Making Music is Making Me

It’s hard to believe that it has already been over a decade since I publicly released an album of songs. I released “The Weight of Glory” late in the year 2000 and it sold alright but I never put enough live performances behind it to really give it a chance. (I’m giving it away as a digital download here if you’d like to have a listen)

Since then I’ve probably written about 150 songs and made demos of 60-70 of them, so its safe to say that a new album is long overdue.

I’m approaching things very differently this time around. I have always been completely sheet-bound; everything I did, from writing to recording to performing, required a lead sheet (a paper that shows the lyrics, chords, and song structure). I have always lamented the fact that I couldn’t play many of my own songs without a lead sheet so this time, no lead sheets.

This is a forced discipline and a new way of being and it is working out very nicely. I sit down in front of the microphone with, at most, a hand written sheet with a few notes on it and play the song.

When it comes time to perform these songs live I’ll be so ready to go. A couple of the songs are brand new, written in the last few weeks, and I haven’t even completely written them out yet. This is another departure from my usual methods. I have numerous binders full of songs that were written by hand and then typed up with a proper title, verse and chorus structure, chords over top of the words, etc. They even had a copyright notice at the bottom, for goodness sake!

My studio work methods are changing too as I submit myself to the guiding hand of a producer, Deni Gauthier. I wanted Deni to produce this album because he works fast and has more of an ear for pop catchiness than I do. So far, we’re working fast and I’m surprised at the catchiness and singability of what we’re producing together. These songs actually have commercial appeal. I can’t wait for you to hear them.

My best songs to this point have had a different kind of appeal. They are more in the vein of Bill Mallonee or Bob Dylan – more poetic with a more confessional tone. I love those songs too but it takes a certain type of person to get them. I’m already writing the songs for the album that will come out after the current one is done and they will be darker, more poetic and more confessional.

But for now, I’m having a blast making music with Deni. And making this music is making me.

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