Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas, all

I want to wish everybody a merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and all that good stuff.

Just to bring you up to speed, the enormously talented Merideth Kirry has recorded her vocals for the new album.  Needless to say, I am incredibly pleased with how they came out -- the downside being that I have to redo some of my harmonies to try to bring them up to par with Merideth's singing.  But it's a nice challenge.

Christmas day will mark five weeks until my wife's due date.  Crazy stuff, my friends.  Crazy stuff.

And finally, what with this being the Christmas season and all, I thought I'd share my lone original Christmas song.  I had toyed with the idea of a Christmas album a while back -- I'm still planning on it sometime in the future.  In any case, enjoy!

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.  Be well, laugh often, and be good to each other.



Monday, November 11, 2013

A few random thoughts three days removed from my birthday

Hello, my friends.

I just turned 32 the other day -- November 8th, if you want to be specific.  As it turns out, it was also my twin brother's birthday, but since this is my blog, I'm going to talk about me, thank you very much.  Get your own damn blog, Adam!

I kid because I love.  And because it's fun.

My twin brother, Adam Huff, is actually an excellent bass player who will be contributing his considerable talents to my upcoming album.  That's the secret to my success -- I surround myself with extremely talented people, and I exploit them shamelessly.

So...my blog has now reached over 700 views.  I think that is awesome.  I don't know if people are enjoying this blog or not -- I try to be informative, and funny, and, at times, thought-provoking.  That's what I attempt, anyway.  And I really hope that, if you nothing else, you find it entertaining.

But here's the thing -- I've gotten no feedback!  None at all.  But since people still view this thing, I'm going to keep going as I've been going until people tell me otherwise.  I'm assuming that you like this.  Bear in mind, though, that I love getting feedback!  I cannot stress this enough!  If you want to tell me something you like, something you don't like, something you'd like to see done different, whatever...drop me a line!

Just to see if this gets the ball rolling: aaron.gabriel.music@gmail.com  There.  Now you have no excuse.

My website is now in the 1100 visits area.  That is also unbelievably cool.  I apologize for the lack of recent updates -- I've been elbow-deep in editing, re-recording, stuff like that.  It's mind-numbing, time-consuming stuff, but it isn't exactly exciting to talk about.  Believe you me -- when something cool happens, you'll be the first to know.

As it is, I think I'm done with tweaking the various songs for the new album on my end.  I'm waiting to add Merideth Kirry's vocals to a few songs (a very talented singer who also happens to have a crazy busy schedule), ship the songs off to Adam to add bass, and then start mixing and mastering.  All in all, I'm quite pleased with how things are progressing.

My in-laws gave me a hand-made dulcimer for my birthday.  I am very excited about this.

My wife and I are in the third trimester of our pregnancy!  Things are looking good thus far, my lady is still feeling good and still dancing, and some friends helped us get our hanging bassinet set up.  Only a few months to go, and the nervous excitement is really kicking in.

My parents celebrated their 49th wedding anniversary on the 7th.  They are truly inspiring, and a great model to look up to -- my wife and I recently celebrated our 4th year of marriage, and now a baby's on the way.  A lot of stuff is going down.

As I have mentioned time and time again, I am a big fan of the Thrilling Adventure Hour.  Lately they've been taking questions from fans, and this most recent podcast included a question I had submitted!  I felt very honored.  Click on the link and take a listen.  And while you're there, listen to their other podcasts, too -- you will not be disappointed.

As the new album gets closer to being finished, I'll be sure to release a teaser track or two to (hopefully) whet your musical appetite.  And when the album's out, I hope you like it, because I'm rather fond of it...which is saying something, because usually I hate my own material.

Take care, stay safe, and in the words of Kevn Kinney: Life's too cheap for short wine.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Ballad of the Flowery Trail

Today, October 10th, marks the 4th anniversary of my marriage.

Back in 2007, I was just starting to branch out with my music.  As such, I was looking for various venues around the area to see if they had any open-mic nights or things of that nature.  I happened across a small blip in the North Columbia Monthly about open-mic nights every other Friday at a place called Flowery Trail Coffeehouse in Chewelah, WA.

I had never been there before, but since I was living in Colville at the time, a 25-mile trip wasn't too much of a hassle.  After a few failed attempts to find the place, I received directions from a very friendly elderly lady.  I talked to Sally, the Flowery Trail's owner, about their open-mic nights, and she said that they had one coming up that Friday.

