Influences: Now that I have completed the demos for The Nickel Ride, I can credit my influences more accurately. The Drifters, Crerdence Clearwater Revival, Nick Cave, Procol Harum, Thr Doors, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Kris kristofferson, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Hank Williams, Donovan, Ennio Morricone, Elvis Presley, Skip James, John Lee Hooker, Leonard Cohen, and Phil Ochs,
I started taking songwriting seriously when I traded by trumpet for a guitar in 1970, and for several years the results were not very good. I wrote three songs a week to play at the open mike, and never got much response.I was told my harmonic experiments were interesting, but my lyrics were overly influenced by the poetic theories of Robert Graves, and few people had much idea what I was singing about. Besides, the competition was so strong in those days that my primitive meanderings had no chance in the market. It wasnt until punk rock opened peoples ears that I began to connect with the public. I wrote some pretty good stuff from 78 to 82 and had a decent following for my bands. Then I moved from Seattle to Boston, where nobody knew me, so I languished until 86, when I met Tracy Chapmen and a host of others in the New England songwriters revival. I recorded an album, but was dissatisfied with it and used it as a demo, which put me on the folk circuit for the next five years. I also got involved in theatre and wrote the scores for two plays that toured Russia. Then Britpop hit and went back to rock music. I moved back to Seattle and started a band with an old friend who had been Soundgardens drum tech and was now out of work because the band broke up. We recorded an EP, which was enthusiastically received, but there was too much conflict in everybodys lives so I headed South, where I was befriended by James Blood Ulmer who led me into the world of harmolodic blues. I stayed there until I was able to create my own style out of it, and made some 4 track recordings that i liked, but there were too many defets in the sound recording for it to be commercial. Eventually I returned to Seattle and wrote music for a young poet I had met. We started a band with him as singer and me as guitarisit, and had a pretty good run until he got married and disappeared. Then I teamed up with ex Van Morrison sidewoman, violinistToni Marcus, and returned to writing for and fronting a band. Joining a group called songwriters in seattle spurred me to new creativity in writing, and then I left the country to marry a girl in Peru. this is where i discovered FAWM, and now I only write songs during the month of February, which gives a new cohesion to each group of songs. This is my fourth FAWM, and the first one that has yielded what I believe may well be my first commercial release in 50 years of songwriting, performing and recording. If only I can find the right assembledge of peruvian musicians to work with.
My first novel, The Goners, is available to read for free at https://www.jukepopserials.com/hoMerl... , and my memoir cinema penitentiary is available for $4.99 at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view...
|#1||Old Road Sycamore Street||
|#2||Witches of the Northern Shore||
|#3||The Nickel Ride||
|#4||Let Them Believe!||
|#5||Rootie Tootie Cutie||
|#6||The Day I Beat the Hangman||
|#7||along this earthly path i sometimes go||
|#8||The Night the Moon Disappeared||
|#9||Mama Never Saw||
|#10||Death Came for the Hangman||
|#11||The Boy who strapped on Lavender Shoes||
|#12||Lovers Stand Alone||
|#13||When the Wind Turns South||
|#14||Black Fallen Angel @acousticmaddie||
|#15||Old Men and Old Women||
|#16||Farewell My Friend||
|#17||Holes in the Sky||
Thanks for stopping by to listen to Holding On! I appreciated the comment a lot. 😀
OK, whatever you say.
Hello I did send them to you now at your email.
Yes! I Would Love for you to cover Black fallen Angel!
Congratulations on making it to the Century Club! 😀
firstname.lastname@example.org -- there's a link on my profile.
what is your email address?
No one else asked to do The Bride Wore Black so feel free to give it a go. Thanks! Have fun and you can just email it to me, Bill.
I listened to a few more. What I said holds for sure. I especially liked your singing on When the Wind Turns South. Dylanesque. Your album should definitely work as a cohesive whole based on all I heard. Best of luck with it!
Hi Bill, thank you for your kind comment on the song "The Patient". Here's a rough draft of the recording, I'm still not happy with the production, arrangement, etc. But I have to move on to other things for now:
I've put the Romanian film on my "to watch" list, hope to see it soon. Thanks again for your comment, hope you like my 1st version of this song...
Haha, thank you again, PULP! Your comparisons have done much to boost my ego! And reading your recent comments on my phrasing has been one of my most rewarding moments of FAWM, really, thank you Bill.
Thank you for your comment on 'Excuse Me'
Swans are incredible. I'm really happy with that association, I tried to dig up the song best I could! Whenever I write anything it feels like there is something buried I can't quite get at!
