Wow, 2013 was a whirl-wind of a year, yet so much transpired that I figured I needed to do a recap.
The year started out with a West Coast tour in January with my good buddy Brian Fuente (of The Voice). We did an 8 show run through California playing at stops such as Cafe du Nord in San Francisco and the Hard Rock Cafe on Hollywood Boulevard in Santa Monica. The highlight of the tour was playing for a SOLD OUT crowd at the Sanchez Arts Center for Art on the Coast in Pacifica. I was honored to have Jake Spirek (violin and piano) and Jon Uhland (drums) accompany me for much of this tour. Matt Powell of Archaic Cannon Records also served as tour manager and did an amazing job at helping pull everything together!
February didn't slow down at all, as I took a small group of friends and we attended my second Grammy Awards at the Staple Center in Los Angeles. Afterwards we also attended the official Grammy After-Party running into a few celebrities and friends from various labels or music groups.
In March I was able to work with Producer Jon Uhland at his studio in Pacifica, California to record a very stripped down, mainly acoustic EP I called "Written in Darkness & Light". We did everything to quarter inch tape - a method I've always wanted to try but was a first time for me. Also in March I flew back to LA and worked with the amazing Matt Odom on my second official music video (Vanity Fair - a song from my upcoming release The Pilgrim). We used the facilities and several of the actors and actresses of Lucent Dossier - a cirque style performance group out of LA. The entire process was super fascinating and a fun experience!
The first week of April, I drove back cross country from San Francisco to Atlanta. I arrived the second week of April and just a few nights later played a SOLD OUT show at The Crimson Moon in Dahlonega - which was a great way to come "back home" and see many familiar faces and friends!
In May I was able to sign with Red Boot Publicity and hire the incredible Laura Goldbarb, out of Venice Beach, CA as my publicist. Her work for me the past 7 months has been remarkable!
The first week of June, myself along with tour manager Matt Powell and violinist/piano player Jake Spirek embarked on a 65 city tour across the country in support of my new concept album The Pilgrim, spanning 15,000 miles, 32 states, 4 time zones, and a couple of stretches of 10-12 nights played in a row. Some of the highlights were: 1) Performing at The Hotel Cafe in Hollywood for the very first time, 2) Playing to a nearly sold out crowd at the Zodiac Playhouse for family and friends in Florence, Alabama, 3) Getting to hang out with my brother and friends in Clearwater, FL after a great show at BLDG 28 Church, 4) Playing some great new venues and reconnecting with old friends at venues I've played at many times, and 5) Being able to connect with many new artists and bands in various cities all across the US.
On August 6, The Pilgrim (co-produced by myself and Simon Illa) was officially released and was in the top 100 on the iTunes charts for nearly a week. Noisetrade picked it up and made it one of their featured albums for a week as well. The amazing publicity that the Pilgrim received was overwhelming getting positive reviews in Performer Magazine, Elmore Magazine, and many more! (Once again, thanks for Laura!) We wrapped up the summer tour in Crestview, Florida the last day of August. And then I was able to vacation with my family in St. Augustine for a week.
I spent most of September and October resting and writing. I probably wrote 20 new tunes and played a handful of shows in the southeast including Charlotte, Raleigh, St Petersburg FL, and the Crimson Moon in Dahlonega again.
The year really finished off on an amazing note, when I was selected (and then voted in by you guys) to open up for Butch Walker at Center Stage Theater in Atlanta in December. It was an amazing experience to get to hang out with Butch and then perform in front of another sold out crowd at an iconic venue.
So, to all you guys who helped make this possible: THANK YOU! It was an amazing year, and I look forward to even bigger and better things in 2014. Thanks for all your support and for helping me live out my dreams! God bless and Happy New Year!!