The It City EP is out now! Go get it! Listen! Rate and review it! Let us know what else you want to hear!
In 2014, I released my last piece of original music as a solo artist. I am still proud of the records I made, but I was burnt out. It’s hard to make original music, as many of you know. If you care about what you’re making, it’s hard to avoid it being all-consuming. (And all-expensive.) The caring is the important part, but I was getting to a point where I would ask myself if I still wanted to do this and I honestly didn’t know the answer. So, I decided to take a break and fully dedicate myself to my day job.
Luckily, my “day job” is as Music Director for The Downtown Band (the best dang private event band this side of the Mississipp!), so it wasn’t a hard thing to do. I absolutely love my job and giving it this full attention paid immediate dividends in stability and creativity, and it continues to do so.
A few years ago I started to get the itch to make and release my own music again. But I tried to really think about why. What is it that I want to do? I tried to think back to what made me want to play music in the first place. For some, it’s the catharsis of connecting with an audience. For others, it’s the ever-present need to *SAY* something, to express what’s inside. For me, those are part of it, but my #1 favorite thing has always been to make music *with* people. And better yet, people that are *way better* than me. Nothing makes you better than playing with people who wow you at every turn.
Thus, the birth of The It City. I thought of my favorite people in town to make music with. It’s a very long list, but right at the top were Derrek C Phillips, Reed Pittman and Rich Brinsfield. They are absolute monsters who are at the top of their game and, not coincidentally, some of my favorite people to hang out with.
Forming a “band” of working musicians in Nashville is difficult. Especially if they are in-demand. I knew this was going to be the main hurdle of assembling a team like this, so when we eventually settled on going into the studio, it took a while to coordinate. Add that coordination to each step of the process plus the normal painstaking process of trying to release music in a way that people will actually hear it— and you can see why this EP has been a labor of love for over a year!
I have a LOT more to say about all of the incredible individuals involved in this project, because I’d like to give them all proper credit, but for now a summary.
One of the best lessons I learn over and over is to make use of the excellence of people around you. This includes not only writing, recording and performing with Derrek, Reed and Rich but also:
Writing with Jordan Phillips and Adam Stark on “I Get Mine”
Tracking and with Robert Dewey Boyd Jr. at Forty-one Fifteen, assisted by Ryan Youmans and Joshua Harper
Vocal production by Whitney Coleman
Stellar background vocals from Whitney, Justin Caldwell, Kiley Phillips, Morgan Hebert, Abbey Smith Stephcynie Curry and Kristen Rogers
Horns by Leif Shires Jovan Quallo and Josh Scalf with a RIPPING special guest appearance by Miguel Alvarado on “It City Hit”
Mixing and mastering by Joshua Reynolds - may we never grow tired of making weird sounds together.
Music videos and creative consulting by Jeremiah Reynolds (this family is RIDICULOUS) and Brian Zimmerman
Album artwork by the incredibly patient Tylor Loposser
I’m sure I missed people that I’ll think of later, plus when you add in the videos and the live show, you start seeing what an outrageously skilled community we have here in “the it city”. More on those folks too later.
Anyway, if you’ve read this far, I’m so thankful that you’re curious and invested in this project. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Thank you for listening, watching, adding to playlists, spreading the word and for encouraging this fun, terrifying and financially ill-advised endeavor.