Friday, April 22, 2011

My favorite album of 2011 (so far)...

I just downloaded the new album from Alexa Woodward today, and am already declaring it my favorite release of the year, so far.  This is just a gorgeous and moving album from start to finish.  Plus, you can pay what you want for it, or download it for free.  If you do download it for free, Alexa asks that you please turn ten of your friends onto it as well.  Listen here, and then download:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Flashback photos: April 20th, 2007 in Oklahoma City

In April of 2007 I was on a tour through the south (by southwest), which included shows in IA, MO, AR, TX, OK, and KS.  Exactly four years ago today, I was in OKC...
spent the morning driving up from Texas, and I must have been amused by the back of this semi-trailer 

 Oklahoma State Capitol

The Blue Moon on Paseo closed shortly after I played there, but it was a pretty cool venue on the second floor of this building. 

The Paseo, a cool little artsy district in OK City. 

shared the show that night with Judson Layne, a really great songwriter from OKC.  Check him out at his myspace page.

And yes, it was 4/20, stupid stoner's holiday, then too (obvs.).  I remember crashing that night at some house somehow associated with the venue, and trying to sleep while people in the next room giggled and satisfied their munchies.  Thanks for the memories, OKC.

Oh yea, and I think there may have been, like, five people in the audience at this show.  Still, a fun night.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"1898" - new song

  1898 by John Statz

It was carnival, 1898,
when they blew up the Maine in Havana.
The young across the country, they all called for blood,
but the elders they remembered.
'Cuz they'd fought a Civil War,
they'd seen the bodies piled.
They were in no rush to send young men to die.
But them yellow journalists, they got the nation riled,
and the war drums kept on a-beatin'.
The world it never knew what hit,
the American century begun,
and that short, little war that they had themselves with Spain,
Old Glory never was the same,
oh, after 1898.
Well they raced the Riders down,
was Teddy at the helm,
and they set their sails for Cuba.
Was Dewey in the east,
with his white, shining fleet,
and he took them Philippines in a day.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stuff From Other Blogs That Turned Me On (My Ears) - #1

 Latest tracks by mightyoaksmusic

Found this through one of my favorite music blogs (one that has covered me before) - vocal nerd rodeo.  The Mighty Oaks are a band based out of Berlin, one of my favorite cities, and one that I hope to get back to real soon.  Listen to this song, it had me tapping my toes.

Then from another blog I really enjoy (another one that has given me coverage - favoritism?) - Slowcoustic.  He posted this beautiful, beautiful music video, "Wore It Deep" by The Tree Ring, a band out of San Diego.  To be honest, I generally don't enjoy the medium that is "music videos" much anymore.  It just got old.  That being said, this is the most enjoying music video I have seen in a long time.  You would do well to watch it, for  serious.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

ramblings from an airplane

wrote this last week while preparing to land in Minneapolis in a plane, on my way to Wisconsin...

Out my window.  Bright.  Almost blinding, the reflection from the snow-covered ground, far far below.  How is it that land came to be parceled out in such neat, square-shaped  packages?  I mean, I know how, really, it just seems odd to have taken so much of the country and divided it up.  The natives would have never thought of land so geometrically.

The plane is banking hard left, now.  Some 50 miles from Minneapolis, I believe.  The pilot announced that we may have to circle above for a bit due to heavy air traffic.  I suppose I should be able to see my home state, my final destination (Wisconsin) while circling above the Twin Cities.  In a few hours I will touch down in Milwaukee.  Not exactly the "pearl of the midwest", but no Toledo, either.  Tomorrow: Madison.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thank 'Em (Unions and Teachers)

Though I no longer live in the wonderful state of Wisconsin (out in Denver now, if you hadn't heard), my thoughts rest entirely there this week.  I am so proud of all of the state employees, teachers, and workers in general who are standing up for their rights and not backing down.  This is not a "budget bill", this is an attack on organized labor, on employees.  If you have no clue what I am talking about, this New York Times article will fill you in nicely.  

