Nothing pairs better with the winter blues than the blues! The Winter Blues Fest kicks off tonight and I will be performing Sat. evening in the 2nd floor Rock River Lounge at the Marriott in downtown Des Moines. I am honored to be invited to perform at the Winter Blues Fest alongside such fine musicians. Next up, Sunday Feb. 18th, is the Botanical Blues music series where I will get the chance to perform in a more tropical environment. I will be joined by my brother, Rob Short. Bring the whole family to explore the Botanical Center and enjoy the music. Battle the winter blues with the blues and come on out to a show!
New video posted! Cut Heads With the Devil is an original song off the upcoming Watchlist release. Enjoy and be careful playing with the Devil!
“Watchlist”Aaron Earl Short
During the last two decades, Aaron Earl Short has quietly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the Iowa roots sound. From The Creek Dwellers to his family band The High Crest to his other family band, Eastside Brothers, Short has shown real growth in his performance style and songwriting. With “Watchlist,” we get Short in his most stripped down and purest form, and it’s another leap forward creatively. In the 11 tracks of “Watchlist,” Short gives himself room to stretch and touches on a variety of topics ranging from a straightforward look at childhood (“Backyard”) to political screeds (“Eminent Domain,” “Governor’s Boy”) to examinations of alcoholism (“Pour it Down the Drain,” “The Devil’s Bar”). It’s a lot to cover, but the songs are grouped in such a way that everything flows nicely, without the scattered feel you might expect from such a variety of topics. Without his brother, wife or child sharing the songs, Short seems to have turned his focus inward for “Watchlist.” It’s a strong musical showing and proof that Short is in the enviable position of having a wealth of material to draw from. Let’s hope that well never runs dry.
By Joe Lawler
Newton Shows Love For the Blues
Blues Under the Blue Roof takes over library
Published: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017 10:00 a.m.
Newton Daily News
By Justin Jagler
Armed with a collection of guitars, harmonicas and a wooden box under his feet for percussion, Aaron Earl Short kicked off 2017’s Blues Under the Blue Roof at the Newton Public Library Monday night.
The Des Moines-based musician played a mix of original songs and blues covers in front of a crowd of about 50 people. Empty chairs in the modestly-sized room were hard to come by, and Short kept the crowd engaged for the entire hour-long set.
Blues Under the Blue Roof was born from a partnership between the Newton Public Library Foundation and the South Skunk Blues Society. It features four unique concerts — one every Monday night in February. The events are free, and families are welcome.
“The idea is that we’re forming this partnership to bring the arts, culture, music to Newton in a way that’s very accessible to everyone,” public services librarian Becca Klein said. “We have a huge blues music scene that I don’t think people are necessarily aware of, and this really provides exposure for the artist, as well as invites the community to get involved.”
Short, who has more than 20 years of experience playing music, said he came about the blues the same way most white kids do — through his parents’ rock n’ roll and country records. He said he’s a songwriter and not a blues specialist, but he was drawn to the genre after picking up the harmonica and getting involved in open jams in his 20s.
Short took time in between songs for brief banter with the crowd on Monday.
VIDEOElvis fans parade at Australian festival honouring rock 'n' roll idol“I like these kinds of crowds — listening crowds,” he said. “I like to give the stories of (the songs) because I feel like it makes the songs more interesting if you know where I’m coming from.”
The songwriter dug into tracks about “true stories” that happened to him. He sang about working a terrible job in his past and about kids fighting after school at a church. Some of the topics were heavy, but Short kept the mood light and mixed in bits of humor.
South Skunk Blues Society President Elaine Mattingly introduced Short and welcomed a crowd that ranged from toddlers to senior citizens. Mattingly said Blues Under the Roof will show people the inviting nature of the blues.
“The thing about blues music is that it’s a welcoming music,” she said. “It is literally embedded in about every other genre out there. It’s no wonder that it resonates with folks on this kind of visceral level. The music is part of the fabric of Iowa, and Newton in particular has really embraced that genre.”
