To The Cabin

Exploring thoughts…

I left California after the holidays this January and visited a talented drummer friend of mine in Brooklyn. He invited me to join him for some West African drumming. It’s a kind of drumming you can only be taught by listening and experiencing with people that have learned the same dialect. We sat down in this loft that overlooked Manhattan and forgot about everything else that wasn’t rhythmic. After centering my mind on playing hand drums for 3 hours straight, my thoughts wondered to what I’ve been missing out on. This time being an awakening thing. Like starring at the back of a cereal box until you’re eyes finally adjust to the real image.

Drums have been my thing for awhile, but I hadn’t really done anything quite like that. Something you can’t emulate on the street corner with a cajun. I’ve been fighting years of feeling stale in a life rhythm and pattern you could say. I’ve heard many times (so many times that it’s like the annoyance of a #1 hit single, that if you hear it one more time you’re going to loose it) that insanity (ironically) has been defined by doing the same thing over and over and expecting new results.. I guess this short lived drum moment broke the seal and poured some water onto my cracking, dry desert..

When this happens, you ok yourself to explore again.. and you start looking through the telescope from the other end (Theodore Geisel) then find yourself being that kid in the back yard lighting fireworks again, so to speak.

I’ve had an amazing winter and spring. Getting back in touch with some roots in rock and soul music, two of my first music loves. It’s been like cutting all the carbs and sugars out of my musical diet, until I’m able to introduce better, healthier, more palatable foods again. I had another great moment recording a session that was live in the studio. (You know, like they use to do before protools) No click track, no editing, just a full band getting the best take. Again…Refreshing.

Recently I was invited to play with a great band called Golden Youth. New friends of mine. We got out of our distracting and usual patterns of Nashville living and took the songs to a Cabin in the smokey mountains of Tennessee. Cleared the living room of the bear lamp and the dining room table, set up gear and recorded the first part to a 3-parter album. Waking up each morning to a pour over cup of coffee while looking out into the woods wasn’t a bad way to get the day started. Thus far one of my most exciting endeavors..

I usually don’t emote on this blog, but for what it’s worth, to those of you who may be like me and have been stuck in a slump.. wondering what’s next.. unslump yourself. Do any idea that comes to you. It might not be a string of the “biggest” things you’ve ever done. who knows. who cares. But it will lead you to the next best thing.. jump and the net will appear (Julia Cameron).

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All Up to You (song)

Had an opportunity to record with my good friend Shane Tutmarc  to track this song for a Australian Kid’s show. We had two days to get it in. Recorded everything at my place and I was really pleased on the way the sounds turned out.

Shane is a great writer and I think the song really blossomed. We had a lot of fun with it. From an engineers perspective, it’s amazing what can come of a great song with good sounds going into Protools, even with the small perimeters I have to work with right now. We had our friend Stephen Keech mix it. It’s a fun little diddly..

Take a listen..

 

Vespa Ride Downtown with Brother

It’s winter and I’ve missed being out on my vespa. Dave came to town to visit and shoot a wedding last August in Jackson, TN. Being brothers we own the same exact suit. (Yes that’s slightly weird) We road down in our suits to my favorite coffee place, Crema, in downtown Nashville to meet up with the other photographer and send Dave off to a wedding. I had found this footage of Dave holding the camera the entire ride. You might describe one of Dave’s first vespa rides as.. gitty.

Vespa Ride, Fully Suited Up from aaron tosti on Vimeo.

I Shot a Wedding at a Honky Tonk

Broadway

Bo and Ashley got married on New Years Eve.  I was one of many eye witnesses at the packed out honky tonk, Robert’s Western World, in downtown Nashville. During the band’s set they announced the couple and played a chilled out country version of the wedding song. Ashley walked down the isle between the bar and the classy shiny boots on the wall as she met up with Bo. They said their vows, danced to “Walk the Line”, and then we stepped out onto Broadway and I was glad to get some good shots among the crowds.

My favorite part was when I talked over the phone to the bride-to-be earlier in the week and I asked if there was going to be a wedding party and a cake (so I could plan on capturing particular moments of the day), she said “Um, I’ve got a made of honor, I think Bo has a couple guys that we’ll be there, and we heard they have moonpies…” I had a lot of fun. Congrats you two!

5th & Broadway

urban-billies

proud couple

grilled cheese or fried balogna?

"cutting the cake".. moonpie

stairs

Easy Get Away

After playing with Shane Tutmarc over the past year I was super stoked to contribute drumming this past summer on his latest EP – So Hard to Make an Easy Getaway.

The EP is now up for grabs on musicreleaser.com, a site dedicated to helping put a creative spin on the value of indie artists. If you follow this link you can download the track ‘What is this Love?’ for free. It’s probably my favorite recorded track. And if you feel so inclined, sign up for an account and help contribute to his full EP meeting the threshold and become completely available to the public.

Thanks. Enjoy.

Flood, Vespa, and making my way out to the West Coast… Almost

My story about the flood goes like this… Water had began to pour down and  down and down. My backyard filling up like a tub. 3 ft… 6ft.. 10ft.. 14 and so on. I was sweating bullets for over 24 hours strait wondering if my living room was going to reside with x amount of water in it or not. As a slight joke some friends had picked up rafts from Walmart and had “come to our rescue”. About the time they showed up, we needed to evacuate our home. A Nashville official, or so we heard, was going to let out water from the nearby dam. Not. cool.

My backyard is less than a mile from the the Cumberland river.

Water easing up the streetfishing into the new lakeside viewstreet completely floodedmy neighbors shed drifting alonglooking through my window

Thankfully, a few hours after we had moved everything worth salvaging upstairs, including a Motorcycle, the water had receded and my place was going to be livable once again.. but those few hours I was dreaming up the worse case scenario. house or no house? Thankfully the neighborhood kept good morale and my roommates were wishing for a small boat while fishing off the back porch.

No but wait, mechanical issues.. my old pickup truck had become a major project meanwhile. Eric “Nuke”, the brains of the project, had helped me remove the entire front of the engine to replace a single part near the timing belt. It was a learning curve for me no doubt…. I became a mechanic. Sorta. But the good news while we took our time attending to my truck, I got a ’79 Vespa. Tentatively nicknamed Roma… she rules.

roma

Post flood and back to some normalcy.. There’s been some great shows in town with Shane Tutmarc and in an upcoming weekend I’ll be out of town with Run Kid Run. I can only hope to hit those drums as tough as Matt Jackson…

By late spring I’m usually due for a California fix. I was a little unnerved that this might not happen, but then I got a call and June 26th I’ll be out in Encinitas with The Almost. Stoked. Going to hang out and stay a bit.

Thanks, Almost.

We Ended in Milan

Back home now. Europe has two new favorite locations for me.. Rome and Prague. I felt like I woke up in a beach town of So Cal, but it was Rome. Sadly I didn’t get to see the Coliseum, but I definitely plan on returning someday. I had pasta 3 nights straight and enjoyed every ounce.

Prague has to be the top coolest looking city we visited. Much of the architecture is from the 1300s. The town had an open market the day we were there and I had another chance to grab a fresh hot cinnamon waffle. We saw this astronomical clock hit 5pm and everyone watched as the clock went through it’s giant coo-coo clock-like event and a trumpet player blasted away.

But now that I’m back in the US, I’ve got other things to attend to. Aaron asked if I could sit in for The Almost this weekend in Dallas. I’m stoked. It should be a lot of fun. Nothing like playing some rock that’s right up my alley.

Cheers!