Since I can't be in Wisconsin right now taking part, I wanted to do a little something from afar.  Wrote this song last night, "Thank 'Em", with the theme of thanking teachers, and thanking unions.  It is available at that link for free streaming and download, please feel free to use it however you please. 

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
--Theodore Roosevelt

Thank unions,
Thank teachers

Joe works hard from morning to night,
gets home and kisses his beautiful wife.
Watches Fox News, thinks he's got it all figured out,
curses the labor unions, not knowing about...

Thank the unions,
do you like your weekends?
thank the unions,
for minimum wage,
thank organized labor.
Joe don't even know how lucky he is

Joe bitches about his property taxes,
hates the school board and the IRS.
His kids they get a quality, free education,
and the teachers they still get paid shit.

Thank a teacher,
that you can read and write,
thank a teacher,
you can multiply,
thank a teacher, 
thank your education,
count your blessings and get organized.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

No Memories

a collaboration with poet Joe Briggs (work in progress, this might see some changes yet)

words by Joe Briggs 
music by John Statz

performed on the banjo

 No Memories by John Statz 

The snowlakes falling slow & bb size,
covering our roof, covering this tomb where I must live
My wife, my love died on the cusp of December,
She's painted in the walls, and makes the floor boards cry.

Need to go outside and feel the snow on my face,
Need to have the wind hit me like a morning alarm,
Want a light to turn on on this empty street,
Want to have...
No memories.
No memories.

Car is low on gas so I take the neighbor kid's bike
Pink with bad brakes, not looking to impress anyone.
Clouds in front of the sun like gauze over a wound.
Turn down main street, where the traffic lights flash and die.

Need to be outside and feel the snow on my face,
Need to have the wind hit me like a morning alarm,
Want a light to turn on on this empty street,
Want to have...
No memories.
No memories.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Staring down the flood

Budapest, Hungary - Feb. 2009

Staring down the flood...
at first, more like casually glancing at a trickle.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Like Jack Johnson

 Like Jack Johnson by John Statz 

Gonna write a song like Jack Johnson,
sittin' on the beach.
Writing songs to all da college girls,
feeling happy and free...

Well they got this and we got that,
and I don't mean to tit for tat
and Let's sit under the apple tree
and make a pie for you and me
mmmmmm (make apple pancakes)
(maybe its the weekend)

well the sun is out and so are we
and we are fun and happy free
pretend that I am talented
record the same song over again

Now this is the chorus, here
we'll make it sound more serious.
When you're gone, girl I miss you
and make sure that you always recycle.

well Times Like These, and times like those,
dreams be dreams and bubbletoes
gone going give a damn
cookie jar and middle man,
sweeping the floors, open the doors,
turn off your wars, don't go to da stores.
so many things rhyme with simple words,
and when they fail you can always mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Neglect (Instrumental)

 Neglect (Instrumental) by John Statz

my friend Mark asked me to come up with some music for a documentary to this idea:

"a seedy part of town down on it's luck---undeveloped low-income housing facing more neglect from city legislation

Tired of Telephones

 Tired of Telephones by John Statz

Wrote most of this song back in mid-January, but I finally settled some of the lyrics and the chorus melody.

We could make this place our own,
and I'm so tired of telephones.
Stay awhile and rest your bones,
this lonely heartsick needs you home.

It's been half a year,
the mercury has dropped.
Winter lasts too long, and I've been,
Waiting for you dear.

I'm a patient man,
but I've filled a page or two,
with thoughts on how impatient I get,
when I think of you... waiting to see you.


I still mark the days,
it helps me pass the time.
Winter's end, it brings good news,
it will be just fine... it will all be fine.


