Joe Firstman released his 7th studio album, "Swear It Was A Dream" this week and hit the road last week.
The album features 10 new songs written and recorded over the last year in studios in Charleston, SC, Mexico, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
Firstman kicked off the year-long project at Mark Bryan's (Hootie and the Blowfish) studio outside of Charleston, South Carolina. He spent a month and a half there writing skeletons which he then brought on the road. In between touring, Firstman laid down records of his new tracks at his homes in Mexico and Los Angeles before heading to Nashville to master the album. Firstman's longtime friend, Toby Weaver, collaborated throughout the process, offering vocal, violin, and mandolin support to the album. Of the final piece, Firstman shares, "You can really feel the year in the record, you can feel the whole journey in there and it's my best piece. It's my best thing thus far."
On "Swear It Was A Dream," Firstman wrote and performed the majority of the brand new material and produced the entire album himself. He shares, "I like the whole thing as a piece it's just a snapshot of life. It's thorough and it's clean and complete and that's really all I can do."
The album's first single, "Who's Turning Your Light Out?" is Firstman's exploration of straightforward, unadulterated songwriting. "It was just a very personal lyric, but I tried to make it into a pop song that everybody would get. Its got lyrics about South Carolina and falling asleep with your head in your handsI thought the imagery was relatable," says Firstman.
"Swear It Was A Dream" is the follow-up to Firstman's two 2010 releases, "El Porto," and "Live At The Treehouse," both released on Rock Ridge Music. In 2009, Firstman's full-time, four-year job as bandleader on "Last Call with Carson Daly" ended when Firstman shifted his focus to his independent musical pursuits. Prior, Firstman put out a full-length ("The War of Women") and an EP ("Wives Tales") on Atlantic, plus another full-length ("DrAma") and live EP ("Live at The Sandbox"), which were released independently.
As Firstman was wrapping up "Swear It Was A Dream" in Nashville, he formed a new band with longtime friends and collaborators Jaron Lowenstein, Toby Weaver, and John Loyd, dubbed "The Cordovas." Their forthcoming self-titled debut will feature all new songs written and produced in part by Firstman in his first efforts at writing for a full-band and three part harmonies. Additionally, Firstman is currently producing Lowenstein's forthcoming solo album.
The Cordovas launched their first US Tour on September 3rd, featuring a solo Firstman as the supporting act. Firstman usually spends over 200 days touring per year and has shared the stage with such acts as Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Willie Nelson.
Of the tour, Firstman shares, "We're playing Cordova sets and we're playing choice music from my catalogue, Jaron's hits, and we're just doing them to style of The Cordovas. That seems to be the aim that everyone involved wants to go for."
9/3 Los Angeles, CA Hotel Cafι
9/4 Hermosa Beach, CA Cafι Boogaloo
9/5 Ventura, CA Zoey's Cafι
9/6 Santa Barbara, CA Velvet Jones
9/8 San Jose, CA The Rodeo Club
9/9 Yuba City, CA Yuba Sutter Fair Grounds
9/10 San Francisco, CA The Hotel Utah
9/15 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court
9/16 Park City, UT Downstairs
9/17 Boulder, CO The Lazy Dog Lounge
9/18 Denver, CO The Soiled Dove Underground
9/19 Fort Collins, CO Aggie Theatre
9/22 Jenks, OK Midnight Rodeo
9/23 Little Rock, AR Stickyz Rock n' Roll Chicken
9/24 Kansas City, MO Denim & Diamonds
9/26 Iowa City, IA Blue Moose Tap House
9/27 Des Moines, IA The Vaudeville Mews
9/29 Bloomington, IL The Castle Theater
10/2 Marshfield, WI Wildwood Station Pavillion
10/4 Milwaukee, WI Shank Hall
10/5 Chicago, IL Joe's Bar
10/8 Rosehayn, NJ Frank LoBiondo Sr. Park Deerfield
10/11 Columbus, OH Rumba Cafι
10/15 Akron, OH Musica
10/16 Hanover, PA Elchelberger Performing Arts Center
10/17 New York, NY Rockwood Music Hall
10/19 Amityville, NY Ollie's Point
10/20 Philadelphia, PA The Legendary Dobbs
10/21 Washington, DC Hill Country Barbecue Market
10/25 Raleigh, NC The Pour House Music Hall
10/27 Columbia, SC The White Mule
10/29 Myrtle Beach, SC Margaritaville Myrtle Beach
11/3 Athens, GA Melting Point
11/4 Atlanta, GA Peachtree Tavern
11/10 Starkville, MS The State Theater
11/11 Austin, TX Midnight Rodeo
11/13 Dallas, TX The Prophet Bar
11/15 Wakima, WA The Capitol Theatre