Friday, April 20, 2012

"Windsor Blue" Meaning - Letter to the band

Over the past year we've been asked often what the meaning behind the title of "Windsor Blue" is, as well as the songs, so I thought I'd share something that might help explain.

Below is a letter that I wrote and gave to each person that worked on the album before we began recording last year. As always, I'd be happy to talk more about it to anyone either at a show or through email (dpkbooking @gmail.com). Thanks for reading and see you soon...


Windsor Blue

I want to start by saying thank you for being a part of this album. I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by great people who have helped shape the music into something I’m truly proud of. I hope you will be as well.

I just wanted to give you a little background on the songs and what the album means to me, so that you might have a better understanding as to where I’m coming from, and more importantly, where I’d like to go.

I’ve probably done more research, listening, and reading, to find inspiration for these songs then any school project I’ve ever done. On my bookshelf right now you can find Mark Twain, Henry David Thoreou, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, Ernest Hemmingway, the Bible, and many more. I’ve also tried to listen to countless classic albums from a variety of different artists. What I’ve taken from all these works is that things of value take time to get to, whether that be love, or art, or forgiveness. The good things, and I mean the real good things in life, like seeing your grandparents dance together after 50 years of marriage, or being able to hug your cousin when he gets back from war, take time to get to.

In the past year my life has changed more drastically then any of the years before it. I spent tons of hours on the road alone(California), I spent a lot of time with a terminally ill family member and their family(Summer Dress), I spent 7 long months praying my best friend and cousin would make it home safe from war(New York City Day, Isabelle), I’ve worked really hard on letting an old love go for good(Good-bye Waltz) , I wrote a song for one person(Castle Walls), I’ve tried to deal with the ups and downs of forging a career as a musician (Wait, Isabelle), and I tried to scratch the surface of what my family means to me(Quiet Love).

It is so hard to write a song. I spent hundreds of hours working on these songs. Then I tore them apart to try and make sure they still stood up to what I was trying to get at. And now I’ve brought them to you in the hopes that you could pour some of your own life stories into them. I am so thankful to all you have added to them and hope these songs bring you something in return.

“Windsor Blue” refers to a painting in the book Bluebeard by one of my favorite authors, Kurt Vonnegut. In the book, after years of trying, the main character finally paints his most beautiful work of art on a huge canvas. It is placed in the biggest and busiest building in New York City. After two years the type of paint he had used causes the painting to crumble until eventually the canvas is blank white again and is given back to him. 30 years later when he is about to pass away it is found that he has repainted a stunningly beautiful new picture on the old canvas. That picture ends up being what he is remembered for. The name of the first painting was called Windsor Blue #17.

I thought that summed up the album perfectly...how hard are you going to work for what you feel is truly important? And if that’s taken away, will you work even harder to get it back? Your failure and mistakes can turn out to be your biggest blessings, and you apparent triumphs can lead you down paths filled with more darkness then light.

And after all of our faults and failures, love and loss, there’s is always a chance to do better and create something of lasting value. There is always hope, always a chance to start again, always a Windsor Blue.

-Dan

Friday, October 21, 2011

Anselmo Vineyards- A "Must See"in Northern California!!

A couple of weeks ago we had the great pleasure of playing a show at the beautiful Anselmo Vineyards in Inwood, California. There are times in this business where you get to see and experience some truly amazing places, and our time at Anselmo's was definitely one of those times.

The staff and event coordinators for the show were extremely easy to work with and made ever step of the night easy and enjoyable. We played in Anselmo's wonderful dining hall, which made it difficult to concentrate at times with the amount of gourmet food being served in front of us...but we were able to partake on our break as well :)

Both the food and wine were more than we'd expected, but the ultimate surprise of the evening was their famous Carrot Cake. The staff at Anselmo's warned us that is was "life-changing", and after one bite the band and I had to agree!!

If you're travelling through Northern California I would highly recommend at stop at Anselmo's for a relaxing evening filled with wine, top-notch food, and of course...great live music :)

Check out their website for more information here :http://www.anselmovineyards.com/


We'll be back to play a show at Anselmo's sometime early next year!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Angels Sing" on New 'Hymns from Home' Album


Hello All!

Along with all the great press and exciting developments from the recently released Windsor Blue, we're also excited to announce that a previously unrecorded song, "Angels Sing" has been released on a compilation album called 'Hymns From Home' from the music promoter Hemifran in Sweden!

