“Random” Notes

As I get older, I want to do a better job at everything. Especially, my music. My producer/engineer Marv and I, were working on a mix of “Sloth Baby Mole Baby.” A song from my new cd called “Random Pandemonium.” He is a very organized person, and I saw on his recording computer that we had a working date listed from a year ago. I said, “Happy Anniversary, Marv.”

He replied: “It’s not my anniversary.”

I said, “We’ve been working on this song for a year now!”

I’ll admit, I’m not always easy to work with….

Erin Parker was the inspiration for that song. She told me about a dream she had with a sloth and a mole. Songs ideas are in the air, I just catch ‘em!

My friend, Keith, told me a story about his step daughter’s autistic son, who had lost his voice, but he said he found it in his pocket. I wrote that idea down for future reference. But, Keith kept bugging me about it (which doesn’t usually inspire creativity). He mentioned it again, one Sunday afternoon, so I sat down with my guitar and it flowed right out. I can’t explain it, either. Perhaps, there are songs only I can write, out there in the Universe.

I’m a believer in serendipity, also I had started writing “Binky,” and I started seeing them around. A lot. I took some photos of one I saw in the street, and we used them for the video. What are the odds of me writing a song about a binky, and then seeing them in the street in a New Orleans park in the mouths of babes? Oh wait, that’s where they usually are…

I was going to the grocery store, because, I was out of bananas and cat food. You can tell where this is going: I said it out loud, and realized that it could be a song title. I have quite a few feral cats in my back yard. They are afraid of me, but they want me to feed them. They’re tabby, with grey and black stripes on their backs and white fur on their chests. In fall, I look out my door and they appear to be little tombstones.

“Random Cow” came about because of a young man named Riley. We were doing silly knock-knock jokes with him and his parents, giggling about the interrupting cow joke from Steve Martin. They had traveled from Delaware, Pittsburgh, and Washington, before visiting Nashville. Combine all that, and, you’ve got a song!

“Second Song” was a goofy tune I’d written a while back. I wanted to add a young voice to my friend, Gary Holt’s song, “Gonna get Old,” which I performed with him in the Buzzo Band, in the eighties. I called my voice coach, Laura Donohue (whose husband played the awesome bass on “Sloth…”), and she recommended one gal, but she was busy, so Rowan entered my life. This little lady has the funkiest, best voice. She is just a cute bundle of talent! She did a great job on “Gonna Get Old,” so I had her do the spoken part, and chorus, on “Second Song” (a few moos, too). I wanted to help kids learn a little math with “Second Song,” because my skills in that area aren’t great. And, I put it third on the cd, just to be funny.

“Dreamland” was supposed to be on my lullaby cd, but I never got it finished (too sleepy). I really just wanted to sing with Kim Keyes, and Gene Miller! They are two of my favorite singers here in Nashville.

Same thing with “Let the Rain.” Gary told me he wrote that with a group of young kids on a retreat. I heard the song on his cd and loved it. I told Gary I wanted to make him more famous. He replied, “I wish more people were like you.” So, this cd is really a collection of songs, randomly put together.

Hence the title. I had a song about pandas, but I wasn’t thrilled with it. Someone at work told me their daughter loved pandas, so I re-visited, and re-wrote the song. There’s a small snippet of my guitar hero, Terry Kath, on there.

There are way too many stories about recording these songs, but I’m always glad that great musicians will come and play. I still laugh when I hear trombonist, Josh Scalf, do an “old man” voice on “Gonna get Old.” And drummer, Pat McInerny, coming in late on his “moo” during “Random Cow.” Francie’s “Elvis” and Charlie’s low “Moo” at the end are classic, too. I was telling the horn section, when I sing “It’s time to hit the hay,” they burst out with what you hear on the cd. One take: Magic 🙂

We have a blast recording these songs, and I hope that comes across when folks listen!

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