I have been fortunate to land where I am today; as a person, a man, a father, a husband, a songwriter, and music therapist, I am right here. As far as music goes, now and then I like to look back to see and appreciate the progression to my present. I have crossed paths with many people along the way. I often sit and think, "What if that continued?" or "What if that actually happened? Where then would I be?" Here are a few highlights for me:
In 1996, I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Mould -- someone I already greatly admired. Tom Hudson, my roommate and bandmate at the time, called me at work and said, "Scott, call home and check the messages." I did and discovered Bob's deep voice inviting Tom and me out for coffee. He wanted to talk about the music I was making at the time (early days for both Super XX Man and Silver Scooter). We had the opportunity to spend time with him and meet other musicians in his home. He mixed a few of our early 4-Track recordings as Silver Scooter, which became our first Crank! Records 7". We played mini golf and went out for shakes at Sonic. Our collective goal at the time was to make a Silver Scooter record. Though making a record with Bob never happened, it was an amazing experience.
Later in the 90s, Tom and I were hired to pick up Emmylou Harris and her band at the airport and take them to Luckenbach, TX for a concert with "Waylon and Willie, and the boys." She sat in the back of our 15-passenger tour van with dark sunglasses on and didn't say a word. Her crew chatted with us though, and that was fun. It was also great to have a free bbq meal back stage and catch some quality music.
When Super XX Man was on Hush Records and later, Tender Loving Empire, both small labels in Portland, OR, I got to go to NPR studios in Washington D.C. I met Bob Boilen and played one of his Tiny Desk concerts. It was super rad. I was a nervous wreck. I will always remember my take-away highlight was the building tour Bob took me on and seeing a locker with duct tape on it that simply said, "Carl Kassel."
In 2011, my family moved to Melbourne, AUS. Once we got our feet on the ground, I started exploring where I might want to book a gig. The Old Bar was highly recommended to me, so I listened to all the artists on the calendar until I fell in love with Courtney Barnett's voice. I contacted her through her Myspace page. She wrote me back and invited me to the gig. I met her friends and we quickly booked some shows together. When Peter Joseph Head, Hannah O'Keefe, and I finished our Sorta Heavy Metal album as Super XX Man, Courtney and I discussed co-releasing it on her brand new label, Milk Records. I did my first ever crowd funding project in order to raise funds and she helped me kick it off by organizing a gig with me. She suggested other artists cover one of my songs as part of their sets. She and her partner, Jen Cloher, covered "Box Store." I believe Rob from a band called Immigrant Union played harmonica (refer to video above). Courtney and Jen later recorded it at my home in Melbourne -- that recording is beautiful and I am happy to pass it along with this post.
So, as I sit here in my pretty little studio (thank you Christina) and think back on my musical journey, I can't help but rejoice at how fortunate I've been. The point of all this reminiscing is that there's not a single other place I would like to be more than right here and now. Every step I took brought me right here. I say that as a person, a man, a father, a husband, a songwriter, and a music therapist.