View from the Top
Al Soucy began entertaining and singing at a very young age by performing in his neighborhood where he lived. At the age of 13 Al began learning guitar when he and his brother Tim received electric guitars for Christmas that year from the Sears catalog from their parents. Prior to this they were using tennis rackets and brooms in front of the mirror singing Beatles songs handed down to them from their Uncles. Al was swept up in Beatlemania right from the start. It would be the beginning of his musical career. The guitars were a big improvement over a tennis racket and a broom. There was a lot of fumbling around the fret board for a while until one day Al learned his first song. By The Sea and from that point forward it was one right after another. What helped in the learning process is that there was a nice circle of players around so we were all learning from each other and constantly raising the bar and there's nothing like good old fashion competition to drive the best out of people. Al started on guitar, then went on to learn how to play drums and settled in on the bass guitar after some time. There were so many guitar players and drummers around, Al recalls and no one to play bass guitar so, Al decided on bass as his main instrument and became a proficient bass player. Al's first real band experience was called Power House and it was comprised of Wayne Hewitt, Tim Soucy and Joe Wallace. Al recalls we made a lot of noise mostly in the basement but we had some memorable experiences performing in front of people. We had some nice originals in this band. "Pleasant View Avenue" was one I still remember today. One thing to note as a kid playing in a band you spend a lot of time in basements practicing. Several years later when Al became more proficient on the instrument he would join a band called Midnight Mist comprised of three other members: Tim Soucy, Dave Tassie and Shannon Fickett. This band auditioned for Community Auditions, which was hosted by Dave Maynard for WBZ TV4 in Boston, MA. The band lost on that program but the seed had been planted and a musician/entertainer was born. We played the song "If" by the band Bread. In High School, Al played in a band called Ambush with four talented musicians: Tim Soucy, Dave Thorp, Jeff Longwell and Troy MacPherson. This band was primarily an original rock band. This band helped honed Al's skills as a singer/song-writer and bass player. This band would provide Al his first experience in a recording studio (North Country Sounds) and would also form the foundation for the bands to come in the future. Matthew Callahan was the bands photographer. Marc Callahan was the bands light man and Jeff Bissonette was the bands soundman. Memory: We had a neighbor who allowed us to practice in his garage. His name was Moe and we became "Moe's Garage Band". Our drummer at that time was also a part time carpenter Kevin Lamontange. He built us a stage in the garage. We had lights hanging on beams. We had our own light man Mark Callahan and our own soundman Jeff Bissonnette and there you go we had our own arena with our own guests and the concert was on. The garage was our home away from home. This band had some wonderful originals: The Race Car, Hopes and Dreams, Time and Shine on Me. This band was a good teacher. After High School, Al went on the Road with 'The Blair Hunter Band' comprised of four other members: Angela Blair, Rick Gelinas, Gary Wytonic and Joe Antonis which, was under the management of Bill Macek from Clockwork Entertainment out of Haverhill, MA. This was a top 40 GB band. This band played on a circuit that covered: New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. A highlight performance was backing up Jon Butcher Axis at the Frolics in Salisbury Beach. Jon Butcher attracted a large crowd. Ariel Jones was the photographer of the Blair Hunter Band. Memory: When I received the call from Bill Macek that I was hired for "The Blair Hunter Band" I was thrilled. I needed a job and was excited about the opportunity. So, I called Rick Gelinas the guitar player who began walking me through the song list and the first show was is in several weeks. I gathered the material and worked very hard practicing basically non-stop, around the clock. Rick Gelinas was helping me with the material and I was traveling down to Haverhill, Ma regularly. (Side Note: I was quite poor at this time and barely had a car that could run or that I could afford. I was going for broke on this dream and willing to sacrifice everything for it and that included a good car). Anyway, the night of the first show has arrived. It was at a place called the "Ax Handle" in Dover, NH. I think all said I needed to learn about 50 songs. So, here I am Mr. Rock'n Roll, ready to go, first night on the road and I absolutely drew a complete blank from the very first song. I could not remember one song. I was mixing songs together. It was just awful. My first night was a train wreck. By the time the show was over I had put my back to the audience. I figured it was bad enough everyone had to hear my mistakes. I did not want to punish them any further by letting them see the mistakes too. Long story short, the band gave me a break. I was green and as my confidence in the material grew so did my skills and level of competency. When I got off the road with the Blair Hunter Band, I decided to find a band in the Boston area, Al, then joined up with a Boston based band called 'The Steps' comprised of three other members: Brad Jeter, Robert Dimartino and Steven Doyle. This band was an all-original band. Al played at the area clubs in Boston, MA for several years: The Rat, The Metro, The Channel, Bunratty's, Jaspers and the Paradise. The Steps released one album in 1982 and received airplay on WBCN and WGIR with a song called "White Lies". The Steps were under the management of Donna Rodden and would record at Blue Jay Recording studio and Sound Design studio in Boston, MA Memory: The band received a call one night from management that we had an opportunity to be in a battle of the bands at a club called Jaspers in Somerville, MA. The Steps music had a real Tom Petty sound to it, very melodic, good harmonies. In any case we were told that we would have a good chance in this contest. So, after thinking about it we decided what the hell let's do it. It wasn't clear to us until we got in the club that night that this was serious punk rock night and we were not dressed right for the occasion. It was definitely not the right place or the right time or the right genre for us. We didn't last very long on stage as you can well imagine and it was time to go. The punk rock crowd did not enjoy our Tom Petty sound at all...no offense to Tom Petty. After departing from The Steps in 1984, Al decided to pursue work in the recording studio and began doing session work. Al's bass work is on many recordings from studios in New England: Blue Jay Recording, Cedar House Recording, and Sound Design Studio and North Country Sounds to name a few. You can hear Al on a CD by Amy Conley at CDBaby.com. In between this session work Al, played with bands off and on throughout the late 1980's and 1990's. The Switch an all-original band comprised of: Al, Jeff Longwell and John Toronto. This three-piece power trio played the Paradise, The Channel, Bunratty's and the Boston circuit and recorded several songs in Boston, MA. Some great original songs came out of this band: Restless Hearts, Just Too Good, 36 Hour Day and Borrowed Time. The Muse Review at The Paradise - Thursday March 15, 1984: The Switch - a trio who is faster than Def Leppard, stronger than Quiet Riot, more well, anyhow, they managed to make the Paradise sound like the Worcester Centrum. Guitarist Jeff Longwell powered their icy, proud melodies along with his Van Halen-style sonic riffing, while bassist/vocalist Al Soucy sang their epics of teenage angst and heartbreak songs like: "Such A Fool" and "Last Stand". Metal heads should make it a point to see these guys. After the Switch, I played in two bands for a short time. A band called "Witch Hunter" a three-piece power trio. This band played original heavy rock. Witch Hunter played a battle of the bands at "The Granite Rock" club in 1991. IC5 a four-piece all-original punk rock band, this band was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the creativity in this band. Showcase show was at the Rat in Sept. of 1987. It was a great show and this band was fun. This band had the freedom to draw outside the lines and did. The Keys: Al, Tim Soucy and Peter Peloquin an all-original band. A solid three-piece power trio with good originals. Songs included: Come Back Home, Don't Cry and On Your Side. Don't Cry and On Your Side are both wonderful songs and stand on their own to this date. I re-recorded and acoustic version of "On Your Side" on my solo album "Pennywise and Pound Foolish" in 2003. The Brotherhood an all-original band comprised of three other members: Tim Soucy, Norm Levesque and Dave Thorp. This band highlighted such shows as backing up FarrenHeit and Robin Lane and the Chartbusters. They may not know it but we were actually a regular back up band for FarrenHeit for a period of time, backing then up a dozen times, several times at the Granite