Giving thanks.

It is the day after Thanksgiving and I have so much for which to be thankful.

A year ago, my life was in such a different spot.  I had fallen so out of touch with my own creative spirit, that I had decided to quit the music altogether and go legit.  What had once felt like chasing a dream suddenly felt like chasing a ghost and it was taking its toll on my self esteem.   Out of the blue, a well-paying job was offered to me about 40 miles west of Los Angeles and I thought ‘Why not?’   It felt like the natural progression.  So I said yes to the big-boy job and Josh and I moved, lugging all our stuff and our 3 cats out toward the new place of employ.

But just a month or so into training for the new job and living that brand new life, a series of events happened that caused me to think that perhaps I was making a mistake.  The first was running into strangers within days of each other that knew my music and took the time to really beautifully express it to me.  Once it happened at a restaurant here in Los Angeles, which isn’t really all that odd as I’ve lived here in LA for 5 1/2 years…. But the second one was in the lobby of a hotel in downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan – a town in which I have never lived.   Both experiences reminded me the magic of creating something and letting it go. And how thrilling it is when a connection is made.

The second event was Sean Akers moving to LA.  I’ve known Sean for a few years.  When I would play in Philly on tour, he would host me at his place and was always the kind of friend/fan who was willing to help out in any way he could.  When he moved to Los Angeles, he brought with him an energy of endless possibility and immediately started pushing me to record again.  He has designed my website and all of my record covers.  He introduced me to George Stanford, who is producing my next EP of CJD tunes (out early 2010)  I can’t thank him enough for his help and his friendship.

The third thing that happened was getting back in touch with Rachel Alina.  Rachel was the assistant engineer on ‘Race the Light’ 5 years ago when she was just fresh out of Berklee college of music.  She was a huge light on that project and we had tons of fun together but lost touch when I left NYC 5 years ago.  When she moved out to Los Angeles, we reconnected and I knew that I had someone that would make me feel safe enough in the studio to really open up and let out the love.  She brought me to Barrie (sidenote-  an entire Barrie Maguire appreciation blog is coming soon,) she brought me to Redstar Studios, she helped me with songwriting choices and fundraising ideas.  She is family.

Both Rachel and Sean helped birth the idea for ‘Sad Britney’ as a project that could raise my profile a bit, guide people to my own music, AND turn out to be a really fucking cool little record.

Somehow, this blog has turned into an Oscar acceptance speech and I’m like INCHES away from Sally Field territory.  But, I need to thank each and every person who contributed financially to this music.  If it was $1 or $500, it helped so much and I am so grateful, especially in this economic time when there is so much less to give!  When the physical CD of ‘Never Was’ is finally manufactured next month, make sure to check the liner notes for a personal thank you :)

Thank you to all my Tweeps– to those who found me through the ZQC or  just on your own- I’ve enjoyed getting to know you and owe so much of this tiny spike of success to your retweets and support!

Finally, a big thanks to all the Before The Door boys-  Neal, Zach, Corey.  Thanks for having my back and for believing in me!  You guys are the best.

On the day it was released, ‘Sad Britney’ made it to #6 on the iTunes Singer/Songwriter chart.  Mine was the only release in the top ten that didn’t have a record label, management, or any sort of real publicity.  Truly amazing.  I’m excited to see where we all head together in the new year!  I have high hopes and am planning to have fun no matter what happens!

Much love to all and happy day after Thanksgiving!

cjd

12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Karen (Kannbrown)  |  November 27th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

    It is amazing to read how all this came about, and how close it was that we wouldn’t have heard of you or your music. (Those outside of LA, at least.) It sounds like something out there wanted you to keep doing what you do.

    So, I think I can say I’m pretty thankful not just for your work, but for that crew, Sean, and Zachary Quinto, and Rachel, because I’ve gotten to hear some wonderful music due to their support.

  • 2. Mary H  |  November 27th, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Christopher, I don’t know you, but I LOVE the honesty and emotion of your music (which I found through the ZQC). Even if you have to hold down a “big boy job” for financial reason, please don’t let go of that creative side of you. You are SUCH a gift.

    Best of luck in the future. I’ll be keeping an eye out for your upcoming releases.

  • 3. fenraven  |  November 27th, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    You finally posted the story of how you almost left music. I’m so glad you didn’t. I can honestly say that meeting and getting to know you (albeit online) and making your music a part of my life has improved things for me quite a lot. Yes, such things can and do make a difference. Thanks.

  • 4. Sil  |  November 27th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    I found you through the ZQC and I`m so grateful I did. I usually don´t buy entire albums of an artist because I usually only like two or three songs.

    When I came across your album “Race the Light” I immediately fell in love with it, with the lyrics, the sound and your voice. Of course I bought the entire album and it was and still is on heavy rotation on my iPod.

    I`m so glad you didn`t give up your music because the world would have lost an incredibly gifted and talented singer and songwriter. It still amazes me how you even turn an “ordinary” Britney Spears song into a little gem.

    I wish you all the best and I will continue supporting you the best I can over here in Germany – until one day I hopefully will have the chance to see you peform live (= come to Germany! ;-))

  • 5. Christie  |  November 27th, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    I am definitely grateful to have your music in my life. Keep it coming D, and we’ll keep loving and supporting :)

  • 6. loyd  |  November 27th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Chris, when ZQ told us to check you out, I did it because, you know, he rules! *blushes* But I bought the four sad britney songs and keep listening to them because of you voice, and the feelings you convey. Thank you so much, and keep on going – you´ve got yourself an audience now!

  • 7. Howard  |  November 28th, 2009 at 12:08 am

    ‘Tis the season for giving thanks, and I, for one, feel gratitude you found our way to expressing the wonderful talent you possess. I am a huge fan, and can say without a doubt as long as you are putting out music, I will be knocking on the door to buy it. Much love.

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    You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

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