Expansion Pack

Genesis Expansion Pack

You could say this is the “genesis” of a new Sempervivi.

I just looked over my last blog entry from a few months back, and reviewed how those plans have come together, or alternately, changed. The initial plan was to start assembling a band later this Fall with the intention of going into the studio in early 2017. A few weeks ago, I got to thinking these plans should be expedited. What was I waiting for anyway? I love playing solo, but ever since I was a lad, I’ve viewed being in a band as about the coolest activity on earth. There’s something rad about collaborating with other musicians and creating something that wasn’t there before. It was time to assemble my band! At this point in my journey, I wanted to stick with a core of players I knew and had shared the stage with. With all of the personal and professional stuff keeping me busy, I knew I needed to do this the right way and not waste my time with drama.

The Band

Amazingly, things came together more quickly than expected and my #1 draft picks for second guitar and bass said yes immediately. I’ve played with bassist Zack Messick at our church for years, and he was in the hip hop/blues/cover band Brick House Blend with me for a couple years. He also is part of my label’s hip hop duo Re-Education Camp with Jon Gore, as well as All Around the Dinner Table, so we’re keeping it in the family.

Sempervivi and Perry Ritter gig in Lexington, KY

“Perry-scope” screen caps from a show with Perry Ritter in January.

I shared the stage several times in the past few years with Perry Ritter (lead guitar) and was always floored by his chops and great attitude. We took turns playing solo sets at Twisted Cork in Lexington earlier this year, and the show morphed into a duet jam by the end of the night. We had so much fun that he jumped to the top of my list. After a few weeks of asking around, Perry suggested the drummer in his eponymous band, Rob Hanna. Rob was on board immediately, and we had ourselves a band. The first practice was this past Saturday. The guys had all listened to the demos I’d made in Logic and we got two songs down pretty quickly. Professionals!


I also decided to change things up from my usual pattern of going into the studio and recording a full EP or LP all at once. I was saving up toward that goal originally, but I already had enough to track a single. A lot of artists are focusing on singles these days, and friends at my shows had been asking if “So Close” would be on my next album. Why not start small by recording that song first? I already had a concept in mind for a music video, and ran it by my videographer friend Ryan Staples. He’d worked with me on a few projects before, including a Queen contest entry and Analog Apostles’ video for “Split Ends”. We worked up a storyboard for the video, and it’s almost completely cast. Before we shoot the video, we’re tracking at Sneak Attack Recording Co. here in Lexington at the end of August.

Long story short, I’m really hyped for y’all to hear the new band and hear/see the new single. In the immortal words of The Lego Movie:

Everything is awesome / Everything is cool when you’re part of a team!

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