Simeon Flick
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Simeon Flick

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE

San Diego, California, United States | INDIE
Band Alternative R&B

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"Flick Trying To Find Where His Music Fits"

That Simeon Flick has a ton of talent is beyond dispute. He earned a bachelor's degree in classical guitar performance from the University of Redlands, and still plays classical guitar "two or three times a year," usually at weddings.

The San Diego-based guitarist and singer is also in a popular acoustic covers band, Scratch, which plays around town several times a month.

But his solo projects are the most important part of his music career. And even with his fourth CD just out ("Piquant") and a 6 p.m. slot in Saturday's San Diego IndieFest 7, well, he's just not sure where his original music might go.

"I feel like my music leans toward a lot of different things, but it doesn't really subscribe to them. So I'm really wondering where it fits in. It's got the soul factor, but it's not hardcore. It's alternative, but it's not alternative enough to satisfy the hipsters. And it's a little too strange for people who like their pop with a sheen on it."

He also said the collapse of the record companies has the business side of music in a state of flux where nobody really knows what's happening ---- and the labels use their remaining influence by pushing those bands and artists they see as "sure things."

"A lot of artists ... are kind of changing their thing. It's almost a form of dishonesty."

He offered up pop singer Lady Gaga as someone who has to do more than just sing great songs to stay in the spotlight.

"You see things on YouTube of her just playing piano and singing. You really hear the music stripped down. Then what you hear on the radio ... there's such a disparity between someone's true musical identity and what they have to do to make it."

The rise of YouTube as a medium for getting noticed has been confirmed by the success of pop singer Justin Bieber, whose career was launched via YouTube. But Flick said he's not sure that would work for him.

"I don't know if I can outshine that kind of novelty! I'm just a guy who's putting out music that's pretty honest. I'm not saying, 'Look at me, look at me.' It's just music."

As for the classical music, Flick said he needs to take regular breaks to keep his mental approach crisp.

"I find that when I come back to it after a break, I don't make some of the mistakes that I make when I'm practicing. I come back to it with a fresh perspective. It's very meditative.

"One of my big composers is Domenico Scarlatti. He composed 550-some sonatas for harpsichord. It's almost like they were written for guitar. They make really, really good miniatures. I've made my own transcriptions of his stuff. I still maintain a certain scholarship in that area."

Flick said he took a master class from Segovia protege Christopher Parkening in the early '90s, and Parkening's own willingness to walk away from music (he pursued fly fishing for many years before coming back to the music) to clear his head was insightful.

"Sometimes ambition can be somewhat toxic. He was feeling like he needed to get away from the toxicity."

While Flick's public shows focus on his pop solo material, he said he has surprised people at weddings that he's performed at by showing off his chops in both the classical and pop spheres.

"There have been some gigs where I've done classical for the ceremony, and then pulled out the steel string and done my stuff or other stuff.

"People don't see that too often." - Jim Trageser, North County Times, March 9 2011


"Review of Simeon Flick: Piquant by Frank Kocher"

On his 2006 Release, Reactive Soul, San Diego's Simeon Flick played all of the instruments on music that varied from heavy '70s-style guitar rock to sophisticated R & B. Since then, he has played live in acoustic and electric trios, worked with an instrumental group (Followers), appeared on these pages and elsewhere as a music journalist, and worked on his new disc, Piquant. On the new one, like on Reactive Soul, multi-instrumentalist Flick plays virtually all the instruments on his 12 originals, and his powerful voice compliments the imaginative songwriting for a surprising and soulful experience.

Nearly everything in music sounds at least a bit like something that has come before, and Flick and some of his songs are no exception. As a vocalist, he is a chameleon who can believably pull off anything from smooth Motown-style soul tunes to a saucy falsetto, to straight-ahead Steve Winwood style R & B/rock. On this disc, the songs are strong enough to stand on their own, as Flick blends influences with his unique muse.

'Rock The Boat' opens strongly, recalling some of Winwood's '80s hits––with no keyboards, as Flick smartly conveys their sound with guitar harmonics. Here, like in several of his other songs, Flick has a message about improving the world through change in his lyrics. The stutter-step time signature of 'Miracle for the Cynical' propels a rocket-fueled Flick guitar solo. A highlight is 'High On You,' about how he "Don't need no ecstasy/'Cause I feel that with you next to me," and similar references; it's a catchy delight with great wordplay––and yes, the lyrics are included in the artwork.

Many talented guitarist/keyboard players end up having studio drummers and percussionists sit in for such projects, but not Flick, and the result doesn't suffer––his drumming is fine. His bass playing is also rock solid, and his few guitar solos possess neo-Hendrix fluidity. Not bad all together.

Flick is in peak vocal form on the smooth soul of 'Wild Is The Heart,' a swift and memorable love song that has a classic R & B feel. At three minutes, it is over too soon. 'Druthers' seems a nod to Stevie Wonder and pulls in perhaps one chord change too many from an old Huey Lewis song, 'If This Is It'. For 'I Got Love', Flick hits the bullseye again, singing "I got love, no doubt about it/And I need a mountain from which to shout it"; the beat and rhythm guitar drive the message right to the listnener the way the old Stax records did. 'Little By Little' is listed as a bonus track, and the arrangement is different and winning––a piano, 12-string, and finally strings join Flick on a ballad that shows another dimension of a talented singer. Good call to put it on the disc.

