It’s that time of year

Hey guys, as 2012 is coming to a close, I hope that this stretch of road has been kind to you. This year, as have been the last 10, I am continually blessed to be able to tell stories & make music as my job. And it seems like every year opens more doors for people to engage new artists & enjoy the music that they love; which, on this end of it, is incredibly exciting. Figuring out ways for the creators of music to get financially compensated (so they can keep on making music & not have to find something else to do to pay rent) continues to be tricky, but the fact that the art that we create in our basements can reach so many corners of the world is amazing. I just saw this morning that a song my friend Christina Perri & I wrote last summer in my living room has been viewed on YouTube over 57 million times! That really is nuts to me.

This year, personally, has also been a real blessing. My wife & I had our third little girl, and our house is completely overrun with castles, dolls, & princess dresses. The artists that I work with have come to expect having to clear a path through the madness to get from the front door to the studio. I’ve done a lot more producing this year than in years past (from Avril Lavigne to Christina Perri to Tyler Hilton etc..), and it’s been great to start an idea from nothing & be able to carry it all the way to the finish line. I can’t wait for you to hear the stuff that Avril & Chad Kroeger & I have been working on all year, and i’ve loved hearing what people think of the Christmas EP Christina & I did over the summer.

I got to see Jason Mraz & Christina play the Hollywood Bowl a couple of months ago, and to hear them both sing songs that we made together on that stage was something I’ll never forget. Also Carrie Underwood’s Blown Away album has already sold 1M copies this year! I have rarely come across a more kind, talented, & hardworking artist as Carrie; she’s great.

Recently Tristan Prettyman came out with an album called Cedar + Gold that I could not be more in love with. Tristan & I met about 18 months ago and she & Steve Miller & I (and Zac Malloy on 1) wrote 4 songs that I am so proud of. C+D is such a raw, open, beautiful album (thanks to Tristan & Greg Wells in the studio) and it’s probably been the thing i’ve listened to the most all year. Love that girl and love that album (this is the time where you stop reading this, go to iTunes, listen to the previews for the first few songs & then realize that I’m not just trying to sell you something, that this really is a beautiful record, & that we are better friends because of it).

As a quick note, I will also say – Holy smokes, I never would have guessed that A Thousand Years would have meant so much (even though I really do love that song & CP sounds amazing) to the Twilight franchise & it has been incredible to see it have a second life this year with Breaking Dawn Pt. 2. This week it just passed the 2M mark for downloads. So crazy.

Finally, there are a couple of things I’ve been working on with Sleepwalker Records. A few years ago (years, mind you) I had this idea to put a collection of covers together (which isn’t really my bag since I’m known more as a writer than an artist). The criteria was to take songs that I love from a certain era & recreate them in a completely different context. Some of the first songs I remember hearing that really moved me were songs from rock bands in the mid 90’s. Smells Like Teen Spirit, Creep, Black Hole Sun – these songs made me FEEL something more than just tell me something. So in between helping other artists chase down their muse (and making babies), I have been quietly chipping away at this project. The series will be called Passengers & this first EP is called Weapons. I am really proud of it; it’s coming out next Tuesday & can’t wait for you to hear it. And yes, ever since I released Vol. 1 of The December Sessions I’ve been thinking about Vol. 2. Can’t wait to get started next week.

Thank you all for your kind words & patience and a special thanks to Andrew Messenger for making this website continue to be awesome. Talk to you all soon (unless the Mayans were right).


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