Looking forward to listening over your tracks this March!
Hello Bill, your comments were very helpful to me, especially the advice about making them more muscular, . I'll send you a link to my bandcamp album when it's done. I'd like to hear yours too, so if you get yours done before mine, my email address is email@example.com.
I'll be sure to check out the Manicure Reel after the FAWM frenzy is over! Thanks for the tip. 😀
I hear you Bill. I was funnin' with you. It's very clear I'm not exactly a shredder! I was profoundly moved by Can't find my way Home as a teenaget. I was haunted by its beauty and it comforted me. I'm sure having been so deeply moved by that piece influenced my writing for sure. I get the vibe you're talking about and I'm very very moved.
Thank you Bill! Clapton huh? Ok...I'm good now 😮)
Thanks for your kind words on "This Beautiful '59". I'm not surprised if it reminds you of Soundgarden. Seattle bands were a huge influence for me when I was younger and started doing music on my own so they are a core part of my musical DNA. 😀
Thanks for your nice comments on Hunger for me and Dont fall in love wirh me.
Ok Bill, I'm off now. I'll probably do the occasional visit to see if anyone has randomly found my page and listened to a song, I wouldn't want to be rude and not acknowledge it. But I think I did my duty on comments during FAWM, so no penance required afterwards, same as you did! Thought you wrote some really good songs this year, very creative, I was very impressed. I'm off to turn mine into an album, which won't be very well recorded or mixed, but I have to practice that bit. If you want a link to it on bandcamp let me know, as I'd welcome your feedback, as it has been very useful to me. I tend to put them on bandcamp and hope no one sees them!
Anyway, take care, have a good year, and keep working on those songs, they are really good.
Hi Bill . I'm on the road. Boarding the ferry. Thank you so much for your comments . Will be listening to your album on the boat. Will post comme n ts from home computer
I so appreciate your comments on Sleep Won't Come. You nailed me on Laura Nyro... I was so touched by her work and learned almost all of her songs when I was a kid. And a little touch of Nina Simone... Well what can I say except I am terribly flattered that she would even come to mind while listening to my music. I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to your body of work and look forward to staying in touch musically through SoundCloud & all the usual portals! Enjoy your beautiful family and that sweet little baby girl of yours. She must have you wrapped around her little finger♡♡ All the best Bill
Thanks for the comment on "Through the winter nights" that turned out better than I expected. I didn't really stop there though, I just gave up posting the songs on FAWM. I did the NaSoAlMo challenge in November, where the challenge is to do a whole album, and then show it off, rather than writing a song at a time, post, and then another. I just preferred that working method. For some reason it works better for me to try and write the bulk of the lyrics in one go, and then start on the accompaniments. I think it's because I concentrate really hard, in some very introverted place, to find the lyrics, and all the activity on FAWM is a bit distracting. But it does have value, I've had some very good feedback from comments this year. So I'm going to dive into my "secret" inner world and try and get an album of songs recorded to a reasonable standard in March. Thanks for your feedback and support through FAWM.
Hello Bill, thanks for your comment on my song "And Brave", I just made a quick visit and saw it. The idea that I need to do a bit of stone cutting makes sense to me. I like the idea of creating complex interesting melodies, but I was listening earlier and I did feel like the arrangements were all too similar and they needed some change to them. Stone cutting is probably exactly what they need, my brain hurts even thinking about the idea of do a more layered arrangements with parts coming in and out appropriately, but I have to start trying at some point. I'm going to get all the songs to a basic level, which is probably that, and then just see what I can do. I'll re-record the vocals as well. I always find though, that things that seem difficult at first, eventually seem less so. Anyway, thanks for the comment, very helpful.
Oooh, my last bit got cut off. The last few sentences should be....It was good to see you this year, and I look forward to seeing you next year. By then I will have moved on from this year's "issues". Have a good year, enjoy it with your lovely family, and best wishes to you all.
Hello Bill, everything is fine. I started off well with FAWM. but I just lost my motivation. I've got the songs written, but can't get them recorded. I do think FAWM is a very good thing, but I'm just not sure it works for me, the social aspect is a wonderful thing, but I just want to be super boring, and concentrate on the quality of the songs, not really the social aspect. Anyway, thanks for your support, listening to my songs and commenting, it's been very helpful, and I have really enjoyed your songs, you've done some very impressive writing this year. My FAWM songs this year have been slightly different to what I've done before, and I'm actually pleased with the direction I'm moving in, so I don't know why I'm so reluctant to post. Though, having said that, as I write that sentence I think I can see why. Maybe the more I value them the less willing I am to submit them to potential rejection! Anyway, I keep visiting the site, so if you post any more, I'll have a listen. It was good
In "Let Them Believe" - making the characters bleed. Expressing the inevitability. Holding up poetry that has got muddy boot prints and tatters. I just love how real the scene is when I realize I wasn't even paying attention and it got all the way up to 90, 95.
