It's been a year and a half since I have written a blog post here, way too long. It's been hard to focus on artistic career maintenance. I work six days a week, I spend much of my free time with my partner, Diane, I don't get the chance to be at my desk very often these days. And an entire presidential nomination and election process has come and gone, resulting in the elevation of a real (fill in blank) of a human being, Donald Trump being elected as president. I feel most sorry for those years younger than myself, that my baby boomer generation did not have the decency to elect a highly talented, brilliant and capable woman, Hillary Clinton to be president. Instead we sent you this (fill in blank).You can fool some of the people some of the time. But those not fooled marched the day after inauguration in the millions across the country and around the world. It was good to see that.
But let's talk music, shall we? In September, with the encouragement of my friend and mentor Stephen Martin, I culled together 11 songs for my first full-length CD/album. It is December and all the songs have been recorded in basic guitar and vocal form and step by step, I am adding additional music and players for these songs. I was introduced to my recording engineer, Rich Kneeland by Eric "Snake" Gulliksen, Stephen's performing partner and fellow Orpheus veteran and from the very first session, it has been a comfort and joy to work there. Snake has evolved into my album producer and we do everything for the album together now. Snake has played bass guitar on 6 of the 11 tracks (and probably will play on all tracks except for "Air"). Other musicians to date: Raianne Richards on clarinet, Ed DeFord on Ukelele (nickname Duke of Uke) on two tracks and vocals and earlier today, the addition of Tom Hyer on piano on two tracks. Stephen Martin is coming out to record on two tracks this Sunday and I am also planning to record Colette O'Connor on accompaning vocals on our song, Neponset River Murder Ballad after that.
There are a couple other musicians I would also like to add if time and weather and resources permit this. It has all gone smoothly and maybe the album will be ready this Spring, 2017. The art for the album cover is now on my front page here, courtesy of my talented niece Ashley Mauzy. I took vocal lessons to be ready to be sing on this album (thank you Barbara and Blackstone Valley Music) and also for going forward with my performing career. I've learned quite a bit and the process inspired the song "Air" on the album. I open the album with a song about singing and end with a song about songwriting, which is the Firefly In A Jar of Emotion song. Two songs, Air and Under the Sky, were improved by workshopping them with noted songwriter Steve Seskin, whom I met through New England to Nashville songwriting seminars. The songs in between have all been written in the past 10 years and I think they are among the best songs I have written during that time.
I will try and do an updated post after the New Year. So that's all for right now. I will always keep my Calendar shows current. I hope to find more showcase opportunities through the Rhode Island Songwriters' Association (starting a brand new series not far from home in Cumberland, RI) and New England to Nashville, through whom I met a few new Nashville based friends this summer on Martha's Vineyard (hi to J.T. Harding). As they say, watch this space.