Posted: March 20th, 2012 | Author: admin | Filed under: music | Tags: folk, Grammy, Kerrville, New Folk, songs, songwriting, The 15th Floor | 1 Comment »
[Excerpted from our Once and Future Songs column and our newsletter.]
In the hill country of west Texas, not far from San Antonio, there exists a haven of Folk Music, yes a conclave of hippie-type, free-thinking, folk singers existing in the shadow of the Bush enclave. Go figure. The Kerrville Folk Festival is held at the Quiet Valley Ranch for almost three weeks at the end of May, early June (beginning on Memorial Day weekend), with a shorter festival over Labor Day weekend.
I have entered two of our new songs in the Kerrville New Folk songwriting contest. Always wanted to do it, but frankly, the competition is stiff. Past winners have included: Lucinda Williams, Lyle Lovett, Nanci Griffith, David Wilcox, John Gorka, Jimmy LaFave, Tish Hinojosa, Steve Earle, Hal Ketchum, Robert Earl Keen and hundreds of others. If you are not a folk music aficionado, let me explain: WOW!
Before you go off thinking it’s all just Camptown Races and Where Have All the Flowers Gone, let me clarify.
Most of the winners are in a genre called “singer-songwriter” which is a part of the broad category of Americana, which was formed, I think, as an alternative to Nashville, but includes Nashville country all the same. It also includes Folk (old-timey and “new”), Blues, World Music, Reggae, Kitchen, Hillbilly (and Rockabilly), and Alternative (Outlaw) Country , which has put Austin on the map (musically that is.) New Folk and singer-songwriter stop short of “pop” on one end and traditional on the other end, though sometimes can sound old-timey.
Why go through all this? Our new album centers more firmly in the middle of Americana than our first album. Intentionally a little more “rootsy”, the genius at work here is Kyle Harris, who both produced and engineered all the tracks. The key here: he produced each track in the way he thought best exemplified the song. I believe most of the songs would fit comfortably in the New Folk category. I also believe Kyle deserves a Grammy for this album.
Posted: August 7th, 2011 | Author: admin | Filed under: music | Tags: Diana Ross, Doors, lyrics, Playboy, Samantha Fox, songwriting | No Comments »
[Excerpted from our Once and Future Songs column in our newsletter.]
I casually mentioned a song idea to my wife, “I Want You to Touch Me.” A plea, of sorts. Of course, good writers edit, and we decided, “Touch Me” was better (sound familiar?)
Of course my wife asked what genre? What do you mean?
Well, if it’s country you might say, “Touch me with your ten foot pole.”
If Rap, “Touch me, Bitch!”
“Not rap,” I say.
But, alas, it has been done many times. Might be hard to do it better.
Diana Ross, when recording “Touch Me in the Morning”(Michael Masser and Ron Miller) apparently “pushed so hard”, she almost had a nervous breakdown over it. She recorded it during the time when she put her kids to bed, left them with her mother, and recorded all night—returning in the morning to send them off to school before going to bed.
Samantha Ross was little more direct about it, “Touch Me (I Want Your Body)”. But that might be expected from a performer who’s publicity photos look like they came right out of Playboy (at least the Playboy I knew as a teenager- haven’t seen one for many years—really!)
But, of course, the most classic “Touch Me” was by the Doors (written by Robbie Krieger.) Originally the title (and lyric) was “Hit Me”, changed by Morrison, supposedly afraid the audience might take him literally and assault him. Why might they do that?
Don’t hit me.
Posted: September 18th, 2009 | Author: admin | Filed under: music, video | Tags: music video, song, songwriting | No Comments »
For what it’s worth (I know, I know—not much), here is a YouTube video using our song, “Listen to Me Breathe.” From what I can tell this song has become one of our most played-on-the-radio songs (neck and neck with, “A World Without Your Face.”) Not having the talent or access (or cash) to do more, I used Animoto, which has great potential in the right hands and did a fine job in spite of me.