Piquant is a disc that, if the listener didn't know that one guy played just about every instrument, they never would guess; it is too expertly performed and recorded. Simeon Flick is a great singer, and his songwriting is at a high enough level to match it. - San Diego Troubadour


"Another Mind-Boggling Work from Mr. Flick"

The accomplished, schooled musicians of the world cast condescending looks at what they see as the simplistic, musical under-achievers in the pop world while the pop artists look back and wonder what’s the point of playing so well if you can’t connect with the public. The musical innovators disdain the cowardice they see when artists trudge over familiar ground. The rock and rollers think all of the previously mentioned groups need to just chill the hell out and make some noise. The minimalist folkies see great danger in musical excess of any kind hindering the impact of the lyrics. It’s hard to find the middle ground in all of that, but every once in a great while an artist comes along that bridges the gaps between all of these approaches. Sting, Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan and Bruce Hornsby come to mind when I think of musical forces of nature that can somehow merge radically different musical sensibilities and create a cohesive, exciting and satisfying result. If this kind of meeting of the musical elements sounds good to you, I give you Simeon Flick and his latest CD, “Reactive Soul”.

If you want immediate proof of Mr. Flick’s multi pronged musical attack, check out “Many Moons” and listen to how catchy and easy to sing along with the first verse is. Keep listening when verse two starts and notice how he turns the rhythm around and phrases the words almost like a jazz musician would, then ditches the more traditional harmony part for one that you really wouldn’t want to try to sing unless you want to hurt yourself. Listen again and you’ll be struck by how the bass and guitar lines, plus the chord changes alternate between recognizable pop/rock ideas and more obtuse musical colors. While you’re at it, grab the lyrics sheet and check out the words. Like all the other tunes on “Reactive Soul”, “Many Moons” sports lyrics that stand alone as fascinating, intellectually stimulating, challenging and entertaining works.

“Black Mare” is another tune that manages to synthesize an astounding range of divergent approaches with lyrics that would make Dylan proud and a musical backdrop that is equal parts alternative rock, jazz, folk, alt. country and even punk. Damn! “Black Mare”, if there is any justice in the world, should find a place in the College Radio Hall of Fame (is there such a place?). “Caveat” and “Carve” also stand out as quintessential examples of Flick’s wonderfully twisted musical side.

“Your Love is Wrong” and “Money Don’t Make the Man” are a bit more accessible and straight ahead with funky hooks galore in a stew of rocked out blue-eyed soul, but you will still hear plenty of unique touches. For instance, on “Money Don’t Make the Man”, the bridge offers a stark contrast to the rest of the tune in the form of an odd-time, almost cacophonic eruption, but then the sonic comfort food is restored at just the right time. “Your Love is Wrong” could have almost been done by Earth Wind and Fire if not for some of the compositional turns (like the funky pre-chorus chord changes).

As if there wasn’t enough to write about already with just the electrified tunes, Mr. Flick breaks out a nylon string guitar on “The Acrobat” and “Grave Boy” and spins a whole new angle. “The Acrobat” is nothing less than a masterful modern classical composition, played with passion and precision. This isn’t a rock guy doing some kind of convincing imitation of a classical player, this is the real deal and it’s beautiful, stunning stuff. For you musicians out there, listen to how Flick uses the tail end of a fast, single note flurry around the middle of “The Acrobat” to facilitate a sly key and tempo change.

“Grave Boy” reminds me a bit of Jose Feliciano’s more hip offerings with pulled strings creating a grooving, pulsating rhythm, while Flick’s falsetto completes the hypnotic sound perfectly.

Simeon Flick played all of the instrumental parts and sang almost all the vocal parts (with a guest vocal by Cathryn Beeks on “Choice” being the only exception). While I am normally not a big fan of the “one person plays all” approach, it really works on this disc by creating a cohesion and consistency that is quite amazing. The electric guitar parts are equal parts raw energy, passion, creativity and skillful execution. The solos on “Caveat”, “Money Don’t Make the Man” and “Your Love is Wrong” (loved the tremolo soaked tone) are masterful and really support the tunes while the rhythm guitar playing throughout the entire recording provides the primary engine that drives the music so powerfully.

Check “Money Don’t Make the Man” for an example of how the sizzling rhythm guitar parts give the music that perfect dose of juice. The bass and drum parts are dead on in the pocket and provide a perfect backdrop for the rhythm guitar.

If you showed the vocal parts on “Reactive Soul” to any schooled producer/arranger, in written form, you would certainly be told that they are “too ambitious” and “ill-advised”. The fact that Flick wrote these ridiculously difficult lead and harmony vocals for himself point to a masochistic streak in the artist. The vocals are all over the map in terms of range, style, emotional delivery and harmonic structure. Flick handles it all with ease, confidence and passion, making it all sound utterly organic.

