"Romance and Sorrow" may be my first CD, and "Ballads in Praise of the Muse" my
just-completed second CD, with my third CD, "I Sing for America," almost complete--but I've
been writing songs since I was about 18, and singing lead since I was in church at about 6 or 7.
My purpose, my goal, my dream in this project is to offer my songs to other singers! I want
other great or aspiring singers out there who enjoy this music to take these songs and to "cover
them." Use my songs as your material! Sing my songs as your music.
I remember in 4th grade bringing my guitar and performing "El Paso" by the great Marty Robbins
for my class! I also sang the lead role of Nanki-Poo, the "Wandering Minstrel" of The Mikado in
the 6th grade--which was GREAT cuz I got to play and sing opposite the cute girl I had a crush
on, Nanki-Poo's beloved Yum-Yum! See the photo in the "Ballads" gallery.
But in High School my singing and guitar-playing hit high gear, as Simon and Garfunkel, The
Beatles, and Bob Dylan influenced my idea of what a song is.
Thanks to study of the best of popular music that I can find throughout many years, including
such brilliant singers as Vince Gill and Raul Malo, and my devotion to the poetry of W.B. Yeats,
the strongest poet in our English language in the 20th century (sorry T.S., it ain't quite you), I've
developed my own musical aesthetic.
My songs must emphasize melody first! The singer's voice must draw in the listener with the
power of a melody that is simple, yet unique and intriguing. Second, this melodic voice must lie
in a bed of harmony that is also simple, traditional, and resonant, yet that moves in unexpected
directions through rhythmic changes and/or unusual chord patterns. Third, the lyricism of the
verse must drive the listener to feel a peculiar emotion that comes somewhat as a shock, yet
that was somehow always known!
The combination of these three elements, melody or individual voice, harmony or multiple voice
and multiple instruments with rhythm, and thirdly, lyricism or the poetic element that threatens
to merge song with poem but that must never transform song into poem--this combination of
elements is magically merged in the process of the singing, song writing, performing, if I am ever