Ballard acoustic singer-songwriter Kevin Long hits the road to promote his first record titled Small Town Talk and is preparing to record a follow-up album.
Melancholy and Moving On: The Ascent of Kevin Long
From the Ballard News-Tribune BLOG:
By Dusty Henry, Arts & Entertainment Intern
In July 2011, Ballard acoustic singer-songwriter Kevin Long released his first record titled Small Town Talk. Just under a year later Long is preparing to record a follow-up album and is about to head out on tour with Seattle-folk elder statesman, Rocky Votolato.
His forthcoming sophomore album, Forgiveness in the City, will deal with varying themes of personal growth, envy, and competition.
“It’s hard to be a better person when you’re being vengeful,” Long said.
While happy he followed through with his dream of recording an album, Long does have some beef with the first record that he plans to correct this time around, he said.
“To me [Small Town Talk] sounds like there’s too much going on sonically,” he said.
For Forgiveness in the City he plans on recording the songs more sparse and adorned with “pretty stuff.”
He is working with Andrew Joslyn from the Seattle Rock Orchestra, who also does part of the band’s arrangements and plays first chair violin, to record and arrange string parts for the record.
The new album will be just as sad sounding, he said, but will be a bit more optimistic.
“I’m just in a better place in my life now,” he said, noting how he has moved away from old stuff in his life like drugs and alcohol. Even being happier, he said that he will likely always tap into the more despondent sides of his emotions.
“The depth of my emotions runs deep enough for me to delve into [melancholy],” Long said.
Long is one of many Seattle artists who have opted to start a Kickstarter campaign to fund the recording of his second album.
Kickstarter allows users to donate money to projects they are interested in. The money is only taken from their accounts if the Kickstarter reaches the goal in the allotted time. Often times artists will offer perks for certain dollar amounts.
For pledging $10, Long will give backers a free digital copy of the album when it is released.
To another extreme, if someone pledges $500 or more Long promises a slew of things including playing a private house show and an invitation to his pre-record release dinner.
Long’s upcoming tour with Votolato will start on May 2. Long first came into contact with Votolato six months ago when they played a show together in Spokane, but he said he has been a fan of Votolato’s music ever since he saw him open for Pedro the Lion at the Graceland (now El Corazon) in 2003.
After their Spokane show, Votolato was really complementary to Long on his music and gave him his phone number. Long kept in persistent contact with Votolato’s booking agent and saw that Votolato would be playing at Neumos in June and asked to play the show.
In response, the booker asked if Long would like to open the first leg of Votolato’s nationwide tour.
Long will be bringing his brother for the first couple of dates but will do the rest of the tour solo acoustic. He said he prefers these stripped down acoustic performances over full band sets.
“I get to do the thing that I already know how to do,” he said.
Long is originally from Spokane, Wash. When he moved to Seattle he said he did not have many friends here.
In January of last year he was invited to the Conor Byrne Open Mic by fellow Seattle song-writer Tony Kevin, Jr. Long only plays a third of the time but enjoys listening to other people, making friends, and hanging out.
He said he has had only about four “magical moments” playing at the open mic where he felt the crowd was captivated and quiet.
“When that happens it’s really an amazing feeling,” Long said.
More details on Long and his music and Kickstarter can be found at http://www.kevinlongmusic.com.