Illuminate the Sky gets a placement

I really have spent most of my career as a songwriter trying to get placements for my songs. I always thought all you had to do was be awesome, but it turns out like many things in life it's all about who you know. And then a lot if it is timing. So far I've had few good placements but it's certainly been a few years since the last one.

Bunyan & Babe is the name of the movie. I don't know much about it except that it is animated, has some big names attached to it, and probably will get a theatrical release. I also know that it will feature a piece written by the great Basil Poledouris so I got that going for me, which is nice. It's not every day you have a track placed in a movie next to someone like that.

I will update more as I get more info. For now you can hear the song on bandcamp if you want to know what it sounds like. It is one of my all-time favorites.

Illuminate the Sky
written by Krister Axel
performed by Krister Axel
produced by Krister Axel and Brian Susko
2004 D’Ici La Publishing ASCAP
Courtesy of RockstarAlley
Album: Swexico EP (2004)

performance credits:
Krister Axel - piano, guitar, vocals
Bill Dowling - trumpet and arrangement
Steve Marsh - trombone
Adam Nanouski - drums
Mark Corben - bass
Joel Eckel - vocals
Sally Jaye - vocals






Club 66 on Friday

It begins. We have had a few shows now as a three-piece, but on Friday will be the first time we perform songs from The River South EP with vocals from Jinnee and Ann. We had a practice yesterday which I think sounded very good. I am excited to finally hear it all come together.

more info here

and here



It turned out a bit different from what I had in mind but it was still a solid performance. The lineup got shifted around last minute, and I had to fight for our set time, but I suppose that might be the new normal for a minute here until we create a bigger fan base.

We are happy to be performing and I think we are well on the way to crafting a set of music that we can all be proud of.

I am a perfectionist so I'll probably never be totally satisfied with our sound but as the gigs keep rolling in I know we are going to keep making sweet melodies. :)

I had a recording rolling but I set the input too hot so it's not really listenable. That might be just as well. We have a follow up release coming soon so I need to focus on that.

band name typo

Honestly, I think this is good luck. It's like when a bird shits on your head. Easily remedied, and perhaps a good omen. We are The River South, but on Sunday for some reason we will be "River South Trio".

That's ok with me. See you there!

509 SW G Street, Grants Pass, OR 97526

my top 5 favorite things about living in the Rogue Valley

I’m going to go in reverse order here, because listicle.

5 - nature.

What I mean by this is that Ashland Oregon is pretty much the closest thing to a ‘Maison De Village’ that we were able to afford and stay on the west coast, and honestly it has been fantastic. We have deer giving birth on our front lawn. We have local marauding wild turkeys. We have baby duck at the Lithia park pond. Beautiful birds. Goat herder dude. It’s a half country, half city concoction and I feel strongly this is the way life was meant to be lived. Throw in the Shakespeare and the bistro pubs and the excellent Cabaret, and Ashland is a sweet place to be. Plus SOU is a really good and affordable school and it never feels crowded.

4 - no sales tax.

Of course this is state wide, but what amounts to essentially a 7% discount on all things ordered online is I think both significant and self-evident in its value.

3 - real weather.

This is perhaps arguable, especially for anyone coming from SoCal, and it certainly takes some getting used to but I stand by the idea that real weather is a large net positive. Humans are cyclical by nature and I don’t think it helps us to live in perfect stasis. For every season here, I have days where I am smitten by the occasional knockout day, because every season has a potential for perfection, and I have days where I pine for the next season. And so on it goes. What it does is two things - 1, offers potential for elevated gratitude, and 2, offers a sense of purpose and movement. Once you become tough enough to handle whatever comes at you, weather-wise, which is not particularly difficult, you can start feeling vested with your locale, and you can rise and fall emotionally with the weather, which I think is healthy for a lot of reasons but also brings a community together.

2 - Cider on tap.

I honestly didn’t know how much I liked cider until I got here, but it’s great stuff. And like beer, it’s much better on tap. This is a point for pretty much all of the Pacific Northwest, but cider is delicious and I don’t remember finding it on tap at all in California.

1 - Growlers.

And now we come to what seems like such a simple concept, but is not that common. In Oregon, a growler is a type of jug that you use to bring beverages home with you. Down the street we have a place that will fill you up with cider, beer, or kombucha. They have over 50 types. It’s amazing, affordable, and seems quite easy to execute. It will hold carbonation for up to a week. I don’t know why more states don’t offer this. It’s a great solution for trash reduction - the growlers are reusable, and you are removing the bottling phase of manufacturing, which seems like a cost reduction and a net benefit for carbon emissions.

So that’s why I love living in Southern Oregon.