(What's Mike's style like? Think Vince Gill mating with the Mavericks, after having gone through puberty 3 more times.)
"Elvis meets Gordon Lightfoot", says Geri Koeppel, feature writer for the East Valley Tribune (Phoenix/Mesa/Apache Junction).
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. The road to the completion of this 14 song CD had its hills and valleys, its twists and turns. The result is an outpouring of the heart.
After 4 years of marriage, my daughter Monica moved back into the bedroom she grew up in. A few days later, I asked her what that felt like. If she had not shared her feelings with me that day, "The Glass Slippered Dream" could never have been written.
Not long ago, my sweetheart Marjean flew to Nashville to join me on my tour. I had that night off, so I took her to Tootsie's, behind the Grand Ole Opry, where all of yesteryear's country stars used to hang out. We couldn't get in. The place was packed solid, all the way to the door. It was hopeless. But when the band began playing a slow song, I took Marjean in my arms, and we began "slow-dancing on the sidewalk in the moonlight." I finished the lyrics for "Time Is Standing Still" a few weeks later, but I was stumped for a melody. Thanks to a 3-hour music creating session with the talented Bruno Grossi, the song was completed in time to be put on this CD. Oh, by the way, the song that the band at Tootsie's was playing that night when I slow-danced with Marjean was He Stopped Loving Her Today. Go figure!!!
I happened to be in Laughlin, Nevada one weekend during a Harley rally. You could have combed your hair in your reflection off of the chrome. As I watched these riders cruise down the boulevard, outnumbering cars
100 to 1, whimsical thoughts entered my head. The first real thought to codify was "you and tattoo Charlie, climbed on board his Harley, and I watched your blonde hair slowly disappear", which became the opening line for
While we were shooting slides to show at my concerts when I sang this song, my Harley rider Dick, his wife Linda, and his daughter Kelorie told me of how Kelorie's husband was killed in a biker accident, and of how many biker groups showed up at the funeral in love and support. Dick's grandson, Mikey, was with us that day, 17 years old. He was 4 when his dad died. Thanks to this life-sharing conversation, "A Miracle of Love" was born.
Many of us have feelings of love for the artists that created the music that touched us the most.
"Dear John" is my tribute to the musical genius of one of my foremost heroes, Johnny Cash.
Misdirected love has been the subject of many, many songs, but very few have taken the comical, cartoonish turn that "Juanita's Cantina" takes.
I've loved Jim Reeves' music for many years, so we've included "Gypsy Feet" and "Adios Amigo". Enrique Iglesias has impressed me greatly, and I really enjoy singing "Hero" and "Rhythm Divine". Neil Diamond's influence has a thread in my style, and I've thoroughly enjoyed bringing you "Song Sung Blue".
Truly great songwriters created all of the songs in the above paragraph. But the song "Runnin' In the West", written by my friend Sam Lowe and his co-writers, proves that not all great songwriters are famous.
And just in case you don't believe that creative people are a delightful combination of Einstein and Elmer Fudd, consider combining the styles of Rock'n'Roll pioneer Buddy Holly, and old-time country great Hank Williams, in the first song on this CD.
All in all, this 14-song project has been a tremendous effort, inspired by love, and powered by the creative excellence of my cousin-in-law (or is that out-law?) Rich Eames, a well-known Los Angeles keyboardist and composer.
My hope is that you will experience many enjoyable hours listening to this CD, and that it will always leave you with "A Wink and a Smile".