Today’s Feature – March 2-3: Adam Blessing

March 3, 2008 at 4:27 pm (Today's Feature)

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If you ever catch Adam Blessing dusting some furniture or mopping up a mess, leave him alone. Don’t talk to him. He’s busy. And it’s more than janitorial work that’s occupying his time: “Most of my songs have been written while I was cleaning. For the past 3 years I also worked as a janitor in the evenings. I probably wrote 95% of my songs while cleaning a bathroom or vacuuming a rug. Most of the songs I consider to be my best work have been born out of that method.”

While it is an intriguing approach, it seems to be working. Blessing’s latest release, “Out of the Box,” is capturing more than flattering reviews with songs written by a truly talented song writer. The album’s “subject matter runs the gamut… No two songs are the same, but that makes for an interesting listen.” The variety of themes on the record will keep the Adam Blessing rotation on your i-Pod busy, but so will this Pennsylvania native’s voice. Close your eyes and you can’t help but picture this artist as some sort of Bono/Sting hybrid (Blessing’s influences happen to include both U2 and the Police, so it works out well).

If you can get to a live Adam Blessing performance, you’ll notice his stage presence is similar to the music on “Out of the Box;” It’s heartfelt, “A good time from a down to earth kind of guy.” Also expect the age of audience members to range from 8 to 80 – it seems he has a song for just about everybody. Keep an eye out for the next Adam Blessing record, one with a more acoustic feel. He’s also looking into some soundtrack work and a little music for a children’s book. He’ll probably wrap up these projects while vacuuming a rug or wiping down a mirror. Just kidding… maybe. Learn more in the XXQ’s.

XXQs: Adam Blessing

PensEyeView.com: How and when did you first get started in music?

I was pretty young…I think I was 6 or 7 years old. My Dad had this old guitar stashed away up in our attic. As kids, we were not allowed up there, so I was always asking him if I was old enough yet to start playing. Eventually the persistence paid off, and he let me have it. I never really stopped after that.

PEV: Growing up, what kind of music where you listening to?

I remember being 3 years old and totally captured by the song “Every Breath you Take”. I also remember loving the song “Human Nature” by Michael Jackson, and “The Walk of Life” by Dire Straits. As I got older, and by that I mean 4-7 years old, my mom used to buy me these great classic albums. Carol King, Bread…& music by other great songwriters. I think this really shaped my approach. A lot of kids start out by listening to what is current and work their way back thru history. I did the opposite.

PEV: Was there a certain point when you realized you wanted music to go from hobby to knowing you could do it for a living?

No. I just wanted to quit waiting tables…and I supplement my income. That is pretty much where I am at now. If the music takes off, that’s great. If not…eh, I’ll live.

PEV: Tell us about your first live performance. How did it go?

It went…I don’t recall any hostility or insults. But, I think for the first year or more you’re still figuring out who you are and what your voice actually sounds like.

PEV: From that first time on stage to now, have has your performance style changed?

Well, for one thing I used to be very nervous before playing. I am not that way at all any more. Getting to perform is a treat for me, and I have loosened up quite a bit. I guess what I am trying to say is that I still get butterflies but they have begun to fly in formation. I can’t remember who said that…but I think it applies. I have also become more confident in my original material. My ultimate goal is to gradually wean myself of playing as many cover tunes.

PEV: What can fans expect from a live Adam Blessing performance? A good time from a down to earth kind of guy. They should also expect to hear to songs that they can relate to. That’s my goal as a songwriter…to write songs that do not unnecessarily exclude a particular audience segment. And at my shows you will find the young, the middle age and even some elderly being entertained. Check out myspace.com/adamblessingmusic for a schedule.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Out Of The Box”.

I got to work with some great musicians at Second Skin Productions/EBS Records in Harrisburg and the album turned out really well. The response to it has been overwhelmingly positive. Recently it was added on iTunes, so if any body wants a copy they can go there or cdbaby.com. They can also email me ABWEEDER@HOTMAIL.COM.

PEV: What can fans expect from “Out Of The Box”?

This album was very experimental for me. It has a wide variety of sound and styles. The subject matter runs the gamut. So I had a lot of fun trying out all of these different feels. No two songs are the same, but that makes for an interesting listen.

PEV: How would you describe your musical style?

I suppose I would call it heartfelt. Not all of my material is happy, not all is sad. Some songs are funny, and some are serious. But everything that I do is heartfelt.

PEV: Tell us about life on the road for you. Best and worst parts?

Actually, I am not on the road. To be honest hitting the road for more than just a couple shows has never appealed to me. I am not willing to sacrifice my family for music. It has always been my goal to support them. So I am more of a weekend warrior musician who plays a lot of intimate venues and restaurants. The best part of those types of places is the interaction you must have with the audience. They are long shows usually 3 or 4 hours. These environments are often unforgiving. So it forces you to be entertaining. The down side to playing such places often means playing a lot of cover material.

PEV: What’s one thing that people would be surprised to hear about you?

I never have had a cavity.

PEV: When you sit down to write music what kind of environment do you surround yourself in?

Actually most of my songs have been written while I was cleaning. For the past 3 years I also worked as a janitor in the evenings. I probably wrote 95% of my songs while cleaning a bathroom or vacuuming a rug. As I would get ideas, I’d grab a post it note here and there, write down my ideas, and keep stuffing these notes in my pockets. Then when I’d get home I’d lay them out and start arranging. Most of the songs I consider to be my best work have been born out of that method.

PEV: How have all your friends and family members reacted to your career?

They have been very supportive. They come out to the shows when they can, and they make an effort to spread the music around. I use a lot of them to help me screen material that I am working on…

PEV: What has been the most memorable part of your career so far?

Looking out at an audience and seeing them know the words to my songs. I’ll never forget how good that feels.

PEV: When you aren’t touring or performing what can we find you doing in your spare time?

Well, I really try to give a lot of time to my faith and family. I love to be with my wife and daughter. We all participate in volunteer ministry work on most weekends. I used to coach gymnastics so I take my daughter to gymnastics and other fun stuff. I try to stay active that way. Other than that I just try to balance my time between the secular and spiritual.

PEV: If we were to walk into your house right now what would be find?

Lots of kiddie toys…and Disney movies…my daughter is almost 3 years old so that’s part of the territory.

PEV: What artists would you like to collaborate with that you have not had a chance to?

Sting, Bono, Norah Jones, Corrine Bailey Rae, James Morrison

PEV: Is there an up and coming artist right now you think we should all be looking into?

I know you asked for 1 but I will name 4. Josh Albright, Priscilla Ahn, Zach Blessing and Terry Mullins. You won’t be disappointed.

PEV: What one word best describes Adam Blessing?

Decisive… no what I mean to say is…

PEV: Where will you be in ten years?

Hmmm, well I hope that I am still writing music. Eventually I’d like to do soundtrack work for films, and playing more gigs at slightly larger venues, like the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg, PA. That’s the kind of place I would really enjoy doing a show at. Maybe in 10 years, I’ll have chipped away enough of the rock to land some of that type of work.

PEV: So, what is next for you?

AB: I am working on another album…more of a laid back acoustic sound…that’s how it is going so far. I also am trying to pursue soundtrack work. I’d love to write a song for someone else to sing. I’d really dig hearing someone else play one of my tunes. I also am working on turning a lullaby I’ve written into a kids book. Lots of upcoming stuff, so stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted

For more information on Adam Blessing, check out www.myspace.com/adamblessingmusic

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