Recently, Bishop & GrayHarr had the privilege of spending 12 hours on set with Dolly Parton filming a new Christmas movie ! Cyndee's daughter is an aspiring actress and got us involved. We were instructed to dress as if attending a Dolly Christmas concert during a cold December. They encouraged coats, hats, gloves, scarves, the whole deal - yet, even at our scheduled call time of 8:45am it was already proving to be a very hot, muggy dayl We checked in with the movie staff at the DollyWood pet boarding station LOL- how appropriate since we were there to be trained extras. We were escorted into the back entrance of the theater where DollyWood currently hosts the My People show. It was all suppose to be hush-hush that Dolly was even in town, much less in the park that day. The theater was decorated for Christmas! There were cameras and crew everywhere and they tried to place us in the "audience" according to what colors we were wearing. The tech crew scurried about and then it was announced over the headsets that Dolly had arrived so filming could begin. The director informed us that the movie was about a character named Grace who wanted a career in music (but must endure family struggles). Oh, and by the way, Grace is bi-racial which it seems plays a big part in the plot. So, the scenes in which we would be part of a small "audience" would be the finals of a talent show called "Country Start of Tomorrow" in which Dolly Parton plays herself as host and in which Grace and two other actors portray contestants. You wouldn't think it'd be that difficult to clap, but it was LOL! Dolly came out for her first take and we finally got rolling on her 6th or 7th take. We clapped, we stood, we looked at each other and pretended to make comments- it was all hilarious at first... Yet, after hours and hours of running thru the show one way, then making minor camera changes and running thru it again, then more changes and running thru it again and again and again- well, our excitement was waning. We finally broke for lunch around 3:30 but call back was 4:30. Back on time, but the crew took another hour or so to ready again. Same scenario- run the scene, cut, re-do, run the scene. Then, once all the scenes are done- make some changes and start all over! We sat most of the time clapping- we really built up some good butt muscles! I really felt for Dolly. She stuck right in there donning the wig, the heavy make-up, the cinched in undergarments and beaded dress and the high heeled shoes! Toward the end, it was evident she was as tired as anyone else, but still smiled and talked with us in-between takes. It was refreshing though that all she really wanted to do was SING! Throughout the day she would sing little riffs or parts of songs from the wings. Finally, after dark, and during a couple of long breaks, she broke out and sang a couple songs- that's when we clapped hard and for real! The staff supplied us with drinks and veggie trays, cheese trays and sweet snacks all day- but it was rare to get a long enough break to enjoy them. The funniest part of the day may have been when the director instructed us to fake our clapping and chatting and cheering- that's was hilarious! We just cracked up looking at each other doing this! But is was quite an experience. We don't know the date of release for the movie- just that it it comiing out for this Christmas 2013 and that it will be on Lifetime for television. We'll keep you posted so when it comes out you can watch and maybe see us in the audience smiling and clapping and cheering. How good of actors are we? Well, we'll see if you can tell when you see us if we are FAKING CLAPPING or if it was REAL...lol Until next time, go out this weekend and support some live, local music!
What is a Pakrul? That's what Dwight called one night to ask Cyndee after he'd seen a local television commercial. She'd seen it too, but as usual, just didn't pay any attention. In the commercial, or series of commercials really, the business owner kinda-sorta dresses like and uses a partial tongue-in-cheek quote from a historical figure or other famous person. Underneath this humorous portrayal is the name of the intended character followed by the word "Pakrul". For example, the screen might read "George Washington Pakrul" or "Abe Lincoln Pakrul". Now, the question Dwight posed was "What is a pakrul?" He wondered aloud if it might mean a comic portrayal of said person or specific type of impression of a person. Cyndee, a part-time writer and even a licensed English teacher, admitted she had no idea and had never heard the word before. What else was there to do but Google it? Surprisingly, Google offered no help at all. The only "pakrul" in the search was simply a sir name. Wait a minute... so they Google'd the name of the business and viola!!! The last name of the owner of the business and the actor from the commercial was PAKRUL !!! So, George Washington Pakrul was not a Pakrul of George Washington, it was an actual Pakrul playing George Washington. Ok, you get it, not quite as confusing as it sounds in text... Now we move on- We've already invented the word Humacana to describe our genre of music, why not use the Pakrul sir name and invent a new word for Webster. Here goes: PAKRUL (pak' rul) n. A purposely poor parody portraying a prominent person, past or present, for purposes of popularizing a particular product (or service). Put that on your word-of-the-day list and pass it on! Let's get the word out (no pun intended) ! PAKRUL! and many thanks to Mr. Pakrul who inspired it all! Happy Monday everybody and start making plans now to spend some time this week supporting live local music!
