Tonight’s profile is the last in the Parlor Sessions profiles, which means that the tour starts in just a couple days. If you’re in or near Charlotte, Atlanta, Richmond, Wilmington, Asbury Park Middletown, Cambridge, Philadelphia, DC, and especially the tour’s first stop in New York City, you probably need to get your tickets soon! The tour starts June 5, makes a stop a night for 10 nights, and then is over!
Now that I’ve introduced Andy, Jason and Eliot, three fantastic artists whose music I, myself, have just discovered, I’ll come clean now and say that the order of these profiles wasn’t 100% random. Because I’d stated this series of posts with questions for Dean Fields about the tour itself, it felt like it would give the series a sense of symmetry if I also ended with his interview, so I made a decision to do so early on.
Plus there was the fact that I knew his music and how good it is already. I’d even interviewed him before for this site, and knew that savvy readers could find that. So I wanted to get the word out about the Eliot, Jason and Andy. Now, though, let me introduce you to Dean Fields, the only guy I know who turn stepping in dog crap into a love song, or make telling a woman she takes too long get ready seem, like a compliment.
I don’t remember which song I heard first, but I’ve been a fan for a while. I found some music online, and was hooked. He’s got a fine voice, and writes a great melody, but it was the lyrics that really sucked me in. He’s a real master of the romantic ballad, which is a hard genre to work in without falling into one of two extremes. They tend to get overly personal and confessional, bordering on esoteric; or they’re riddled with cliche, syrupy sweet, what John Lennon would call “Silly Love Songs.” Dean avoids both extreme by filling his wildly romantic and personal songs with vivid, clever, and original images and metaphors.
I didn’t even know he was from Richmond, my hometown, at the time. Of course once I found that out, I liked the music even more. So how did Dean respond to my questions? His responses are below.
What made you decide to join this tour?
I’ve been kicking this idea around for years. With 12+ years of touring I’ve become friends with some super talented singers and songwriters. These 3 fellas are the real deal. I’m a fan of their music and hard work. And I want to be a part of the art that they are creating.
I’ve opened for them and had them open for me. And its a great opportunity for the opener to reach new people and for the fans to hear new music.
I wanted to put that on steroids and not only swap hometowns, but hit the road together, hang out, and give our fans a killer show.
Plus…its nice to have the company of others when you’re 4 hrs in on a 6 hr drive.
What’s your hometown? Where do you live now? Which town is has more influence on your music?
My hometown is Richmond VA. I live in Nashville now and I love it. But, I’ve got a sweet devoted fanbase in Richmond that I know will love this show.
I’ve moved 12 times in my adulthood so lots of places make their way into my songs. But, Richmond is home. That’s where I learned to stutter, fall off of a bike, and stalk my wife.
Do you have a favorite among the venues on this tour? Why?
We pooled our resources and are playing in some of the best listening rooms in the country. As blue collar touring artists you really can’t ask for better places to perform and be heard. Some of these venues have believed in me for years. And, I’m always excited to check in and show them what I’ve been up to.
Have you worked with the other artists on the tour in the past? What about that experience made you interested in this?
All of these guys are committed to the craft and the way of life of a touring musician. They’re supportive and understanding. I love that. Competition in music is usually a waste of energy. I feel like I may have tapped 3 of the nicest fellas in the biz.
Tell us about your most recent record and/or the project your working on now.
I’ve spent the last 2 years writing way more than I ever have. Some are songs intended for other artists. Some are deeply personal. So, I’m currently digging through everything trying to piece the next project together. Having too many songs is a luxury I’ve never had before.