Diesel & Driftwood
I live on Matinicus Island, 23 miles off the Maine coast. The songs on Diesel and Driftwood are all drawn from this unique environment. The island is reached only by boat or single engine aircraft. Fishing in small boats is the principle occupation of many islanders, myself included. There are no box stores, drive-throughs, stop lights or paved roads. There is one small grocery store, situated in my barn. Island children attend a one room school house, curiously equipped with high speed wireless and state of the art video conferencing gear. The stars are much brighter as there are no street lights. The wind blows in winter unabated for days. Summer is longer. Beaches are crowded when there are 15 of us there at the same time. I grew up inland, working on farms, in the woods, maple sugar houses. Law school followed college, but I could never adapt to cubicles, fluorescent lights or central heat and air conditioning. I am the square peg roughed up on the corners from too many attempts to Fit. I am the left-handed step-child perpetually wandering through neighborhoods of contentment, groomed yards, 401K plans, soccer game sidelines, aching for adventure, believing in magic hidden in plain sight, wondering what's wrong with me that I am still unsettled. Diesel and Driftwood is my sixth and first recording. I've played thousands of dates in bars, libraries, theaters, festivals, kitchens, basements and, most recently, on the town wharf surrounded by piles of fishing gear. Songwriting has been my primary creative outlet. These songs are all about transition (Restless Wind, Water and Stone), island life and the romance of not knowing what's next (Haul Em Up!, Put Your Party Shirt On, Trying to Make a Living in Paradise). There is also some questioning of the time and space framework that we use to make life comprehensible. Interesting cracks began to appear in that surface, (Newton, Starfish's Memory). I recorded the songs a year and change ago, then through out the whole works and started over during the winter of 08-09. It's the sixth recording I've produced, and the first to emerge from a different life. I moved ahead, using lots of ukulele, and back, getting the electric guitar grind of my bar band years into the sonic palette. Enjoy! -Nat.