Rock Club in Nashua, NH. Several great originals came out of this band - Love and Money, It's Over and These Days. This band played at the Granite Rock Club, Classics and was a regular at Hendi's in Lowell, MA. Review: Recorded by the Brotherhood - The Back Page Review: "Carry On" - July 1990 - A little reminiscent of the Squeeze with a little country twist. Some nice harmonies and some exceptional work on the guitar. After the Brotherhood Al played a duo gig with Dave Branch from the Branch Brothers Band for several years and they played pubs with their home base being Colonel Shepherds in Milford, NH. I learned a great deal playing with Dave Branch. He is a wonderful musician. Memory: There was a blizzard outside. The doors were closed at 12:45 and Dave and I played music taking request one song after another until 5am. Dave and I always played well together. We had a lot of fun at Col. Sheppard's. This is a very memorable time for me musically. The Crayons: Al, Dave Tassie, Tim Soucy and James Soucy a top 40 GB and original rock band. This band worked solidly for two years and had a rock'n sound and good originals. Al got to be in this band with his two brothers and his best man, which made the Crayons even more special. This band had some wonderful shows and a loyal following which made the playing all that more sweet. Dave's Uncle deserves a big hand for putting up with us practicing in his basement for two years, a very memorable time. Don Taylor videotaped every single show for us and captured some great nights of music. Mathew Callahan photographed the band. 30 Nov 2000 - The Uptown Tavern - There were people as far as the eye could see. A packed room, enthusiastic crowd, which means our friends and family and we just absolutely smoked the place, a very memorable show. Project X - a top 40 GB band comprised of members: Al, Jeff Longwell, Harley Walker and Dave Thorp. Highlight show was being the mainstay for the Milford Balloon Festival for many years. Harley Walker would go on to be my main drummer on three of my solo albums. 2003 - The Branch Brothers - a top 40 GB band comprised of members: Steve Branch, Kevin Vigue and Dave Branch. The last band hurrah! This band produced some magical moments by playing Hampton Beach several times. We certainly did have fun! I couldn't have ended on a better note. Thank you guys! Connie Camber-Soucy photographed this band and captured some wonderful moments. Memory: When I was 16 years old, I used to sneak into Headliners North on Canal Street in Nashua, NH to see these guys play (The Branch Brothers Band). I knew the bouncer at the door and he used to allow me in to watch these guys play. Who would have known that one day I would have ended up in a band with them, life can be pretty cool. JJ Merryweather band - a top 40 GB band comprised of members: Jim Fothergill, Harley Walker and Troy Macpherson. This could have been a good band but it never really got off the ground. I was pretty tired and needed time off from playing in bands. I didn't realize at the time but my time off from band life would be permanent. By this time, Al had been playing in bands for some 25 years and it was time for something completely different. Al played for at least a half of million people in his 25 years of playing all over the New England area and would embark now on a solo musical career. In recent years, Al Soucy has taken to his own studio, Robin's Nest Way recording studio for Stapler Records his own recording company and has released 8 CD's: Out In Time in 2002, Pennywise and Pound Foolish in 2003, SIT With Me in 2005, Temporarily Out of Order in 2006, Follow The River in 2007, View From The Top in 2008, Take Nothing For Granite in 2009 and his latest CD Minimum Exposure in 2011. Al Soucy plays: bass guitar, acoustic guitar, electric rhythm/lead guitar, drums, mandolin, keyboard; he sings lead vocals and backing vocals on all of his CD's. Al, not only writes and performs on all the original compositions by playing all the instruments but also does all the recording on a Yamaha AW4416 24 bit, 16 Track workstation, mixing, mastering, cover artwork for CD, packaging and distribution of the final product. It's truly a one-man production from beginning to end. Each CD that is released includes special cameo guests appearances from seasoned performers from the New England area including: Harley Walker - drums, James Soucy - drums, William Bryer - banjo, Peter Croteau - harmonica, David Tassie - electric guitar, Mark Vernon - percussion, Randy Arrant - electric guitar, Cajon, drums, Mike McGeehan - electric guitar, James Fothergill - electric guitar, percussion, backing vocals, sax, piano, Tim Soucy - electric guitar, Ken Jones - percussion, Shannon Fickett - drums and Jeffrey Yopp - percussion. Having these great players add's a whole new dimension to the music that otherwise would not be present. It has truly been a blessing to be surrounded by such talented musicians who have given their time so unselfishly to be a part of these CD's. I feel their collective talent has enhanced the music greatly. I would like to take a moment to discuss my new CD "View from the Top" everything I have written and performed on this CD could always sound better despite the obvious anomalies. However, as long as I improve as a player, my songs improve, as does the fidelity of my music then I have met my goal. That is to pursue my craft and passion. I provide that preface because I stumbled through this entire CD. I purchased the Yamaha AW4416 24 bit workstation and the Yamaha DTExpress Electronic Drums. The learning curve for me was enormous in many respects. There were many mistakes made during the recording not to mention that this CD had more cameo appearances than any of my previous works. Making schedules work had it's complications. However, I made it through and completed it despite the challenges. That is success to me. I tried my best to produce something that I would be proud of and I feel for where I am in the process I did that. There is the law of diminishing returns and that threshold had been met for me. I want to thank everyone who helped me make this CD. I want to first thank my wife Connie for the CD cover picture, which she took from the top of the Empire State building on a trip we took to NY and for the cover title. Connie has a great eye and a knack for timing. All the players who gave of their time unselfishly: James Soucy on drums, my brother and a talented musician, Ms. Malynda Larocque for her wonderful lyrics that made the song "Where I Want to Be" come to life. The lyrics are fresh and innocent and lent themselves to my music beautifully. Dave Tassie my engineering mentor and a very talented guitar player, Harley Walker my steady drummer who is moving and I'll miss him terribly, Peter Croteau who brings such a unique vision to his playing and tasteful melody that enhances the music beautifully, Randy Arrant on the Cajon, electric guitar and drums. I never knew what the Cajon even was before I met Randy. What a sound this drum produces. Randy's drumming and guitar playing are also featured and are nothing less than top shelf, William Bryer on the banjo, William is such a great picker and I try to put something on every CD just for William because I enjoy his playing so very much. I wish I could pick like that. Mike McGeehan on guitar, Mike is amazing; he came into the studio and within a matter of a few hours left me with some wonderfully creative tracks. What a great and talented musician. Mark Vernon on percussion, Mark thinks he has no rhythm but he has lent his rhythmic style to my work and I feel added a whole dimension in percussion sound that enhances the music. I want to thank "Notorious Greg's Music for the Electric guitars used on this CD. This guy has some great guitars and I had fun playing them. What a joy to play beautiful guitars. You're too kind!! I owe my biggest debt of gratitude to Dave Tassie who without his help I could not have even made this CD. If it were not for his tireless patience as a teacher in engineering I could not have learned the concepts or technology to engineer the CD. Dave Tassie cut down my learning curve by tutoring me on the gear I purchased and the overall recording of this CD. This CD would have been delayed for quite a bit longer without his support, direction and guidance. Thank you so very much Dave! Every song is an experiment and some experiments are successful and some are not. It's the roll of the dice and I'm always surprised. The unpredictable is often a blessing in disguise. There is no value in zero productivity whatever your passion or dream. So, you find a place and you cut the cord, some songs you'll like and some you'll dislike. It's a year of my life documented for posterity in these 14 songs. As long I can continue to write, play, and record my material I'm fulfilling my dream. It's always been about the music for me. I'm very grateful for all my blessings, especially the opportunity to pursue my passion. Thank you for listening! I feel this new CD has improved over the last in many ways but there are miles to go before I sleep and miles to go before I sleep, to quote Robert Frost. Enjoy!! Here are a few juicy tidbits about this CD to listen for: my