The recording of the vocals is just right in the way they are out front and not too heavy on the effects. Listen on “Black Mare” how Flick incorporates everything from whispers to screams, highs to lows and everything in between. Crazy good singing here to be sure.

“Reactive Soul” stands in sublimely stark contrast to the re-hashed, stale musical offerings that clog the airwaves these days. That is not to say that this music is too high-minded for the masses. On the contrary, this is that very special brand of music that manages to pull of the highest level of creative integrity while still being a complete blast to listen to. This is rarified stuff and not to be missed. - Craig Yerkes on CD Baby, 11/03/06


"Reactive Soul (reviewed by Craig Yerkes)"

Simeon Flick is one of those rare wunderkinder who seems to harness musical energy from some other dimension. The good news is that his new CD, Reactive Soul, somehow captures lightning in a bottle so that the rest of us can enjoy.

Within the tapestry of Flick’s work on this stunning record you’ll find mind-bending lyrics (that may have you reaching for Mr. Webster’s help), octave defying and soulful vocals, guitar wizardry, and an over-reaching compositional ingenuity that binds it all together.

First, it should be noted that Flick played ALL of the instruments and sang all of the vocal parts (the wonderful guest vocal by Cathryn Beeks is the one exception) on this recording. Ummm…wow! There is cohesion and confidence permeating this music, which is simply the result of a masterful musician working tirelessly to perfect the expression. Flick really hits his musical stride on this disc, whether he’s slinging his own brand of brainy pop rock (“Many Moons,” “American Boy”); jazzy, blue-eyed soul (the bona-fide hit single “Money Don’t Make the Man” and the sizzling “Your Love is Wrong”); or his more quirky/artsy fare (“Caveat,” “Black Mare”).

“The Acrobat” and “Grave Boy” offer glimpses into the amazing things that Flick can do with a nylon string guitar, especially on “The Acrobat” where the artist’s world-class classical training and abilities will make you wonder if this is the same guy who was just tearing it up on the Telecaster. The electric guitar performances are flawless and inspired (personal favorite moments being the tremolo soaked solo on “Your Love Is Wrong” and the blazing rhythm parts on “Money Don’t Make the Man”). The brilliantly executed lead and harmony vocals ooze passion and intensity, yet sound utterly effortless, which boggles the mind considering how ridiculously ambitious the parts are.

All of this takes place over a harmonic and compositional backdrop that manages to merge wild innovation with yummy pop hooks. The music delivers wicked, audacious surprises but doesn’t neglect to provide sonic comfort food. For example, “Money Don’t Make the Man” will have you instantly nodding your head as the ear candy is dished out, but the bridge serves up a really cool, somewhat dissonant, odd time signature cacophony that lasts just long enough to bring something fresh without distracting from the heart of the song. “Black Mare” offers the most intriguing blending of Flick’s alternative, pop, rock, and folk compositional sensibilities with Dylan-esque wordplay, infectious guitar hooks, and a deliciously dark, foreboding harmonic framework.

Now, let’s talk brain twisting lyrics. On “Money Don’t Make the Man,” a casual listen might give the false impression that the artist is presenting a straight ahead, feel-good, anti-materialistic sermon, but listen more closely and you’ll hear a less idealistic side of the conversation (“…can we pretend that money don’t make the man?”). “Choice” also sidesteps convention by twisting what begins to sound like a standard rock and roll anthem about our personal power to direct our lives into a much deeper exploration of the subject of free will.

I wish I could have made this review twice as long to cover more of the musical and lyrical treasures to be found on this CD, but alas, there are space limits I must adhere to. If you’ve been longing for something to blow the cobwebs of stale musical convention out of your airspace, this is the record you’ve been waiting for. - The San Diego Troubadour


"Be Surprised and Delighted By This Disc"

Fully schooled, yet irreverent and audacious, Simeon Flick is like the classically trained artist who can use his finely tuned technique to create an exquisite oil painting in one moment and then throw convention to the wind in the next by playfully flinging funky colors against a wall just for the hell of it. This is one musically twisted dude and for my money, the moments on "Indigo Child" that inspire and delight the most are the ones where Mr. Flick is most aggressively getting in touch with his inner Frank Zappa.

"Round in Circles" and "Good Graces" both offer catchy tweaks on somewhat conventional acoustic rock formats with plenty of musical and lyrical ear candy to keep your attention. "Indigo Child" gives you an intoxicating first glimpse into the instrumental side of Simeon Flick with spooky chord changes and jazzy leads. "Do It and Leave" makes good on the promise of the first three tracks by delivering a instantly potent, confident rocker with more sly twists than I can really trust myself to speak of, both musically and lyrically.

One thing that certainly becomes evident on "Do It and Leave" is the fact that any attempt to place Mr. Flick's vocal style and/or range into any particular category is an exercise in futility.

The next two tracks left me a little bit flat, but "Contemplation No. 3: River" gets it back on track in a big way with a stunning classical number that fully transcends the obligatory "rock guitarist weakly imitating a classical guitarist on a rock album while playing an insultingly boring pseudo-classical piece" scenario by delivering a fully legit and beautiful rendition of a wonderfully fresh and original Flick composition.

