More than anything else this site is about my music. I learned songwriting from the band Wishing Chair Kiera Heartwood and Miriam Davidson more than twenty years ago. My influences are mostly Johnny Cash and John Prine. Johnny Cash for his direct lyric that let you see exactly what his mind, his soul, and his heart was thinking and John Prine for his subtle approach to the lyric that made you contemplate if his words really meant something else entirely. My approach pays Homage to these two methods of developing lyric and finds their way into all that I write. Sometimes combining their individual styles and other times allowing one style to dominate the other completely.
Early in my journey as a songwriter I did not try to incorporate too many different artistic styles into my work. This can slow down output for fear of repetition. I once used a practice technique where I wrote as many songs as I could using the exact same chords and melody. Repetition is fine in the beginning because it develops experience and execution. That is important because it is in execution combined with opportunity that serendipity lies.
Below is a song called The Appalachian Trail. The AT passes only minutes from my front door and I have walked upon it many many times. It was upon such a trip that I found the little hollow and the giant stone. It was here that my imagination took over that developed the lyric but I can still remember the feeling that this small spot millions of years old had only been visited by a finite number of people and that was what made it both majestic and mysterious.
The song June Is Gone is something I developed for my own personal way to say goodbye to June and Johnny Cash. I have been covering Johnny Cash songs for years but wanted to try something that employed the vocal tones he used on Hurt. Theirs was one of the great love stories of all time and covered well in the movie Walk The Line. June passed first and I tried to capture that heartbreak.
In The Roanoke Song I talk a little about my hometown. A town born by a Railway and matured by a Greenway. The Railroad has long since left but in its place a Greenway was developed that follows the Roanoke River and the Creeks as a nature walk. It has redefined our City into something that the Railroad stole from our town many years ago. Its natural beauty and therefore its soul. We can now be reborn with a vision of natural wonder where opportunity seems boundless replacing a stagnant and destitute city held hostage by an aging business empire struggling to hang on to the last vestiges of the industrial revolution. An era well past its usefulness to mankind.
Information Overload is a song motivated by current events, especially the Covid Pandemic and the loss of John Prine. I wanted to talk about my own experiences and tie them to a farewell to one of my most admired songwriters.
Tomorrow's Eyes is another Covid pandemic related Song that wonders what future generations will think when they look back on our actions during the year of 2020.
The Girl was one of my favorite songs I wrote this year and it needs no commentary.
When The Darkness Comes was written for my brother John and his wife Frankie who both Passed Away in 2020. The Chinese have a symbol for death that means "to enter the Dark Room" and I add "from which one never returns".