That Friday evening, I showed up, guitar in hand, and almost didn't go in -- there was a coffeehouse full of PEOPLE in there.  People I didn't know!  I've often wondered why I'm so interested in being a musician, because (more often than not) the thought of meeting people and interacting with people tends to fill me with dread.  Regardless, I walked in, signed up, and quickly sat down somewhere in the corner.

There are two things I remember from that night:

1. The audience seemed to rather like me.  I played a couple of covers -- at one point, before launching into "Play A Train Song," I asked the crowd if there were any Todd Snider fans there.  When I was met with silence, I replied, "Well, in that case, I wrote this song myself."

2. There was a beautiful young lady there who really caught my eye -- not just because she was a looker, but also because when she walked, she didn't just walk, she glided across the room.

And so I thought, well, maybe there's something to this music thing, after all.  Because, let's face it, 99% of the time, when guys want to be musicians, it's got nothing to do with musical ideals or getting some convoluted message out to the hungry masses -- it's about the ladies.

I was too nervous to talk to that girl that night, but I decided to go back.  So, two weeks later, I returned with my brother Nick and his friend David as back-up.  After all, if she wasn't a regular, I didn't really want to sit around all by myself.  This particular Friday saw a major decline in audience: there was Sally, a few other people, and the girl and her sister.  We got to chatting a little bit and I thought she seemed like a really nice girl.

Two weeks later I returned.

She wasn't there.

Well, my motivation evaporated pretty quickly to be there, but I dutifully played a few songs and commented to Sally how disappointed I was that the "really cute girl who was usually there" wasn't there this time around.  Sally, perhaps somewhat jokingly, suggested I write a song about it.  I laughed, said, "Yeah, 'The Ballad of the Flowery Trail.'"

So I did.

When I went back to the Flowery Trail, that "cute girl" was there, and I was suddenly terrified to play this song in front of her -- I really thought I was going to come across as a stalker.  Happily, that wasn't the case, and at the end of the evening she let me walk her to her car, and I braved up and asked for her number.

And that was how I met Melanie.  Married four years now, and our first baby on the way, due sometime around the end of January.

I didn't think that things like these happened outside of books and movies.  I also know that I am a lucky, lucky man.  I don't know what I did to deserve such an amazing woman, but I am well aware that I really, really lucked out.

And on that note, I'd like to share with you this very sweet love song performed by Paul F. Tompkins and Paget Brewster, as those merry married mediums Frank and Sadie Doyle, from the incredibly funny "Beyond Belief" segment of The Thrilling Adventure Hour.  It's funny, a little sassy, and it makes me think of Mel.

As I type this she's playing "On My Own" from Les Miserables on the piano.  It's very nice.

Thus endeth our origin story.

Bottom line: I love my lady.  Here's to many more!


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A shout-out to my father

October 1st, today, marks my father's 75th birthday.  Sadly, it isn't the 75th birthday that I quite envisioned for him, as he is currently dealing with ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

I will admit, this has been tough on me.  My dad always enjoyed good health and an active lifestyle, and it's been rough seeing him lose weight at a rapid pace and be unable to move without the aid of a walker; in most cases he needs a wheelchair.

Yes, I am aware that I am mortal.  I know that I will one day die.  But it's an abstract concept that most of us, I assume, brush to the back of our minds.  To spend your time dwelling on your own demise is not a healthy way to live -- the act of living, and of enjoying life while I'm at it, is what keeps those thoughts at bay.

My father's illness has shifted things a bit.  I am confronted with mortality in a very real sense, watching an incurable and fatal disease work its will on a man that I respect and love with every fiber of my being.

Like I said, it's been tough.

I've also had to confront the typical reactions, faith-wise, of such a situation -- why him, God?  What did he do to deserve such a fate?  Don't you care?  Those sorts of things.  Yes, I'm angry.  I'm heartbroken.  I'm confused.  But faith helps ease those stings -- the belief that, when all is said and done, he will be in a much better place.  The relief that, as far as incurable diseases go, this one is relatively painless, and his mind is still his own.

What I had not anticipated, though, was my father's good cheer.  Not that I was expecting doom and gloom, of course -- I'm just not sure I'd be in such good spirits if it was me.  But I remember talking to him on the phone when he told me he had ALS: "Aaron, I'm seventy-five years old!  And it seems a pretty fitting way for this Yankees fan to go out."

And that, right there, is what helps me the most -- his peace with his situation.  Yes, every child loses their parents at some point.  I'm nearly 32; a lot of sons don't get that much time.  But I will admit, I am greedy, and want my dad around as long as possible.  As my wife wisely points out, that's all well and good, but it wouldn't do to sacrifice the quality of life for quantity.  And since I only live about 25 miles away, I'm able to still see him regularly.

