Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Always been on of my favorite Ricky Nelson songs. Chorus seems fitting for the last day of the year.



One X One
Dennis Larden

Have you ever been so down
Every time you looked around
Despair is like a silently cloud beside you
Well centuries fly and decades pass
Buildings fall and mountains last
Today is not to give you but to guide you

But you can't look back what is done is done
And the time that you spent on yesterday
Today is halfway gone
And we learn to live our days one by one

Have you ever loved so hard
You opened up and dropped your guard
And fell to earth your feelings burned and branded
Well love is like a lady's song takes you in and leads you on
And in the morning leaves you high and stranded

But you can't look back what is done is done
And the time that you spent on yesterday
Today is halfway gone
And we learn to live our days one by one

But you can't look back what is done is done
And the time that you spent on yesterday
Today is halfway gone
And we learn to live our days one by one


Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Karine Polwart writes some heady stuff. Take a walk down Resolution Road.


Resolution Road
Karine Polwart

Resolution road
 Who’s your friend and who’s your foe
 How do you tell the one from the other
 Who’s on the inside, who’s undercover
 Who looks like you do

 Resolution road
 Round and round and round we go
 Who makes the circle and who’s in the middle
 Who talks in reasons and who talks in riddles
 Who looks like you do 

 Don’t speak without thinking
 Don’t sleep with a stranger when you’re drinking
 And don’t jump in a ship when it’s sinking 

Resolution road
 Learn to speak your heart in code
 Try to embody the laws of encryption
 And try to defy all the laws of description
 Who looks like you do 

Resolution road
 Buy a ticket for the show
 Who talks in riddles who talks in reasons 
 What kind of endings do you believe in
 Who looks like you do 

Don’t speak without thinking
 Don’t sleep with a stranger when you’re drinking
 And don’t jump in a ship when it’s sinking 

Don’t speak without thinking
 Don’t sleep with a stranger when you’re drinking
 And don’t jump in a ship when it’s sinking 

Resolution road
 Who’s your friend and who’s your foe
 How do you tell the one from the other
 Who’s on the inside, who’s undercover
 Who’ll be your Lazarus Who’ll be your lover
 Who looks like you do 
 Who looks like you do
 Who looks like you do 



Sunday, December 28, 2014




Before a Rain in Spring 
Tom Hennen

The willow
 has a black trunk
 sticking up into the lifeless
 branches.
 Thin as clouds 
the branches
 swirl above the tree
 they float off the ground
 like 
the thousand frail thoughts
 of someone about to awake.


Saturday, December 27, 2014


Kevin "Blackie" Farrell's masterpiece. You know who have written a great song when it is covered by great songwriters. First recorded by Bill Kirchen in 1977 then by Leo Kottke, Robert Earl Keen, Tom Russell, Michael Martin Murphy, Richard Shindell, Dave Alvin and Jeff Foucault. 

Regarding his inspiration, Farrell said: "I just envisioned a guy, saddling up his horse, riding off with his pals off the ranch, going into town just to blow off some steam on a Saturday night and winding up living a nightmare."

Thank you Mr. Farrell!


Sonora's Death Row
Kevin "Blackie" Farrell

Me and the boy's we cinched up our saddles
 And rode to Sonora last night
 Gun's hanging proud, daring out loud
 For anyone looking to fight
Card cheats and rustlers would run for their holes
 When the boys from the old broken O
 Rode up and reined on the street that they named
 Sonora's death row

Mescal is free at Amanda's saloon
 For the boy's from the old broken O
 Saturday nights in the town of Sonora
 Are the best in all Mexico
They've got guitars and trumpets and sweet senoritas
 Who won't want to let you go
 You'd never believe such a gay happy time
 On the street called Sonora's death row

Inside Amanda's we was a dancin'
 With all of Amanda's gals
 I won some silver at seven card stud
 So I was out doin' my pals
But the whiskey and mescal, peso cigars
 Drove me outside for some air
 Somebody whispered, "Your life or your money
 I reached, but my gun wasn't there"

