Jack Doran is a talented songwriter for Keating and also the keyboardist for Hello Emerson and for that I am thankful

This is a general thank-you note. Jack Doran is a few different things to me and to other people.

while you read this, listen to his new song here

His band is called Keating. That’s his middle name. Emerson is my middle name. We both have middle name bands.

Jack was the first people I met at an open mic who wanted to play music together. He started on drums. And then he switched to keyboards. And he singlehandedly saved a song from the trash bin by sending me a voice memo of him painting some piano melodies over it. And that ended up on a record. And he’s been a great and helpful friend since.

Hooray for Jack. Proud of you. You’re a great songwriter, and I’m happy to hear this.

"Ohio" is out in Europe! Watch the music video!

Over a few weeks, with over two thousand photos, and over five years of handwritten notes, I made a music video in my room.

And since "Ohio" was released TODAY as a single in Europe by K&F Records, I'm sharing the video with you!

Watch the video here!

And learn about how we made it just below the sweet, behind the scenes photo.


Hi again! I want to share a few things about the video that are special and meaningful to me.

Thing one: All of the paper that's used in this video has my handwriting all over it. I transitioned most of my long-term notes and such into my writing app on my phone and laptop, but I still write most everything out longhand first. I always carry a notebook in my back left pocket, and a blue and black pen in my front left pocket. And I'll always reach for that if I need to write something down. Throughout undergrad, I took longhand notes on a big ol blank A4 notebook. I just love writing and taking notes and doing all that stuff with paper. But, eventually, it either becomes irrelevant, or I type up digital versions of the stuff.

However, I still keep this literal plastic garbage bag of crumpled up paper in my closet upstairs. And I don't have a bunch of like, closet space in my apartment. So, every time I travel, I literally have to move this garbage bag of notes and paper off of my suitcase to get it out and pack. It's irrational and stuff. I know. But I always wanted to make something out of it. Because over five years of handwriting just feels really neat. It looks cool. I guess I'm a sap about this stuff.

Anyway, I dumped that bag of notes onto the floor. And started to try to figure out the story of these two fellas. I'm not sure if I found their story, but I think they got something out of the experience. I mean, they didn't exist before, and they seem pretty real to me when I watch the video now. So that's worth something.

[Oh, also, you can read a bunch of the shit written on these notes in the video. Please screenshot some and hit us with them on FB and Twitter. I'm trying to use Twitter, and this seems like it could be for it. @hiemersonmusic.]

Thing two: I've never done this before, and it reminded me that learning how to do new things is really fun. Like, so much fun. I did so much wrong and had a blast figuring out how to fix it along the way. This all happened because I had a bad idea for a real video ass video, it went poorly, and I had to find another way to make a thing. I'm really really happy about that. So watch it.

Thing three: This makes me excited to do other things I haven't done before, like play a couple dozen shows in Germany in like two months. So, like, here are the dates. More will be added to the end and the beginning in a few weeks. If you have any pals out there, hip them to our songs. 

++ 26.08.18 Offenbach – Hafen 2
++ 27.08.18 Chemnitz – Inspire Chemnitz
++ 28.08.18 Hamburg – Freundlich & Kompetent
++ 29.08.18 Berlin – Ä 
++ 30.08.18 Berlin – Art Stalker (with Wayne Graham) 
++ 01.09.18 Annaberg-Buchholz – Alte Brauerei
++ 02.09.18 Dresden – The Sound of Bronkow Music Festival
++ 04.09.18 Bayreuth – Sübkültür
++ 05.09.18 Marburg – Q
++ 06.09.18 Düsseldorf – Zakk
++ 07.09.18 Karlsruhe – Nun Kaffehaus (with Wayne Graham) 
++ 08.09.18 Freiburg – Swamp (with Wayne Graham) 
++ 09.09.18 Hof – Dachbodenkonzert
++ 10.09.18 Münster – Pension Schmidt

So that's about it for today. Drink water, learn a new thing, and revel in how great it feels to draw on real paper with a real ballpoint pen.

That's all,

A Short Story Explaining Why My Face Is On Vinyl Records in Germany

Hello. My name is Sam, and I like to write songs. Here's a little story about why there are vinyl records with my face on them in Germany.

One time, I moved to Columbus, Ohio after spending a year attending the wrong college in Nashville, Tennessee. Ohio was a better fit for me, and English Lit was a better major for me. I had studied Music Business, but that was just the pits for me.

I wrote some songs and made the walk from my dorm at Baker West to Kafe Kerouac most Tuesdays for the Open Mic there. Jason runs a tight and supportive ship.

I helped open up a refugee benefit show there for The Gentle Lurch. They're a band from Dresden, Germany. Lars and Neli were over here for OSU as well. But they were nice enough to come to our cassette tape release show with Field Sleeper in the fall of 2015. After that, Lars and I became buddies and shared a beer at Dicks Den from time to time. When we threw our record release show in the US, it was a refugee benefit again. I think that will continue to be the case for release shows going forward.

 Wow! CDs! And Grandma Bodary's quilt that she made for my high school graduation is on the CD! Hooray!

Wow! CDs! And Grandma Bodary's quilt that she made for my high school graduation is on the CD! Hooray!

They invited me over to come visit when they went back to Germany, so I did. Last year, I spent about a week and a half adventuring, meeting nice folks and playing nice shows. The Sound of Bronkow Music Festival was the highlight; I finished my set while the church tower above me sounded for 8pm. I nearly made enough money to pay back the plane ticket! This shit is seriously the dream.

They were nice enough to reach out about giving the record a proper release through K&F Records in Germany. I recently got an email with nearly four weeks of shows. So that will happen in August. And I'm intimidated and don't know what to expect, but work is supportive and friends are supportive and I might even have one or two Hello Emerson members along for the ride.

Fingers crossed we can make back our plane ticket money, and make Lars and Neli some diaper money (they had a baby!)

So, this news doesn't mean a lot to you United Statesians - you all can already listen to the record. But we're excited about our tour and distribution deal with our friends in Germany.

Let me know if you want a vinyl - they're up on the store for North America and will arrive in June. If you're in Europe, I'll be seeing you in a couple months.

With love and gratitude, Sam