Posts Tagged ‘#acoustic’

Thinking about a recent post where we shared our first concert experiences, I was reminded about my first concert to see The Grateful Dead. I was fairly young and the environment was overwhelming and exciting.

We used to play one of their songs called “Mr. Charlie”. The Grateful Dead are off beat by nature and this is one of their songs most people have not heard.  I recorded this cover song a couple years ago and decided to pull it out of the ‘deep-freeze’ and post it for the fun of it.

When I was in cover bands, we were pretty much forced to play main stream or currently airing songs.  I would suggest the unknown songs often but understood when we played only a few.  This one never got the approval either, but the core group used to warm up on this one and I just like the flavor of the song.

Credits to The Grateful Dead.  This is my Ovation 12 String guitar and I do a little harmony.  Hope you have a little fun with this as well.

Years ago when I was still learning to play guitar; I know, we are always learning! In this piece, my great friend and musical soul mate Tom Robinson is playing guitar and singing. I play around with the harmony, not knowing exactly where this song is going as we play off each other’s ideas as the song ends. This is another very basic living room recording but I simply love the song and the textures we created around the basic outline of the song. I hope you enjoy it as well. There are a number of inside jokes and references people might not totally understand, but I don’t think that will interfere too much.When I contacted them recently for correct song credits the answers were definite with options available for future adjustments. Tom Gorman and Tom Robinson [for all intents and purposes…] wrote the lyrics. Music by Tom Robinson. For a little more history I will include a portion of the conversation for historic kicks and giggles.

(Co-authors) Tom Gorman to Tom Robinson:

It was I July or Aug of 77 at your apartment. ….. Your stereo wasn’t working, and you were tinkering with it. You began to make progress and said “We got the capability . . .” For whatever reason, that inspired me, and I wrote most of the words to the song, including most of the refrain. ….. You came up with the lines about (mutual friends). I had written “We’ve got to feed our habits now” but couldn’t think of anything else. You changed “habits” to “rabbits” and added the line about rounding up the steer. At a later point, you put it to music and added “Thinkin’ about our doodely doom” and “weekend in the womb.” You also gave it the title “The Round-up.” The illegal beer was the Millers that (we) managed to score on a Sunday when it was illegal to sell it on Sunday.

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Still Turning (c) 

I keep looking through the blinds
Not knowing what I’ll find.
I keep looking
I keep looking.

I start walking out the door
Can’t remember what for.
I start walking
I keep walking.

I turn left then I turn right
Just trying to get it right.
I’m still turning
Still turning.

Spending much more than I make
Never have what it takes.
Spending my time
Spend all my time.

Think about it day and night
See it all in black and white.
Better think again
Think again.

I turn left then I turn right
Just trying to get it right.
I’m still turning
Still turning.

Looks good but sounds all wrong
Like words to a different song.
Doesn’t feel right
Feel alright.

Never know what the future brings
Tell Daddy everything.
You never know
You never know.

Once upon a time, maybe two
You love someone who loves you.
Save the moment
Save the moment.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! For the next few days I’ll be offering all of my blog friends a free download of my song Miracles In Your Hand off of my upcoming EP, “Before The Chase.” I have been struggling to find a proper way to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the past year. I was very close to throwing in the towel, but I started this blog and thanks to all of you and your kind words, I’ve been motivated to keep pushing forward.  As I watch this year’s calendar fill with major events and milestones, there are usually small celebrations here and there.  At each one I am not only surprised at the positive response and friendships created, but also by the amazing amount of talent and creativity this community produces.  Please stop by and add this original song (Click here – Miracles in Your Hand) to your personal libraries as part of my continued appreciation for all you have done to support and spread my works.

After a break-up some of these lyrics just poured out.  Seeing the same thing and coming to opposite conclusions.  Having an early exposure to poetry first, I try to keep those ideas reflected in many of the songs I write.  The chorus was an idea I had been playing with lyrically for a while and it seemed to immediately fit with the loss described in the verses.  What would you do if you held a miracle in YOUR hand?  What if that couldn’t save you?

