Influences: this year my active influences have been Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Miles Davis, The Last Poets, Gregory Corso, JIm Morrison, Tony Bennett, Frank Zappa, Bill Evans, and Ed Sanders
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 decided to limit my songwriting to the month of february. then 50 90 got my attention and no i and now I write over 100 songs a year., Last year i depleted my mental capacity fr wriing songs on guitar, so this year i will be working with he piano,
|#5||Boy of theYear||
|#10||Your Cruddy Face||
|#11||Where Silenced Train Passes @acousticmaddie||
|#14||One Too Many of Me||
|#15||It Wasn't Me||
|#16||Boomer No Boom||
|#17||Northern Pride, Southern Shame||
|#18||Buckets and Mops||
|#19||Jet Another Lie @acousticmaddie||
|#20||I Will Never Know @jerrypettit||
|#21||The Year the World Stood Still||
|#22||The Last Waltz @marthie||
|#23||Things That Matter||
Sir, it's been a pleasure getting to be in a community with you and making great music. I wish this was a conversation over a beer at a bar where people talk one to one and where I could learn how you craft such a voice and gravitas and I would love to hear more in the future if the winds blow right
Till then be as well as you can and thank you for being the man you are
Well, you literally made me laugh out loud with your remark about not getting bogged down in tired structures. I don't know any structures, tired or not. Obviously, I have some basic idea of how western pop music works, but I couldn't play you a song right now if you asked me to. Mark my words, though, I'm committed to learning something between now and February 2022! Enough of my self-deprecating schtick! I actually wanted to do a collab with you this year but I didn't get off my ass to propose the idea. I was thinking about Keith Jarret and his unplayable piano concert. I wanted to write a song about a really shitty piano player facing an eminently playable piano, like an Imperial Bosendorfer. Seemed like an amusing idea. Maybe this summer 😀
Hey Bill, I enjoyed your work this year. Every time I start to think that I know you as an artist, you find a way to surprise me. Cheers--and see you in the summer, I imagine!
Hi Bill. before I fade away again (wife into hospital tomorrow for a new knee) a heartfelt thankyou for your generosity and support. And perceptive comment too. It's not just me, it's all the people you've listened to and encouraged (and taught, i suspect)
Thanks for your comments on my songs - they were all very helpful. Thanks also for the musical knowledge you have shared, it is much appreciated.
Makes sense. But I missed out on the romantic young view of death, having had three seriously near misses between 18 and 20 . Viewpoint changes! I am surprised to have made it this far.
Last Waltz lyric 40 years ago?? What is it about our youth/young adulthood where we can encapsulate ending-of-life ("how terribly strange to be seventy") but then lose that ability as we get older until--voila!--that creaking noise is the Grim Reaper's dicky knee joint as he strolls beside you.
Bill, when I think of favorites for the Peacock Coffeehouse series, four names come to mind: Flor De Cana, now Sol Y Canto,Patty Larkin, John Gorka and Do' A World Music Ensemble. Locally in JP, we featured Andy Holiner and Alice Johnson twice who later became Wildest Dreams. Others include Eric Kilburn, Deborah Silverstein, Robbie O'Connell, Cormac McCarthy, Cheryl Wheeler, Bob Franke, Sally Rogers and Dave Van Ronk. We had a very good run there! And of course, Tracy.
Interesting story, Bill. I also knew Tracy and did a couple coffeehouse performances with her. I managed a coffeehouse in Jamaica Plain from 1986-1988 and got to know many of the Boston area folk performers that way. I never visited WMFO at Tufts but I was always hearing about it. Nice to meet you here at FAWM.
Thanks so much Bill for your kind words on our song. Arthur Rossi writes a lot of lyric and I have co-written (mostly the music) a lot with him here on fawm for about 5 or 6 years now, this one is very special and I enjoyed coming up with the music and a few of the lyric.
Sorry..Tony Robbins is a celebrity self help guru that people pay 1000's of bucks to be enlightened by and top it off by walking on hot coals, so you feel like you can do anything if you put your mind to it.
