The maturation of Max12/18/2013
Max Wellman was a wunderkind. His first EP, “Comes Love,” dropped in his 18th year of life. The following year saw the release of a live album, and his sold-out show at Hoyt Sherman Place.
Then, frankly, the brakes got pumped.
Wellman still worked his butt off, performing every chance he could and always drawing crowds, but the results haven’t been as resounding as expected. This past year was supposed to change that. Wellman booked another show at Hoyt Sherman and was gearing up to take the next big step. But it hasn’t happened quite that way.
“I (still) feel a part of this community, and I don’t think that has changed,” Wellman said. “But I misjudged — and I continued to misjudge — how much of the widespread popularity was based on my ridiculously young age.”
Which isn’t to call Wellman, 22, an old man. But with three more years of travels, tours and performances under his belt, Wellman has the foresight (and hindsight) to see more clearly where he is and where he’s headed. And it’s given him a measure of peace.
“I had to finally admit that I didn’t like the way things have been,” he said. “I’m a very stubborn person, and I tend to get too proud. It’s like giving in, to change course. I prided myself so much on the business success of what I did the first couple of years, so it bothered me to see that slipping away a bit.
“I’m not setting those benchmarks anymore. I’m going to focus on the music. I don’t want it to be such a business.”
The fresh outlook begins immediately at this week’s “Home for the Holidays” show. It’s an event that Wellman’s been looking forward to for months and one that’s going to double as an album release event for his new CD, “You Must Believe in Spring.”
How fitting. Springtime is the age of rebirth and fresh beginnings, and that’s where a freshly rejuvenated Wellman seems to be now.
“I feel really good about my standing as a musician right now, and that’s enough for me. Once you start to kind of feel out your own identity, you don’t need someone constantly saying, ‘Oh, that’s really good.’ ”
It’s springtime for Max Wellman. And he believes. CV