Mr. Craigslist & Writing Dates

A couple of months ago I was trolling craigslist for musicians and I stumbled upon a post that looked almost exactly like mine — a lead guy who has a bunch of songs and an album who just needs a few musicians to stick around for more than 1 gig at a time! Obviously, this guy didn’t have anything to offer me, but I felt compelled to listen to his music, perhaps out of sympathy for his oh-so-familiar plight, or perhaps because the post implied a fierce love for some solid pedal steel, which all decent people can get behind….. Either way, I clicked on the link and listened, and I LOVED it! I wrote him to say so and found that he had blindly replied to my craigslist post as well! We got in touch and decided to talk about the biz and our bands and our struggles and visions and dreams and all things music over a beer that week. And as is known to happen, one beer led to another, and we agreed to get together to WRITE. ………!!!!!!!!!

For all of you non-writers out there, let me just tell you, co-writing is tricky. It doesn’t always work. Like so many elements of music, co-writing heavily relies on chemistry, which is why it’s always awkward to dive into a “writing date.” Nevertheless, I do. All. The. Freaking. Time. And it can get WEIRD. And not always in a kewl way. You basically get together with a stranger and say,

“Um, here’s a bunch of insanely personal stuff that I have scribbled into the art of song with my skillz that you might think totally suck and I can’t figure out how to sing it or play it in a way that I’m proud of, so I’m going to do that for you now, loudly, and wait for your awkward compliment-sandwich to follow with possible suggestions that I think are the lamest ideas I’ve ever heard, but I will politely humor you by trying them out or I’ll try to find some subtle way to say that I’d rather not ever hear another suggestion out of your stupid mouth about my music, which I think is FANFREAKINGTASTIC WITHOUT YOU!!! …..B-T-Dubs, do you mind dogs, because mine will be sniffing you throughout the duration of this engagement.”

I like to be forced out of my writing comfort-zone and I like my songs enhanced by other perspectives. However, I do not like to be pushed so far out of my zone that I have no idea where my song is and/or how to get back to it. And that happens a lot, because while it’s nice for a co-writer to be on a different page, you have to at least be reading a book in the same language!

So, back to Mr. Craigslist. He came over and we began the uncomfortable process of getting emotionally naked in front of each other, with only a few emails and a couple of beers under our belts. And it was AWESOME! We cranked out a song in 2 quick sessions, with a few other raw skeletons left to be workshopped, which we have since revisited. I am thoroughly enjoying writing with someone so talented and I’m eager to share some of the new stuff soon. So stay tuned! And in the meantime, check Mr. Craigslist out:

Reid Stripling





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