I just got off the phone with a singer that is stepping out and working on her first album. She's never recorded her own music before and is excited by the prospect. I asked her what themes she was looking to cover on the project. The conversation that followed was wonderful It's no wonder that her first song is called Freedom. It's a declaration of liberation from the confines of the mundane. It's a courageous shout that you have something to say. It's very inspiring and you can't help but be caught up in the swell of emotion. You're on Cloud 9 and can't be deterred. I remember that feeling. After the band I was in parted ways, I had to find that drive inside myself to continue. I had to ask the question, "why am I doing this?". The first song on my first solo album is called "On My Own" The lyrics are simple: It's not easy to believe I'm on my own A thousand miles away It's not hard to comprehend I must go on A thousand miles away and I am free What does that mean I am free At the time I wasn't sure what was going to happen. I wasn't looking for fame and fortune. I was searching for an outlet...a way to communicate my thoughts, fears, desires, triumphs and failures. When I look back at the theme of that first album, the songs are all about stepping out of the familiar and being bold enough to follow a vision. The world was full of possibilities and I was on the beginning of a new adventure. I've never regretted that step. It hasn't always been easy, but it's been interesting. Yvonne says that Songs from the Everville is her favorite album of mine. At first I was puzzled. The later projects have been more polished..better focused...etc. But I think I see what she's talking about. There is a sense of unbridled joy on that album. It's the sound of a child taking his first steps into a larger world. It's accurate! I was able to hear that same sense of wonder in this woman's voice as she spoke about her project and I couldn't help but feel a little jealous. To be at that point again would be so exciting, and yet...when I think about it, I realize that I'm there everyday. Those early steps shaped me just as they will shape her. She's in for a great ride. The view is amazing from there.
"My my The clock in the sky is pounding away There's so much to say" Performed by The Monkees from the album (and movie) Head. This trippy swirl of psychedelia was a defining moment for the pseudo band. Trying to shed their image of cheesy bubblegum pop, this song (and movie) was an experiment and, more importantly, a declaration that The Monkees could be taken seriously. When I was in college, I belonged to The Music Recording Society. We had a small studio set up in the music building on campus. One of the first songs I tried to multi-track was The Porpoise Song. My clumsy attempts at songwriting were just beginning to sprout, but this song helped me figure out the mysteries of songcraft and production.This also happens to be one of my favorite Goffin/King songs. There's nothing I can say that truly expresses what I feel about the passing of Gerry Goffin. Yes, I feel nostalgic. I feel the loss...not just of the person, but of the craft. Don't get me wrong...I'm not saying that there are no "real" songwriters anymore. Far from it. I think Gerry Goffin inspired a generation of songwriters. His impact is felt all through the spectrum of popular music from the 60's to today as people still perform and record music he helped craft. The body of work that he leaves behind will continue to touch the minds and hearts of scores of people. What an incredible legacy. I know I'm not doing a very good job of writing this. I guess all I really want to do is say good-bye. I also want to say thank you. "The porpoise is waving good-bye, good-bye"
At this very moment, I'm trying to decide if I should get another cup of coffee. Chances are that I will, but getting up and walking over to the coffee pot seems like a Herculean task right now. It isn't, of course, but it sure seems that way. That's the thing about our perception of certain tasks. When the time comes to actually engage in the activity, it seems insurmountable. Then we make all types of excuses to avoid them. I could blame it on billions of years of evolution, but that would be a stretch. The reality is that this moment is all we have to accomplish our goals. A string of moments can be the catalyst to wonderful things if we just act. I know that taking the first steps are difficult, but if you push yourself, just a bit, then you'll find the momentum will keep you moving forward. When writing songs, you'll sometimes find that looking at the blank page is intimidating. It's a very tall mountain whose shadow is blocking out your view of the sun. Those first tentative steps are going to be the hardest to make. You scribble down some words...make a line or two and then decide it's crap and throw it away. Start again and you'll find it gets easier. The words will form ideas. Those ideas will frame themes and suddenly, you have a song on your hands. I'll dive more into the process in future posts, but right now, I have to pour some coffee. Peace, Logan
I had almost overlooked this one, but it's cool in it's simplicity.
