My father once told me "The Best dreams are the ones that aren't specifically about yourself". I think at the time he was referring to parenthood. My father was an amazing person and I've thought of his words many times. I've taken it to mean, for me, that what is most rewarding is to see the seeds you plant grow (metaphorically speaking of course my mother did not pass on her remarkably green thumb).
In late 2007 I embarked on what began as a rather humble adventure with my college buddy Jake Bush and his childhood friend Dan Carp in starting Pesky J. Nixon, the esoterically named folk trio.
We had modest dreams - write some music, perform where someone would let us, and have fun. We looked at our bands like We're About 9 and the short lived super group Redbird for inspiration. For about two years that's all we did. We wrote some songs... one of us may have been browbeaten into picking up the accordion but mostly we just had a really good time.
I think we were enjoyable back then, but we didn't quite get it. We were having a good time but there was little consequence to what we did outside of that. It changed at Falcon Ridge Folk Festival in 2008. A group of artists, including Brian and Katie from the aforementioned We're About 9 heard us play and dragged us around the hillside introducing us to every booker they could and just like that we went from the three guys who were having a good time at the local cafe with Bubble Tea to playing amazing rooms like Club Passim & Caffe Lena as well as major festivals up and down the east coast.
That was when it made sense. Doing your best to lift other artists along. I hope that that's what we've been doing for the last ten years. Our most obvious version of that is the Lounge Stage, presented with Scott Jones, which to date has featured over 200 acts, 400 artists, and have had an average of 400 people attend annually every year. It's in doing that that Pesky J. Nixon found its calling card - bringing artists together to an audience. We're trying to take that to the next level in Tribal Mischief <fingers crossed>. Jake and I have been talking about this for about a decade - and its time we got down to it.