Brighter Day

“Brighter Day” releases today on Spotify! Thank you for doing this experiment wrestling the algorithms. Will you go and listen on Spotify today? Share it with your friends? Add it to your playlists? Give this song a warm welcome to the world and send it far and wide? Tell me in comments below what this song makes you feel? What it reminds you of? Stories it evokes?

It seems like a long time

Since we first began

Lord knows I’ve been trying

To do the best I can

I can’t always take the high road

I don’t always make the grade

But I can always hope tomorrow

Will be a brighter day

Everytime I talk about it

Words fall empty on the floor

I don’t blame you if you doubt it

You’ve heard it all before

I can’t always take the high road

I don’t always make the grade

But I can always hope tomorrow

Will be a brighter day

So take my tired tales and tinder

And light a fire in my soul

Cause I’ve been sinking under

Don’t know how much further I can go

I can’t always take the high road

I don’t always make the grade

But I can always hope tomorrow

Will be a brighter day

Forest Sun - Vocals and Acoustic Guitar 

Ingrid Serban - Harmony Vocals 

Rob Hooper - Drums 

Gawain Mathews - National Guitar, Bass, Harmony Vocals 

Produced by Gawain Mathews and Forest Sun 

Mixed by Gawain Mathews at Gawain Mathews Studios 

Mastered by Justin Weis

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Baby Don't Worry (We'll Be All Right)

Aw... April...showers and flowers here in California. What's it like where you are?

Here is your new monthly song to put a spring in your step.

Baby, Don't Worry (We'll Be All Right)

Who does it remind you of?

I will keep putting out a new song every month thanks to my Kickstarter backers with the full record releasing in October. Click here for all the songs so far. See the Tour calendar for a show near you or give a shout if you want to host a house concert! I am doing my best to bring this music to you live and in person.

yours in song,




Baby, Don’t Worry (We’ll Be All Right) .jpeg



follow the love

As these days flow by I wake each morning feeling the press in my chest to make the most of the time I am here. To follow the love. To bring this music to you if I can. To be available to life. To share my art and my heart. To meet you in person instead of on a screen. To look you in the eye and share that infinite wonder that we are here at all. 

Here are some ways you can help bring this music to you and the world:

1.Invite me to come play! Host a house concert. Request that they book me at your favorite venue or festival. Write me back and we'll make it happen.

2.Help get me from here to there! Have extra frequent flyer miles you'd like to donate? Own an airbnb I can stay in on my way through? Have a cabin in the woods or a spot perfect for recovering from the road and writing songs where I can stay a while? Let me know.

3.Share my music with your friends. What's your favorite song of mine? Post about it and tell me? Call your favorite local radio and ask them to play my music. Follow me on you tube for the latest videos. Share them with your friends! Follow and share any of the social media below that suits your fancy.

4. Make a contribution. Love is more important than money!  But won't pay for my airline ticket.  I love that my music is always there for you for the asking with just a click.  The music is free everywhere now. Making the music and bringing it to you is not. Your support makes it all possible. If the link doesn't work you can PayPal me to

5. Come to a show! In a room. With other people. Not in your house. (Unless your hosting :))  Sing along. Clap your hands. Stomp your feet. Come say hello. 

I know there are a million songwriters and I feel lucky that you like my music and care enough to be on this list. I don't take it for granted. Thank you!

Check the tour page for shows I've booked so far for this year. Don't see your town? What can we cook up?

The video is a live version of my song "Magpie" recorded in an aspen grove in Colorado.  It feels like a civil war era murder ballad to me. Looking forward to playing with the marvelous David G. Tiller on mandolin and Enion Pelta-Tiller on violin again next month in New Mexico (dates and ticket links on the tour page). The song has only been released as part of the kickstarter a few years back. If you want me to send you that cd or a download I will.

I will keep putting out a new song every month (See below for all the songs so far)

Write me back or this conversation starts to feel a bit one sided. Like I'm just mumbling into the abyss of the endless cyber world of echos and wandering ghosts. I like hearing from you.



If our time is over

Shout out today to the phenomenal Alex Budman. Alex played and arranged all the horns on my brand new song:

He really gave it the Ray CharlesOtis Redding vibe I was going for. I first met Alex in college (UC Santa Cruz) playing together in a funk band with Maya Rudolph. I was rapping and playing percussion. We even opened for No Doubt at the The Catalyst Club before I left for Spain to study art. Maya went on to Saturday Night Live and an illustrious career in film. Alex Budman has become THE session cat for sax in LA. You can hear him on records by D'AngeloElvis Costello and Mavis Staples just to name a few. Here is Alex and me doing a porch session a few years back (see below) Yeah, he plays a swinging clarinet like nobodies business, too. I miss having you nearby for hikes up Mount.TamalpaisAlex! LA is lucky to have you. Come visit soon.



