My friend Mark Ovaska and I walked around the lower east side the other night & took some photos. I thought I’d share. By the way – how are you doing? I’m OK. A bit of a tough few weeks, actually …
You’re probably all up on your hymn-trivia and you’re aware of this already, but if not, you know “It Is Well With My Soul” ? Did you know that it was written just after the lyricist (Horatio Spafford) found out his four daughters had drowned at sea? After learning where the words came from, I can barely sing them anymore.
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
My pal Dusty Brown and I will be sharing a bill this Sunday, October 17 at the wonderful and enchanting Rockwood Music Hall – Stage 2.
I’ve been singing with Dusty for … three years now?? and his ability to win over the grouchiest crowd never ceases to amaze me. Also, I stole his rhythm section awhile back & claimed them for myself – Spence Cohen & Chris Bonner. Spence can’t make this Rockwood show but Bones’ll be there. And Steve Elliot. And Bryn Roberts on keys. Super psyched. Please come.
To be or not to be … one’s self … THAT is the question.
Over the last 3 weeks I’ve been part of a songwriting workshop with about 9 other songwriters here in New York. We could not be more different from one another. Most are writing highly commercial songs that I could easily hear on the radio (wait, I never listen to the radio) or being sung by Ri … Riha … what’s her name? Oh yeah, RIHANNA.
I wrote 3 songs for the workshop – the 3rd song being submitted toward a cash prize. Cash is cool. Now back to my story.
I agonized through the whole process. I wrote one song for my final submission (after a guest-industry-speaker-person advised me to “get to the chorus within 30 seconds”) and went to demo it one night with a friend. It’s a catchy tune – not terrible, actually – but lyrically dull. I had written it to fit some kind of pop-music mold so the industry folk might approve of me. As I was singing through it that night with my friend I got a stomachache. That this is NOT ME stomach ache. I went home from recording with the dejected, hopeless feeling I get when something just isn’t sitting right … when I have tried to be something I’m not.
I switched gears the day before the songs were due, and recorded a new song that I really love. I don’t know what I’ll do with this tune ultimately and the demo here is solely for the workshop … but here ’tis. With help from my friends over a 24-hour period … Steve Elliot (guitar), Ben Shive (wurly / harmonium), Ben Wittman (perc / gloc) & recorded / engineered by Geoff Countryman. (And thank you to Steph Shaw for last-minute recording help & gab session.)
Will this ever be on the radio? Hmmmmm unlikely. Will Bruno Mars (who is that, by the way?) ever want to sing it? Nope. But I don’t care. I wrote a little song about one of my artistic heroes (refer to picture above!) & it feels like me. I know I have been myself.
Hello! I’ve gotten some requests for the lyrics to songs … here are the lyrics to all the songs on Wake Up Love – especially for you beauties who have downloaded from overseas. P.S. I love you for that.