Monday, November 28, 2016

Wasted Day

I wasted a whole day of sunshine. Or, maybe not. It depends on how you look at it. I'm expecting cold, wet weather for the next three days, so I supposed that I should have been out in the rare sunshine working on the back deck to get it ready for the even colder wet weather to come. But I didn't do that.

In part it was because of an ambitious craft project that my wife and I are doing for the local library for the month of December. But mostly it was because I got inspired. I promised myself I would sit down and at least review a few of the songs and stories I've been slowly working on so that, when I had a bit more time during the foul weather in the week to come, I could get some serious work done.

And one of the songs spoke to me. I've had the lyrics for the first two verses for nearly a year, could see where the subject matter was headed for the bridge and the third verse (it's AABA form), but the lyrics just wouldn't come.

Today they started coming. Not in a big rush like the chorus to When the Kids Are Gone did, but enough that I opened the rhyming dictionary and starting listing potential rhymes, wrote a couple of really horrible lines that will eventually lead me to better ones, and flashed on a way to improve the music, substantially.

And the day's not over yet. Well, the sunshine is. No deck work today. But the juices are flowing and I think this is going to spill over into my other writing for the rest of the evening.

Damn, it feels good.

Thursday, November 17, 2016


At the last minute, for reasons of indecision and then technical issues with the cables in my recording workflow, I have once again entered the Great American Song Contest. Last year I submitted Bad News Always Comes In the Mail, and earned a Finalist award (which gives me the right to use the badge on my site, which I've yet to do because of all the other stuff that's been going on).

This year I decided on a less safe choice, Nickled and Dimed. I consider it less safe because it doesn't feel like a commercial song. It harkens back to the protest songs of the 60s, or even the 40s (and in fact, if you've heard the song, you might recognize a tribute to Tom Glazers A Dollar Ain't a Dollar Anymore in the lyrics). But, I think it's among my strongest songs lyrically, it's very popular with my little group of fans, and it's my wife's favorite, and she's a tough critic.

I put it in the Singer/Songwriter category, since there was no Political or Protest categories (I'd have been shocked—and delighted—had there been one of those). So we'll see how that works out. I'm not holding my breath, not because I don't think I have a chance, but because the judging doesn't finish until the spring, and I have far more to do than wait for contest results.

Like making sure those cable issues don't happen again so that I can get back to recording.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

The Play's the Thing

In two nights, I open as General Harrison Howell in the Village Players' production of Kiss Me Kate. It's a fun play, but not an easy one, with lots of complex songs, and killer scene and costume changes. I'm lucky on that score. I only have one song onstage, though the director asked me to lend my voice to some of the others from the wings, and I have only one costume, since, unlike many in the cast, my character is decidedly not in the play-within-the-play.

It's the first musical I've done in a couple of years, and it feels good to stretch my singing in a way that only musical theater does. Especially with a demanding (though lovable) music director who won't let us get away with being lazy. That' just the way I like it, and I'm already proud of what I've been able to make my voice do. Getting to sing with the leading lady, whose voice is nothing short of spectacular, is an added bonus.

If you happen to be in central New Hampshire this weekend or next, buy some tickets and give us a look. We promise the best show we can possible do. Details can be found at the Village Players website.