For a while now, I’ve been putting together some new songs for my third record. To me, writing songs is serious business as they each have a piece of me within their notes and lyrics. I was just talking with Sally Browder, the producer of my second record, Trip To Horizon a few days ago and we were having a blast coming up with ideas for the direction this record will take. I am so inspired right now by the White Stripes and Jack White’s new solo record, Blunderbuss. There is a simple, honest, raw feel, with a touch of punk to the writing and how these records are produced. It really allows you to understand where he is coming from as a writer. I just love the vocal feel and the inspired guitar sounds in all their music.
After spending some time with Sally discussing the approach for this record, she suggested doing a more acoustic, singer-songwriter type of project so that the songs can be really stripped down and simple, but still have an edge and unpredictability that will keep them driving. That really fits with some of my current writing influences like Jack White and Lucinda Williams. By focusing on the simplicity of the songs, we will be able to let the songs breathe and still let ‘em rock. It’s gonna be fun to see what happens.
In recording a record in the studio, each song comes to life in different ways. Some come together very
quickly, without any hurdles and some can require perseverance. My Johnny Depp Song was one that
was much more the former, but also required some tough decisions that eventually made the song
one that I am most excited by. Even on the tracking days of that song, the energy and cool groove was
already bouncing off the track. Guided by my incredible producer, Sally Browder, we had a great lead
guitarist, Billy Watts, who had a take on the song that really helped to bring out the bass and drums.
When it came time for guitar over-dubs, Sally said she had just the right guitar player who could ‘take
the Johnny Depp song to another level’. When Sally, myself and Bob Boulding got together in the
studio, I was blown away with what Bob was doing with the song. The intro and guitar solo that Bob
came up with for “Johnny Depp” is one that blows your hair back and never loses energy, even after
listening to it hundreds of times. It seemed like everything just came together on this song, from the
guitar, to vocals to the percussion work by Pete Anderson. Even today, when people talk about my
record Trip to Horizon, many will say their favorite is my Johnny Depp Song, which makes all the work
we did in the studio even more special.
My favorite thing about great songwriters is that they can tell an entire story in a few minutes and it’s all set to music. That is so cool. It’s hard not to want to know when you hear a great story in a song, what the writer was writing about. And it’s easy to ask, ‘wow, I wonder who this song is about’ or ‘do you think that this really happened’? For me, I have always been interested in all the life that’s going on around me. It draws me in, but not just how people interact and their stories intermingle. The way each day ends, the changing of the seasons, the quiet and coolness of the autumn night air. These kinds of things inspire songwriting and every art form. It’s these circumstances that somehow come together and make me, as a writer, want to capture them in a story and put music to it.
No matter how many times I’ve seen them, it always amazes me when I see the work of artists like Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso and Rodin because they have this amazing ability to look at an object, person or even the wind and capture it in a totally different way, yet still manage to keep the essence of the life that’s in it. Amazing. I’m not a painter or sculptor, but I guess that’s what I try to do when I’m writing a song. If you get a chance, let me know your thoughts on how you create.
Hello and thank you for visiting my website. I am excited that you have joined me for the release of my second solo CD project, Trip to Horizon. This has been a most amazing chapter in my life, filled with unique challenges, personal realizations and artistic growth. From the time when I started writing these songs over two years ago and throughout the recording process, it has been vital to me to write with honesty so that the listener could feel as though they are sharing this journey with me.
Being an artist is about freedom, the freedom to express yourself and lay your soul on the line for everyone to experience. The greatest reward an artist can realize is to have others respond to that freedom in an emotional way. I appreciate all of the inspirational feedback I have received from people since the release of the CD.
I feel very fortunate to have been able to work in a creative atmosphere with so many talented musicians, songwriters, and producers. As a team we constantly challenged ourselves to passionately pursue creativity without compromise.
I have always loved the spirit of the independent artist following a vision and doing what it takes to make everything come together. It is my greatest hope that my music will be something you can embrace and will speak to you in a personal way.
Thanks for spending this time with me and sharing your interest and love of music with me.
Also, I am really excited about a nice cover and article about “Trip To Horizon” that was featured in Northwest Woman Magazine.