June 2nd. I will be there. I'm very excited! More info and tickets here

I think that's basically everything! Here are some recent videos (also there are a few that are only on my Facebook, including a good live performance featuring J.E. Sunde, click here for those):

"What's the Name of the Town?" Live in Nashville, TN for SoFar Sounds

Headroom Sessions - Live in Denver, CO (includes a Jimmy Cliff cover and a brand new song)

Live at Down Under Lounge in Omaha, NE

A music video for my song "God Plays the Tenor Saxophone" made collaboratively by students at my alma mater Iowa State University




Wasting Freedom

On September 11th, 2001, I was sixteen years old, and I watched our world change live on TV in my high school chemistry classroom. I lived in a very small town in rural Iowa. I hadn’t really ever seen much of the world. I didn’t really know what it meant, but everyone somehow knew that nothing would be the same. Since then, I’ve watched escapism completely overtake our culture. The march of growth has brought us a million ways to distract ourselves from reality. Netflix, Facebook, a world where we only see what we want and there’s a never-ending supply. Our attention spans get shorter and shorter, news is delivered in memes, and how many books sold are actually read? If it isn’t entertaining, we just switch it off, turn the channel. So it’s no surprise that a reality TV producer, a master of lowest common denominator amusement, is the President of the United States of America (insert crying emoji here).

This failure of society isn’t anyone’s fault. It’s everyone’s fault. It’s time to be better. Most of our current adult generations seem to be a lost cause, sadly. The majority of us are set in addiction to mediocre culture and denial of culpability for humanity’s problems. When I first sat down to write this, I concluded to myself that really the only hope is in our youth, but a few recent performances I gave led me to reconsider. I was reminded of the power of creative expression, I saw people come together around music. I saw empathy in those crowds, and love. The world is very dark right now, but people want to see. It only takes the tiniest bit of light. The truth is that it isn’t very hard to be a hero. Who among us will be artists? Who among us will take the time to read books and study the news* and the facts (alternative or otherwise) behind it? Who among us will embark on intellectual explorations to uncover original thoughts? Who among us will have the courage to share those ideas with the world? I really believe that it takes just a small minority of empowered thinkers and creators to subtly shift the world on a path toward justice. The truth is there, waiting to be seen, while the world sits in darkness, oblivious. Who among us will be a light? (No, the light of your smartphone screen doesn’t count.)

While I hold onto optimism for today (and boy can it be tough), I know that real, lasting hope is in our young people, the next generation of leaders, those who don’t remember where they were when those buildings fell. We need to educate our children to value critical thought, to really understand how government works, to have a deep comprehension of American and world history, and to read regularly**. Progressive values come naturally to people educated in this way. If the schools won't do it for us, then parents and community leaders, you need to do it on your own. And we all can vote for representatives who value science-based education and development of critical thinking skills, and protest the hell out of those who do not.

“My mother said I must always be intolerant of ignorance but understanding of illiteracy.” - Maya Angelou

Modern liberal democracy as we know it expanded to world dominance in response to the Third Reich and the Holocaust, in which at least 6 million Jewish people were slaughtered (Don’t let Mr. Bannon erase that). Now we see that grand vision in a fight for its life. Is America à la Trump the new norm or the death rattle of the 20th century "good ol' boy"? (Check out Randy Newman's album Good Old Boys if you don't know what I'm talking about) I don’t know, though I am hoping for the latter. What I do know is this: Nationalism is a sickness. Globalism is the only possible future in which our planet doesn’t die, in which everyone on Spaceship Earth (thanks, Buckminster Fuller) works as one “crew” with a shared interest in our one set of resources and our one home. Humanity is only as good, only as strong, as our weakest and poorest. It’s a crime that we shut ourselves off in relative decadence while people starve and live in real terror.

The only possible future is one in which we all live equally, and if that means that we in the “First World” have to sacrifice some of our wasteful luxury, then so be it. The only other possibility is not a future, just a road to the end. This isn’t a complicated idea, but since I’m more of a songwriter than a speechwriter, here’s a new set of lyrics I wrote for Inauguration Day 2017 (not sure if/when I will release a recording):


Wasting Freedom

Two buildings fall, a September day

A country goes to war, someone’s gotta pay

I remember it well, I was sixteen

Watched it live in class, I think it was chemistry

I walked the streets that night of a dark little Iowa town

And I remember my friend saying “I guess everything is different now”

