Friday, July 22, 2011

Now That I'm Over You

(Rutherford/Cerney/Royer) I had a Tuesday Night Music Club (literally) with these two guys around the turn of the millennium. Rivers was just on the verge of becoming the hottest writer in country music for a number of years, writing massive hits for Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney, Brooks and Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Brad Paisley and pretty much everybody else. Todd and I were more the kind of writers who labored in obscurity for years and occasionally had a big one jump out of the woodwork. We kept telling ourselves that the purpose of our getting together was to write a big one but the minute we sat down we couldn’t help ourselves from playing R&B, everybody’s secret love. ‘Now That I’m Over You’ was a pretty good example of our output. Rivers was a monster guitar player, Todd a world-class mandolinist and I’ve been spotted occasionally holding a guitar. On this particular track Rivers plays guitar, Todd plays bass and I’m on electric piano. Rivers is doing the lead vocal, backed by Todd. That’s our old friend Roger Linn on drums. (Joke. Roger invented the drum machine).

Now That I'm Over You

Monday, July 18, 2011

Like Rain

(Lawson/Royer) Buffy Lawson is a beautiful lady and a wonderful writer. I fall unrequitedly in love with all my girl singers and Buffy was no exception. We sat down to write a commercial country song and ended up with a mountain wail. That’s Buffy singing, I remember Rivers Rutherford grabbed the guitar part and that’s probably Dave Roe on bass but after that it gets murky.

Like Rain

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Michael's Song & Viva

I know three truths about songwriting as a profession:

1. Your reputation hangs on a random and arbitrary handful of tunes that fate has decreed will become recordings and, God willing, hits.
2. You always feel that your best stuff never sees the light of day.
3. I forget the third.

Recently I had an opportunity, through the good graces of my friend Tim Hallinan, to expose Michael’s Song, an unrecorded opus which I always felt was one of my best, on his remarkable blog. It felt good. Thousands of people (well, twelve actually) wrote in to say they liked it. Good enough for me. I never required a huge audience, just an audience.

So I am initiating this device as a way of putting out songs that would otherwise go entirely unheard. Some will be solo efforts. Most will be co-writes with amazing songwriters whom I had the opportunity and privilege of working with. Some won’t be my tunes at all, but songs by other writers that I either produced or published.

Even though I’m in Nashville, don’t expect a lot of country. Some songs will be. Most won’t. One critic noted that I write without fingerprints. I think that’s true.

I will reveal a new song every few days. If anyone cares to respond or ask questions I will try to keep the garden hoed.

Some songs will be elaborately produced and some will just be scratch demos, done on the spot at the moment of creation. All will be accompanied by info concerning co-writers, musicians, inspirations and anything else I think is relevant to the song’s creation.

Th th that’s all folks.

MICHAEL’S SONG (Robb Royer). If you really want the whole story I’ll give you a link to Tim’s blog which you can read by clicking here. In short, it’s about the Choice that people with some creative talent have to make: do I embark on the uncertain and emotionally bruising roller coaster ride of the professional creative person, or do I man up, get a real job, and take care of the family?

Michael's Song

VIVA (Willis/Moten/Royer). When Michael’s song hit Tim’s blog, a number of people were blown away by the prodigious talent of Chris Willis, so this seems like a good place to start. Viva happened one night when Chris brought over Wendy Moten, a fabulous singer who had had a deal in the ‘90’s and a few hits, too. Put on the spot, I quickly laid down a track just as you hear it on the record. Wendy took the lead and went out and did the vocal within an hour of our starting the whole process. We left a big hole in the middle and asked Chris to fill it. Boy did he.