Another year, another release. I am proud of this new album. As an artist I grew a lot from doing my childhood cover album last year "Rainy Day...Sunday Afternoon...". It really changed something within me, and this new release shows it. Shadowland is a darker album than I usually make, not because I myself feel darker, but rather after tackling the subject of Light on my art albums "Smoke Through A Keyhole" and "Light In the Doorway", I felt it was important to delve into the Dark a bit. My thoughts on implicit opposites are that they are needed in equal measure to create value for the other. Dark is equally important. Positive...Negative...Good...Evil... both halves of the coin are necessary for the coin to exist. To embrace one's nature. To "live your animal"...so to speak. A Jungian idea I picked up from his "Red Book" and ran with. I won't discuss any more detail, as I think it is important for the listener to add detail and meaning. I hope you might listen to it and find something from it, or at least see something differently, however slightly.
Rainy Day... Sunday Afternoon... Is an 11 track album of cover songs that were big songs during my childhood. This collection of songs might not make perfect sense to anyone but myself, but that is the point. I performed these songs with just a solo vocal and baritone guitar. I wanted the songs to be only shown in their most basic self, and to be carried by the song and performance of the vocal. My success on doing this is up to you, and if I moved you in any way. The title..."Rainy Day...Sunday Afternoon"...was simply because I recorded these songs during some rainy Winter days here in Escondido from December 2016 - February 2017.
Track 01 - Feeling Good Nina Simone...anytime I heard her, she made me listen, she made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Doing this song was the most daunting for me. One, because of the amount of respect I have for her and her version, but...I just don't normally sing like this. Hence, my excitement and wariness of doing it.
Track 02 - The Storms Are On The Ocean A Carter Family tune I heard quite often when I lived in Memphis. I was always attracted to dark songs and feelings. This is also a window on my life at this time. Dark, foreboding, a fairy tale...not the kind of today...but the original ones of the Grimm Brothers and Hans Christian Andersen, the kind of happy/bad-dream/hopeful/desolate feeling that they have.
Track 03 - Wake Up Little Sparrow This Ella Jenkins song was played for me over and over again by my art teacher in 5th grade. She was the classic 60's art teacher with the bold colored beads and bracelets, loud, wild persona spouting self-actualization and many more Maslow-isms. She had a record player that was constantly spinning and much of my musical influences were because of her weird and eclectic record collection. T-Rex to Zen Meditation flutes.
Track 04 - The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face Roberta Flack...another emotionally raw singer that moved me every time, and thus, scared me of trying to cover this. Such a perfect rendition of this song. Even though the writer Ewan MacColl, hated every cover that was ever done including her Grammy-winning version. Undoubtedly, his ghost hates mine too.
Track 05 - High Flying Bird Judy Henske and Richie Havens...these two versions colliding is somehow I tried to do mine. Keeping the Havens' guitar speed and Henske's intensity, was what my intent was.
Track 06 - Catch The Wind This was my first thought of what a singer-songwriter-song should sound like. Pretty classic. Donovan, a great freaky songwriter for sure! I remember the first time I touched an acoustic guitar. It was my uncle's. I was 6 years old...I ran my fingers across the strings...it was magic. When I heard this song, for the first time, I knew what the instrument was that made that sound.
Track 07 - Down In The Valley This was the first song I ever sang. During my family long-distance car trips, we would all sing this one. Of course skipping most of the verses, mumbling, and singing the chorus lines. This was later re-established in my mind from the movie "Stir Crazy"...the actor by the character Grossberger portrayed by Erland Van Lidth. I suppose this became the blueprint of mine...full lyrics and all.
Track 08 - Eastern Spell Tyrannosaurus Rex...From 1968's My People Were Fair And Had The Sky In Their Hair... But Now They're Content To Wear Stars On Their Brows. Of course, my eccentric art teacher has everything to do with this. To her, with no name, but meaning very much to me.
Track 09 - It's Over If ever possible...always listen to Roy Orbison in the dark...at least, that is what I did...in the dark when I felt all alone, Roy made me feel I was by surrounded by stars.
Track 10 - Wayfaring Stranger Living in the South, one cannot be helped from being stained by Appalachian music. I sang this song everytime I built my forts outside. I built many forts outside and inside. The ones inside, I used every sheet and blanket in the pantry, to the chagrin of my mother. To follow this up, one time and only one time, I had proceeded to throw out the window, everything inside my bedroom. Why? Oh...I really liked watching things fall two stories to the ground. Oops.
Track 11 - Without You When I was 8 years old, living at my grandparent's house in Canton, Ohio after my parent's divorce. My room was up in the attic. Bed bedstand had a little clock radio I would listen to before bedtime. For some reason one night all these sad songs came on one after the other... Wildfire, All By Myself, and Without You. I hear these songs and I think of that hot Summer in Canton...all the fresh cut grass, fireflies, and sad songs of the 70's. Doing this song, I did some research, I thought wrongly that Harry Nilsson wrote this, but no. This song was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of British rock group Badfinger, and first released on their 1970 album No Dice. I love Badfinger! Both writers apparentely killed themselves at different times over battling who got song writing credit for Without You. Talk about a really sad ending for a sad song.
On that high note *laughing and coughing*, this album will be released on the first day of Spring, March 20th, 2017.
I am shipping out orders of the new release "Light In The Doorway" CD and Limited Edition, Numbered, and Signed 30 page Photo Books!!! They are $30, and only 100 are being made so grab 'em while they last! All of the photos are taken by myself during the writing/recording of the album and few on tour. All orders will be greatly appreciated and will undoubtedly help me eat at my local taco shop for the next few months.
Well...it is that time again to release a new album, this month on April 15th. It will be digital only, but there will be a limited edition (100 copies) 30 page Photo Book with lyrics and photos, signed and numbered available until they sell out. If anyone really wants a CD, contact me and I can burn a CD-r for you. These are the last days of CD's and I am just looking towards the future. I still love tangible items, hence the photo book. I would love to do vinyl, but the cost is so prohibitive, I would have to start a kickstarter campaign to make that happen, and it isn't really my thing to promote, soooo....that ain't happening. *laughing* So I release the Kraken!
This is the final piece for "Light In The Doorway"... It will probably be third in the order of the four pieces. Whew...I am tired. Time to go watch a good/bad B movie from the Seventies and fade out to dreams.
Unstoppable Object Immovable Force
Reality is the duct tape and impermanence is the getaway car
Death makes you feel alive and Life gets up and kick you in the ass anyway
The knowledge that you know is just a blink of what you don't know
The mind of the mind is lost down in the tongue of memory
Blankets of night...
Radiant faces descend within to rise
Where all traces of unknown are lost in the night
A soundless word, it echoes and fades like a shadow
Drawing back the veil, light comes through
The light comes through...
We'll the warmth on the back of their necks
The glimmer in their source
Drawing back the veil
The light comes through...