For me, in Things that Matter, you had distilled your bottom line about what matters in life with simply put power packed verse. No hoopla, marketing, or hype. That's why I said who needs Tony Robbins when you've got Bill White and all you need to know is right here! 😀
Glad y0u liked the Dolly's Dilemma. Loved your summary of the mood of the piece.
Thanks for your kind comments Bill, struggled a bit to know what to do with this one but it's all about doing new things I think.
I sent you an email- need some info from you please. And if you have some lyrics to spare!
So glad you liked my "Goddess of the Wind". I was nervous about it, as it's my first foray into "Ambient/Electronic). Indeed my nervousness led to me thinking it lacked something as an instrumental and I combined it with the poem. In the end, I think it was a good marriage.😉
Oh my, thanks for that, "Belter Wars" 😀 hahhh, jah; that one just spewed out in reaction to the Mar's Rover Thread in the forums that went sideways. Imagine being the OP author, and then... "wtf"? 😀 omg... so, I picked a side, - Belters!
I think both lines are great in their song's contexts! Thanks for checking out "Strange Times" as well. Even at 31 it seems like so much of what I write has to do with dealing with the fear of life being short/cut short. I'm hoping as I get a little older I can get away from that feeling and find new themes to explore naturally!
Hi Bill! Thanks for your comment on "Every Night"! It definitely wound up having some lyrics I really liked. Goes to show you why writing a lot is good. There's always something new to discover in yourself.
OMG...the name game! You know I still do that once in a while and it's still fun!
Aw... Thanks for your confidence in my chances of reviving my old drag queen act, Bill. But I'd have to shave the beard off! 😜 Or maybe not after the bearded lady won the Eurovision Song Contest a few years back.😁
Ok. Let me think on it. It is too short.
Thank you Bill. I always appreciate your knowledgeable comments.
Thanks so much Bill. I updated the linear notes on the song TIMLINES you just commented on. oh and whacked the lyrics up which always helps. Cheers
Thank you so much for another fab collab. Very cool
Thanks for your comments on Breaking the Ice, I liked the juxtaposition of the lyrical content and the musical theme. Why not have a funky song about the dangers at sea?
Great lyrics, hardly needed any adjustment at all other then the pre-chorus
Wow, that was an amazing comment. I may have to print and frame it. Thank you for listening and taking the time to write it. One of the good things about being so busy at work is that I had time to let the song marinate. Recorded the drums, guitar and base on Tuesday and kept mulling over the lyrics till I finished it on Friday.
Thank you for the chords. Northern Pride, Southern Shame has a clever bitterness that really resonates with me.
Native Bostonian! I had been traveling up until COVID though. Whereabouts in Boston were you?
It's certainly in my top-10 faves I've ever written. It's a great collab, Questions.
You leave such thoughtful comments! I'm grateful for your listen and for the thoughts you share 😊
I guessed "Buckets and Mops" was about the US Branch of the "Fraternity". I imagined Peruvian Cops would be as you described. But other South American police forces have much darker reputations (death squads in El Salvador, for example).
To answer your question with Tripping Pharlight, no, not exactly. It's a library that smooshes vocal sounds with non vocal sounds to create atmosphere. The thing that sounded like Andean flutes was humming mixed with a synth pad of some sort. The thing that sounded a little like monastic singing... I can't quite remember what that combo was, but it sounded cool, so I used it.
Thank you Bill. As always I look forward to hear your take on he lyrics. <3
I'm in Chrome. Turns out it was a coding issue. Not an error, just that Bandcamp needed the entire URL posted in the link box, when every other platform just needed a username entered. I went to the forums, and a coder fixed it site-wide. Thanks for getting back to me.
Fascinating titbit about the central bank. I had no idea that was the spark for the Civil War.
Hey Bill, just wanted to give you a heads-up that your bandcamp link isn't formatted correctly. Not sure if that's a you problem, or a FAWM problem. Some other accounts link fine, but others are similarly wonky.
Bill, Thanks. More people should write about the loss of books than the loss of a lover: yes. And only a fellow book-lover would mention the smell of a library. If you ever come to Spain, there might still be a few old coffee shops where books outnumber iPads.
