Hi Dick, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?
Hi, Vents Magazine! Thanks for your interest. I’m hanging in there like most people. Hope you all are, too. Today I am in Syracuse, New York playing at the New York State Fair backing up Out Law Country artist Jamey Johnson. I am part of three three-man horn section called the Tuscaloosa Horns. I’ve been playing saxophone and flute with Jamey for about five years now. Of course we took the year off for the most part in 2020 which is when I wrote most of my album, “It All Started In The Garden”.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “No Clue?”
I released the song “No Clue” on my personal YouTube station on April 9, 2020. I was writing, recording and releasing about one song a month that would end up being the whole collection. The entire thing was self- released on Christmas 2020 to alI major music platforms.
Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
“No Clue has a bit of a James Bond movie kind of feel to it which paired with the idea of having no clue was something I found interesting and appropriate to our uncertain times. Isaac Banks at a Banks radio in Australia was the first to pick up the song and it spread around to quite a few different countries and radio shows.
How was the filming process and experience behind the video?
The video was shot on my wife’s iPhone.She is an awesome artist so her help elevates anything I do in the visual arts. She did all of the little cut outs and found a white screen to put them on and we both placed the pieces as the song played until around the end of the tune where there’s a blackout moment and then I lip-synched the rest of the song. We did maybe three takes and then kept the last one. It would be nice to have a budget to do some more elaborate videos. On the meantime working in a minimalist way with my wife is really a lot of fun.
The single comes off your new album It All Started In The Garden – what’s the story behind the title?
The album has 10 songs on it. All of them were written in 2020 except for “Glorious Flashes Of Light” which I wrote in September and released in December of 2019. It had a lyric in it “Hearing you say everyone’s home everyone’s safe venturing into the unknown territory” that (by March Lockdowns) seemed oddly prophetic enough for me to decide to write more songs while I was not able to tour, and see how my lyrics and songs might sound after some time went by. Sort of a time capsule of my feelings. In April 2020 I released the title song. It’s one of my personal favorites on the record. I decided pretty quickly to use it as the title of the album. People ask me if it’s a biblical reference. Like most poetry, that reference is valid and so are all the other things that come to mind. Honestly, it was just as much about the quality sowing of seeds for anything cultivated. Like cannabis for instance. Or love.
How was the recording and writing process?
I did everything on this record except for final mixes and mastering which was done by my great friend, Brian D. Hardin. some of the instruments I played on it are; baritone ukulele, Akai Electric Wind Instrument (for bass and a few synth parts), saxophones, flute, cajon, drums, keyboard, vocals acoustic guitar and electric guitar.
What role does Franklin play in your music?
I have a small studio in my backyard in Franklin, Tennessee, which has been my home for seven years now. I am originally from Birmingham Alabama, but moved to Franklin after living in California for the previous 18 years.
Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
When I first started this album I had a lot of encouragement from my manager and dear friend, Leslie Bilbrey. She passed from complications due to MS just before I got the song “Moments Face To Face” back from mixing. She never got to hear it. The whole album is dedicated to her. When I got the news that she passed I sat down on my bed with my baritone ukulele wrote the song “Being Still”.
For what it’s worth, my older brother thinks it’s the best record I ever made. He, of course knows all my influences and understands what I was getting at. If for no other reason it has been great to have made some thing that he enjoys so much. I think he’s going to enjoy this new one coming, too.
What else is happening next in Dick Aven’s world?
The band has been back on tour for the past few months now. Its not quite what we grew accustomed to in the past but it’s still good to be out. We’ve been busier this year playing catch up but I’ve still managed to get about six songs deep into my next record when I’ve been home. There are two singles from it already up on all major platforms. One is called “Under Her Stars” and the other is “Unglued”.
Find out more about Dick Aven online at http://www.dickaven.com/