-Starving Musician- 

I’m pretty sure i wrote this in 2004. I had only been writing songs for 4 years at that point, and at that time I had put so much of my heart into wanting to become a songwriter; its one of the main reasons that i got out of the service, which was a tough decision for me for sure, because right before you get out, especially after being in 5 years, you had paid alot of dues and started to see more of your emerging military career.  Close to making sergeant, already living off base, excitement growing about your next duty station, work getting a bit easier and all that stuff, but I was more of a dreamer and a free spirit than a career military man. I wanted more adventure and I didn’t want to be tied down anymore. Exiting the military was not an easy decision but it was definitely one i knew I had to make.  

I served in Germany for almost 4 years, and the whole time I was developing my style as a songwriter and playing shows here and there. I was beginning to realize that I could actually keep doing this, I could keep songwriting and playing music and possibly for a living. After I got out of the service, I went to Oklahoma, then Houston, then Austin, playing and writing even more songs. I realized that i may have been putting too much into this, and believe me those feelings don’t go away, you meet them again and again. I’ll share Hunt with you in a later letter, but I started to realize that I actually have a life to live, I have to make a living, and my desire for travel and adventure was no where close to quelled…no where close.  Truth is, the launch for becoming a successful songwriter was dwindling because i wanted more out of life…  If y’all know me, you probably know that. I wanted to write great songs yes, but great songs usually come from great experiences…  The hunger for being a successful songwriter was being overshadowed by the Hunger of writing a great song. If you understand those last two sentences then you will understand more of this song; I was, and am still, starving for a greater song, and I don’t think that will ever go away.

Ive been criticized by many of my closest friends and family for not doing enough, not working hard enough etc… but they just didn’t understand what being a starving musician truly meant. Truth is you can be a very successful anything and still starve for something else.  In this song Im not talking about starving for food, Im talking about starving for something deeper, a great song, a great life, a great love… all these things were running through my head, and thats when I started writing Starving Musician. One of my favorite things about this song is the way it moves, not just musically but poetically. It starts off how most songwriters do, sitting down, trying to “squeeze your soul” and say exactly what you want to say in a musical and melodic way, and it explains that this isn’t a hobby of mine, its so much more. I think all songwriters can attest that this is a lifelong endeavor, its not what we do, its who we are. So this song just paints that picture of basically “how am I gonna express THIS feeling”  because THIS feeling is so much more than just trying to write a great song; its so much more, so how do I express this?  Thats what goes through your mind when your trying to write anything great, for me its what is the deeper meaning, what am I really trying to say here, and for me, when that type of inspiration hits its almost paralyzing, and only when i start to express it does that “burden” start to come off; Its literally like doing something that you absolutely have to do. It really is a very strange feeling, the inspiration is captivating, and nothing goes back to normal, until you’ve at least found the direction of the song. Its like something wont let you out until you’ve at least found what you want to say. Im sure you know the feeling, anyway, this particular song started to take better shape in the pre chorus.

“The more I keep wanting it seems the less that I get, the more I keep searching, the less I regret, cause you gotta be what you are, even if it means that you starve.”  That one verse is how Ive been able to justify living life then writing the song, that one justification in 2004 is how I’ve been able to write travel songs, and skydiving songs, and love songs, adventure and freedom songs etc… the spirit in most of my songs is probably love and freedom in some way, then the song moves a bit more with a little more imaging, and then, probably my favorite part is the bridge… “cause your fighting something you cannot see, I know how you feel cause its fighting me, beware of the anger and failure ring, we’ll make it out if we just keep playing.”  Its basically a lullaby to anyone whose ever felt this way to understand that this is who we are, its not easy but it is awesome, it is a fight, a struggle, but we win if we don’t stop. Being successful is great I’m sure, but playing till the end is, to me so much greater, knowing I’m not alone and being able to tell others that they are not alone; it really moved the song in the way I was so happy for. In the end, these are the songs you will leave behind when you are gone.

I sat on this song for almost 8 years before i recorded this demo in 2012, part of The Seasons ep; its an iPhone recording so again, don’t judge it on the production!  I will tell you a funny story though; I tried to play this song at The Firehouse Saloon in Houston shortly after i wrote it. They were actually auditioning me to be the Open Mic Host there, but i was so nervous that I literally forgot the first verse for about 5 minutes. I had nothing written down in front of me and i played it horribly. Now, every single time I sit down to play this song I remember that moment and it actually helps me remember the first verse, and I mean every single time, and i cant get away from it; oh well, i guess its a good thing, because i haven’t forgotten it since! Most smart people have the lyrics in front of them haha, but that was a long time ago. I wrote it at my cousins friends house in Stillwater Oklahoma while he was at school at Oklahoma State. I remember I  was drinking a heineken from the fridge around 2004, and playing the seagull guitar that i bought for my brother, again this is just a demo. Hope you like it.

Im having trouble putting this song in my mind
Now that I think about it sort of sounds like my life
An empty melody and no words in sight
Not quite sure if I’m doing right, yeah
This aint no little hobby of mine
I play this guitar all the time
And life is made up of what you do with your time
And I refuse to lay down and die,

But the more I keep wanting, it seems the less that I get
The more I keep searching, the less I regret
Cause you gotta be what you are, even if it means that you starve

Im sittin here pounding these dead strings
Trying to squeeze my soul for everything
And all these blessings keep reminding me

We only see what we choose to see

And the more I keep wanting, it seems the less that I get
The more I keep searching, the less I regret
Cause you gotta be what you are, even if it means that you starve

Cause your fighting something you cannot see
I know how you feel cause its fighting me
Beware of the anger and failure ring
We’ll make it out if we just keep playing


Humble Texas 2010