Undoing Internet Sprawl

What matters to me, as a musician, is a tangible connection with you, people who like the music I create.

I want to play for you and have a face-to-face conversation after the concert.  I want to record music that brings you everyday pleasure.  I want to speak directly to you via my online-writings and e-newsletters, and hear your thoughts one-on-one via email.

This kind of connection matters both for my spirit and for making a viable business from my musical passion.


I am in the process of intentionally reducing the number of places I exist on the web.

Google my name.   Results include Myspace, Reverbnation, Sonicbids, Lala, Spotify, Last Fm, Emusic, Yahoo, Mog (what the heck is that?), Billboard, PayplayFM.  Etc etc etc…

I call it internet sprawl.

Wandering, confused, through internet sprawl...
Wandering, confused, through internet sprawl…

Some pages I created.  Some pages are content-sucking “paraSites”.  Most music people consider web omnipresence a good thing, incorrigibly spurred on by everything music-business in the age of the internet.  It’s considered a vital part of how to get your music out there.

Sure, that’s one answer.

But it’s not mine.

For me, being on multitudes of music and social-networking sites detracts from the connectedness I want to cultivate with you.

Yes, I might lose some random new fans.  Maybe a few CD sales, or (gasp!) an opportunity.

But it’s worth it.  You and I have a stronger bond.  You make your way to my concerts and website.  You tell your friends about my music.  You sign up for my mailing list because you care about future concerts and creations.

I really appreciate you!  You’re my peeps!

It’s scary to fly in the face of the articles about “success” for independent musicians.  But this is a path, a brave experiment, that feels good inside my bones.

Here’s where I’ll be on the internet:

  1. My own website/blog.  My home, my living room.  I intend to furnish this place (rather than a confusing bunch of other places) with real content:  Writings, tour dates, photos, videos, direct-from-me CD sales.
  2. CDBaby.  My MP3 download store of choice. Simple, easy, trustworthy.  They pay a reasonable 90% of download income directly to me.
  3. Bandcamp.  Also for digital downloads. I receive only 75-79% of the download income which is less than CDBaby’s 90%.   I’m using Bandcamp for the additional formats they provide, perfect for audiophiles who want the sound quality of a physical CD but prefer downloading just the music rather than ordering the physical thing.
  4. Facebook & Twitter.  I’m using Facebook and Twitter to notify people who rely on those social networks when I update my website.  I won’t often reply to comments there.  Instead, I welcome personal emails because of the private connection they allow you and I to make.  I’ll do my very best to write back when time allows!
Goodbye Web Sprawl.  Free at last!
Goodbye Web Sprawl. Free at last!

Hauling music gear through belly deep snow

About one year ago (Feb 29th be exact – leap year!) I packed up many things musical, and departed for Fairbanks, Alaska to begin recording my new CD Stay Warm at 10th Planet, the beloved studio of the North Woods. Here’s a little photo documentary and video clip of the journey from cabin to car atop belly-deep snow.

This was the typical scenario whenever I was leaving to play a gig or go to the studio in winter in Alaska.  Music could not be made without a blue plastic sled at hand.

Click on any photo in the gallery below to start a slideshow – the captions will show above each picture.

Here’s a little video of an exuberant me setting off on my musical adventure.   And now a year later, my 11-song baby is finally  getting ready to be sent to press.   Sometimes it feels like the whole last 12 months, with all its creations and changes, was one big swashbuckling slog through deep snow…

Newnessness is a word I just made up!

I’m so happy you’re here.  Welcome!  Spring is on the way and with giddy little bunny hops, I offer you my menagerie of newnessness:

  • New website…  I hope you like it!  I see this little piece of webspace as my online living room, where I’ll lounge on the couch and invite you all in to share my news, adventures, photos, stories and thoughts.  You can go to the bottom of my contact page to subscribe to this blog (yep, like a magazine) and receive posts either in your RSS reader, or via email.
  • New location… In September I drove the long road south after 15 great years in Talkeetna, Alaska.  The plan was to live in various interesting places that have milder winters and more abundant cultural opportunities.  I’m still deeply connected to the wilderness and people of the far north, and will return often.  Meanwhile, it’s been a great joy to have spent this fall and winter exploring New Haven, Connecticut.  Orchestras and choirs!  Art shows in converted Erector Set factories!  An African drumming class!  Theatre and movies where you get to meet the actors!  Restaurants of every palate right around the corner!  Colorful international faces!  East and West Rock parks for my walks in the woods…  all of this has rejuvenated my senses.  It’s such a contrast, and a perfect start for an intentional new chapter of life.
  • New CD on the way… Yes yes yes!   It’s called Stay Warm.  11 songs, 9 of them original, and 2 extraordinary covers.  I made the record because I passionately wanted to share these songs with you all.   My talented graphic-artist-fabulous-cafe-owner sister Anita is putting finishing touches on the cover art as we speak.  I’ll tell you more about it soon.  Promise!
  • New commitment… to reconnect to all of you and the wider world (meaningfully, fun-lovingly, creatively), through this very website, through live performances, and through my mailing list.  And I also commit to not spreading myself out so much all over the internets.  I’ll be writing more thoughts about that particular contrarian path soon.

So again, welcome, and pass the word on by whatever method you “like” best.  Sheesh, when did the word “like” become something that I’d put in quotes?  It’s all so … new!

Stay Warm,


Snowy path in New Haven, CT

…a dulcimer, a flute, a song, a smile…