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My Dad

He chopped wood with keyboardist Garth Hudson from THE BAND. He was housemates with fellow musicians Maria Muldaur and Geoff Muldaur. He literally built the floor that Bob Dylan and countless others stood on in manager Albert Grossman’s Bearsville music studio near Woodstock,NY... but missed out on meeting Dylan because of an untimely case of excessive flatulence brought on by his home cooked, home grown, garden picked beans. He was my first guitar teacher. He studied buddhism in Nepal. Lived on the Navajo Reservation. Worked on a farm still run with Clydesdale horses. Had four kids. Was an epic gardener who grew his own food. Raised turkeys. Hitchhiked by himself to Alaska. He was an artist and a carpenter and a mechanic. He was a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war. He practiced Aikido and Tai Chi. When I was 14 we drove together in a 1954 chevy pickup from New Mexico to Vermont. The truck couldn’t go over 45 miles per hour. We had to leave it running when we got gas and park on a hill so we could get it started again. The huge red wooden box he built on the back carrying all his world possessions later was turned into a chicken coop. He lost three older siblings to cystic fibrosis and his father to a brain tumor by the time he was twelve. He had a great laugh and twinkle in his eye. He never hurried. He was a wizard.

He was my father and I loved him and miss him already.

There will be a concert in his honor and celebration of his life January 25th at the Emporium Wines & The Underdog Cafe where he played music every Sunday for the last 8 years. Music an performances by Amelia MarieSchumacher, Eben SchumacherOlin SchumacherCarl SchumacherBruce SchumacherTeresa SchumacherTucki BaileyForest Sun and The Devils Backbone.


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One candle can light the darkness

One candle can light the darkness

Let me hear your voice so I know that I’m not alone

When I’m struggling, lost and hopeless

That little light gonna help me find my way home

When my heart’s in shadow

And the night is long

When I’ve lost the battle

And I can’t go on

When the storm clouds gather

And I can’t see the road

When my map’s in tatters

And I don’t know where to go

One candle can light the darkness

Let me hear your voice so I know that I’m not alone

When I’m struggling, lost and hopeless

That little light gonna help me find my way home

When I’m adrift on the ocean

So far from land

When I can't see the horizon

And I need a helping hand

I see the sun rising

I hear the morning dove song

For fools and for wise men

It’s always darkest before the dawn

One candle can light the darkness

Let me hear your voice so I know that I’m not alone

When I’m struggling, lost and hopeless

That little light gonna help me find my way home




a fine December...

I am doing a pay what you want holiday sale! Pay what you want for any of my music. Cd's. Vinyl. Downloads. Gifts for friends. What ever you want. This music was made to be listened to. Just put any amount you would like to pay here. And let me know what to send you. I will personally package it up and take it down to the post office in time for the holidays.




Kickstarter Fully Funded!

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…we past our 20k goal for making this new record! I couldn’t have done it without you. If you missed it and would still like to contribute go here: “Support My Music “ . Donate any amount and I will send you a new song every month culminating in the new album!




crows calling early this morning sent me stumbling out the door



My Dad taught me this Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers song on a visit to Ohio last January. October is Tom's birthday month and the month he left us also. Seems only right to offer this tribute now. I love singing harmonies with Kelly McFarling and Lia Rose and how Gawain Mathews captures the piano melody from Tom's original on the mandolin. Big shout out to my porch sessions sponsors so far ( Steven Tsai and Dawn Shalhoup and Ron-you rock!) Be a sponsor, too? Help keep the music and songs and videos coming at my Kickstarter?

Only a little over a week left to reach my goal so go right now!

Keep the music alive!

You make it all possible!

Yours in love and songs,


P.S. I've added a new reward.  Acoustic duo house concerts in there Bay Area and Beyond! Would you like to host a house concert? Let me know!  We'll make it happen!

Above photo by Ron Shalhoup at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass



New Song for You


View in a web browser


One week into the Kickstarter! It's been such a gift to hear from you all and feel your love and hear your stories of the first time we met or the first time you heard my music.  Write me back!  I love hearing from you.

As a thank you to you who have pledged already (and to tempt you if you haven't yet), I offer you this song. "Windowsill". Supporters of my Kickstarter will get a new song every month culminating in a new album. I know you like your music free and easy. And I know you want to make sure that the music keeps coming!

Thank you for your care and for sharing with friends far and wide! May music help heal our hearts and our planet.


Here is there link to the Kickstarter 

 For your free new song just click this link:

Yours in love and songs,


P.S. I've added a new painting as a reward. The  painting I sent you last week, "Color of  Morning",  has been pledged for! This new piece is called. "Under the Same Moon" Acrylic on Canvas 12" by 12" and can be all yours with your pledge.

