Dearest Parts of My Life... and Tucker,
I've been wanting to write something like this for quite awhile. - Yet, it's not really "me".
After all, I'm not the Holiday Card kinda guy... w/ the family photo and the "Here's What's Happening w/ The Johnsons" .....
(Although John Carey ...aka BAGS and I have been talking about something special for you all to expect in the mail this Season)
... But I digress.
It has been an amazing, eye opening and inspiring summer to say the least!!!
Between playing w/ the duo show w/ great Mr Ken Valdez, the 6 piece, The 4 piece, the trio and... of course Playing w/ Myself:) I took the stage, patio (and floor) more than 100 times in 3 and a half months.... and I'm still talking.
Recently, I just put a 3rd order in for the latest album, "The Beginning of An Ending", AND!!! I am going into Copy Cats to remaster the first studio album next week. Hence, I will have hard copies of both original albums again really soon. I will not, however, be restocking any of the infamous LIVE DOUBLE DISCS that Joe Carey and I released in '05, '06 and '07 (Including Waitress, The "MF" Gambler ect)
However, many of those songs will be online at CDBaby if your old disc has been scratched and you're jonzing for an FBomb or 20:)
.....I'm just as proud of those songs as the new ones... I'm just on another path right now... as is Joe.
(I will however, probably slip in a "Gay for a Day" or "Slutty Waitress" every once in a blue moon.... that I can promise... because although MN has finally come a long way with gay rights, people should still know I have a thing for Josh Hartnet:)
But for now, I want people to hear the music I've created with some of the most talented people I know and the people I am proud to call friends.... (Yes all of you:)
Those of you that recorded on the last two studio albums...
You helped me create something that no one can ever take away from me.... forever.
You helped me hear my own songs to the radio, and it's not a stretch to say that most recently...
You gave me my life back.
...I am eternally grateful.
Recently, I have found myself back in the studio, but this time, producing someone else.
I'm working with an incredible young songwriter named Brian Kusek. Please check him out!
We're doing it at Greg Schutte's Bathtub Shrine Studios in NE (which was basically my 2nd home last summer)..... Yes Greg I owe you more Diet Coke.
I'm hoping that producing might be regular thing we do w/great songwriters from the showcase.
I think Greg and I make an incredible team.... but he's a busy boy to say the least.... playing more shows a year than even myself and on the road w/ The Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart Band and coming home and playing w/ 1/2 the cities! He's a workhorse and I hell of a guy and It's been a big bowl of awesome to have gotten to know him. So we'll see where this producing road takes me.
Needless to say, working with Greg again has got me itching to finish my 3rd album upcoming original album (each song based on my favorite speeches, books and movies).
.....Hence the brand new song "The Bell Jar Family Photo" released at Tom's Burned Down Cafe this past weekend...... The first of 10 songs I've been trying to finish!
(Just to give you an idea, here's some more inspired authors, leaders ect that will be included in the new songs: Shel Silverstein, Mr. Mahatma Ghandi, John Lennon, F Scott Fitzgerald... to name a few)
Meanwhile though... since you can't force the writing process and I'm dying to record again!...
The boys and I (and hopefully some ladies too) are heading back into the studio to do a
re orchestrated cover album, called Angry Standards Vol I.
The album will include 8-10 of my favorite songs of all time from the likes of Springsteen, Waits, Rogers and Hammerstein, Mindy Smith, The Stones and many more. For the past few months we've been re working, orchestrating and hopefully not butchering some tunes to make them our own and pay tribute to the artist.
Many of you know, I love playing covers... But only when I pick the covers. I do what inspires me.
I am not a juke box.
Which brings me to my final DEEP THOUGHTS BY NICK HENSLEY (Man I miss old Sat Night Live!!!)
I just wanted to thank all the venues I've been working with and playing at. It's been amazing!!!
Part of me used to think I had to play all the crap I thought everyone wanted to hear (or thought they wanted to hear), but after talking w/ several owners, management, staff and patrons ect... for the last few years, that's not what anyone wants at all. And if it was... I have stopped playing there.
People want passion. People want to be inspired. People want to hear something they've never heard before.... whether it be a unique take on the popular 80s band White Snake:) or a song about sleeping in my car on Lake Street waiting for a shop to open so I could pawn my Wedding Ring....
This is what life is. Discovering. Falling in Love.... a third time, a fourth time... Demanding more of yourself and each other, There's nothing wrong with playing a Lady Ga Ga song... but if you do it.... Do it for YOU.... bc the audience isn't a dumb as you think. (Well maybe that one guy) I play funny stuff once in a while because If I did all my own originals in a row.... well lets just say some people might go home and sit in the garage for too long!
I promise I will continue to write, arrange, start different projects, improve the showcase ect. if you continue to think I'm relevant. And a call to my fellow songwriters and musicians:
.......If you love what you're doing (tributes, covers, originals whatever) ... and the crowd can see it. Everyone will be happier ....AND LIVE MUSIC WILL NOT GO AWAY. I don't car if you're playing the parking lot at Dennys! Make it count.
I get lazy about this sometimes..... But I will get better. I will try not to coast through a show ever again. It's an honor to play for a living and I should never forget that....
Because I've gotta do this for 30+ more years.
So again, A HUGE THANK YOU TO:
Kieran's Irish Pub, Captain's Getaway, The Patio at Lucky's, the 318, Coopers, The Narrows, Lord Fletcher's, Washington Square, Pioneer Theater, Brady's Brewhouse, Lolas Lakehouse, Plums Sundays, The Firehouse, Kitty Cat Klub, 3 Crows Cafe, Glueks, Ansari's, Tom's Burned Down Cafe and so many more.... You know who you are! And probably know who you aren't....
My biggest heartfelt thank you is for....
My Friends, Family, Fellow Songwriters and Fans of Music.
I owe you everything!
You support the music, the Songwriter Showcase, You let me book you, drink with you, laugh with you, cry with you, write with you, disagree with you.... THANK YOU.
My name is Nick Hensley and I write and play
Love Songs FOR Angry Men.
Thx for reading. I'll right another one in the next 2-3 years:) HUGS
Look for the following BIG UPCOMING EVENTS:
- A 10 PIECE TRIBUTE TO JOE COCKER COMING SOON IN 2014
- LOVE SONGS FOR ANGRY MEN FULL COVER BAND (AKA AMISH PUPPY MILL, AKA BILLYS LITTLE SECRET) (4 PIECE TO 6 PIECE) COMING TO BABES, GLUEKS, NARROWS AND VARSITY THEATER
- REALLY IMPORTANT SHOW FOR ME PERSONALLY AT THE 318 IN EXCELSIOR W/ BLAIR AND WILSON ON 10/3 RESERVE A TABLE ASAP IF YOU WANT:)
- SHORT 6 DAY WEST COAST DUO TOUR IN FEB 2014 DETAILS COMING SOON (GOING OUT W/ AN AMAZING BAND I JUST MET BUT HAVE INSPIRED ME FOR A FEW YEARS)
-A FUN STRIPPED DOWN DISTRICT REUNION AT PLUMS BEFORE THE SHOWCASE ON SUN 10/20 (5:30PM)
- THE ROAD TO FIRST AVENUE (IF THIS IDEA WORKS WE'RE GONNA HAVE A BLAST ON MY 40TH BIRTHDAY!!!)