I have always loved singing. As far back as I can remember, when I would hear a song I liked, I would sing it over and over until I could emulate every nuance of the singer's performance. (Ask my wife. I have a perpetual bruise on my right shoulder from singing while she's trying to sleep during long road trips.) However, even though I've always been a singing fool, the songs on this CD came as a complete surprise to me. In fact, many of them arrived whole in my mind, melody, lyrics and all. A few times, I thought I was losing my marbles. Then I realized when love is strong enough, inspiration comes naturally and easily.
Though I have sung professionally on stage - most notably a musical produced by the late Betty Garrett and Milton Berle - and I have entertained my next-door neighbors from my shower for years (police have been called out on occasion), this is my first adventure into the world of songwriting and in-studio singing, after finding myself wildly, uncontrollably, ridiculously inspired by my first child, Marli Rose. The result is Great Big World, 15 original songs celebrating children and parenting. Ten of the songs are fun/silly and five are sentimental. In other words, you'll laugh and cry, but only the good kind of tears.
These songs also surprised me because I'm a writer. Though I play guitar and sing for my own entertainment, I never considered doing a CD until I saw my daughter and the songs gushed out of me like the Trevi Fountain in Rome.
I was concerned that a few of the songs were too "mushy" but decided that there is no limit when it comes to expressing the love a parent feels for his or her child. In fact, it is a love that transcends words. So these songs are my humble attempt to come as close as possible to expressing the inexpressible.
To summarize - please buy my CD. Marli eats a lot. It's a little frightening, actually.
Because the songs on Great Big World are very lyric-driven, here are a few reviews on my writings.
"You write with such clarity and feeling, you can make the readers remember THEIR feelings down to the smallest details. That is the mark of a true writer. I think the greatest compliment I ever received was by a fellow who said "You got a knapsack full of living, boy." I pass that on to you. You have that same knapsack, and the way you can reach into it and pull out the memories is worthy of applause. You certainly have mine."
- Michael M.
"Holy God. This is one of the most powerful poems I have ever read. You have captured faith, doubt, strength and weakness so deftly that I was swept into the POV. Amazing work. If I ever write something half that good, I'll be a happy man."
- M. Talesian
"Thanks for sharing a wisdom that often takes a lifetime to learn."
- Naena R.
"I find you to be a thoughtful man who questions, looks to the right sources for answers, and shares the world through his eyes and pen in a wonderful balance of rhyme and storytelling. Your works are a peaceful rest upon which to reflect."
- Jane W.
"This was very, very thought-provoking and opens up a whole new line of thinking for me."
- Kerry C.
"I am so impressed. I always recognize a truly great piece of poetry because I am left thinking, "Damn, I wish I'd said that!" You did it to me again. Thanks so much for sharing this profound and compelling poem."
- Debbie M.
"I believe you are one of the very best narrative poets on this site."
- D.P. Robertson
"You have an incredible ability to stir emotions with your words. You have made me laugh, made me look inside myself and think, you have made me sad, made me happy . . . and now you have made me cry. I love your writings so much. They are all so personal to me in some way and there is always something or many things within your words that I relate to. I am so glad that you came here. You are a joy to know and a wonder to behold."
- Janet S.
"You simply amaze me time and time again. This poem touches on so many subjects but still stays true to its intent. I love it! Every time I read your work, I am inspired to stick with it and continue writing and aspiring to be that much better."
- Adam M.
"You write with such talented ease, I just find myself shaking my head in awe when I finish reading a piece of yours. The rhymes seem to come to you right out of nowhere. You're a poet that never seems to run out of inspiration . . . inspiring others as you go along. Thanks for expressing what I could not."
- Cheryl P.
"You have a beautiful, caring spirit that is revealed in your poetry. Timeless words that have the ability to touch many more than you will ever know." - Ellie N.
"I got a rush today. My best friend, who carries an immense personal load, thanked me for emailing this poem. He thought every line was speaking to him right where he lived. He thought I knew or was lead by God to send it. I was trying a simpler technique (I'm an neophyte on computer) and thought the lines about people being what they are might help him as he is often ashamed to be human. He is a gifted skeptic and says he is ready to become a christian and has asked me to help him. Thanks so much for making yourself transparent, vulnerable, humble, and leading the way."
- Mike R.
"Just like there is a difference between a person who can draw and a true artist, or someone who can sing and a true soprano, there is a difference between one who can write and one who is a true creative genius. You, sir, are a true poet. You paint a picture and you tell a story in verse to create imagery in the mind that will stay . . . magical.”
- Shirley M.
"What I truly admire most about what little I have read of your poetry so far is the compassion that is so prominent in your work. If more people had your level of sincerity and love for people, this world would be a whole lot better off. I think many of us could learn a lesson or two from you, as I certainly have."
- Don B.
”If I didn't know better, I'd think this piece was written by Longfellow. It has the passion and certitude of his "Psalm of Life" and its undeniable truth as well, I think. You are definitely one of the "New Masters" in my book.”
- Debbie L.