South Skunk Blues Society is a charitable organization made up of volunteers. The society, along with the Bowlful of Blues festival hosted every year in Newton, started in 1992.
“Blues music is well-loved in this area, and that has endured,” Mattingly said.
Blues Under the Blue Roof’s second installment is Feb. 13 and will feature the Stutterin’ Jimmy Duo. George and Gil Davis will take the reins on Feb. 20, and Tina and Brandon will have the spotlight on the final night Feb. 27.
I have a special Wednesday's Notes post to share with you! This week's band interview is with my dear band friend, Aaron Earl Short. I am excited to share his interview with you!
This is my 154th band interview. - Wendy Hull
How did you get started in music?
I guess you could say I was born into music. Although I didn't begin making music myself until around 1995, I grew up in a musical house. My Mom, Dad and both of my brother's are also musicians. I remember Mom often writing songs and recording them on cassette tapes. My favorite childhood nights were Dad's band practice nights. He also wrote at least a handful of his own tunes. Between the two of them I saw the therapeutic benefit of songwriting.
I had been writing poems and short stories alot so when I finally got around to picking up the guitar I immediately began staying up all night long writing songs. I couldn't wait to write the next one. And that hasn't changed all that much since.
What are your current plans in music?
Currently I'm working some songs for a solo album called Watch List. It seems to lean a bit on the political side of life. I joke that some of the songs on it may land me on some sort of government watch list, hence the album title. I hope it's just a joke anyway.
My amazingly talented wife, Kat Darling has put together the album art, built my website, www.aaronearlshort.com.
Kat and I love and will continue being in the rotation to host Iowa Homegrown on KFMG. As parents, sometimes it is impossible to get out to support live music. It's a great way for us to learn about the local music scene and get to know some of the many great musicians out there.
What are your future plans in music?
Our family is due to expand by one at the end of March. We are expecting a baby boy who will have the best of big sisters in our daughter Abileen, who couldn't be more excited about it. I plan to have the album done by then. Gig booking of course is always in the works. But mostly, just working to get and stay in the flow.
Who is/was your biggest mentor(s)?
My biggest mentor, man that's a tough one. I'm lucky to have many. Obviously my family is a great start. My Dad had a great friend & band mate, Jack Blythe. He was a huge influence on my approach to music. Unfortunately we lost him a couple of summers ago. My most recent music and positive life mentor has most definitely been my wife. No doubt I'd be lost without her.
What band or concert left you a first & lasting impression?
I am always impressed and inspired by anyone who gets up and spills their guts on stage. Whether they just started or have been at it for 60 years.
I don't think I can pick just one so I'll throw out a few of the more well known that have blown my mind at one point or another. Kris Kristofferson, The Black Crowes, Government Mule, Gillian Welch & David Rawlings, Merle Haggard w/ band, Willie Nelson 3 times, John Prine, Todd Snider & some guy who pulled his car up to a flat picking contest at an old timey music festival we were attending. The guy proceeded to flat pick like I've never witnessed before or since. Who was that guy anyway?
Aaron is playing tonight and every last Wednesday night of the month at The Greenwood. Check out his website to keep up on his solo shows, music, pictures, videos, etc
Aaron is half of the local Folk & Roll band, The High Crest with his lovely wife, Kat Darling. Please check out & "like" their band page too.
Link to the Article: https://www.facebook.com/groups/421133721283838/permalink/1282483908482144/
There was a time when I had no idea what a blog was. For all I knew it could have been some sort of bologna loaf. But as I now understand, I guess it's more like a notebook of random personal thoughts...that you just leave in public for anybody to stroll by, open up and read. What could go wrong? Now that I think about it, it's actually one of my biggest fears. Now I kind of wish it was just a bologna loaf.
Anyway, I'll try not to take it too serious...but I know I will. I'll try to keep from flying off the rails...but I know I can't. And I'll try not to piss anyone off...but I know that's impossible.
Most of these random thoughts come late and night, hence the blog name, Nocturnal Compositions. So here it is, just a little something that's a little bit of everything, just like a bologna loaf. - AES