looking glassˈlʊkɪŋ ˌɡlɑːs/
noun: looking glass; plural noun: looking glasses

1. a mirror."she stared at her reflection in the looking glass"
2. opposite to what is normal or expected. 
modifier noun: looking-glass
usage: "looking-glass logic"

About 10 years ago, my mandolin hero, Mike Marshall, was scheduled to teach a workshop at “Sore Fingers” - a music camp in the UK. I’d procrastinated so long, however, that the course was full. So I looked for an alternative. Songwriting. Taught by Darrell Scott. I had no idea who he was, and you can’t really learn songwriting… can you? I’d thought that songs were a mysterious gift from the muse - how could one teach that? I looked Darrell up online… and was blown away by his energy, musicianship, creativity and, above all, his remarkable songs. A week later i was in a room with 19 other song freaks. Some had been writing for years. Others, like me, had loved songs forever but never put the pieces together. I’d found my tribe. I started to work on becoming a songwriter. They say it takes 10,000 hours to get good at something. I’ve been writing songs steadily for 10 years. I studied great songs and wrote and recorded many many terrible songs (and some really good ones!). I worked a regular job full time. Started a family. Moved countries. And on the way I met some extraordinary people who were generous with their time. Who saw something in me they felt like nurturing. Darrell Scott. Tymon Tymanski. Mark Freegard. Boo Hewerdine. I made a record and ran out of steam trying to promote it. I cowrote songs and loved it. I played open mics till they became excruciating. And finally, after years of practice, I gained the friendship of songwriters and musicians who wanted to put a piece of themselves into the songs. When the Lohokla Magic Crew came together, it felt like I turned a corner. Promoting songs no longer felt like a Sisyphean task. The verb for making music is “play”. Making “Looking Glass” was fun. Now it’s even more fun to play the songs live (as we did during the Hertz-Recording sessions).

I’m proud of this album. It was years in the making. Literally dozens of people put a piece of their soul into it. Songs are like kids. They need the care and attention of a community to thrive - it really does “take a village”. You can’t give up on them. And in time, they return the favor, only magnified by the looking glass & transformed into something new, strange and beautiful.