favorites are 'Broken Promises', "Don't Reply", "Learn to Love Again" and "Don't Let It Slow You Down". Listen closely for the chorus effect on the tail end of "There's Only One Way", the mandolin on "Broken Promises" (I wrote that song on the mandolin and then built everything around it), "Sudbury Dreams" which is a true story, "Don't Reply" - a buddy of mine Randy Arrant is playing the Cajon on this with a tambourine. Listen to the very, very end of "I Remember" and I play a tiny guitar part that comes in with the banjo that is very cool and it took hours to get it right or the way I wanted it let's say. Lastly, "Where I Want To Be" - the lyrics were written by my niece Malynda Larocque, she asked me to write a song to her lyrics, which I did and it's good. For those of you out there who enjoy what I am writing: NEWS FLASH - I have a new CD coming out in the fall. It's going to feature many cameo appearances from seasoned musicians. Jeffrey Yopp on Percussion, Mark Vernon on Percussion, James Soucy on Drums, Peter Croteau on Harmonica, Ken Jones - Percussion, Lyrics from Alaina Soucy on "My Romance", Tim Soucy - Electric Lead Guitar, James Fothergill - Electric Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Sax, Piano and Lyrics from Malynda Larocque on "Something Great". This promises to be a good CD with a wonderful variety of ideas. I have had more fun on this CD than the previous one already, basically because I have developed a better understanding of my Yamaha AW4416 workstation, which left more time for the music. I feel that so far it is coming out better than the last one. When it's released I hope you all will feel the same way. More on this later... October 2009 - New CD update: Almost done. Scheduled release before Christmas, all new songs. Dec 09 - The new CD is done and will be released shortly. Here are a few juicy tidbits about the CD from the inside. I dedicated this CD to my wife Connie because she challenged me to think in a different way for this CD and I tried my best to do that. I also love her picture of the granite quarry in Barre, VT and the play on words with the title of the CD. I had more fun on this CD because I spent more time writing songs. I wrote 23 songs and invited a number of players to perform on this one. So, there were quite a few songs that did not make this CD. It was narrowed down to 13 songs, which I thought were the best of the bunch. This CD is far from perfect and there are blemishes everywhere but I had a good time making it. When it's not fun anymore, I'll stop. I'm doing what I love to do in the meantime write songs. This expression is exactly what I started playing for all those years ago. It's wonderful however, raw in nature, to have the opportunity to accomplish the task in it's entirety. I'm grateful to be able to do this. I started this CD last November (08) and I'm finished with it in December (09). So, it's been a solid year in the making and I have worked hard on it and done my best. I hope you enjoy it! The title track - "This Songs for You" was pure inspiration and written for Connie. It came together quite easily as if, it was meant to be written. The song was magic because it just happened. Spontaneous combustion and that's where the magic is. "Miles Away" - sometimes you want to help but you just can't and your miles away and nothing can change that. See if you can figure out what the first word is in this song. Another spontaneous event and I have no idea what I said but it just seemed to fit. "Something Great" - Lyrics by Malynda Larocque - Beautiful lyrics about life's bumps in the road and the loneliness of those trials. No one leaves the planet without a scratch. Very well written! "With Change There is Hope" - I was looking for a little Marvin Gaye sound. I don't know if I did a good job or not. I really enjoyed playing the electronic drums on this song. "I'm Man Enough" - Jim Fothergill played Piano, Sax, Hand Claps, Backing Vocals, Conga's, and percussion. Jim really surprised me, we had talked about doing something together for years and finally it came together. This song was originally not going to be on the CD because I didn't care for it. Jim got a hold of it and took it in a very different direction and I liked it. Thanks Jim! "My Romance" - Lyrics by Alaina Soucy - There is certainly a statement being made with these lyrics and a real good one. Great job! James Soucy my brother played drums on this song too. He delivered some fantastic drumming. Thanks Jamie! "Dead Souls" - Tim Soucy on lead guitar. Tim came in the studio and just laid the track down in a few takes and the ending outro lead is just wonderful and just what the song needed. Thanks Tim! Peter Croteau on the Harmonica as in typical fashion added the tasty harmonica melody to "When I was Young" and I think it came out just great! Woodford to you my friend! A real professional, Peter puts his all into everything he does. I truly appreciate your style! "Dead Souls" has a gunshot in it. One day I heard someone shooting a gun and I went out with my little Sony stereo recorder and recorded the shots on the Sony then went into my studio and recorded the gunshots from the Sony into my condenser mic on a separate track. I added a little reverb and it's not on the beat intentionally. I wanted the song to feel awkward when it was heard. Several folks have already told me it was eerie, which is the desired effect. It fits the context of the song. As, always a special thanks to notorious Greg's music for all the guitars used on this CD. The Les and Tele both have a place on this CD. You're the greatest bud! Thank you! This CD was unique for a couple of reasons. I had both my brothers on it. My brother Jamie played drums on two songs and my brother Tim played Lead guitar on one song. That hasn't happened before. My niece Alaina (My Romance) and Malynda (Something Great) also contributed lyrics to this CD. Mark Vernon found the rhythm I knew he had and my friend Jeff Yopp added some tasty percussive tracks. Ken Jones was a wonderful surprise and played the guiro in "About Changing the World". The song would not be the same without it. I'm always amazed when I have percussionists come in because you just never know what's going to work and enhance the song. You start off with certain ideas and by the time it's done, well, I'm always surprised and percussion is one of those instruments that can totally change a songs vibe. Mark Vernon ended up playing Moroccan Flat drum and sticks on "With Change There is Hope" and it was perfect for the song. That guy has Rhythm. Thanks Mark! Jeff Yopp a colleague of mine was new to this CD. He never came up to the studio before but was just as natural at being in front of a mic as though he were born for it. Some folks get a little mic shy. Jeff was very comfortable landed in a zone and delivered two very good performances that truly enhanced both songs he played on. I was struck by Jeff's timing which was right on the money. Great Job!! Ken Jones a wonderful drummer, a great guy, good guitar player and a very creative person. Ken played the Guiro in "About Changing The World" and it added so much texture to the song. I fell in love with the sound and the part is very creative. The addition of the cowbell and the triangle made the song come to life. The bell shaker was a tasteful choice in "What Have You Got To Say". It blended into the song nicely and enhanced the feel. Thank you Ken!! I want to say thank you to all those who participated in this CD. The dimension you all bring to the music helps to make it more rounded and rich. It makes the music more interesting and offers layers of ideas to listen to and enjoy. Thank you all for your time, energy, emotion and consideration. I truly appreciate it! Enjoy listening! 01/13/2011: NEWS FLASH - I am more than half way through my new CD now. This is CD number 8 of which 2 did not get released. This is a very interesting CD so far. There have been no cameos thus far other than Shannon Fickett on drums. Shannon is a wonderful addition to this album. My steady drummer HW from my previous albums moved to get away from the snow. I have missed him. He had wonderful timing, finesse and a very sweet man. Thankfully, Shannon has offered to step in and it has made a big difference. Simply put Shannon knows my music and his timing is wonderful. He understands how it's put together so he can instinctively and effortlessly create a tapestry of sound. Shannon's drumming has added some exciting dynamics that enhance the songs and help bring them to life. Shannon has heart and soul and that comes out in his playing. It's great to have him back. Thank you Shannon! I was five months into this CD when tragedy struck and the hard drive crashed on my Yamaha AW4416. It was unrecoverable. I had no back up. 110 tracks were lost. I had to relearn all the tracks from a single flat recording in rough draft form. That's all that remained. I spent a lot of money trying to recover the material and the place I took it to did a great job but it was a costly venture one of which I did not have the funds to continue pursuing. I was able to hotwire the hard drive by using a different hard drive. It worked which allowed me to reformat the hard drive and that was