What was the first concert you attended?Michael Bolton. It was at Klipsch Music Center (called Deer Creek back then) and my dad and I went. I remember it being amazingly loud, Michael Bolton wore a silver suit and came up from a trap door in the floor at the beginning of the show and the guy next to us (who was by himself) knew every single word to every single song and wore Eastlands with no socks.
Where and when was the first show you played? (Have a picture?) It was 2001. Summer before my freshman year of college and I was opening for my friend Jeff Owen (guitar player for Tenth Avenue North). I don't have a picture but if I did it would be of me wearing a tight t shirt that I got from Goodwill, horrible baggy jeans and playing a purple Kirzweil piano. That's right. Purple. My first song was a cover of Counting Crows "Raining in Baltimore".
What is your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experience? My band and I were playing a show at Auburn University and we had just played the last note of the last song, I said "goodnight!" And walked off stage and immediately heard this loud bang. Turn out the huge lighting truss that was hanging directly above my guitar player, bass player and me crashed down to the stage literally a few seconds after we got off stage. Thank God no one was hurt but it was definitely a crazy experience I'll never forget.
Which of your songs is your favorite and why? It's really hard to pick a favorite song. I like different songs at different times for different reasons but if I had to pick one I'd pick the song "Indiana". I wrote it at the beginning of my career about the idea of going back home and not giving the whole music thing a shot. It's definitely a lyric that I'm really proud of and I love the moment that it creates in the middle of a show.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? I've always wanted to be an artist. Ever since I first saw Billy Joel.
What is your most embarrassing moment? One time I was playing a show with in-ear monitors in and I was talking about how much I loved that city (Boulder Colorado) and telling a story about what I had done in Boulder the last time I was there. The whole time I was telling the story people in the crowd were yelling things at me like "YOURE NOT IN BOULDER!" "YOURE IN FORT COLLINS!" But I couldn't hear them because we didn't have crowd mics at that show so I just kept rambling on like an idiot! It was pretty embarrassing!
Cat person, dog person, or both? Dog!
Books or movies? Books based on movies.
If you could open for any artist in the next year, who would it be? Well, my answer to this question has always been Billy Joel but earlier this year my dream actually came true and got to play a few shows with the man himself. It was completely surreal. So I guess my new answer would be Ben Folds.
What 3 artists have you listened to obsessively in the last month? My newest is Johnnyswim. Those voices are killing me right now! I've been loving Ingrid Michaelson's new record and I have (as I always do) had a steady flow of Harry Connick Jr going on as well.
Check on Jon McLaughlin's Christmas Tour at Jammin' Java on Dec. 15th!