"Omegajam" removes any doubt you may have had before about just what a funky chicken this Simeon Flick really is. The lyrics stand alone on this track as a jaw-dropping take on the state of the world juxtaposed against an imagined meeting featuring the gods of mythology. To say anything more about these supremely clever lyrics would just not be right....you've GOT to hear them/read them for yourself and be amazed.

The music on "Omegajam" delivers the same punch that the lyrics do with a crazy-ass shuffle beat, turned on its ear and then pimp slapped into a frenzy while Mr. Flick spills out the lyrics in an almost free-form fashion that reminds me of Paul Simon on the "Graceland" album. This is wildly entertaining stuff.

"Can't Wait 'Til I Die" shifts the music into an entirely new direction with a way cool, smoky jazz ditty that sounds to me a bit like Sting singing a Leon Redbone tune (side note, if the Sting/Leon combo sounds too eclectic for you, beware that this might not be the CD for you). The lyrics for "Can't Wait 'Til I Die" are thought provoking (dare I say, even controversial??!!) to be sure and would be wonderful fodder for some sort of heated debate to erupt around a dinner table.

And that brings us to the bonus track...am I even allowed to talk about the bonus track? All I will say about it is that it's sort of like an Indiana Jones movie where you have to work your way through a maze of some ridiculous peril in order to get to the gold, but it's well worth it when you get there as a very tasty track awaits you that will show yet ANOTHER genre of music that Simeon Flick inhabits with glee and swagger. Simeon Flick may also be one of the few musical artists out there who would dare put a song this strong in as a bonus track that takes a hell of alot of work to get to!

All in all, "Indigo Child" is a disc to be celebrated by those who appreciate real musical daring, craftsmanship and invention. If your musical desires begin and end with the dribble that your local STAR FM radio station spews out, then be afraid...be very afraid of this CD. - Craig Yerkes, freelance writer, San Diego Troubadour


"Hometown CDs"

by Mary Montgomery

Within ten tracks, Flick bridges the gap between confrontational rock and intricate folk harmonies. The disc isn't reliant on either style but instead is anchored by a rhythm that effectively uses the dynamics of both oeuvres.

Though undercurrents of melancholy run through many songs, the album doesn't give in to depression and woe. Instead, the themes of lost love and dying break away to words centered on hope and resolve. Soft tones and acoustic dexterity mark the rolling ballad "Good Graces" where Flick sings, "I don't know who you are, but I think I'm falling out of your good graces." Simple, yes, but the sullen restraint with which Flick delivers it is akin to the kind of emotion in U2's "With or Without You."

Other highlights include the rowdier closer "Can't Wait Till I Die." The cut's lines, all sung tongue-in-cheek, are well suited to the vintage rocker: "Well, I don't know if I've been here before / but I don't think I'll be back for more / so I say with a sigh, can't wait till I die."

- The San Diego Weekly Reader


"Of Note: Simeon Flick: 'Indigo Child'"

by Phil Harmonic

It seems to me that Simeon Flick combines elements from just about every musical style you can think of on his 10-song CD, Indigo Child. But he does it with subtlety and nuance to create music that is very pleasant to listen to, and the influences of rock 'n' roll, jazz, gospel, jug band, folk, ballads, and pop melt together to produce an original sound all his own. Like Cat Stevens' music of the early '70s, you really can't categorize it or pigeon hole it to one specific style. The entire CD has a rich, full sound that I credit to the producer and arranger - also Flick, besides writing and performing all the songs.

As with all good music, Indigo Child gets better with each listening. I love it when that happens, because there is nothing better than the excitement of discovering new music and the talent behind it.

Flick's vocals are exceptional -supported by lush arrangements that overlap the glistening background harmonies. An accomplished musician, he plays every instrument on the CD with only a few exceptions, including 6- and 12-string acoustic and electric guitars, fretless bass, drums, djembe, and an array of other assorted percussion instruments.

The production of these arrangements is also top notch. Flick captures the eclectic essence of his own performance, especially on "Surrender Song" and "Ingenue," which is not listed on the CD cover. "Indigo Child" and "Contemplation No. 3: River" are two tasty instrumentals that actually help accent the vocals on the songs that follow. A nice touch, which serves a purpose in addition to contributing to a well thought out song order.

This CD, if you could visualize it with your ears, has one big aura. Listen, and I think you'll agree. - The San Diego Troubadour


"Wild And Inspiring Trip Through The Musical Looking Glass"

"Soliloquy" will make even the savviest sonic traveler feel as though he or she has gone through the musical looking glass. After dissecting this disc (and Simeon Flick's more recent offering, "Indigo Child"), it has become clear to me that Mr. Flick dares to do what very few musicians do these days...he expects you to open your heart, turn your brain on and actually listen. The decision to put "Soliloquy" into your CD player is something like deciding to rent that wonderful, quirky and intelligently written independent film at the video store as opposed to a mindless Hollywood blockbuster. If you're not careful, listening to Simeon Flick might actually feed your soul, challenge your thinking or expose you to fresh musical ideas...consider yourself warned, o' passive, lazy and complacent listeners.