successful. I then began the process of relearning all of my previously recorded tracks again. All 6 songs worth of tracks. It was a laborious process. Very uncreative. One, I don't wish to repeat again. Several weeks after my workstation crashed my Yamaha DS55 crashed and I still don't have that repaired. I'm borrowing a keyboard from my Father-in-Law right now for this album. Normally by this time of the year I would have an album coming out. I try to do one a year if I can. In any case, it's been an album riddled with problems and lessons. It's been quite exhausting. I had considered at one point not bothering this year at all but I felt compelled because I had these six songs already fully written. I succumbed to the challenge and here I am. This has become a very different album than what it started out to be. The first draft of all of these songs had an unpolished "Let it Be Naked" less Phil Spector sound and feel. It was rough and raw which is what I prefer. However, after relearning all of these parts and noodling them to death, as Dave Tassie would say they have become very polished and produced. More than anything I've done before so there is that. I have learned that I won't ever let that happen again and I don't now. I back up the material often now and it's not that I wasn't before but I generally didn't back up at the beginning of a cycle but more towards the middle and that wasn't clearly often enough. However, at the end of the day I have now reached the place where I was 5 and half months ago. Whew! It's a different album for me. More keyboards...more guitars......less backing vocals...more single voice and only one cameo. Now all the songs have been written for the CD and I'm working on finishing up parts and next lyrics and vocals. My plan is to have this album out in the spring. I think those folks who like my music will really like this album. It's very different than previous albums. Stay tuned more to come...... 3/5/2011 - NEWS FLASH - The music for the new album is just about complete. I'm putting the finishing touches on it now. A track here or there and I'll be all done. I want to thank Notorious Greg's music for the use of the guitars for this CD. It's been fun playing them and makes all the difference. There are 14 songs on this CD. I have the name for the CD but no picture yet. Normally my Wife Connie has a picture or I had one to use that we had taken but this time nothing. The Title this time has a metaphorical value to it. So, that's why it's been more difficult to find a picture. I'm still looking at a spring release. Next up: lyrics, vocals, final mix down, mastering, packaging and finally distribution to the listener. It's quite a process from beginning to end and you have to stay committed to it to have something when it's all over and regardless of what anyone thinks, it's irrelevant simply because you completed it. As they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. One of the themes of this album is that actions speak louder than words. Words are never enough. There are some really good songs on this CD. You'll be the judge of that soon enough. Stay tuned.... 3/6/2011 Recently, I received a phone call and was persuaded to release an older CD called "SIT WITH ME". The caller said that the album had to be released so that two songs could be out in the universe: "To Be Alone" and "I Love That Girl". I didn't much like the recording of this album myself but if you can look past that and appreciate the songs for what they are then they are enjoyable. This CD was recorded prior to "TEMPORARILY OUT OF ORDER". The recording could have been better as I said but there are a number of songs on this CD that are worth listening too regardless of the recording quality. It should be available for purchase soon. There are two CD's prior to "SIT WITH ME", "PENNYWISE AND POUND FOOLISH" and "OUT IN TIME". Maybe one day I'll release "PENNYWISE AND POUND FOOLISH" there are a couple of gems on that one as well, again the recording is not very well produced but if you can look past that to hear the song's you'll find a couple that are worth listening too just like on "SIT WITH ME". The CD "SIT WITH ME" has several cameo appearances, a standout vocal part by Douglas Oliver on "Sundown" and Harley Walker on drums. Several songs that have good value in my opinion are: "Breakdown" for the mandolin part, "To Be Alone" for the "Strawberry Fields" piece at the end of the song. I tried the Ringo Star thing at the end with the drums and the "I buried Al", instead of "I Buried Paul" for any Beatle fans out there. It's corny but it was fun nonetheless. The drums in "All My Hopes" by Harley Walker are just wonderfully executed. The vocal line in "Sundown" by Douglas Oliver is just a joy to listen too. The title of this CD was originally going to be "Where There's Light", song #3. I even wrote a song on this CD with the title track (3). However, when I finally came up with a picture for the cover the title no longer seemed to fit to me. The two rockers around the hearth lent itself better to "SIT WITH ME". Track 1 - A nice theme about life, sort of like "Follow The River" in the sense that if you go with the flow of life things always have a way of working out exactly as they are supposed to. Track 2 - This song was actually written a million years ago and I have carried it with me throughout the years never really doing anything with it but enjoying playing it from time to time. The mandolin part in this song was fun to do and finally formalized it on this CD. Track 3 - Was supposed to be the title of the CD. Track 4- "To Be Alone" was actually on my very first CD "OUT IN TIME" and it was suggested that I re-record this song by my friend Rick Bailey. The initial recording of this song on the very first CD was poor at best. This re-recorded version of "TO BE ALONE" isn't a lot better but it is more representative of what I wanted the song to sound like. This song has the "Strawberry Fields" ending on it. I am recording this song again on my NEW CD due out in the fall. I have changed it again, this time keeping it simpler than ever. It has a haunting melody and lyrics. Track 5 - A sweet song about your daughter growing up and becoming an adult. Track 6 - A song of hope, insecurity and a realization or an awareness of self and our own dysfunction, looking for reassurance. Track 7 - "The Hill" is a fun song about a fantasy, whimsical journey to a place where everything is just perfect. Everyone is friendly and happy. Track 8 - I truly like this track, however, this is not a recording that I particularly cared for. One day I'll re-record this song to realize my vision but this was not it. Track 9 - "Sundown" is a very good song in my opinion. I happen to love westerns and did go to "Tombstone" and had a shot of whiskey at the "Crystal Palace Saloon bar with my best friend Connie Camber-Soucy. It was so cool! It was a trip! The vocal effect in this song is a "Lexicon MPX 100 and it is my voice. Douglas Oliver's vocal track in this is just wonderful. His voice has so much soul. I can hear gospel in his voice and I love the interpretation. The final track - 10 - A beautiful melody and romantic cut about meeting the love of my life - Connie. My favorites are: Breakdown, Sundown and I Love That Girl. I do hope you can find a few tracks you like as well. This CD was recorded using the Roland VS880-EX 16bit workstation. As always thank you for taking the time to listen. Sew good seeds.... Peace.....Al Look for my new album in the spring of 2011. 04/23/2011 NEWS FLASH- I'm officially just about done with all the music on this CD. Shannon Fickett is coming into the studio one more time to finish the drumming on this CD for me. He really has done a wonderful job and I'm proud of his performance. Dave Tassie has several percussive parts, which have been appreciated as well and added some nice ambience to the music. I'm writing lyrics now and laying down vocals. It's coming out nicely. Each song typically has anywhere from 12-16 different tracks of me playing various parts on various instruments. However, I'm going to change it up a little on a few songs. We'll see what happens in the final mix but right now there are 14 songs on this CD. All in all this is a good CD for me at this point. Two years has gone into it and the songs are finally beginning to take life. I expect to release this CD by the end of June. That is my target date anyway. For those who buy hard CD's there is a new improvement, in the past, I did not have a way to label the CD's. So, I signed them and wrote on them myself. Now I have a way to label them. My wife Connie bought me a light scribe writer, which allows me to burn a background with artist information onto the CD face. It looks real good. What a great gift! I have had a lot of fun with it. I think for those who buy hard CD's you'll appreciate the improvement. The next CD will also have all the artist information burned onto the CD as well. So, for those folks who put their music on an IPOD or any player for that matter all of the artist's information will come up now automatically. No more typing the song titles, times, artists information, album name, etc... Two new advances for me on this album that I'm pleased about. I