Need a Friday jam? You can borrow mine.

Short weeks are the WORST. Why do they always seem to drag on forever and leave you feeling like you were put through the wringer?

Well, if you had that kind of week, too, let me give ya something to put a little pep back in that step.

The gents in Fort Frances dropped a new, catchy little ditty out today called “Fantasy of Youth.” I’ve had on repeat for most of the day today, and it was just what I needed.

This is my new Friday jam. 

 

David McMillin

David and me

And man, if you don’t know David, their lead singer, you should. He’s a gem of a human. Actually, the entire band are wonderful, joyful people, but I’ve known David the longest… I was lucky enough to see David on his first tour EVER 15-ish years ago and watching him develop as an artist has been a true joy. He’s a prolific songwriter and thoughtful being, and that always makes for a helluva combination.

He’s also a magical, word-wielding wizard. Check out what he wrote about the song…

 

“I guess this song is somewhat of an ode to my 16-year-old self. That guy was great. He strummed amateur rhythm guitar in a cover band called Trial and Error and cruised a maroon Buick Century with a cassette deck and a Discman adapter. Playing in that band felt like being a member of The Rolling Stones, and driving that car felt like owning a Rolls Royce.

Reclaiming that time is an impossibility. But I still think it’s good to try to peer through that unspoiled lens of non-adulthood — the one that frames the promise of the whole world at your front door and puts a smile on your face because you don’t need to bother looking at the news, waiting for emails or thinking about how to divvy up your next paycheck.

When you listen to this song, I hope it helps you erase whatever you’re thinking about — your bank account balance or your shitty boss or your concerns about whether the world is going to be able to make it through the wild waves of the modern age —and puts you back in the driver’s seat of your life. And I hope it feels as comfortable as the upholstery on the bench seat of that Buick.”

– David McMillin, Fort Frances

Yup. Exactly that.

Cheers to the weekend.

Catch them on tour or follow Fort Frances on the socials: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

Looking for the Light with David McMillin on Daytrotter

Quote

“I can still hear your voice echo beneath the Alabama night, like a firecracker whistle on the Fourth of July / You said, ‘Don’t fear the distance dear, don’t fear the dark, you don’t need to set the world on fire, you just need to catch a spark.'”
– David McMillin, “Looking for the Light”

David McMillin

A new Daytrotter session from the musician who loves the craft of songwriting more than any artist I know, David McMillin. Artwork by Johnnie Cluney, copyright Daytrotter

A long time ago, I went to see a show of a local musician I tried to support. It was at The Evening Muse, my absolute favorite place to see music in Charlotte, a tiny, intimate venue that might hold 125 people when it’s busting at the seams. The opener clambered onto the stage, a kid of maybe 21 or 22 that might have weighed 100 pounds soaking wet. He had just an acoustic guitar and he looked so small, even on the miniscule Muse stage. Then he opened his mouth and started singing. Huge voice came out of that little body. He was probably about a song in when I turned to look at Annie and we both had the same expression on our face… WOW.  And that is how my friendship with David McMillin began.

If I could say one thing about David, just one, it would be that among the musicians I know, he is the one who loves songwriting the most.  I mean he absolutely LOVES it.  And he excels at it. He’s prolific, but I’ve never heard him put out a mediocre song. He and his band, Fort Frances, make amazing music together, and in the down times in between, when his band mates are tending to their personal lives, David writes more and pursues his solo work. It’s pretty inspiring to watch as a fan.

In the eight or nine years since that first show at The Muse, I’ve gotten to know David well…and he remains the only rock star ever to hail me a cab. I’ve watched him grow tremendously as a songwriter (and grow a tremendous beard) and been heartened by the fact that no matter what successes come his way, he remains humble and genuine. And so today, when Daytrotter released a solo David McMillin session, my heart skipped a beat. Even better?  NEW SONGS. Gorgeous, lovely new songs like “Looking for the Light.”

I’d recommend going to take a listen (if you are a Daytrotter member, you can download it…and if you aren’t a Daytrotter member, you should be). Let yourself be won over. Because if you love music, you can’t help but appreciate an artist who loves it even more than you do.

LISTEN TO THE DAVID MCMILLIN DAYTROTTER SESSION

More David McMillin:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Buy Heartsteady on iTunes

Free Download: Now here’s a groove slightly transformed…

A bit of a break from the norm… Folk rockers Fort Frances give their rendition of a classic Fresh Prince tune … and it is phenomenal!

Fort Frances is a great little Midwest indie-folk-rock act.  The band’s lead singer, David McMillin, is one of my favorite songwriters of all time – as well as one of the most prolific.  So color me intrigued a few months ago when the boys started doing a series of cover songs.  They show off their musical influence range with these songs, doing versions of Beck, Paul Simon and Daniel Johnston tunes so far. They’re cleverly marketing them and I look forward to each new edition.

But today’s Fort Frances cover took the cake.  It is, quite simply, BAD ASS. “Summertime.”  Yes.  The DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince classic.  Turned on its head and folk-ified and so deliriously delicious that it will make your head spin.  And you can have it for free.

So, go grab it up, crank the volume, put your car on cruise and lay back … ’cause after all, it’s the summertime.

(P.S.  If you dig what the boys are doing, you can get their original song “Hard Earned Heart” for free, too.)

More Fort Frances:  Web | Facebook | Twitter | Download the Fort Frances Album The Atlas on iTunes