So let me just wish my dad a happy 75th birthday.  Will he make it to his 76th?  I don't know.  I hope so, but I'm not going to push the issue.  But in a funny sort of twist, I find that my father has given me a gift.

He's given me hope.


If you're at all interested in learning more about ALS and what you can do to help fight it, check out www.als.net

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Update: new album and Free Range Theatre

Goodness, how the time flies.  The better part of three weeks, and not a peep from me.  Of course, some, most, or all of you might think that's not such a bad thing.  And if so, well...I was trying to think of something clever, and I came up empty.  I suppose you could ask, "Well, gee, Aaron, you're typing this thing and posting it at your own discretion.  Why not take the time to actually come up with something clever?"  The answer is twofold: laziness, and the desire to be as honest as possible.  I'm not going to mislead the (I'm assuming) dozens of people who might be reading this into thinking that I'm a quick-witted master of repartee.  I'm not bad, but I'm not brilliant, and I don't want to come across as otherwise.

Well, that was an odd beginning.  Let's move on, shall we?

Progress on the new album is coming along swimmingly.  I think I can safely say I'm at least 2/3 of the way through the recording process; on my end, at least.  I'm hoping to get the very talented Merideth Kirry to sing on a few tracks -- if that happens, I'm going to be very happy, because her voice is tremendous.  There's also the slight chance I might be getting someone to play a violin solo on one of my songs -- stay tuned on that one!  And once I'm done with that stuff, I'll be passing along several tracks to my brother Adam, to add some bass guitar tracks.

I've said it before, but I am very excited about this album.  It will definitely be bigger than my last album, in that there will be more elements to it, giving it a big, full sound (or so I hope).  It will also be different than my last album, but I don't view that as a bad thing -- I went into this not wanting to make a carbon copy of my old stuff.  I like my old stuff.  I also like my new stuff.  I think they can both live in harmony.

I had my first read-through of my radio show-themed project this past weekend.  Turnout wasn't great, due to conflicting schedules and what-not, so there were only four of us there.  Even so, it was a lot of fun, and something I'm definitely going to pursue.  My brother Nick (one of those in attendance) dubbed this venture Free Range Theatre, which I absolutely love for a title/descriptor.  I'm hoping to get at least one of the skits recorded in the near future and put it up online, see what people think.  I'm not really expecting to make much of an impression with this -- it's just a nice way to get together with people I enjoy and have a lot of fun in the process.

My wife and I are around 18 weeks.  Everything's looking good so far.  Very exciting.

Be well.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

A new video, plus Cactoid Jim

 I figured I'd take a step back from my somewhat political rant last time and focus on more music-related stuff this time around!
Work on the new album is still going smoothly.  I'm trying to take my time with it, which brings its own annoyances, mainly because I'm really impatient, and I'm really excited about the new album.  I think it's going to be good.
After some (somewhat strange) insistence, I went ahead and made a Youtube video for "You Don't Know My Heart."  It is nothing fancy -- just some various pictures made into a slideshow.  But I guess it helps to get a more "official" video out there.  Take a look:
I'm not sure if I've mentioned before or not, but I am a huge fan of the Thrilling Adventure Hour, an online program done in the style of old-time radio.  It is really funny, the music is fantastic, and the actors involved are some of my favorites.  I decided to invoke my inner nerd and do my own rendition of the Cactoid Jim theme.  Cactoid Jim, King of the Martian Frontier, is a recurring character voiced by Nathan Fillion.  I sent them my song, and they liked it!  How about that?

I've been thinking a lot lately about what I want to do after the album is done.  I've mentioned about working on a Christmas album, but what with my wife and I expecting a baby this winter, I'm thinking shutting myself away for hours on end to record would just be kind of unrealistic.  I've got some ideas swirling around for at least two musicals, as well as ideas for my own radio-themed comedy show -- those ideas involve more writing than recording, so it might work out easier to squeeze in while raising a baby.

Who knows?  The future is looking rather exciting.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

My most political blog yet!

I tend not to get into politics on this blog.  People are entitled to their own beliefs and opinions, and I don't want to sound preachy.  However, this is my blog, and I can do what I want with it.  So here I go!

Yesterday, June 26th, 2013, the Supreme Court struck down the Defense Of Marriage Act, and in my opinion, it was about bloody time.  I have no idea why people are so horrified at the thought of same-sex marriage -- "It's an abomination!  The Bible says so!"  Well, the Bible also says you can stone your wife and sell your daughter.  My point is, picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to zealously enforce and what parts to completely ignore is absolutely ridiculous.  Also, I'm pretty sure the Bible is anti-divorce, but that doesn't seem to stop more than half of our "sacred unions" from ending  up in divorce.  If people truly love each other, I don't see how orientation has anything to do with it.