plan to do this for my entire collection as well over time. NEWS FLASH: I'm planning to release an older CD soon from 2003 called "Pennywise and Pound Foolish". It was made prior to "Sit with Me" and there are some nice surprises on this CD. If you look past the recording and listen to the raw ideas there are some nice melodies: "It Better" one of my better applications using a delay in a mix, "Someone Else" a beautiful song in DADGAD tuning for those David Wilcox fans, "Same Old Story", featuring Jeff Longwell on Pedal Steel, perhaps one the earliest recordings of Jeff playing Pedal Steel. "I Can't Stand No More" featuring Dave Tassie on lead guitar, playing a raspy growling lead that is very tasty and enjoyable. "On Your Side" which, is a song I wrote back in 1982 that made this album and I plan to rerecord this song one day in the future. I wasn't very pleased with the backing vocals as I said it was a very early recording, amateurish for sure but the song is a good one. Now that I have a better idea of recording I'll do a better job next time. Look for it on a future release. More to come.... The next announcement should be the album release date. Thanks for tuning in and remember you miss all the shots you don't take. 06/01/2011 NEWS FLASH: With the end of June fast approaching I thought it was a good time for an update on the progress of the new album. The new album is moving along nicely although not as quickly as I had hoped. I have six songs completed now with lyrics and vocals and it is sounding very good. I had originally hoped for a June release but it is clear to me now that date is not realistic. I'm looking safely at September now before I can have this out on the streets for all to listen to. I have seven songs left to write lyrics for and to sing. I think all my listeners will be pleased with this album. I am already working on my next album in parallel with this one. I typically enjoy playing a number of instruments but my next album will be very thin in comparison to my previous albums. I plan to make the next album an acoustic album. There will be some bass, percussion and vocals but mainly acoustic in nature. I plan to enlist the help of Shannon Fickett in regards to the percussion. It will be a greatest hits acoustic album for the most part although there may be a few surprises as I have a couple of ideas in the hopper right now for new acoustic songs. However, my plan is to go through all of my released albums and relearn many of my songs and pick the cream of the crop and record them acoustically without all the over head of the multiple guitar parts, keyboard parts, etc.... I think those that like simple acoustic music will hear my music in a new perspective this way without all the bells and whistles everywhere. In the meantime I plan to release an older album shortly called "Pennywise and Pound Foolish". This was my second album that I made and although the recording itself is not the best quality considering it was my second album and it came out in 2003 - Pennywise and Pound Foolish. An early CD with lots of learning ahead, rudementally recorded at best, however, some nice songs nonetheless. Track 1: It Better: Basic acoustic song, really my first time at experimenting with the delay on my voice. It worked in some places and in others not. Track 2: Someone Else: Beautiful song in my opinion, one of my favorites, a dumb guy who almost blew it big time. Track 3: Let It Go: Very corny keyboard intro but fun. Track 4: Same Old Story: Jeff Longwell on Pedal Steel. It's a good song but the vocals were not done well or the drums, which was me but you get the song anyway. If you can look past life's early imperfections you can still appreciate the vision. One day I'll re-record this song and do it justice but for now it is history, recorded for prosperity. Track 5: Both of Us: Real good pop ballad. Track 6: I can't Stand No More: Dave Tassie has a nice lead part in this song. It's raw and a great sound. Track 7: On Your Side: This is a wonderful song. I wrote this many years ago. I do plan on re-recording this song at some point. The backing vocals are just awful in this so you have to look past that. They were recorded too hot but again a real nice song. You will hear it again in the future. Track 8: Tonight is Forever: Spooky song overall, great hook and backing vocals. Track 9: Living the Good Life: Fun little country song. I wrote this on the mandolin and you can hear it in the background. I've always liked this song. Well, I hope you enjoy some of these songs. Look for my new album soon....stay tuned.... 09/02/2011 NEWS FLASH: I'm weeks away now from a new release. Two years in the making. Lots of up's and downs. Stay tuned...more to come.... 10/08/2011 NEWS FLASH: New Album completed, released to CDBaby and should be available for purchase shortly. I want to extend a sincere thank you to the following individuals for all of their support and help on this album: Connie Camber-Soucy for the CD Cover, Rebecca Davis for the Album cover, Shannon Fickett for the beautiful percussion work, Dave Tassie for the percussion work, Greg Milligan from Notorious Greg's music for all the beautiful guitars used on this album and F.C. and Avis Crane for the production assistance. Below are some interesting tidbits about each song. Enjoy!! Reach to the Sky - When I was a child my Father took me on a walk one time along a river in the fall. There was a path along the river and as I was walking along this path and I was thinking about the Indian tribes that had once occupied this land along the banks of the river. I visualized families along the banks and was just fascinated by the Indian culture and the way the world has changed since this simpler time in history. Never Never Land - A very simple idea but for many a complicated concept to understand that simply put "Actions Speak Louder Than Words". Words are empty until there is an action behind it. I can use whatever rhetoric I want to use but until I actually do something the words have zero value and just become pontification which is just arrogance in the spoken word. If you want to know how anyone feels about you on this planet watch their actions, listen to none of their words. People expose themselves without you ever engaging them. You're My Best Friend - I dedicated this song to my best friend Connie Camber-Soucy. This lady gets it: Connie understands loyalty, understands respect, understands trust, understands commitment and truly is my equal in every sense of the word. I value and appreciate her friendship dearly and this song is one way I can let her know that I feel the same way as she does and we are on the same page. Back in The Game - I was inspired to write this song for Tom Sizemore. I watched a show in which Tom was suffering through addiction and I was deeply moved by what I saw. Addictions can be so terrible and ruin your life and I found Tom's story compelling. Tom's honesty and commitment to getting his life back on track was inspiring. Great to Be Home - Shannon Fickett wrote the lyrics to this song and they were beautifully written. This is a man with a beautiful heart and a real man not afraid to express his inner feelings. Shannon lived in New England most of his life and then took a 15-year hiatus to California and moved back to New England several years ago. These lyrics speak of Shannon being back home and reconnecting with old friends and where we all are today and what has become of our lives from our humble beginnings. Good Intentions - "The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions". A lot of people think because they say that they love you or that they are going to do this or that and even if it is well intentioned that is all they have to do. I said it so, that is enough and again this follows a similar theme as "Actions Speak Louder Than Words". Good Intentions does not equal an action. It has no value to say something and then to never follow through. John F. Kennedy once said "That Sincerity Always Requires Proof". Throwing empty words around does not mean that you actually did anything. I can say that I love you and still hurt you or betray you so words can be empty. "The Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions". Words by themselves are never enough. Something Fun - A simple song about dreaming, having fun in life and that change is stability. Run Around - Philosophical song about life in terms of rolling the dice and dealing with the cards that you are dealt in life. Accepting the consequences of your choices and that you have to pay attention in life to the outcomes that emerge and that typically if the right outcome emerges then the right decision was reached, if the wrong outcome emerges than possibly the wrong decision was made. Piece of Pie - This song was actually fully written when I was 15 years old and it is finally documented for posterity. This was initially a jam idea on the bass that I pulled out of my pocket whenever there was a jam and everyone could have fun with it. As I was laying down a bass track for another song this bass song came back in it's entirety to me and I took the time to record the whole thing at that time and here it is as an instrumental. History - This song is really about missed opportunities in life. If we pay attention to life we can change anything that we want to change that we all are 100% responsible for our lives. When we commit to our core values in life and stray from those values we do ourselves and those around us an injustice. It's a Jungle Out There - The world is a jungle and a crazy place where anything can happen. The Man That I Once Was - A fascinating look at asking the questions in life about who are your real friends, who are your real allies, who has invested their time, what do you believe and thriving in faith, humility, joy, confidence and peace. Late in June - A mysterious song with a nice instrumental section. You're Crying - About an individual who makes a tragic mistake that can never be undone and kills another person with a careless mistake that never should have occurred and the price for this mistake is life altering for everyone who has been touched by the tragedy and nothing will ever be the same again. Unfortunately in life when people don't listen or have their receptors open to other perspectives you have to stop talking and allow life to be the teacher because everyone on this planet at some time or another will have their own day of humility and then they will be forced to be open to other view points and grow and learn. Jan 2012 UPDATE: I have officially started my new album. 