Under The Same Moon



New Forest Sun songs come to life! A new song every month for a year culminating in a new album.

Seven years. They say that's how long it takes for every cell in your body to change. It's been seven years since I made my last full album.  It is time now.  It takes a lot to make a record. To listen to the soft calls of songs waiting to be born. To trust my own hands and voice to do them justice. To breath life into stories and melodies. To feel the rhythm. To hear the harmony.

I am excited and a little frightened to share these songs with you. I feel proud and vulnerable at the same time. 

You surprised me with your love and generosity for my last project putting out Vinyl. It feels good to see people hold that record in their hands now. To know they get to have that moment of watching it spin and putting the needle down.  So thank you for that.  And it isn't easy for me to ask you to support another record. There is a lot of places we can put our money to do some good in the world.  I do think the world needs good music now more than ever.  I know I do.  Music has been my best and closest friend. Music is always there for me. Through some of the hardest times of my life, and some of the most joyful.  It means a lot to me to be able to share that with you.

So check out the rewards.. Give what feels right to you or not all. Either way thank you for taking an interest enough to visit this page Thanks for telling people about it and sharing, too. 

Yours in gratitude,




Happy Independence!



Happy Independence Day!

Sending lot's of love on this day of independence. It occurs to me that perhaps none of us are as independent as we'd like to imagine we are. We all share this little blue ball floating through space, circling the sun. But it sure is nice to have the freedom to choose your own way isn't it? We all need that sense of autonomy and agency in our lives to feel happy. That's what this holiday reminds me of.

I've been working as a film composer on a soundtrack for a film, writing new songs, painting, swimming as often as I can to stay sane, and enjoying being home in the redwoods again after so much travel this last year. 

Some musical performances and an art show coming up. Would love to see you there.

July 13   Music on The Square, Cooper Creek, Winter Park, Colorado

July 14  Winter Park House Concerts, Winter Park, Colorado

Colorado shows with David Tiller and Enion Pelta Tiller of Taarka on mandolin and violin.

July 29 Socket Sessions in San Jose, California

with Mike Mullins on guitar and mandolin

Aug 2 Redwood Grove Music Series Berkeley, California 

with Gawain Mathews on guitar and mandolin.  The indomitable Chris Smither headlines.

Links to get tickets are at

I'm am excited to share new art work with you! August 4th is the opening reception for Color Works- a group show at Marin Museum of Modern Art featuring some of my new paintings. I'll be there.  Come sip wine and oggle the art and show me your best art contemplation face. Here is a taste of one of my new paintings entitled "Color of Morning".



As always thank you for being part of my life, my art and my music.

Whats happening with you? Write me back if you like? I love hearing from you.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM for the latest and greatest photos and such.

Lots of love, 



Bonjour from Paris- and a song for you


(from Dec 18., 2017)

Bonjour from Paris!

  I'm here working on the soundtrack for an upcoming film. The weather has been cold and gray and wintery. My favorite things about Paris so far:

Chambelland Bakery – On Rue Ternaux- the best gluten free bakery I’ve every been to. I love it.

Shakespeare and Company. Great bookstore! They published James Joyce’s Ulysses back in the day. James Joyce’s son married my great grandmother so I have a special connection with this place. I actually read all of Ulysses in college (yeah I’m bragging a little). What a tome of stream of consciousness! A log of how our minds work – both awake and asleep. My great grandfather was a publisher in Paris in the twenties. He published Ernest Hemingway and had a fling with Peggy Guggenheim.  Many great poets and writers have actually lived and written in the Shakespeare and Co. bookstore throughout the years. I just bought the new Phillip Pullman book there, which I quickly devoured.

Riding a borrowed 10 speed bicycle through the Bois de Vincennes with our Editor Pierre (him on his unicycle). Pedaling through the wintery sunlight of a December afternoon.

 The Eiffel tower – maybe it’s corny but I love the feeling up there and the panoramic views of the city.

It’s been quite a year. Working on two films. Travels to Transylvania, Zurich, Egypt, Lugano, Lisbon, San Sebastian, Kentucky, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New York. Playing shows in Minnesota and California. 

All the motion and jet lag can be exhausting, but I am grateful to be working on interesting creative projects and experiencing new places, people and languages.

Highlights for me this last year have been:

Swimming with dolphins in the Red Sea. Riding a camel at sunset with a view of the Giza pyramids. Sunrise on an Arabian horse galloping through the desert in Saqqara. Singing with Ingrid and the bats inside the sound pyramid at Dashur. Swimming in a salt lake in Turda, Romania. Jumping naked in the ocean after hiking down to a hidden beach in Portugal. Daily sprints up the stone steps and diving in the lake in the tiny village of Gandria towards the south of Switzerland near the border of Italy. Evening tapas and morning rainbows in San Sebastien, Spain. So tasty.

