Way back in early 2007, I was about a year out from a severe traumatic brain injury, on full-time disability, and being told my the doctors I might never work full-time again. But there was a silver lining. I’ve loved the guitar and songwriting since I was a little kid but was never very good at either, especially songwriting. I tended to pen either treacly love songs or pompous art rock. My only decent tunes were jokes, I mean that literally, they were about really stupid stuff and meant to earn little more than a chuckle. But good serious songs, they just always seemed to beyond my reach. Every time I would write one the process would be the same: I’d have a lick or a few chords and maybe a line or two of lyrics but I could never feel like I was in a groove, some sort of creative flow; instead it was a fruitless struggle, and I would just force the song along and, in the end, “finish it” and hate it.
But after the brain injury something changed. I remember I was lying on the couch and watching a Tom Petty video about his epic run at the Fillmore in San Francisco and I decided to take a walk to the coffee shop. Walking was really hard for me, even with my cane, and on the way back I had to stop, set my coffee down and lie down on the sidewalk. As I was getting up a line popped into my head: “I’ve got too many demons, and too few saints.” That’s a good idea for a song, I thought to myself. I made it back to my couch, picked up my guitar and came up with a riff right away. Then a verse. Then two verses. Then a song. A song I liked. Again, something had changed.
By the time 2007 ended, I had enough tunes I was happy with that I decided to hire some musicians and make my first album. I had huge dreams. I was going promote my album on Facebook and Twitter, blog about it on my very own web site (www.deepsalvage.com), ask friends to spread the word, sell direct through bandcamp. I figured at the very least I would cover my recording costs. But after doing all these things and more, I think I sold 5 albums max. Worse, even my close friends, fellow musicians, people I had known for years, pretty much ignored my music. Not in a mean way, it just wasn’t for them, or anybody else, really. Around 2013, I gave up trying to promote my music or blog about it or do much of anything else. I still wrote all the time and recorded, but I had an audience of one: yours truly.
Then I discovered Drooble. I was skeptical, but I signed up, posted some tracks, commented here and there and then forgot about it for about a month. But I kept getting emails about how people were listening, my popularity was growing, people were liking my songs. I checked the site again and really poked around and what I saw was a truly vibrant community of committed artists engaging with each other about their music, music of others, gear, career advice. And I realized I had finally found a good home for my music online. Drooble, I am so grateful for what you’ve built and are continuing to develop. I’m even thinking of taking down my music from iTunes and Spotify and just posting it all on Drooble, where a few souls actually listen and let me know they’re listening. To me, that is worth far more than a few bucks from streams, so much so that I am officially restarting this blog!
If you’re a songwriter/musician, you can check out drooble here: https://drooble.com/