After all the hints, song previews, whining, expounding, and general lollygagging I’m finally releasing my second album under my own name onto the world. Midwest Son is here and ready for ears to hear it. Hopefully it lives up to all my yapping.
Though I am featured on the album artwork, I’m not the “Midwest Son” in question. Don’t get me wrong, I am a Midwest son. Born and raised in the Midwest. Well, certainly the eastern Midwest. Eastern time zone, daylight savings time, churches, Walmarts, and Low Bobs Discount Tobaccos as far as the eye can see. I think being from the Midwest creates a certain humor and insight in certain folks from here that east coast and west coast folks don’t have. We’re in the middle of everything. Trends, art, fashion, culture…all of those seem to start east or west of us. Some might find this to be a disadvantage -and when it comes to wanting to see a good concert with not-so well known bands- it can be. Let’s face it, “Johnny Cougar” country isn’t where up-and-coming indie bands are plotting shows. But really, that’s a small complaint. I see being from the Midwest as an advantage. If you got your ear to the tracks you can hear trends coming from a mile away. Here in my perch in the cornfields I can see the good stuff from the B.S. I’ve got time before “the new culture” hits my doorstep to decide whether I think its worth my time or not. When you’re in the thick of it living in New York, LA, etc…you tend to get blindsided. You may fall prey to that false excitement. Caught up in this band, or that filmmaker, or that designer, yadda yadda. The Midwest is that step back to get a better look. It creates a common sense barrier from the rest of the country. It also creates pessimism, sarcasm, and a generally negative outlook on anything “new”. Ehh, take the good, take the bad. I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to be closer to New York, Boston, D.C., L.A., San Francisco, or San Diego. A couple hours drive from any of those would be great. But I’ve got Chicago here. I’ve got Indianapolis here. Louisville is only a 4 to 5 hour drive, as is Cleveland. I’ve got culture just down the highway.
So what am I trying to say here? I think I got lost somewhere. Oh yeah….being from the Midwest allows a unique point of view that you don’t get anywhere else. You do have the “Bible Belt” folks, for sure. The Walmart lifers. The “church 4 times a week” crowd. But you also have folks like me. Folks that look around and let it all in. There’s a certain amount of open-mindedness located in these cornfields that you don’t hear about all that much. It’s mostly “Guns ‘n God” that you hear about. Midwest Son is for the other folks. Guys like Kurt Vonnegut and Hunter S. Thompson(he’s from Kentucky…but northern Kentucky). Those guys that thought differently. Saw that things were screwed up and talked about it in a creative, funny, and poignant way. It’s also about my grandpa to a certain degree. He was the Midwest son I had in mind when writing that song and naming the album.
I think this is some of my best work. Let me know what you think. Or don’t, it’s cool. We can still be friends regardless. Plenty of room in my cornfield to hang out and watch oncoming trends.