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article imageJim Stanard talks about latest album 'Color Outside the Lines' Special

By Markos Papadatos     Apr 1, 2021 in Music
Musical artist Jim Stanard chatted with Digital Journal's Markos Papadatos about his latest studio offering "Color Outside the Lines."
His sophomore album Color Outside The Lines showcases the Florida and Colorado-based troubadour's distinctive songcraft, vivid storytelling, and unmistakably authentic voice - the same qualities that made listeners and critics take notice of his acclaimed 2018 debut Bucket List.
Stanard channels a lifetime's worth of experience and insight to craft imaginative, emotionally resonant story-songs that cut to the heart of the human experience.
Color Outside The Lines lives up to its title, matching Stanard's evocative songwriting with sensitive production by Grammy-nominated hitmaker Kip Winger, and instrumental support from such notable players as Afghan Whigs guitarist Jon Skibic. The 11-song album also features guest vocals from folk legend Peter Yarrow (of Peter, Paul and Mary fame) and his daughter, Bethany, who lend their voices to the songs "Home" and "Arkansas".
Every album has a story that leads to its existence what’s the story behind your second album 'Color Outside the Lines'?
When I released my first album, “Bucket List,” it was just that – a “bucket list” item and it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that there would be another. But that album was well-received and it felt like there was something to build on.
I'd written some new songs that I was trying out playing live (before COVID) and I just decided that it was "time" to do a second album. That included great encouragement from Kip Winger — though we’re from different musical worlds, Kip is the one who has coached my singing and who suggested I write songs in the first place, not to mention the huge role he’s had in bringing these songs to life musically in the studio.
If you had to pick a favorite song out of the entire album which one would it be and why?
Hmmm, this is like trying to pick your favorite child. I like them all (or wouldn't have put them on the album). Of course, I love Home and Arkansas with Peter and Bethany Yarrow – the experience of collaborating with them (in three-part harmonies, no less!) on songs with such powerful messages will be tough to top.
I love Jon Skibic's guitar work on several songs, particularly The Opium Wars and Each Other's Minds – he’s a remarkably versatile player who can capture the essence of any song and frame it perfectly through his guitar work. If I had a slot to play one song live I think it would be Home, but that's partially because it works well solo without a band.
What was it was the experience like with folk legend Peter Yarrow and his daughter, Bethany?
I'd become friends with Peter through some political organizations and had heard Bethany's fabulous singing. I had the album mostly completed and played him the songs. I was thrilled that he liked them and wanted to sing on them.
To get positive feedback from such a legendary songwriter, in and of itself, meant so much, but then to hear him on the song. It’s hard to describe the feeling of hearing that voice – that we’ve all known forever – harmonizing with my own voice on my own songs.
Talk about bucket list! Because of COVID they did their parts remotely and could only manage to get their tracks on two songs or we would have done more together. Perhaps one day we’ll be able to sing together in person – that might top it!
What advice do you have for other musicians who are trying to get into producing and composing?
The same advice I have for accomplishing anything new -- 1. Have a clear plan and track your results against the plan along the way (you are allowed to change the plan along the way) and 2. Find a great teacher/mentor. For songwriting, there are many books, courses and groups -- some really good, some not so -- try them out and see which ones resonate for you.
Most people overestimate what they can do in 6 months and underestimate what they can do in 6 years. I’ve learned to set attainable short-term goals, but shoot high on long-term goals. Be stubborn as gravity.
If you can perform live on any stage in the world, where would it be and why?
A small room like the Bluebird Cafe or the old Main Point where I grew up listening in 60's. I saw Tom Rush, Doc Watson, and Bruce Springsteen at the Main Point – to play on that stage would be amazing. We’d have to reopen the club though! And the Bluebird is just a magical place for songs and songwriters.
To learn more about Jim Stanard, check out his official website.
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