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Here’s a new song! I recorded this with one microphone in a hallway, taking advantage of the natural acoustics. As a fun compare and contrast exercise, I’ll be re-recording this song sometime in March with more of an electric full band sound. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

the highway stretches out further than i can see
with a choice of direction and everything waiting for me
taking in every sight i can
and hoping you are seeing the same things i am

there are times i don’t notice the details that surround me
other times i find i’m amazed by almost everything
like the feel of the road when i’m driving too slow
or how friendly people can be when they say “hello”
the crunch of leaves and dry grass under my feet
or the effortless way you look at me

some days i don’t leave my house and i’m perfectly happy
some days i can’t stand it, i’ll go crazy if i don’t leave
i need you so bad sometimes it hurts
but saying things like that just makes it worse

Two weeks ago I started my Patreon project and realized that if I told people I was going to write some songs, I should write some songs. This level of accountability helped me complete 52 of 28. Inspiration hit me late that night, so I pulled out my guitar and played around with this melody until the words started flowing. Reassembling my home studio, Dirt to Mud, after a long period of neglect, I recorded vocals, two guitar tracks, octave mandolin, harmonica, and harmonium.

to get to where i’m going i’m gonna need a thick pair of boots
because i don’t know if it’ll be cold, it might rain or even snow
to get to where i’m going i guess i’d better read the news
because i don’t know what happened today and i know i’ll need something to say

to tell you how i feel, i’m gonna need some christmas lights
wrapped around a hundred trees, the lightest rain and the softest breeze
to tell you how i feel, i’m gonna need a few more songs
wrapped around this old guitar and sung kinda poorly to wherever you are

to get to where i’m going, i may need a map or two
i’ll follow the trail wherever it goes, till i find myself on the right road
to get to where i’m going, i may need to get some rest
when i fall asleep will i dream and find in my mind some deeper meaning

Hi! I’m very excited to announce the launch of my Patreon project! Watch my video below and/or visit my Patreon page to learn all about it. (It’s the first video I’ve made, as far as editing – not an excuse; just a warning.)

Like other artists/creators that I know, I feel really weird asking for money. I’m not sure if it’s idealism or the popular notion that work and art can’t be intertwined that makes me feel bad about accepting money for my music. The big change with Patreon is that I’m asking for ongoing support and offering some fun stuff in exchange.

I will always make music. If I don’t at least play a song or two at home a few days a week, irritability and despair inevitably creep their way into my head. Not that my music is filled with irritability and despair (maybe despair, sometimes), but I know I need to spend more time making music.

One of the great things that seems to go hand in hand with Patreon is a sense of accountability and obligation to consistently create music that I’m proud of, and to share it with the awesome, generous people who support me. You have all shown your support and encouragement in so many ways and I greatly appreciate it.

Happy New Year from rushmore beekeepers!

Happy New Year! I don’t really make resolutions, but here are some musical things you can expect from rushmore beekeepers in 2014:

  • New album, at some point. Most of it has yet to be written and recorded, but I like a good adventure.
  • Another songwriting project (in addition to the album).
  • E-newsletter with the latest rushmore beekeepers news, thoughts, experiences, and the occasional paparazzi shot. (Sign up for the email list below!)
  • More shows and live streaming performances!
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Hey, Austin. rushmore beekeepers is coming to you at some point in the near future. That is, moving there next week.

Being in transition is rarely easy, even when the change is good. I’ll probably always feel somewhat restless; maybe that’s just one of those things that goes along with being a songwriter. It’s probably my neurotic and borderline OCD nature, but I like feeling settled. I like having my musical instruments out and ready to play; I like being able to make plans a month in advance, although I’d usually rather just stay home. (This could transition to amazing music overload really fast, especially in a place like Austin.)

I’m ready for a change. Las Vegas is a great place in a lot of ways, but I’ve been ready to leave for the better part of the last few years. Musically speaking, my favorite thing about Vegas is its proximity to San Diego, CA and Cedar City, UT (although I do not take advantage of that nearly as much as I should). I have some amazingly loyal and fantastic supporters here, some who have become great friends, but I can’t honestly say rushmore beekeepers has ever fit in with the local music scene. Some of my friends/fans are excited about my upcoming move – not because they want to get rid of me (at least I hope they don’t), but because they sincerely believe it will be great for my music.

How do people find a place they call home? How do you decide where you are going to live? Are these dumb questions? It seems like such a monumental decision, and some people just seem to know. There are so many fantastic places in this country, in the world. There was a point in my life I wasn’t sure I’d ever live anywhere outside of Las Cruces, NM, but now I feel like I’m on a quest for the perfect place or a way to be constantly exploring.

Back when Carrie and I were trying to decide whether to move to Austin, knowing that it meant leaving a fairly comfortable and secure life for an uncertain future, I stood precariously balanced on our couch and gave some (probably crazy-sounding) speech about how you can’t be afraid of the unknown or stay somewhere just because it’s comfortable, secure, and familiar. (I’m paraphrasing myself; I was being spontaneous.) I was telling this to myself just as much as to her.

As much work as it is for me to mentally prepare for meeting new people, doing new things, driving in an unfamiliar place, and the rest of the changes that come with relocation, I am constantly and painfully aware that I could get stuck in a rut and easily stay there for the rest of my life.

Don’t get me wrong. If I find the right porch to sit on, I will sit on that porch for a thousand years.

Here’s a song I wrote in Austin, about Austin, possibly over-romanticizing Austin:

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