Though it may not feel like San Diego is in the middle of winter, rest assured the holidays are coming, and you can warm your soul to the cozy coos of the For the Sender crew, back for a special holiday show at the Belly Up on Sunday, Dec. 14.
Singer/songwriter Alex Woodard got inspiration for the For the Sender series -- for which he writes songs about and in response to letters he receives -- from a fan who sent her own letter. "She said she felt like my songs were pieces of myself that I was putting out there in the world," he told SoundDiego earlier this year, "and she wanted to give me a piece of herself in return. Along with it, she included a letter that she had written to her soul mate. [Sean Watkins of Nickel Creek and I] wrote a song about it called 'For the Sender,' about how this letter in particular was like a prayer. It was more for the sender than the receiver. That was kind of the genesis for the whole project."
For the seated holiday show on Sunday, which benefits the Switchfoot Bro-Am Foundation, Woodard is again joined by musical friends and collaborators Jordan Pundik of New Found Glory, Molly Jenson, Graham Nancarrow, Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, singer/songwriter Jack Tempchin (of the Eagles fame), Nena Anderson of Brawley and Jon Foreman of Switchfoot. Woodard said that the show will feature seasonal tunes that connect to the For the Sender songs, along with some letter readings by the authors.
When last we spoke with Woodard, he had just released the second installment of his For the Sender trilogy, which hit close to home with the story of beloved and recently departed San Diego reporter Loren Nancarrow. The corresponding show included a performance by the broadcaster's son, Graham.
Now, Woodard finds himself in the middle of the final book/record combo, which is based on a series of letters that a soldier in Vietnam wrote to his young wife back home. "For the Sender: Love Letters from Vietnam" (working title) is set to release on Veterans Day next year.
"The book will focus on veterans issues and what we do (and don't do) as a country for our servicemen coming home," wrote Woodard in a recent email exchange. "The soldier tried to fill the holes he had when he came back with some destructive decisions, which cost him his life. His daughter answered the letters he wrote from Vietnam to work through her grief and then sent them to me -- beautiful and powerful stuff."
The For the Sender holiday show takes place at the Belly Up on Sunday at 7 p.m., $18-$20, 21+.
Hannah Lott-Schwartz, a San Diego native, moved back to the area after working the magazine-publishing scene in Boston. Now she’s straight trolling SD for all the music she missed while away. Want to help? Hit her up with just about anything at all over on Twitter, where -- though not always work-appropriate -- she means well.