"There is a stage rain takes that plane, lands over the runway in a town that takes slow, slow, slow, slow rain. great stuff" -Sean
No commentary needed for this one. It's quite clear... "Tonight I am out for one of the first times since I had my daughter 5 months ago. I love my daughter, I love my husband, but I am grateful to have the time to spend with my friends. I know I am very lucky to have a man in my life that is a good father and loving husband. Tonight I get to reap the benefits by hearing you sing while I relax and enjoy a Corona. It's the little things in life that make the difference." -Anonymous in New York, Lower East Side
I'm always interested in how people think. Sometimes it's easy to catch that train of thought and at other times I get delayed at the gate...this is a good example of the later...very amusing.
"Pizza Mizza My man's a runnin' with his gitzer While wings found my moth and shiny shrub ate to keep warm
Mizza Pizza the throws of love sang Itza her liter followed walding with web feet of ducks and heads of the dead
Mizza, Mizza My mind's blown with winter + toes left. oops" - Anonymous in Lower East Side New York April 2011
As you may know, I did a tour back in April. It was dubbed the Book of Faces Tour and I brought along a notebook that I asked people to write down their thoughts, poems, drawings etc...anything that they wanted to contribute to my story on the road. I'm going to be posting some of these entries from time to time. The Book will make it's way to some future gigs, so don't be surprised to see it one day.
Entry: "The rain...pouring down Made it hard to be in the night air But I'm not alone making this journey I carry the strength to carry on..." -Anonymous
Yes, the city has a beat...a rhythm that keeps it moving. It's infectious and you find that it almost pushes you along...even without you knowing. It gives you strength and stamina that you didn't think you had.
We boarded the subway earlier today to go into the city. The plan was to visit the Empire State Building and then head back to the hotel to prep for the show and then leave. Well, we spent most of the time standing in line at the Empire State Building. We sat through the first part of a combo ticket that included a simulator ride and then tickets to the observatory. We're going back tomorrow.
One of the techniques I've learned to keep myself on an even keel is to not expect anything!You can hope, dream and imagine...but don't expect. Expectation brings an implication of entitlement. This leads to disappointment when things don't go your way. I try to live by that. It's all an adventure and in a true adventure, you don't know what's going to happen next. We tend to embrace the familiar and shun the unknown while, I believe, it should be the other way around. The truth behind the facade of an individual is revealed when facing the unknown. Just a thought.
The trip was long, but good. We only had traffic in the Maryland and Delaware areas. The weather was beautiful and smooth sailing.
We pulled into town and got settled into the hotel around 10:00pm. We decided to grab some chow and settled on a place that was two blocks up the street from the hotel..walking distance. The place was called Pete's Grill and it's set up like the classic Greek diner I had a very tasty grilled salmon wrap and Vonny sampled the local wine and Pastrami. I broke a tooth and after a few seconds of puzzlement, put the detached piece in my wallet for possible re-attachment.
So now we're back in the room ready to settle in for some much needed rest. Vonny is in the shower and I'm here talking to you...funny how that works.
The plan is to scope out the venue early so I know what to expect. I may decide to work the area beforehand to drum up some customers for the show.
This is all very surreal. Of course I have my standard doubts and fears but I'm sure once I get the rhythm of the road back, it will be business as usual. It usually takes me a day or so to get used to the way things are out here. That's the magic of it. There's a sense that this whole experience takes on a life of it's own. I'm interested to see what develops.
I'm leaving tonight and am quite excited. Vonny is home getting things ready and I'm at work. all the best laid plans of mice and men...
It seems that the start of the tour for me may be the end of the tour for Jeff Todd. I received word that he had to return home for a family emergency and doesn't know when he'll re-join the tour. From his Facebook posts it seems like things have calmed down, but all we can do is wish him the best and hope that all is well.
Andy O'Brien will be joining me in MA for some shows and I'm truly looking forward to that. I hope to webcast the show at Furey's Cafe so you can see him perform as well.
So, say a prayer for Vonny and I as we head out on the highway. A kid once told me that it isn't the challenges in life that define us, it's how we face them. Here's to the highway...