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    Thursday
    Aug202015

    D'Addario!

    Hello!

    I'm thrilled to announce that I've officially become part of the D'Addario/Planet Waves family. I've been playing their strings for easily fifteen years and couldn't be happier about this new development. I proudly play their NYXL series (size 10/46 on the Gibson Nighthawk, and size 11/49 on the SG), and they've become essential to the sound of Friendship Commanders.

    Speaking of the ol' FC, we have a new EP coming out on October 17th, as part of Cassette Store Day 2015. It's called GARFIELD. Can't wait for you to hear it. We'll be on WRFN Nashville next Thursday, August 27th, talking with The Real Music City about that and everything else we're up to at present. We'll even be playing a few songs live in the studio. Tune in at 9 pm CST to catch it.

    That's all for now! Thanks for stopping by.

    Rock,

    BA

    Wednesday
    Apr222015

    "Brother Blue"

    Hey friends, 

    I've decided to release this song, "Brother Blue," as a single today. It was one of two songs I performed at the Re-Visioning Justice conference last week, the other being a brand new piece called "Relievers." I wrote this song in 2008 as part of a body of work that I intended to turn into an album called Love & Lightning. Somehow the project never happened, and other than being played during some solo live performances in the years that followed, the songs haven't done much. When I was asked to perform at the conference, I dusted this one off to see if it still rang true enough for me to bring it out all these years later. It did. It does.

    As I was leaving the conference, a woman stopped me and asked if there was a recording of "Brother Blue" that she could purchase. I told her the truth, that there wasn't. She looked quite disappointed. She told me that she wanted to give it to someone whose loved one was about to be incarcerated. I decided to record it for them. Jerry Roe and Derek Wells were both available and willing to contribute their talents and time to the recording, and here it is. I decided to make it publicly available just because it felt so good to reconnect with the song, and maybe it will resonate with someone else out there. 

    Any money that is made from this recording will be donated to Jail Guitar Doors, an organization that works to provide inmates with music equipment as a means for rehabilitation. I believe in rehabilitation and recovery, for all of us. I believe in finding ways to be compassionate and supportive. 

    Maybe Love & Lightning will get made someday, maybe not. But, it sure has been sweet to visit with this old friend for a couple of days. Enjoy, and thank you for supporting work with purpose.

    Rock,

    BA

    Thursday
    Apr092015

    work with purpose

    Hi there!

    Happy Spring! Tennessee is in bloom right now and it couldn't be more beautiful. I hope you're all experiencing some new growth this season.

    As promised in my last update, there is much to report. My main project, Friendship Commanders, completed the recording of our first full-length album about two weeks ago. It's currently being mixed by Don Gunn in Seattle, and so far we love what he's doing with the songs. We're not yet sure about the release plan, but I'll be sure to post it as it unfolds. In the meantime, we'll be touring later in the Spring and throughout the Summer, so I hope to see some of you out there on the road. We're also going to release a shorter, rougher project before the album drops. 

    One week from tomorrow, on April 17th, I'll be performing at the Re-Visioning Justice in America conference at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I will sing two of my own songs to open the conference, directly before the introductory presentation by Bryan Stevenson of the Equal Justice initiative. We will be at Benton Chapel on the Vanderbilt Campus, and the evening will start at 6 pm.

    Lastly, What You Can Do, the social activism organization that I have been providing music for since 2013, has just been nominated for a Webby Award in the category of Online Film and Video: Public Service and Activism. I love working with their team and I celebrate this acknowledgment of their loving, generous mission. Vote for them in their category, please!

    Thank you for stopping by, and for supporting work with purpose.

    Rock,

    BA

     

     

    Wednesday
    Jan072015

    Hello, 2015!

    Hi friends, 

    I hope you all had a restful holiday season. What does this year hold for you? I have some fun things going on, and I thought I'd share them with you.

    As I've written before, my primary point of focus is Friendship Commanders, my band with Jerry Roe. We spent the last year playing shows and writing our full-length album. This month, we'll actually break ground on that album. We  recently rearranged and set up our studio at Fort Knockout to record fourteen songs. They won't all end up on the record, but we want to track them all anyway, to have room to edit. We'll start this coming weekend! We will also spend a good bit of this year on the road. I hope to see some of you out there!

    In rare solo performance news, I've been asked to be the sole musical contributor at the Re-Visioning Justice in America Conference at Vanderbilt University in April. This was taken from the conference's official page:

    "This conference will bring together people from across the nation to envision new ways to challenge the problems of mass incarceration and the death penalty. Presentations, panels and key note speeches will address a variety of topics, including racial discrimination in sentencing; the business of mass incarceration; the Cradle to Prison Pipeline; the possibilities and challenges of education in prisons; advocacy for the incarcerated and their families; post-incarceration discrimination; theological resistance to the death penalty; and reforming public policy." 

    I feel quite honored to be participating in such an important conversation about these issues that affect us all. I'll post more details about what I'll be doing as we get closer. It will be my first solo performance in almost two years.

    I hope that this new year brings adventure, laughter, and good music to each of you.

    Rock,

    BA

    Tuesday
    Nov182014

    happy November!

    Hey dudes!

    How about the fact that it's already THE HOLIDAYS? Not sure where I've been, but this season has totally snuck up on me. I guess I've been busy making stuff, which is never a bad thing.

    This year has been one of total dedication to Friendship Commanders, which is why I've been so quiet on the solo front. There's not a lot of solo action these days. . . none, really. I write the occasional song that gets filed away for a rainy day, but the majority of my time, energy, and music goes to the band now. I have to say, I couldn't be happier. 

    FC toured this year, we wrote and demo'd a full-length album that we'll record this winter (!), and we released some music, too. We joined forces with Cassette Store Day and released our first three-sided-single, "TSS001." It's only available on cassette, of which there are one-hundred and fifty copies. Total. Each cassette does come with a free digital download of the songs, but the release isn't available digitally on its own. We wanted make something that was actually limited, in this unlimited world of ours. It was released on CSD, which was September 27th. Order a copy today, and give someone a really loud stocking stuffer!

    After that, we released our second annual Halloween single last month. This time around we covered "Them Bones" by Alice in Chains. The proceeds from our single all go to aid addiction research in memory of Layne Staley. We just made our first donation yesterday; it felt great. 

    We have January set aside for making the record, and I'll be sure to post about it when there's news. Until then, we have new t-shirts and pins, and stuff for you to listen to. Hope to see you at an FC show in 2015!

    Thanks for checking in.

    Rock, 

    BA