Mr Smith goes to Nashville

Jan 2024

In June of 2020 my family and I were stuck at home, like everyone else, contained and  quarantined.

One day I opened our garage door and saw my daughter, then aged 10, riding her bike around in circles on our little driveway.

Then out came my beautiful wife to chase her around.  Giggling and shrieking filled the air, and I kept hearing 'Momma can we play a little longer...'

So, I grabbed my Tele and out came 'Summer Song'.  Seeing a child's innocence, that big smile, her long hair trying to catch up; all the worries of the world just started to fade away.

It was one of the sweetest, most special moments of my life.

I hadn't written anything for awhile. My long time band was no more, the pandemic hit and there were no more live shows.  I'd got into a rut.

But this experience opened me back up. 

What surprised me most was the songs that would follow would be Country.

Sure, I had grown up Folk and Country adjacent artists like George Harrison, John Denver, Neil Young and James Taylor, but out was coming Glen Campbell, Marty Robbins, George Strait, Shania and a little Emmy Lou.

Hmm, I don't question any of it, I'm just grateful and thankful to be inspired and transmitting this spirit, and now I'm ready to hand these newborns over to the world.....

Summer 2017 

Back in the saddle again... Thanks to my friend and talented musician Adam Topol -- who has asked me to sit in as his guitarist for the summer -- I'll be singing and strumming in front of people again. 

Last month, we drove up PCH one afternoon, taking the long way to Santa Barbara to perform with some amazing singer/songwriters from the 805 area code.  I was the LA interloper as none of the other invited singers brought a sideman, but Adam... the rebel drummer.  However, as it turned out, they all invited me to sit in and add lead guitar to their songs.

It was a packed house at the Soho nightclub in Santa Barbara with avid music fans,  whose full attention was on the music, and were keen to listen to the stories behind the music as each player explained the how's and why's of each of their selections.  Fun, loud and raucous crowds can be great, but the fans' silence and attentiveness during the music made it so much more special.  Of course, hearing Glen Phillips' unmistakable voice (Toad the Wet Sprocket) was a treat but all the other performers were on point.  I was honored to be a part of it.  

Adam and I will do our own little show in August in Pasadena, and I've finally got some new ideas coming to fruition.   Most of the rest of 2017 will be spent behind the scenes on the road with iconic musicians Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, and getting ready to marry my lovely Leilana in a far away land on January 1st of 2018.  Exciting!! 

Yes, 2018 will be here before we know it, and should be my chance to get new music out to the world!

Dec 2016  

Coming to the end of 2016 here's a little Blahg for anyone who's checking in on me... It's been nearly 9 months since Run Run Run supported New Order last March in what I consider to be 2 of our best performances in a long history of shows.  Spending most of the time this year with family and working for Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, I recently got busy writing/recording and revisiting my role as lead guitar player. A sort of Tranz K reunion at Halloween, helping the LA goth band Black Cat prepare to make a record with the legendary producer Dave Jerden, and delivering a 2 hours acoustic set last month to benefit a charity golf tournament raising money for Melanoma research have helped me to pull the guitar out from under the bed. very cool. 

Our 2016 election sparked so much conversation, both elation and unrest as a divided people in the US and our media feeling controversy seemed to eclipse all other matters in the last month. However, my addiction to PBS paid off as I was able to see one of the most intelligent and inspiring interviews to give an overview of the Donald Trump win.  Jon Stewart shared his thoughts with Charlie Rose and was able to restore my faith in this country as he so wisely pointed out that a truly democratic nation is an anomaly and has never been done in human history. So, we should all be patient as the US is still young and trying to find out what it truly is, and celebrate its resilience.  The same country that elected Obama also elected Trump. So, let's see... 

and thoughts of Leonard Cohen, Leon Russell, Prince, Glenn Frey and David Bowie all jamming at some honky tonk in the sky makes me smile.  I'm ready for 2017!!!

Mid-Summer 2016! 