Thanks for your words on the ghost song. I understood it not as "real" ghosts of dead people but lamenting over memories or failures the narrator can't get over
Thanks so much for your encouraging comment on Trigger You! Chuffed you liked it!
Than you for your always fantastic and encouraging words. <3
Hi Bill, thanks so much for your kind comments on my collaboration with Kristi on Oh Emily Rose.
Hey Bill, many thanks for your comment on 12 Inches Of Snow I appreciate it! Jerry did an awesome job on it!
Both articles (review of Deja Vu etc) were marked.
"Sorry Not Available in your Region" 😢
Laura Nyro is a goddess.
I love the words creative and reckless together.
Your comments are so interesting, insightful and unexpected.
Thank you for taking the time to comment on my tunes.
I’ll make a point of giving it a listen (probably in March!). I’m really fascinated by themed albums these days. Not an easy thing to pull off.
Hey Bill..Thank you so much for listening and commenting on Sandcastles in the Sky.
Glad you liked my take on the Reagan years. So many things have gone sour since then. I agree with your analysis of the collapse of the Soviet Union. The people finally took Lenin's advice to heart:
"A government can only survive when people fear it. Once they lose that fear it is doomed."
He was talking about the Czar's Govt. but the lesson was learned in order to overthrow that totalitarian farce had had the cheek to call itself "Communist".
I'd like to see the back of billionaire run politics myself, but Biden is surely a breath of fresher air than 45?
Bill, thanks for the nice comment on my song: Purple and Yellow.
Thanks for listening. It's not supposed to be weird, just a regular cross (blues) harp style, but there's something about part of it that works in an unusual way.
Hi, I'm glad you liked Don't Make me go to LA. I think there's room for a few more verses. I was thinking of smog and drought, but trendy food is a good idea.
Hi, Bill. Thank you for your comment on It Gets Better?. A very perceptive comment, too, as the brilliant chorus that the pre-chorus was supposed to be building up to never actually eventuated. I couldn't think of one, so I took a lazy approach and made the first verse the chorus, on the strength of the promise vs. threat theme that inspired the song.
I think you're right - the pre-chorus probably should have been the chorus, as the killing time vs. time killing me couplet seems to have landed especially well with the listeners.
Thanks for listening and the feedback on The old house
Bill, thanks so much for your comment on "Look Inside Your Heart." Humbled that you mentioned John Lennon - one of my heroes!
For as much as I love psychedelic music & long free-form jams, I've never gotten into The Dead, for some reason. Strange. Tho, I'm more into the Brittish prog & psych than the San Fransico scene. At any rate, thank you so much for the listen & the comment, Bill!
See You In The Shadows…
Thanks, Bill, for the comments. RSVP has probably more than one lick from Abbey Road and a bit from "Taxman" too. It's almost a parody but sincere.
And yes, "Whatever You Do" was me trying to emulate a Zombies "feel" with the keyboard parts. I call that an "influence". But it's bad if the melody lines are the same as something else. I don't mind people telling me because I can always change melodies.
Oops... posted this twice.
Yes, my comparison with "Façade" was more about the approach and the use of twelve tone, rather than the actual music you had produced.
Glad you picked up on the fact my "Sailing Away" is largely metaphoric.
I do love those cosmic chords 😉
Thank you Bill. I've fallen way behind in writing and listening, will be till last week of Feb. Re the Baby Dragon: tell your kiddiewink "thank you" but that no, it wasn't the baby dragon singing (it was me) but the photo is of the actual baby dragon (about 6 inches long) standing by my foot out in the desert, earlier this year, telling me that I didn't worry it but all those circling airborne dinosaurs were a really pain and dangerous too. Here's the photo for her of the whole baby dragon. Very pretty.
Thanks for listening and commenting on Big League, Bill. That's Ty Tyson speaking from Detroit in 34. TIGERS v YANKEES
No spoilers here
Thanks, Bill! At you suggestion I think Gwyn is doing Gravel in his Gut but I hope some other lyrics will speak to you!
Your kind words mean a lot! I love the image of cows chewing for me. And who knows? Maybe vegan hood is in my future! Dairy does make me really gassy
“Cute and a little bit spooky” —that’s what I was going for! It’s great to have a positive review from the target audience. Thanks, Bill and chiquita.