And I remember a couple days later, my brother left to join the fight

And I remember my mom crying herself to sleep that night

And I remember deciding that life it must go on

I went to college, I started a band, I wrote a whole lot of ok songs

Saw the world and fell in love about 13 or 14 times

15 years later, still nothing seems to rhyme

So I sit at my piano as the darkness closes in

Their words ringing in my head: “Don’t let the terror win”

It’s just another Inauguration Day, but this time I really see

Those words they said about terrorists, well, this is what they mean

Because they win with every bullet we decide to fire

Mistrust is coming up the lane, and the fear is creeping higher

And it doesn’t really matter now, who fired the first shot

The world is full of real poor folk and a shot is all they got

They did it 100 years ago and it started those great big wars

And the wars led to horror, and then to relief, and the world said no more

But people forget so easily, or maybe we just don’t care

History books are hard to read when there’s fake news to share

If we can read the signs but don’t, we’re not illiterate, we’re worse

We willfully play a part in the casting of the curse

And it’ll all come down just a-crashing amidst calls of “Kingdom Come!”

All because we spent our lives

Wasting freedom


If you waste something enough, eventually it’s gone

Those history books we never read will say wasted freedom

But no one ever wrote them, ‘cuz there was no one left to read

The whole world’s just towers now stretching as high as I can see

Everyone has got their own, we’re all trying to reach God

God is shivering in the cold, it seems a shot is all he’s got

And this song right here, it was never heard

Except for in the tune of the last blackbird

Who in his final moments learned

That even he was

Wasting freedom


And the greatest movie ever made is called “Wasting Freedom”

And they even made a video game called “Wasting Freedom”

And the toys have been a real big hit for “Wasting Freedom”

And they’re gonna make a sequel to it, called “Wasting Freedom 2”

And I hear there’s gonna be a spin-off show called “Wasting Freedom”

And hell, why not? even a Broadway musical called “Wasting Freedom”

And nobody ever seems to know that we’re Wasting Freedom


*Regarding news sources: I think the most consistently neutral are probably Associated Press and Reuters

**Can you tell I’m obsessed with people reading? Read anything, people! It allows for self-reflection, it slows one down, it exposes one to other perspectives, and hell, it makes people better at spelling and grammar!


This week I’ve got a few fun new things for ya:

  • My podcast Conquered 4 Life returns with a discussion on songwriting with my producer Patrick Tape Fleming, a great songwriter in his own right. Listen:
  • Cover of Bob Dylan’s “Just Like A Woman” and Tom Waits' "I Hope That I Don't Fall In Love With You" over on my Patreon page, check it out (this is also a really easy and super nice way to support me and to keep the tunes rolling on!):
  • Some new songs for my 100 Conquered Songs project, one in which I attempt 90’s Leonard Cohen vibes, cheesy drums and all, one based heavily on Walt Whitman’s O Captain! My Captain!, one going for a Lou Reed vibe and another throwing back to some Nat King Cole styles. Can you guess which is which? Listen here.
  • The music video for the song "Everybody Rains" is going to be featured on a new Iowa Public Television show called "The Film Lounge". Filmmaker Bruce James Bales and I talk about the making of the video in that, as well. Details here.
  • As always, I am constantly updating my upcoming shows list. Check out performance dates here.

If you want a very funny take on "freedom" and pretty much all of the world's ills, listen to comedian David Cross' album It's Not FunnyLots of people always tell me I bear resemblance to him, by the way. I totally agree.

Oh, and here's a video of a performance I gave last year in New York City in which I elaborate on equality a bit more, um, intimately.

And another video from Milwaukee featuring a couple new songs along with a performance of "I Guess My Heart's Out Of Tune Again". Enjoy.




P.S. All opinions expressed here are totally my own and are non-sourced. They are not truth, just opinion. I didn’t even fact-check anything. I suppose I’m taking a cue from the White House on that one.





New Album Available Now for Pre-Order + Everything Ya Missed

So I know I haven't posted to this blog is over 3 months, and its not because of lack of shit to post about. Since my last post on January 6 I've played shows all over Germany and Italy (well documented on my Instagram), hit up SxSW, and already gotten going back in the States with shows around the MidWest. I've also released an EP (order on iTunes here), and two music videos, one via Consequence of Sound and one via It's a bit much for me to try to recap everything that's gone down in these past 3 months, and you probably don't really care, so I'll stick to what really matters now: my new album.

I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll drops on May 13th. Watch the album trailer below.

You can pre-order now on vinyl or cd on Amazon, digital on iTunes, or the deluxe edition right here on my website.