I woke up face down in Amanda's back alley
 Aware of the fool I had been
 Rushed to my pony, grabbed my Winchester
 And entered Amanda's again
Where I saw my partners twirling my pistols
 And throwing my money around
 Blinded by anger, I jacked the lever
 And one of them fell to the ground

Amanda's got silent like night in the desert
 My friends stared in pure disbelief
 Amanda was kneeling beside the dead cowboy
 Plainly expressing her grief
And as I bowed my head a trembled shot through me
 My six-gun was still at my side
 I felt my pockets, there was my money
 I fell to my knees and I cried

A nightmare of mescal is all that it was
 For no one had robbed me at all
 I wish I was dreaming the sound of the gallows
 They're testing just outside the wall
And the mescal's still free at Amanda's saloon
 For the boy's from the old broken O
 I'd give a ransom to drink there today
 Be free of Sonora's death row
 Yes I'd give a ransom to drink there today
 Be free of Sonora's death row



Friday, December 26, 2014


I can not read the lyrics without hearing the song in my head How about you?


Bohemian Rhapsody
Freddy Mercury

Is this the real life
Is this just fantasy
Caught in a landslide
No escape from reality
Open your eyes
Look up to the skies and see
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy
Because I'm easy come, easy go
A little high, little low
Anyway the wind blows, doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man
Put a gun against his head
Pulled my trigger, now he's dead
Mama, life had just begun
But now I've gone and thrown it all away
Mama, ooo
Didn't mean to make you cry
If I'm not back again this time tomorrow
Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come
Sends shivers down my spine
Body's aching all the time
Goodbye everybody I've got to go
Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth
Mama, ooo (anyway the wind blows)
I don't want to die
I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man
Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango
Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo, Gallileo,
Gallileo Figaro - magnifico

But I'm just a poor boy and nobody loves me
He's just a poor boy from a poor family
Spare him his life from this monstrosity
Easy come easy go will you let me go
Bismillah! No we will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go - let him go
Bismillah! We will not let you go let me go
Will not let you go let me go (never)
Never let you go let me go
Never let me go ooo
No, no, no, no, no, no, no
Oh mama mia, mama mia, mama mia let me go
Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me
For me
For me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye
So you think you can love me and leave me to die
Oh baby can't do this to me baby
Just gotta get out just gotta get right outta here

Ooh yeah, ooh yeah
Nothing really matters
Anyone can see
Nothing really matters nothing really matters to me

Anyway the wind blows



Wednesday, December 24, 2014


The 52 Club's writing prompt for this week was "grace" and/or "Grace".
Like always I thought verse after verse would flow like last call beer.
Like always I was wrong. The lyrical road trip doesn't have a shortcut. Dead ends, lonely alleys, speed traps, flat tires all add to the stimulation of the journey. The enjoyment of songwriting is the trip. Like a scavenger hunt but you don't know what you are looking for. You think you find things you need but you really don't know. Then, scabang! The ragged mixture of verbs, nouns and melody transform into a song. Good, bad, it doesn't matter. You got there and it was exciting. Here are the lyrics to my grace/Grace prompt.

I’m Chasing Dragons
Walt Sample

I fell from grace
Into your arms
A tempting angel embrace

You are the life
Firing in my blood
Warm guns of paradise

I’m chasing dragons with green tiger eyes
Don’t wanna’ live don’t wanna’ die

The white horse flies
With wings of fire
Melting my hollow glass eyes

I dance in a grave
Of scalding snow
Riding the crest of each wave

I’m chasing dragons with green tiger eyes
Don’t wanna’ live don’t wanna’ die

I’m chasing dragons with green tiger eyes
Don’t wanna’ live don’t wanna’ die

I fell from grace
Into your arms
A tempting angel embrace

I’m chasing dragons with green tiger eyes
Don’t wanna’ live don’t wanna’ die

I’m chasing dragons with green tiger eyes
Don’t wanna’ live don’t wanna’ die


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Ever wonder why Ravens are black and rivers flow crooked like a running snake? Native Americans explained the world to their young through camp fire (living room) stories told by Elders (Grandparents). Vivid imaginations painted awe-inspiring stories that watered the young growing minds of the children. What would you give to be sitting around the fire hanging on every word.....