May this be a joyous holiday for you and yours. Here is a free song for you that I hope brings a smile to your face and a bounce to your step in spite of it all. Thanks to my kickstarter backers for making it possible.

“Oh What Joy”

The painting of mine below is called “Revelry”. Sometimes you just need to laugh in the face of all that gets you down. This piece and more of my paintings and artwork is available for sale at the online gallery



As always thank you for being part of my life and my music.

Write me back if you like. I love hearing from you.

Follow me on INSTAGRAM for travel photos and such.


Lots of love, 
Forest                        Photo by Ingrid Serban


Putumayo presents Acoustic America


Putumayo presents Acoustic America

What an honor to be on this compilation with folks I grew up listening to! Sonny Terry and Brownie MGhee are folk blues legends that played in my great uncles living room in Boston, Massachusetts before I was born. They were filming an episode of Pete Seger's television show. Joan Baez was there, too. and made a big impression on my mom who was there in the audience and just 17 at the time.

I had a cassette of Doc Watson I used to listen to on my Walkman.

Life keeps moving and the music plays on. 

So many great artists on this CD.

Here's a version of the song Putumayo chose for the compilation :

"Change My Tune" from the Porch Sessions with special guest Erik Yates on Accordion.


1–Luke Winslow-KingYou Don't Know Better Than Me

2–Sonny Terry & Brownie McGheeI Was Born With The Blues

3–Jeffrey FoucaultLodi

4–Forest SunChange My Tune

5–Buck HowdyShenandoah

6–Doc WatsonSitting On Top Of The World

7–Eden BrentGoodnight Moon

8–Justin RutledgeYear Of Jubilo

9–Red Horse Feat. Eliza GilkysonJohn Gorka and Lucy KaplanskyWayfaring Stranger

10–Guy Davis (3)Everything Is Gonna Be Alright

11–The Jim Kweskin Band w/ Samoa WilsonSome Of These Days

12–Clay CumbieHere's To The Journey


Songs For Laura


Songs For Laura

"The real meaning of enlightenment is to gaze with undimmed eyes on all darknesses. " (Kazantzakis)

Laura left her body in 2008…two years later than the doctors said she had to live. She died at home as she requested. My brother and I got to spend a week with her in the hospital and say goodbye. She couldn't speak but I know she could hear. I brought my guitar and we sang her favorite songs.  She was  courageous and beautiful...and she is missed. I am immensely grateful to the artists who donated their songs to help raise funds and awareness for cancer treatment - It's a wonderful compilation that I know you will love.

I believe in the healing power of music.

I am grateful for how music can bring us together and be a powerful solace during a rough time.  Songs for Laura is dedicated to my mothers memory and to anyone who is traveling that hard road now. 

Songs for Laura is proud to support these organizations doing good work in the community:

Nancy's List

The Keep a Breast Foundation

If you or someone you know is going through cancer and would like a Songs for Laura cd or download just let me know and I will send it to you.












1. Sean Hayes – Flowering Spade
2. ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) – Maria
3. Brett Dennen – When I Go
4. Forest Sun – Be Kind to You
5. Shane Alexander – Spaces in Between
6. Matt the Electrician – Happy Ending
7. Beth Waters – Forms of the Truth
8. Tom Freund – Other Plans
9. Danny Schmidt – This to Shall Pass
10. AJ Roach – Devil May Dance
11. Anais Mitchell – Mockingbird
12. Alex Goldfarb – Be Water
13. Devon Sproule – The Weeping Willow
14. Paul Curreri – A Song On Robbing
15. Gavin Glass – Ragdoll
16. Four Year Bender – Southern Smile
17. The Mammals – Haircut Money
18. Elam Blackman – It’s Okay to Be Alone
19. Libby Kirkpatrick – Jenny’s Eyes









1. Heather & The Barbarians – Nightsong
2. Rachel Ries – Lonely Spires
3. Peter Bradley Adams – Teresa
4. Larkin Gayl – Warrior
5. Michael Zapruder – Harbor Saints
6. Alexis Harte – Slow
7. Quincy Coleman – Sleep Late
8. Kris Delmhorst – Strangers
9. The Blank Tapes – It’s So Hard To Let Go
10. Samantha Crain – The River
11. The Bittersweets – Houston
12. Jesse Aycock – Take Me In Your Arms
13. Noelle Hampton – Blackwing Butterfly
14. Jesse DeNatale – Soul Parade
15. Will Conner – Sweet Girl
16. Jared Tyler – Dancer
17. Clare Muldaur – Leave My Man Alone
18. Easton Stagger Phillips- Goodbye Blues
19. Carrie Elkin – Gospel Song
20. JT And The Clouds – Cup of Codeine
21. Jolie Holland – Mehitabel’s Blues
22. Tim Easton – All The Pretty Girls Leave Town