ABOUT THE MUSIC

Away From You

“Away From You” actually started as a homework assignment from my guitar teacher, Kit Ruscoe. This particular exercise called for writing a song using a specific set of chord intervals; nothing more, nothing less. I then started noodling around in the key of G and decided that this exercise might be a good way to exorcise some relationship demons.

Danny Don’t Go Upstairs

When my son was 15 years old, one of his closest friends took his own life. My son was shattered by this, as were so many. About a year later, I woke up with the line, “Danny Don’t Go Upstairs,” in my head. I picked up a guitar and several hours later, the first real song I’d ever written was done. The song only partly dealt with this horrendous loss. It also touched on my own experience being bullied as a child as well as thoughts of my son and my hope for his well-being.

Dreaming of Guns

This song is about someone I knew many years ago who would wake up in the middle of the night, screaming in terror, punching at the air, and by the following morning, didn’t remember it at all. Needless to say, it led to more than a few sleepless nights.

 

And years later, it inspired this. I don’t believe her dreams were necessarily gun- related, but the choice of this phrase as the chorus seems to fit the theme of the album.

I'm your .45

This song might be about a sociopath. It might be about a psychopath. It could be about a sexual predator. And there’s a chance it may be about the 45th President of the United States...

Nothing To See Here

This song has its inspiration in something I heard a police officer say on Market St. in San Francisco as I slowly drove by what was clearly the aftermath of a fatal shooting.

“Move along ... nothing to see here.”

His tone, at once tired and impatient really stuck with me. It spoke of how many times he’d likely seen things like this and had to say those same six words. It also suggested that he wasn’t alone in that. That we have all grown so accustomed to shootings, in the home, the workplace, the streets, our schools.... That we just move along believing there’s nothing to say... nothing to see...

Talk To You

There’s a rather odd aspect to this song. And it’s all about context. When I wrote it, I was thinking of it as a statement on the emptiness of social media, and the fact that we really want to just “Talk To Each Other.” I couldn’t possibly have known that about a year after it was written, I’d be relying on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Zoom to connect with the world, in business, in music and personally. Social media became pretty much all I had... all ANY of us had.

In fact, when I do the song live, I often change the line in the chorus to, “I’m just lookin’ for some face-to-face conversation.

Also, I owe a lot to my producer, Scott Mickelson, for making this song work. It originally was an angry rant, replete with a blistering tempo and squealing guitars. He suggested I take another approach entirely. So... I came back with a swing tune that immediately lent itself to a great Dixieland Jazz feel provided by Scott and our piano and horn section.

The Fish Song

This is the one ‘cover,’ on my upcoming album. I decided to add it after a performance of it at a musical event called, EG Phest. This is a concert that has been held annually for several years. The host (and birthday boy) EG Phillips, asks his fellow singer/songwriter pals to choose one of his songs and perform it at his party. About three years ago, I decided to add my voice to the festivities and covered “The Fish Song.”

I continued performing the song at a number of shows over the following few years and when we were looking for one more song for the album, I suggested to my producer, Scott, that this might be it.

He wasn’t wild about the idea of a cover, until he heard the tune. We then decided to take what was originally just a voice and an acoustic guitar and move it in an entirely different direction... and slightly underwater....