Float On: Keeping My Head above Water at Forecastle

Through the festival gates, rough waters lay ahead of me. The port-a-potty was more like a THC sauna, as I must’ve slipped in right after a patron who hot-boxed a doob. From the smell of it, Louisville seemed to be chiefing on dirt weed, but every once in a while, it reeked like I was on a Bullitt County back road and somebody had trampled a skunk. It may be hard for a person without the addict gene to comprehend, but one drink or drug can send a person such as myself on a wild spree where by the end of the night, I’ll be saying, “I must’ve taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque.”

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Forecastle Festival: Finding a Hot Spot under the Sun

Little did I know that the canvases were just the tip of the iceberg that sunk me into position to soak up all the activism Forecastle had to offer. Located directly behind the canvases was the Forecastle Foundation home base. I walked in to eager faces and welcoming gestures.

Beau Sequin, of Guayaki – Yerba Mate, led me in. “Would you like a drink with the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate?” he asked.

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There’s a Song in It

When I need supplies to keep my dream alive, I look at what I have to do to get things done, instead of wallowing in pity. I’m in the business of audio and art, not futility. I’ve been instilled with the knowledge that a work shirt isn’t an Armani button-up ruined by a drop of coffee, but a T-shirt decorated with grease, dirt, and sweat. A man can be defined by his successes, but he is ruled on how he handles obstacles. In my mind, problems are merely that—obstacles, something to get past.

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Means as an End: Musician’s mandate is evolve or die

I fall in love with songs when I first write them, but soon after, a love/hate relationship evolves. Depending on the day, time, mood, weather, what I ate for breakfast, stage of the moon, horoscope, price of the Dow Jones, or anything that can be skewed by perception, I may hate or love playing back the song I just wrote. From there, I might decide to record it. If I do, it’s a process of finding the tone and message I want to achieve with the recording. Do I want to use an acoustic, electric, programmed instruments, or real percussion? Do I want to yell, whisper, or stay silent? Should I use the solid state or tube amp? Set it on 10 or barely turn the volume knob? Clean or dirty? Crunch or lead? Once I run the gambit on soundscapes and every possible tonal difference, I start to mic.

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Craigslist Personals: Man seeking guitar, musician seeking answers

Making do with what you have is a sign of true creativity and innovation. You know all those “vintage” sounds and records that your mother or father played? Whether Motown hits or Black Sabbath, some of the most iconic sounds ever made were recorded with old beat-up equipment, minimal training, no digital correction and no grand production overall. Yet that’s the tone that can grab a person’s ear today.

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Community-powered conference to feature Homegrown art, music & spoken word

Editor Bobbi Buchanan and a small crew of local musicians, artists and writers will appear at the 5th annual Bluegrass Bioneers Conference this weekend in Louisville. The team is representing Bullitt County’s bimonthly art, music and spoken word series, the Homegrown Show.

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Sex, Drugs & Propaganda: Trials and tribulations of a rock star

After garnering a rap sheet that could’ve put Amy Winehouse to shame, I finally learned how to follow directions—something the judge said I had a problem with. In the past year, I’ve replaced my bad habits with musical and artistic ambitions. Yet, as I turn to take my seat, I have to wonder, don’t all rock stars have this problem—the desire to go against the grain? To define their own rules?

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Instrument of Truth: 12-string serves as one man’s blind, another’s window

My relationship with his guitar began when, all bridges burnt and at the mercy of the Commonwealth courts, I “volunteered” myself for rehab. Court ordered, with my mind disenthralled from pharmaceutical grips, my life had no direction. My words had no voice. Although surrounded by crowds of people, I felt lonely. In regulated amounts, I found that isolation can be a healthy retreat, and I found solace there.

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