In The Beginning 

In the beginning there was nothing but soft darkness, and Raven beat and beat with his wings until the darkness packed itself down into solid earth. Then there was only the icy black ocean and a narrow strip of shoreline. But people came soon to live along the coast. And Raven felt sorry for them, poor, sickly things, who never had any sunshine. They lived by chewing on nuts and leaves, and crushed the roots of the alder trees for something to drink. 

"I must help them," thought Raven; and he flew down to earth, calling, "Ga, ga, ga!" and gathered the people together. Like ghosts, they were, shadowy and pale in the misty darkness. 

"Raven has come!" they told each other. "It is Raven-Who-Sets- Things-Right." 

The poor things were encouraged, and they gathered round to see what he would do. 

Raven plucked a branch from an alder, and scattered the leaves on the surface of a pool. At once the leaves were sucked under, and the water started to bubble. After the pool had boiled for a moment, the surface cleared and fish began to jump there. So that was how Raven gave the people fish. 

But now that they had fish to eat, they were thirstier than ever. They called on Raven, and down he came, and the people said, "Here is Raven-Who-Sets-Things-Right." 

Raven knew that there was only one spring of fresh water in all the world. A man named Ganook had built his house around it, and refused to give any away. 

"Maybe," thought Raven, "I can drink enough to carry some back to the people." 

So he went to the house and asked to come in, and Ganook was very glad to have his company. Raven sat down and made polite conversation, and pretty soon he asked for a drink of water. 

"Very well," said Ganook grudgingly, and showed him the spring, a crystal pool welling up in a basin of rock. 

"Don't drink it all!" Ganook warned him. "You know that's the only fresh water in all the world." 

Raven knew it well; that was what he had come for. But he said, "Just a sip!" and drank until he staggered. 

"Hold on there, Raven!" cried Ganook. "Are you trying to drink the well dry?"

That was just what Raven was trying to do, but he passed it off lightly. He made himself comfortable close to the fire and said, "Ganook, let me tell you a story." 

Then Raven started out on a long dull story about four dull brothers who went on a long dull journey. As he went along he made up dull things to add to it, and Ganook's eyelids drooped, and Raven spoke softly, and more and more slowly, and Ganook's chin dropped on his chest. 

"So then," said Raven gently, with his eyes on Ganook, "on and on through the long gray valley through the soft gray fog went the four tall gray brothers. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore. 

Quick as a thought, Raven darted to the spring and stuck his beak into the water. But no sooner had he lifted his head to swallow than Ganook started up with a terrible snort, and said, "Go on, go on, I'm listening! I'm not asleep." Then he shook his head and blinked his eyes and said, "Where are you, Raven? What are you doing?" 

"Just walking around for exercise," Raven assured him, and back he went, and in a low, unchanging voice he went on with the dull story of the four brothers. No sooner had he started than Ganook began to nod, and his chin dropped down, and he jerked it back and opened his eyes and scowled at Raven, and nodded his head and said, "Go on! What next?" and his head dropped down upon his chest. 

"So on and on," said Raven slowly, "over the hills, went the four tall gray brothers. The air was thick and gray around them. Fog was stealing softly over the mountains. Fog before them, fog behind them, soft, cloudy fog. And now, snore!" And Ganook began to snore. 

Quietly Raven slipped to the spring, and, glub, glub, glub, he drank up the water until the pool was dry. But as he lifted his head for a last long gulp, Ganook leaped up and saw what he was doing. 

"So, Raven!" shouted Ganook. "You think you can lull me to sleep and steal my water!" 

He picked up his club and started to chase Raven round and round the fire. Raven would run a few steps and flap his big wings and rise a few inches off the floor. Then with a last tremendous flap he went sailing towards the open smoke hole. But he had swallowed so much water that he stuck fast in the opening, and there he struggled, while Ganook shouted, "You squint-eyed Raven, I've got you now, Raven! You miserable thief!" And Ganook threw green alder logs on the fire and made a great smoke which came billowing up and almost choked Raven to death. 