The album features songs from many great artists including Judy Collins, JD Souther, Greg Copeland, I See Hawks in L.A., and many more.

They theme of the album was "that thing that's a whole lot bigger than this", and every song stands out in it's own way.

The album has been receiving radio play and great press all throughout Europe and I was honored to be a part of it.
To hear "Angels Sing" and the rest of these great songs visit... Hymns From Home

Looking forwarding to seeing you all out there soon!

For more info visit...Dan Krikorian Website




Friday, July 29, 2011

"Windsor Blue" on iTunes today!

Hey All,

Excited to announce the release of "Windsor Blue" on Itunes today!

Here's the link to check it out...

Windsor Blue on iTunes

Thanks so much for the support and we hope to see you at one of
our local shows coming up August 2nd at 6:15pm at the Costa Mesa
Concert in the Park Series... and August 13th at the OC Fair at 3:45pm!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

OC Fair and Concert in the Park Shows Announced!


Hey All,

We're real excited to announce 2 great shows in August with the release of the new "Windsor Blue" album:

August 2nd, Costa Mesa Concert in the Park Series, 6:30pm, Fairview Park

August 13th, The OC Fair, 3:45pm, The Meadows Stage

Hope to see you all there, you can find more dates and new album info at www.dankrikorian.com

Thanks!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Echo Echo "Fall Like You're Flying" Interview

Over the past few months I've stuck to a pretty strict rotation of albums and
artists in my CD player consisting of Joe Purdy, Josh Ritter, and
Bob Dylan. But in between those songwriters I've had the pleasure of listening
to Orange County based Echo Echo's recent release "Fall Like You're Flying", a
great alternative rock album combining soulful music with heartfelt, intelligent
songwriting. I had a chance to speak with front man Steve Carson about the
band's release, the process of recording it, and what lies ahead for this band on
the rise.

DK: Hey Steve thanks for doing this, so to start, how does the band Echo Echo differ from what you've done in the past?

SC: We're all really good friends. It's not just about rehearsing, recording and performing; we spend a lot of our time together just hanging out at the studio, eating Del Taco, drinking vodka and whiskey and discussing life's many ups and downs. It's nice to be in a band where you not only respect the musicianship of each member but also enjoy spending countless hours with them.

You've decided to give your new album, "Fall Like You're Flying", away for free, how did that
decision come about and have you seen good results so far?

The idea behind the free download site came to me in the studio when we were trying to decide how to package and market the album. We are so proud of what we created and felt that the most important thing was the number of ears listening and connecting with the album not the amount in the bank account. Our share site allows people to share the album with their friends and family and then download it for free. Our hope is that we will be able to reach thousands instead of hundreds within months. So far so good.

Well its a great album and I'm glad it's going well for you so far. So what is the songwriting process like for you guys? Do you write as a full band or is it more of a solo deal?

In the beginning I did most of the writing. I had a small catalogue of songs that we started to play. Our first Ep included 4 songs that I wrote by myself and 1 song that was our first band collaboration, "Kite." The band continued to evolve and we started to collaborate even more in 2005. Jameson and I would get together and bounce ideas off one another until something stuck. Then we would take our ideas to the studio and introduce them to Bruce and Darren. Throughout the years we slowly started writing as a band with the occasional solo effort or two-man team. There really is no set method these days. Darren might start a song with a drum part, Bruce might have a particular bass line that he wants to hear turn into a song, Jameson is always pouring out guitar parts and landscapes, and I always have some lyric or melody running through my mind. The process has evolved into a completely organic experience. There are no set rules or methods that we follow. We just let it happen.

What would you say was the biggest motivation behind "Fall Like You're Flying"?

Our motivation was to write, record and release the album that only we could make; one that truly expressed what we wanted out of ourselves and what would define us completely as a band. No limitations, no inhibitions, only the freedom to maximize every song. We wanted this album to be a journey for the listener; an album that one would want to listen to straight through.



...and what about the lyrics?

I draw inspiration from personal experience. Love, loss, things that stir my emotions and/or make me think or feel something other than the norm. I only sing about things that I know, that mean something to me. I want the listener to be able to relate and feel something. I love it when someone says, "that song is about me, I can totally relate, I can feel it" and they feel something that moves them. It's all about connecting with the listener. If I can get them to experience emotions by connecting with my lyrics then I've done my job.

