DON'T MIND ME 

Testing 1, 2...is this thing on? 

If you haven't noticed, I don't blog very often. I am unapologetic about it. I prefer to write songs and let the music do the talking. Yet here I sit, writing a blog! I thought maybe it was a good time to reconnect since I have a new album coming out next month. I mean, do people even read blogs anymore? I don't. I don't listen to podcasts either. I never have. I know they're very popular, but I'd rather listen to music. Unfortunately, when I'm in songwriting mode the only music I can listen to is my own! I'm too easily influenced. I listened to a Billie Eilish record once this past summer in the midst of writing songs for my album. A month later I was recording a song I had just written when my daughter McKenna, who was in the next room on her computer, hollered "that sounds like a Billie Eilish song! You have to change it or you're gonna get sued!" Damnit. I was quite fond of the song just the way it was! But I knew she was right and I didn't want to get sued by Billie Eilish, so I changed the melody and other bits that I might have borrowed from her and made it my own. McKenna approves of the new rendition and thinks it’s even better now. So do I. But that's why I can't listen to other people's music when I'm in writing mode. 

About this new album coming out on January 20th, 2023...

One of the best things in life is to enjoy your work. To do what you love. I worked many long hours/days/months writing and recording this record and loved every minute of it. I had to be careful though. There's always a risk of overcooking things when you're the artist and producer all rolled into one and have no time constraints. I think I might have cooked this batch of songs just right. We'll see. Five years from now if I listen back to this record I'm sure I’ll hear things that I could've/should've done differently. And that's why I don’t listen back to my records after they've been released!

I started writing songs for this record in November 2021. I even released two of them earlier this year that you might have heard (they have since been remixed and remastered for the record). I probably wrote and recorded 20 songs during a 10-month time period, 11 of which appear on this record. When I’m in writing mode, song ideas can come from just about anywhere. I like to believe they're all around us, floating in the universe. You just have to tune into them, like changing frequencies on a radio dial. Sometimes it's a melody that I’ll tune into, or a drum beat, or something I stumble upon while sitting around playing the guitar or piano. All it takes is a little spark to ignite those creative juices, and then I’m off and running! Music and a melody almost always come first for me. Lyrics come later. But there are no set rules.

My youngest daughter Myla (who just turned 7) is always singing and making up her own cute little songs. Some of them are actually pretty good! She's taking piano lessons now and progressing quite well. A few months ago she was singing a catchy little melody she made up and kept repeating the lyric "don't mind me," which I kinda liked, and so I stole it and wrote a song! Of course I changed it enough to make it my own, so I don't get sued when she grows up. The song didn't end up making the record, but I did end up using the song title as the name of the album. Thank you, Myla! 

Every song has a life of its own. When I sit down to write a song I’m not thinking about making a record. I’m only thinking about that song and how I can make it better. By the end of August 2022 I felt like I had recorded a strong enough collection of songs for an album, and so began the mixing process. My typical day during this process went like this: 
Wake up at 7AM and take my elderly dog and best friend Graham outside, have a cup of coffee and a light breakfast, go for an hourlong walk in the park while listening to the songs I’d chosen to be on the album and taking notes on my phone (I find this record to be good walking music), return home, pour a second cup of coffee and head downstairs to my studio where I'd spend the rest of the day making changes to each song based on the notes I'd taken while on my morning walk. This daily routine went on until December 8th - the 42nd anniversary of John Lennon's death. That was the day I came home from my morning walk with no notes. The record was finished! The following morning I uploaded the album to the distribution company I use, and a few days later I announced my new album and the January 20th release date on social media. And that’s kinda how it works…for me anyway. 

Now, since I don't read blogs, I'm not exactly sure how long a blog is supposed to be and I don't want to bore you. I was planning to speak a little more about the songs on the record, but I don’t think I’ll do that. Not today anyway. I think it might be best if I allow you, the listener, the freedom to interpret them for yourself. Maybe you’ll get more out of it that way. Who am I to deny your imagination? Maybe I’ll change my mind, but for now you’ll have to wait until January 20th, or the iTunes presale on January 6th (which will include 6 instant downloads). In the meantime, thank you for reading my blog and thanks for listening to my music. I don't have the big machine of a record company anymore, nor do I have promoters or people trying to get my songs played on the radio. I don't tour and I don't really enjoy doing interviews anymore either. I simply enjoy making music - writing and recording songs, bringing them to life and releasing them into the great wide open. That's what makes me happy. It gives me a sense of purpose and adventure, and for that I am very grateful to each and every one of you who takes the time to listen to my music on Spotify, Apple Music, iTunes, or wherever else you stream or download your music. I hope you'll enjoy this new record as much as I've enjoyed writing and recording it. Happy Holidays!

