Singer-songwriter Kevin Crafton has spent the last year and a half trying to get out of his own way.
"In the past I was always very good at making excuses as to why I can't pursue music," Crafton said.
The Greencastle-based artist recently released "The Vacant Heart(land)," a collection of 10 original songs. Now he's doing all he's doing the work of an artist, an agent, a PR man and pretty much anything else needed to promote the music.
"I always wanted to pursue music professionally but I never saw it as being a viable economic choice. So I went to college a couple of different times and just kind of realized every job I was holding was just to fund my music," Crafton said. "Within the last year and a half I came to that realization and started pursuing it pretty much full on.
"I still have a day job. I'm just finishing up my master's degree (in anthropology and archaeology) and realizing I'm probably not going to do anything with it, but it's there."
Day job and degree aside, he has made music his main business.
"I put $5,000-$7,000 into this album, and it turned out well enough for me to say, 'Well I have a good product now.' This is my business. I'm looking at it as Kevin Crafton, Inc. even though it's not technically a corporation," Crafton said.
"The Vacant Heart (land)" is both a personal and a universal journey. Crafton originally composed the chorus of the title track as a contemplation of his life.
Oh my God, where can I run
When every place just looks the same?
Just running in circles
Trying so hard in vain.
"It's more about being lost in your own life," Crafton said. "It seems like no matter what you do, you keep coming back to the same thing. That's where 'The Vacant Heart' comes from."
The more he thought about it, though, the song and album began to be about smalltown America, the Midwest, Greencastle.
"And then I decided I want to write about my home country -- so 'Heartland.' I just threw the parentheses on there to be uber-clever," he said.
Click for a review of The Vacant Heart(land).