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This month, I’m celebrating a milestone: I recently completed my 150th song!
In honor of that accomplishment, while I continue to work on the next three Earthsongs tracks, I’ve written an essay about my songwriting career, illustrated with lots of pictures and some less-well-known recordings. (These songs might not be considered “fan favorites,” but I think they are among the best songs I’ve written.)
The essay details my journey from a 10-year-old with a good voice (who wished he could be Molecule Man) to an experienced songwriter and performer. It’s been an interesting trip that’s led me through Japan, the bars and clubs of New York City, and finally onto the Internet, where I can reach people all over the world with my work. (I’ve been told that one of the most interesting parts of this essay is the photographs—especially how dramatically my appearance changed from boyhood to adulthood. See what you think!)
I hope you’ll take the time to look it over, listen to some of the songs/recordings, and share a bit of my journey! To check out the essay, click here: Writing 150 Songs!
As an additional celebration of my sesquicentennial song, I’m releasing a new collection of demo recordings of original songs that I wrote early in my career. I believe all of these songs are quite respectable, but since I never planned to incorporate them into any of my current album projects, they’ve been languishing in the basement on dusty shelves, waiting for someone to share them with the world! Starting this month, I’ll be releasing them one or two at a time in a new section of this homepage called The Basement Tapes. This month I’m releasing two songs, which you’ll find a little further down this page: Saving It All for You, and California Dreaming (Never Had Much Meaning for Me). Look for more Basement Tapes releases in the year ahead!
Incidentally, releasing a collection of early songs is actually following in the tradition of a number of well-known singer-songwriters; Cat Stevens (currently known as Yusef Islam) released an album called Very Young and Early Songs; Billy Joel released Songs from the Attic. Other artists have had their earliest work released by record companies without their permission (think The Paul Simon Songbook). Of course, the better known Basement Tapes album—featuring Bob Dylan and The Band—wasn’t a collection of early songs. Nevertheless, it seems like a good title for my own collection of early material.
By the way, people who hear that I’ve written my 150th song often ask me to play that song. It’s called Letting It Show, and it’s written in the style of some of my early love songs. I think it’s a good song, but probably not my best song. If you’d like to sample some of my best work, in honor of my 150th song—i.e., sample the songs that turned out to be really popular with listeners—check out the songs below (songs #116, #122, #112, #86, #65 and #75, in that order!)
Click to hear the songs!
The Basement Tapes is a collection of songs written in my early years as a songwriter—many while I was in college—that were demoed in my home studio a few years later. I’m happy to have a way to share these with you! Enjoy!
Saving It All for You was written in college as I was starting to become adept at guitar playing. It was a way to practice—and show off—my chops, while showcasing my sense of humor!
California Dreaming (Never Had Much Meaning for Me) was one of my first ballads to become very popular among my peers, and one of my first songs to be played by another artist in public. (To learn more about the song, check out my essay Writing 150 Songs!)
Saving It All for You
California Dreaming (Never Had Much Meaning for Me)
IN CASE YOU MISSED THE NEWS: Nominees for awards in the JPF international music competition were recently announced. JPF is a grassroots organization with more than 50,000 members from 160 countries around the world. They hold a song/album competition every few years. Out of about a quarter-million song submissions (to the overall contest), two of my releases have been nominated as finalists for best holiday recording: Songs of the Season and ‘Twas the Day of Thanksgiving! The winners will be announced in early August! (If you’ve never heard the two tracks, just click on the covers below!)
Songs from the Upcoming Earthsongs project, already released:
You can hear and/or download each song by clicking on the cover picture. Thanks to all of the folks who contributed to the Kickstarter campaign for the Earthsongs album…your contributions helped to make these recordings possible!
Look for more Earthsong releases in the coming months!
Click to read (or listen to) the poems!
Meanwhile, my book and CD set Help and Hope is still available and doing great!
My book Staying Off the Wheel of Misfortune is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, on Kindle, and as an audiobook at Amazon. (To hear a sample of the audiobook, click here: Wheel of Misfortune—Audio Book!) To learn more about the book and read samples, click on the drop-down menu About the Book at the top of this page. To check out the songs on the companion CD, Piece of the Puzzle: 12 Songs of Hope, click on the cover icon, above left, or check out the Free Downloads page on this website!
As always, my previous music releases are also available; click on the icons to the left!