My 10-year old nephew was bouncing around with his guitar during our lesson, more enamored with the way a guitar looked on him than the intriguing sounds he could make with it, when I held up my guitar to him and told him, “Do you know, I have had a guitar in my life longer than I’ve had most people in my life? I’ve been playing this instrument, or one like it, for 30 years!” This information blew his little mind.
It did mine too.
Other than my Wife, my family, and some very close friends, I am closer to my guitar than to any single person I know.
Perhaps it’s how supremely frustrating the instrument can be sometimes. I’ve been at odds with my guitar as often as I’ve been at odds with people. Sometimes it sings to me, other times it sounds like it shouldn’t have gotten out of bed. Clearly, these personifications are reflections of my attitudes, but the resulting compatibility, or friction, depending on which vibe I’m getting, makes it feel like a relationship.
Perhaps it’s because I just can’t get it right. I have a very analytical brain. Consequently, I approach guitar like a puzzle to be solved. And while daily guitar epiphanies are on the rise, the thing is, there’s no final answer. I’ll never figure it all out, and I find this amazing.
Perhaps it’s because it doesn’t matter how many times I play the same thing, each time is its own opportunity for brilliance, its own chance for redemption. This is the one thing about musicians which sets them apart from other artists. Painters, sculptors, and photographers, for example, are finished with their expression of the piece upon completion of the piece. Musicians are finished with their expression of the piece at the conclusion of their performance, so another performance offers a new opportunity to refine expression.
That said, these eight songs were recorded with no bells and whistles. I played the guitar. I sang the tune. What you hear is how that performance sounds. That was the idea.
Here’s some insight to each track:
“Meet Me in the Middle” is an autobiographical love song about my departure from Arizona to find my true love and purpose the Rockies.
I wrote “Pocketful of Change” after I quit drinking.
“I, Myself, & Me” is the third incarnation of this song. The riff was written in ’92, and lyrics have been about killing frogs, and, when it was called “Dysfunction Junction” was about the unraveling of society. Here, I made it about me.
“When You’re Gone” – When my Wife and I were dating she left my house and called two minutes later. I feared the worst. I answered,” Is everything ok?” She replied, “Yeah, I just miss you.” I said, “But you just left.” She said, “It’s a given when you’re gone.” Boom.
“Sunshine Nectar” – figure it out.
“Peace of Mind (Me & Mine)” is about working too much and not taking time to love those who love you.
“Flinch” is inspired by a fight I had with a loved one, but the song is about accountability. We all do things we’re not proud of at one point or another. It’s how we own up to those things that distinguish us from undesirables.
“Cold Light of Day” – the title came from a conversation with a close friend, but the song is about my love for my Wife. It’s the first song I wrote for her, and two of my very good friends performed it for our first dance at our wedding.