Watch: Live at The Thirsty Soul Philly

Great night, lightly attended by excellent people. We did a second round, so here I am performing 6 songs. For the second set, I indulged myself by singing a vulgar song that–as my pal and would-be manager, Geoff, observed–has the structure of a children’s song. Hopefully children will not sing it.*


* Incidentally, the aforementioned vulgar tune was inspired by a recent visit to Gettysburg, which is documented at:

Song: American Dream

The peculiarity and variety of peoples’ perspective on America interests me. This song represents one of a few different snapshots of my own impressions, originally penned in the 1990s. It plays with the idea of what one does with the responsibility of carrying a message about your nation. I delicately tweaked two lyrical lines to more closely resemble my current thoughts. I recorded this song several times until arriving back to the basics of folk rock instrumentation (including the two chords I know on the mandolin!). There is a Phil Lesh-inspired emphasis on bass guitar celebrating the awesome Ampeg rig I recently acquired.

Listen on SoundCloud:

Song: Quarter

Saying goodbye to something can be difficult, even if the thing you’re leaving is damaging you. This song was inspired by 7 months’ alcohol free. The instrumentation is particularly sparse, which left room for some detailed production work. It also features a melodica solo. This reedy instrument can impart melancholy better than no other in my own repertoire of musicianship.

Listen on SoundCloud

The Olde 0.0 Chapter 1

After 6 months of no drinking, my most notable craving is a pint of ale with a cigarette. During a visit to a Gettysburg beer store with my old pal, I remembered what used to be a dreaded and, dare i say, mockable fact: There’s such a thing as nonalcoholic beer.

There was actually a surprising selection of decent brands, but (in an oft-repeated fit of bad judgment), I chose Busch. I finished the six pack of cans while my pal downed Budweisers. It wasn’t horrible.

I am currently enjoying a bottle of Bitburger. It has a nice little sting of hops. Much better. And this brings me to my intention: To find the perfect nonalcoholic beer.

I’ll be reviewing all the nonalcoholic beers I can find for the rest of the year. I’ll use roughly the same method each time: Cigarettes and pizza (or other delicious food you must eat with beer). I’ll be sure to mention other beer-ish tests when relevant.

Busch NA: **1/2 / 5

Bitburger: ****1/2 / 5