Come out tonight if you can! my band (though playing at Commons July 16th as well) rarely plays out live and we have three backing vocalists tonight. #thepleasanttense and @tigertreejosh open @drbassface on bass @mssherlock @abbydorn @hollydawnmoretti on vox and all my crazy #biscuitbrigade #tjbb


Me in a video game #hellyeah #videogame #retrogame check back in for the actual release which will coincide with ourv second ep #tjbb #topherjamesandbiscuitbrigade

In The Trenches. Thankful and Proud.

“On a Wednesday I’m working digging ditches” said Johnny Cash in his song ”I Got Stripes”. Though not exactly a prison sentence, ok far far from it, that’s where I’ve been. Wednesday songwriter round at Cemento’s, Thursday meeting with wedding gig client, teach fiddling to middle school kids in Upper Arlington, hang/socialize/promote/network at King Ave 5 open mic with Billy Zenn (Special appearance, way last minute I might add, by The Biscuettes Abby and Holly made my set amazing), Friday private solo gig 4p-7:30p in Dublin haul ass home unload gear re-load and go right to Park Street Tavern for Andy Shaw Band gig 10p-2a, sleep about 4 hours then Sunday gig at Herb Day Gahanna 1p-3p and haul ass to Powell for Local Roots 7p-11p, get a decent amount of sleep then to The Crest Sunday night for our weekly residence with Shaw Brothers. Whew! On top of that, I’ve got the day shift with little Garrison. I literally have been seeing Becky (aka mama these days) on my way out the door. With an instrument strapped to my back I hand her the baby and I’m on my way. Complaining? No, this is what I signed up for. Tired? Yes, but that’s just truth. Proud? Well, I’m alive and I’m making some dough playing music and I’m raising an amazing baby with an awesome woman so yes. If you’ve ever heard me talk about the music biz my biggest point is always just the hard work, and hard work always makes one proud.

Paul McCartney said today on a podcast I was listening to (The Nerdist with Chris Hardwick, thanks Becky) something to the extent of, and I’m paraphrasing,“our work is play, yes it’s intense but we still get to play…my job is also my hobby”. The great Knight is right. Through all this back breaking loading equipment, speeding through traffic to get to the next gig, listening to drunk idiots tell me my songs are “too slow”, I still have to remember that. Sometimes you get so far into something you have to really work hard to step back and think of the situation objectively, or ask yourself “would I rather be working a desk job to make my living? Sometimes this music biz sucks but what’s the alternative? And doesn’t life just sometimes suck? So I keep going.

Pride was something I mentioned earlier. I’m also proud of our local music scene. Though I hate the term “local music scene” because it just sounds amateur, it’s far from that. I do wish more people would have that perception, but I understand why they don’t and that’s another topic. This week I got to hang around a bunch of great musicians, some I’ve known for years, some I’d never met. I just finished listening to the new Yellow Paper Planes latest “Feathers Touch”. Lead writer/singer Joshua P. James and I shared the songwriter round at Cemento’s I previously mentioned. JPJ challenges and excites me with his words. He writes songs I would not write, and not always songs I wish I could write but I still love them, and that’s really cool. It’s so unique yet familiar. 

I met Chris Nye who’s record, with his band “Bridge Construction”, I’m currently listening to. The production is great and I really enjoyed hearing him live the other day at Cemento’s when he stepped up to play a small set.

Now I’m just bragging, but I’m cool with that. The King Avenue 5 open mic is a great scene. So supportive and filled with great acts. If you are a musician you know open mics can be rough, but this one is great. There is a mixed crowd of beginners and seasoned (and I mean seasoned) open micers (mic’rs? mikers?) Billy Zenn heads up the operation with much class as always (picked up his disc this week too, great stuff). I particularly enjoyed  Mike Schiller AND Bob Dawson killin’ that cajon, Nick Spiker with his Jeff Buckley/Sam Cooke influenced smooth voice, Pete Vogel and his third grade guitar student (Parker?) who played the cutest version of Johnny Cash I’ve ever seen with a rousing applause from the super supportive audience.

Since this is a Biscuit Brigade blog I will mention some news. The next EP is closer and closer to completion. Tracks include: Money Makes The World Go Round, Be The Proof, Hard Love, and Life We Want To Live. This EP will be released with a video game featuring the band and yours truly. I just finished a photoshoot with Erica Hardesty which will hopefully be used for the album art/promo. I also am working on a video with Kerry Henderson of Stage Left Creative so things are all in motion. The 8-bit-ified Topher James music for the video game is also done which was done by the amazing Benji Robinson. I’ve posted previously about some of these ventures so scroll around my Tumblr for more. Connecting all these into a release is the next step.