Forgive me padre it's been nearly 6 months since my last Blagh...  Let's catch up... 
February was just plain cold and nothing really happened, but then Run Run Run reunited and opened for New Order in the US last March (Brandon Flowers from the Killers was at our Las Vegas show), April was my birthday month which was good fun right up until Prince died.  Sad Sad Sad!!  Love his music still... "Starfish and Coffee", "Take Me With U", "Sometimes It Snows in April", "Diamonds and Pearls", "Hot Thing" were some of my faves..  The list goes on and on...

May started with a benefit show for Alzheimer's that I was able to work on behind the scenes that raised nearly $500,000.  June came and me, my girlfriend and our little one have enjoyed trips to the beach in sunny So Cal.  I've been laying low, and working up new music has been the prescription this Summer.  I just finally went back into the studio with Run Run Run producer Noah and Shain, Dj Whitney Fierce and some of the RRR boys.

Eventually, a fantastic Kidz Pop song emerged that we're not quite sure what to do with.  By the end of the recording the band boys had been completely replaced by synths, drum machines and modern noises, bleeps and robot sounds!  But it's good fun so we'll see if the universe finds it a home. 

Be well and the next time I blagh, I hope there is a President who can spell benevolent and compassion, and the world settles down as it has gone completely mad recently...  Peace and love as Mr. Starkey likes to say!!!


And so it is...  2016! really? wow!

It feels like it was just last Summer that my family and I were busy at the Santa Monica beach, looking on craigslist for one of those super fancy ultra juicers, and i was trying to figure out how to pack for a tour to the "rainy season" in Tokyo!!  (there is no rainy season in LA so i was baffled)... and now 2015 is long gone and we are well into the new year. 
So... Bowie passed away.  So sad. A real treasure has left us. So many great songs, but i really think Starman and the video for Ashes to Ashes touched me in a special way.  Also, love Soul Love and Panic in Detroit for some reason... sigh... and now, Alan Rickman! ughh... who's next?  Glen Campbell?  Hope not... Anyway, looking into the new year, I'll be back on the road with Herb Alpert and Lani Hall, hangin' with some of the Run Run Run boys at NAMM thanks to Gibson guitars, and now, there's even talk of a Bowie tribute with the Club Makeup (pre Tranz K/Zodiac era) rock star-studded drag queen fronted band dusting off their glam boots etc for a reunion show in February. 

New Order have a great new record out, and we (Phil, Tom and myself) had a nice hang in LA last week.  Personally, I'm hoping to turn out a new single of sorts this Spring. Otherwise, i'm just Mr. Mom these days, and writing new material.  Happy life and family and music and i'm sure more great things to come soon in 2016!!

Tokyo Notes 

As I write this I have just one more show in Tokyo with my boss, trumpet player and icon Herb Alpert and his wife, singer Lani Hall.  They did a residency at the famous Blue Note Tokyo jazz club. 

When I'm not globetrotting with my own music, I get the pleasure of booking and taking these legends (and their band Bill Cantos, Hussain Jiffry and Michael Shapiro) on the road as their road manager. This trip they were kind enough to ask me to join them on stage for their 1960s Tijuana Bras hit, "Bittersweet Samba." 

What an honor to hang with these Jazz greats!!!

Xanderclaus = new music and looking back at this year  

You know some people are very bah humbug about the holidays. Not me. I like being home. I like doing a whole lot of nothing. I can finally breathe and reflect without running off to the next thing. The music business shuts down, the freeways lighten up once everyone goes on vacation, and my friends and family start to relax and unwind. So, I picked up my guitar this week and for the first time in months, music just came out of my Gibson acoustic j-45!

Just when I thought I was about out of songs, a riff just materialized and even a few words came together.  I was inspired. Some musicians are mostly players and performers. However, for me, it's about writing. And this feels like rain in a drought. So... Whew!!!
Looking back at 2014 I want to take a minute to thank so many amazing folks who supported my music this year. Not only did my band get to release a new single/ video for "Penmar Park" but I released my second solo record, 'Outside,' completed a successful Pledge Music campaign for it, toured the UK as well as Australia and opened up for New Order with Run Run Run last Summer. 'Twas fantastic. Personally, I found love and got to spend a romantic holiday on the big island of Hawaii, bike rides in a minneapolis sculpture garden and atop the Seattle space needle as well playing Xanderclaus to the cutest 4 year old you've ever seen.