Peace✌🏻
Jimmy

 

Blogs

Click here to read the October 4th, 2017 Blog: "HEARTBREAKER"!

Click here to read the July 25, 2017 Blog: "FLOODED ROADS"!

Click here to read the June 26, 2017 Blog: "DOCTOR EVIL"!

Click here to read the June 5, 2017 Blog: "Measure 30"!

Click here to read the May 24, 2017 Blog: My First Blog!.

October 11th, 2018 

IT HAPPENED ONE SUMMER 

WARNING: I haven’t written in quite awhile, so I hope you’ll indulge me as I have a lot to talk about! It’s like two blogs for the price of one...except it’s free. 

First of all...I hope you’ve had a good summer.  I did, for the most part. Lots of time with my family, which is always nice. My wife has become quite the woodworker and has her first two markets coming up this weekend in Franklin, TN and the following weekend in Leiper’s Fork (check out her work on instagram at Lindsay’s Rustic Designs); my daughter McKenna is a senior in high school and turns 18 next week; Emma turned 5 in September, rides horses, and kinda sorta learned how to swim this summer; and Myla will be 3 in December and is the sweetest little girl ever...most of the time. She likes to sit on my head. 

As for me, I spent many weekends at the lakehouse this summer writing and recording new music. I love it there. It’s such an inspiring place for me to be creative and make music. I work at my own pace, always making time for morning coffee or evening happy hour (sometimes both!) on the boat. However, when I have a newly written song, it’s game on. I can't wait to get that song recorded and out of my head ASAP! It’s like a race with time to capture it before it disappears. It’s incredibly challenging and fulfilling to hear a song in your head and then try to reproduce what you’re hearing. That’s mostly what I’ve been doing this summer...capturing songs. 

Sadly, I also lost my dad in early September. I could say so much about my dad, but for now all I will say is that I loved him very much and greatly appreciate everything he and my mom did for me and my sister. They supported me every step of the way in my career - buying instruments when I was a kid so I could start a band with my neighborhood buddies; buying a van to haul our gear to the gigs; helping me move to Hollywood fresh out of high school; investing money in Train so we could record our debut album...my parents were my biggest fans. Aside from that, my dad was my friend - a really good guy with a big heart and I will miss him. 

Thankfully, I was able to spend some quality time with him on the lake a few weeks before he passed - a memory I will always cherish. I played him the new music I was working on and he really liked it! He liked that it was more guitar driven. He also said my voice sounded different and more confident (which I took as a compliment because, like many singers, I don’t typically enjoy hearing my own voice, so “different” is good). Dad liked the lyrics a lot too, wanting to know the stories behind each song (I think he was concerned I might have issues). I came up with the idea to add a cable car sample to a song called “The Hourglass” while discussing that lyric with him. I’m glad he got to hear the record before he passed. I don’t know, I think it’s a pretty good record. I'm really proud of it, and it would’ve been kinda sad for me if he never got to hear it. 

And on that note... 

I have a new album called LIBERTY STREET that will be released on Tuesday, November 13th! It’s my third release in one year (my first release “No Man’s Land” was released in November 2017, “Shine Like The Sun” in April 2018). Unlike the first two releases, LIBERTY STREET will only be available online anywhere you can download or purchase music (iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Google Play, Amazon Music, Napster, jimmystaffordmusic.com, etc. etc.) - no physical product this time around...at least for the time being. Please allow me to tell you a little bit about this record... 