Raven hung there, strangling and struggling, until at last he pulled free with a mighty wrench and went wobbling heavily across the sky. He was so heavy he flew in a crooked line, and as he flew he spurted little streams of water from his bill. These became rivers, first the Nass and the Sitka, then the Taku and the Iskut and the Stikine. Since Raven flew in a crooked line, all the rivers are crooked as snakes. Here and there he scattered single drops, and these became narrow creeks and salmon pools. 

And so Raven brought fresh water to the people but he bore the mark of that smoke hole ever after. He had gone to Ganook as a great, white, snowy creature, but from that day on, Raven was black, as black as the endless sky of the endless night. 


Story from Native American Lore 

Monday, December 22, 2014


Mindlab International did a series of experiments to determine what songs are the most relaxing. Brain waves, heart rates, all kinds of white lab coat stuff was measured and studied. All of the top 10 and I am sure the top 100 are very dreamy, spacey and sleepy. Hey, those are good names for 3 of Snow White's dwarfs if she was a stoner. 
The interesting thing about the most relaxing song was that there were no repeating melodies. Therefore your mind wasn't on alert waiting for a repeat and could shut off even more. The stuff makes you feel weightless and hollowed headed. Like floating in the Milky Way. 



The top ten relaxing songs are known to be 
 1. Marconi Union - Weightless 
 2. Airstream - Electra 
 3. DJ Shah - Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix) 
 4. Enya - Watermark
 5. Coldplay - Strawberry Swing
 6. Barcelona - Please Don't Go 
 7. All Saints - Pure Shores 
 8. Adelev Someone Like You 
 9. Mozart - Canzonetta Sull'aria 
 10. Cafe Del Mar - We Can Fly


Sunday, December 21, 2014



Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a fun excursion. 
Full of word paintings like this:

"The air rushing into the open windows of the bus came in hot and gritty like invisible smoke, and when they stopped, it just rolled over them, pure lava."

How cool is that?


The bus was named Further.


That would of been a trip worth taking.


Saturday, December 20, 2014


While filling  my honey pot this morning I couldn't help but start singing.

Blue Ribbon Honey
Walt Sample

I was limpin’ out of the rodeo ring
Beatin’ dust off my Wrangler jeans
John Deere green eyed filly hollered out
Hey that was my bronc Oscar the grouch

She walked over and handed me my hat
She said Howdy they call me Brat
I taught Oscar how to shake & bake
Come on and buy me a funnel cake

Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
The sweetest girl at the fair
Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
My little 4H teddy bear

Tryin’ to shoot out the red star
Brat wanted a General Lee car
Strawberry cotton candy hair
Cutest girl at the County Fair

Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
The sweetest girl at the fair
Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
My little 4H teddy bear

Ferris wheel stopped at the top
Arms tangled in a young lovers knot
Blue FFA t-shirts on
Kissin’ under a rainbow neon

Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
The sweetest girl at the fair
Oh she’s my blue ribbon honey
My little 4H teddy bear



Friday, December 19, 2014

 King Crimson album cover

inside of album


The Court Of The Crimson King
Robert Fripp/Michael Giles/Greg Lake/Ian McDonald/Peter Sinfield

The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournament's begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the crimson king.

The keeper of the city keys
Put shutters on the dreams.
I wait outside the pilgrim's door
With insufficient schemes.
The black queen chants
the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring;
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the crimson king.

The gardener plants an evergreen
Whilst trampling on a flower.
I chase the wind of a prism ship
To taste the sweet and sour.
The pattern juggler lifts his hand;
The orchestra begin.
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the court of the crimson king.

On soft gray mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke;
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play
But gentle pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the crimson king.


Take a trip without leaving the farm. Spin a King Crimson album, put your circa 1971 Koss headphones on and enjoy the ride.





Thursday, December 18, 2014


Busy time of year no doubt. Hear is a little fodder to keep the pencils growing shorter through the Holidays and New Years.

