Although I'm trying to write year-round, it's largely a lot of brick wall-hitting with the occasional new line or two which to me constitutes a small creative victory. It's always been like this. I'm a very slow songwriter.
The exceptions are in the shoulder seasons and, almost like clockwork, I tend to get a little more inspired and productive in the first weeks of September (and similarly in early April). Several half-written songs that I'm very proud of and have been toiling over for years are almost done and that's an exciting feeling! I've thought a lot about writing this year and even lead a workshop at a songwriting retreat in Michigan's Upper Peninsula over the summer which forced me to really examine my process. While it hasn't sped things up very much, I've gained some new perspectives and learned from others which seems to be helpful.
I'm also learning a lot from working on music that isn't my own. Over the past month I've been helping Lansing singer/songwriter Monte Pride record his second album and it's been so much fun getting to know his songs and methods in an intimate way. Helping out with production and arrangements is something I love to do and working on Monte's earthy poetic music has served as inspiration to approach my own songs in a different way.
Over the next couple of months I've got a handful of shows around Southeast Michigan and if you listen closely, you might hear me working out some of my new ideas on stage.
Sat. 9/29 - Black Fire Winery - Tecumseh, MI
Fri. 10/5 - Zou Zou's Cafe - Chelsea, MI
Sun. 10/7 - River's Edge Brewing Co. - Milford, MI
Sat. 10/27 - Flying Otter Vineyard - Adrian, MI
Sun. 11/11 - Surf & Turf VI - Old Town Tavern - Ann Arbor, MI
Fri. 11/23 - Ann Arbor Distilling Co. - Ann Arbor, MI