Written at home and recorded entirely at the Greenhouse (that’s what I call my studio at the lakehouse), my goal was to make a record chock-full of groovy tunes with cool sounds, good vibes, and catchy melodies - an album I could listen to from start to finish. To achieve this, I thought it might be interesting to write and record each song in order as they would appear on the record. I began by writing a song called “Ghostland” that was inspired by a book I was reading at the time called “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann. The song as I was hearing it in my head seemed like the perfect song to kick off the album. I finished recording “Ghostland” in March (a month before my second album “Shine Like The Sun” was due to be released), and after thinking a bit about how the second song on the album might sound, I wrote and recorded “We’re All Stars”...and so on and so forth, until months later in August I wrote and recorded the 10th and final song on the album called “Liberty Street” - a song about how some folks never leave the small town they grew up in, while others choose to leave but eventually, someday, make their way back home to Liberty Street. This song seemed to me like a fitting title for the album. 

It was a fairly unconventional approach to writing and constructing an album, but at the end of the day I think I accomplished what I set out to do. The songs turned out sounding as good or even better than how they originally sounded in my head. I enjoy listening to the record from start to finish (the album is 40 minutes in length and flows really well with very little space to catch your breath between songs), and it sounds really good turned up loud with headphones on. I mean, I’d buy it...or at least I’d download it for free somewhere, which is why I decided not to release any product this time around. I’m not too concerned with record sales these days. I really just want people to hear it. Maybe you’ll like it as much as I do and we can all be friends and hang out or something. 

With that said, I’d really appreciate you giving my new record a listen when it becomes available on November 13th, or you can listen even sooner on October 23rd when you're able to pre-order the album on iTunes for only $6.99 and receive 3 instant downloads (including "Ghostland" and "We're All Stars"). If you like what you hear, please share it with your friends and family on social media so others might give it a listen. Don’t be selfish! Okay, I’ll talk to you soon. Thanks for reading this. 

Peace, 
Jimmy

October 4th, 2017

HEARTBREAKER

Hello all.

I haven't written in awhile. I've been busy wrapping up the artwork and packaging on my debut album, which if you didn't already know, is titled "No Man's Land," and will be released independently on January 16th. The CD and signed copies of vinyl will be available for preorder sometime around Thanksgiving. Of course you will be the first to know. You might even be the only ones to know! Haha. I might have mentioned before, but my intentions with my music aren't to write hits, become a famous rock star, make a lot of money, and tour the world. I used to be in a band that pretty much fulfilled all of those dreams and aspirations of mine. This music is for me and my soul. It's simply something inside of me that I need to get out. Like a big poop! I enjoy the process of writing and recording songs and figure I might as well put them out there to share with others in this crazy world we live in. Music is good for us all. Everywhere. It doesn't care what color you are or what religion you are or what an asshole you are. Music doesn't discriminate and is always there for us to enjoy. Hopefully some will enjoy my music. If it makes me happy, and maybe some others happy as well, then it's worth doing. I'm only releasing a very limited amount of CD's and vinyl because who buys music on CD's anymore?! I don't. I purchase music on iTunes so I can have it directly on my phone and take it with me wherever I go. My music will also be available on iTunes and all the other places you can download or purchase music. Vinyl is still cool though. Nothing like flipping through records at your local record store, putting one on your turntable and dropping that needle down. I took great care in mastering my music specifically for vinyl.

I've also been busy lately because Lindsay and I bought a second home - a lake house where we can spend time with the kids and friends, and where I converted the apartment above the detached garage into a writing/recording studio! Its very inspiring for me to be there writing, recording, and taking the boat out on the lake. "I'm sailing!" I love that movie, "What About Bob?"  Bill Murray is the best.

You know who else was the best? Tom Fucking Petty! Damn, what a loss. Amidst all the horror of the tragic massacre in Las Vegas his death has been somewhat overshadowed, but that guy is a legend and a true American rock and roll icon. I loved him and his music and am so happy Lindsay and I had a chance to see him in Nashville on this final tour. He was a very big inspiration on my music. You can hear some of that inspiration in the song I'm releasing later this afternoon. It's called "Simple Kind of Man" (I like borrowing good song titles from other artists. This one is from Lynyrd Skynyrd. Look for "Stairway to Heaven" and "If I Had a Boat" on the next album!). I wanted that classic Tom Petty 12-string Rickenbacker sound on "Simple Kind of Man" so I found a beautiful used Rick on eBay, bought it and added it to the song. I also posted a short video clip of me recording the main guitar riff for this particular song on the website and Facebook a few months back. Anyway, RIP Tom Petty. You were a class act, cool as hell, and left us with some amazing, classic songs that will live with us forever. You will truly be missed.