“No writing is wasted. Did you know that sourdough from San Francisco is leavened partly by a bacteria called lactobacillus sanfrancisensis? It is native to the soil there, and does not do well elsewhere. But any kitchen can become an ecosystem. If you bake a lot, your kitchen will become a happy home to wild yeasts, and all your bread will taste better. Even a failed loaf is not wasted. Likewise, cheese makers wash the dairy floor with whey. Tomato gardeners compost with rotten tomatoes. No writing is wasted: the words you can't put in your book can wash the floor, live in the soil, lurk around in the air. They will make the next words better.” 
― Erin Bow



 Write.
Write more.
Write even more.
Write even more than that.
Write when you don’t want to.
Write when you do.
Write when you have something to say.
Write when you don’t.
Write every day.
Keep writing. 
― Brian Clark

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


I talked about the 52 Club hosted by Folk School Coffee Parlor a few weeks ago in one of my posts. In a nutshell, songwriters gather every Wednesday evening and sing a tune based off of the previous weeks prompt. At the end of the evening everyone put a word or two idea in a hat and one is pulled out becoming the prompt for the next week's meeting. The word for tonight is "butterscotch".
After a half dozen or so different first verses ideas hitting the dreaded second verse brick wall, this new idea came together. My co writer was the window I stare out of while stuck knee deep in daydreams.........

Nothing Ever Changes But The Truth
Walt Sample

Digging deep for twenty years one mile down
Sweating on my belly below a brow damp roof
Coal train don't run north anymore I'm livin' in a ghost town
Nothing ever changes nothing ever changes but the truth

Talking walking smokestacks spew butterscotch plumes
Amber clouds of promises so sweet so smooth
He'll change that a vote for him will heal all my wounds
Nothing ever changes nothing ever changes but the truth

Empty pockets swimming in a jobless sea
Red white and blue but our numbers two few
My uncle has no room for me on his bouncing knee
Nothing ever changes nothing ever changes but the truth

My uncle has no room for me on his bouncing knee
Nothing ever changes nothing ever changes but the truth





Come on and join us tonight at 6.



Tuesday, December 16, 2014


 "That was the big high-school drive-in, with the huge streamlined sculpted pastel display sign with streaming streamlined super-slick A-22 italic script, floodlights, clamp-on trays, car-hop girls in floppy blue slacks, hamburgers in some kind of tissuey wax paper steaming with onions pressed down and fried on the grill and mustard and catsup to squirt all over it from out plastic squirt cylinders."

Tom Wolfe from The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.


The days of 19 cent apple pies.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Sophisticated Beggar
Roy Harper

I'm just a sophisticated beggar living underneath your summer day
Counting all my blessings as I'm counting all the money 
I've accumulated on my way
I don't want your plastic Gods
Tin-pot religions and silly ideas
All I want is your money
I listen to you but I know you have nothing to say
I'm just a sophisticated beggar living underneath your summer day 

I'm an emancipated firework exploding on your busy street
Strumming my guitar as you pass in your car always 
trying to knock me clean off my feet
I don't care if you own the whole world
The stars in the sky
Or a heavenly body
You're wasting your time if it's only that that you're trying to convey
'Cos I'm just a sophisticated beggar living underneath your summer day 

I'm an emaciated hipster drinking dreams and eating consciousness
Standing in the gutter in the middle of a splutter 
hiding horrors underneath my largesse
I'd be hoarse for a million years
Trying to rescue my brain from the flood of my mind
And all that I need, seems to me, to be needless to say
'Cos I'm just a sophisticated beggar living underneath your summer day



Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull) said Roy Harper was his primary influence on guitar and songwriting. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote "Hats Off To Harper", a song about him and his impact on them. Roy is still writing songs and touring.
His stuff  (32 albums) is incredible and worth a listen. His effect on many artists can be heard both musically and lyrically. Sophisticated Beggar was written in 1967. I didn't know the word "hipster" was around back then.....


