Treasures From The Demo Safe

I’m happy to announce my new project for this year called “Treasures from the Demo Safe.” I write a lot of songs. Whenever I have time, I demo these songs in my studio. Most of the time these recordings are very simple. Just one or two guitars and a vocal. I frequently go back to these recordings to pitch songs to people. In the process, I always come across ones I have almost forgotten or ones that have very little commercial appeal, but that I really like. I have hundreds of these recordings and have decided to digitally release two of them every month for a year, maybe longer

I am aware that the title “Treasures from the Demo Safe” may come off as somewhat presumptuous. My intention is not to declare my songs as treasures of the world, rather they are treasures to me. I remember when I wrote them, the joy that came from writing with my friends, the joy of undisturbed hours in the studio, recording by myself - the joy of creating.

I like the somewhat off-handed quality of these performances because the recordings were originally not intended to be released, so there was no pressure to make something great or unusual, and the music is better off for that. Not everything is perfectly in tune or time, there might be a little glitch here or there, I might have had to move the lyric sheet while recording or move because my foot fell asleep. My favorite music was recorded like that, all the great country and blues music from the 1920s and 1930s.

A lot of these songs here live in that time, musically and lyrically.

I Choose You

Thomm Jutz

This is one of the earlier songs that Tammy Rogers and I wrote together. I remember finishing it at Tammy’s house on a Wednesday morning. We both thought that it was cool, but I don't think we felt that it was a very special song. As it turned out the other guys in Tammy’s band The Steeldrivers disagreed. They loved it and ended up recording it on

This is one of the earlier songs that Tammy Rogers and I wrote together. I remember finishing it at Tammy’s house on a Wednesday morning. We both thought that it was cool, but I don't think we felt that it was a very special song. As it turned out the other guys in Tammy’s band The Steeldrivers disagreed. They loved it and ended up recording it on their album "Bad For You" Since then, it has become one of their most requested songs. It is being played at a lot of weddings. As a songwriter you need a good Christmas song be cause Christmas comes around once a year. You also need a good wedding song because as long as people get divorced, they ’ll need more wedding songs. This version is quite different, and much slower than that of The Steeldrivers.

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Seaboard Airplane

Thomm Jutz

This is a song that I wrote with my friend Captain Sean McCarthy. The word captain is not used ironically here. Sean is a real boat captain who has run huge yachts up and down the Eastern seaboard for years. He currently resides in Fernandina Beach, FL where he is running boats for his brother's business, plays lots of shows, and writes songs.

This is a song that I wrote with my friend Captain Sean McCarthy. The word captain is not used ironically here. Sean is a real boat captain who has run huge yachts up and down the Eastern seaboard for years. He currently resides in Fernandina Beach, FL where he is running boats for his brother's business, plays lots of shows, and writes songs. Sean is a wonderful singer, think Buffet meets Jerry Jeff. We got to know each other at the Fernandina Beach Songwriters Festival that he founded with Tammy Rogers and Zan Maxwell. There, Sean and I became fast friends. We share a love for history and started writing some songs about the history of Fernandina and Florida in general.

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John Hurt's House

Adam Wright & Thomm Jutz

Just hours after receiving landmark status, the Mississippi John Hurt Museum in Avalon, Mississippi burned to the ground on February 21,2024.

John Hurt lived in this three-room shack for years .

It’s not my job to pass judgement. However, the coincidence between the museum being put on the National Landmark Registry and the incident seems uncanny.

Just hours after receiving landmark status, the Mississippi John Hurt Museum in Avalon, Mississippi burned to the ground on February 21,2024.

John Hurt lived in this three-room shack for years .

It’s not my job to pass judgement. However, the coincidence between the museum being put on the National Landmark Registry and the incident seems uncanny.

John Hurt’s music has brought innumerable hours of joy to my life. It has taught me a lot about simplicity, drive, and musical gentleness.

I know it has done the same for generations before me and will do so for many to come.

Adam Wright and I wrote this song a few days after the fire. We wanted to pay tribute to the great man, and to the place he lived in that is now lost forever.

We are all poorer for it.

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Ain't Nobody

Charley Stefl & Thomm Jutz

I had the opening lines about the flames. I read them to Charley, and he started spitting out lines faster than I could type them.

I picked up a guitar that was tuned to open G from a previous recording project and started riffing on a G7 voicing that sounded cool to me. The combination of decidedly major-feeling melodic elements and more bluesy

I had the opening lines about the flames. I read them to Charley, and he started spitting out lines faster than I could type them.

I picked up a guitar that was tuned to open G from a previous recording project and started riffing on a G7 voicing that sounded cool to me. The combination of decidedly major-feeling melodic elements and more bluesy ones seemed to fit this song. The song evolved into a meditation on the multi-faceted natures of the elements. The guitar part was played on my Martin 000-28 Norman Blake signature model, in Open-G tuning with the capo on the 3rdfret.

The banjo is a 1922 Gibson GB six-string banjo. It has an enormous 14-inch head, and sounds like it comes from very distant time, which it sort of does. I recently got the banjo from @retrofret in New York. It’s so much fun to play

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The Land Of Tomorrow

Charley Stefl & Thomm Jutz

Charley Stefl and I have been writing songs together for about twenty years now. Charley co-wrote one of my all-time favorite country songs “The Fool,” a big hit for Lee Ann Womack.

He is a scholar of Byzantine history and art, a very smart and well-read man, an excellent guy to have a beer with, and one of my oldest friends in Nashville.

We

Charley Stefl and I have been writing songs together for about twenty years now. Charley co-wrote one of my all-time favorite country songs “The Fool,” a big hit for Lee Ann Womack.

He is a scholar of Byzantine history and art, a very smart and well-read man, an excellent guy to have a beer with, and one of my oldest friends in Nashville.

We co-wrote some songs with the late great Nanci Griffith that she ended up recording, and we got a bunch of Bluegrass cuts together. Two went to number one, if I remember correctly.

We still get together to write a couple of times a month - and it’s always good and easy.

This is another song about traveling, and arriving - if only for a moment.

I had the guitar lick for a while and had never used it in a song.

We wrote the rest in less than an hour, no need to get in the way when the flow is right.

Written by Charley Stefl (Charley Stefl Music, SESAC admin by Bluewater Music) & Thomm Jutz (Thomm Songs, SESAC admin by Bluewater Music

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I Love It Even More

Charley Stefl & Thomm Jutz

Another song co-written with Charley Stefl.

This song pays homage to the songs that make our world turn. Like the ones that Bobby Bare played on a German TV show in October 1981, with an 11-year-old version of myself watching.

Those songs lit a fire in my soul - and they still do.

I played a Martin 0000-18 guitar (with sinker mahogany back and

Another song co-written with Charley Stefl.

This song pays homage to the songs that make our world turn. Like the ones that Bobby Bare played on a German TV show in October 1981, with an 11-year-old version of myself watching.

Those songs lit a fire in my soul - and they still do.

I played a Martin 0000-18 guitar (with sinker mahogany back and sides) on this song.

It was Peter Cooper’s guitar. He bought it after we finished working on Bill Anderson’s audio book.

A note from Bill is still in the case. Playing his guitar is a soothing way for me to remember Pete. The vocals were recorded with an AEA R44 microphone through an Audioscape Golden 58 mic pre.

The guitar was recorded with an AEA R84 through an AEA RPQ mic-pre.

Written by Charley Stefl (Charley Stefl Music, SESAC admin by Bluewater Music) & Thomm Jutz (Thomm Songs, SESAC admin by Bluewater Music

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