I was at the lake house writing music when I heard all of this horrible news about Las Vegas and Tom Petty. It was a good place for me to be that day. It was so perfectly still outside, the lake was like glass, and the moon was full that night. It made me very thankful to be amongst the living. 

Ok, that's all I have to talk about for now. Hope you enjoy the new tune. It was a fun one to write and sing. It'll be available on the website for free in a few hours and available on iTunes and everywhere else tomorrow. Take care of each other out there. Crazy times.

Love and mercy.

Jimmy

   

July 25, 2017

FLOODED ROADS

Hellooooo fellow music lovers!

So, I finished tracking the record last Friday evening. That means everything has been recorded. All that’s left to do is mix the final seven songs (which means take the aforementioned tracks that were recorded, make them sound good and right, then mix them all together to make a completed recording), which should take us until mid August and then the album will be completely finished! I’m still planning to only release one song every four weeks through December and then the entire album will be released in January on limited edition vinyl and CD formats for those who want a real product instead of a digital download. I must say that I’m very pleased with the way things are turning out, considering this is my first real go at this whole writing, performing, and producing my own record thing. It’s been an incredible experience. I was very excited that my parents, Larry and Judy Stafford (some of you have surely met them at Train shows through the years) were able to come to Nashville for a visit and spend a day in the studio with me, which is something they had never done before. I also brought my dad along for the drum session with the legendary Paul Leim, which he was totally blown away by. Google Paul. He has played with just about everybody and is such an amazing drummer, a total professional, and a hell of a nice guy with some incredible stories! Anyhow, allow me tell you a story of my own about how this all got started. It was a very rainy morning in April…no really….

I already told you in a previous blog about how and why the songs for this album were written, but after they were written I didn’t really know how to go about getting them recorded (or even if that's what I wanted to do) without having to cash in my daughter’s college fund and my wife’s savings, which I really didn’t want to do. Well, one very rainy morning in April on National Record Store Day my wife and I decided to take a drive to Leiper’s Fork to our friend Karen Whitford’s record store. We love going to Leiper’s Fork and we always visit Karen’s record store when we do...plus it was Record Store Day! We had to go! So, we drive through Franklin, TN on our way to Leiper’s Fork and the road is flooded due to the storm, so we end up taking a long detour around downtown Franklin to the next road that will get us there. Five miles down that road we run into another river flowing across the road. Now, I’ve seen those people on the news who try and drive through flooded streets and I was not about to be one of those guys stranded on the top of my car while my wife swam for help! No siree. So I turned the car around and headed for another option, which was also flooded! At this point you might have thought we would have given up and headed home, but I am a very stubborn man (just ask my wife) and knew that if we just kept heading south we’d eventually find a way around this flooded river…even if we had to go all the way to Alabama! I was determined to get some breakfast at the Country Boy Cafe and shop for some vinyl at Karen’s store, "Finds in the Fork," on Record Day. Lindsay (the wife) was just as determined/hungry, so we gave it one last shot and finally found a road that wasn’t flooded. We had a delicious breakfast and went to the record store. A photographer friend of mine, Ash Newell, happened to be there shopping as was Michael Bonagura, whom I was introduced to by Karen. Michael and I started talking music. He told me about his home studio down the road where he had recorded numerous records and asked me to stop by sometime, so a few weeks later I called him and he invited me over on May 5th, Cinco de Mayo. I showed up at his house that day to check out the studio, which I found to be very cozy and very well-equipped, and we decided we should make a record together…like now! I left around 9:00 that night having recorded the basic tracks and a lead vocal on a new song I’d recently written called “John Wayne.” Fortunately for me, his super talented daughter Alyssa Bonagura (who sang some harmonies on my record and, along with Rod Stewart’s daughter Ruby, has an awesome new band called The Sisterhood who just recently signed with Sony) had just finished a project and so the studio was available for the rest of the summer! Coincidentally, Alyssa’s boyfriend, Graham Whitford, is Karen the record store owner's son. His father is Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and I had met Graham years ago when he was just a kid and his father brought him and his brother backstage at a Train show in Charlotte. Aerosmith’s keyboard player, Buck Johnson, also played on my album. Small world! Anyway, Michael and I dove right in and started making this record. Funny though…I was so excited about “John Wayne” when we recorded it that day that I was actually considering it for my first release, but I just recently wrote another song called “I Won’t Forget You” that we decided to record and I am super happy with how it turned out and now I’m not even sure “John Wayne” will end up making the record. You see, vinyl records can only fit 22 minutes of music on each side (about 6 of my songs), so I only have room for 12 songs on this album. Maybe I’ll add “John Wayne" as a bonus track on the CD. We’ll see.

