Family style. Blood. There is an unspoken something that runs deep between a family. Some understanding of each other that we sometimes can’t understand. There are moments when we swing from its tree trying to free ourselves from the branches, but we are forever woven into its seeds, roots and bark. You can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. I, for one, am very fortunate to sprout from a family tree that is blooming with love, creativity and understanding. They have encouraged and inspired me from the get go and I will be forever grateful. On that note, I am collaborating with my family on my new album. 9 records later, we have finally gotten in the studio as a family unit and played some music together. My father composed the arrangements, played cello, and my mother and sister played violins. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this. A full family string section in full effect. I can’t wait for you to put your ears on it!
Take me where you will. You just never know where the wind will blow you in the music business. From Austin, to New Orleans, to Ocean Springs, to Mobile, to Philly, to Rapperswil, Switzerland, to Havana, Cuba and all points between?? Yep. Buckle up they told me. Lots going on these days at SWHQ. These aforementioned adventures, along with a BRAND NEW album & release tour coming in September are all on deck. I am thanking my lucky stars to be along for this ride with you. Check these dates below as we may be jumping right into your backyard my friends.
A musical giant has passed on to the other side and he left us singing a joyful tune. Oh what a bright spirit and gift that he shared with the world. He was an inspiration to so many, and he surely left a mark on me. He had the soul, simplicity, intellect, fonky-ness, and honesty that was second to none. I had the pleasure of playing with him in NYC a few years ago, and it was like flying! Thank you for the music Mr. Toussaint and rest peacefully.
This is a little piece I wrote after performing with Allen back in October of 2012.
His suit was a thing of splendor–red, gold, blue, and black–and the smile was infectious. As he sat at the piano with such ease, it was as if he and the ivories were interdependent, just one living, breathing thing. When he played, out came the truth. Allen Toussaint is a national treasure and I had the honor of playing a few shows with this New Orleans legend in NYC. He was very easy with his audience and his band, giving everyone space to move. His music isn’t a sonic assault–it just bobs and weaves around the beat and the lyric, inviting you to lean in for more. It was a lesson in dynamics and taste.
After the first show, he pulled me aside. “You gotta real nice feel on that guitar, Seth. What are the chances that guitar amp will still be on stage during my set tomorrow night?” “The chances are VERY good, Mr. Toussaint,” I replied. The next night he invited me on stage and we swung a shuffle, trading riffs and smiles. He sang some lyrics about drinking wine and I felt drunk on the whole thing. I could have jumped to the damn moon. Thank you Allen and NYC for a night I will soon not forget. I hope to see him down in NOLA one day, maybe even write a tune together. Stand by for that.
Greeting from Magazine Street, New Orleans, Louisiana. The magnolia trees on Magazine Street are at full bloomage and Spring has most definitely sprung. I’m really settling in to the Crescent City in the last 6 months and my intention is to continue absorbing more of that Big Easy juju by mere osmosis. The city’s diverse melodic syncopation has definitely snuck into my writing and I am looking forward to see how it spills out into my next record. I plan to cut this Fall. Stay tuned!
The wind is one of the big four and it is not to be reckoned with. It is a boss and can make or break you. I experienced its downright vigor aboard the USS Appledore down off the coast of Key West last week. The quiet power of sailing takes your breath away. The dance of the captain and his crew along with the elements o’ nature is simply a work of art. The course, the knots, the wooden hull cutting against the water is like jazz. Every dip of the bow and spray of salt is a new piece of music. A new riff. Sailing is a release of power which in turn gives it right back. A life lesson it seems. You cannot force the wind to blow as you wish, so you must bend, improvise and adjust your course to find your destination. Rainer Rilke said it best: “Bend and you shall be straight”.