Well there's definitely a lot to connect to on this album. Now as an artist it seems that sometimes there's a certain song or 2 that you might feel a little closer connection to than others. On "Fall Like You're Flying" are there any songs that you feel that way about?

Not really. For the first time in my life I have a group of songs that never get old, never seem to stop stirring up my emotions and feel as if they were written yesterday. It's nice to connect with not only a song or two, but also to feel a strong connection to the album as a whole. We spent a lot of time choosing the song order and what songs would be on the album and I think it couldn't be better. The journey is intense, especially when it's yours. I will admit during mixing, when I was asked to come take a final listen to "Sad To See", I sat on the back couch and as it played for a moment I thought to myself, "this is some sad shit." For the first time, I felt a strong emotional wave come over me while listening compared to the emotions that I feel while performing. It was awesome and I'll never forget the look on Alex's face when he said, "man, you alright?" I just put on my sunglasses and said, "wow, nice job brother, sounds and feels amazing."

That song is one of my favorites on the album. So, if you guys could tour with one band, who would it be?

That's a tough one. We really never discuss who, it's more about what type of audience and location. The bigger the better I guess. To be able to reach as many people as possible at the same time has always been something we've longed for; the right city, the right venue and of course a large audience that is there to join in the experience. Don't get me wrong, a small venue with a couple hundred people is an amazing experience. Just recently at our Album Release show at the Detroit Bar in Costa Mesa, I felt something that has not come over me in years. Something that can only be described as an intensely emotional connection to an entire room full of music lovers. The energy and synergy of the music, the audience and the band was amazing.


That must've been pretty special. So do you have anyone you'd consider to be your biggest influences?

That's always a dangerous question to answer. If people haven't already, they'll forever compare you to that band or artist. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as an artist you want to create your own sound, one that is the sum of your influences and experiences. I've always felt that any artist that I've given enough time listening to has influenced me in some way or another. One of the nice things about Echo Echo is that we all come from different musical backgrounds. We respect our musical influential differences and pride ourselves on our sound being a true combination of all of them. I think the most important thing is that we have the ability and are open to influencing each other.

You guys do have a very eclectic mix on the album. So what's next for Echo Echo?

Next up, we'll be releasing the video for the single from the album, "Good Morning." We're really excited to get the video finished and posted. Without going into to too much detail, 90 people participated, it's been a year in production and the experience filming it was amazing. We're also gearing up to tour in early 2011 to support the album and then it's time to do it all over again…write, record, release!

Well I wish you luck and can't wait for the next one! Anything else you'd like to add?

We love our fans and truly appreciate their continued love and support. We hope they enjoy the new album. xox


You can download "Fall Like You're Flying" for free as well as check out other info about Echo Echo at:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Andrew Heringer "Under California Skies" Interview

One of the great perks of being a touring musician is the number of other artists you get to meet along the way. One such artist I had the pleasure of meeting on the road this year was Andrew Heringer (from Sacramento). We were both playing a show in Redding, CA, and I was immediately impressed by both Andrew and his band's music and professionalism. The Andrew Heringer Band just recently released their latest album, "Under California Skies," a beautiful record combining elements of folk, pop and rock. You can download the album for free here.
Andrew was gracious enough to talk with me about the new album, art, songwriting and what lies ahead for himself and the band.




Dan Krikorian: Has music always been something you’ve dreamt of doing?

Andrew Heringer: Pretty much. I had a moment that I will never forget when I was probably about 13 or so where I said to myself, "I think I'm gonna be playing music for a long time." I feel lucky to have known from such an early age that I was passionate about something and could dedicate a lot of time in my teen years to practicing and soaking in as much as I could about music/performing.

What was the process like of writing “Under California Skies”?

Most of the material from "Under California Skies" is about 2 years old at this point. Musically, it was influenced a lot by folk/rock/americana type of artists that I was listening to a lot at the time - such as Ryan Adams, Wilco, Rocky Votolato, Bob Dylan and Counting Crows. Most of the lyrics deal with "change" in life with relationships, early adulthood and the concept of home and belonging somewhere. It's definitely my most personal and honest record. Most of these songs were written by myself in my room, as stereotypical songwriter as that sounds. I am really happy that we spent so much time touring with these songs, which allowed us to flush out a lot of little problem spots in the lyrics/melodies/song form.