So that’s how I managed to make this record while only spending a fraction of my wife’s savings. Fate? Maybe. Things do seem to happen for a reason. Fortunately for me, Michael is a huge music lover like myself who believes in me and my songs (also like myself). We have become very good friends and I imagine we will continue to work together more in the future. I certainly couldn’t have done this without him. He and his wife Kathie (who also sang harmonies on my record) have been incredibly kind and tolerant of me invading their home almost every day for the past three months while making this record. I am eternally grateful.

Ok, I’m going to wrap it up for now. I’ll have another song for you to hear in a few weeks. It’s one of my wife’s favorites called “Insomnia.” I’ll send you a reminder on release day, August 10th. Take care, be kind to one another, and don’t drive across flooded roads!

Jimmy

June 26, 2017

DOCTOR EVIL

Hello.

First off, thank you for the positive response and support on “No Man’s Land,” the first release from my upcoming album. I appreciate all of you who bought, downloaded, or simply gave it a listen. If you haven’t heard it yet, it’s available everywhere now. Tell your friends! They can still get a free download on the website for another few weeks. As a new song gets released every month I will always make it available for a free download until the next song is released, at which point the previous release will become a paid download....for one BILLION dollars! Seriously? There's no Doctor Evil emoji? Lame. Anyway...I don't think most of you knew what to expect from this album. Many comments I read mentioned they liked that my first release had a bit of an americana/country flavor, which makes me very curious to see what those same people will think of my next release - a song called “High Tide," which will be available on the website and everywhere July 13th.

My dad and I were talking last night while we were sitting around the fire pit out back (my parents are visiting us in Nashville this week). Dad said he was hoping to hear a little more guitar on these new songs of mine. He’s only heard a few of the demo recordings so far (and “No Man’s Land"), so I played him the finished version of “High Tide” which seemed to quench his thirst for more guitars. He’s 76 years old, but he still loves the rock and roll! I explained to him that while I typically write songs on the guitar, it’s the song that dictates the instruments and arrangement, not the other way around. It's all about the song. Some of those who really liked the direction of “No Man’s Land” might not like this next release as much, while others who were hoping for something a little edgier will probably dig it. I dig it! Honestly, I don’t think there are any two songs alike on this album, but they are all 100% me. I enjoy all types of music and have been influenced by many styles and many artists over the years. I think you will hear some of those influences in my music. I mean, not like I blatantly stole anything! However, musicians and songwriters are always borrowing, whether they realize it or not. The Beatles pretty much did it all already. It's debatable, but I'm not so sure that anything that has been written or recorded since then has truly been 100% original. But that's what it's all about. We learn from the masters. We soak up everything we see and hear and regurgitate something of our own, but is it ever truly original? Highly unlikely. Even if you've never listened to the Beatles (what's wrong with you?! you should really check them out. they were pretty good!) there's a very good chance that the bands that you listen to have listened to the Beatles and so you're hearing their influence through that whole six degrees of separation thing. Wow. I really went off on a tangent there. My point is that my album is unoriginal? No wait! It's very original! 100% me! But if you listen very closely - I mean, you'd have to be some sort of musical scholar or something - you might hear a little Beatles, Cure, Cash, Zep, and who knows what else in my songs, because I am the sum of my parts. Whew. Moving on....

I am officially halfway finished recording this record! Well, almost. We are in the middle of mixing the sixth song right now, with six more songs left to record. We're recording the drums for the final six songs in Nashville this afternoon with Paul Leim, a Nashville legend who has played with just about everybody. Once we get the drums recorded we can start digging into the second half of this record! Ok I have to run. I'll send you a reminder to check out "High Tide" in a few weeks. Well, "I" won't necessarily be sending you a reminder..."they" will...my "people"...who are definitely not me. Muah ha ha ha! (Doctor Evil emoji)