Anybody remember Jesus?  You know, the son of God who came among us to preach about love, forgiveness, and brotherhood?  The same guy who told us not to judge, lest we be judged?  I thought you might.  People spend so much of their time and energy hating each other that we forget one simple truth: we are God's children, and He loves us.  And if God loves us, shouldn't we do the same for each other?

Don't get me wrong -- I am by no means a perfect man.  Far from it.  But I don't understand what is so wrong with allowing my fellow human beings, my brothers and sisters, to be accepted by our society, regarded as one of the best on the planet, as equals.

Speaking of equals...what is with the misplaced anger towards women?  And why do politicians seem almost gleeful when showing their contempt of them?  Society seems to be in this strange atmosphere of making women feel ashamed of themselves for just being women, and it's absolutely horrendous.

I'm going to be honest with you: I love women.  I am a big fan of the female form.  Does that mean I'm completely unable to control myself when I'm around women?  Of course not.  Self-control is not a horrible burden on my lifestyle; shaming women into blaming themselves when men act completely inappropriately towards them only reinforces the concept that men don't have to take or accept any responsibility for their actions.  That's the crux of the thing: men pushing responsibility away from themselves and on to others.

I'm happily married to a wife that I love and adore.  Some of my closest, dearest friends are women.  In my life I have found women to be strong, brave, funny, and (more often than not) a hell of a lot smarter than I am.  Do I resent them because of these things?  Of course not!  It makes me appreciate them all the more.  I do not feel threatened or emasculated by them -- I love them, and they love me.  My wife trusts that I will behave myself, and I'm gratified by her trust in me.

I'm going to dip my toe a bit into the issues surrounding women's health these days, particularly when it comes to abortion.  Make no mistake: I don't like abortion.  I am not a fan.  But who is?  Are there really people walking around thinking, "Man, I can't wait to get pregnant, so I can have an abortion!"?  I just don't think that's the case.  That being said, I believe wholeheartedly in a woman's right to choose.  It's her body: I don't believe that I have any right to decide for her what she can or can't do with it.  It's particularly disheartening when old white men (for the most part) feel that they do have the right to decide what they can or can't do with their bodies.  The sad truth is that abortions will happen, and if we remove the capacity to have them performed safely and efficiently, then all we're doing is asking for procedures done in conditions that are dangerous.


I think it's time to wrap this up.  Sorry to get all preachy, but this stuff has really been on my mind a lot lately.  I've discovered recently that I can get really passionate when I read and hear about women being treated unfairly -- it really bothers me.  And I'm sure there are more eloquent ways to say what I'm feeling, and I'm also sure there are things I've left out, but I think the gist is there.

I'm not trying to offend.  Like I said, you are entitled to your beliefs.  I just felt like explaining mine.

I promise my next blog post will have more to do with music.  I'm very excited about the new album: a lot of ideas swirling around.  I think it's going to be a good one.


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

It has begun

Really sorry about how long it's been taking me to keep up on these blogs.  At the same time, I figure it would just get really annoying if I was constantly blogging, so...it's all about balance, I guess.

As I'm sure you surmised from the vague and somewhat ominous title, I have begun work (finally) on the new album!  This past weekend I recorded "Be My All," which is what I'm planning on using as the opening track.  I'm very pleased with how it came out -- if the rest of the album comes out as well, I'll be sitting pretty indeed.

Have you heard of The Thrilling Adventure Hour?  If you haven't, you should check it out, because it is simply fantastic.  http://thrillingadventurehour.com

All in all, not a whole lot more to add to this post.  So sorry -- not all of them are going to be brilliant.  But if you haven't visited my website in a while, please do!  I've made quite a bit of changes to the layout that I'm quite happy with.


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Everything is new

My goodness, it has been an awfully long time since I last posted a blog.  A lot has been going on, so I figured I'd get that done first.  Ironic, because normally I live a rather boring life -- now I'm too busy to write up a simple blog.  Go figure.

Time to bring you up to speed!  I've been doing a tremendous amount of work on the website, trying to make it a little more eye-catching, a little more streamlined, and a little more user-friendly.  And while I'm certain I'll be tweaking things here and there for a good while yet, I'm pretty happy with what I have so far.


