Wednesday, December 18, 2013
"My home was just a place I had to leave," but I still love it. #austin #texmas

"My home was just a place I had to leave," but I still love it. #austin #texmas

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"Becoming a Songwriter" - Greenwood, SC

"[An artist] must be always in a constant state of becoming." - Bob Dylan

Our culture is inundated with step-by-step programs promising lasting results. But real change is a continuing process, a becoming.

This workshop will offer theoretical and practical information that will benefit songwriters of all types. Expect to be nurtured, encouraged, challenged, and empowered! Here’s a partial list of what we’ll be covering:

  • Song forms 
  • Music theory 
  • Song analyzation 
  • Creativitiy 
  • The Artistic Mindset 

Here’s what you need to bring:

  • A journal
  • Something to write with
  • A guitar or keyboard (if you can strum a few chords, you’re good to go)
  • An open mind
  • A positive attitude
Here’s time and location info:
  • Saturday, November 16
  • 9am-2pm (with break for lunch)
  • Location: Sundance Gallery - 146 Maxwell Ave, Greenwood, SC 29646

Here’s the registration information:

  • Registration is $50 (includes $25 non-refundable deposit)
  • To register, simply click the button below (no Paypal account necessary)
  • Registrants must be 12 years or older
  • Only 10 spots available




Got questions? Send me a message on Facebook or an email at dylansneedmusic[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, July 25, 2013
Gonna share some cool stories from this for my #songwriting workshop Aug 17. Only 2 spots left! dylansneed.com

Gonna share some cool stories from this for my #songwriting workshop Aug 17. Only 2 spots left! dylansneed.com

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Yeah.

Yeah.

Friday, July 19, 2013
Kiln time is kiln me.

Kiln time is kiln me.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Private Guitar Instruction Available this August
I’m offering private guitar instruction for the month of August. We can cover any of these areas:
Music theory
Songwriting
Lead lines/soloing
Fingerstyle
Performance
Got another idea? Let me know!
We can work with electric or acoustic guitar. My teaching philosophy is “find what the student wants to learn, then derive a lesson from that.” Sound like fun? It is!
Lessons in August are on Tuesdays at my home in Hartsville. If you are interested, please send me an email.
I hope to be jamming with you soon!

Private Guitar Instruction Available this August

I’m offering private guitar instruction for the month of August. We can cover any of these areas:

  • Music theory
  • Songwriting
  • Lead lines/soloing
  • Fingerstyle
  • Performance
  • Got another idea? Let me know!

We can work with electric or acoustic guitar. My teaching philosophy is “find what the student wants to learn, then derive a lesson from that.” Sound like fun? It is!

Lessons in August are on Tuesdays at my home in Hartsville. If you are interested, please send me an email.

I hope to be jamming with you soon!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Becoming a Songwriter: my new workshop

image


REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO THOSE WHO SIGNED UP!


"[An artist] must be always in a constant state of becoming." - Bob Dylan

Our culture is inundated with step-by-step programs promising lasting results. But real change is a continuing process, a becoming.

This workshop will offer theoretical and practical information that will benefit songwriters of all types. Expect to be nurtured, encouraged, challenged, and empowered! Here’s a partial list of what we’ll be covering:

  • Song forms 
  • Music theory 
  • Song analyzation 
  • Creativitiy 
  • The Artistic Mindset 

Here’s what you need to bring:

  • A journal
  • Something to write with
  • A guitar or keyboard (if you can strum a few chords, you’re good to go)
  • An open mind
  • A positive attitude
Here’s time and location info:
  • Saturday, August 17
  • 10am-2pm (with break for lunch)
  • Location: Hartsville Community Fellowship - 405 E Bobo Newsom Hwy, Hartsville, SC 29550

Here’s the registration information:

  • Registration is $50 (includes $25 non-refundable deposit)
  • To register, simply click the button below (no Paypal account necessary)
  • Registrants must be 12 years or older
  • Only 10 spots available

REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED. THANKS TO THOSE WHO SIGNED UP!

Got questions? Send me a message on Facebook or an email at dylansneedmusic[at]gmail[dot]com.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

"The Glad Cafe" or "Finally"

Wednesday, May 22.

Local time: 9:00 a.m.