Sunday, December 14, 2014


"The artist creates to save themselves. Almost always. And if other people can get in the lifeboat with us, we're just thrilled. I don't think we assume that's ever going to happen. It's creating like a little ministry. Certainly not a Christian ministry, it's sort of a ministry of creativity, a ministry of song. I think that historically that's what artists were about: telling an audience, "Here's what I feel like, do you feel that way?" And everybody kind of going, "We all feel that way." And it's an ancient art, storytelling and singing songs. It helps us to figure out how we fit into the human community. I listen to songs by Willie Nelson and think, Gosh, if Willie's been through that, then me going through that can't be all bad. We compare ourselves to the singers and songs that speak to us and get some relief from that."

Mary Gauthier






Saturday, December 13, 2014


The breathtaking beauty of the winter sky. Stars seem so close you need to duck your head to get under them. Looks like a giant tossed a bag of electric diamonds on a black velvet canvas. 


Jimmy Webb said "songwriters are in the same position as professional fisherman; old fishing grounds are getting fished out." 

An hour or two laying on your back will restock your grounds beyond belief.

I envy ancient man. Their imaginations must of been going 1000 miles a hour
while they gazed at the heavens. Heads swelling with wonder and mystery.



Friday, December 12, 2014


Earnest Hemingway speaking......
"I was challenged once by a critic too dumb to know better to tell a good story in one paragraph. I did it in one sentence." He drummed his fingers on the desk. 
" For sale : baby shoes, never used."



Roland Yeomans, Ghost Writers In The Sky.
A grade A book about having dream conversations with great writers. 
I recommend it.



" For sale : baby shoes, never used."

One sentence. 



What is your one sentence story?

Thursday, December 11, 2014


Lots of songs about blue jeans in the '60s and '70s. This one is my favorite because of the "tiger in my tank" line. Is he talking about Esso gas or his heart? Big hit in '76.



Jeans On
David Dundas & Roger Greenaway

When I wake up in the morning light
I pull on my jeans and I feel all right
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on 
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on 

It's the weekend, and I know that you're free
So pull on your jeans and come on out with me
I need to have you near me, I need to feel you close to me 
I need to have you near me, I need to feel you close to me 

You and me, we'll go motorbike riding in the sun and the wind and the rain
I got money in my pocket, got a tiger in my tank
And I'm king of the road again

I'll meet ya in the usual place
I don't need a thing, except your pretty face
And I need to have you near me, I need to feel you close to me 
I need to have you near me, I need to feel you close to me 
I need to have you near me, I need to feel you close to me 

You and me, we'll go motorbike riding in the sun and the wind and the rain
I got money in my pocket, a tiger in my tank
And I'm king of the road again

When I wake up in the morning light
I pull on my jeans and I feel all right
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on 
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on 
I pull my blue jeans on, I pull my old blue jeans on 


Yep......
“Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes.” 
Thoreau


Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Oh how gloomy sunless mornings make us feel so still asleep.
Need another cup pronto.

Here is a writing prompt form the darker file.

"He hurled his glass against the wall and it exploded in a glittering shower. He stood for a few moments watching the amber stain drool down the wall." 
Daniel Quinn from his novel Dreamer.



Tuesday, December 9, 2014




"I always wanted to be a novelist but I didn't have the discipline or the ability to stretch out an idea for that long.  I'm probably a musician because it's easier for me.  The brevity is what helps me to realize that we only have a few minutes to tell a story.  So you have to make every word count.  With this album, I've been overwriting the lyrics; every song has leftovers.  But that's cool because I throw those in my grab bag, a file of all the lyrics I like but didn't use in a song.  When I finish writing  a song, often ends up being different than what it was in the beginning, so I have to throw a line out.  And often that line will inspire me to write a new song, so it becomes prominent somewhere else." 
Adam Turla 
Murder By Death is one of my favorite bands. Very unique sound. They truly have found a new path to walk. Adam's songwriting is killer, pun intended.
Do you self a favor and check them out.


Moral of the quote. Save your leftovers for a new entree.