"You Don't Know My Heart" took 5th place in the Indie International Songwriting Contest 2013.  Wasn't really sure what to expect, but I'm pretty happy with that.  Here's the link to the Winner's Page: http://indieinternational.com/winners.php

I had been thinking about putting out a Christmas album, but I've decided to put that on the backburner and wait until I've finished my next solo album.  Speaking of which, I think I have a good idea of which songs to include on the next album, and if it pans out like I hope it does, I think it could be pretty good.  I've tentatively called it Ghost in the Pages, but we'll see where it goes -- I might even come up with a few ideas and make it a contest or something for which one gets chosen.

Took part in "Chewelah's Got Talent," a local American Idol-type show put on by the local radio station, KCHW 102.7 Chewelah.  A lot of crazy good performers -- I was lucky enough to be awarded an honorable mention, which was nice, because I was not all that pleased with how I did.  Then again, I very rarely am...

My wife and I are trying to get pregnant.  Not really music-related, but it's a pretty huge deal, and it makes me happy thinking about it, so I thought I'd share.

Still trying to get awareness of me and my music out there.  Good grief, what a slow and tedious process.  It's an interesting position to be in, because I'm not usually very quick to sing my own praises -- self-deprication is sort of my thing, which creates its own set of problems.  That said, I'm still scouring the interwebs for reviewers, promotors, blogs, anything that caters towards the more independent-minded musicians; sites that cater toward the more independent-minded folk musicians are the real diamonds in the rough.

Once again, I apologize for the length between these last two posts.  I hope it's not a recurring theme.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Random thoughts on a lovely March evening

I've been thinking a lot lately about trying to find a female vocalist (or female vocalist/instrumentalist) to join forces with me.  My main reasons are as follows:

1. My voice isn't that great.
2. See #1.

While I enjoy the solo aspect of my music, singing with another person adds such a great dynamic.  Some of my favorite groups are like that -- the Weepies, the Civil Wars, Whiskeytown, the Swell Season, etc. etc.  I'm not saying that this will be happening any time soon, but it's something to think about.

And if you know someone who might be interested, let me know.

My wife and I are looking at selling our house and trying to buy a charming little Victorian home about ten minutes from where we live.  Still in the very early stages, but exciting, nonetheless.

I performed "Lovesick Blues" on KCHW 102.7 Chewelah this past December to promote my CD Release.  I've got the song up on my website, under the Music tab.  You should check it out.

I'm also on Jango Internet Radio!  http://www.jango.com/music/Aaron+Gabriel  Pretty cool.

The weather is finally starting to act like Spring around here.  It's been a bit depressing leaving for work in below-freezing temperatures, but the afternoons have been glorious lately.

My blog is closing in on 400 viewers.  I'm going to assume that's a good thing.

I've been wanting to start working on my Christmas album for about a month now, and so far I have done diddly.  This time of year tends to get a bit hectic, which is kind of funny, because I consider myself really, really boring.

I have somewhere around thirty new songs to space out over a few new albums.  Plus I'm constantly writing down lyrics for new ideas.  This pleases me.

I did mention on my blog that this would contain both musings and sometimes ramblings.  Consider this the latter.

Have a great Easter, everybody!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy St. Patrick's Day! ...one day later.

Since it's been a little while, I thought I'd go ahead and post something, let people know I was still in the land of the living.

Sadly, I don't have a whole lot to offer on this posting, other than a happy birthday to my nephew Gabriel (born on St. Patrick's Day), and a new song to share with you.

All I can say about this is I've always wanted to write my own Celtic-influenced song, and this is my very sloppy attempt at such a song.

It's called "Shouting Through The Gates."  I hope you like it.



Saturday, March 2, 2013

Update on my Christmas album

Hello, hello.

Work on the Christmas album has been coming along quite nicely.  I have all of the traditional pieces picked out, I think, as well as figuring out the music, too.  It's nice to see my abilities as a guitar player continue to improve -- I know that I am nowhere near where I'd like to be, but I can say that I'm better than I used to be, and that's a good thing.

For the traditional songs, I've decided to go with these:

I Saw Three Ships
Gloucestershire Wassail
The Coventry Carol
Silent Night
Auld Lang Syne (gonna rock this guy out on my ukelele)
Here We Come A Wassailing

I'm also planning on including a cover of Danny Wheetman's "A Christmas Wish," which is a fantastic little song that most people might recognize being sung by Kermit the Frog on the Christmas album the Muppets did with John Denver many years ago (in my opinion, still the best Christmas album ever).

I've also written my very first Christmas song, "What I Need For Christmas."  I'm still debating whether or not to try writing another one.  We'll see how it goes.

