2013 bucket list!   Leave a comment

Americans love their signs for their homes.  Stores sell a vast range of signs – motivational, religious, family orientated or just cute quotes or phrases.  I’ve noticed recently in the UK this is another trend being adopted from the States.

I have to admit to liking them.  I believe in having mantras; goals and ambitions.  One of my favourite signs reads “Reach for the moon; if you miss, you’ll land amongst the stars”.

I’ve always reached high, always been ambitious, I “dream big!”.  Not always good but actually I always try to make my dreams come true, especially the persistent ones.

I remember as a kid reading SImon Templar books.  In one of the books author Leslie Charteris, who created the character, (aka the Saint), had written a chapter where Templar was chased and shot at and was in real danger of being either killed or arrested the next day, yet was still able to go to bed, turn off the light and also turn off his mind from the days events and the possible events of the next day.  This has always stayed with me as I wish I had the ability to switch off like that but I can’t.  I tend to go over plans as I lay there in the dark; some of my best ideas have come during the night or early morning.  McCartney is of course famous for dreaming Yesterday – that’s one dream I wish I’d had!

Over the last couple of years I’ve been playing with my writing and my career – that’s how I feel about it anyhow.  I’ve never wanted to be someone who plays the same very small venues in the same small town for over fifteen years just to boost my ego and ‘keep the dream alive! – someone is telling you something!

Last year I released a four track EP The Rodeo to a good response.  A couple of my books have sold reasonably well too but recently the response to everything has really made me think.

Nearly every professional artist I know (professional means you make your living solely from your work!) is insecure, seeks approval, whether they are an actor, musician, film maker, whatever.  I’m no different I’m afraid, I wish I could be.  It’s not about the money, it’s about having your work praised, building confidence.

With a new year come resolutions and the one I’ve really made myself is to stop playing at this and doing it for real.  Setting myself realistic deadlines and targets. A bucket list for 2013 if you like.

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Telegraph Road has just been properly released and the response has been overwhelming.  This again gives the confidence needed.  We had lined up a couple of releases for early this year but realistically we’re not going to make the desired release date.  I just want to get my material out there but we’re running behind schedule slightly so we’re going to revise the dates.

The first album release will be as planned Country Tales and Hobo Trails.

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Tim and I have nearly completed the recording, just vocals to finish so new release date is March 1.

The second album is Songs From A Trailer Park.

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Songs is also nearly finished as it comprises demos and home recordings of songs, some of them feature on other releases; Songs for example has an acoustic version of Telegraph Road.  It’s a very raw, very honest album, recorded on my iPad.  The release date for Songs has been changed to March 25.

The main change is for the third album.  This is an album of ballads mainly and was originally called Today was Tomorrow Yesterday but I felt that the title didn’t go with the songs; the title is more autobiographical so we’ve changed the title to The Loneliness of Night.

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We’ve already recorded a couple of the tracks but a realistic release date is now june 3.

And finally music wise, the aforementioned Today was Tomorrow Yesterday is now indeed going to be autobiographical with songs from my Cardiff days right up until today.  

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The title is about just how quickly life goes by.  The songs are written but only one recorded at the moment so again a realistic release date is November.  I really wish I could wave a magic wand and that they were all available now; patience has never been my strong point.

As for my writing the main book is Summer; A Trilogy.

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The book is almost written and now has a publication date of April 8.

Two other projects are a new play, Circles into Squares, and the Christmas short story, The Body in the Snow which was postponed from last December and will be published December 2.

Finally, and at last, comes the first Jackson Woods book,  When you Can’t see The Woods …..

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Again this is written but to be brutally honest, I’m not happy with it, I’m still trying to ‘find’ Jackson, so I’m about to start a total rewrite, a third.  I’m hopeful of a publication date in October!?!

The one goal I’ve really set myself is to play a few select shows.  I really wanted to play last year but again was dreaming really.  It’s been quite a while since I’ve really played live – a few songs at the Penny Theatre years ago and when I performed my play at Edinburgh – that’s it. This is where I need my confidence but I’m sure it will come.  Bonnaroo, Coachella and Farm Aid plus a show in Mount Juliet on the lake, but we’ll see.  I play all the instruments on the recordings, with Tim’s valuable input too, so getting a band together is another exciting yet terrifying challenge.

So, hopefully I’ll read this in a year’s time and be able to tick off everything.  I am very honest with myself; I hate failure.  I also do tend to do things backwards – I’m not a teenage kid just signed to a label with a known potential market, far from it, but I actually think that that will be my strength.  

I need to build on what we’ve achieved so far – over 5,000 likes on my FB music page, over 2,000 on my writing page; The Rodeo video has had 8,000 views, and as I write this I am currently number 28 in the Nashville singer songwriter charts!  Telegraph Road is available in selected stores including in Nashville and Cardiff and selected radio stations, in the States and in Europe, have both The Rodeo and now Telegraph Road –  get requesting them!!!! ha ha

A new website is on the way, interviews are lined up and there are the live shows…..  It’s a huge challenge but an exciting one.  If I fail then I must at least be able to say to myself, honestly, “well I tried my best:, and know I did.

I must finally say a quick thank you again to Tim Palmer who records me.  Not only is he a fine hugely talented musician and engineer he is a great guy, laid back, encouraging.  If he can’t do it, it can’t be done!  

Time will tell ……..

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Posted January 14, 2013 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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