Thanks everyone and dare I say it... "happy holidays and get ready for 2015!!!"



Summer Fun 2014 

What a fantastic Summer 2014 so far, and forgive me Father but it's been a long damn time since my last Blahg.  Guess I've been too busy leading the indie rock life. That is, writing, recording and pressing up your own record, sending it half way across the world, booking your own shows, getting yourself there, fighting jet lag, sleeping on trains, planes and rental cars as well as on people's floors, eating amazing food that you can't pronounce, getting paid but not being able to use the money because you're already in the next country that doesn't accept that currency so you exchange it and lose all the profit, BUT... having the best damn time, singing and playing your own music for all the new people. 

So... finally a quick blahg to say this summer, I've opened for the amazing Haden Triplets in LA, opened for New Order in the US and Canada with my band Run Run Run, played festival dates and pubs in the UK, and now gear up for my first ever trip down under to Australia.  Thanks to all the folks who supported this project, especially all those who facilitated this very DIY globe trotting.

Cheers and thank you.

New Music! 

HA! Forgive me father for it's been 1 year since my last blahg. WHAT?? Is that even possible.  Well... let's see since my last birthday show in 2013, where i came out in a bathrobe (or maybe that was a different time), I've toured all around the world, playing living rooms to actual stadiums.  RRR took a long break but is back in June 2014 with a new single and video and shows to follow.  I just finished a new solo record that took this entire past year to write/record and features all kinds of cool musicians.  My moustache turned into a full beard and then i shaved it... and then grew it back... i can't decide.  I found me a wonderful girlfriend and we have had a blast and even went to Thailand to ride an elephant.  Summer 2014 i will release the new CD and tour to promote. So, get ready folks!  PRE-ORDER and lots of goodies will be available on my PLEDGE MUSIC campaign APRIL 14- JUNE 5 with the release party at the Viper Room on that last day!  Come join us!

Cake Cake Cake 

April 2013!
"it's my party and i'll play if i want to..."

On April 16 I will invite a bunch of my friends out to share in a special birthday show in Hollywood, CA at Genghis Cohen. While it's really just an excuse to have cake, I've invited some amazing musicians to participate. There will be songs off my solo record as well as a special semi-acoustic performance from my band, Run Run Run. Seeing as it's the Coachella festival that week near LA, who knows who might actually show up and get up on stage that night??
Looking forward from this, Run Run Run will debut new material on MAY 16 at the Satellite in Silverlake, CA (LA) and is back in the studio soon as we've been writing new material for our upcoming record. That being said, it is almost certain that the band, will be returning to Russia in August of 2013, at which time I plan to carry on in Europe with a solo tour as it went so swimmingly last year. See you soon, and if per chance you are reading this and want to get involved in ANY capacity with either of these projects (e.g. website, tour dates, letting us come to your house and eat your food) please feel free to reach out. It's 2013 so that means musicians are living back in the wild west these days and having to do it ourselves... which is exciting but we can all use your support! cheers

Hello 2013! 

Thank you all for an incredible 2012!  With the help of so many kind souls, I was able to realize my "Hey San Pedro" solo record.  It took literally sixteen years of living its stories, trying out song ideas, and then collecting the musical/lyrical bits and pieces that would comprise this work.   Then, I had the priveledge of taking my J45 acoustic guitar and this record to cities all over the world. What a dream come true.  Sitting in a cafe in Hamburg, having a tea and getting ready to perform songs that came straight from my bedroom was magical.  Last year Run Run Run returned to Russia and nearby parts, and played to incredible crowds.  I met Clive Davis and many other music business icons in NYC with my friend, boss and mentor Herb Alpert (and Lani Hall), starting playing soft ball again, vacationed in the Ukraine, made a great record with Pauley Perrette and her new project Stop Making Friends, moved into a new apartment, discovered Norwegian brown cheese (my new true love) and finally shaved off my infamous moustache.  oh...whew... ready for 2013! BRING IT ON!!!