Yesterday (Sunday) we took our time reading the actual newspaper and later listening to public radio. This turned out to be very enlightening! Cyndee is now thinking of following in the footsteps of New Yorker Nick Beef and becoming a "non-performing performance artist". Yeah, not sure how he manages to live in such an expensive place like the Big Apples, but the details can be ironed out later. Think of if- a NON-performing performance artist! Wondering if this could spill over and be a lucrative option to other careers such as non-constructing construction worker, non-teaching teacher, or non-programming computer programmer??? This sounds like a dream come true- IF---wait a minute, could this simply be the Political Correct way of saying "unemployed"? Not sure, this may require some research... On the other hand, Dwight is considering joining up with a group called S.A.N.D.S. and doing seminars and retreats and such. Not sure what the acronym stands for, you can google it, but here's the gist of how it works: People from all over the world gather for a few days to realize "we don't know". They discovered the more science tries to prove something, the more it disproves itself + with all the theories and religions out there we just don't know. So if we gather and realize we don't know then our not knowing leaves us nothing to argue about, we can just "not know" together. WOW! Who would've thought either of these things would be possible- 1) you can have a career being a non-working worker and 2) people will pay you to teach them something "we don't know". What an amazing world we live in! Any thoughts? Awww, just start making plans now to get out and support live, local music somewhere this week!
This turned out to be the most difficult song EVER to write lyrics & melody! Story behind the song: one of Cyndee's granddaughters was riding in the car with her mother and being her typical 8yr old self, she was chatting up a storm. Her mother said, "Sierra, can you just be quiet for one minute?" She answered, "No, Mom, I'm saving the world from silence." Perfect, right? Well, perfect idea, but hard to grasp. Cyndee wanted the song to be lighthearted, catchy, so that kids could easily sing along, but at the same time, Cyndee's idea of saving the world from silence had a much deeper meaning. For her, sadness, depression, loneliness, end-of-the-world kind of stuff, signified silence. Saving the world from all that meant reaching out, caring, giving, speaking out. The song lyrics quickly went dark with thoughts of war, abuse, suicide, bullying and all things bad in the world. The melody, so far, was still light and cute. Dwight said, "Cyndee, this song has turned into something not even remotely akin to your 8yr old inspiration- we've got to start over and find a way to make it childlike again." We faced what appeared to be a unsurmountable challenge- writing a fun, sing-a-long song with a very deep message. That message was- every act of kindness rings a beautiful sound into the universe, but if we don't start caring, helping and speaking out, we doom ourselves to a silent, desolate world. After weeks and a dozen pages of writes and re-writes, we finally wrestled our demons and won. The final cut of the song has message that Cyndee wanted and leans more toward the childlike and positive approach Dwight knew it needed. About two days before we went into the studio to record it, we had an "Aha!" moment. We'd talked all along about the feel of the song being one that listeners could join in- we needed a crowd singing along on the CD too. On very short notice, our friends Railroad Angels agreed to come in the studio and sing on the choruses. Magic Man Alan Maggard (engineer/owner of Maggard Sound) layered all the voices several times for the desired result. The song finally took on the life we had envisioned- its simple and catchy without hitting people over the head with the serious, underlying message. We can't say it was as much fun creating it as it is to sing it LOL, but we hope you like it. Until next time, get out there and support live, local music!
Pain is a killer- physical pain, heartbreak, loss of a loved one, depression, disappointment, worry, stress, so on and so on... Our song "Pain Is A Killer" is about all of these things and more that cause pain in our lives. Originally, the song was written by request for an independent film, but as it was being written, the song took on a life of its own. Eventually, contractual differences prevented the song from being part of the film, so now its completely our song. The lyrics were inspired by the story of the movie but quickly flowed out of memories of all kinds of past pain. From early postings of the demo version of the song, we heard from listeners who said they loved the song because they has recently lost someone, because they related it to the pain of being bullied/discriminated against, because of lost love and several other stories. Truth is- pain is a part of living and there's really no way to avoid it. "Pain Is A Killer" explores all types of pain, how we want to fight it, but how in the end, the only way to deal with pain is to go thru it. Giving in and allowing ourselves to experience it, allowing it to change us or adapting ourselves to it and refusing to allow it to destroy us it the best option. Having taken the song our our last trip to Nashville, we were told the song has great lyrics and a beautiful melody- however, it is a bit long for commercial uses. Therefore- we now have an edited version which we will be recording soon and releasing as a radio version. We will also offer it as a free download here on reverb. If you have any thoughts about the song, we'd love to hear them! Thanks! Hope you take every opportunity to go out and support live, local music soon!