“Miracles In Your Hand”  (c)  MSK

A reason is such a small thing,

Can’t you give me one?

Seems to me you were holding out,

Were you really just holding on?

The things we did won’t mean a thing,

The memories drift away.

The things you said hang in the air,

Like a light that will not fade.

CH:  You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

When the answers seem so distant,

Questions lose their fun.

You thought that I was shutting up,

I was really just shutting down.

It’s time we found the meaning,

In the games we have made.

And a reason makes the difference,

When the last trick must be played.

CH:   You’re alive one day with miracles in your hand,

Then you’re heading for a wall, drivin’ fast as you can.

I settled down uneasy, I’m just waiting for tomorrow to come.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dark-energy/id962943592

I wrote this song as a plea from the past. A message in a time capsule planted in you memories. It is in remembering that we learn.

Maybe it is because I have worked in the service area in one form or another for years, but I see a lot of people that do not want to wait their turn. They think they have a better reason to be first than anyone else already in line. The bass player with The Merchants Of Death (equal part original / cover band I played in) had a fascination with trains so I added the part about the train being on time after using some of his images while talking excitedly about their beauty and how powerful they are. It seemed to fit. You don’t have to wait, but neither will the rest of the world if you are not here to get on board.  It exposes a point in time where too many things seem to push you the wrong way, and very little anyone can do about it.  Life stacked against you.

It is also a reminder that somethings are better understood when looking at them in the distant past. As we remember events – especially through our dreams – our part in those events can become clearer. Often, I am not the saint or righteous person I thought I was when it happened. We can all be fools. Sometimes our dreams and the path to paradise is right in front of us and we do not realize it; or worse we refuse it for mysterious reasons.  This is one of my older songs that I really love even after all these years.

This is another song recorded on my 12 string Ovation guitar I have. For this song you can tell I have two vocal tracks and I am singing all the way through the song. Using slight panning separation I try to add distance in the vocal parts. The guitar is open-tuned to G, which makes the chords seem full and spacious at the same time. I like it, anyway! To me this is a gorgeous sound all on its own.

“Get Out Of Line”

Just after my dream fades,

I hear her say,

“There will be many days,

For Fool Parades.

CHORUS:

If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

Still, it seems funny how,

Lost track of now.

Things that might have helped out,

They won’t allow.

CHORUS:

If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

“Don’t forget what I said”,

And I shake my head.

Feel the sweat on my bed,

Or tears instead.

CHORUS:

If you don’t want to stand,

Then get outta line.

But don’t be surprised,

If the train is on time.

Just after my dream fades,

I hear her say…..

“Don’t forget me”.

Like many songs or projects do, this song combines a number of events in my life with observations I make as an observer on the planet Earth.  I was outside and looked up in the sky one afternoon for no real reason and noticed there was a bright full moon.  I know they happen, it just seemed unusual and weird.  Do werewolves come out on a full moon In the Middle of the Day? I digress.  So I thought that is weird, and how would most people notice there was a full moon? When you’re looking up from the ground.  I worked in a call center for a number of years.  Some of those years get boiled down into a verse or two.  It expresses frustration with the extreme customer and how difficult it can be to ‘act professionally’ when under duress.  But there is also recognition of the people I have worked with.  It feels natural.  We work as a team with no agenda.  I have worked with some great teams of people, some very smart and some very dedicated and some very efficient.  All working together and helping each other. If only we could get big business and politicians to work like that.  On this song I programmed the drums and played bass guitar behind the 12 string and vocals. It was just a quick little ditty about work.  I like the arrangement of the song and it has a few twists to it.  It is fun to play and I hope you enjoy!

In the Middle of the Day

Muscle machine; glorified drama queen,

Held together by something in between.

There’s a full moon in the middle of the day,

Sometimes you just can’t get out of the way.

All the crazies, calling you on the phone

Never get the time to be on your own.