Monday, December 8, 2014


The Sage
Greg Lake

I carry the dust of a journey 
That cannot be shaken away 
It lives deep within me 
For I breathe it every day 

You and I are yesterdays answers 
The earth of the past come to flesh 
Eroded by times rivers 
To the shapes we now possess. 

Come share of my breath and my substance 
And mingle our streams and our times 
In bright infinite moments 
Our reasons are lost in our rhymes.


I have always enjoyed these lyrics.
 Greg Lake wrote this song as a tribute to composer Modest Mussorgsky's 10 movement piano suite, Pictures At An Exhibition. Which Modest had based on his friend Viktor Hartmenn's artwork. The back story helps my imagination travel even farther.

Check out a live performance of The Sage here:

Sunday, December 7, 2014



“Beyond hoping that someone will like one of my songs, I don’t think about how a song will be received. I just hope that, when somebody hears one of my songs, they’ll want to hear it again. I don’t have an impact or an effect in mind. I really just try to write something that makes sense for me, that seems true. For me, songs are sort of sacred ground, because it’s a place where you can actually tell the truth. You don’t have to be diplomatic. I think the point of a song is to just say something that’s true, or that expresses an idea that reflects something that’s true, whether it’s a truth about human nature or about the way people bullshit one another. A song doesn't have to be serious to be true but to me, that’s what a song is. And if I can get that right for me, then it’s worth writing. You’re asking people for their time and attention, and it’s a chance to tell somebody what you think, or to share a joke. I just always hope that whatever’s in the song is worth demanding somebody’s time.” 

Lyle Lovett


Saturday, December 6, 2014


Soggy Saturday. No need to get wet & muddy. Fill the cup and sharpen the number 2 pencil. Write down the words the snapshot sings to you. 

 Old photos tell fresh stories.

 Looks like these lucky kids were headed to school.



Birthday party with a live band!

Friday, December 5, 2014


We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism—plagiarism is trying to pass someone else’s work off as your own. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.
Austin Kleon from his book Steal Like an Artist.

Just started Austin's book. So far it is killer! Packed full of dynamite quotes from explosive thinkers.

"It’s one of my theories that when people give you advice, they’re really just talking to themselves in the past."
Austin Kleon 

Yep. That is the truth; dead center bulls-eye. 
So.......

 “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. But, since no one was listening, everything must be said again.” 
Andre Gide

“Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic.” —Jim Jarmusch

“Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.”
Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali

“We want you to take from us. We want you, at first, to steal from us, because you can’t steal. You will take what we give you and you will put it in your own voice and that’s how you will find your voice. And that’s how you begin. And then one day someone will steal from you.” 
Francis Ford Coppola 





Thursday, December 4, 2014


Jean Marc Janiaczyk

If you spent a few days visiting this country cottage with only your 6 string friend and your trusty tattered notebook for company, what song would you write? What story would you tell?


Wednesday, December 3, 2014



"You've got to keep the child alive; you can't create without it."
Joni Mitchell

The bike basket. Wanted more than a new slingshot or cane pole.
Needed more than new Western Auto jeans or black PF Flyer low tops.
One lucky posse member, usually the self appointed leader, had some style of basket on his or her steed. When the summer sun hit one quarter up, the gang would gather at the monkey bars next to the courthouse, planning the day and filling the baskets with rations and essentials. Which included, 8 oz bottles of RC cola, Moon Pies, bologna sandwiches, Scotty jelly jar of fresh dug garden worms, Band Aid can with a dozen or so kitchen matches, lady finger firecrackers, Bull Duran bags filled with marbles (no steelies-they were outlawed by the gang last year), compass used in World War 2, numerous leaky water guns, various homemade and store bought sling shots, one Red Rider BB rifle, one quarter full worn tube of bbs, A & P coffee can with fishin' line and Eagle Claw hooks, one chewed hardball, assorted ball mits and a Mickey Mantle bat. Once the gang was packed and gathered, a herd of Schwinn's and Sears steel stallions would ride off into the rising sun. True freedom, knowing your only concern was to be home before the streetlights came on. 





