Jonathan Fleig, wandering troubador and singer of Americana, has rediscovered his roots back in Kansas.
For a lot of children of the plains, leaving is their first priority. But many find their way back home after realizing that what they left is what they really love.
Such was the case for Jonathan Fleig of Emporia, who performed his Americana music at Metropolitan Coffee in Hutchinson this past weekend."I love Kansas," he told me after the concert.
Jonathan grew up in Arkansas City and left there sometime after high school graduation and classes at Cowley County Community College. He soon made his way to Taos, New Mexico and later, to his ultimate destination, California, where he sent a musical “Postcard” back home after seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time. He performed “Postcard” at the Metro, and here are some lyrics: “Tell all the folks in Kansas / That we made it to California / And we’re doing alright for ourselves / Hey we really appreciate all the things in your letter / And we’re doing much better … You tried to tell me how hard this would be / And I did not believe you.”
The son of a preacher, Fleig has, in his own words, “gone off the rails.” Really though, my perception of him was that of a sincere seeker, trying to put the truth down in music and verse.
Since he departed Arkansas City, he has produced two CDs and is in the process of releasing a third one, “The Road to Nowhere.” This new album will likely be his most adventurous one thus far, as it brought a music producer/engineer/videographer, Brian D. Hardin, to Kansas from California to create the CD and a documentary about Fleig. Incidentally, the “Road to Nowhere” was filmed and recorded at eight locations out of doors around the state, to paraphrase Jonathan, with all of the insects, storms, and assorted sounds of nature included. It should be an interesting album with a definite sunflower flavor. To hear songs from “Road to Nowhere” and other CDs, check out his website, www.jonathanfleig.com.
In Hutchinson, Jonathan played songs from “The Great Awakening” (with Soup) and “Strange Caravan,” as well as “Road to Nowhere,” which will be released sometime in Spring 2014. One personal favorite was the song “River Water,” which is also a YouTube link on his website. The song talks about baptism and how it washes away our sins.
You can next see Jonathan at the Metropolitan Coffee in Hutchinson on March 1. However, he has concerts scheduled across the state over the next two months, so check out his Tours schedule on the website if you don’t want to wait until then.