Several years ago I had this idea to make an album consisting of beautiful ballads about serial killers. The idea came from Sufjan Stevens’ haunting ballad John Wayne Gacy Jr., one of my favorite songs.

I started writing the album, and I wrote about two killers, but the songs were very similar to each other. One song was called “Down By The River,” and it was about Ted Bundy (the demo for that is available in the premium archive on this site), and the other one was simply called Henry, and it was about Henry Lee Lucas.

If you’ve never heard of Henry Lee Lucas before, he was the inspiration for the cult classic film Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. He was also the only death row inmate ever to have is sentence commuted by then Texas Governor George W. Bush. It turned out that a great deal of Lucas’s confessions were false – possibly all of them.

To make a long story short, the serial murder ballad album never happened (at least not yet), but it sparked a new idea – a concept album based on the life and lies of Henry Lee Lucas. I’ve been working on this for many, many years, and it looks like I might be able to get it done within the next couple of years. But my old band, Bad Days, recorded an EP with songs I wrote for that project, and that is actually available for sale on this site. This song, Come To Mama, is from that EP. It’s about Henry’s overbearing mother, obviously. If you enjoy it, please consider buying the EP.

I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

I had been writing and performing music semi-professionally for over a decade before I decided to try to make this my full-time job. I’ve done a lot of different things – copywriting for an ad agency, hosting TV shows, stand-up comedy, translations, directing and much, much more, but music was always a part-time thing for me.

Until a couple of years ago, when I spent a couple of months in a tiny village in the west of Iceland called Hólmavík. This is truly the most beautiful and peaceful place on earth, and the locals are among the most wonderful people I’ve ever met. I was hired to direct the local amateur theater company in a production of Sweeney Todd. I spent two months in the local hotel, in the middle of winter, and when I wasn’t busy with rehearsals or doing some translation work for a TV station I sometimes freelance for, I was working on my music. It’s really amazing what a change of scenery and a change of pace will do for you, artistically.

The show went very well, despite setbacks that really should have ruined it (the lead actress broke her arm four days before opening night!), and after it was done I decided to play some music there. There was a festival on that weekend, called The Disaster Weekend, and I figured I couldn’t leave without playing that. My artist name is One Bad Day, after all.

So I asked to play the local Witchcraft museum (yes, they have a Witchcraft museum, run by a mad genius who has since become a dear friend of mine), and the night after we opened Sweeney Todd I stood there with my guitars and sang my songs.

The crowd mostly consisted of my friends from the play, and their friends and family. And of course, most of them were still exhausted, since we had opened the show the night before and they had not been able to rest properly. A couple fell asleep. I was fine with that.

So as I stood there, playing to a small but incredibly receptive crowd, I felt something. I had just finished directing a huge show, which was a wonderful experience, albeit very stressful, and I was certainly still riding the high from that, but this was even better. The connection I felt to those people, the one I feel every time I play a successful show, was almost overwhelmingly wonderful. I played for almost two hours, and when I was done my friends took me on a road trip to some natural hot tubs nearby, where we sat, in a raging blizzard, and chatted into the night. Afterwards I thought to myself: I want this to be my life. Not the hot tub part (although hot tubs are very nice), but the music, the connection.

After I left Hólmavík, I went straight to my next job. I was hired to write and perform music for a theater production of a play called King Ubu, an absurdist play by a french man named Alfred Jarry. That production was a huge hit, and we’ve taken it to Austria (where we were the hit of an international theater festival), and we’re taking it to Monaco next August. That experience only solidified my commitment.

As I’ve written about before I have struggled with depression in the past, and I have some social anxiety issues sometimes (nothing serious). Connecting with people through music is my favorite part of life. That’s how I met my wife – I sang to her. Most of my best friends I’ve met through music. That’s why I’m so excited that you are reading this, and why I want to keep sharing my music with you. If I’m able to move you even a little bit with it, I’m ecstatic.

So to that end, here’s me performing Tom Waits’ Tom Traubert’s Blues. Enjoy.

As always, I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

I can tell you, vividly, about the last time I cried. It was one of those moments I’ll be able to recollect on my death bed. It was when I found out that Leonard Cohen had died. You may be thinking that’s a weird thing to break down in tears over – he was an old man, after all, and it’s not like I knew him personally. But the thing is, he knew me. At least it always felt that way. And as I sat there, early one morning, trying not to think about the politics of late 2016, and I saw that Cohen had left us, I just started to bawl like a baby. And I’d like to tell you about the reasons for that, and the reason why it really matters to me that you’re here.

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