Tobin Mueller | Song of Myself

Go To Artist Page

Recommended if You Like
James Taylor Leon Russell Mandy Patinkin

Album Links
Album & Song Notes/Lyrics

More Artists From
United States - United States

Other Genres You Will Love
Jazz: Jazz Vocals Easy Listening: Ballads Moods: Type: Vocal
There are no items in your wishlist.

Song of Myself

by Tobin Mueller

Moving and intimate interpretations of Tobin Mueller's favorite songs by his favorite artists. Plus original tunes. His weathered voice and unique piano add new meaning to each song.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Vocals
Release Date: 

We'll ship when it's back in stock

Order now and we'll ship when it's back in stock, or enter your email below to be notified when it's back in stock.
Sign up for the CD Baby Newsletter
Your email address will not be sold for any reason.
Continue Shopping
cd in stock order now
Buy 2 or more of this title and get 10% off
Share to Google +1

Tracks

Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.

To listen to tracks you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.

Sorry, there has been a problem playing the clip.

  song title
share
time
download
1. Impossible Dream
Share this song!
X
5:12 $0.99
2. Dignity
Share this song!
X
7:26 $0.99
3. American Tune
Share this song!
X
5:16 $0.99
4. Blue Tattoos
Share this song!
X
5:06 $0.99
5. Blackbird
Share this song!
X
3:58 $0.99
6. Being Alive
Share this song!
X
3:24 $0.99
7. Frozen Man
Share this song!
X
4:09 $0.99
8. I Have Been Deceived
Share this song!
X
6:10 $0.99
9. Let's Pretend
Share this song!
X
5:15 $0.99
10. Oh Danny Boy
Share this song!
X
5:40 $0.99
11. No Place Like Home
Share this song!
X
6:27 $0.99
12. Before There Were Gods
Share this song!
X
6:08 $0.99
preview all songs

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
In his poetry collection "Leaves of Grass," Walt Whitman wrote about his own death for many years before it actually ocurred. Similarly, these are songs I'd love to be able to play at my own funeral. It makes using Whitman's title "Song of Myself" all the more fitting.

These are personal interpretations, just me at my piano. My voice lacks the strength, control and range it had before my lungs began to shrink and fail, but the aged quality of the vocal performance has a depth and poignancy a younger voice may not be able to achieve. One of the criteria I used to choose these songs was that the lyrics work with my "new" voice. I also wanted to pay homage to my favorite songwriters. I hope the simplicity of a weathered solo voice and warm acoustic piano lends to each song a special intimacy.

Two tracks are hydrid songs, grafting lyrics from related songs by the artist that I thought worked well as textual implants. "Blue Tattoo" combines material from 5 Joni Mitchell songs under a single emotional concept, using "Blue" as the organizing principle. The other hydrid, "I Have Been Decieved," combines 3 Elton John songs into a single story line, the main framework being his 1969 "The King Must Die." My version of "Blackbird" integrates a moment from Joni Mitchell's "Woodstock," as well. In all cases, I'm trying to get at a deeper reading of specific lyrics. Sometimes I've altered the lyrics, is in Jon Anderson's "Let's Pretend." If you are familiar with his original lyrics, perhaps these changes will add a layer of hidden meaning.

"No Place Like Home," a fantasy inspired by Harold Arlen's "Over the Rainbow," is an instrumental, a duet for piano and soprano sax. Special thanks to my friend and collaborator Woody Mankowski for his marvelous playing.

The "bonus track" is a previously unreleased recording of my original song "Before There Were Gods," made following Michael Hedges' untimely death, with the blessings of his estate. It encorporates his amazing guitar work from "Lenono," with additions by me, including layered vocals. Unlike the other songs in this collection that are all recorded during 2011/2012, it was recorded in 2004, when I was breathing freely.

For additional liner notes, as well as lyrics and notes for each individual song, please see my official website.

Tobin Mueller


Reviews


to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Song of Myself" is a vocal and piano collection (mostly) of eleven of Tobin Mueller’s favorite cover songs plus an original bonus track. These are songs that Mueller would like to be able to play at his own funeral. Although this concept sounds a little grim, the title comes from a work by Walt Whitman and refers to the fact that Whitman wrote about his own death for many years before it actually occurred.

