welcome to the latest addition to my musical output. I started "Life" in 2011 but with a new job, and the usual life stuff it took a while to organize putting the album out. Thank you to any one who listens and I hope you find something you like in the 13 songs I've put together here.
I play/program all the instruments, vocals, plus the mixing and production etc.
I'm going to add a few comments on each for anyone who's interested in that kind of stuf (I usually am myself when I buy an album). Before that, thanks as always to the usual gang - Ben, Amy, Katie and Alex, my wonderful progeny. To my family for their support - Mum, Dad, Angie, Joanne and families. I've also been blessed with an inordinate number of great friends who's encouragement and positive vibrations have kept me onward bound.
Finally, to Amanda, without whom....
1) "Life And Everything Inbetween" - put this music together and found myself humming the title while mixing the tracks, which then became the lyric you hear here. Putting some perspective on the epic journey we're all on.
2) "Into The Wild" - LOVED the film of the same name, by Sean Penn. The film inspired my approach to composing the music (so somewhere along the way Eddie Vedder should get a nod of appreciation too). Oddly enough, I wrote this music the same day I wrote the music for "Ammolite" and "The Night Dreamer". I can still remember sitting at my keyboard in the conservatory at the house in Kells where I'd relocated my equipment from out of the walk in wardrobe!
3) "Passionate From The Start" - I wrote the lyrics for this virtually word for word on my iPhone one night. I was in Italy on a writers week with the legend that is Chris Difford from Squeeze, and myself and Scottish gentleman Graeme Murray worked out the tune. We sang it later that evening for the crew and it was a lot of fun, after we'd totally screwed up the first attempt. It was the first time I'd sang a lyric of mine in front of an audience. Scary!
This version has my first banjo solo.
4) "Ammolite" - This was originally an exercise in sound collage. For the subject content I started with "acolyte" which then became the metaphor based on the rare gemstone of the title.
5) "Hide Me Away" - The second last edition to the album (replacing "Pretty Monsters" which thematically didn't fit). I'm not the greatest guitarist but I like my solo here at the end of the song. One of those type of songs written when confidence was low. Hopefully I get to turn the mood around with the next one
6) "I Don't Want To See You Anymore" - A bright and breezy little pop song which perked me up when putting it together. The lyric (if you read it cold) was very specific, but the Gods of composition threw this tune into my head and it all worked out pretty much as it is here. Last song added to this album to hopefully give some balance.
7) "Nights With Her" - Another co-write put together at the writers week in Italy. Andy Mills (and his conscience!) came up with the theme and I think I tried to musically place what became a "Roxanne" type theme with a James Brown type riff. Another great Scotsman, Tom Houston, wrote the first verse, I wrote the second and Andy wrote the last one. Again, modesty aside, I was very happy with my guitar solo here. My youngest child, Alex, is an extraordinary guitar player (at 15). I can always point back at this one and say "hey, yer ould fella didn't too bad there sunshine!" as he'd totally outstripped my abilities by his 15th birthday.
8) "The Night Dreamer" - another piece of music that a lyric developed over. Find it hard to draw a parallel to where this came from but sometimes I get a Jimmy Webb vibe channelled through Neil Diamond! Funny how things turn out!
9) "Sunday Morning" - An instrumental I put together with loops and progamming. I don't play anything on this except a computer! Wanted to create a sound collage with a vibe of winding down from the busy working week.
10) "Shadows" - A song I wrote in Italy. This was about 17 verses long originally!! Took several edits to get it down to this distilled version. The inspiration was a female addict in rehab. Rather than focus on her, I imagined how she might possibly have found herself in the situation she was in then and I added a completely different angle to it, which drives the conclusion of the story.
11) "She Cares About Me" - all about Amanda and the unbelievable support she gives me. I found it difficult to accept that anyone could seem to care about me so much, so I put some context around it. "She's as bright as the sun can be, I'm her 40 watt bulb, but my baby cares about me"
12) "Stay In Bed" - Another song that's inspired by my buddy. A different song structure but I found writing this a really nice experience. I wrote the lyric during the winter break from work in Dec '09 and came back to it with the melody in mid 2010.
13) "Outro.2" - On the original version of the album (which also included the songs "Howl" and "Anxious") this was the first track (of course! Why not introduce an album with an instrumental called Outro!). Another loop mash with my guitar played over the top of the thing. One of my favourite albums of all time, Bowies "Low", has similar type experiments. Maybe one day I'll get around to making the ambient record that lurks in my soul somewhere :)
Thanks again if you make it through the record. If you ever want to drop me a line you'll get me at email@example.com or check me out on Facebook.
May your God bless you, peace & love
June 4th 2012