a winter road revisited

20 04 2015

It has definitely been awhile.  Even so, this will not be something new.  Instead, I have been wanting to rework a 2 verse song sketch I shared back in February 2011 under the title “Winter Road”, and finally arrived at a version with 3 verses starting with a summer reference, and ending with the “winter road”, which was the original first verse.   I tried to keep the arrangement simple but may have gotten a little carried away with the sampled drum track.   Anyway, the added verse and new sequence seems to work better, but I am always open to suggestions if anyone is out there reading this and listening.

Don’t Much Matter

(V1) I am walking along this sandy bay

summer waves come, wash my tracks away

no one will know if, I was here today

don’t much matter if I go or stay

(V2) Spent my whole life trying to catch a dream

when I caught one, wasn’t what it seemed

now I’m wondering what I should do

don’t much matter if I’m with you

(V3) now I’m walking down this winter road

snow is falling, my tracks won’t show

where I come from or where I go

don’t much matter long as you know

btw:  since the free version of wordpress no longer allows uploads of mp3 files, I have had to resurrect my long dormant myspace page to add the above link.


2 tokyo

5 09 2011

After having our spring plans canceled, my wife and I are beginning to think about a fall trip to Tokyo and just the thought of roaming the streets of Kichijoji was enough to inspire a short song.   It started with a semi-interesting chord sequence recorded straight to my ipod touch for fear of forgetting it before I could find a use for it.  Over a week or more the song evolved into an electrified version in 3/4 time after some work with an old copy of Vegas software.   Here is the initial demo sketch from the ipod with a touch of reverb added   

and here is the vegas production version which ended up with a slight variation in the bridge chord sequence which was originally in C G F C G C G F E7, but ended up as Am C D F C G F E7.   And for the record, the main section is Am E7 C D7 FM7 E7 Am E7.

looking for rainbows

24 07 2011

It’s been a bit of a dry spell for me musically but something seasonal has surfaced as we move into prime thunderstorm weather in the hot days of late summer.   And after the storms pass, if we are lucky, we may see a rainbow which is what this song is about, or is it?

feel like goin’ somewhere

12 04 2011

This is the time each year when we usually head for Japan to visit family and friends.   We bought tickets in February to leave March 11th, but then decided we weren’t quite ready and the weather in Japan was still unseasonably cold so we changed the departure date to March 25th.   March 11th the great earthquake struck Japan, followed by a devastating tsunami that wiped out whole towns and crippled a nuclear power plant.   When we heard it on the news we counted ourselves lucky not to have left on March 11th but wondered if our plan to leave on the 25th was still a good idea.  We watched and waited and in the end, with advice from friends and family we decided to cancel and wait for better days.    As we watched the story unfold I still had regrets that we hadn’t gone and wondered if the chance would come again.   We began to think about other places we could go to get away from the remnants of a typical Wisconsin winter and with those conflicting thoughts swirling, I captured  the following sketch of a simple song in rough form on my ipod touch.  

1) I am danglin’ on the downhill side of 4 and 60 years, got a suitcase full of memories, and a pockeful of fears

2) and it seems like time to just unwind and hit the road again,  feel like going’ somewhere, where I ain’t never been

3) so I spread the map out on my lap and draw a crooked line down river roads as the river flows I let my days unwind

4) ’cause I feel like goin’ somewhere I ain’t never been, but you never know, if you don’t go, will you get the chance again

Winter Road

21 02 2011

Found an unexpected use for a new iPod Touch capturing short song sketches with the voice memo feature.   This is pretty much the raw track of something new with only a bit of reverb added and a simple bass part.  

before the cold front comes

17 01 2011

If you live in Wisconsin, there are certain things you learn to accept and preparing for winter is one of them.    When I was younger that used to mean taking the screens off my parents house and putting on the storm windows.   Winterizing the car was also an important ritual involving checking the antifreeze,  battery, and tires and then making sure you had an ice scraper and snow brush to clear the windows.    With newer windows and other technology, some things are no longer a bother but when fall arrives, you still mentally run through your winter checklist,  including having the furnace inspected, to make sure you’re ready.   

And as I get older, I seem to need to prepare mentally for another season of short gray days and long cold nights, and I even get to thinking about whether it might be time to consider a move to a warmer climate.  But that would be a huge cultural change and so far, the stoic Scandinavian blood in me seems to  say:  quit whining and just deal with it.   In some ways, the shorter days mean more time spent at home in the evenings which can provide more opportunity for reading and reflection, which sometimes even leads to new song ideas.    

In this case the simple thought of weathering the winter led to a few catch phrases about cold fronts and then the simple and well worn concept of using the seasonal change as a metaphor in general for preparing to face adversity in whatever form.   It’s all wrapped around a simple 8 bar blues variation in C and also gave me a chance to work with a new Fender J Bass instead of the canned keyboard foundation I am usually limited to.    So here is the latest, a simple song about facing another Wisconsin winter or whatever other trials you may have in your life.  

another new year

1 01 2011

It’s been awhile, but here is something new for a new year.

Looking back on 2010 and my transition to WordPress in September,  I still have a ways to go in editing posts going back to 2006 from my old blog on Vox, but 2011 will hopefully allow more time for new material.   This first effort is a simple 4 chord song in G reflecting on the uncertainties of life’s journey using a favorite and familiar train metaphor.