“I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.” I like those lines from the famous gospel song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” especially as sung by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who convey in both their instruments and voices all the hardship and pain that often precede or surround the moments of happiness and freedom that singing can create, the way one really depends on the other to achieve its full impact.
I create a lot of different kinds of things. Singing is the one among them that always gives me more back than I put into it, leaves me feeling happy and free. Whether it’s dark or light in my life at that moment those sounds are being made, I always feel that a good eye is still on the sparrow.
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.
Now you’ve mastered that cover song it’s time to take it to the stage! Ever wanted to take a chance on an open mic and see what it feels like to play with some amplification? Hearing yourself sing on a mic and hear your instrument played through an amp or bigass speakers? The stage can be a hella scary place and having jitters is completely natural. So let’s digest those butterflies and get under that spotlight!
An indie folk band might be considered an unlikely outfit for a classically trained pianist (me), and an Oceanography graduate (Simon Thomas), to end up in. However, these things can happen in unusual ways, like with Sandtimer.