Hello, friends and music lovers,
As you can tell, The Oomph has been quiet for some time now, and for my friends in the Denver music scene, you’ve probably noticed I haven’t been around to local shows as much. However, things have been anything but quiet in my world, and I felt it was high time to share a bit about what’s been happening around here. To give some context–let me share a bit about me and why I started The Oomph.
As many of you know, I’m not just a writer or a music lover–I’m a musician as well. I’ve been a composer and singer/songwriter for nearly four decades now. (Man, that makes me feel old.) But when my family and I first came to Denver just over 6 years ago, the music in me was nearly dead. I won’t go into details here as to why, but let’s just say I was burned out, disillusioned. The passion for writing and playing was virtually gone. In fact, when I first arrived here, I barely wrote a note for the first couple of years; I simply didn’t feel like I had anything left to say musically.
What I hadn’t lost however, was my love for music in general, nor my abiding love and respect for the people who create it. I understand how competitive the field is, and I admire musicians who continue to plug away at it, even in the face of disappointment, rejection, income challenges, and so on. I also understand the amazing moments when everything comes together, and the great sense of accomplishment when musicians succeed. I wanted to cheer these people on in any way I could–to be a voice to help encourage promising artists to keep at it, and if possible, to help them polish their gifts and better position them for success. This is why I started The Oomph when I moved to Denver. The Oomph represented the search for that intangible “it” factor among musicians, to identify “it” and encourage “it” wherever I saw it. And although I created the blog to review music from anywhere/everywhere, I made a point of getting to local shows in the Denver music scene, to get to know the local artists and encourage them however I could.
AND THEN, ALONG THE WAY, SOMETHING AMAZING HAPPENED…
As I began going to shows, reviewing local music and interviewing local bands and artists, something amazing happened. As I began attempting to encourage others, I began to find myself inspired and encouraged, as well. I met songwriters whose songs began inspiring me to write. I saw performers whose exuberance onstage reminded me of what it was like to make music for the sheer love of it. I was inspired by the camaraderie and community and mutual respect I found within the Denver music scene, and I found friendship and community for myself as well.
And in the process, the music started to come back to life inside me.
Slowly but surely, I began to find my voice again. I started writing new songs, and I began looking for outlets to perform them. I started going to open mics and playing with other musicians at my favorite coffee shop. Nothing huge–but I didn’t want anything huge. I just wanted to play again. For the fun of it.
While this was happening, I began to find an even more exciting personal outlet. Those of you who know me personally know my son Joshua is an emerging filmmaker, and each of his projects over the last few years has needed an original score–and since Dad is a musician….well… I have a degree in music composition, and as I began to draw on that training to produce that music, I tapped into a place of creativity I hadn’t experienced in many, many years. For the first time in I don’t know how long–I loved what I was doing. I remembered why I got into music in the first place. Not only that–I saw the potential for a whole new career in music, one that could keep me busy for the next 30 years or more.
Of course, this created something of a dilemma for me. Between taking additional paid gigs in freelance writing and taking more of my spare time time to work on my own music in the studio, I found myself without a lot of extra time or energy to write about the music scene as much as I wanted to. For a couple of years, I managed to stay on top of major events like Westword Music Showcase and the UMS, but beyond that–not many reviews, and not many shows. I eventually put this blog on indefinite hiatus until I could figure out my priorities and come up with a plan.
SO THAT BRINGS US TO NOW…AND SOME BIG CHANGES
For about the past year or so, our family has become increasingly aware that the next step of our artistic journey was going to require us to relocate, most likely toward one of the coasts, to find more opportunities and connections. We considered both New York and Los Angeles extensively, but since Joshua’s next film project is a feature-length film that calls for location shooting in New York, it makes more sense for us to be there to connect with the talent pool and potential investors who can hopefully help us get the film made. And serendipitously, we bought our townhome right at the beginning of Denver’s housing boom, and that is providing us with seed money to make the move.
So…after nearly seven years in this great city that welcomed us so graciously, we are planning to move to New York City in February 2016.
It’s the biggest, scariest thing any of us has ever done (although, believe it or not, it’s not the riskiest thing), but we are convinced that it’s time to make this move now. As for The Oomph–obviously, since this blog is so Denver-centric, and because of the time constraints otherwise, I won’t be on here much anymore, although I plan to leave the site up for awhile to continue to give my favorite bands the online presence they deserve.
THAT BEING SAID…I’M NOT QUITE FINISHED
Despite the time constraints of recent months, I still have a passion to encourage artists–not just musicians, but creatives of all types–and in what little spare time I’ve had, I’ve been working on a new outlet to bring that help and encouragement. Additionally, I live in a family of artists, and there are some elements of our shared story that we feel need to be told. So sometime soon, I’ll be launching a new blog and podcast called The Clan Artiste, which will address issues and topics that I believe will be of benefit to artists of all stripes. So if that’s something that interests you–stay tuned. Another announcement will be coming soon.
I’ve rambled long enough, so let me close by saying a great big THANK YOU to the Denver music scene and the greater Denver artistic community for welcoming us in, offering us friendship, and giving us a home here. Your passion, community and love of the art have given me fresh inspiration and helped me find my voice, and I couldn’t even imagine taking this next step if not for you. In the meantime–I’ll still be around for a couple more months, so don’t be surprised if you see me hanging out at a show here and there.
And if you do see me–come by and say hello, so I can thank you personally.
All my best,