12 of my favorite songs have already been recorded. I looked at all of my albums and songs and went through all the songs and picked out my favorites and decided to re-record them. Shannon Fickett came into the studio and laid down the drum tracks for 12 songs. So, we had a productive session together. I laid down a rhythm track for all the songs. There are a few more that I want to visit but that is for our next session. I'll pick the best of the best when I have them all recorded. I have started writing as well and have one new song ready to record and a number of new ideas in front of me to explore. So, it looks like this could be an album of my favorite songs probably about 10-12 and at least 10-12 brand new songs and probably a few acoustic only numbers. We'll see how things develop. Stay tuned.... NEWS FLASH Sunday, March 25, 2012 - Wow! What can I say about this new album, so much....to date, I have recorded 23 songs. I have 12 of my favorite songs from all of my albums and 11 brand new songs written and recorded in various states of completion. I'm enjoying the mix of songs so far. I'm very pleased with where I am in the process and on track for a year end release. A few Tidbits about the NEW album: Shannon Fickett has graciously donated his drumming talent on this our second album together. It truly has been an easy partnership and Shannon's drumming on this album is beautifully executed and in perfect harmony with my style of writing. Thank you Shannon for your wonderful Talent and professionalism. A cameo guest appearance was made by my buddy Troy Macpherson who lent his vocal talent singing background on a song called "Life's One Hell of a Ride". It sounds great! In addition to supplying his percussive talent, Shannon Fickett also lent his writing skills and put pen to paper for some great lyrics on several songs for this album. They are wonderfully written. A special thanks to Peter Hastings for providing his writing talent to several beautiful songs for this album. Peter's spirit is felt through these romantically poetic lyrics. I thank these two wonderful writers for the opportunity to put music to their thoughtful and creative ideas. A cameo guest appearance was made by my buddy Don Taylor and he provided me a bag pipe idea to develop. So, that is in the works as well as a piano instrumental. Twenty five years ago I wrote a song on the guitar that was transposed to piano by a friend of mine named Norm Levesque. A very talented and beautiful man. I recently dusted it off and thought it would sound good as an instrumental. There is a lot to look forward to because there's a lot of good music still to be written, performed and enjoyed! Stay Tuned.... NEWS FLASH Friday, May 25, 2012 - Progress update on the new album. I'm in a very good place at the moment. The songs are all written and the majority of the tracks for each song have been recorded. I have the album title, the album cover complete as well which is way ahead of schedule and I'm pleased about that. I'm working on refining song's lyrics now and I'll sing all the tracks again soon. I generally sing them once as a template a place holder if you will for the melody line and lyrics but I inevitably always have to go back and attempt some revision. There's nothing about writing, recording, and playing music that isn't a process unto itself.(LOL) It truly is a labor of love. A few Tidbits about the NEW album: Shannon Fickett is working on the percussion end of the album and he tells me that I will be pleased with what he has developed. I'm anxious to hear what he has going on. Shannon also has written the song lyrics for two songs on this album as well as providing the album cover. Having Shannon's collaborative participation on this album has helped me a great deal and has taken some of the stress away from making this album. It's kept me on schedule for a December release. Thank you Shannon! Shannon by the way just became a Grandpa and I congratulate both he and Kelly and Mother of course, Kelsey! In addition, Peter Hastings has provided me with several beautiful song lyrics for this album. In fact, the lyrics for four songs on this album were written by Peter. Thank you Peter! Peter's spirit is felt through these romantically poetic lyrics. They are worldly themes that provide wonderful visuals of idealistic beauty. I was moved by the lyrics and that will be very evident in the material. If, time permits for both Peter's schedule and mine my intention is to have him in the studio to do some background vocals. My buddy Don Taylor came in the studio and laid down a bagpipe song. I am still investigating how I'm going to use this piece but it's for sure you'll hear it pop up somewhere on this album. Thank you Don! To sum up this album update, this is going to be a wonderful album and the songs are beautiful, soulful and come from a different place in me. I feel like it is a very uplifting album and I'm happy with the material and I hope those folks who appreciate my music will like it as well. I'll provide another update when there is more newsworthy information to provide. In the meantime, thank you for all your support and Stay Tuned.... NEWS FLASH: September 2012: The New album is done and will be released shortly, within the next few weeks. I'm mastering and burning the album now. The title is "Have a little Faith". The album cover from my perspective represents new life, new birth, resurrection and new beginnings. This album started out to be a greatest hits compilation CD and turned into something else. Only two of the original 20 songs I started out with even made the CD.(LOL) So, there are two oldies that I have re-interpreted and 13 brand new songs. It's certainly not perfect by any stretch and I could be at it for the next 5 years but I want to move on to other material. So, this is probably as good as it is going to get. I think it's a good album but I still have a long way to. Some songs came out better than others but it's a nice collection to have completed. I can already see the next album though and some new technology on the way and a new method of recording. I'm looking to make another leap forward. Shannon has new gear as well and wants to record the acoustic drums on the next album rather than the DTExpress that we have been using. I personally like the ease of electronic drums. Two stereo out's, two stereo in's. That's poetry otherwise; it's 17 mic's, duct tape, pillow, etc...to keep the noise out of the mix. In any case I've agreed to it and he'll do the recording at his place and send me a stereo wav to import and manipulate. Should be a fun experiment and I'm looking forward to it. The CD Cover picture was taken by Connie Camber-Soucy, the Album/Jewel case cover picture was taken by Shannon Fickett. There are 16 songs on this album. Some of the highlights include Shannon Fickett on drums - Shannon has contributed some wonderful drumming to this album. I love so much of what he played and his drumming enhances the songs so much. It's always such a pleasure working with him and I appreciate his collaborative spirit, you really can't help but enjoy his playing, his lyrics and his company. Thank you Shannon for your wonderful contribution on this album. It is always greatly appreciated! Troy Macpherson came up one evening and in a spontaneous moment, laid down some backing vocals on "Life's One Hell of a Ride" and I think they came out great! Thank you Troy! Don Taylor performed an improvisational moment on the bag pipe for his contribution and I thank him so much! Ken Jones was here for a visit and I took advantage of the time and had Ken lay down a few percussion tracks. Ken is very creative and he laid down some very cool percussion pieces. On one of the songs Ken was looking for a certain crash sound. So, he asked if I had a pan cover. He looked at several and picked out a cover that had a sound that he was looking