There’s a full moon in the middle of the day

Tell ‘em the Truth; Lies, they won’t believe you anyway.

But it feels natural like this

Everything works the way it’s supposed to be.

Know it with every kiss:
I’ll take care of you, if you‘ll take care of me.

It’s one thing, until you turn around

That’s when you notice, looking up from the ground.

There’s a full moon, in the middle of the day,

Gets to where black and white blurs into gray.

The dumb ones really get on your nerves,

And This One thinks everyone’s here just to serve.

There’s a full moon, in the middle of the day,

Don’t you ever wish you could say what you want to say?

It feels natural like this

Watch out for each other, learn from what you see.

Know it with every kiss

I’ll take care of you, will you share your life with me.

*It feels natural like this.  It feels natural like this….

There’s a Full Moon in the Middle of the Day,

There’s a Full Moon in the Middle of the Day

I was nominated for the Creative Blogger Award by https://toniumbarger.wordpress.com (Thanks so much for the kind words)

Here are the 5 Random Facts About Me: 

1) Before working at the music store, I worked for a Toyota dealership and sold – wait for it —– Used Cars!!!!  I even sold a used car to my future wife.  I knew and still know nothing about cars other than how to drive them.  I was quite successful and my strategy was not to overwhelm customers with specs and technical jargon.  I just found out what they needed and suggested a couple cars they would like.  I loved the work but hated the tactics and methods used by the managers, finance department and just about everything except the money.  It was not worth it to me so I quit selling used cars and started working at the music store for a lot less money. I also sold a car to my future wife.

2) In my last count including technical schools and college I have attended eighteen schools.  I did this count so long ago I can’t remember all the schools now! This is why I’m bad at names and good at getting to know someone very quickly.   I have a difficulties remembering names and places.  I knew family, but unless you were around for a long time, I simply didn’t try to remember names of kids at school, or teachers, or buildings, or neighbors.  But I was good at making friends and connecting with customers.  I can tell you every piece of equipment my music store customers owned, where they played (not by name… but location), and know what style of music they were into but could not remember their names. It is a real challenge in the sales and music industries!  If I could remember names and network, I would be dangerous!    

3) I have studied Martial Arts for years.  My choice to pursue Tae Kwon Do came from the name (I was told it loosely translated to open hand – open fist, meaning no weapons).  The other thing that I liked is they start teaching defense postures rather than attack moves.  If you were challenged and the ‘attacker did not play fair’ we were also trained how to incapacitate them or simply take them out if needed.   One of my songs has a line – ‘I am a pacifist that just loves a good fight’!  I have never had to use it against an attacker but the training and philosophy have lasted a very long time.

4) In reality, with all my posts on musical theory,  I do not read sheet music!  I know how it works and if I had to I could, but I learn and play by ear.  (I have to work at it but I get there)  If I need to use the sheet music to learn a piece, once I have learned it enough to play, I never use the sheet notation again.

5)  Speaking of cars, I guarantee I can teach any licensed driver how to drive a car with a standard transmission in less than ten minutes……..

Instead of tagging a few of you, because I really do enjoy so many of your blogs on a daily basis, I’m encouraging you to share a few random facts about yourself with me – Anything you want to share is welcome. I love getting to know you all and I’m thankful every day to be a part of such an open, welcoming and diverse community.                                                  

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With your help and a lot of other social groups and individuals, we have helped raise money to help my friend John try to recover from the house fire that happened while he was away.  He still has not been able to get home to see the damage and to make plans for the immediate future.  I really want to thank all of you for great comments, spreading the word and financial support.   My guess is a number of people that do not know him offered support in a number of different ways.  I am frankly proud and grateful of the way this blog community responded.  Thank you again!

As many of you know I have been a musician for many years and met John when he was hired to work at the same music store I worked in.  It is kind of funny as you get older you can talk of personal experiences in terms of DECADES!!   Just saying.

