Influenced by ‘70’s Top 40 and ‘70’s Power Pop, The Seekers, Donovan and Bob Dylan, Ten Years After, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen.
Folk – although folk has changed through the years, a touch of jazz and a touch of blues, some rock ‘n roll, roots, singer song-writer, pop rock, indie rock, instrumental, folk rock, Adult Contemporary.
The songs I write are born in one of two ways: first, I’ll think, “Today, I’m going to write a song” using, for example, a G chord, a 6th chord, a riff or whatever, and then I’ll do it.
Island Time was written after a walk on the beach on Hilton Head Island and, as I was walking, I said to myself, “Today, I’m going to write a song using an A6 chord”, which is the chord that opens the song. For the song ‘Smile’, I sat at my piano and said I was going to write a descending riff on a Bb chord. Hence, the opening.
The other way is when I’m just fiddling around on my guitar or piano and some series of notes catches my ear. Then, I try to expand it. Many songs I’ve written were written during music lessons, when my students and I would be chatting and I’d start noodling around on my guitar. ‘If That Weren’t Enough’ was written in this way over the course of several months of chatting in lessons until one day I decided to put it all together.
My music is NOT: Death Metal, Old School, Ambient, House Music, Emo, Punk, Rap, Reggae, Disco, Techno, Hip Hop or country, although my son told me once that both ‘Sweet E’ and ‘A Mile Away’ had a strong country flavor.
A musician, music teacher, former journalist, pol and stay at home dad (the best job he ever had). He has played in several bands over the years, notably in MAC, (RIP Greg!), who were the house band a Big Wally’s, and in which I played keys. I was also in the Tod Hughes Project, as a keyboard player and guitarist. Great band and Tod was a great band leader, despite his occasional forgetting where we were in a song during shows, and then the rest of us would guess where we had to go to catch up with him and the sound was that of Hell releasing its malevolent sound all at once. We played in a venue whose stage was so small, the fiddler’s bow kept hitting me in the head.
A duo I was in once was called the Dirty Ol’ Buskers, me on 12 string acoustic, kazoo, harmonica harmony vocals and my buddy Rob on lead vocals and drums. He had a great set-up with his kit where he would play standing up so we were side by side on the stage. But he said it was difficult to play shuffle patterns like that. Don’t ask me! Drummers are out there.
A big hit for Santo and Johnny in 1959. Written by Ann Farina, Johnny Farina and Santo Farina. It has been recorded as a cover around 100 times . Amazing! Some of the more notable covers have been by Joe Satriani, The Brian Setzer Orchestra, The Pete Best Band, Leo Kottke, Jeff Beck, the Ventures, the Shadows and Chet Atkins. This is my version. The rhythm guitar is being played on a 1964 Apollo 12 string electric and the lead on an ‘80’s Danolectro DC-59.
If That Weren’t Enough is a collaborative effort. The song was written and recorded in Calgary, the vocals in Winnipeg by Will Penner. The cover photo was taken in Kimberley BC by @courtenayforster and the cover execution was done by Thelma Freeman in Napa, California. (Good things other than wine come from that valley!) This song represents some of my thoughts from my cross country cycling trips.