The opening, title track contains lyrics that sound like a pre-battle blessing given by Merlin to King Arthur, set to music that sounds like an arpeggio contest between Andy Summers and Eddie Van Halen.

A "Sting-esque", octave-jumping vocal on "Trey Downs" takes an extremely catchy acoustic rocker into fresh, exciting territory.

"Book in the Wind" features brutally blunt, stingingly insightful, yet somehow sweet lyrics (about a lingering, battered and potentially doomed romance) and sets them against a beautifully restrained acoustic track and subtle vocal (which becomes not so subtle when the octaves jump UP in places you wouldn't expect).

Buckle up for "Voyeur" and prepare to have your mind bent. This one reminded me of what would happen if Simon and Garfunkel sat down to write "For Emily Wherever I May Find Her, Part Two" and decided to co-write it with Elvis Costello. The mysterious, provocative lyrics and music perfectly prick the imagination and transport the listener into the world of the story. The beautiful, finger-picked guitar part is laden with the occasional kinky chord to make it all a mixed bag of romance, neurotic behavior, whimsy and something darker underneath it all.

"I Went Away" is a slow, self-reflective groove that leaves the question of self discovery open ended rather than tie it up in a neat package and bow. This track takes a more realistic approach to soul searching/being true to oneself and the music captures the emotional arc of the lyrics spot on. Listen to how the bass notes, at certain points in "I Went Away", eerily move through the chord changes to increase the tension...way cool.

"No Ordinary Days" is seriously like no other love song I have ever heard...maybe the closest thing is "Old Brown Shoe" by the Beatles. What could be more romantic than a song that promises "on our calendar there's no ordinary days" and proclaims "oh how good it could be, you and me in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G" and says it all in the musical context of a completely wacky, sometimes dissonant 5/4 groove that could possibly cause serious bodily injury (if someone tried to dance to it or sing it without proper protective gear) . The slide guitar/scat solo on this track is worth the entire price of the CD. This song is a muddathaf&*ka of biblical proportions...mind-blowing.

Nothing is phoned in on "Soliloquy" and every track holds surprises for anyone smart enough to take the time to step into Simeon Flick's musical world...go ahead, step through the looking glass. - Craig Yerkes, freelance writer for the San Diego Troubadour


"Of Note: Simeon Flick: 'Soliloquy'"

by Frederick Leonard

Simeon Flick steps forth with an eight-song collection of exceptionally smart, well executed, and infectiously catchy pop tunes. The first thing he mentions in his credits is, "Soliloquy was spontaneously recorded with forgiving minimalism..." Well put.

But wow!

For a guy who became a singer-songwriter at a time in history when the planet is saturated with a gazillion singer-songwriters, Simeon Flick is one of the few with such distinction, it makes him one of the few flowers worth picking, by natural law, in the vast garden-meadows of music talent.

I remeber introducing myself to Jason Mraz for the first time. He was still unknown at the time and starving like everybody else. I just shook his hand, introduced myself, and told him I've been trying to do what he does for about 20 years, and that he had "it." He looked at me funny when I told him, "You should be outta here by now. It shouldn't be long before the world knows you're big time."

The music is different and not written for the attention of little girls. But I have the same thing to say to Flick: "Dude, you're outta here."

"Trey Downs," the second track, took about five seconds for me to love it. It's a perfect hit.

The whole CD is brilliant; however I don't have enough space to go on about each tune. Every single track is remarkable in its originality, range of material (it kicks Jason's ass in this department), chops, maturity in arrangement and production, and most important: serious mojo. - The San Diego Troubadour


"Saving Room for Dessert: Hanging Out at Barbeques with Simeon Flick"

by Chuck Schiele

I've always said that my favorite souvenir from being in the music business is in the people I've gotten to meet and gotten to know along the way. Besides huge dollar amounts, of course.

I met Simeon Flick (who insists his name is not some made-up Hollywood name) about a year and a half ago on a gig. It was one of those nights where a coupla guitar players made sure they introduced themselves to one another before the night was over. About a year ago, I reviewed his CD Soliloquy. And by now, after quite a few gigs as backstage pals where we generally drink beer and borrow each other's batteries and guitar chords, we've actually started to become good friends. What a great angle from which to write about an artist and what's on his mind.

Enter Simeon Flick.

"I can eat a horse!" he replied when my fiancee, Joanna, asked him if he was hungry at a recent soiree at our home. It was a weird little soiree. Half of the invited guests happened to be in the middle of a three-day fast. Simeon and I were chatting by the barbecue, taking delight in how this little "twilight zone" factor will render more seared ahi and chicken for him and me.

Pretty soon we were sitting at a table in the kitchen listening to the Kind of Blue CD by Miles Davis. We're drinking red wine, in complete awe of the food, and scarfing to "So What."