With the release of last year’s "September 11 Project," Mueller told of volunteering at Ground Zero in any way he could during those dark days and also mentioned that inhaling the toxic smoke that was in the air at the time had caused him severe lung damage and chronic breathing problems. He was unable to sing for a year, but when his condition improved somewhat, Mueller decided to record his arrangements of these songs - just him and his piano, playing for himself. He chose songs that he felt were fitting to his “new” voice, which is not as strong or controlled as it was before. Singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen have proven time and again that although their voices may not be the most “melodic,” the character and emotion that they bring to their songs more than compensate for any lack of range. Mueller brings a similar quality to the ten songs he sings on this album. The eleventh track is a guitar and piano duet of “No Place Like Home,” a fantasy inspired by Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow.” The bonus track is a previously unreleased version of “Before There Were Gods,” which incorporates guitar work by the late Michael Hedges with Mueller’s healthier vocals, recorded in 2004.

"Song of Myself" begins with “The Impossible Dream,” one of several songs made even more poignant by Mueller’s cough. I’m not sure I’ve heard a more heartfelt version of this song. Bob Dylan’s “Dignity” is my favorite track. Given a blues/gospel treatment, the piano accompaniment rocks and Mueller’s rough voice suits the song perfectly. Love this one! Paul Simon’s “American Tune” rings as true now as it did almost forty years ago. Mueller’s simple piano accompaniment keeps the focus on the lyrics and their emotional impact. “Blue Tattoos” is a combination of parts of five of Joni Mitchell’s songs from the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. “Oh Danny Boy” was a bit of a surprise, but a very pleasant one. Other titles include “Blackbird,” “I Have Been Deceived (a combination of three Elton John songs),” and James Taylor’s “Frozen Man.”

Listeners looking for an artistic exploration and interpretation of some favorite songs will find much to like in "Song of Myself." Check it out!

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Song of Myself' is a vocal and piano collection (mostly) of eleven of Tobin Mueller’s favorite cover songs plus an original bonus track. These are songs that Mueller would like to be able to play at his own funeral. Although this concept sounds a little grim, the title comes from a work by Walt Whitman and refers to the fact that Whitman wrote about his own death for many years before it actually occurred.

With the release of last year’s "September 11 Project," Mueller told of volunteering at Ground Zero in any way he could during those dark days and also mentioned that inhaling the toxic smoke that was in the air at the time had caused him severe lung damage and chronic breathing problems. He was unable to sing for a year, but when his condition improved somewhat, Mueller decided to record his arrangements of these songs - just him and his piano, playing for himself. He chose songs that he felt were fitting to his “new” voice, which is not as strong or controlled as it was before. Singer/songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen have proven time and again that although their voices may not be the most “melodic,” the character and emotion that they bring to their songs more than compensate for any lack of range. Mueller brings a similar quality to the ten songs he sings on this album. The eleventh track is a soprano sax and piano duet of “No Place Like Home,” a fantasy inspired by Harold Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow.” The bonus track is a previously unreleased version of “Before There Were Gods,” which incorporates guitar work by the late Michael Hedges with Mueller’s healthier vocals, recorded in 2004.

"Song of Myself" begins with “The Impossible Dream,” one of several songs made even more poignant by Mueller’s cough. I’m not sure I’ve heard a more heartfelt version of this song. Bob Dylan’s “Dignity” is my favorite track. Given a blues/gospel treatment, the piano accompaniment rocks and Mueller’s rough voice suits the song perfectly. Love this one! Paul Simon’s “American Tune” rings as true now as it did almost forty years ago. Mueller’s simple piano accompaniment keeps the focus on the lyrics and their emotional impact. “Blue Tattoos” is a combination of parts of five of Joni Mitchell’s songs from the late ’60’s and early ’70’s. “Oh Danny Boy” was a bit of a surprise, but a very pleasant one. Other titles include “Blackbird,” “I Have Been Deceived (a combination of three Elton John songs),” and James Taylor’s “Frozen Man.”

Listeners looking for an artistic exploration and interpretation of some favorite songs will find much to like in "Song of Myself." Check it out!