Back on track, I wanted to give you an idea of the damage from the fire and the amazing group of local friends that organized without instruction and worked extremely hard to recover as many personal belongings as we could – and the restoration work that continues; and frankly, is really just at the beginning of that phase.  I wanted to give you a picture.  But we all know that is impossible.  You cannot describe the lobbies in Las Vegas hotels or what it feels like in the middle of the ocean to someone that has never been there.   We try.   We get close.   They get the idea, but until you have similar experiences it can be hard to know what those and many other things in life are truly like.

I have been to his house but I still do not have the big picture.  The closest I can get is reliving the feeling I had when I came home from one of those rescue missions…..  I walked up to my front door and as I started to put the key in the lock I thought;  what if all of this is gone?  In the difference of a day…….  Memories gone.      Pictures gone.      Music gone.        Furniture gone.     Everything.   Gone.

With those thoughts in mind and my keys in my hand, I wrote this song.  I thank all of you for sharing, in so many ways.   And while I am at it, thank you for allowing us to share with you.

http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/ 

I wanted to give everyone an update on my musician friend John (whose house was damaged in a fire).  Lots of effort and a lot of good news, even in this sad event.  John will be in town soon and will be able to look over the damage and take inventory of the surviving furniture and gear.  Until then Alisa has organized the gofundme project http://www.gofundme.com/johnvaneaton which has raised $10,000 so far in less than a week.  I think that is going to make a big difference in the next few days and weeks.

There are a number of people still working on cleaning and restoring items that were rescued in the search and recovery phase. Once John gets to look at the various projects, he will have a better idea of how to get back on his feet.  We hope to have information from the team that is working on organizing a benefit soon.

https://midimike.com/2015/07/11/please-help-spread-the-word/  this is the original post about these events.

I’m also in the process of writing a song about the events using some guitar chords my wife was playing with recently and a little jam I was working on. Thank you all for getting the word out and helping as much as you can.  I have come home from those salvage missions and realize everything that I have could be gone in moments.  I am not rich, but the music and memorabilia would be irreplaceable.  I will need them when memory loss really kicks in!

This song is for John, everyone who donated money and time to help him and all of you really cool bloggers.  I’m going to post the lyrics first while I polish the song, but it will be up shortly.  

A Very Long Night”                                              © 7-13-2015  Lyrics MSK    Music MSK/ELK

Traveling for business

He is often out of town

From country to country

One city becomes the next

It wasn’t until he got the text

With pictures from the news

That he knew this was the beginning

Of a Very Long Night

He wasn’t home when the fire started

Everyone says it could have been worse

As we watched, broken hearted

Each tear became another verse

Unable to return any time soon

All my friend could do was watch

Phone calls and e-mail

The news from home was grim.

Some say it was best for him

Being out of town.

Some say it was best for him

He didn’t see it burn down.

Some say it was best for him

Not to see the damage from the flames

Some say it was best for him

As all that water did the same

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home that night

It was a good thing he wasn’t home all right

It was just the beginning of a Very Long Night.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/dark-energy/id962943592

This is another acoustic guitar song with me as the vocalist.  This is a true story that I took creative license with and made into something more than it was for the effect.   This song really is about me getting a ticket while driving around town.  This was many years ago, so the details are always suspect, but I was driving local roads and might have been distracted but as the traffic ahead of me slowed and then rapidly came to a stop …… I didn’t!  Unfortunately I ran into the car in front of me – at very low speed –  but to fast and to late to stop in time. The police officer gave me a citation for ACD, which I suspect, most of you safe drivers might not know what that is!   Around here that stands for Assured Clear Distance.  It is the driver’s obligation to make sure to have enough distance between you and the vehicles ahead of you to stop in time to avoid doing what I just did.   This was my first accident and it was all new to me.  While I am waiting to get my citation and then reviewing the event afterwards I thought ‘how am I going to explain this?’.  So I came up with a rather funny romantic embellishment and wrote a song about this experience. The song also has an interesting intro and break.  A number of my songs will have unusual time signatures.  For the musicians out there, send me a message if you know what time signature I used.