No, we weren't drinking, or smoky the wacky backy, or influenced by anything other than our own warped brains when we got the idea for The Moon Song! LOL During a very long writing and practice session, one morning about 3am, we took a break and went outside for fresh air. The moon was full (which might account for something). Cyndee looked up and said, "Wouldn't it be crazy if the moon was like an egg and one day it just cracked open?" Dwight remembered a tv commercial featured a big moon saying, "Its Pizza Time!" and suggested that if it cracked open perhaps it would rain cheese! LOL We discussed it briefly- about how we could make a song. Cyndee got serious and said it could be like the end of the world and all the love that had happened could rain down if the moon hatched. Dwight threw in about all the wishes that had been made on the stars. The hang up was we were soooo tired and nothing good rhymed with hatches. Go figure. So the idea was shoved aside for the time being. A few days later, during practice, Cyndee was playing around on the piano and Dwight asked what she was playing. It wasn't a song, just song chord progressions, but it sounded kinda cool and the subject of the moon song came about again. We had no moon song words, but we quickly had a melody. We made up some crazy, terrible, weird words as kind of "place holders" to remember the melody. A few more days went by and then Cyndee wrote the words, tweaked by Dwight. We played it and liked what we had, but all along Dwight assumed Cyndee would sing it. Cyndee suggested Dwight take the lead on this song and that is become a sort of conversation between a tire old man and a heavenly being. It became one of our favorites to play on piano and cello but one of the most difficult to pull off lyrically. It is pretty hard to play cello and sing that song! Anyway, now you know the story behind the song. Its a little odd and off-the-beaten path of all the other songs on "Being Human" but we all need a little variety now and then, right? Feel free to let us know what you think about it. Until next time, go out and support local, live music.
Things can sure look different depending on where you're standing. Two songs on our album "Being Human" tackle the subject of living life as opposed to existing. The approach, however, is completely different. Dwight wrote "I'm In It To Win It". From the title, you might expect a hard-driving, upbeat melody with inspiring lyrics. Instead, you find the idea of living from an older, wiser, experienced view. Dwight writes about taking things slow and squeezing everything you can from every moment. He writes about finding enjoyment from the past and never giving up on your dreams, suggesting slow and steady wins life's race- kind of like the story of the tortoise and the hare. Cyndee wrote "I Don't Need To Look Good When I'm Gone". She writes about getting out and experiencing anything and everything you possible can without worrying about leaving behind a good-looking corpse! She suggests that while many of us may not get the chance to fulfill our dream bucket lists, we should live like there is no tomorrow- do, see, be, live, laugh and love in every moment! Both songs are in agreement- get the most out of life- whether you choose the savor-the-moment approach or the get-it-while-the-gettin's-good approach. Which way to you prefer? Maybe you live a little of both? Until next time, go out and support live, local music!
I AM, what I am? This song just kinda fell off the pencil LOL. Although it has a Celtic kind of sound and maybe even some underlying religious tones- the bones of this song came about from two things: 1) watching a tv show about addiction and hoarding and hearing someone say, "Don't Let It Define Who You Are" 2) Dwight kidding Cyndee about never wanting to use the same word twice in a song (yes, many times the thesaurus and dictionary are close friends) As soon as the lyrics were done, Cyndee called Dwight to tell him about the song, how she used many words over again and how she could hear the Celtic thing in her head when she sang it. Dwight arrives and adds his magical touch and Bada Bing!!!- "I Am" becomes the sixth song on our album "Being Human". We love it so much- we're using it to open the CD Release party tonight. If you're in the area, we hope you'll join us! Until next time- go out and support live, local music.
Ever had a friend or a sweetheart who just abandoned all and followed you around and kinda of took on your life as their own? Ever feel like if you wanted that kind of relationship, you'd just get a puppy? LOL- that's kinda what our song "Not Your Ordinary Love Song" is about. That early "worship" like thing is flattering and makes you feel good in the beginning, but it might not make for a good, symbiotic, long-term relationship. Our song is about two people agreeing that each one needs to have and to pursue the kind of life that makes them a whole person and neither should have to forfeit something to be with the other. By allowing one another to have that kind of life, both of them can benefit and share with each other. No, its not your "ordinary" kind of relationship that most songs and movies depict- but it who wants an "empty cup" to drink from? Wouldn't most of us rather come home to a full, happy, healthy, person with whom we can give and take? Ok, maybe that's gettin' a little deep- but that's what the song is kinda tryin' to work out. If you listen to the song, let us know what you think about it- maybe you hear something totally and different and that'd be great! Or maybe you disagree with the whole idea- that's cool too. Let us know! For now- be sure to go out and support some live, local music!
So, how do you know if you are a critter? According to Dwight, if you're feeling "took, shook and bitter", odds are, you're a critter! Dwight wrote the 4th song on the album one night while we were talking on the phone! He had bunches and bunches of verses and probably could've kept writing more, but hey! - a song can only be so long LOL! He had watched a show about taxidermy and began thinking 'bout how we sometimes take a nonchalant attitude toward the things we do and use to make us feel good- and what might it feel like if the tables were turned. In trying to be cute and write a cute song, he succeeded in writing a song that's fun to sing but also a song that has some provocative undertones. Now, Dwight isn't trying to make any kind of political statement about animals rights, but if that's what the song does for you then go with it. He may or may not have been trying to cleverly make a statement about people, but that's still up to the listener to decide. Its a great song! Its a song we have a lot of fun performing and audiences seem to enjoy it with us. If you haven't heard it, give a listen and let us know what you think. Until next time- go out and support live, local music!