Peace and love,

Jimmy

June 5th, 2017

MEASURE 30

Hello good people of the mailing list. It is I, the Jamma of Lama’s (a nickname the Train crew gave me years ago, also my twitter handle @jammalama). I hope you are well? I am well after taking the weekend off from the studio so I could take my wife to Chicago for her first U2 concert. They are playing much closer to home next week at Bonnaroo, but I can’t do festivals anymore. I think I’m getting too old for festivals, or maybe I’m just too spoiled! The last festival I attended was years ago at Lollapalooza (also in Chicago), because it was the only show I could catch Radiohead at that year due to Train’s busy schedule and I really wanted to see Radiohead. I didn’t enjoy it one bit! Couldn’t get within 25,000 people of the stage so I watched on the jumbo screens, the sound wasn’t great, lots of drunk people, muddy, so frickin’ hot, forgot lotion, burned my head, didn’t pee all day…it gave me a whole new appreciation for the Train fans who deal with that when they come see us at festivals while I hang out comfortably backstage with free drinks, nice furniture, bathrooms, and a great side-stage view of the other bands performing. Spoiled! And so no Bonnaroo for me. We had nice comfortable seats at the U2 show Saturday night, although we stood for the entire show and it was not pleasant leaving Soldier Field at the same time as 70,000 others. Where’s my helicopter?!! Police escort? No? Crap. I’m a civilian now. I might be done with stadium concerts too. Spoiled.

Anyway, I’ve been very busy in the recording studio in Franklin, Tennessee. I look forward to the beautiful drive to work everyday. The studio is very comfortable and bright and cheery. We work anywhere from 7 to 12 hours per day depending on how burned out we get or if there is a Stanley Cup game scheduled, like tonight (Go Preds!). There’s no deadlines or record execs hounding us, so we work at our own pace. It’s a nice way to make a record.

Last week was a lot of preparation work to get the current four songs we’re working on ready for guitar overdubs and vocals. It was mostly very tedious computer work making sure the live drums and bass we recorded lined up perfectly with each other on every single beat, so as to create a nice tight, solid foundation for the song. However, a few songs called for a looser, more live feel, so we had to compensate for that as well. Oh, and what if that drum fill leading into the chorus doesn’t sound exactly the way you wanted it you ask? Well, we find a fill that we like better from a different take (there might be anywhere from 3 to 5 drum takes recorded for each song) and plug it in to the master take. But then you wish the bass player had played that one extra note to go perfectly with your new drum fill, so you find that exact note within the song and copy and paste it into place, line it up perfectly, and make it right. Something like that could take an hour just to get that one spot in the song sounding exactly the way you want it. As a matter of fact, last Wednesday we spent the entire day making one measure in a song sound right…measure 30. I remember it oh so well! You see, when you make a record you don’t always have a full live band in the studio playing together and recording their parts all at the same time. That’s very rare these days, actually. We’ll record the drums one day in a Nashville studio, bass on another day back in our Franklin studio, piano, guitars, etc. Think of it like building a house. Last week we laid the foundation. Tedious but necessary, and the end result was well worth the effort. We now have a very solid foundation to build on. Now we’ll begin to build the walls starting with some guitar overdubs this week, which I am very much looking forward to…starting tomorrow. I have to watch the Stanley Cup game tonight! It’s okay, we’re in no hurry. “No Man’s Land”, which is the first song to be released, will be out on June 15th, so I only need one of these songs to be finished in time for a July release. A piece of cake. I’ll probably have four or five finished by then and will have to decide in which order to share them with you! “No Man’s Land” is kind of an americana/rock song, so maybe I’ll release something with a little more bang next. Not that “No Man’s Land” doesn’t have bang because it does! It’s just a kinder, gentler bang. It was the first song to be finished and mastered, so that’s what you’ll be hearing first in about 10 days. And since I’ve already got cover art picked out for a song called “High Tide”, maybe for that reason alone I’ll share that one with you next, in July. Ok, I’m going to wrap this up. Did you read all of that? I probably would have bailed around MEASURE 30!…which was entirely my fault by the way. I’d love to blame the drummer (after all, it’s usually the drummer’s fault!), but I’m the one who asked him to play what he did in measure 30 and then changed my mind once we started putting the drums together back in the Franklin studio and so we had to spend an entire day piecing that measure together from scratch. Hey, but it’s my record and I’m allowed to make mistakes, right? Right. Measure 30 sounds amazing now! Worth every painstaking minute. Ok, i’m over it. Moving on. F*ck you measure 30! We kicked your ASS! Okay, I’m done.

