Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me. Some Music For Free.

For most of my life, I’ve been a pretty sucky guitar player. When my girls were born five years ago, this was one of the things, along with teaching myself classical Greek, that I eventually let go. Last December, my Sigma (a Japanese Martin knock-off) was one of the dozen or so items I brought along when I divorced and left home to rebuild from a room in a church. Almost right away, I noticed something different about my playing. Somewhere, in the process of getting shattered, I learned to hear. Suddenly, I could play leads that worked. My fingers were now “nimble.” My singing became bearable.

This was my crossroads experience. My temples went gray, I lost 35 pounds, and became frighteningly creative.

To mark my 48th birthday, I've produced a CD to give away to people. If you're not someone who might expect me to walk up and hand you my little hand produced masterpiece, I've softened the blow by signing up for a free MP3 file-sharing service. You can go directly to my download page, or click on the links below for any of the songs.

Belltown Blues is a blues riff that I’ve varied about a hundred ways. Like most of these songs, it was recorded as I went along. I usually go with my first take once I hit on something that feels worth recording. Burn It Down is the first song I’ve written in years. Other than the first stanza, which I redid after finding my groove later in the song, the words were recorded as I made them up. I was in a mood. Rachael’s Song was inspired by a dear friend leaving Real Change, and was written the day I heard the news. Wish You Were Here has been a favorite since I was 15. Dreamy Echoes is that blues thing again. They kind of tie this thing together. Mesmerized by Uncertainty and Revolution of Values use MLK’s Riverside speech, which is an obsession of mine. I did the music for Mesmerized before it occurred to me to incorporate part of Riverside. I reversed the process for Revolution by listening to MLK on a headset and playing against his rhythm. Roque is named for Mr. Dalton, just because it reminds me of him. The Ballad of the Camp4Unity 15 was written on a dare, and is my first ballad. I recorded this as I went along, and plan to polish it up sometime to sell on a pay-what-you-like basis as a fund-raiser for Real Change. Moving On is that damn blues thing again. The Ballad of Dwight Frye is an Alice Cooper song I’ve loved since I was 13 and learned about ten years ago. The lamely named Seattle September began by messing around with a Nirvana song and became something of my own.

Most, if not all of these, have been posted on this blog before, but this is the first time I've put up music for free download. I’ve gone back into Garageband to improve them a bit for the CD, but stopped well short of rerecording anything. As I’m fond of saying, there’s very little perfection in the world, and you won’t find it here.


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