Press Pass: Graham Colton
By Leslie Poster
Wednesday, December 07
2011 04:04:18 PM
Graham Colton is, as the
title of his latest tour might suggest, going natural this time around.
For the two-month "Go Natural" tour that will bring him
to Jammin' Java Friday, the Oklahoma City-born singer-songwriter has
hit the road in an eco-friendly vehicle powered by compressed natural
gas - a fuel that is both cheaper and emits less pollution than gasoline.
The decision was made with
both cost and environmental impact in mind. Colton, admitting "it
started with my pocketbook," said that touring for years on end
has been costly. In his research on different types of alternative
energies, he came across the idea of using CNG, and specifically found
CNG Now, a group that promotes use of the fuel alternative.
"I said, ‘Let me be a voice' - no pun intended - ‘and
let me do my thing and talk about this cause, because I believe in
it,'" Colton said, regarding developing a partnership with CNG
Now for the tour. In a blog on their website, CNGNow.com, Colton details
the highs and the lows of his journey, taking a CNG-system-outfitted
Chevy Tahoe across the nation.
"I'm really trying to document and report on my Facebook page
and Twitter the positives and negatives of doing this. The infrastructure
is being built up. I am somewhat routing from city to city, station
to station," Colton said, explaining that touring with the vehicle
means fueling up at the few gas stations in the country that provide
CNG. "Some stations are wonderfully kept and amazingly easy,
and some are in need maintenance or different types of help. That's
something they want me to be really honest about, and talk about."
But "Go Natural" isn't just about the environment - musically,
the pop-rocker is bringing things down to earth with acoustic shows
and stripped-down sets.
"I've really returned to my roots," Colton said. "With
the making of my album, and now being an independent artist, I feel
more back to basics. It's certainly an experience I think fans get,
night after night, when they come to the show. Hopefully they feel
this is organic, natural, and a real honest night."
Colton's tour, launched in late October, followed the release of Pacific
Coast Eyes Vol. 2, a follow-up to this spring's Pacific Coast Eyes
that let the artist revisit three songs from the spring release and
add three more tracks.
"You play them different live, and find little happy accidents,"
Colton said of the three songs - "Pacific Coast Eyes," "Everything
You Are," and "1981" - that are reenvisioned on Vol.
2. "I wanted to capture that and give the fans stripped down
versions or different versions."
Be it the similar topics, or the fact that the songs were written
while he was touring for Pacific Coast Eyes, Colton said that the
three new songs that made it into Vol. 2 - "Wide Open Inside,"
"Hold Onto My Heart," and "My Resignation" - just
didn't feel like part of a new album, but rather "an addition
to Pacific Coast Eyes Vol. 1."
It may not be a standard full-length album release, but making Vol.
2 is, for Colton, an instance of the liberties afforded to independent
musicians in this high-tech age.
"It's an example of being an independent artist, to be able to
say, ‘Hey, I've got these new songs, I think you guys would
like to hear them.' With the touch of a button on the Internet, I
can get them out to the people, and they've received them well,"
Colton said. "In the past, I've got 12 songs, they go on an album.
Now, it's different, and I think people really like it."
• For more information about Graham Colton, visit grahamcolton.com.
To read Colton's CNG blog, visit cngnow.com/graham.