How To Render a Songwriter Speechless

In 2014, I was invited by my PR firm to come perform at the CMJ Music Festival in New York City. I was traveling with Dave (drums), Jae (bass), and Eric (manager). There was a week of panels, concerts, and free food! We had an amazing experience!

Staying in NYC is NOT cheap, and I’m notoriously bad at planning ahead for anything! When we got close to NY, I called my cousin only to find out that for some crazy reason he was unable to host me and three men he didn’t know for a week with only one day’s notice.

Baffled, I knew we had to find another solution. Eric found us a place to stay using – which if you’re unfamiliar with the concept, it’s essentially what it sounds like. You sign up on the site and find a place with a few extra couches for you to crash on.

Well this place was crazy there were 4 of us, a French couple, and a British dude. Jae got there last, so I had claimed the only remaining pull out couch for myself, leaving him to cuddle with the British guy. What I didn’t realize was that in the middle of the night, there would be more people coming to share the space, and I ended up sharing the couch with a stranger anyway.

We had an amazing showcase at Bowery Electric, and we even featured Pastele – an incredible singer that we met when we were both finalists on VH1’s ‘Make a Band Famous.’ There were friends and fans filling the room, our PR firm had set up a reviewer to come out to the show, and we were wearing suits. We felt amazing! That night, we left the venue on a huge performance high!

So much so, that I left some of my gear at the venue. The next morning, we had to make the trek back to the venue to pick up what I had left behind. When I was walking back to our van, I saw Adam Duritz – lead singer and songwriter from Counting Crows – walking into Bowery Electric. Being that I’m perhaps the biggest 90’s rock fan alive, I fangirled pretty hard. I had a conversation with Dave about how I wanted to go in there and chat with him, but I wanted to keep cool, and somehow work into the conversation that his music has been a great inspiration for me over the years.

Alright…I can do this! I collected myself, got my business cards in the right pockets, with nothing else in there. I was ready.

As I entered the venue, I felt the butterflies start. Walking down the stairs and into the live room, there was a bit of a traffic jam. The cement and exposed brick walls of the stairwell were covered with band posters, including mine. A metal fire door at the bottom made entry particularly difficult when there were this many people down here. As I opened the door, Adam was standing right in front of me. The venue was so full that he was stuck in the entryway with me. He looked back at me, and I quickly turned my head to look behind me, pretending I didn’t already know exactly who he was. We entered the live room in the basement of Bowery Electric, and I awkwardly followed him around for a few minutes pretending that I was looking for somoene and waiting for an opportunity to talk to him.

Eventually, my moment came!

All I could conjure up was “Hi Adam, I am a HUGE fan of your work! …Thank you for your time” and then I turned and walked out as quickly as I could.

Maybe the next time I run into Adam Duritz, I will at least be able to tell him my name…




Oh well! As you may know, my affinity for 90s music does not end with Counting Crows. As a thank you for being one of my subscribers, I’d like to offer you something special. This is a free download of a live recording of my band’s surprising take on a massive 90s hit – Check it out!

Several times throughout the song, I run through the crowd and invite audience members to sing along! If you were there, you might even recognize your own voice! 🙂

Once you’ve gotten a chance to listen to the track, let me know what you think in the comments below! I’d love to hear your opinions! 🙂

If you like this track, you might want to consider checking out my latest EP, ‘INSIDE OUT’ here! It’s filled with songs I wish I had the guts to tell Adam about in the basement of that club!

Thanks for taking the time to read this!