Sunday, February 19, 2012

Rosco Coltrane

Rosco Coltrain is one of my favourites I have ever written. I loved the Dukes of Hazzard as a kid. As an adult looking back, I felt bad for poor Rosco – The Duke Boys and Boss Hogg were always getting the best of him. Rosco was always the scapegoat and must have felt pretty bad some nights coming home.

I was absolutely thrilled when I sent this song to James Best, the actor who played Rosco, and he wrote me back saying that he loved the song.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Summer in Saskatoon

I let friends of mine inspire this song.

He showed me his new black cowboy boots he had just bought. She loved to dance, and on the weekend they were off to her home in Saskatoon.

Driving across the prairies at night is unique. It seems as if the glow of the city at night is blocked only by the curve of the Earth.

The picture is a painting by my Mom.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Under the Tree and Dreaming

Time brings change. I believe it was Buddha who says that change is the only consistency.

The name on the door of one of the bedrooms of our old house has changed three times. Every baby first had the nursery room where I had painted a mural all around the room. In one corner was painted a large tree where the crib was found. When the lights were turned out at night, the glow in the dark stars that I had hidden in the clouds lit up as familiar constellations. The kids were in fact, ‘under the tree and dreaming’.

Thank goodness for songs. This lullaby takes me back to that room, singing the little ones to sleep.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wood and String Soul

My guitar was a high school graduation gift from my parents. I have played it pretty much daily for more than twenty years. It has played around campfires, on stages, in kitchens and in bars. It has been with me on many adventures and has been there for most every song I have ever written. As far as guitars go I dare say it has a pretty good life.

Is it possible that this once living tree, that gives life to music and vibrates with every note is capable of carrying energy from where it has been, where it has played, and from all those it had made dance, sing or smile?

I have a banjo my father found for me at a yard sale. What is its story? Where has it been? How come I feel inspired to play certain things on it and new original songs come to mind when I am playing it?

I have a mandolin from my uncle that jams so easily. It blends in effortlesly with the group and every note, intended or not sounds so right.

I have a fiddle that squawks and squeaks – even though I continue to get better at it over time, it is a labour and the music is forced. Does it have nothing to share with me? I am its first player…

Do wood and string have soul? Even a little bit? Do they pass on and share something to each new host?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Lullaby

It's about images - Christmas cards depicting scenes.

A painting of city downtown with warm orange lights glowing in the windows, yellow streetlamps, the red tail lights of cars down the street and snow falling.

The edge of a forest viewed from a snow covered field with the winter moon overhead casting shadows with great contrast on the snow.

Bethlehem two millenniums ago - the original Christmas card.

All dreamy images - to lull you to sleep as I bid you goodnight.

Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Hockey Night in the Man Room

Ah - back to posting. Let the sharing of songs continue.

I am going to have to find a new group to start jamming with soon now that I have moved. The Man Room out of NDG rocked - the best group of guys you could get together and jam with ever.

A couple of years ago when Hockey Night in Canada was looking for a new theme song, I came up with this. I could never have imagined it as a theme song, but it was real fun to record and I made it up as I went. It was only the second time I had played around with multi track recording on the computer and it was quite addictive. The sounds are my acoustic guitar through various effects, a keyboard I borrowed from school to get the drum sound, and my voice.

The video was the guys in the Man Room entertaining me.

Monday, August 2, 2010

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Summer 1998 I worked at the Tim Horton Children’s Ranch in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. It was completely magical. Kids would come to the camp from all over Canada to spend ten days hiking, horseback riding, rock climbing, white water rafting, bonding together, finding inner strength that they never knew was there, and leave with an absolute love the great outdoors.

My favourite quote of all time was from that summer, - it was the first night of a session and the campers were in their bunk excitedly talking with no signs of stopping as campers on the first night usually did. As I sat on the porch outside the cabin door, I gazed at the perfectly clear star filled mountain sky. I called them all to come outside and see the heavens (they weren’t going to sleep anyway) and then it became instantly clear that this beautiful scene had never been appreciated before.

“HOLY SH*T!!!”, one kid cried out.

That’s it. That’s the quote. To this day I have never heard those words used with such sincerity.

For the counsellors as well as the campers, it was a magic summer. This was a long time ago, so of course we were all younger then, but when I look back at working at the camp it was like going to the camp. We were all kids, big ones and little ones all having fun.

Words are hard to come by to describe the feeling of the experience. It was like a dream, all those nights around the big campfire pit, and those extra special ones where you would catch a glimpse of the northern lights...for sure it was like a dream, - a midsummernight’s dream.