SWEAT: (verb) to labor or exert oneself so as to cause perspiration.
Thanks for stopping by to learn a bit more about me and my music.
What do you do when you get to the point in your life when you question much of what you were taught to believe growing up? Like many of you, I faced that challenge – although my circumstances may be different from yours. I grew up going to a Christian school, was very active in my church, and attended a conservative Christian college where I earned a degree in Theology. My musical experience began in church, and I had the opportunity to travel with several contemporary Christian bands.
But during those years, I struggled with accepting myself, with feeling worthy. In fact, I felt like failure – all because I had a deep, dark secret. I was a man who loved God but began to realize that I was gay – something that I had been taught to believe was wrong, sinful, disgusting. After several years of struggling and soul searching, I finally came out as a gay man. There were many lonely, painful days before I took that step. But there was definitely light at the end of the tunnel! Those struggles, as well as ultimately finding happiness, are chronicled in my debut CD, Stirred Not Shaken, which was released in 2004.
Stirred Not Shaken was critically received, was nominated for Outstanding Male Debut Recording by Outmusic in 2005 and stayed on the Outvoice Top 40 Charts for more than a year, peaking at #2. But time keeps moving, so now it’s time to update the story with the next chapter.
In October 2009, I released my sophomore CD, SWEAT. SWEAT is a bit of a departure from the mellower Stirred Not Shaken. It is an up-tempo pop rock record with plenty of hooks to draw the listener in. Although my musical influences are all over the map, one CD in particular influenced my writing for this project, Natasha Bedingfield’s Unwritten. I thought it was a fun, energetic CD, but it still had something to say.
To craft the pop rock sounds of SWEAT, I worked with Ohio-based producer, Mike Ofca, known for his work with a diverse roster of artists including Eric Himan, Righteous B, and Tom Goss. It was an amazing experience – and I think that shows in the music.
Since I announced that the name of my new CD would be SWEAT, I have been asked why I chose that name. Actually, I can’t think of a title that better reflects what the CD, and my life at the moment, is about.
• It is a pop record with strong rock and blues influences. There are only a few ballads on the CD.
• It is a very “up” record lyrically. It is an accurate reflection of my life since I wrote my first CD.
• The songs on the record are very much “in the moment.” They are about action, about movement, about doing.
• The central theme of SWEAT can be summed up by this line “So I’ll tell you how it is in case you haven’t heard / Life is just a noun but living is a verb” – taken from the song “Anything of Nothing.”
The last few years have been about learning to live life to the fullest, to get the most out of each moment, to keep my relationship with my partner fresh and exciting, and to balance the demands of daily life with some fun. To do all of that, it takes effort – and sweat. I think those are things anyone can relate to.
Since the release of Stirred Not Shaken, I have been privileged to perform in numerous and varied venues including clubs, coffeehouses, bookstores, churches, living rooms and festival stages. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my songs and the stories behind them. I’m just an ordinary guy who has been given an extraordinary opportunity to “live the dream” in my own small way. So for those of you who have come to a show, bought a CD, told your friends about my music, or written to tell me how my music has touched you - I can only offer a humble THANK YOU.
One final note – I do not have an agenda other than to touch people by being authentic in my life and in my music. That is why I self-identify as a gay artist. At the same time, that is just a part of who I am. First and foremost, I am just a normal guy experiencing the up’s and down’s (mostly up’s) of life – and that is what I write about.
I am so pumped about the songs on SWEAT. I can’t wait to hear what you think of them.