Hi again (last time was 2 yrs ago?)! I am listening to your whole board, as you did that courtesy for me. I won't comment on them all. : -)
Thank you Bill for your insight on "No Questions Asked" I've often been told my music has a cinematic quality to it. Only thing missing is my connection to the right person or people who would be able to place it! So from your mouth to God's ears. Thank you. I've been up in my little house in the mountains with no internet and have a lot of listening to catch up on. Looking forward to hearing more of yours.
Yes I do think "Old road sycamore street" is a good beginning to the story. It has lots of imagery and sets the scene, so to speak.
Wow thanks for the very nice comment. I absolutely love TomWaits and to be compared to him in this way is really making me blush. THANK YOU
Thank you so much for your comments on my songs 😀
Happy fawming 😉
Thanks for your comment on Fields of Hay, you might be right about the singer and the person being sung about being the same person. Perhaps it's like dreams. Some dream analysts say that all the people in our dreams are part of us, maybe that's the same for songs. I'm going to have to go and think about this!
I thought Lovers Stand Alone was as good an effort as the others. Though, if you want feedback, I thought the section about the shoes piled high, though beautifully written, didn't fit into the pattern of the song, that had built up. The way the chorus/refrain half repeated itself was quite compelling, and that section disturbed that pattern. But apart from that I thought it was rather lovely.
Because by Beatles is not Beethoven 😉thanks for your comment
Whoops! I missed those repeating four chords on Death Came for the Hangman, the lyrics were so good I forgot about the other bits. I had another listen, and I can see how well it works, the repeated chords make the rhythm almost hypnotic.
Thanks for the listen to Break. I wish I knew why that accompaniment worked better, and success wasn't so accidental, maybe I'll get there one day. The two presidential candidates were in my mind when I wrote it, but I felt that there have also been other times in history when the same thing has happened.
Hello Bill, thanks for your comment on my song Night. That's useful feedback. I quite like that song, but was thinking of it more as a step on this very steep learning curve, than as a song to keep. But on the other hand, it might be more of a song to keep than I thought it was. So I'll look at your advice on how to improve it.
Hi , thanks for the kind comments, appreciated will drop by to hear what you have been up to.
Hello Bill, thanks for the comment on my song. I did feel that the vocals didn't quite fit with the accompaniment, but I just wanted it done. I might try something different after Fawm. I like using the repeated four chord progression, because it allows me to be more inventive with melodies. I was getting a bit bogged down with using the same guitar chords to shape the melody, as I seemed to be using the same patterns over and over, whereas with this the melody is more separate from the chords. But I will probably put a guitar in there later on.
I see your own plans for this year are proceeding well, sounds like it could be really effective.
Thanks for the dating advice haha
Thank you so much for your lovely comment on "I Dream of Green Hills"! 😀
Hi Bill, This is my first FAWM. Thank you for your comment on my first song. I look forward to hearing more from your Billy The Kid!
Thank you for you kind comments on my political satire What a Lovely World We Live In. I almost decided not to do FAWM this year because the times are depressing and scary...but music has a way of diffusing.
What an interesting career you have had!
Thank you so much for your kind words on "The Lady of the Harbor"! The comparison to Phil Ochs is beyond flattering to an old folkie. 😀
Hi Bill! Thanks a lot for your kind words... I wish you a wonderful February!
Thanks for stopping by my song list and listening to my viola introduction! It makes me happy that you were able to paint a vivid picture from it. I didn't necessarily have a specific image in mind, but it is an intro to a set of songs that will be focused on all the angst in the world, so it's good to know that you got a sense of tension.
"Old Road Sycamore Street" was a beautiful listen, and so I hope to hear much more from you by the time this month is through!
Hello Bill, hope everything's going well. That's a lovely profile picture you have there! I remember you saying that you were expecting your daughter to be born half way through last years FAWM. Look forward to listening to your songs this year.
I'm in northern Ohio by Lake Erie. The Dakota's also seem rich with history and their own culture.
Your background sounds fascinating. I also have travelled/lived a lot, but Peru is still one of the places I would love to experience. Best wishes to you! I will be listening.