Finally, and most challenging, is that I am planning on including a poem written by Elizabeth Goudge from her wonderful book Pilgrim's Inn.  I'll share the words, because they are just lovely.

Sing hey for the moon and the starry sky,
The river, the woods, and the sea.
For the fish and birds and animals all,
And the grass so green on the lea.
But most of all for the fair Christmas rose
And the lights on the candled tree.

Sing hey for the chimney and rooftree wide,
Sing hey for the walls and the floor,
For the warmth of fire and the glowing hearth
And the welcoming open door.
But most of all for the peace and goodwill
And the joy at our deep heart's core.

Sing hey for the men, the hosts of this house.
Sing hey for the first and the last.
Sing hey for the guests who have gathered here,
Both tonight and in ages past.
And sing hey for the love between host and guest
That will hold them forever fast.

Sing hey for the God Who fashioned for us
This bountiful splendor of earth,
Sing hey for courage and wisdom and love
For beauty and healing and mirth.
But most for the Child Who on Christmas Day
Took upon Him our human birth.

My wife has suggested I try figuring out a melody on my oud to play with this, hence why this could be an incredibly challenging song to create.  But I'll give it a try.

It's finally March!  Spring is on the way!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Chris Trapper is a nice guy

A few weeks back I was fortunate enough to be interviewed for a very cool independent music blog called Musical Magnificence.  In the interview, they asked me about my musical influences, and I responded with:

Don McLean, for his poetry.  Paul Westerberg, for his honesty.  Chris Trapper, for his sincerity.

Maybe not the wittiest things I've ever come up with, but hey, they sounded good at the time.  And those three really have had a big influence on my music and songwriting.

(If you're interested, you can read the interview here.)

Anyway, I follow Chris Trapper on Facebook, and decided to message him letting him know that I mentioned him in an interview, and what his music meant to me, that sort of thing.  Just being polite, really.  Today I got this reply from Mr. Trapper himself:

Aaron, thanks that means a lot to me! CT

Okay, it's not the biggest message, but still -- the man is a successful musician, in the midst of touring, and he took the time to send me that.  So I think that I can firmly claim that Chris Trapper is, indeed, a nice guy.



Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Videos

Have a couple of new videos to share with you!  These were taken from my CD Release.

The incomparable Molly Kate Andrews and I do a duet on the Everly Brothers classic "When Will I Be Loved."

The second video is "You Don't Know My Heart."  If you've heard the album version, you'll realize that I don't normally sing this song so low -- I was still recovering from a cold, and singing the song lower put a lot less strain on my throat.  Oddly, I think I like this version better.

And, of course, these are also available on my website.  Enjoy!


Monday, February 4, 2013

My Valentine's Day Post

I am really  not a big fan of Valentine's Day.

By saying that, I realize it makes me just look like a lazy husband.  I just don't like the pressure it involves: one day of the year I am expected to do something sweet and romantic.  Personally, I like doing things for my wife at unexpected times, just because.

Thankfully, she also feels the same way about Valentine's Day that I do.  It's so convenient!

However, I decided to write her a song this year.  Don't get me wrong -- a lot of the love songs I write are about her or inspired by her.  Still, it felt like it had been a while, so I wrote one last week and recorded it this past weekend.  And since I like you all so much, I thought I'd share.

I'm rather pleased with it.  Hope you like it.


Monday, January 28, 2013

The Curse

The best songs, in my opinion, are the songs that capture the emotions, that cause a listener to feel.  And as long as the song is honest in its approach, it can really be about anything.

Case in point: "The Curse," a wonderful song by Josh Ritter, an absolutely fantastic musician.  This is one of the sweetest, saddest love songs I've ever heard.  Seriously, it has nearly brought me to tears on more than one occasion.

And it's about a mummy.

This is a video from my CD Release performance.  I apologize for the unhappy string on my ukelele.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

My first bit of "fan" mail!

Yes, I am using the word "fan" ironically.

I got this email from someone about a week ago, and it still makes me laugh.  Apparently he had stumbled across my website and felt the need to share:

You seem to have a particularly nauseating blend of narcissism and naivete.

Seriously, how fantastic is THAT?  Obviously, it's not quite the fan mail I would've liked to have gotten, but consider this: apparently I made enough of an impression that this person felt the overwhelming desire to message me.

That must mean I matter a little, doesn't it?  And if someone dislikes me that much, I can only hope that someone will like me that much.  Or something like that.  What can I say?  I'm choosing to stay positive about all this.