I also just posted a new episode of my podcast Conquered 4 Life, so if you are interested in the details behind everything that goes into making a record like mine, listen to that! We get deep into the business and all the self-doubt and self-loathing it fosters. Pretty fun. Subscribe on iTunes or listen right here on this site.

PEACE xOxO christopher


New EP Available for Pre-Order Now + Win a Private CtC Show

Hi, friends! A quick update from me. I’ve just arrived in Germany to start a bunch of shows in Europe, 10 weeks to be exact! Follow me on Instagram (@ctconquered) for loads of photos to come.

Mainly, I wanna tell you about a new EP I am releasing on January 29th, called I’m Not That Famous Yet. It features songs from my forthcoming album I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll as well as brand new exclusive recordings! You can pre-order it now on iTunes and get a song immediately, or order it from Maximum Ames Records and get unlimited access to stream the full concert film of me supporting iconic singer-songwriter Leon Russell at the century-old Englert Theatre in Iowa City, Iowa, on October 10, 2015. This film was produced by Deft and is available exclusively through this offer.

On a related note, I am giving away a private show to someone who helps me spread the word about the new EP. Hit this link now for all the details. I’m really excited to share my new music with you, I hope you dig it! That giveaway is part of the 12 Days of Christopher, which is now wrapping up, but if you hit up my Facebook page you can find some cool new stuff, including a cover I did of Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changin'" with a bunch of special guests! It's also on my Soundcloud.

Also, I’ve just posted a new episode of the Conquered 4 Life podcast, which features me and co-host Chris “The Genie” Biagini talking our adventures in life and art. This is the only place you can hear a new track from my forthcoming album! Subscribe on iTunes or listen here.

Oh, speaking of podcasts, I just uncovered this episode of a podcast called Fairly Local where they say really nice things about my music and my new single "I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll!" 

 Photo by Jacob Boll at The Hideout in Chicago.

Photo by Jacob Boll at The Hideout in Chicago.

Ok, last thing: big props to everyone who came out to my residency at The Slowdown in Omaha for the month of December! Some of you made it to all five shows, you are very cool, I think! Much love to the crew at Omaha Dispatch for calling my vocals "exceptional" and my "song prowess, transcendental."



New 7" + Videos + Europe Tour + More

Hi, friends!

It has been far too long since I’ve given y’all an update here, but it’s for good reasons…namely, I’ve been playing a whole lot of shows! And hell, that’s why I exist, so that’s good, right? Anyway, as the year ends, I figure it’s time to go over everything that’s been going down since September.

 My new dance party 7"

My new dance party 7"

First of all, I’ve officially released a live album and a new 7” record, which features tunes from the I’m Giving Up On Rock & Roll sessions at Ardent Studios that didn’t make the album cut, but are still plenty stellar! You can order both of those in my store.

I also recently got some fun thoughts from folks around the country, including Washington D.C.'s Brightest Young Things, which said “There is something deeply off about everything that’s happening here and I’m 100% sold.“

If you care what anyone else who's not you is saying, hit this.

So yeah, I've been on tour, and recently I've gotten to play shows with Leon Russell, Martin Sexton, Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear, and Andrew Bird! Here's a few photos:

 Me & Andrew Bird. Cool! Thanks, Andrew :)

Me & Andrew Bird. Cool! Thanks, Andrew :)

 Opening for Leon Russell at Englert Theatre in Iowa City. Whoa! Leon is a hero of mine.

Opening for Leon Russell at Englert Theatre in Iowa City. Whoa! Leon is a hero of mine.

Also, I recorded a couple songs at Treehouse Studios in Chicago for Consequence of Sound, and they even filmed the suckers! Here's me singing Bob Dylan with a dash of Jackson 5.

Next up, I finish my residency at The Slowdown in Omaha (every Wednesday of this month, tickets here), then I head to Europe for 9 weeks of shows! When I get back in the spring, my new album will come out. I promise.

 Me & The Genie doing research for  Conquered 4 Life  at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl.

Me & The Genie doing research for Conquered 4 Life at Uncle Buck's Fishbowl.

My podcast, Conquered 4 Life, is also still running strong…if you want the in-depth scoop on everything I think about everything, you can catch up here, or subscribe on iTunes.

Last thing: Someone recently sent me this video, which is a beautiful profile of a music lover in Iowa City who just happens to like my music. My album The Fate of A Good Man ends up making a notable appearance.