The Josh Ritter effect.
On my last trip to Los Angeles I sat down with a friend, and fellow singer-songwriter, Jake Newton. Jake has a podcast called "SharkBrain" and he was kind enough to feature me on it. I'm new to the podcast game, in that I never listen to them. My attention span for such things is flawed. Leading up to my sit-down with Jake I had listened to a few SharkBrains, and found myself very interested in what other people have to say, namely the multi-talented, Dan Romer, & SERIOUS thinking man/musician, Ben Lee.
What I enjoyed most about my conversation with Jake was not his delicious coffee, or his lovely home. It was the fact that we were just two people talking. Without the noisy bar. Without the post-show immediacy of hand shaking and networking. Jake and I spoke for about an hour, and the conversation ranges from navigating obscurity to our favorite boots. But one thing I loved about it was where the conversation led towards the very end. I was reminded of the Fall of 2010, just after I finished recording my first album "Jubilation & Jealousy." (INSERT FLASHBACK SEQUENCE..."Picture it. Sicily, 1922...")
I had never heard a single Josh Ritter song but somehow I stumbled upon a blog he was writing. It was called "Making A Life In Music" (You'll have to scroll down.) He was writing it, almost in perfect sync with where my head was at the moment. I had just started showing my face regularly at a popular open mic. I was just at the beginning of this journey that I'm still breaking through the shell of over 3 years later. It's extremely daunting to look ahead at the big picture, and it can break you down if you don't learn how to manage that vision. Sometimes you need to put the blinders on and focus on the here and now. The big picture is a nice motivation, but it can't dominate. You get lost when trying to find the peak of the mountain and you're still under the clouds. Anyway, I digress, as usual. The point is, as with fortuitous moments, I happened to meet Josh Ritter shortly after his last installment of this series of posts. I still hadn't heard a single note of his music. I introduced myself, and was able to thank him for his valuable contribution to my sanity. (For the record, after meeting, I jumped head first into his catalogue and now consider myself a big fan. Josh is easily one of the greatest songwriters we've got today.)
This is a story I hadn't shared in quite some time until I sat with Jake. My brother listened to the podcast and said "I can't believe you never told me that story." I suppose I had held onto it as a personal moment. So, for those of you reading who are going through this music world like a lost little puppy. Read the blog. There are 7 installments and they're all incredibly relevant and REAL. It's not bullshit. Just a guy who went through it, talking about how he went through it.