Do it again! I came across this song and loved it as a kid so I thought it would be fun to learn for playing live. I’m looking to book more residency types of gigs. I’m a creature of habit for sure, so carving out a once a month spot in a venue is right up my alley. So to bolster my marketing efforts I’m recording some songs that I currently play live. Here’s this very special song. More to follow.
The Long Way
When I first arrived in Vero, my mom would get up early to walk her dogs, so my dog Margot and I got in the habit of joining her and subsequently upon moving to Sebastian, Margot demanded that I continue that pattern. We got in the habit of long walks in Sacramento and enjoy them here too. I use walking to connect with nature, think, be grateful and work on song ideas. During the summer, the earlier the better! It’s fun to walk the neighborhoods, watching folks getting out the door early to start work and come Friday morning, the boats start heading out and you can feel some anticipation for the weekend in the air. It was the starting point for this song which is a collection of a few sights I’ve seen, and some fun I’ve had along the way. Todd Jones and I will be back at the Kilted Mermaid November 7th from 6:30 to 9:30 pm, and we hope you can join us for an evening of entertainment!
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.
When you’re the child of two cops the dinner table conversation is a 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.
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.
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 and I’m pleased with the outcome. I hope your loved ones are near to you this Christmas. If not, wherever they are I pray they’re safe and sound.
I took the time to re-edit and remix this project and this is the latest version.
Though I was born in Ashland, Kentucky, I grew up in South Florida where music and dancing is a large part of the culture, salsa dancing in particular and finding a club whose live band has a horn section is a common thing. Hence my love of horns, Latin rhythms and dancing.
As a songwriter I address a variety of topics, but sometimes I like to keep it light, fun and simple. Life is beautiful so dance more!
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.
I’ve finished mixing 11 new instrumentals which I’d love to have released by the end of this year. It will be off to mastering with Professor David Houston in the next few weeks and then I’ll focus on the artwork.
I’ve re-edited the video’s for Easy Money and Texas Rain and am preparing for this Saturday night’s show at Luna’s here in Sacramento, featuring Carey Seward at 8:00, myself at 9:oo and Jenn Rogar at 10 pm.
At the Intersection of Art and Music
Magic happens to artists when we cross into other artistic fields. I got back into painting after my divorce. The pain of divorce left me feeling as though I might not ever be able to make music again. It was as if there was no strength left in my diaphragm, like I had been kicked in the gut. I couldn’t even look at my guitar without feeling slightly ill.
I was sharing my house with a professional artist friend and he had paints and extra canvasses and encouraged me to get back into it. As soon as I picked up the brush and started working with the colors and mediums I found myself swimming in that same feeling of timelessness I get from making music. It’s like a field of potential energy watching color fall onto its body.
It took me over a year to be able to pick up my guitar and close to 18 months before I could eek out a tune again. Painting helped make me whole. It helped me feel the vibrancy and vigor of celebrating life and when I did finally find my way back to my voice, it was there as strong as ever, ready to rock and roll.
My paintings will be installed in Luna’s Cafe and Juice Bar for the months of August and September, 1414 N Street, Sacramento. I’ll be performing in two separate shows those months, August 22nd and September 12th. I look forward to meeting you!
P.S. A Shout Out to the amazing Dr. Huong Bach (UC Davis) for reminding me that the heart heals on it’s own time.
This Ain’t Working Anymore…. ♪♫♪♫
I’ve hatched a new one. This is fresh from the mental factory and there are three main components driving this song. At Monday night’s Fox and Goose open mic in Sacramento, I heard a performer effectively use the “repeat the same line 4 times technique” and I realized that I typically avoid that technique in my writing. I like to go somewhere with the story and resist singing the same line. He challenged me to write a song this week using that approach… so I did!
Carey Seward 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.
Carey is a songwriter from Alaska who has recently joined the music community here in Sacramento and she’s got oodles of talent. Allison is a ukulele goddess with a sweet soprano voice. Both frequent several open mic’s around the Sacramento region.
The second verse came first and then came the chorus and then the last two verses and ironically the first verse was the most difficult to write, but it’s so true that it sticks with me like butter.
2 Week Update: I’ve changed the chorus. It was too annoying. It’s become:
This ain’t working anymore.
This ain’t working like before.
The time has come to close the door
cause this ain’t working anymore.
This is my latest song baby. She was born the first weekend in May and came back from Mastering a week ago. She is definitely one of my more inspired pieces. What does that mean? It means that everything came quickly and easily from the words to the sounds to the recording. I played around awhile with the mix using different vocal effects and ended up happy with a clean version, just a touch of reverb.
The lyrics of this song haunt me. I got up Saturday morning and watched the Bruce Jenner/Diane Sawyer interview and the idea that we all just want to be “free” really stuck with me. I think the darker imagery stems from realizing that Bruce had been struggling with this issue for so many years. For me “Free” represents the deep unabating desire we have to reach self actualization and fulfillment. That’s really the American Dream is it not?
Indie Band Guru – Review of the Wild West Medicine Show
I love this review. This guy gets me. Part of me had to do this project just to see if I could and what I would learn along the way. I’ve never believed in being a “starving” artist, or that you have to “suffer” for your craft. My parents were both cops. They worked incredibly long hours often picking up additional off duty jobs to help pay for the extra’s. They weren’t particularly musical either. I’m pretty sure they saw that my head was in the clouds early on and perhaps that worried them.
When I was sixteen I asked them if I could run rickshaws in Coconut Grove (I thought it would be a great way to make money and lose weight). After a resounding NO from the parental units I opted for a summer job at JC Penney’s. After coming back from the military I started going to school at Miami Dade Community College on the Homestead Campus and ended up getting a job as a dispatcher for the Florida Highway Patrol.
At the time I was studying classical music and it was not uncommon for me to be humming or singing softly in the dispatch room in between calls, especially when I worked midnights and the shift was slow.
Slow and steady, with the full intent of improving along the way is how I approach my craft.