10 (Suggested) New Year’s Resolutions for Roots Musicians
It’s that time of year again. A new year gives us the opportunity to arbitrarily take stock of our successes and failures over the past twelve months as we look towards the next twelve in hopes of improving ourselves. Considering I rarely succeed in keeping my resolutions, I thought I’d offer some unsolicited advice to the community of musicians in whose work I sought solace as I mostly butchered my own attempts to become a better person. Perhaps they’ll have more success in tossing aside bad habits in favor of healthier modes of working. Here are my Ten (Suggested) New Year’s Resolutions for Roots Musicians:
10. I will fight the urge to write songs about whiskey and challenge myself to write songs about clear spirits this year. (What rhymes with vodka?)
9. I will not wear denim or western shirts at least two days a week.
8. I will follow in the footsteps of Bob Dylan’s Christmas in the Heart with a release of earnest, un-ironic, un-cynical Fourth of July patriotic ballads.
7. I will shave at least seven times this year.
6. All of my album covers and marketing material will refrain from digital fonts that mimic letterpress or hand-painted signage in favor of Helvetica.
5. Any song I write about trains must include the word “Amtrak.”
4. I will not affect a southern drawl in my singing if one is not organically apparent in my speech.
3. I will take care of my instruments despite how much cooler they look with a battered and distressed finish.
2. I will replace low-down murderers with corporate embezzlers in all songs written this year.
1. I will not move to Brooklyn.
(Given he is not a working roots musician, or even an accomplished living room musician, the author exempts himself from all resolutions above.)
Dustin Ogdin is a freelance writer and journalist based in Nashville, TN. His work has been featured by MTV News, the Associated Press, and various other stops in the vast environs of the world wide web. His personal blog and home base is Ear•Tyme Music. Click below to read more and network with Dustin.