Monday, January 21, 2013

CD Release thoughts and pictures

Well, it had been a few days since I wrote anything, so I thought I'd go ahead and change that.  I mentioned before that I'd include some pictures from my CD Release performance, and so I shall.  I still think back fondly on that day -- I had been battling a cold for the better part of a week, and voice was incredibly hoarse.  Doing soundcheck the night before was ghastly.  However, someone must have been looking out for me, because while my voice wasn't perfect, at least I was able to get through it.

It was a really nice show, all in all, and my musical guests were fantastic!  Molly Kate Andrews, who sang with me on the album version of "Lovesick Blues," joined me for three songs: reprising "Lovesick Blues," a gorgeous rendition of a new song I wrote called "Still Falling," and our own take on the Everly Brothers classic "When Will I Be Loved."

Molly Kate's sister Megan, who also has a tremendous voice, took the lead on Leonard Cohen's classic "Hallelujah."  Molly Kate and I sang harmonies, and many in the audience considered it the highlight of the show.  That is, of course, after I realized I was playing the bloody song in the wrong bloody key.  We had a good laugh about that.

Mellad Abeid of the Celtic band An Dochas played on two songs: "Ballad of the Flowery Trail" and "Mexico City Blues."  I've known Mellad for years -- the man is an amazing guitarist, and one heck of a nice guy, to boot.  The finale of the show was fun, as all my guests joined me again, as well as my lovely wife, to bust out "Senorita in the Sunshine."

It must also be mentioned the terrific job my brother Thomas did running lights and sound.  That kid is good at what he does.

So there you are.  If you're at all interested, there are more pictures to be found at my website.  Hopefully some video will be coming soon, too!



Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 goals

I'm hoping 2013 is going to be a big year for me.  Obviously, I can't predict these things with any sort of certainty, but I'm choosing to remain optimistic.  Well, okay -- cautiously optimistic.

There are a number of things I'm hoping to accomplish this year.  First up is a new album.  At the moment, I'm sitting on somewhere around fifteen new songs that I've recorded, with at least half a dozen more that are written but haven't been recorded yet.  It's particularly gratifying to me because, leading up to releasing my first album, I had been suffering from a severe case of writer's block.  Seriously, I was getting to the point where I was afraid I was never going to write a song again.  When you're a young singer/songwriter that believes you have something left to offer, the thought of permanent writer's block is a terrifying thing.  A few life changes (chief among them, quitting my incredibly stressful job) helped me move past my block -- as a result, I've been writing songs with a vengeance.  Honestly, it has been years since I've been able to crank out this large a volume.  Not sure how long it'll last, but I'm enjoying the ride.

I also really want to put out a Christmas album by next Christmas.  I've already got some ideas in place: mostly traditionals, but with a few originals thrown in.  I've never written a Christmas song before, but I do have some thoughts.  Brand new territory for me!

A few years ago, there came into being a horror movie called "Snapped."  To give you some background, I live in the tiny town of Chewelah, located in northeast Washington state.  "Snapped" was filmed in the even tinier town of Valley, a few miles south of Chewelah.  To call "Snapped" a B-movie is to underestimate its frugality.  And to call it a horror movie is also a bit of an injustice, because it's much more funny than anything else.  And to call it a well-thought-out movie also doesn't quite work, because the movie makes absolutely NO SENSE.  All that said, though, it is one of the funniest things I've seen (in case you can't tell, I'm a big fan of Mystery Science Theatre 3000).

The reason I mention this is because, while discussing this movie with my wife (and its sequel, which I had a small, 5-minute part in this past summer), she told me that she and my brother Nick had been talking about "Snapped," and Nick thought it should be a musical.  My brain almost melted -- first off, because that was a brilliant idea, and secondly, because I was mad that I hadn't thought of it first.  Since this ephiphany, I have rewatched the movie countless times, and have around nine or ten pages of notes that I'm hoping to turn into lyrics.

So there you go -- another goal for 2013 is to write "Snapped: The Musical."

Finally, I'm really curious to try my hand at a series of House Concerts in the local area.  There aren't a lot of venues to perform where I live, but the concept of a House Concert really intrigues me: small, intimate gatherings, not having to shell out a bunch of money to rent a place, people who (for the most part) will be friendly towards your music...seems like a win-win, really.  I'm hoping to craft some fliers or something to help promote the idea, see if people respond positively.

Well, now that I've brought you up to speed on my plans for 2013, I figure I should wrap this up.  I'm hoping on my next post to include some more pictures, and I'm in the early planning stages of shooting a music video.  Exciting stuff.

Until next time,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Since I started this blog to help spread the word about my music, I thought it might be a good idea to include some reviews!