Listening. We listened for a long time. The funny thing about Miles is that he's one of the few who plays music that makes musicians shut up for a second. There we were. A warm spring California Saturday night at the beach. Roasted Potatoes. Friends carrying on in the backyard twilight. Coltrane's taking charge of his 32 bars of freedom and all we can say is nothing. Shaking our heads, listening to the masters. I tried a cheeseburger.

We started chatting about music. Now, I knew the first time I saw Simeon play that he was a well-educated musician. Simeon's intelligence – and his intelligence for music – is an obvious thing. I could tell for several reasons, but mainly by his choices when it comes to chord selection, composition, and how the melody is related and incorporated. Simeon is a composer as much as he is a songwriter. With fluency, he's extremely adept in classical, jazz, and rock music forms, throwing each into his own music stew where it is seasoned with equal amounts of homage and disregard for what has already been done. He manages that fine line with apparent ease. With complete modesty, Simeon is a fierce and underrated guitar player, not to mention a killer alto with a big brain for intelligent rock poetry.

We swigged the last of our wine and poured some more. We noted that Kind of Blue is one of the best things ever accomplished in music. And I realize we have enough time to sit and chat a bit, when it occurs to me to ask, "Where did you learn to play music, Simeon?"

Miles was still blowin' in the background as our friends were still out in the backyard fasting by the food table. In the comfort of being a coupla music dudes talking about music dude stuff, Simeon explained, "Well, I started playing guitar when I was 14. I took a month of lessons, but, it didn't take long before I was better than my teacher, so I was self-taught after that. I took a couple of classical guitar lessons but didn't really get serious about it until college. I began singing, writing lyrics, playing bass and drums and had a few college-prep piano lessons during the same pubescent timeframe."

"Didn't you go to Berkeley or something?" I pried.

"I studied classical guitar performance at the University of Redlands and graduated with a bachelor's degree in music in that major in 1992. I studied briefly for a master's in the same major at the University of Colorado, Boulder campus in the spring of 1999, but dropped out. Ironically, there was no time for music, you see. That was the best and perhaps the most expensive three months of classical guitar lessons I've ever had, although it corrected all my bad habits and increased my tone and volume, exponentially. I took a couple months of voice lessons from Tricia Moorea in late 2002, early 2003, which have helped me build my voice up to where it is now."

The Miles Davis CD finally ends and the kitchen is without music. We decided to hit play and listen to it again (a sort of why not approach to "So What"). I asked Simeon if he has played a lot of jazz since then, because he often brings that language into his own music.

"Yeah, a little, but I intentionally left jazz as a frontier on guitar so I could 'invent' it for myself. I've been improv-soloing since high school and wanted to have something I could save just for myself, some free territory to explore in my own way. I like to do that sometimes because then my take on the 'frontier' stands a chance of being somewhat original, possibly even innovative."

Simeon continues, "Other than that, one of the driving forces behind my art is this thing in my blood, this need to be new and different – to innovate and to be provocative."

"You are," I state. "How do you get your ideas?"

"My ideas come from everywhere and everything, from any medium. I've spent a lifetime listening to and watching everything like a sponge, scouring the sea bottom of pop culture for ideas and inspiration. I have the sensitivity to absorb people and things in their entirety ... artistic empathy."

Convincingly spoken. He continues, "Believe it or not, some of my stuff has been influenced by unexpected sources: Beyonce Knowles, Justin Timberlake, stuff that wouldn't necessarily come to mind from listening to my music."

"It doesn't come to mine..." I quip. We're laughing.

"I'm not below learning something from anyone, even if it's from a musical genre I don't normally listen to. Like Louie Armstrong said (I think it was Louie): "There's only two kinds of music: good and bad."

I agree. And with that we decide to take matters in to the studio where an impromptu jam is breaking out there. Until the wee hours we all passed the guitars around, singing songs to one another, the way we all like to do when we're not working. And we all knew we were having more fun than anybody else at this particular moment. And, as I recall, he played some of his stuff, my stuff. Off the top of his head he gave us some Steely Dan, Police, Yes, Rush (on my 12-string because it was just sitting there), a classical piece, and Earth, Wind and Fire's "Shining Star."

A few days later we're on a gig together. We had a marvelous time and went on to make plans for dinner over the weekend.

Simeon and his lovely fiancee, Allison, arrive, followed by the arrival of our friend and fellow music pal Matthew Stewart shortly thereafter. With greetings, we popped a cork and popped in Miles Davis again, still in awe of patience applied to good grapes and good music. And everyone started blabbing to the sound of chicken sizzling on the grill. Once again, we're talking about music and all the glory and agony that goes into living this life. We're talking about why we're here and why we do this and what it takes, when Simeon declares: "I think persistence is all you need, tenacity. You need to live and breathe it and be prepared for the long haul. Prepared to do it indefinitely and really commit to a more barebones lifestyle [which this country really doesn't encourage at all...F150 anyone???] It encourages having good, solid people around you as your support system. It also encourages you to wear as many of the hats as you can before you hand it off to someone else, versatility. I think Rilke said it best: you have to be able to answer an undeniable 'yes' when asking yourself the question, 'Must I do this? Must I wake up every day and do this because my very existence depends on it?' 95 percent of playing music for a living depends on your answer to this question."