Hours awake: 0

Total travel time: 0:00

Sarah, my girlfriend, drops me off at Charlotte Douglas International Airport. We hug for a long time. I grab my boarding pass, snail through security, find my gate, and learn that my flight will be delayed. I make phone calls to Sarah, my mom, dad, and two sisters, board the plane, and fly to Miami International Airport. I then begin about a four-hour layover, passing the time with cell phone sudoku, text messages, and calls to Bank of America customer service. At 8:45 p.m. a 747-400 operated by British Airways (with me on board) leaves the runway, headed for London Heathrow Airport. I watch three movies on the back of the headrest in front of me as we hurtle through the sky over the Atlantic Ocean. After eight hours and fifteen minutes we land in the UK and taxi to our gate. I fill out a landing card for the UK Border Agency, grab my bag, and head to the front of the plane, where a nice flight attendant hands me my guitar, which traveled with us in the cabin. If you’re a guitarist, you understand how special a moment like this is. I enter a long line for all those not members of the EU and shuffle along slowly, blinking in the wash of fluorescent glow emanating from above.

Thursday, May 23.

Local time: 10:00

Hours awake: 20

Total travel time: 20:00

I fish through my left breast pocket and pull out a folded piece of paper. On the paper is some of my personal information, along with an 11-digit number that until one week ago I did not realize would be necessary for me to gain lawful entry into the UK as a touring musician. My mind trails back to one week before. I was checking into the South Eastern Regional Folk Alliance conference when I overheard a fellow traveling songwriter discussing his upcoming UK tour with a friend:

"Yeah, so I’m headed to the UK soon."

"Do you have your paperwork?"

"Uh."

"Dude, you seriously need to get that paperwork. They’ll turn you away. They’ll put you back on a plane to the US."

My ears perked up, and I made a mental note to ask someone about this “paperwork.”

I sat down next to Christine at lunch. She’s one of the conference directors. I mentioned that I was headed to the UK on the following Wednesday.

"Do you have your paperwork?"

"Uh."

"You should talk to Linda. She goes there all the time."

Christine introduced me to Linda. We shook hands, and I mentioned my upcoming UK tour.

"Do you have your paperwork?"

"Uh."

I was beginning to see a pattern. Linda explained to me that the UK, Canada, and the US are notoriously tough on foreign musicians working in their respective countries. She told me I needed to apply for a work permit. The process seemed simple enough, although it was going to cost me a little money, and Linda thought I would need about a month to get approval. I explained my plane was leaving on Wednesday. “Oh,” she said.

The best advice that anyone had besides going the legal route was simply lying to the border agents. “Just remove all your UK dates from your website right before you leave, just in case they Google you at the border. Then just say you’re visiting friends.” This flimsy story stood between me and a potential 10-year ban from visiting the UK.

I told Sarah about the situation, and she recommended asking my friend Jonathan, who tours a lot all over Europe. She talked to him on my behalf, and when she asked what he would do in my situation, he calmly responded, “I wouldn’t go.”

When Sarah gave me this news a strange calm washed over me, like being stuck in a railroad track with a speeding train bearing down on you. When it’s at the point where there’s really nothing more you can do, there’s an opportunity to come to terms with your situation, no matter what the outcome. Did I want to go through all the rigamarole of canceling/rescheduling shows and flights? Of course not! But I know Jonathan, and I know he is a level-headed guy, reasonable, and not prone to overreaction. And he understood what I would be facing if I decided to cancel the tour. So if he said he wouldn’t go, he must have had a good reason. I decided to call him myself, and when we talked he gave one final suggestion: “Call my friend Bob.”

Bob runs a booking agency in the UK, and deals primarily with Americana acts, many from the US and Canada. I sent Bob an email on Sunday night (remember, I was scheduled to leave on Wednesday). On Monday morning, there was an email waiting for me with this message: “If you send me the information listed below, I can take care of your problem.” I sent him everything immediately, and in 24 hours I had a fresh, new 11-digit number on my Certificate of Sponsorship, guaranteeing me genuine, bona fide legal passage into the UK as a working musician.

In the line at the UK border I refold the piece of paper and return it to my left breast pocket. Eventually a border agent asks me to step forward, and when she asks the purpose of my visit I proudly answer, “I’m on tour.”

After crossing the border I head downstairs to buy a bus ticket to Glasgow. Unfortunately, there’s not one leaving until 19:05 (7:05 p.m.), so I grab a bite to eat, find a comfortable chair, and take out my book, all the while fighting off sleep so that I can hopefully adjust my clock to UK time.

Thursday, May 23.