Courtesy of Michael Pickett, from the North Columbia Monthly:

Aaron Gabriel Quietly Crashes the Party
With pristine layers of stringed instruments and vocals that clock in somewhere between Evan Lowenstein, Paul Simon and the incandescent charm of John Denver, Aaron Gabriel's 'Uninvited Guest' blends beautiful songwriting and simple delivery in the space of eleven stately songs.
It's a bold move, because as 'easy' as it sounds to create a simple, mostly-acoustic record, it can be a monumental task to fill up a space with confidence and understatement over sequencers and bombast. Letting melodies do their job and then getting just the right combinations of instruments to speak and not clutter is the real trick.
Take tracks like 'Only You Alone' or album opener 'Lovesick Blues' (featuring Molly Kate Andrews) with strong, heartfelt melodies breathing easily over the top of shimmering strings. It's a superb formula and requires just the right touch. Possibly the best of the bunch, however, is the bright, harmony-laden 'The Late Molly Kate,' with its ringing vocal storytelling over the barest of instrumentation...absolutely masterful.
In actual fact, 'Uninvited Guest' is so well-paced and produced that you never get the sense that the album is 'stripped-down.' It would almost be a shame to hear these songs arranged for anything bigger than what occurs here. Aaron's voice is the perfect vehicle for these stories, backed with just the right accompaniment and harmony. Nothing lays this out better than album ender 'Senorita in the Sunshine,' a closer that rises and falls with strong-and-simple guitar punctuated with angelic harmonies in a way that never feels forced or over-done.
Not bad, huh?  I was pretty pleased with that, I must say.
Here's a link to a rather nice quasi-review/interview, courtesy of Sophia Aldous and the Statesman Examiner:
Also, I thought it might be a good idea to include a link to my Facebook page, seeing as how this blog does seem to get some attention.  I even had a visitor from Germany!  Go figure.

Saturday, January 12, 2013


Well, color me surprised -- people seem to be reading this thing!  How awesome (and somewhat bizarre) is that?  Although I should probably stop acting so surprised at all this.  It almost seems like I'm biting the hand that's feeding me.  Apologies.

I don't have a whole ton to add today, but I thought I should at least get you some links to where you could find my music (if you're so inclined).

Let's begin, shall we?

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/An-Uninvited-Guest-Aaron-Gabriel/dp/B008TZXIMA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1345399201&sr=8-1&keywords=aaron+gabriel

CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aarongabriel

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/an-uninvited-guest/id569859611

Reverb Nation: http://www.reverbnation.com/aarongabriel

So there's a few to start with, anyway.  And if you feel like getting in touch with me, joining my mailing list, or airing your grievances, you can contact me at aaron.gabriel.music@gmail.com

Obviously, I'd prefer if you didn't feel like airing your grievances, but you do have that right.

Have a nice weekend, and I hope to hear from you soon!


Friday, January 11, 2013

And so it begins...

January 11th, 2013.  I believe this may be the day my last shred of child-like innocence left me, because I have entered the world of blogging.

I have entered the world of blogging...in the interest of establishing a stronger online presence for my music.  Let that sink in for a moment.  True, I am certainly not savvy or knowledgable when it comes to blogs (and a lot of technology, for that matter), but it seems like an arena where I only type about myself seems like a strange way to promote my music.  Granted, I'll be using this space to talk primarily about my music, but still...seems strange.

I apologize for using my maiden post to talk about how surreal this all is.  Who knows?  It could become a huge help for me -- I guess I just need to look at the positive.

I just realized that if you stumbled across this blog by accident, you might be a little confused as to who I am and what I'm doing here.  So with that in mind...

My name is Aaron Gabriel.  I'm an aspiring singer/songwriter from the tiny town of Chewelah, nestled in the northeast section of Washington state.  I've been involved in music in one form or another for about fifteen years -- I've done some time in various bands, but I've gone solo for the time being.  It's somewhat liberating, but also a bit terrifying...mostly in a good way.

The fairest way to describe my music is a sort of cross between alternative folk and acoustic pop.  It's music that I like to make -- mostly acoustic, but with various instruments used around the edges, and a lot of harmonies on top.  I like it, and other people seem to like it, too.

I take a large amount of pride in my songwriting.  I suppose I would like to be considered as a songwriter, primarily -- I love writing songs that speak to people, that a person can hear and think, yeah, I get that.  The way I see it, every song is meant for someone, even if we haven't met.

Well, this should be enough to get the ball rolling.  Be sure to check out my website, http://www.aarongabriel.net  And let me know what you think!  I really appreciate feedback.