We recorded 16 songs at Morningstar Studios back in mid March in front of a small studio audience of friendly faces, all brought together by the grace, direction and diligence of one Michael Tearson. The players consisted of my usual bandmates Tom Hampton, Tommy Geddes and Daniel Faga, with a special guest appearance later on by Don Lee Van Winkle. Producer Glenn Barrett and engineer David Schonauer were at the helm, and Mark Schultz was on point as usual, keeping all hands on deck, and all heads above water.
Like many of the songs on this CD, the inspiration for this one was multi-faceted.
I have the pleasure of working with Paige and Christina, two terrific young pre- school teachers, who were discussing their recently acquired tattoos. I was reminded of an old soldier I had met many years ago who had proudly displayed the tattoo of his unit serving in WWII. It was around this time that I read a beautiful tribute written by bandmate Tom Hampton about our mutual friend Michael and his heartfelt and emotional remembrance of his wife.
Inspired by recent political events and heavily influenced by a few people that I happen to know personally...
This one goes back a ways. It was the year before the worry of Y2K. We (Michael and I) had submitted a song to Emmylou Harris and were waiting for her (virtual) reply.
Once again, this tune is a convergence of ideas. I was asked to play at Christina and Joe's wedding which was to take place in a cemetery...quite unconventional. Ann Marie's birthday was approaching and I always try to surprise her with a love song. It was also around the time of reports of bakeries and others refusing their services to same sex couples getting married. This song applauds the commitment and courage of those couples in the face of the opposition.
I met Tex when we both worked at Doc Watson's Pub in Philly. It was years later after his success in both the boxing ring and his starring role in major motion pictures, that we reconnected. He told me of his triumphs and troubles over dinner at my house one night. The next day the song emerged from those stories.
The late, great singer/songwriter Joey Wilson and I wrote several tunes together This song was always one of our favorites.
I was, like many, saddened by the 2015 tragic events at Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris. The fact that these types of occurrences are usually responded with the familiar, "we send our thoughts and prayers"... is what prompted this song.
I wrote this for Ann Marie for Valentines Day. It's my tongue-in-cheek representation of "unrequited love."
One of my few blues tunes. I am happy to report this tune has no references to Volvos, shopping malls, sparkling water or tennis matches.
This song wrote itself. It's another convergence of stimuli reported by the national news. It begins with the fabricated idea of a shy guy, drinking up his courage to get enough nerve to try to start a conversation with an attractive girl at the bar. Of course, she shoots him down. I played this song at the Melody Tent In Providence R.I and after the show was met by a man who asked me: "Is that song about the missing little girl in Texas?" I told him that in fact it was. He told me he was the Sheriff in the town where the incident occurred. We both agreed that the odds of him being at a show where I played that song were "A Million To One."
I'm still amazed at how quickly time (especially the summer) seems to fly by. On this tune, I'm looking back on how fast my two daughters have grown and how I can't help but remember hearing the adage: "enjoy them while they're young, they grow up so fast". My pal Bee Spears took a liking to this one and helped me improve the lyrics with his expertise. I miss him.
This is the title song from the documentary of the same name which brings to light the illegal practice of the pay to play, "payola' scandal. It's also eerily similar to the world's polarized, political climate we live in.