I’ve tried blogging before.

I had a gaming blog (World of Warcraft, specifically) years ago. That was easy. I played the game and then wrote about the game. I shared my experiences and any tips or tricks I learned along the way. Simple. What made it so easy? If I had to distill it down, the focus of the blog, the game, basically provided the content. I did a thing and, subsequently, wrote about the thing I was doing.

Blogging about my experiences as a musician, however, was harder. I had a couple of versions of a blog that I tried to maintain, but eventually the inspiration to post dried out. My last music-related post was over ten years ago. Unlike my gaming blog, there just didn’t seem to be enough to talk about.

When I published that last blog post I was trying to regain momentum and get back into the scene after a period of inactivity (that’s a whole different post). I was gigging where I could, but it wasn’t until about 2016 when things started heating up for me. Colleen Wild, who I had worked with quite a bit back in the mid-aughts, and I reunited and starting playing shows together as a duo. In 2017 we were working so regularly we decided to make it official and name the thing. Echo and Ransom was born, and my calendar quickly filled up.

Echo and Ransom / Photo by Lara Benefield

It’s now March, 2023. I’ve played a couple hundred gigs since 2016: E&R gigs, solo gigs, Matt Derda & The High Watts gigs, and various other projects.

The idea of blogging came to mind again just recently. I took to Twitter, the place where reasonable discourse goes to die, and asked if blogs were still a thing. Do people still read blogs? Are they all just written by AI now? Is it worth it?

Follow me on Twitter if you like music posts, snarky political observations, and complaints about Chicago sports.

I got a couple of responses, but I think I had already made up my mind that I was gonna try this again before I even hit the “tweet” button. I think I can do something here that’s fulfilling to me and, hopefully, beneficial to others.

I’m hopeful that, this time, blogging as myself (as opposed to blogging as a video game character) will be something I can do consistently. I think that, at this point, I’ve had enough experiences and accumulated enough (hopefully) useful tips and tricks as a musician to make this something people would be interested in reading, and something I would be inspired to keep writing. Ideally, the focus of the blog, my adventures (misadventures?) in the local music scene, will be a deep enough well to provide the content. I’m doing a thing, and I’m going to write about the thing I’m doing.

However, I don’t intend to make this all about me. I’ve made so many exceptionally talented friends in the Greater Chicago and Fox Valley music scenes that I’d like to make this a space to celebrate their work and accomplishments. I want you to hear my songs and I want you to hear their songs. I want you to come to my shows and I want you to go to their shows. I believe that the more supportive we are of one another, the more successful we can all become. Rising tide, etc.

All of that said, if this is your first time hearing about me, welcome! I was born and raised in Chicago and I currently live west of the city in Aurora, IL. I write songs, sing, play the guitar, and dabble a bit in a handful of other instruments. You can find all of my links here.

Check me out on Spotify (or the streaming service of your choice…I’m everywhere).

If you live in the Greater Chicago area, I’d love to see you at a show sometime! Click here to see what I’ve got coming up!

So, here I am blogging again. I’d love to have you along for the ride. Thanks for reading.

5 thoughts on “(Re)Introduction

Add yours

  1. I am 104% in favour of this project even though, and paradoxically because, I know how fraught writing for a potential audience in the void really is. But writing, man. Even if the audience are moonbeams and the best writing in the world is a butterfly net, it’s worth it. It is exercise. A working of the stuff that makes us vital and creative and thoughtful. And you have always been good at it. Do your thing. I’m in.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. It would be pretty to think so. And I reckon it’s gotta be true. At least, I can vouch for the disappointing lack of anything good attending a complete lack of exercise. I mean, unless entropy ain’t happenin’ fast enough for you? Fling them words, man!

        Liked by 1 person

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