The songs collected under the title "Romance and Sorrow" were written as early as 1971, "Your Down Is Up to You," and as late as 2002, "Copper Brown Eyes." My purpose is to showcase the broad sweep of my songwriting styles in this collection in order to attract the attention of singers searching for solid original material to sing.
"Copper Brown Eyes," which I wrote as a St. Valentine's Day gift for my wonderful wife, has a Americana-Bluegrass touch to it and is highly melodic. My signature whistling is a feature here, along with three-part harmony. I sing all the parts.
"You Got Me Where You Want Me" (2000) is a song about meeting an attractive young lady at a Country and Western night club. It has a driving up-beat feeling to it, matching the theme of the song. And the harmonies are hot!
"A Little Peace of Mind" (2000) is a song with strong religious tones. It asks some universal questions in terms that everyone can surely identify with---"What becomes of our fantasies? / How does a perfect love grow cold? /...Where is my silver and gold?" And here the lead guitar is overlain by my intense whistle!
"I Want to Love You for a 1000 Years" (1999), a song that has really gained a lot of popularity with a number of people through internet radio (can't imagine why!) is a Bluesy song of apology with a strong chorus in my upper tenor register. Gabe Lopez plays excellent piano and organ here!
"The Golden Hills of California" (1998), a mellow Country song, was written entirely in my head, silently as I was driving a client from LAX to Palmdale! No guitar, no instrument, nothing: just the music and lyrics in my mind as I drove through the golden hills of California on an August afternoon, a song of harmony and loss and longing. A song of fire in the blood!
"Let's Tie the Knot" (2000), a song I once performed at a wedding reception for friends, is a jumping Pop song of devotion and promise and romance and happiness: a song of a future of bliss! "Be my Guinevere in our Camelot," and again the whistle stands out!
"Forget About Her" (2000), is a Country song with intense harmony to match the vocal line. The theme of getting beyond that one love that was supposed to be "the one" is carried by the whistle again, as well as by the longing in the vocal. Of course, the true theme arrives at the end of the song: "the one" turns out NOT to have been "the one" after all.
"She's So Happy to Be in Her Skin" (2000) is an up beat Jazzy number about a hottie who knows she's a hottie and LOVES being a hottie! "Now you know the meaning of the word 'divine'." The harmony pushes, the guitar pulses, and of course the whistle surprises!
"The Banks of the Colorado" (2001) takes its title from the Colorado River of Texas. (My wife and I made a wonderful drive from Los Angeles to Austin.) It is three songs in one---a song about the passion between the river and the moon, a song about several families coming together like a peaceful river winding through a town, and a song about the passion between the man and his lover--but the trick is to fuse these three songs into one song, AND make it work!
"It Breaks My Heart to Let You Go" (1999) brings out some of my best singing! I use three-part harmony in parts of the song, which fits the sad, high-tenor chorus. Again, the whistle surprises with its mournful insistence, matching the lead guitar. "And my soul will always be your lover."
"Blue" (2000) is a happy light-hearted Honky Tonk style song, with clever turns of phrase in praise of the lady's beauty, he misses her so! "When I'm in your lovin' arms / I feel I'm the cream of the crop / Birds sing in the treetops / And the music never stops."
"Your Down Is Up to You" (1971) I wrote to try to teach myself how to have a good attitude! because it's so easy to complain! "Well, you can cry and drown in sorrow and self-pity." It's an up-beat Blues song with a very catchy melody and rhythm, or it wouldn't have survived from 1971. I'd have thrown it in the trash long ago!
Throughout this CD I am accompanied by the excellent musicianship of Gabe Lopez playing all of the instruments (other than guitar, my duty). And the producing honors go to John Deaver whose expertise is without parallel. John focused the vocals to make them all precise and selected the additional instruments and how they should be arranged for Gabe to play.
This CD, "Romance and Sorrow" and the next which follow, "Ballads in Praise of the Muse" and "I Sing for America," are truly a collaboration among the three of us. And I love working with John Deaver and Gabe Lopez!