My wonderfully talented friend, Terry Price, made this gorgeous record and released it just recently. I got to sing background vocals on a song, "To Move On". The whole record is amazing and I couldn't be more proud to have been a teeny weeny part of it. Terry and his fantastic wife, Kat, are moving to LA this month, and though we'll all miss them, I know that they'll both thrive like crazy out there. Check out his record and buy it (click the image to link to Bandcamp). You won't be sorry.
I've had the great pleasure of producing Sarah Darling's upcoming record. We're about to finish this weekend and go into mixing next week, and we're all super happy with how it's turning out! She's a doll and such an incredible singer and woman. We are expecting a spring release, so stay tuned!
Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear were invited to perform and speak at this year's Google Zeitgeist Conference in Scottsdale, AZ. I had the super honor of accompanying them. The list of other speakers was incredible, featuring Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, John Legend, Kanye West, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi (who made me weep), and many more. It was fascinating to hear all of these incredible people speak about what they are most passionate about, and I was thrilled to have been a tiny part of it.
All of the panels are available to view online. Sadly, our performance has yet to be posted. Check out Madisen and Ruth being interviewed by Morgan Spurlock:
Madisen and Ruth had a film crew following them around for awhile, and here's the result! If you watch closely, you'll see some footage of me barely playing the cello... and smiling.
Proud to be a part of their journey. I love these people.
My dear, gorgeous friend, Margo Price, made an amazing record this past year with her band, The Price Tags. She and her husband Jeremy funded the recording themselves by selling a bunch of their stuff in pure starving artist form. The album was done mostly at the famous Sun Studio in Memphis, TN, where pretty much all the greats made some of the most iconic recordings in history.
I am ecstatic to have written a string arrangement for the song "Hands of Time", and created an new arrangement alongside my string buds Eleonore Denig and Kristin Weber for "How The Mighty Have Fallen". I can't wait for everyone everywhere to get their hands on this record. It's really something special. Third Man Records plans to release "Midwest Farmer's Daughter" in March 2016.
Checked one off the bucket list and (along with a whole bunch of my string buddies) got to play behind Gillian Welch & David Rawlings after they accepted their award for Lifetime Achievement in Songwriting. I also had the honor of backing up The Lone Bellow, an incredible trio nominated for Band of the Year. An edited version of the show will air on PBS as a special for Austin City Limits later this year.
This past September 5th, my sister Amanda was married to her lovely partner, Zach. The ceremony and reception took place at my parents home near Ithaca, New York, where we grew up.
It was an emotional and exhausting week, while also wonderful and FUN. I couldn't be happier for my sister and Zach, and I'm so looking forward to watching their relationship grow and progress.
Poly played a show with Little Tybee last year at The Basement, and we reprised it last night. Oh boy, we just love them! Do you like lovely violin tone, innovative guitar playing, beautiful singing, and a rhythm section that makes you want to move your tukus? They've got it all! We can't wait to play a show with them in Atlanta.
Check out this rad video from Little Tybee!
I'm super lucky to have friends like Madisen and Ruth Ward. They were able to fly me up to NYC for their very special show at Joe's Pub this past Monday evening. Here's a little clip of their song "Dead Daffodils".
Special thank you to Ben and Matthew at David Gage String Instruments for renting me a good instrument with a badass pickup on it and for letting me play some amazing cellos in their showroom!
This past Friday I had the pleasure of performing with Guilty Pleasures and My So-Called Band at The Schermerhorn Symphony Center here in Nashville. I hired a bunch of my friends to play strings and horns and wrote arrangements for both bands... whew. It was a lot of work, but it was one of the most fun and surreal nights EVER. Here's a little video that my friend Dave Paulson took from the stage of MSCB performing "Walking On Broken Glass" by Annie Lennox. This was one of my favorite moments of the night.
If you live in Nashville and you don't already support The Nashville Symphony, I strongly urge you to get your butt into a seat to see a concert! They're a top notch orchestra, and each season has been full of great repertoire choices and guest musicians. Go see a concert when they start back up again in the fall!
This year was my first volunteering for Rock Camp, and also the first time SGRRC has had a camp in Nashville. It was one of the most rewarding and emotional experiences of my life so far. If you've never volunteered, I strongly urge you to consider it next summer. Y.E.A.H. (Youth Empowerment through Arts and Humanities) has 2 camps in Murfreesboro, TN, and 2 camps in Nashville, TN for kids age 10-17. Visit the websites below to find out how to volunteer!
Here's a picture of me playing with Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at Bonnaroo. It was very very hot outside.
The shows don't stop, though! Here's what I've got over the next couple of weeks:
Saturday, June 20, 2015 - with My So-Called Band : Super Cool Fun Fest, Cumberland Park, Nashville, TN
Saturday, June 27, 2015 - House Concert with Poly (The Living Room Series): 1028 Garvin Place, Louisville, KY, FREE!, 8:00pm
Hope to see you kittens out and about!!
I'm super happy to announce that I'll be playing 3 sets this year at Bonnaroo in Manchester, TN! The festival will take place from June 11th to June 14th. I'm especially excited to be joining my old, dear friend and former roommate, Jesse Terry, for his first ever set at the festival on Saturday! I'll also be backing up Trampled By Turtles on Saturday, as well as Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear on Sunday! If you're planning on going to the festival, I hope you stop by and see me with these 3 incredible acts!
I recently had the pleasure of recording a beautiful a cappella version of "This Time The Dream's On Me" with Rory Hoffman, an unbelievably talented multi-instrumentalist here in Nashville. Between the two of us, we layered 18 vocal tracks. The recording will be a part of his forthcoming solo record (to be released sometime next year). Please download the preview and leave Rory a tip in his digital tip jar if you like it (which I'm sure you will)! Of course, I'll be sure to post when he releases the record. Enjoy!
Last night Poly played to a living room full of people sitting on their butts and listening. Thanks so much to Sofar Nashville for hosting us. They're on their way to Brazil today with our good friends ChessBoxer to do a house show tour through the country and make a documentary about it! Dang. Best of luck to them!
My dear friend Ryan Malina (who designed the lights for our rogue production of Les Miserables back in 2011) made a fantastic record with the super talented Natalie Walker. He asked me to create string arrangements for it, and damn if he didn't make them sound more badass than I could have imagined. You'll find strings on "Guns Down", "Nothing Lasts Forever", and "Deja Vu". Check out the record below, or just go download it on iTunes.
Congrats to my friends at Artiphon! They've massively surpassed their Kickstarter Goal. Not to mention they've created a crazy, weird, awesome new instrument. User friendly, midi capable, lightweight, versatile. Check out their page, and watch the video (I make a tiny appearance near the end!):