Talk to you soon.

Peace,

Jimmy

P.S. when you hear me say “we” fixed something, recorded something, or kicked something’s ass, I am referring to my co-producer/engineer Michael Bonagura, without whom I probably wouldn’t be recording this album right now and definitely would not have gotten past measure 30 without his patience and expertise.

May 24th, 2017

This is my first ever "blog" written exclusively for those of you who have signed up for my mailing list! For this initial offering I thought maybe I would tell you how this album I am currently in the studio recording came about.

I'm assuming you all know that I was in the band Train from 1994-2016. If not...surprise! Yep, that was me. The bald guy. Not Howie Mandel. Haha. Anyway, Train wrote songs many different ways...together as a band (mostly on the first four albums), individually, and later with outside writers. Pat has always been the lyricist. When others in the band would come up with song ideas at home or on the road we would play them for Pat and sometimes he would get excited and write lyrics and a melody, and if it was good enough we'd record it and maybe it would make the record (we always recorded more songs than we needed and the best dozen would make it on the record at the end of the day). Through the years there were many songs that I wrote for Train that I either decided weren't right for the band and so I never even played them for Pat, or I played them for Pat but he wasn't sure what to do with them so they were never finished. You see, when I write a song there is always a lyric melody in my head that goes along with it, but I never recorded the melodies or sang them for Pat because he's pretty damn good at that and I didn't want to influence him one way or the other. Maybe I should have!

Anyhow, Train was and still is a very busy band. I never had time or a reason to finish these songs on my own. Until now. I've got loads of time now that I'm not in the band anymore! So much time that there were days when I didn't know what to do with myself! I mean, I do enjoy spending as much time as I can with my beautiful wife Lindsay, and my three beautiful daughters McKenna, Emma and Myla. I also enjoy golfing, going to concerts, sporting events, and other things. But I have music inside of me and it was starting to bubble to the surface. So one day in November last year I sat down and wrote a song, complete with lyrics and melody. It was a pretty good first effort! At least I thought so. So I wrote another, and then another and another. And then I found all the old demos of the songs I'd written that were intended for Train with no lyrics or melodies - just the music. And some of them were really good! At least I thought so. I could immediately hear the melodies in my head that belonged with this music and so I wrote lyrics and finished a bunch of them and by April of this year I found that I had written more than enough songs to make a record, and so that's what I decided to do.

Now, times have changed. I'm no longer in a multi-platinum, Grammy Award winning band with a big record company, management, and radio support. I'm just Jimmy Stafford now. And honestly, that's all I want to be. I have no interest in signing a record deal, selling tons of records, making money, being famous, or trying to write hits that may or may not get played on the radio. I've been there and done all of that. I'm good. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed every minute of being in a successful band! Well, most minutes. But this project - this group of songs I've written and all of the songs I write, record, and release going forward - are all just for the love of writing and recording the music I hear in my head. However, I don't want to be the only one to ever hear them once they're recorded...mostly because I feel pretty strongly that they're good enough to share and that you might actually enjoy listening to them as much as I enjoyed writing them. That's all. That's all I want...to share my music with you and anyone else who cares to listen. Simple.

So I'm going to release these songs one at a time over the next year (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, Apple Music...you name it), each song with it's own artwork and hopefully a video as well. Then I will release the whole damn album with new artwork on limited edition vinyl and cd's (signed if you'd like!) for those of you who still prefer to own a physical copy of the finished record like I do. I'm old-fashioned like that. Gotta have the actual record with pictures, lyrics, and credits to read while I listen. And so that's the plan.

I realize most of you have only ever heard me sing background vocals with Train and are probably curious what I sound like. Yes, I am the singer on all of these songs that I'm recording. I'd say I'm somewhere between Freddie Mercury from Queen and Si Robertson from Duck Dynasty. Maybe a little more Si than Freddie. Real good.

Ok that's it for my first official, exclusive blog. I'll write another in a few weeks and talk more about what's going on in the studio, musicians on the album, etc. Don't forget to ask your friends to sign up at www.jimmystaffordmusic.com so they can join in on the fun! This is fun, right? I'm having fun! Thanks for being a part of it with me. Talk to you soon.

Jimmy