for and it fits the song perfectly. Listen for it on "Have a Little Faith". Special thanks to all the folks involved in this album: Shannon Fickett lyrics for "Proud To Be" and "In Good Time", Peter Hastings for the lyrics for "What Makes Us Special, "So Many Times", "Seems Like Forever" and "Walk With Me", Avis Crane and F.C. for the production assistance (Thank you!), Ken Jones for the percussion work on "Have a Little Faith, "Only One Way", "Life's One Hell of a Ride" and "All I Need", Notorious Greg's Music for the use of the beautiful guitars that appear on this album. Thank you all for your help and I am humbled that you all would find the time to work on this material with me. I feel this is a wonderful album and it's been a fun album to make because it just fell into place. Many of these songs wrote themselves which made playing them so much fun. With every album I get closer to turning lead into gold and this is one step closer for me. I hope you feel the same and thanks for tuning in. I'll be making available all of my song lyrics at lyrics.com as I do for every album. Enjoy! December 1, 2012 - NEWS FLASH: Now that "Have a Little Faith my 9th album is behind me. I thought I would take a moment...breathe...and get caught up. Overall, I thought my last album had some great music on it and I enjoyed making it. Now, that it's all part of history, I move on to the next album. I'm toying with a title I like and looking for album cover pictures and have, some thoughts on it but I'm along way from deciding on that right now. I'm off to a new start with an upgrade to my studio. I have entered the music software world. I purchased Music Studio Samplitude 2013 along with a Tascam 2000 - 16 channel USB interface. So, once again I am on a new learning curve. I just finally understood the technology I was using.(LOL) So, I have been doing a lot of experimenting and I think at the end of the day I may end up with the best of both worlds for the next album by combining analog and digital together and see what that sounds like but I'm not there quite yet. This new learning curve will help me survive the holidays and come out in January and I can start writing and recording again for a November 2013 release. I'll check in again as I have more to report. Thanks for listening and stay tuned..... NEWS FLASH: July 2013 - I wanted to provide an update on where I am in the process on the new album. I have upgraded my overall recording system. I bought the Tascam US-2000, 16 channel USB interface with a 23 inch monitor, Dell quad processor and an external storage device that is 1TB. In addition, I purchased Samplitude 2013 made by a German firm called Magix. This company has been around for some 20 years now developing world class recording software so it's a very mature product. So, I'm in a good place now. I sold my Yamaha AW4416 to a gentlemen who wanted it for the Y56K effects card. Makes sense to me. However, for me it's been off into the software world. I've now overcome the learning curve to a large extent using the Samplitude software and the US-2000 and I'm well on my way into this new world to producing a pretty good album I believe. Of course the audience will decide that for themselves. I have recorded 14 songs already for the new album. It has no title yet but I do have an album cover picture that is great. The music for the most part has all been recorded and now I am working on lyrics and singing. Once that is complete I'll mix all the music again. It is presently in a rough draft state at the moment. The songs are still going to grow a lot over the next few months. Cameo's: Troy Macpherson - Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Vocalist - Troy plays lead on several songs and really did a good job. Tim Soucy -Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Vocalist - Tim plays lead on one song and sings background vocals on another. DR. SOUC - (Jon Soucy) - DR. SOUC came in the studio and laid down some nice vocal harmonies which really enhance the song. Troy, Tim and Dr. Souc all have their own musical careers. So, I appreciated them taking the time to come in the studio and contribute to my works. All three musicians really brought a lot to the music melodically and provided additional depth. Thank you guys!! So, as on all albums, I'm playing all the guitars, bass, singing lead and background vocals, keyboard, drums, recording, mixing, mastering, packaging and distribution. So, it's quite a task to take on when you decide to do an album. I give kudos to all my other fellow musicians out there who decide to take this journey. For those folks who enjoy my music be prepared for a couple of things: 1. Due to the software I have had more of everything available to me in terms of effects, compression, limiters, modeling amplifiers, etc.... I preface this because it has literally changed the way my music sounds. Whereas on previous albums it sounded flat and I found it hard to produce a real surround sound in terms of panning. I feel that is very much in the mixes now and I have been able to achieve a more symphonic sound I believe. In any case I'm pleased with where the album is going. There is still a lot of work ahead of me but I'm making progress and believe that in December I'll have a new album out on the streets for listening. Anyway, that's where I am right now, thank you for tuning in and I'll provide another update when the lyrics are done and the vocals are complete. I'll have done another remix by then and know much better how long before the album is released. This will surprise some and some will like it. It's the 1/3 rule - 1/3 of the people like you, 1/3 of the people hate you and 1/3 of the people don't care. One new thing I picked up this year that if you really find some depth on is quite profound is this very simple statement - Feelings are just that, feelings they never have to be acted on. On the surface it sounds like nothing but think deeply about what this really means. You might surprise yourself. Think about how many times in your life you have acted on feelings when you didn't have to or said the wrong thing because of feelings when you didn't have to. How much trouble could one person eliminate from their life if they did not act on feelings. Would we even have serial killers if they did not act on their feelings. There really is quite a bit there below the surface that I had not considered before. I'm just saying it's something to think about. Rock on....I'll be back in some time. Thank you for your time! News Flash: Jan 2014: My critics will slam me as they always do but I must tell you that I think this album is a masterpiece if not for the amount of work that went into each song alone. There are several songs with 21 tracks. I'm using virtual drums, virtual string ensembles. I'm playing all the instruments: Electric Lead Guitar, Electric Rhythm Guitar, Acoustic Rhythm Guitar, Electronic Drums and Keyboards. I really took time to learn the software since this was my first go around with it. I stretched it and myself as far as I could go right now. I now have lessons learned that will be applied to the next album which will be even better. So, look forward to that. This album is orchestral and symphonic in nature. I've never felt so vulnerable musically. The clarity that software provides can't be matched in any workstation in my opinion. After being on both sides...Ken Jones..you were right. I can now do things with the software that I wanted to do in the workstation that was not available. It brought me closer to my vision than ever before. As with every album there are some songs that come out better than others but I was committed to the 14 songs that I selected to write for this album no matter what the outcome. So, I have my favorites and those I wish had turned out better but it is what it is. It's been a long album and there is the law of diminishing returns. You have to let it go sometime. You raise each song from nothing to a child, teenager, adult and let it go knowing very well you were never raising them to stay but always to go out into the universe to live their own life. The adult stream of life never to be a child again. There again in everything that lives on this planet is the life cycle of life. I always feel vulnerable and naked at this stage ready to expose 13 months of work that has been in a vacuum. I can't be objective about this body of work anymore because I have been to close to it for to long. I don't even know what it sounds like anymore. My ears are numb with fatigue. That may sound strange but I don't even know if it's any good. That's why I have to let it go soon and let it live so it can be heard. In time I can come back to it when I have been separated from the music for a while and listen with fresh ears. What I can say objectively is this, I worked hard, learned a lot and tried to make the best album I could make taking no shortcuts. No copy and paste stuff. I'm playing all of these instruments and these parts straight through which means I'm a purist. I know my craft. I have never skated in life. I practice, practice, practice. There's nothing like old fashioned hard work. I started this album back in November and I'm just now getting to the end. The next album