For most of us living in the 21st century life has become more complicated not less. As it turns out digital disruption has… well, disrupted. The music biz was the first part of the entertainment industry to feel the pain. MP3’s begat file sharing, which begat Napster, which begat iTunes, which begat YouTube… toss in streaming service like Spotify and Pandora and while your at it social networking with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. You get the idea.
So what’s songwriting musician to do?
I decided to release one song a month for a year digitally. I’m doing four mini-EP’s of three tracks each. It’s all starting here and now with 3 in 1.1.
I like this idea because it continues the notion of being an “electronic troubadour” which I began talking about with the release of my CD Chasing the Moon two years ago.
I’m hoping that by spreading the love across a year I’ll keep my friends and fans engaged and talking (nicely I hope) about the music. The first three songs are officially coming out on April 7th on all streaming services as well as iTunes, Amazon and the rest. I will have a limited number of CD’s available at my live shows.
(Me to myself) “So get to the songs already!”
(Self) “OK! OK!!”
“Every Time I Look At You” started as an experiment. (Music geeks take note.) I wanted to use the same chord pattern for the entire song and differentiate the intro, verses and choruses by melody alone. I tagged on a coda, which is slightly different just to button it up. I recall standing on the corner of 14th and Hudson Streets near our old studio in The Meatpacking District and coming up with the chorus. Words and music came all at once. Later, I wrote a couple of verses and even recorded a demo but something wasn’t right. Funny, how a song can gestate for so long. One night last fall my wife Mary Ellen and I were watching Nashville. Something must have caught her ear ‘cause she turned to me and said: “Remember that song you wrote? You should think about reworking it.” I did and here it is. Fitting that she got me to do it ‘cause she was the inspiration for the lyrics in the first place.
“Dance While I Can” – I was coming up on a BIG birthday and felt a twinge of anxiety. I’m in denial (check). Peter Pan Syndrome (check). Arrested development (check). I am after all a baby boomer and while I’m still years away from Medicare I do have an AARP card. Ouch! It turns out one of my songwriting partners and my dear friend Mike Greenly had been going through the same angst and had already written a lyric. I adopted his thoughts and words and added a few of my own. Needless to say this has become my own personal anthem and judging from the response I have been getting performing it live I think the message is quite universal. So rock on all you Boomers, Gen X-ers and Millennials and dance while you can.
“Last Night In Vegas” – I’ve been to Las Vegas dozens of times. As a musician I go there to work. I love the place but I don’t gamble. I people watch. Besides NYC, I think Vegas is one of the best towns to observe human behavior. The ghosts of Bugsy Siegel, Liberace, Elvis and The Rat Pack loom large in every casino, club and wedding chapel. This song is amalgam of characters I met or may have imagined I met. I wrote it on a red-eye heading back home. Make of it what you will but to me it feels like a Coen Brothers movie.