We head on out to show Matthew the studio, carrying on about the music scene (in and out of town), how things change, and why that's good. Simeon is optimistic more than most on the state of the arts.

"I think it's definitely thriving on a grassroots level. The music industry has kind of burned out the commercial channels and now good music has gone where it truly belongs: underground. There's obviously a recession going on, so it's a bit hard to be an independent musician these days. We have to be frugal, thrifty, and have low expectations and a bottom line to match. Fan support has been pretty apathetic, if not minimal(!). So I personally have had to look elsewhere, or inward, for my sense of well being from the satisfaction I take in my music. It can be kind of demoralizing sometimes, but in a way it's been the catalyst for me to push as hard as I humanly can to develop as an artist. The great thing now is that there are even more resources than ever available to independent artisans of all types... especially the Internet, which has been essential in marketing my own music."

Next thing I know there's another jam breaking out. And I am reminded of why I live this life, too.

Simeon Flick is a versatile dude. He has released solo works. He plays in a band with his brother, Nathaniel in Alpha Ray. He's an enthusiastic contributor to the music universe. He sits in on your gig with no problem. He produces records in his own studio and appears on more than several recordings as a support player, such as the recently reviewed Lee Tyler Post CD in last month's San Diego Troubadour. Obsessed with language, his musical intelligence also takes form in the now-and-then music editorial. Regardless of his arena, whether it requires a set of headphones, a laptop, or an able ax – Simeon Flick is here with an appetite for excellence and irreverent originality in music. It's in the music around him, and in his own.

Somebody pass me the peach ice cream and hit play. - The San Diego Troubadour


"'Indigo Child' Fan Feedback"

Here's what people have said about Simeon Flick and his album, 'Indigo Child':

"Thesedays - what a beautiful incarnation of the late Jeff Buckley - a wonderful tension in the chords explodes into sweet melodic release..." –eT on Musolist dot com

"I LOVE Indigo Child!! What an awesome arrangement of songs! You are truly a gifted artist, and thank you for sharing that gift with us!" – J. Baca

"...I have been listening to both CDs and enjoy them very much. [The] lyrics are quite interesting....perceptions beyond [your] years, or universal concepts?" –S. Bennett

"...By the way, I'm enjoying your disc!! Really good stuff - you took it in a lot of interesting directions." –M. Tiernan

"Just listening to... "These days" - beautiful song." –D. Shaw

"I got to hear Indigo Child via Eddie - it sounds great - I remember many of the songs from your performance at Eddie [Elliott]'s that one night ... so that means that they're very recognizable!" –J. Kongos

"I did, by the way, check out the [Simeon Flick] website, and I was really glad I did...I loved the Indigo Child music." –J. Campbell

"I...wanted to tell you that [Indigo Child] kept me company on the way up to LA last week - It kept me sane in some serious traffic - I SURRENDER, I SURRENDER!!!" –M. Tiernan - www.simeonflick.com


"'Soliloquy' Fan Feedback"

Here's what people have said about Simeon Flick and his album, 'Soliloquy':

"Ok, I was listening to 'Soliloquy' tonight. Dude, that s a killer @#$%& CD. I know this. But i try and not listen too often so it really knocks my socks off [when I do]. Like wine. Let it age a bit then open it up on a quiet night. 'Nadir' & 'No Ordinary Days' & 'Fallaparte' ... AWESOME! It's all great." –L.T.Post


Reviewer: R. Carmody – (Originally published on CD Baby)
Simeon is the Hook Freakin' Master

*****
Simeon Flick is without equal when it comes to making hooky music to make you think. He pours his vast knowledge and many influences into an original album that is intelligent and stripped down to show the beauty of his virtuosity.


Reviewer: Steph Johnson – (Originally published on CD Baby)
Perfect!

Groovy and melodic--i dig. this cd is incredible and i would highly recomend it to the "listener." if you want to hear something good, BUY THIS!


Reviewer: Nathaniel Flick – (Originally published on CD Baby)
Simeon Flick's solo album is like you've never heard

*****
I own Soliloquy and what surprises me about it most is that I get something new from it every time I listen to it. That's the mark of a great album; dare I say up there with the Police, the Beatles and many others who used layers of creativity to their greatest effect. It's a great work of art!


"I've listened to your CD and I must say that I'm very proud. It seems very honest, simple, and lets the listener in. Most great musicians (like you) always record so complex. It just seemed like you cared more about the songs, which is great. This music was easy to take and your musical abilities fired-up in the right places. (Great songs - perfect Sim!)" - B. Penn (Wagner, Coco B's)

The music is very unusual, and I found it to be very intriguing. Now whether it has any commercial potential is anybody's guess, but I hope he doesn't give up his originality in order to find that elusive thing known as commercial success. L.A. is not that far north of San Diego, and I think this kind of music is very hip genre (whatever genre you may want to call it) for use with films. Just a thought from an old fart who has seen very modest success in this business." - P. Potyen (Canoneo, 49ers jazz band + more--www.site4sound.com)

