Back in 2010—right when things seemed to be going well musically—I suffered a massive burnout episode that made me hate music and everything I had been playing. It wasn’t fun, and it’s at the heart of why I sold my house and got the hell outta Austin. A town I once loved, it had become a nightmare. There was a good three years when I could hardly pick up an instrument and didn’t even want to play. The move to the northern Midwest was a good one, despite friends ragging on me for it. They didn’t understand and I wouldn’t expect anyone to. But it did clear out the old emotional devils so the new, fresh devils could enter. A good thing cuz by 2014 I was pickin’ again and really enjoying it.

In June, when work on the photo book was wrapping up, I made a trip to LA to play a show with Katy Soljak at Cafe Nela. I had played on her album “Sex for Sale” about 20 years previously… and it was finally being released. It was damn fun and it made me pull out the mandolin—an instrument I hadn’t touched in ages. That night I also did a set of my own, and sat in with Mike Watt & The Secondmen (Vince Meghrouni on tenor sax). cafe_nela_62114

I was back in the saddle!