Local time: 19:05

Hours awake: 29

Total travel time: 29:05

There’s an art to managing layovers. Some do it well. They bust out their laptops and set up a conference call with offices in multiple countries while stuffing a baguette into their mouth and sprucing up with mouthwash and an electric razor. Me, I’m a bit rusty. I read my book and review my itinerary, but mostly I try to keep my eyes open, try to develop creative ways for dividing the time. All I want to do is sleep. But the one thing I don’t want to do is sleep. I wonder if those around can sense the war of self-imposed insomnia going on inside of me.

The first bus I grab actually only takes me to a different terminal in Heathrow (big place). There I wait for a connection to Victoria Station, and once at Victoria, I wait for the bus that will take me to Glasgow. I board the bus around 22:00 (10 p.m.), and we begin to head north out of the city. I’m seated next to a man who reminds me vaguely of LeBron James, so elbow room is in short supply. I’m convinced after a few hours that the driver has two settings on his thermostat: Blazing Inferno and Frozen Tundra. Personally, I’d prefer the tundra, as LeBron has turned out to be a bit of a cuddler, and I’m wearing several of my layers to save space in my suitcase.

The combination of a hulking neighbor and heat waves pouring from the vents keeps me awake for pretty much the entire 9+ hour bus ride into Scotland. I originally planned to travel by train, but I elected to save a little money. Now I see exactly where this money would have gone.

Still, I do catch a few naps here and there, and at one point I wake up to see the buildings and lights of London outside my window replaced by deep green rolling hills divided by small stone fences and spotted occasionally with wooly sheep. My spirit lightens a little as it begins to set in that I’ve finally made it to Scotland.

Friday, May 24.

Local time: 07:45

Hours awake: 41

Total travel time: 41: 45

We pull into the central bus station in Glasgow and I ask for directions to the central train station. I carry my guitar and pull my suitcase along the city sidewalks. At the train station I buy a single ticket and hop on after a short wait. The ride takes around 12 minutes. I alight and head up the stairs into the morning air.

Weeks prior Sarah had helped me find potential hosts for off days on the tour through Couchsurfing.com. One of the highest rated hosts in Glasgow is a man named Philip. He responded quickly to my post, and helped me find my way to his neck of the woods. I originally planned to arrive in Glasgow a day earlier, which is why I sought out a host in the first place. Eventually plans changed, which put me into Glasgow the morning of my first show (at the wonderful Glad Cafe). Since the venue was providing some lodging, connecting with Philip seemed a moot point. But even though my plans changed, he generously offered a place to relax before the show that evening. Standing awkwardly now in the Scottish sunlight, fatigued and disoriented, I feel waves of gratitude for his insistence.

After about 10 minutes waiting near the top of the stairs to the train platform, I see Philip ambling up the sidewalk. We happily shake hands, and he asks me about my trip and if I want breakfast. Even though I’ve been surrounded by people for the last 40+ hours on my journey, this feels like my first bit of real human contact in almost two days. Philip rolls my suitcase along the sidewalk as we make our way to his home. I join him and his roommate Colin for a lovely homemade breakfast, complete with square sausage, eggs, fresh rolls, orange juice, and tea. They are character foils, Philip and Colin. Philip, the consummate host, jovial and self-depricating. Colin, the soft-spoken Mr. Fix-it. They’re kind of perfect for each other. We talk for a few minutes before Philip notices the glassy look in my eyes and suggests I take a nap.

I happily lay my head down on the comfortable bed that Philip and Colin have set aside for weary travelers such as myself. As I drift off, it strikes me funny that after about 42 hours of travel my adventures are just about to begin. But first things first. Sleep!

*****

Believe it or not, there’s plenty more to tell. My first UK driving experience, complete with two near-misses; tracking down a box of CDs I had shipped to myself from the states; a homemade steak pie; and the first gig, of course! But I’ll have to see about getting to these later. I never quite know what I’m going to write when I start one of these things. But I think the important stuff always comes out, makes itself known. And I think I’ve come to a good stopping place.

Suffice it to say, the journey was long. But as you’ll see over the next few weeks, the journey was well worth it. I’m praying this is a lesson that will sink in with me.

Tune in again soon for the next episode, including stories from my gigs in Dingwall and Ullapool, and my first look at the Highlands!

Thanks for reading,

Dylan

Wednesday, June 12, 2013
My friends Ad and Ankie. Two years ago Ad asked me if I’d ever toured Holland. I said no. He said, “Do you want to?” #eurotour #netherlands

My friends Ad and Ankie. Two years ago Ad asked me if I’d ever toured Holland. I said no. He said, “Do you want to?” #eurotour #netherlands

Saturday, June 8, 2013
I’m on a BOAT! #eurotour #windy

I’m on a BOAT! #eurotour #windy