Ewing’s longtime pal, Jojo Hermann, performed with his rock band Widespread Panic at nearby Kings Theatre. Following their show, they joined Ewing at The Rock Shop for a collaboration. It was only when Widespread Panic notified fans via Facebook that anyone realized a show would be taking place.
The venue was empty when Ewing initially arrived at 11 p.m. but fans started to trickle in past midnight. Ewing and Hermann ended up jamming together until 4 a.m. The show had been the first time the two former college classmates have taken the stage together in years.
“We usually do this jazz benefit down in New Orleans but we haven’t done it in a few years,” Ewing said. “We hadn’t practiced and didn’t even know what we were going to play but it went really well and the crowd was great.”
After years of writing songs together, Ewing and Hermann ultimately formed a casual group in 2007 called Missing Cats. In 2012, they made a record and went on a 20 city tour. While Missing Cats don’t consistently perform together, they appreciate the times that they get together.
“When we have time, we’ll do it again but it’s not something that we’ve continued,” Ewing said. “For a lot of guys in those big bands it’s business but this is fun.”
In terms of his own music, Ewing is excited to get the ball rolling. Because of present day technology, he optimistically believes that he can churn out a new EP every six months. So far, he has a new EP that he’ll be releasing in June.
It’s the first time that he has worked with other producers besides Godfrey Diamond to produce a record but Ewing recently realized his songwriting chemistry with musician Anthony Krizan from Spin Doctors. He’s also started to write songs that diverge from personal stories but rather take an observant position on the world around him.
Ewing wants to absorb everything that is going on in world affairs, especially certain events that hit home. Each of the past EPs that Ewing has done were inspired by something in particular. For the new EP, some of the songs were directly correlated to Hurricane Sandy.
Before the storm, in the beginning of October 2012, he performed at the Irving Plaza. Two weeks later, the place was underwater. There will be songs that will tackle the emotions of seeing the world in a crisis. Another example of future material is the environment. Ewing plans on writing songs about how our society is ruining our environment, which is puzzling to him since parents are supposed to take care of their children.
“How are we setting up this world?” He asked. “I have a couple of nieces and nephews and I’m having a hard time seeing how these kids are going to grow up with these issues.”
On the other hand, Ewing also wants to cast light on the community spirit that humanity often shows. He pointed out the network of people who feverishly worked together during Hurricane Sandy and during the devastating earthquake in Nepal last week. While he’s started working on the new album, it’s far from complete. He continues to write songs and perform new material to crowds around the country. That includes a performance at Williamsburg’s Living Room on May 23.
“It’s like making a statue, just constantly chipping away until something’s formed.”
Photos courtesy of H. Spencer Young