Well we could make this town our home,
and I'm sick of bags and telephones,
stay with me and rest your bones,
and we could make this place our own.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rust Belt City

 Rust Belt City by John Statz

Heavy smog hung over east,
where three rivers came to meet,
United Steel could not compete.
Now its a sad rust belt city,
Pittsburgh lost to 'cross the sea.

On the banks of Lake Erie,
where the river's flames burned free,
all the people they did flee.
Another sad rust belt city,
Cleveland burned and so did we.

Hark back the glory days,
when steel mills paid a living wage.
But now the nation only sees,
between the sea and shining sea,
a trail of sad rust belt cities.

Down the trail, down the stream,
will our cities still shimmer dreams?
Or will they dry up from underneath?
Like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati,
another sad rust belt city,
another sad rust belt city.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

One Night Stand - Rick Franz

Words by Rick Franz
Music by Rick Franz and John Statz

You’re wise to tell this cowboy goodbye
The mountains between make it
hard to be seen, by you… … … …

I wish I had,
the hombre in my hands,
who took you to the cleaners

Made yer heart such a wreck
Im glad I cant find him
cuz Id shake him up hard by the (his) neck … … … … … … …

Guess I’ll be movin on
Out on my own
You sure are lovely
You make me feel home

If timing was better aligned
(well) We mighta had better times
It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

Ain’t it always a lady who writes the song
The one where the fella,
Ends up all alone, in the end.. … … …

Well I’ll hit the highway
and just ride it my way
And think on you fondly my friend.. … … ..

I­ hear them sing
Yippy yo yippy yay
Toward the sun, toward the moon
And day after day, of
wrestlin a dollar
from dried out seed.. … ..

Yer the finest thing
Ive ever seen.. ..
I hope that you’re happy
And get all you need.

I’ve heard them sing
Yippy yo yippy yay
Toward the sun I’ll be ridin
And another fine day… … … …

It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

It’s probably, about time a man… ..
Knew the sting of a one night stand.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Young and In Love

I remember being so young and in love,
the foolishness of thinking that we were above,
and when it's time came ended, I'd be so broken up
but now it seems so silly, looking back at us.

Young man, I know, that you are freshly out of school,
and you think that you know where this world is headed to.
Draw your line in sand and refuse to step across.
You got all your years ahead, don't waste them on a loss.


Young man, I'm sorry that she tore your heart in two.
Learn here, a lesson, 'cuz a woman's likely to.
Hold your back up tall and breathe a sigh relief,
'cuz you have more to live for now that you have been released.


Now you just keep moving, and see what happens next.
You can go to England or maybe south of France.
What I'm trying to say to you is just have a blast.
Don't worry 'bout the women, let them fall into your lap.


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

exercise: adjectives and nouns and verbs

adj. noun
frantic attraction
breathtaking arrangement
fortunate fool
troublesome luck
trashy tourist

noun verb
train tracks whistle
pavilion settled
old gate moans
Ford lurched
clouds painting

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I'm so tired of telephones...

I'm a patient man,
but I've filled a page or two,
with thoughts on how impatient I get,
waiting to see you.

(in the works...)

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Budapest Sessions - EP Available Now, Free!

The Budapest Sessions will be released on January 10th, 2011 for “pay what you want download” at

In the early months of 2009, singer-songwriter John Statz embarked on his first European tour, playing shows in five European cities, including Budapest, Hungary. He was fortunate there to meet Adam Szabo, a local producer (Budabeat Studios), and during the few days in town they recorded some new songs, hoping to use them on a future album release. In November of that year, tracking started back in Wisconsin for Ghost Towns, John’s first full-band album. Though that project was already underway, another recording session was undertaken at Budabeat with Adam, from which two tracks made it on to Ghost Towns: “Julija” and “Night Train to Sarajevo”. After that album’s release, there remained six unreleased tracks from the “Budapest Sessions”, comprised of two new songs, unheard on any other recordings, and four alternate, acoustic versions of released tracks.