Tuesday, December 2, 2014


A Theology Of Sorts
Matthew West

Words are fragile.
(Too much so for the task.)
But what else is there
to fill this black hole
between experience
and expression?
There is a vast expanse
of grey matter-
a cosmos
between what I feel
and what I can convey.
God is.
That's it.....
my great theological statement.
Touch is the best proof:
Moment-to-moment exchange,
the feeble imprint of that
fading image still visible
to those who look close enough.









Monday, December 1, 2014


Damp dark Monday. Lyrical mind still asleep. Time to compose a new arrangement for The Dream. Ian Anderson at my side ready to go. Pot of coffee poured. I'm thinkin' a smokey peyote washed intro then........



The Dream
Graeme Edge

When the white eagle of the North is flying overhead
 And the browns reds and golds of autumn lie in the gutter dead
 Remember then the summer birds with wings of fire flaying
 Come to witness spring's new hope, born of leaves decaying

 And as new life will come from death, love will come at leisure
 Love of love, love of life and giving without measure
 Gives in return a wondrous yearn for promise, almost seen
 Live hand in hand and together we'll stand on the threshold of a dream


Sunday, November 30, 2014


The ceramics teacher announced on opening day that he was dividing the class into two groups. All those on the left side of the studio, he said, would be graded solely on the quantity of work they produced, all those on the right solely on its quality. His procedure was simple: on the final day of class he would bring in his bathroom scales and weigh the work of the “quantity” group: fifty pounds of pots rated an “A”, forty pounds a “B”, and so on. Those being graded on “quality”, however, needed to produce only one pot — albeit a perfect one — to get an “A”. Well, came grading time and a curious fact emerged: the works of highest quality were all produced by the group being graded for quantity. It seems that while the “quantity” group was busily churning out piles of work-and learning from their mistakes — the “quality” group had sat theorizing about perfection, and in the end had little more to show for their efforts and a pile of dead clay.

David Bayles & Ted Orland from their book 
Art & Fear:
Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking 


So, quantity does make quality.
True for any art form, craft and profession.
Anything!


Ansel Adams

Another excerpt from Art & Fear.

Ansel Adams, never one to mistake precision for perfection, often recalled the old adage that “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, his point being that if he waited for everything in the scene to be exactly right, he’d probably never make a photograph.


Ansel Adams






Saturday, November 29, 2014


Big thanks to the Folk School Coffee Parlor in Ludlow, Kentucky for starting a 52 Club. The prompt from the November 19th meeting was "coffee cup". I had a few idea balloons floating in my mind. Fairly easy subject, many different directions were possible. I wasn't panicked. Just had to pick one.

Last Saturday afternoon one balloon popped and it hit me like the first spray of a cold shower. I had built the song's skeleton in my journal the day before, November 21st. Yeah! Let Your Soul Sing It's Song wrote like warm butter. What I talked about Friday actually happened! 



Let Your Soul Sing Its Song
Walt Sample


Tossing and turning tangled in blanket and sheet
Side back side stomach side back pillow bunched pillow flat
Explosions goin’ off inside of me I can’t fall asleep
Boom bang boom bang flash rat a tat tat tat

Belly bursting with thoughts kept hostage inside
Fork shaped words eating their way out of me
Fighting to live outside come alive and survive
Phrases fitting together like lock and key

Let your soul sing its song
Let your heart be heard
Get up and fill the coffee cup with midnight black
Sharpen the pencil and write down every word

Tiger toothed chorus chomping at my face
Lyrics licking my cheeks like fiery rain
I’m too far along to play it safe
Gonna write my song smother the flame

Let your soul sing its song
Let your heart be heard
Get up and fill the coffee cup with midnight black
Sharpen the pencil and write down every word




A 52 Club meets weekly and songwriters gather and share their stuff.
At the end of the night, each songwriter writes a prompt down on a little scrap of paper and they are mixed together in a bowl. One topic is randomly picked and that is the prompt for the next meeting. 
Fun stuff indeed!

The meetings are every Wednesday from 6 to 8.


The prompt for December 3rd meeting is "force your hand".




Blog Archive