You can definitely feel how personal of a record it is when listening to it. Is there any special meaning behind the title?

The title comes from the song "Brooklyn." Most of the time my album titles come from lyrics because I like the album titles to mesh with the lyrical themes of the album. I struggled to find an album title for a really long time for this one that felt right. About 4 months into the recording process, I realized that the original lyrics to Brooklyn weren't working for me. During the re-write the line "Under California Skies" came out and it just summed up everything that I felt about this record. During the last two+ years of writing this album, I have been touring around the West Coast, mostly California, a lot. It just hit home that all these songs originated "under California skies."

I know it's a tough question to answer, but what type of musician would you most consider yourself: folk, blues, pop?

I think something like folk-rock-pop would work for me.

Do you have a specific songwriting process? For you, what comes first: the words, or the music? Or is it a little bit of both?

Usually I start with music and melodies when writing songs - because at the heart of it those are the most important elements of a song in my opinion. Good lyrics are something that I strive for and appreciate in other songwriters but lots of bands have succeeded with terrible lyrics. It's never the same process though - sometimes I have lyrics and a theme in mind when I sit down to write - sometimes lyrics take forever - sometimes lyrics come out right away. The song "Roads" on this album came from a poem/free-write that I had jotted down one day and music and melodies came later. I think however a song comes out is how it comes out. You just feel blessed to get a good one out when it does.

Haha yes I know how that goes. Well you did turn out some great songs on this album. I also noticed quite a bit mentioned about New York on the album, was that something you set out to write about or did it just sorta happen that way?

This is a real personal album for me and all the lyrics came from a place of real world inspiration for me. Let's just say - I had a lot to think about in New York for a while... and if you listen to the lyrics of "Broadway" it won't be hard to figure out what that was.


"Broadway" is one of my favorites on the album. As far as musical influences go, who would you site as your biggest?

For this record - Ryan Adams, Rocky Votolato, Wilco, Bob Dylan, Counting Crows. My musical tastes are always evolving and changing though. Lately I've been listening to Avert Brothers, Edward Sharp and the Magnetic Zeros, Phoenix and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

As a kid I was lucky to play a lot of different genres and have a lot of different musical/theatrical/performing experiences. I played violin in Youth Orchestras. Played guitar in jazz band in high school as well as took classical guitar lessons. I was a theater major in college so I've done a lot of musical theater performing. As well, you had to pry me away from the radio at times growing up in the mid-90s. So anything from Miles Davis to Christopher Parkening to Stephen Sondheim and Nirvana - I would site as a huge influence depending on what phase of my life you caught me.

I know each song on the album is special to you in its own way, but if you had to choose one or two that you felt really got down to the core of what you were trying to say, which would it be?

The last track "Fine" sums the album up well. It's about dealing with change, knowing that you can't control how life unfolds all the time and having optimism for the future.



You've been quite a busy man, as you also recently finished writing a musical as well. What was that process like and how was if different from writing “Under California Skies”?

The musical is called "Sleepaway Camp: The Musical" which is based off of a 1983 camp/slasher movie called "Sleepaway Camp." I have been writing that with two of my friends over the last 6 years. It is very much a collaborative effort as we are all working on lyrics together most of the time. Because it's a camp musical - the music has a fun folky/campfire inspired vibe - but still a lot of my style comes through. Totally different to the process of "California Skies" because of the group collaboration aspect.

That's so great you've been able to do both. So what’s next for you and the band?

I've started collaborating with a new group of musicians in the Los Angeles area and I am looking forward to working more on that project in the next couple of months. It will be quite a departure from the Andrew Heringer Band sound and will focus on more of an indie-rock vibe.

Well thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, is there anything else you’d like to add?

During the recording of the album, we asked our fans for support and raised over $10,000 to cover costs of recording. Thanks to their donations, we released our album for free on our website to allow for a broader audience to hear our music. So please go download the album - and if it's enjoyed spread the word to friends who might like it as well. Us independent artists don't have much of a budget for advertising and word of mouth from fans of the music is the single best way to get the word out about our music. Help support indie artists!

Haha I second that. Thanks Andrew!

For more information on the Andrew Heringer Band please check out...

Andrew Heringer Official Website

Dan Krikorian Music