Day 13 – #HOPEtour (Albuquerque, House Concerts, and Deleting Facebook)

The last two stops on the tour were awesome. Albuquerque was a good time with some “fun” crowd participation from the local drunk…

My girl, Liz, brought out a grip of friends and we made a night of it! It’s always good to stop in ABQ and crack some “Breaking Bad” jokes with peeps who have never seen the show… (Must be similar to when people tell “Anchor Man” jokes thinking/assuming that all San Diegans have memorized the movie… WHICH WE TOTALLY HAVE…. 😉

I drove to Flagstaff, and stayed at a hotel there. The place was comfy, but I was awoken at 7:30 by a guy singing outside of my window. Dear Christians, if you are gonna try to win people over, you should think about not singing “Shout to The Lord” outside of people’s windows when you’re checking out in the morning… Sigh…

I hung out with my best friend, Trevor, and his girlfriend in Phoenix all day. Bought a new jacket, and flirted with the girl at the register until my card was declined…. Sigh… Thanks Wells Fargo… There’s tons of money in there , you punks…. I went to lunch at a little diner, then we hit the movie theatre and watched Seven Psychopaths… (Ten Fingers up!!!)

We then drove to Surprise, Arizona, to play a kickstarter concert for Jill and her friends. I told them I was Justin Bieber in 10 years, which was Ashlee from Rock 105.3’s idea… I added the 10 years to it… 🙂

I dunno what it is about house concerts, but they make me so nervous!!! I felt like I was stumbling over sentences, forgetting lyrics and all kinda of terrible, horrible mistakes, but everyone was so welcoming and clapped and sang and it was definitely the best possible way to cap off the tour. 🙂

So…. Why in the world would I delete Facebook??? Truth is, I need a vacation, and I haven’t done that in a long time…. Even on vacations, I’m usually updating and promoting and booking gigs… The next month is about taking time to myself, finishing the kickstarter rewards, and relaxing/reevaluating/planning the next steps. I’m looking forward to writing new music as well, as I’ve got a ton of new ideas for songs. Oh… and I’m not “DELETING” it… I’m just taking it off my phone, so I don’t get all the notifications… haha. Seems like some people jumped to conclusions and left nasty comments… (Which reiterated why I needed to drop it…:-P)

The other part of it is that people have been a little… Hmm… “Familiar”? I talked to my dad for a while last night and explained to him a lot of the things that have been weighing on me. Being a musician has many different pressures that he said he’d never felt while working in his jobs. “I’ve never had that many people like anything I’ve ever done… I don’t think I even know that many people…” He said about my Facebook… Haha. He said something that was very interesting. “Sometimes you need to make your circle smaller so you can get back to normal.” That really meant a lot to me. Seeing Trevor was a great encouragement and reminded me what it was like to have a close friend who doesn’t care about my music, he just cares about me. Don’t get me wrong, he comes to my shows and I think he digs it, but we don’t take things personal, get upset if the other person doesn’t call/ get bent out of shape over dumb things. I miss those kind of friendships. Another good example of this is B Willing James.

When I talked to my dad about some of the stuff I go through/letters I receive/creepy stuff that happens, he suggested, “why don’t you call Jason Mraz or AJ Croce, and ask them what they do in those situations.” I laughed for a minute and then tried to explain why music didn’t really work like that. I figure it’s like this: there are 2 or 3 types of musicians out there.

1. The Guys That Are “Doing” It: These are the guys who seem to have it “figured out”, or are getting the breaks that I’m looking for. I feel like they are unapproachable, because they don’t have time to stop and help another person/competition along. This could be due to many factors but its not like in other jobs where a veteran comes alongside a rookie… Sometimes these guys could literally help you out and help themselves out of a gig! Which leads me to number 2….

2. The Ego Ridden/Insecure Guys: these guys won’t help/act like a big deal whenever you text/look down on you for hitting them up/don’t act like you’re worth their time. I’ve been guilty of this, and I hate that… Sometimes I get so focused on trying to “make it” that I unintentionally blow people off. This isn’t an easy trade, so sometimes we get in our own heads, and there are so many things going on that I literally can’t stop to be told that I came up on someone’s Pandora… That’s cool and all… But I’m still trying to work! Sigh… It sucks being on both sides if that coin, but it seems to be the industry standard if doing things… Oh??? You haven’t ever seen that??? Maybe you fall into number 3…

3.The oblivious/good looking/over likeable/Daddy’s paying for me to play “rockstar”/happy all the time guys: these guys never notice anything/are spoonfed their opportunities and just happily float from gig to gig. I would KILL to be this type of artist. It’s not really how my mind works, however. These guys drive me absolutely crazy and make me get incredibly untrusting…. I dunno how to explain it. It’s similar to how a military member probably looks at a hippie…

I say all if that to explain B Willing James. He is like my twin, separated at birth. We often ask each other “Why are we doing music?” When he asked me last night, I replied with, “To forget.” I know he instantly knew what I meant. Whether we’re going through a breakup, playing a cruddy gig, being screwed by a promoter, fighting depression from taking a comment, critique, etc… To hard, when we play, we forget everything. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, it’s the best and biggest rush you can feel. Music is out escape when I’m ready to cuss someone out on twitter, or make a rude comment like “with fans like this… Who needs critics/haters?” B gets me. I get him. I wish I had more good friends like him in this biz. We never ask for “Hookups” or favors, but both of us would gladly give each other a piece of our pie.

Anyways, I’m tired from a month of being on the road, and bummed its not longer. I did my best and I’m letting go of all the good, bad, and in between. I’m gonna hibernate a bit and I hope that 2013 brings bigger and better opportunities.

I honestly love all of you and thank you for making all of this happen. I’m the luckiest guy in the world.



About Josh Damigo

Josh will cheerfully admit that he averaged less than a dozen people a show when he first began playing San Diego coffee houses. But he garnered diehard fans in the process, sold a few thousand copies of his homemade EP, Pocket Change, and picked up few awards along the way. After a traumatic family incident, Damigo retreated inward, and he ended up writing what would ultimately become his breakout debut, Raw. The album was true to its name and people noticed - Josh picked up two San Diego Music Awards for “Best Acoustic” and “Best Local Recording,” opened for the likes of Zac Brown, Jason Mraz, Eric Hutchinson, and Matt Nathanson, and had enough money and momentum to tour the country a few times over. A few years after Raw, there was his third release, Hope. Whereas Raw was a mostly acoustic, vulnerable affair, Hope was a celebration. Pleading and poignant, heartfelt and heavy hearted, it segued effortlessly from orchestral to alt-country, eventually landing him in the top 25 on the country charts. One of the hardest working indie singer/songwriters in Southern California, Damigo spent much of year with producer Mike Butler, gathering up some of the finest musicians in town, shaping his songs and sound further still for his latest album, "Just Give Me a Call", available now, on Randm Records. From the up-tempo single, “Just Give Me a Call”, to the simple sincerity of the ballad “Tennessee”, Josh’s songwriting skills are clear, his voice rings true and his goals remain the same as when he started - to keep making the best music he can, and to share it with all.
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