Composition and Performance Services
New CD, "Sixty" released.
February 15th, 2017.
This project has been an amazing (and somewhat) long time in the works. Being mainly a jazz composer, I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and explore the wonderful nuances of the singer/songwriter genre. I had no preconceived notions about where I was going on this journey, except to explore the melodic landscapes of this beautiful Americana music style. For inspiration, I constantly referred (but never copied) my most favorite artists of the genre, The Civil Wars—and as solo artists, Joy Williams and John Paul White - you are both amazing.
Here's a few insider notes for each of the songs.
PASSION & FURY:
Next, I wrote a song (with a southern feel), about a crime-of-passion and the dark and tragic consequences that can come from it. Passion & Fury tells the tale of a person who's jealously gets the better of them—when they (rightfully or wrongly), perceive a competitive suitor coming between them and their lover. In the song, the jealously becomes violent and the young suitor pays with his life. The final part of the song is about justice and impending death (at the hand of the state) and his last minute regrets. I know, I know, it's a bit dark.
CATCH ME I'M FALLING:
In "Catch Me I'm Falling," I wanted to convey that initial / wonderful feeling of falling in love and the giddy feelings of doubt and excitement that it can bring. Thank you to Sandi Kay for helping me out with the vocal harmony: You really do give it polish.
LONELY & BLUE:
Lonely & Blue is the true story of a couple I know. Sadly, she is just not into him—certainly not like he's into her. Obviously, it wasn't to last and hence the title of the song—and within the verses a few more details. Overall, this song is very sad. The song opens with a solo, tremolo'd electric guitar playing a minor arpeggio and thematically continuing it throughout. The underlying percussion has a "death march" feel to it, utilizing a deep/boomy kick drum and ominous snare rolls. During the solo section of the song, I added in a dramatic and whaling slide guitar using a (1956 Supra) lap steel. Like most love tragedies, they usually don't end well, as explained in the last verse. Thanks to the great Todd Chuba for his drum expertise on this track.
"Cry," is somewhat self-reflective song about getting old and realizing "there's nothing you can do" about it. I gave this song a "french cafe" feel. As I was writing this tune and working out the arrangement, it started to take on a kind of movie soundtrack-ish feel. So, I went with it.
LOVE IS SOMETHING:
Love can be used and abused in many ways - affectionately most times and sometimes more sinisterly. This song tells of a troubled relationship and how it can grab hold of their everyday thoughts—whether they like it or not.
Being the child of an early divorce—and at the tender age of four—I was to spend the next 5 years in a Scottish orphanage (Quarrier's Homes), and more years than that as a troubled youth. I wanted to write something for my Mother as she's always felt guilty about the turmoil-filled years that we all experienced. "Dear Mother" tells my tale to her in shortened, simplified verse. One of the last lines in the song, "Those letters tell a tragic tale," refers to the back and forth (lawyer's) letters, that I still have, that clearly illustrate the arguments my Mother and Father presented, for and against their three boys being award to the state for care—with my Mother being for. Divorce is not pretty and children suffer most.
Not sure why, but I wanted to write something along the lines of a Keg' Mo' style of song. But this is the answer to that want. Nothing ground breaking here...just a simple song with simple (cliche) lyrics. Still, I like it 'cause it's kinda fun to sing and perform.
On this song, I knew I wanted a harmonica included and decided to challenge myself, so, I bought a few new harmonicas online, having not played one since high school, With my long lost lip, I laboriously proceeded to lay down the required riffs. While not the greatest harmonica player of all time, I can hope it suffices and is complimentary to the song.
ME AND MY DOG:
What can I say, I love my dogs. Bud and Gibson are beautiful and wonderful black and white English Springer Spaniels: my daily companions and friends.
SONG TO MY FATHER:
The first song I wrote for this project was "Song to my Father." I know we all have our regrets in life and on this song I wanted to express my most to my deceased Father.
Okay, enough out of me for now. Most of all, for those of you who will purchase these labors of love, I sincerely, hope you enjoy each wee melodic story and that they hold personal interpretations for you, too.
Sincerely, Bob McCarroll.