Three Sides to Every Story

This song began as an attempted collaboration – I took someone else’s music (by invitation) and wrote lyrics for it. For whatever reason that collaboration fell apart (I’m still not sure what happened, honestly), and meanwhile, I also happened to have this set of changes floating around in my head, and I happened to notice that the lyrics I’d written for the other tune could be made to fit the changes with only a minimal amount of effort, so one thing led to another, and here’s the song. I recorded a sort of ’80s-style hard rock demo, and a while later I took it off to Terry Carleton’s Bones and Knives studio for a better recording. Terry heard it as a more ’60s-style pop tune, so we recorded it that way. And it was way cool – Terry’s an amazing arranger, producer, and recording dude and I love his work – but I still wanted that rockier feel to it. So I took the tracks that we recorded at Bones and Knives, rerecorded the vocals and lead guitars, and messed with it to end up with this hybrid approach. Either way, it represents my thinking on the subjective nature of reality. Nuff said. But man, Terry does some hardcore production and arranging…

Terry Carleton on drums and percussion, Jeff “Hawkeye” Sanders on bass and background vox, and me on all other guitars, keys, and vocals.

Chopped Liver

I wrote this song long before the “friend zone” became a thing, but that’s kind of what it’s about. Lisa the Drummer calls it “Chipped Lover”, because of course she does. And who’s to say she’s wrong?

Dale Hymes came in and laid the bass track while Lisa Rutta did the drums. Guitars and vox and keys (sort of) by me.

Electric Telephone Woman

I did a consulting project in Syracuse, NY, a few years ago. The ‘war room’ where the project team was based was down a hallway in the office building. I had to pass three doors to get there, and of course they were labeled “Electric”, “Telephone”, and “Women”. Once the universe hands you a line like that, you really have no choice but to write the song to go with it. And heck, we’ve all known an Electric Telephone Woman at some point in our lives, right? Right? And yeah, probably way too many syllables in every line. I like ’em. Try and get past it.

I Make Fonkay

I wrote the lyrics for this one on a plane flight home from a business trip. I was drinking a ton of cheap airline scotch and cracking myself up with how many words rhyme with ‘rock’ (or ‘rawk’) (just damn glad it didn’t all have to rhyme with ‘orange’ or ‘cabbage’ or  something).

A very good friend disowned me when she heard the last line, but hey, that’s the kind of sacrifice you make for your art.

Incidentally, this is the bonus track on the CD that doesn’t come with the Bandcamp download. Bet you’re sorry you didn’t spring for the physical media, eh?

I did all the vocals, guitars, geetars, bass, keys, and drumsounds.

Spider Skull Mantra

I saw a bumper sticker a few years ago that said something like, “Caution – you might not be as slick as you think you are”, which I thought was pretty brilliant. And I also read a lot of mysteries and thrillers. And I got this idea stuck in my head that there are probably a lot of people hanging out on the margins and fringes who might be trying to play with fire, but who might not be as slick as they need to be and think they are to pull it off. Eventually, that all turned into this tune. Is that weird or what?

Ooh Ooh Ooh (Scooter Tune)

A love song, or something like it. The melody was originally something way different up until the moment I realized I’d ripped it off from a Taj Mahal tune.

Dale Hymes on bass, me on guitars and vocals.

Angels Elsewhere

Sort of a mashup between a real visit to an ER I made several years ago, plus the idea of what angels do from Wim Wender’s “Wings of Desire”, plus some political posturing, plus some other random disappointments.

Lisa Rutta on drums and percussion, me on guitars, bass, vocals, etc.

Mr. Inquisition Man

I think lots of songwriters keep a notebook full of words and phrases they might want to use sometime. This song single-handedly wiped out my pipeline for that stuff – every line I’ve ever thought of is in this song somewhere. I think it all has something to do with the murky relationships between morality, society, and commerce, buy hey, mostly it just rhymes. And more than a few people have told they they used to work for this guy.