Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Midlake Follow Up...

I love to get the email. It's acknowledgement that I'm not alone in all this. After my recent post on Midlake I was pleasantly surprised to receive an email from primary singer/songwriter Tim Smith's father Billy Gene Smith. It's got some interesting tidbits about the genesis of The Trials of Van Occupanther. Here it is:

Hi Pete,

I want to thank you for the kind words you had for Midlake. Tim Smith is my son and you can imagine how proud his mother and I are about his music. Ever since the 6th grade he has been totally focused on a career in music. He took sax, piano and flute lessons for years. We sent him to the University of North Texas where he got his undergraduate degree in Jazz Performance. All through jr. high, high school and college he was at the top of his class. He started out loving Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and all the great jazz performers. Some where along the way he bought a guitar and taught himself how to play. I used to tell him great music is a balance of harmony, rhythym and melody. With his jazz he loved the improv stuff which, honestly, I never cared for because the melody was lost. After he wrote the music for their first album, his mother told him to write something she could hum to. He did. The result is Van Occupanther. I asked him a few days ago before he left for Europe again if he had time to write new material for his third album and he said, "Dad, we're just too busy. I want to write, but just don't have time. However, I do have some good ideas. I just need to get to a piano."

I don't know if you know this or not, but Tim writes 95% - 100% of all Midlake's music. He also writes all the musical parts and does all the singing on the album. When I was a kid back in the 60's we had a very good band and even made an album and were very popular in South Texas. Honestly, we couldn't hold a candle to Midlake. All the boys are gifted musically, especially McKenzie. He was in the 1 o'clock jazz band at North Texas. You don't get that position without being very, very good.

Anyway, I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate someone else saying what I've been thinking for some time now.

Best Regards,

Billy Gene Smith

Man, that's three posts in a row this week. I'm tiring myself out. I gotta go lie down.


Blogger howard said...

maybe if I wrote something a little less perfunctory I'd get such nice letters. just letting you know I'm still reading.

6:54 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow, what a cool email to receive! And what a great dad.

1:05 PM  

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