Top Seven “Forever Young” Benefit Show Moments

October 6th, 2010

resizedThis weekend's two "Forever Young" Benefit CD Release Shows were something special. We performed two: one for kids, and one for folks who like booze. Both were outstanding, and filled with inspiring, outrageous, and silly moments. Here are my top seven:

7 - Fundraising Is Fun We raised nearly $1000 for children's media research and advocacy in 24 hours. But we can do better. Download your copy of "Forever Young" on iTunes now!

6 - We Are Stardust Man, how lucky am I? A couple of emails and a handful of bona fide New York City's rock ...

[Read More]

The Only Living Boy In New York: Benjamin Wagner’s “Forever Young” LP Track-By-Track

October 5th, 2010

resizedGrowing up, "The Boxer" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" were in far heavier rotation than "The Only Living Boy In New York." Sadly (perhaps), it took 2004's "Garden State" to re-introduce this Simon & Garfunkle classic, the b-side to "Cecilia."

Apparently, Simon wrote the song as a thinly-veiled message to Art Garfunkel when he jetted off to Mexico to act in Catch-22" leaving Simon alone in New York writing songs for what would become "Bridge Over Troubled Water."

In the intervening years since re-discovering this gem, I've spend hours ...

[Read More]

Forever Young: Benjamin Wagner’s “Forever Young” LP Track-By-Track

September 29th, 2010

resizedIn the summer of 1971, my mother was learning to play acoustic guitar.

I was born in September, deep in the heart of the Singer/Songwriter Era: James Taylor, Carol King, Bob Dylan Jackson Brown, John Denver, Crosby, Stills & Nash were all on heavy rotation on The Wagner Family hi-fi.

My birth announcement was the lyrics to Elton John "The Greatest Discovery" superimposed over a family photo.

Little wonder, then, that -- thirty-eight years later as my wife and I counted down to our daughterMaggie's birth -- I began to frame her ...

[Read More]

Won’t You Be My “Forever Young” Neighbor?

September 2nd, 2010

resizedExactly one-month from today, on Saturday, October 2, I'm releasing a brand-new LP, "Forever Young."

It's a collection of songs I loved growing up that I hope my three-month-old daughter, Maggie, will love someday too. Of course, I'm counting on you and your family enjoying it as well!

The record features many of my dearest friends lending their voices, guitars and keys. It is our intention to donate proceeds to The Fred Rogers Center and The Campaign For A Commercial-Free Childhood. Though neither is affiliated with the project ...

[Read More]

Where Are You Calling From? (Or, Virtual Rock & Roll)

August 23rd, 2010

resizedI probably should have known better than to be working on a new album during MTV Video Music Awards season, but here I am, knee deep in "Forever Young" with less than two weeks to go until the channel's big night.

The timing was, of course, to be expected. As my colleague, Rachel, put it, "No one does fall like you." I have a long history of Q3 releases ("Almost Home," "Love & Other Indoor Games") typically jammed-packed amidst marathons and tours. This year, though, the reasoning was simple: "Forever Young" is inspired by Maggie. By ...

[Read More]

Am I Off The Rails?

August 17th, 2010

resizedWith "Forever Young," I may be off the rails.

A few weeks ago, rock journos Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis aired a special episode of their weekly "Sound Opinions" program called "Off The Rails." In the show, the two tallied artists who'd detoured unforgivably from the promise of their early career: Lauryn Hill, Metallica, Liz Phair. The first spot was assigned to Rod Stewart whose "Stardust: The Great American Songbook, Vol. III" -- in the duo's estimation, anyway -- undid Stewart's work with The Jeff Beck Group, The Faces, and as a solo ...

[Read More]

Jeff Jacobson’s Abatab

July 23rd, 2010

resizedI first met my pal Jeff Jacobson at singer/songwriter Casey Shea's wedding. He was sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee with chanteuse Amy Hills. I sat down and slipped right into their conversation, one that continues to this day.

Jeff has a thoughtful demeanor and dry, self-effacing wit. He's one of the best guitarists and most capable singer/songwriters I know. He pitched in on the first two Holiday Benefit albums, and sings "Sweet Baby James" with me on my forthcoming "Forever Young" benefit album. He's an awesome ...

[Read More]

Wake Up, Maggie (I Think I Have Something To Say To You)

June 27th, 2010

resizedLoving music led to playing music led to writing music led to performing music led to recording music. Still, I wouldn't have bet on this.

Tony, Chris, Ryan and I started recording "Forever Young" in February. The record is due in October, and benefits The Fred Rogers Center. The conceit is simple: record a bunch of classic songs that kids and parents alike love with a bunch of friends and release it for charity. Said conceit came with a perk too: throughout Abbi's pregnancy, I placed headphones on her belly and played little Maggie ...

[Read More]

Mister Rogers, Jeff Tweedy & Me

June 25th, 2010

resizedIt's been quite the few weeks around here. As more than one person has said, "You delivered two babies in two weeks!" Of course, while I couldn't be much prouder of "Mister Rogers & Me," the film doesn't hold a candle to Maggie.

Nonetheless, the film's premiere has played a roll in my three-week paternity leave. I snuck away to the Nantucket Film Festival last week where the film was met with a wonderfully warm response. One viewer commented, "Within minutes of the film starting, my goose bumps (not to mention tears) suggested that I ...

[Read More]

Something To Say

March 29th, 2010

resizedIt wasn't until somewhere around Christopher Street that I realized that Thursday night's Rockwood Music Hall set was littered with references to breaking silence, speaking up and being heard.

From "Giving Up The Ghost" ("It's impossible to argue / It's impossible to scream") to "Live Forever" ("There's nothing left here to say"), "St. Anne (Of The Silence)" to "Dear Elizabeth" ("I still have something to say"), "Trying To Tell You" to "I'll Be Waiting" ("This is a message to you"), the set -- in this case drafted by my pal Chris Abad but ...

[Read More]