Welcome to the first issue/episode of BTS (Behind the Songs). The idea of blogging about the songs on our new CD “Searching for Neverland” was not an original one. Far from it. I’ve seen this type of thing done by others – most recently Mary Gauthier – and it was her who inspired me. Plus, I thought it would be fun. Anyway, I’ll be trying to dig up early versions of the songs to share and do my best to be honest. I hope you enjoy.
BTS- Episode #1:Take Me To The Fair
It all started with a chord progression and a picking pattern… no words. I’d been pretty obsessed with this instrumental piece, playing it over and over every time I picked up my guitar … but no words. Then I caught wind of this interesting song challenge being promoted by a local music promoter named GW Staton. He provides a title and songwriters are challenged to write a song using that title. I was in a slump lyrically to be sure and not being one to write deliberately this was definitely a challenge. By way of example, I have attended Lamb’s Retreat for Songwriters a number of times and John Lamb gives much more than just a title to work with but I still have yet to see one of those song assignments to its satisfactory completion. In any case, I am a bit foggy on how the words started to come. The title “Time Gone” conjured up mostly cliches for me …“let bygones be bygones” “where has the time gone?” “Holding on to time”… That sort of thing. I don’t like jumping on the obvious, whether it be a rhyme or a thought but ultimately the theme of ‘letting go’ kinda took over, and I let go of the worry about cliche and put ‘em all in the song.
Here’s the contest version:
Looking back I think the rhyme scheme informed the whole darned thing… gone, song, dawn, wrong… Continue reading
Found myself looking back at some old ‘blog’ posts that never made it to this newer version of our website and this one struck me as worth re-sharing. (I admit to having fixed more than a few typos)
January 12, 2008
I found a sweet old book at our local antique store a long time ago, and bought it not for its contents but for the way it would look on my shelf. What can I say, i’m a visual person first. Anyway, the other day something prompted me to open it up and read it. Its a book called “Sesame and Lilies” Three lectures by John Ruskin, LL.D. The “revised and enlarged edition” is 4 inches tall with minuscule type… Near as I can tell it was revised in 1871. In reading the first essay I initially found myself simply enjoying the old language. Very soon, however, what he was saying started to resonate…in a big way. Continue reading
June is just about over and as always there were so many reasons to love this month. Aside from being my birthday month and the beginning of summer its also the month of our wedding anniversary, the Shari Kane & Dave Steele CD Release concert, the Nor-east’r Music Festival, Above the Bridge Songwriters Weekend, the beginning of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, Chelsea Sounds & Sights and more. Oh… and then there’s this –
Suffice it to say that we’re coming down hard after a 30 day high and like a really great song, June’s excitement left us feeling elated and satisfied but a little sad that it ended. Unlike a song, we can only play it over again in our heads. We were already riding pretty high from our own CD release concert at the end of May! What an amazing night! So grateful to all the stellar musicians who shared the stage with us and made our songs sound so good – Ozzie Andrews, Mike Shimmin, Drew Howard and most of all Jason Dennie, without whom these songs would not be what they are! So much love in our hearts for all the folks who came to the show and made us feel so special that night.
It was this very time last year, sitting in the tiny living room of the townhouse at which we landed in early 2013 after an abrupt, radical and painful change in our life, when we decided to make another change – this time for the better. Don’t get me wrong, the townhouse was a perfect place for us to do what we had to do … get rid of, let go of, purge, both material and emotional crap that was cluttering up our lives. It just wasn’t a home. So as I was sifting through boxes and boxes of really old photographs – the kind taken with a crappy Instamatic camera by a not-so-great photographer (me) that you had to pay to get developed and of course why wouldn’t you want TWO of each in case the crappy photo of the person in the photo might actually want a copy?? Please. And I realize that not everyone would agree with me, but why would I hold onto this photo of that guy I dated for like a second? Seriously. It was unbelievably cleansing to say good-bye to them.
Anyway, I said to Rod, “I can’t spend another summer here”. Continue reading
It’s a rainy Saturday morning in March. Perfect weather for working on a new song … unless of course, you have a strange obsession with fonts. Rod came home the other day and said, “have you heard of this Google Fonts thing? Apparently its . . . (trailing off)” I didn’t hear anything after “fonts” – I was already typing “google fonts” into my search window. Michigan Radio’s Saturday morning programming is keeping me entertained while I figure this font thing out. Will get back to work on the song after “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” is over. (Note: if you’re looking at this website in IE, you won’t see the cool new fonts. Don’t know why, yet).
Now about that video!
We spent an off night at the Trinity House Theatre with my nephew, Andy, behind a really nice camera while we played a few songs. Got our hands on new video editing software and voila! We’re excited to share a couple of the initial practice results. Looking forward to sharing more in the near future!