Song Reader

Twenty new songs from one of my favorite artists, Beck. No CD, no digital download, in fact there’s no recording at all; it’s being released only as sheet music. Now, if I’m speaking as a music listener, this concept seems a little frustrating. It’s been 4 years since his last album, and I’m ready to hear some new music! On the other hand, as a musician, I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to get a group together, pour over these pages, and perform them live right here in Memphis. Considering I’ve never had a chance to see Beck live, this could be the closest I ever get.

Here’s an excerpt from

In the wake of Modern Guilt and The Information, Beck’s latest album comes in an almost-forgotten form—twenty songs existing only as individual pieces of sheet music, never before released or recorded. Complete with full-color, heyday-of- home-play-inspired art for each song and a lavishly produced hardcover carrying case (and, when necessary, ukelele notation), the Song Reader is an experiment in what an album can be at the end of 2012—an alternative that enlists the listener in the tone of every track, and that’s as visually absorbing as a dozen gatefold LPs put together.

Recently I had a self realization that as a music maker, I’m not really a songwriter (though I do  write songs), I’m not exactly a guitarist or drummer or any other instrumentalist (though I do play guitar, drums, and a handful of other instruments). Where I really feel alive is as an arranger. I recently found myself admitting to a fellow musician that the only reason I write lyrics is so I have an excuse to make an arrangement that brings them to life. So, the chance to interpret songs by Beck based only on sheet music sounds like a lot of fun to me.

Song Reader is being released in December, so be looking for me to put together a live performance sometime in the first few months of 2013.