Monday, March 30, 2009

New Song - untitled as of yet

So here is a song I wrote last night in Winter Park, CO. It is definitely the sappiest song I've written in... a long time, but its going to be a rocker with the full band. I just sang it for the barista at the coffee shop in Cheyenne, WY and she gave me a free piece of carrot cake for it.

When you going down to Idaho?
Give me a call when you first know
I can come down, I can come down for you.

Where you going next in this big land?
I think it might fit my plans,
I can come down, I can come down for you.

Drive all night, drive all day
Drive too far, cuz I can't stay away.

I'll drive two weeks, I'll drive two months,
Drive from work, from dawn till dusk for you.

When you coming through my hometown,
I think we can get around.
If you came down, then I'd come around for you.

I'd pick you up, take you out,
paint the town, get lit up with you.

Leave the car, call a cab,
or walk 2 miles, hand in hand with you.

When you get back from Mexico?
Give me holler when you're home.
I can come down, I can come down for you.

We'll drive all night, we'll drive all day
we'll drive as long as we are still awake.

We'll find a floor, we'll find a couch,
We'll find a place, I have no doubts with you.

When you going back to Idaho,
Give me a call when you first know,
I can come down, I can come down for you.

Nominated for 2 MAMA Awards

Just wanted to share the nominations for the 2009 Madison Area Music Awards:

Folk/Americana Artist of the Year
Folk/Americana Album of the Year (for "An Evening With John Statz")

Thanks so much to everyone who has participated and voted in the MAMA's in the first round, its all for a great cause. You can read more about what the organization does for school music programs at their website.

You can get online and vote right now at:
Also, congrats to all of the other nominees, and to some of my friends who have been nominated as well: Josh Harty, the Blueheels, the Guppy Effect, Jentri Collelo, and the Kissers!

Friday, March 27, 2009

More from Spring Tour

I played at the Tribal Cafe in Los Angeles on Saturday night with my brother, Cody Statz, and Phil Yates, a songwriter I played with in Chicago three years ago who now lives in L.A. Above is a picture of my brother playing some of his most excellent songs while sporting Bucky pride during March Madness.
The night of the Tribal Cafe gig was my last in L.A., and afterwards we headed to a North Hollywood bar near Cody's home for a few drinks. My old roommate and current Las Vegas denizen Tony Flanagan is in the middle, flanked by Cody and myself.

San Francisco! I had three gigs in the San Fran area, one in Penngrove, one in Fairfax, and one in San Francisco itself. I stayed with my friend Branden, who I used to hang out with way back in my Freshman year of college. He is a radically cool dude, and showed me all around San Francisco during the few days I was there. Of course, we had to make a trip to Haight Street.

Haight Street and the neighboring Golden Gate Park are filled with hippies, gutter punks, and street people. Here is a group of them hanging out in the Park. You cannot walk 20 feet in this park without someone trying to sell you drugs. Whispers of "great bud", or "excellent weed" were commonplace, and when someone whispered only, "good nugs", you had to wonder how he could compete with the aforementioned "great" and "excellent"?

If you are a child of the 90's like I am, then you will recognize these houses from the opening credits of "Full House". Yes, I am a dork and asked Branden to show me where they were.

The Road... continued

This is where my tour started feeling more like a vacation...So after my Sunday gig in Flagstaff, AZ I drove up to Las Vegas to spend a few days visiting a college roommate/bestest bud of mine. Tony teaches photography at a Las Vegas high school, and is loving the city and scene. Pictured above is one of the nicer Casinos on the Strip, the Bellagio. I didn't have any shows in Vegas, but it was a good way to spend a Sunday through Tuesday, generally days when you will find mediocre gigs anyways. Though, I probably could've picked a cheaper place to lay low, Vegas bleeds you dry. This was my first time to the city, and I actually swore I'd never go until Tony moved there. I can no longer sing the line in Ryan Adams' song, "never been to Vegas, but I've gambled all my life" with sincerity, drat.

After Vegas it was time to head to Los Angeles, another city I had never been to. My brother Cody recently moved here to try his hand at the film industry. Here Cody is pointing to his Kingdom, in North Hollywood.
While I did play some gigs in L.A. and Long Beach, this was definitely vacation mode. My parents flew out from Wisconsin because they had not yet visited Cody, and that weekend Tony drove down from Vegas so we could all hang out. Above is my mom trying her luck with a penny in Chinatown.

The Griffith Park Observatory, located up in the hills above Hollywood and Los Angeles. It has been featured prominently in many films, most famously in "Rebel Without A Cause" with James Dean. It has some really neat exhibits inside, and provides an amazing lookout over the city. Definitely worth a visit.

The Hollywood sign off in the distance. It was pretty hazy that day, not sure if it was fog or the smog, but probably both.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What I've Been Up To on the Road...

So I know that I still have a few more posts to finish up from the Europe Trip, but I thought that you might like to see what I've been up to on my month-long Spring Tour out west. I am currently in Los Angeles, and heading up to San Francisco today, but here are some pictures from where I've been so far...The first stop was Chicago, and I got to share a show with some good friends of mine, Flame Shark. We did a radio spot at WNUR before the show, and the picture above shows Justin Jahnke of FS and myself preparing to infiltrate the Chicago radio waves.

Driving through Kansas I decided it was time for a clean-up, so I shaved off most of my facial hair and got a haircut in Emporia, KS. It was the longest haircut of my life, the old guy used only scissors, but he did a bad-ass job.

Palo Duro Canyon outside of Amarillo, TX. I stopped for a bit of hiking on my way through, as my brother and I had enjoyed this canyon last summer on tour. I believe that it is the 2nd largest canyon in the U.S. after the Grand Canyon.

I spent a weekend playing shows in New Mexico: at a roadhouse in Madrid and then a house concert in Placitas. DeeDee (pictured above) and her mom were kind enough to put me up for the weekend as couchsurfing hosts, and they threw one hell of a house concert/party on Saturday night. Here is DeeDee modeling a Mexican wrestling mask AND a John Statz t-shirt. Yes, we both ended up with masks (see my Facebook profile picture).

The house concert in Placitas, NM. I really had a good time and met tons of fun people. Thanks DeeDee and Michelle!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Slovenia Road Trip - Pt. 2

Depending on how familiar you are with my music, you may know the song, "The Isonzo Waltz". It is about a series of battles fought during World War I between the Italians and the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the Isonzo River. Well the Isonzo lies mostly in modern-day Slovenia, and is called the Socha in Slovene. The Socha is a beautiful blue river, and it starts up in the Julian Alps that you can see in the background.

The Alps at sunset. Some serious WWI battles were fought up at the top of those peaks, with trenches cut into ice, snow and rock. Crazy to imagine such warfare.

This is a mausoleum in Kobarid filled with the remains of 7,000 Italian soldiers from the Isonzo Front. It was built by Mussolini in the 1930's when this was Italian territory, and those M arches are a standard architectural design of his time period. Mussolini had a massive ego, but then again, all dictators do. Kobarid is Caporetto in Italian, and you might recognize that name if you've read Hemingway's Farewell To Arms. Hemingway actually worked as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Caporetto during WWI, and based the book on his experiences here. He was present at the Battle of Kobarid, when the German-aided Austrians pushed the Italians out of the mountains and re-took the city. Caporetto is Italy's "Alamo".

The Socha River winds its way south through the valley and past the quiet town of Kobarid.

The Julian Alps in all their majesty.