Pink Chuck High-Tops

Mom said,”can I borrow your pink sneakers?” I looked at her and thought about it, “for the detail?  That’s kind of gross.”  “I think it’s perfect!” she said and after all, it was the ’80’s.  I let her take them.   They were this color pink.   She bought them for me so I didn’t feel right saying no, “Yeah, sure” I said “try not to get them too dirty.”  She was using them for an undercover prostitution sting operation that was happening in the turnpike rest areas in Florida, near Orlando.

imagesWhen you’re the child of two cops the dinner table conversation is 61yx-181t0la bit different.  We discussed all sorts of criminal behavior, how economy affects crime rates, recidivism, whether evil really exists or is the result of environmental causes and desperation.   We chatted about every type of traffic infraction and car crash. It becomes household lingo.  You get used to cleaning guns as part of the weekend chores and schooled on the “realities” of life and the misery that some folks face.  So  mom comes back with some interesting stories.  One in particular was of this trucker/john she arrested.  During the training, undercover agents are taught how to avoid “entrapment.” One way is get the john to say what he wants and how much he’s willing to pay.  This guy offered her 5 bucks for a blow job. “Can you believe he only offered me 5 Dollars!?!” she said.  I was really surprised, “only 5 dollars?, wow, that’s cheap!” I said.  This was probably around the time when the movie Pretty Woman was out, so I was thinking we’re talking some real money here, certainly not 5 bucks.  Well that was  it for Joe.  He got carted off to the hoosegow.

Her book is out.  It’s called, “Behind Her Miami Badge.” and you can get it on Amazon: It’s a great read and it’s real life.  I remember the stories so well.  For some reason I see Reese Witherspoon playing her in this as a movie or series…

I was out one evening playing a show with my buddy and fellow songwriter,  Jenn Rogar and I told her that story and she said, “that sounds like a song.”  I thought about it and couldn’t quite wrap my brain around what that could sound like.5bj-cover-1back-cover-5bj-1

Creativity is  like gardening.  You plant a seed and give it some water and before you know it you’ve got a flower or a story about a truck driver named Joe.  This refrain popped up and the story fell together on a Saturday morning.  It’s a little punk, a little rock and roll and as my sound engineer buddy put it, “the first time I’ve ever heard anyone use the Miranda Rights in a song.  You can buy it here on Amazon or Itunes

You can hear it here on Youtube as well.

Read more "Pink Chuck High-Tops"

A Love Like This…

As a songwriter and performer, nothing makes me happier than when people are dancing or singing along to my music.  If you can inspire one to dance or sing along, you’ve hit the root of community, gone beneath the surface and found connection.  When we make music and dance together we celebrate our life and […]

Read more "A Love Like This…"

It’s a New Day!

So much is happening. My music has been re-released on Cinderella Records, Sony Entertainment (Germany) and my new publishing company is set, O’Mally/Tabitha Publishing. Stay tuned for more fun and exciting changes!

Read more "It’s a New Day!"

This Ain’t Working Anymore…. ♪♫♪♫

Carey Sewald played Ani Difranco’s, “Both Hands” that night and that’s one of my favorite songs of Ani’s so I wanted to capture just a touch of that element as well. And finally, another local songwriter, Allison Hallenbeck recently wrote a song with lyrics that impressed me so much I practically fell out of my chair. So I thought of Allison and her lyric effectiveness as I pulled this together.

Read more "This Ain’t Working Anymore…. ♪♫♪♫"

The Institution

Flaming needles prick the darkness, hosed down halls that house the heartless, two pills in a paper cup, liquid soul, drink it up.

The Institution describes the cognitive dissonance I feel in my day job. It doesn’t even matter what the day job, so it’s not tied to my current organization of employment. I know I’m not the only one….

Read more "The Institution"

Free

“Free” represents the deep unabating desire we have to reach self actualization and fulfillment. That’s really the American Dream is it not?

Read more "Free"

Singing in Sacramento’s Spring

Relax, fall back. retreat, do some easy ooohs and gentle well placed eeees – resist the temptation to panic and consider your antihistamines and environment. Listen to the people around you. So many of the workers in my office have raspy sounding voices at the moment and my best buddy told me she couldn’t even sing the hymns in church on Sunday. So I know it’s related to the environment and to rely on my understanding of my instrument and careful technique.

Read more "Singing in Sacramento’s Spring"

David Houston and String Theory

The way he turns a phrase will catch you off guard and open your heart before you’ve realized what’s happened and then here comes String Theory with a sweeping line to lift you out of the mechanics of the lyrics and into the job that music is meant to do – move you to another level, another hemisphere, another view.

Read more "David Houston and String Theory"

Blurred Lines in the Music Business (Mimicry and Risk Aversion)

Now nothing in songwriting is purely original. Most of us stick to the Western scale system and use I, IV, V as the root of our music. Different formula’s for different styles but the fundamental platform in which we write a song has been an established paradigm for years. So then what’s the problem? The business wants Mimicry, repetition and for you to make it sound familiar…

Read more "Blurred Lines in the Music Business (Mimicry and Risk Aversion)"

Bourbon on my Deathbed

we started talking about Kentucky and she said, “Oh, what I wouldn’t give for some KY bourbon. Just a taste would be sooo good.” and I said, “Granny, I can take care of that for you right now. There’s no good reason why you can’t have yourself a little swig of bourbon if you want it.” You could see her eyes just light up at the thought and then she said, “Oh, no…no. I just couldn’t,” “Yes, Granny, yes, you can. It’ll only take me a moment to run to a package store and get you some!” She refused. It was a funny moment that stuck with me. So this song is for her.

Read more "Bourbon on my Deathbed"

Two Days Gone

When I wrote this song, it was with the intent of writing the “complete” country-blues song. It had to have certain elements (I think I even collected a list of these words before finally writing the lyrics), trains, a gun shot, lightning and a shack, red clay roads, Alabama and Memphis, family drama, someone in jail, someone in heaven, a bar, a hotel and a twenty.

Read more "Two Days Gone"

Oh Christmas Tree!

“It’s late in the evening, the sun has gone down.   The neighborhood is quiet but I hear the sounds.”  I spent the weekend working on It’s a Lonely Christmas Without You.   I somehow managed to delete my project files and had to recreate it, which was a good opportunity to make some changes […]

Read more "Oh Christmas Tree!"

The Bluegrass Grill

I took a few days off from my day job and am wrapping this project my sister from another mother suggested, a song for the Bluegrass Grill.  I heard my mother talk about the Bluegrass Grill and how it was a popular meeting place when she was young.  I did some investigating and found a menu online and […]

Read more "The Bluegrass Grill"

Civil Twilight

For the orchestration I wanted to create a simple warm sound which I obtained with two alternating cello lines, one plucked and lower and the other a more legato line on top. I wanted crisp clean cymbal sounds, a water dropping type of effect and a simple vocal harmony to reflect the awakening of spring and the fragility and tenderness of this piece.

Read more "Civil Twilight"