Some thoughts ont this new CD:
This collection was culled from the songs I wrote over the past 10 years or more. I started several other projects but trashed them all before they were released. Now I’ve finally put together a CD of all original songs (I do have 2 CD’s of original blues though). The problem I had for this CD is that I wrote many songs over the years and had to decide which ones I’d put on this CD. These songs are not a collection of the best ones I’ve written but they're the songs I felt I needed to put out first and they work or sit together, if you will, as a whole.
One song I’d like to mention is the ballad/love song, “Let’s Take a Ride” . One night while I was sleeping I just jumped out of bed grabbed my guitar and in one fell swoop wrote this song. The harmony, lyrics and melody came all at once including the verses, chorus and bridge! Of course I did a little tweeking but it was all there. That probably won’t happen again. It might not be as amazing as Townes Van Zandt’s story how in a dream he saw himself in a café playing a song and ½ -a-sleep rolled over and wrote it down. In the morning he could play the entire song but it is still amazing to me.
I’ve written several odes or tributes to various people over the years and included two here. “Wild Child” (the Ballad of Brian Power) is a remembrance to an urban legend; someone I grew up with and knew very well. He was an exciting and very funny guy who was crazy dangerous and deeply flawed. I predicted (to him) his demise would be a car crash and so it happen.
“Gypsy Girl” (ode to Ani DiFranco) was inspired by a radio interview with DiFranco that I happened to hear. I was always surprised back in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s that very few girls we’re involved with Rock Music. I always thought they would have a lot to say from their own perspective. Listening to Ani’s articulate conversation about her music and life was an eye opener and inspired me to write this song. She is one of the torch bearers and today there are many women rock artists doing their thing.
On the 40th anniversary of the Kent State killings (5/04/2010) I wrote the song “13 Seconds 67 Shots”. I composed the song in a style similar to Neil Young’s classic song Ohio in order to conjure up the mood and create an image of that place and time. I might be 40 years late but I still feel angry that so many witnesses covered up the truth.
Even though most of the songs on the CD are not topical or political I included three that address some huge event in modern American history. I feel the songs stand up musically and artistically separately from the historical topic though. The three topical songs that I included are as follows:
On the 40th anniversary of the Kent State killings (5/04/2010) I wrote the song “13 Seconds 67 Shots”. I composed the song in a style similar to Neil Young’s classic song Ohio in order to conjure up the mood and create an image of that place and time. I might be 40 years late but I still feel angry that so many witnesses lied and covered up the truth.
Another one of the topical songs on the CD has to do with the after math of Hurricane Katrina. I lived in New Orleans many years ago and have visited the city various times since then. I love that place and everything about it. The culture the music the food the nightlife and the people are all magical to me and when I saw what seemed like an attempted land grab and just very shady goings on I had to write a song in tribute to the Crescent City. I think the song will sound beautiful to a listener whether they are familiar with the topic or not.
I’m finishing the project with a song I wrote on 9/11/01 after the terrorist bombing of the world trade center. I think it’s intense and points a finger at religious fanatics and the danger the pose…it’s written with a type of sarcastic humor i.e. “Tall buildings must cause him pain, We got to help God fly his plane, Cause he's not really trained, He don't know where to land that thing”
Well, that’s it for my political slash topical songs on this CD. I really haven’t written many songs of this type and probably won’t do too much of this type of writing in the future...who knows. I write songs because I love songs and I love to write them. Usually I don’t need a big important reason to write one. My big reason is; that I love songs and the art of songwriting. I think that’s a big enough reason and maybe more profound than just looking for the "big story"…one's expression and life work is the big story...at least for me.