This past year has been one of the most rewarding years that I have ever experienced. It all started in January when my last album “Whiskey” was released. Over 61,000 streams later the album is still going strong, with 5 of the songs getting radio rotation.
Popularity from the album’s release garnished 7 nominations to the 2023 ISSA (International Singer Songwriters Association) Awards show.
Entertainer of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year
Male Songwriter of the Year
Male Rising Star of the Year
Male Album of the Year (Whiskey)
Male Single of the Year (World Gone Crazy)
Male Emerging Artist of the Year
In March I started work on my new album (not yet titled) and as with all my projects, I wanted this one to be bigger and better than my last album “Whiskey”. I want the new album to have a bit more of an edge music wise, while telling stories of what is going on around me. Well it didn’t take long for the first “story” to find its way to me!
In late April, news broke in our community that the local paper mill (that had been a fixture in town for over 125 years) was going to be closing in 30 days, leaving over 100 employees without jobs! I knew this was a story and song that needed to be told. Immediately I went to work and wrote, recorded and released “30 Days” ten days before the factory closed. The song became an anthem for the soon to be unemployed families.
On July 5th I officially retired from the government and started working harder on my album and preparing for some of the major events that were going to happen over the next few months. On July 27th RAGBRAI had an overnight stay in our town. If you’re not from Iowa, you’re probably saying - what the heck is RAGBRAI. Here is how their organizers describe it. “It is more than just a bike ride, it is an epic eight-day rolling festival of bicycles, music, food, camaraderie, and community. It is the oldest, largest, and longest multi-day bicycle touring event in the world.” This year was the 50th anniversary of the event and brought over 50,000 people to our community (our whole county has only 17,000 people). I was fortunate enough to be chosen as an opening act for Foghat (being the 50th anniversary, they brought in acts from the 70’s)
Two days later Jill and I packed up the car and headed to Atlanta for the (International Singer Songwriters Association) ISSA Awards Show. Although I was nominated in 7 categories, the association has over 16,000 Indie Artist members and I truly wasn’t expecting to win. Jill and I attend the show to network and meet up with friends that we haven’t seen in a year. Much to my surprise I was awarded with the 2023 Storyteller Songwriter Award! This is an honor that I will treasure forever! If anyone tells you that winning an award isn’t a very big deal is lying. I have had so many doors opened and opportunities present themselves to me all because of the award!
After that trip, Jill and I worked hard on putting together our best set of music for “A Night On The Farm” at a new outdoor concert venue “The Underground Ranch” on September 2nd. This was the first show featuring live bands at the Venue and we had an absolute blast!
I late October Jill and I headed to Nashville for 3 days to meet with a couple of producers, songwriters and record company executives. While there we attended Jennifer Mlott’s release party for You’re My Everything. From there we headed north to Columbus, Indiana for The Who’s Hoo Country Music Awards Show.
Since then, I’ve been working hard on finishing the album, which should be released in January of 2024. I’ve released the single “The Storyteller” which has garnered rave reviews and reached the number one spot on numerous radio charts. Coming up, I have a great beach tune “A Beach and You” that will be released on New Years Eve. This song already has received great reviews from Music Bloggers and Radio Stations. If you haven’t had an opportunity to listen to any of my latest releases, you can go to my website www.toddapfel.com and listen to them.
So what does 2024 have in store for me? My new album will be released early in the year. I’m working on a spring/summer tour (if you know of any venues that you would like to see me perform at, please feel free to either let them know or pass the information on to me), I’m going to be hosting a weekly live show from the studio where I’ll be introducing a lot of the new songs we’ve been working on and telling the stories behind these songs!
So in review, 2023 has been an amazing year! I have become friends with so many artists, producers, publicists, bloggers, radio personalities and especially you my fans! I’m not saying this to brag but to be thankful to have all you wonderful people in my life. I would like to say thank you to each and everyone of you!
Have a great 2024 my friends!