2014: My Year In Review

photo Photo: Jason Shea

As 2014 comes to an end, it’s time to look back at the focal points of another productive music year. 2014 was excellent for me as I got to complete some long-held artistic goals, working on my own projects as well as others’. Here’s the highlights:

In January I travelled to Fairbanks, Alaska to record and co-produce a new album with one of Alaska’s favorite bands, The Super Saturated Sugar Strings. This was a new experience for me as it was the first project I had recorded for another band completely on my own. We worked for 10 days in Fairbanks, then completed overdubs thru the spring in Anchorage. The finished product, Heart-Shaped Leaves, was released in June 2014 and was capped with a very memorable album release show. Here is the award winning video (by The Dean Brothers) for the song ‘Haunted’:

Super Saturated Sugar Strings “Haunted” (Official Video) from the Dean Brothers on Vimeo.

In April, I started working on a recording project with Alaskan songwriter Emma Hill and her bandmate Bryan Daste. Although I’ve worked with Emma for many years thru Monolith Agency, this was the first time we had collaborated on an artistic level. The project went seamlessly, and Emma released Denali in October to a multitude of excellent reviews. Below is the amazing video (by Eric Power) for the single ‘Lioness’:

Another project I got to see come to fruition was Jonathan J. Bower‘s album Hope, Alaska. Although we had recorded the album in 2013, it was finally released in October 2014. Congratulations to J-Bow for pushing himslef into new sonic territory with this one. A really fun album to work on:

Although I was really active working with other bands, there had to be some time for my own projects, right? In May, my band Easton Stagger Phillips (Tim Easton, Leeroy Stagger) released our second full length album, Resolution Road. The album was fortunate to receive critical press and significant radio airplay in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

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To cap it off, ESP got together for our first tour of Alaska in over 5 years. We played a handful of awesome house concerts, and a few full band shows that culminated at Salmonstock Music Festival. Big props to Martin Severin, James Glaves, James Dommek Jr, and Megan Palmer for rocking in the band with us.

But my music world wouldn’t be complete without The Whipsaws. We played a lot of great shows this last year, and celebrated our 12th year playing together as a band. I’d say the highlight show of the year was opening for the Alabama Shakes at the new Alaska Airlines Center in October.
20140913_The_Whipsaws_58 Photo: Jason Shea

I’m really looking forward to 2015. In May I’ll be releasing my new solo album tentatively titled Silhouettes. This will be followed by an Alaska tour. Easton Stagger Phillips is planning another Alaska tour in July-August, and The Whipsaws are planning on entering the studio in September to record our 4th full length album. Thanks for the support everyone. Music is the best thing ever!

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