CRAIG MARKET and THOMM JUTZ
'Nowhere To Hide'
Nashville songwriters and pals Craig Market and Thomm Jutz just brought their two guitars and two voices to perform songs on their new CD, “Nowhere To Hide.” Their songs and harmonies fall in that sweet space between bluegrass, country and folk. They list their influences as: James Taylor, Tony Rice, Norman Blake, The Beatles and Doc Watson.
Thomm Jutz tells: "Over the last three years Craig Market and I have worked on a bunch of songs that we recorded this past year on an album that will be called “Nowhere To Hide”. It’s just two guitars and vocals, one of my favorite things to do, challenging but also very rewarding. Craig is one of my favorite songwriters and I just love that we made this record and that it will come out very soon."
I've been fascinated by the talented Thomm Jutz for a long time already. He did, what many other hard working Europeans would like to do: he moved to Nashville! That requires a lot of good luck and a right alignment of the stars, as many of us tried for years and years but never got the Green Card!
Let's take a look at his bio:
Born in the Black Forest of Germany, Thomm Jutz started playing music at the age of six. He won several nationwide competitions as a teenager before studying classical guitar at the University of Stuttgart. At the same time, he played endless gigs all over Germany and the neighboring countries with Blues and Rock Bands, though his true love has always been Country, Bluegrass and Folk Music.
In 2003 he moved to Nashville to start his creative life over. Jutz hit the ground running and toured all over the world with veteran troubadour David Olney, Americana star Mary Gauthier and Grammy-winning folk singer Nanci Griffith.
Thomm Jutz is also the owner and operator of TJ Tunes, a creative space where writers, players and artists from different places and genres can come together in a relaxed, rural setting, to write and record.
Jutz has produced albums for Nanci Griffith (for which he received a SESAC award), Otis Gibbs, German vocal star Marc Marshall and countless other independent artists from the US and Europe. He produced Volumes 1 & 2 of 'The 1861 Project', a collection of new songs about the American Civil War. Marquee artists like Marty Stuart, John Anderson, Jerry Douglas, Maura O’Connell, Connie Smith, Chris Jones, Sierra Hull and many more are featured. Jutz co-wrote all the songs on these albums. 'The 1861 Project' has received praise from historians, critics, music lovers and Civil War enthusiasts alike.
Thomm also co-wrote songs recorded by Kim Richey, Nanci Griffith, Irene Kelley, Peter Cooper and German vocal stars Marshall & Alexander.
As for Craig Market: he remains a bit of a 'mystery man'! Except for a lot of song credits, there's not much to find about him on the Internet. Actually, I like mystery men... As for the music: this is an absolutely beautiful record, reminiscent of the cooperation between Darrell Scott and Tim O'Brien. It also makes me think of albums by Jeff Talmadge. Anybody who loves good story songs and great acoustic guitars can't go wrong here!
Craig Market and Thomm Jutz talk about the songs:
1. "Every Pilgrim Needs A Highway": I had been thinking about this title for a while and had a cool minor / ninth voicing that I'd been playing around with that morning. I brought it over to Craig's and we talked about the title for a little bit and wrote this song - about people you see standing by the side of the road. (Thomm)
2. "Indigo Blue": This is the first tune we wrote on the day I first met Thomm. He's a bit of a Civil War scholar and has produced a wonderful series of records called 'The 1861 Project'. He enlightened me about indigo ink and its significance to the South Carolina economy before and during the Civil War. As is often the case with songwriting, the specific idea morphed into a more general lament and the central thought became more incidental. (Craig)
3. "Midnight 402": I love trains. My dad's first job was being a conductor on the German railroad in the 1950s. Craig and I had talked about writing a train song for a while - a time honored tradition in the world of Folk and Bluegrass Music. This is our contribution to the canon of train songs. (Thomm)
4. "It Ain't Over Till It's Over": It had occurred to me that the success or failure of most endeavors usually hinges most on one's capacity to stick with it. I had also noticed a pattern in the way that folks rationalize their choice to walk away from a relationship. There's a lot of 'growing apart', 'not on the same page' and of course 'it's been over for a long time'. This song comments on the point at which something is deemed to be beyond repair. (Craig)
5. "More Than The Miles":Craig had told me about this song title and then, over time, he forgot about it (I think). I brought it up at one of our writing appointments and we wrote this song. It's not specific to the life of a traveling musician but it could be. It's a song about distance, physical or perceived. (Thomm)
6. "That's Enough": I live in the country, in a log house. We have a wood stove. When it's cold outside we carry in some wood and make a fire in the wood stove. It feels really good to do that. (Thomm)
7. "Some Place In France": Thomm was telling me about a neighbor who was 92 years old at the time. He was a WWII veteran and had lost his twin brother in the field of battle. I found it compelling that this tragedy was still so forward in his mind after all these years. In light of the supernatural connection that is said to exist between twins, it must have been the single event that had the greatest impact on his life. With only that much information, we filled in the back story, attempting to capture that sentiment. God bless our veterans. (Craig)
8. "WV Miner": A friend asked me to play at a funeral. The cousin of one of his friends had died. No problem… I figured it was going be two or three songs and we'd be out of there. The departed and his family were from West Virginia, miners, poor, salt of the earth people. Some of them had done well for themselves in Tennessee.
Long story short, the service took over four hours. I told Craig about it. This song is half truth and half fiction. I was there, I played the funeral, it took over four hours, people were passing out and shouting. The rest is fiction. (Thomm)
9. "Too Late": We wrote this tune in the studio during the recording process. Both of us have spent significant time on the road, where a person can be forced to be alone with their thoughts. For me, those thoughts were often of home - a Rockwell-type picture that's frozen in time. But time is relentless and pictures fade into distant memories. (Craig)
10. "Thunder": This tune was written at my house one morning. Being a big fan of songs that dance upon the pinhead of capturing sadness and hopelessness without being gratuitous or morbid, I was sort of impressed when Thomm pitched me an idea that had the central character burying people before the first verse was over. As a songwriter, that is hanging on to the pin by a fingernail. But people are sometimes exposed to circumstances so horrific that their very humanity comes into question. The situation becomes the backdrop and the coping comes to the center. And it's there that we endeavor to find joy in sadness and hope in hopelessness. (Craig)
11. "Nowhere To Hide": "There's nowhere to hide here", Craig said while we were recording one of these songs. He was referring to the sparseness of our arrangements, two guitars, two voices, nothing else. All your musical shortcomings are exposed in this kind of setting, all your insecurities laid bare. I would only want to make a record like this with a good friend - like Craig. (Thomm)
12. "You Take Me As I Am": This song began at the end of a session in my office where we had completed another song. As I was setting up to record the work tape, Thomm was playing this lovely melody on his guitar. I made a video of him playing the piece and we wrote the song at a later date. As a writer, Thomm is a little more abstract than I am, more of a poet where I am probably more of a story teller. Acknowledging his melodic idea, I wanted to defer more to his lyrical style and let the song go where it wanted. The result seems, on its face, to be a love song, but there is an incidental spiritual element that's undeniable. That frosting made it seem appropriate to close the project with. (Craig)
Written by Craig Market & Thomm Jutz. Compiled by Johanna J. Bodde (thanks to AirPlay Direct) - January 4th, 2015.