Daniel Kirkwood// Washington, D.C.

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If you were to read each and every post here, and continued to follow this blog, you would soon notice that many of my connections have stemmed from the open mic night at Cafe Coco in Nashville. I spent/spend a LOT of time there, especially in the first year or so. It is a watering hole of creative beings and eclectic personalities, which has really fed me in so many ways. Last summer, I happened into the open mic after not having been for a while, and caught Daniel Kirkwood’s set. I had arrived pretty late in the evening, so i signed up last, and I planned to talk to Daniel after the show about playing together sometime. BUT, he started to walk out right before I played, and with out thinking I jumped up and said, “DON’T LEAVE!”, and then proceeded to say very awkwardly that if he liked my voice I would love to sing harmony for him sometime. Honestly, until five minute ago, I had forgotten that’s how we met and now I’m embarrassed to tell you. Anyway, he and his girlfriend did stay, and he did like my voice, and he happened to be in town from ALASKA for a couple of weeks to begin recording his album! So, we talked turkey and other poultry and I came to the studio a few days later. He recently just returned to Nashville for a few weeks to record some more, and add some finishing touches to what we had down last year, and I took these photos this time. Daniel’s music is really cool, and I’m really proud and honored to be part of this project! Jamison Sevits recorded and produced the project, and a handful of other talented musicians as well! We plan on having an official cd release show in Nashville at some point this summer, but until then, check out Dan’s band camp to hear the sounds! And below is a live take of a song a few weeks back.

Thank you, Daniel, for the gift of you!

http://trawler.bandcamp.com

Amanda Sue Winterhalter// Seattle, WA

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Oh you guys. So previously I introduced you to Graydon Holden, a great friend/musician from Shelton, WA. This lovely lady, Amanda Sue Winterhalter, is the other member of Lower Lights Burning that I’ve come to know and call my friend. I don’t know what is in the water out there in the Pacific Northwest, but I have met some of the sweetest, giving-est, talented-est people i’ve ever known in the great state of Washington. Por Ejemplo, I had only spent less than 24 hours with Amanda and a group of friends, and she opened up her home to me a few months later, and then again just last week! I could go on and on about the loyalty Amanda has for her friends, but that list would go on forever, and that’s only part of what I want y’all to see. I met her because she was singing harmony and playing keys and accordion ¬†and THEN. I had the pleasure of hearing one of her own songs the next day, and she’s so talented. Her lyrics and voice and melodies are so pure and sweet, and speak of the human experience, especially in this song. I just want everyone to hear it. I am so lucky to have this lady as my good friend, and cannot wait to see what develops in her solo career.

Love you, Amanda Sue!

Thank you for the gift of you!

Mike McKaskle// Nashville, TN

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Well, I thought about putting (aka- Pops) in the title for this entry, but I figured I’d leave a little suspense. For those who don’t know already, Mike McKaskle is my Dad, and probably the greatest reason I play music at all right now. I grew up listening to him finger-picking his 76′ Martin guitar- which he paid $600 for new, btw- and he and my mother would sing together in the kitchen after dinner, and at coffee shops and county fair sort of events in West Tennessee. When I was really small I’d sing with them, but mostly I got to soak up the influences of the greats like Doc Watson, Merle Haggard, Jimmy Rogers, John Prine, and Greg Brown, as played by my father.

I began singing with him again when I was about 17, and for my 18th birthday/ high school graduation, he got me my first guitar! He tried teaching me a few chords, but it wouldn’t be until the end of my first (and only) semester away at college that I’d start to really be interested in learning. One of the greatest joys I have is the gift of getting to share music with him, and it has been a connection that has carried us through difficult periods in our relationship.

He played in bands growing up, and most recently has formed a band with his fancy-fingered friend John Zajdel, under the moniker, “The Grindstone Plowboys”. Have a listen!

I Love you, Daddy! Thank you for the gift of you=]