Michael Dunbar is a graduating senior at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. He has been writing and performing music for nearly a decade. Right now, he's on a road trip across the US with his bandmate, Collin Garcia, where they are engaging in musical dialogue with historic epicenters of American music, including Chicago, Memphis, and New Orleans. After reading this interview, you can read more about their trip and see some great images on Michael's website, Suitcase and Guitar.
Who are you?
I'm a singer/songwriter. I have been playing music for nearly a decade, now, and I'm blessed to have music be a part of my daily life. I'm a bit of an introvert, but my favorite songs are about human experience. I think that's what inspired me to head out on this cross-country road trip. It's about the journey and the people on it as much as it is about the destination.
Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? The primary outlet for my writing is suitcaseandguitar.com. There is a Facebook page, Instagram, and Twitter by the same name that mirrors the blog. The blog documents my travel partner's and my experience on the road. It includes photos, videos, and nightly blog entries.
What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen?
I've always loved to write. Even as a kid I worked on several novels. In college, I tried my hand at academic writing by penning a thesis about a piece of classical music. Still, my favorite kind of writing is the kind I get to do on suitcaseandguitar.com. It's observational as well as personal and reflective. I especially love traveling (although I'm terrified of airplanes), so a road trip was the perfect writing project for me as I graduate college.
Why do you write?
I write to feel connected with other people. Writing allows a writer the luxury of time: time to articulate thoughts and measure words. I write songs, poems, and prose, and all of them work the same way, for me.
Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you?
Lately I've been reading The Land Where the Blues Began by Alan Lomax. He journeyed deep into the Mississippi Delta in the '40s in order to interview and record blues musicians. I am inspired by both his easy yet sophisticated writing style as well as the pioneering work he did.
In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Holy Cross Summer Research Program, I've been given that "all-expenses paid trip" around the country. Granted, it's not quite "all-expenses". I'm chipping in quite a bit of my own money, but the grant has made the trip possible. Someday, I hope to travel overseas, but it's important to me to see my own country, first.
What is your favorite place on earth?
I love the place I was born. New Hampshire is where I come from, and New Hampshire is where I'll come back to. My roots are there, and I take a little of New Hampshire with me wherever I go.
Anything else you'd like us to know?
Look for new original music throughout the project, as well as the final musical product at the end of July! We're especially excited to be recording at the grave-site of blues legend Robert Johnson on June 9 with New England Music Awards Producer of the Year Brian Coombes!