Thank you Bill it came out so great
You get it. I spent about a decade making comics. There's an exercise where you try to write sequences of non sequiturs. It's REALLY difficult, because the mind is constantly searching for meaning, making connections between random ideas. Doing this challenge for "Maladjustment", choosing from a list of words, I was confident that the bones of a narrative would appear.
Extra thanks for the comment on the guitar tone. You caught me by surprise. It's an early Seagull, bought at auction. I consider it my campfire guitar, and it's strung with Webstrings. I think I'll take it a bit more seriously going forward.
Thanks for all the information on harmolodics. It's very interesting, I've been listening to and watching some You Tube videos on James Blood Ulmer -powerful stuff.
Thanks for the kind comments Bill!
Hey Bill, many thanks for your comment on Vertigo I appreciate it! Jerry did an awesome job on it!
We have Vermouth before lunch here. Carmen gets off work early today.
Today is "Dijous Gras" (lit. Fat Thursday) or what we call Maundy Thursday... Oops my head has gone off writing an alternative lyric to the famous Mamas & the Papas song.
"Maundy Thursday, can't stand that day.
Maundy Thursday you'll take all my meat away..." etc 😜
Thanks for your constructive comment on my song, its much appreciated.
Glad you liked my Whaling song. I always look forward to your insightful comments.
YOU SAID: "...expressing the wisdom of the aged through the teenage lexicon of rock music" - you just gave me my tagline in any publicity about our band "The Saturday Blues Project" (see Spotify). Who knows, Bill, we might meet up one of these years... not that we have all that many left 😉
Email sent to you...
Wow, I’m bowled over by your response to The Siren’s Lament, thank you!
OH I hope you had time for it. Thank you I look forward to hear it.
".... right now i hear six children screaming five dogs a barking. 4 mariachi bands playing, three women arguing, two hawkers hawking, and one jackhammer tearing up the sidewalk right underneath my window."
What? No partridge in a pear tree? 😜
Thanks for your warm support for my FAWMing. I always look forward to your comments. I hope one day we can meet up. Peru was always high on my bucket list.
Thanks Bill. I wondered if you may have seen Sonny in concert? You saw so many, and traveled broadly.
Thanks so much for your comments and feedback on 'Michael'! ❤️
Thanks for stopping by for a listen, Bill. I see you're halfway there. I've got some catching up to do!
I admit I titled it Penelope to meet the first week challenge. Maybe in modern times, Penelope travels with Odysseus—and still feels out of control.
Hi Bill! Thanks for your comment on "Sunday". Made me smile haha.
Thanks so much for your kind comment!
Gracias for recommending Fruitcake to the wider FAWM world. And yes, I've gotten weary of direct attacks on a man whom nothing seems to faze or change. But plenty of other people CAN wake up and change if given a wink and a shove.
thanks for your great comments on "Is your Ride Clean". I love getting comments from you, they are always full of imagery and emotion.
OK catch you on the next go around.
Hey Bill, if it isn't cheating, I'd be honored to have you and Cynthia Wolff make your versions with the lyrics. You both chimed in at the same time your styles are totally different and I hate to choose. It's just not in me. Cool?
Thou art close to the knuckle with thy comments on my "Doing that thing with ye" 😉
Actually, for those coy euphemisms you only need go back to the 1950s... 😁
Thank you for your kind comments on my piano playing. It's good to think we share a love for a similar kind of jazz.
Thank you for the PSA about potentially life threatening orgasms! That might be my sequel song
Thanks for yoru comment on "Heavy Lie the Crowns" Bill!
Thank you for checking out my song, "Frozen Lake!" I appreciate the comment.
"...like a parting kiss" makes me feel like the shortness of "Captain Tom" is a good thing, not a fault. Thanks for that.
Thanks for the coffee song comment Bill. Blues bass line? I can only play a blues bass line! Well, not quite true but each time I pick the bass up from a long absence I have to relearn how to play it and a blues bass is easier than a walking bass!
Thank you so much for your beautiful comment on my latest tune. Talk about a 6 am flood of creativity 😉