Singer-songwriter Scot Sax will share the bill with Hillis.
Hillis, 42, a full-time performer, was born in Wilmington, grew up in Rehoboth and currently lives Phoenixville, Pa. He boasts a resume that includes his song “Shake Me Down” appearing in Lopez’s film “Enough.”
In addition, his tunes “So Much To Tell You” and “All These Memories” appeared in the critically-acclaimed TV series “Party of Five,” while his tracks “Go Go Go” and “So Much To Tell You” were featured in the series “Life Unexpected.”
With a new album under his belt, “Dream Good,” Hillis explained what the project is bringing to the table and more.
Q Why the title “Dream Good?”
A Somebody had sent me a list of New Year’s resolutions that Woody Guthrie wrote down in like 1943 and all the crazy things he wrote. One of them was “dream good.” I thought that was pretty cool — it’s obviously bad grammar — but it’s funny and gets the point across and has a positive vibe. So I thought that was cool.
Q Can you give us a glimpse of your set at the Kennett Flash?
A That’s going to be a slightly stripped-down show with my friend Greg Maragos playing keyboard. I do believe my friend Shelley Weiss will be playing violin; it’ll be a trio show. We’ll probably be doing half of the songs from the new record.
Q How did your approach to this album differ from your previous project, “The Long Now?”
A On the last one, “The Long Now,” songs were of a similar vibe — not that these are hugely different. But thematically I wrote a wider variety of songs. And I feel like they all fit together. But it’s a little more obtuse than the last record [laughs].
Q What are some of the stories you’re telling on “Dream Good?”
A A lot of it is life experience. And as I’m going on in life, I’m kind of questioning what we’re all here for.
Q And what’s your conclusion?
A The main one is the more time you spend worrying about that stuff, the less time you have to actually enjoy your life.
Q Name some other thoughts or experiences you encountered that inspired you to create the album.
A I try not to dwell on it, but in 2006 I lost both of my parents within a short amount of time in the same year. I went through some heavy life-experiences back then, so this [album] certainly reflects immortality and that sort of stuff and how your life changes drastically when you don’t have your parents around. That had a lot to do with it. I’ve been living in Phoenixville for the last eight years. My wife and I really like it, so we’ve met a bunch of new people, new friends and that’s sort of like change and growth.
Q How have you been able to stay strong and continue with your music career?
A For a while I definitely wrote some depressing songs. And for a good while I didn’t do a damn thing. But later I started figuring out that life goes on. Even though it’s something you think about everyday, you can’t let it ruin the rest of your life. You try to turn around and make the best of it.
Q Since you’re a full-time performer, what bits of wisdom could you share with someone who’s interested in living a similar lifestyle?
A It’s probably good to be well-rounded and be able to do a variety of things. I’ve worked at studio-engineering as much as I’ve worked at songwriting and performing. So that’s good, because then you can find other avenues in music. Also, if somebody is just writing songs and wants to kind of rule the world, I’d say write what you believe in, because I know plenty of people from over the years I’ve crossed paths with who basically are trying to write a hip song that’s the cool, current thing. But if you try to do that, by the time you’ve written your song, the cool, current thing changes. And I’ve seen people chasing that a lot. The stuff I write may not be considered the coolest at any given time, but I feel good about it. I feel like I’m writing from the heart and in certain places it worked for me.