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?


CD Baby:


Reverb Nation:

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

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 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,  And let me know what you think!  I really appreciate feedback.