"What a GREAT disc man! You flat out have it my friend. The talent is huge, and the vocal range & chord colorations are just monster. Get out there and storm the world now man..." - S. Von

"What a diference. What a treat! Your 'Soliloquy' is totally rad. I knew you were good but now I know you're awesome. Keep it up, my man, keep it up." - J. Miller

"...Where to begin - in my humble opinion, it's probably your best stuff to date - lot's of great dynamics, your voice has matured a lot, good hooks - really, really good! Your writing seems to be taking precedence over furious flights on the fretboard, which to me is what makes for timeless stuff - I was really into it right off the bat!" - M. Berkowitz

"I like that the album is non-pretentious, and you don't hide behind a lot of instruments and arrangement. It's very honest. The lyrics are fantabulous. They are thoughtful and allow a listener to be light or deep as it pertains to the interpretation. I'm already seeing I get something else every time I listen to a song on the album. You have great choruses but they accentuate and support what you're trying to do, and not get in the way. It's hard to strike a balance where the hook is so good people forget about the lyrics and everything else that's going on, but you've managed to do that. I love your album!" - J. Richardson, LA Attorney - www.simeonflick.com


Discography

'Piquant' (released 2010)

'Reactive Soul' (released 2006)
NOMINATED FOR BEST LOCAL RECORDING AT THE 2007 SAN DIEGO MUSIC AWARDS
*'Many Moons' featured numerous times on San Diego's 102.1 KPRI FM Homegrown Hour, and performed live on air at Free 103.7 FM on 3/2/07
*'Money Don't Make The Man' performed live on air at Free 103.7 FM on 3/2/07, featured numerous times on San Diego's 102.1 KPRI FM Homegrown Hour, performed live twice on KUSI TV's Good Morning San Diego program, and filmed for a video (premiered 2008)
*'Choice' performed live on KUSI TV's Good Morning San Diego program
*'Grave Boy' featured on Acoustic Pie dot com playlist

'Indigo Child' (released 2004)
*'Do It & Leave', 'Good Graces', 'Surrender Song' and 'Can't Wait 'Til I Die' featured on KKSM AM 1320 Palomar College radio
*'Round In Circles' featured on WRIR 97.3 FM's Great American Music Hour, 7/11/05
*'Do It & Leave', 'Thesedays' and 'Can't Wait 'Til I Die' featured on Musolist dot com's Top 20

'Soliloquy' (released 2003)
*'Voyeur' featured on Acoustic Pie dot com playlist

Photos

Bio

Flick grew up listening to 60's R&B, 70's funk, 80's & 90's rap and hip-hop, classic rock of all decades, and 80's & 90's punk and alternative. He was in two vanguard underground bands in the nineties (CRUX and Sages of Memphis, the latter of which was briefly scouted by Interscope Records and had two songs placed on MTVs Road Rules), but had already begun to explore new frontiers with his solo material before arriving in San Diego in 2001. Since then he has released three pioneering solo CDs (Soliloquy, 2003, Indigo Child, 2004, and Reactive Soul, 2006, all of which have received airplay), fronted the band Alpha Ray (whose song Tremore was featured on San Diego radio station 91X's Loudspeaker local music show), has performed all over San Diego and has toured both coasts, garnering new devotees along the way.

Simeon is enjoying an illustrious career, having shared stages with the likes of No Doubt, Sublime, Fishbone, The Untouchables, School of Fish, Rocket From The Crypt, Three Mile Pilot, Heavy Vegetable, The Samples, The Skeletones, Skankin' Pickle, Excel, Voodoo Glowskulls, Ozomatli, Geggy Tah, Matt Nathanson, and Leftover Salmon. As a San Diego-based solo artist he has co-billed with Veruca Salt, Glenn Phillips (Toad The Wet Sprocket), Jimmy Gnecco (OURS), Noe Venable, Ari Hest, Brodeeva (G Love & Special Sauce), Saucy Monky, Transfer, Jakob Martin, Earl Thomas, Peter Sprague, Tom Brosseau, Gregory Page, Steve Poltz, Carlos Olmeda, Lisa Sanders, Berkeley/Hart, Anya Marina, Steph Johnson, Christopher Dale, Danielle LoPresti, Alicia Champion, Michael Tiernan, and Thomas Lee (Bo Bice).

Simeon released his third album at San Diego's renowned Belly Up Tavern on 10/04/06. Reactive Soul bristles with intent, combining the punch of alternative, the lyrical urgency of folk, and the rhythmic imperative of classic rock and R & B. Reactive Soul was honored with a nomination for Best Local Recording at the 2007 San Diego Music Awards.

Simeon recently engineered, produced and performed the follow-up to Reactive Soul–Piquant–at his unofficially inaugurated Blue Chair Studio in San Diego, California.

Simeon and his music have been featured numerous times on San Diego radio stations 102.1 KPRI FM and Free 103.7 FM, and he has appeared twice on KUSI TV.

His goals are modest: To make a sustainable living through music, ease the human condition, and to sing like Merry Clayton on the Stones' 'Gimme Shelter'.