“Broadly speaking, my artistic medium is just helping make amazing musical experiences for people. Whatever form that plays out, whether it’s through my own creative music or through helping other people make their music, whether it’s in my recording studio or in a live music experience. That’s how I see it all coming together.
Primarily, Shiny Shiny Black is a band composed of my wife and me. My wife and I write together and get some help occasionally from people like my friend Jonathan Reuel to help the songs come to life. Then I kind of put all the finishing touches on. Our primary focus right now is really trying to grow and expand Shiny Shiny Black and make that kind of the main thing that we do. It’s a weird time to do that, but here we are!
The fact that I’m in my mid-40s and still doing this and I’ve never quit – that’s probably the thing I am the most proud of. I feel a deep soul satisfaction that I’ve not let anybody kind of push me off of that. I decided when I was a kid this is what I wanted to do with my life, and I’ve stuck to it. That has not been easy, but I think because it hasn’t been easy, I have even more pride in, ‘That’s what I do.’
Goshen is an absolutely integral part of my becoming and maturing and growing as an artist. Starting with The Electric Brew, doing ‘pay what you want’ concerts in the mid-’90s, when I was still too young to get into bars and that whole scene and really didn’t have money to be going to big arena shows. That created an opportunity for me to see music live and see people who were doing it at kind of a humble but sustainable level. That gave me a template for what was possible beyond, like, having to win the record label lottery and become a golden guitar god. It gave me a different way of seeing the world and a path that I’ve been able to stay on.
So many great people have come out of here that I’ve been able to cross paths with, whether it’s Reuben Gingrich or Jay Lapp, all the Goldmine Pickers guys. People like Steve Harris, the blues guy, and Johnny B. Gayden. That’s an amazing group of musicians to be surrounded by and to learn from. Running events at The Goshen Theater and Ignition Music was also really critical, I think, in my understanding of what’s important in a show. It’s been an amazing experience to learn from all of that.”