Though the recordings are sparse in production, a couple of them feature some local Hungarian musicians on electric guitar and percussion, and even a child’s harmonies on one tune. Budapest is an amazingly resilient and beautiful city, having been utterly destroyed in World War II, yet rebuilt, lovely on the banks of the Danube, and fascinating in its differences to most other places in Europe. Those influences were constantly internalized during the two visits, and projected outwardly during The Budapest Sessions.

Track Listing:

1.Call Me Last (new song) – 2010 session
2.Jackson Hole (Budapest version) – 2009 session
3.Our Love Was Made For Canada (Budapest version) – 2010 session
4.Dear Friend (new song) – 2009 session
5.Disclaimer (Budapest version) – 2009 session
6.Everything To Me (Budapest version) – 2009 session

*cover artwork by Heidi Keyes (

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rome (superrambleshouldhavehadmycoffeethismorning)

The church bells seem constant, that is one of the first things you notice. This is a very "Catholic" town. Duh. It does not seem constrained by conservative thought, though. Everywhere couples engage in public displays of affection, the faint smell of marijuana on the street is not a rarity (though not a constant as in Amsterdam or San Francisco), and fashion and excess are the rule. When I am there, I simply walk for hours. Walk past the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Coliseum, etc. Sightseeing is always free when all you need to do is walk. I've been there three times, now. The first was a 3-week study abroad trip in college, the other two times were short visits. Still, I walked my ass all over that town, even during the short visits. Walked to pizza, to gelato, to grappa and wine and beer. I walked while holding hands with a date, walked by my lonesome, taking in sights, walked with my family, acting as tour guide. Rome is eternal, Rome is for walking.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


skiing; sky; bears; John Denver; overlook; dry air

Skiing down a mountain brings you closer to the sky than flying.
The sun must stay longer in the sky before the bears will come out of hibernation.
Bears should have eaten John Denver, he deserved a mountain death.
John Denver's over-the-top songs never fail to come to mind at every mountain overlook.
At the overlook, I paused, and breathed deep the dry air.

cup of coffee

It has finally cooled down, though at first it was burning my tongue. It tastes rich and strong, as it always does here at the Gypsy Cafe. What a weird mish-mash of cultures this place is. Reggae dub beats are playing from the speakers... a Buddha-like figure is painted on one wall, an Egyptian carpet hangs from another. The old gypsy woman running the place has a thick eastern European accent. I would guess that she is Romanian, or perhaps Hungarian. She does palm readings and tarot card readings in back. I just noticed oriental lamps hanging from the ceiling. This place is crazy. I like it, though I am getting a little sick of the reggae. My coffee is delicious.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Resurrecting This Blog - Writing Style

This blog is once again open for business. It is on of my 2011 resolutions to become more disciplined at writing (music specifically, but in all facets as well). Yes, some travel stuff will still get posted as it happens, but for now, I'm going to use this to keep myself honest and writing. Mostly, you will get to read my exercises, thoughts, and rambles, rather than complete works.


my apartment -

hardwood floors, pretty, but I wish my desk chair wouldn't have scuffed and scratched that section. the futon, tiny and uncomfortable (so my brother claims), it was, nonetheless, cheap. on it sit a bunched-up pair of blue jeans that I just removed before bedtime, my cell-phone charger (which my girlfriend annoyingly :) likes to leave plugged in when she is here), some folded-up comfy blankets, and a small pillow. My guitar sits upright in its case, next to the futon. Earlier today, apartment smelled of sour milk after Heidi poured it down the drain, but either my nose has gotten used to it, or the combination of febreze and disinfectant spray which I hit the sink with actually worked. If the heat were on at this moment, I would hear the steam-like chugging from the pipe in the bathroom, which is often as loud as a high-pressure stream of water, even with the door shut. The windows have a small amount of moisture in the corners, which I am sure is from the humidifier (Denver is very dry). I sit cross-legged on my bed (in its cave), back hunched over this notebook. My small, studio apartment.