I was in the studio yesterday running pre production for Andrew Reynolds. When we wound down the night with a couple of drinks and some idle chatting, we got around to the topic of why we were playing music. Not all music, mind you, just our own solo things. Maybe from someone else this would have been more innocuous, however, Andrew and I have had a collaborative writing and performing relationship for about half a decade. We've played together through two different bands and supported the hell out of one another's ideas. I had to think about it and say that it was because I had to. Having been in bands the majority of my life and career I decided that I needed to create a safe zone for me to test my abilities and vent excess enthusiasm without getting in the way of my collaborative efforts. I did this so that I could continue to test myself without testing the status quo of whatever project I happen to be involved in and it wasn't until he asked me that question that I could verbalize something I'd been acting on instinctively. If I wasn't writing on my own I don't think I could write with others and the opposite is just as true. I guess I could call it a simple way of keeping up with my own personal growth as to not lose touch with myself and the way I continue to evolve like every other human.
Thank's for tuning in!
Today hits upon a heavy milestone for me. Today marks the first anniversary of my mother's passing and as it would for anyone losing a parent, it has affected me significantly. My mom was and still is an incredibly significant person in my life and from day one she had my back in every scenario while teaching me to be my own advocate. She helped a little boy learn that it was okay to admit weaknesses and fears and that doing so actually made you stronger as a human being. She taught me compassion and never let me take myself too seriously no matter the situation. During her own illness she was reassuring to everyone around her and somehow managed to blend together acceptance and defiance like they weren't water and oil. My fondest memories of my mother all involve music. She and I would talk music for hours each day while listening to everything from Sinatra to Stevie Wonder to Porcupine Tree but especially the woman let me run every shred of my work through her ears and critiqued it all fairly and without masking the merit of the effort. She passed five days short of her own birthday and I deeply regret that she passed before I had been able to track anything substantial for Round of Sound.
The two songs I have posted today are songs that were written in 2010 as gifts for her 60th birthday and represent a significant musical catalyst. These two songs were written during a time in which I had no certainty about releasing music under my own name and had considered putting the guitar down entirely. Hell, I had a friend in the wings on the off chance that I wouldn't be able to play the songs the way I felt they needed to be played. Thankfully the occasion was motivation enough for me to perform through the pain and rediscover my passion for writing while evolving it into something palatable.
While The Jersey Shuffle was written lyrically about my own self doubt and self acceptance, the mood was deliberately crafted to capture one of my mother's favorite pastimes: being at the beach. I tried to keep it sunny and happy on the overall while attempting some degree of building through the drum work and guitar layering. It contains one of my favorite guitar solos.
A Song For My Mother is simply that. I dicked around over two lovely chords trying to say with a guitar the same chopped up verbiage I'm trying to say now with words and don't really know how close I actually managed to come.
I hope everyone enjoys these songs and hope that if you do you will share them with others and pass the positivity around for my sake.
In memory of Anna DeSimone (Feinstein) 4/26/1950-4/21/2012
Welcome to my new blog! I look forward to writing you all weekly :)