is already going to be more unplugged just because this one has been so much work. However, I'm at the end of another album and happy to be at this place. It's quite an accomplishment when you spend an entire year committed to the same 14 songs and not give up on one of them or yourself and then to finally hear it all come together. A little about the album: This album has several special cameo's: My brother Tim plays lead guitar on one song and it will just blow you away. Tim is an amazing guitar player and brings real Eagles style beauty to my song. Great work Tim! Thank you! Tim also does some backing vocals on one tune with his son, my nephew, Jonathan Soucy which was exciting. Tim and Jonathan have a beautiful background vocal part on one song that enhances the song very much. You'll enjoy it! My good friend Troy Macpherson plays lead guitar on a couple of songs that was awesome and rare. Troy's guitar work is wonderful too. Troy's style meshes nicely with the melody of the songs and brings them to life. Thank you! My good friend Peter Croteau came back in the studio to lay down what I believe is his best work to date on any one of my albums. We work well together and always get some nice gems and this album is no exception. There are some wonderful harmonica moments. Thank you Peter! Special Thanks to my Bernie Taupin, Peter Hastings who contributed the lyrics to I believe 6 songs on this album. So, cool! Peter has been writing lyrics now for several of my albums and did a wonderful job again on this album. I understand the essence of his lyrics and they fit my music so well. Thank you Peter! In addition, Peter and Catherine Hastings lent their vocals to a song as well and did a great job! Thank you both! A new lyricist was introduced on this album: Aidan Henderson. Aidan gave me lyrics for one song and I think you'll agree they were quite powerful and visual. I was excited about the possibility of what I could use these on. I just love the final result and hopefully you will too. Here is a few thoughts about each song: Still believe - One of the heavier tunes on the album, philosophical in nature and a little on the dark side musically. When a poets words has lost all it's meaning - that says it all. Profound to me. Come with me - This is a charming song. I wrote this initially on the folk guitar. This songs describes path's unknown that we all have traveled and the struggle of just living but somehow another day comes. If I - This is one of my favorites. I like the whole concept of 'If I' it feels to me like when I say this that anything is possible. The song is about all the possibilities including being a super hero. Not in the literal sense but you could be a hero to anyone on any level and that can be shared. Brand New Day - This is the album's cover title and I think it's a wonderful title about the hopes that exist for a brand new day where living is a little easier and dream of a brand new day and what that might bring. No Place Like Home - Inspired by the Wizard of Oz and the lesson that Dorothy had to learn. She had to go to Oz to realize that there was no place like home. I'm a big fan of the movie and the profound lessons that lurk throughout the entire film. When I First Looked Into Your Eyes - One of the better recorded songs. All the stars lined up on this one and it came closer to what I would like to be able to do on many of my songs but it does not seem to work that way. You think you could find standard but every song is unique so is the way you produce it and all songs come out differently. Sometimes it all comes together and this song is a good example of that in my opinion. Enjoy! An Irresistible Love - A very nice song. Nice lyrics. Another favorite. The melody line and the guitar just blend together so well. Peter and Catherine Hastings provide their vocal talent to this song providing some background vocals. Three Words - Dark and heavier tune basically speaking of three words, the three words we all love to hear I Love You. It will probably be that way for a 1000 more years to come. Nice guitar lead by Troy Macpherson. Life on Display - Beautiful song. Another favorite because of Aidan Henderson's lyrics. They moved me. I believe you will feel the same way. I feel like the music with the lyrics just sweeps you away somewhere in another time. It's deep. Well written Aidan! Now and Then - These are my lyrics on this one and I wrote this entire song in about an hour. It's one that had been already written somehow. The lyrics and music poured right out of me. So, it had been on my mind for some time. Where Magic Comes - My brother Tim and my nephew Jonathan both play on this song and this song started as an acoustic song and evolved. I thought to myself one day where does magic happen in life and usually it happens with people who have passion. People who won't give up no matter what. Passionate people really do rule the world. There is some beautiful harmonica in this song. Great job Peter! Such a Surprise - A romantic melody. I was thinking of my wife when I wrote this song. I could never imagine my life without her. The bass line in this song is perhaps among my best of all time. That was in honor of my wife as she loves my bass playing. This one will make her proud. Until I Found You - One of the heavier tunes on the album - There are actually three different bass parts on this album. There is a low D and the two additional octaves. Troy Macpherson plays some great lead guitar on this song. Great lyrics on this song. You Should Know Better - This song really is about a guy who's getting older now and has quite a different perspective on the world as a more conservative clown and comes to the realization that has life has changed. It's not the same world anymore. Great harmonica from Peter Croteau on this one. Thanks to everyone who helped on the album. My wife Connie Camber-Soucy who took the cover picture, Avis Crane for feedback on production work and all those who wrote lyrics, played their parts and helped to make this album a success. It's completion is a success in itself! Thank you all! I expect to have the CD finished very soon. I'm putting on finishing touches now, the cover is done, the CD face, lyrics, etc.. I'll have the lyrics out there somewhere at some point. Wherever the easiest place is to put them. If someone knows a good place to put them please let me know. Thanks. I'll be wrapping it up soon and have it available to you on cdbaby as usual. cdbaby and I go back a long time now and I enjoy the independence of releasing my own works at this site. Thank you cdbaby! I think you'll like this album. I can tell you an enormous amount of labor and love went into it. I hope you'll listen and the enjoy the songs. Thanks for tuning in! NEWS FLASH - December 2014: On my last album I really tried to use every instrument that I could intentionally. Many of the songs had upwards of 25 tracks in some cases. It was a lot of work. At the same time I was trying to learn the process and make the cut over from a physical Yamaha recording station to a software program. So, the album became a stress test of the software. I had a lot of bruises from the change. Change is never easy but change is stability. ROOM with BATH is my chance to see if I have corrected any of my misfortunes from the previous album(s). I hope so, however, I already know that there are things that will be applied to the next album that were learned on this one that did not get applied because it was too late in the process. I feel like it's a good album. A few Tidbits about the Album: ROOM with BATH - The cover picture was shot by me. It is in downtown White River Junction Vermont and when I first saw the building I thought that it would make a good album cover. That was about 10 years ago now but here it is finally on album cover number 11 in 2014. It's just so cool and makes me think of another time in American History. In the 1890's during the Victorian period White River Junction was the place to be. The trains came right through and there was a lot going on. It's a nice village. I knew I was going to use this cover picture right out the gate so, in some weird way it drove the songs I ultimately recorded for this album. This album took me a year to make. There are no electric guitars on this album. I tried to bring the vocals out more which I think I did. There are very little drums, that was intentional. I had some difficulty with timing on a few songs so I left it out. There is nothing like playing with a live drummer. When you and the drummer are playing on time, live, it becomes much easier to build upon. If your alignment is off at all the whole song suffers. That's the price you have to pay sometimes when your doing the project alone. I played all of the guitars, bass, percussion, vocals, backing vocals, wrote the songs, performed the songs, recorded, mixed, mastered, packaged and distributed under my own label in my own recording studio. I own the product 100%. With all that said, I probably could have mixed this album for 10 more years if it mattered that much but it doesn't. I know that may sound careless but if I didn't let the songs go at some point I wouldn't move onto something else and there is only so much time. A year is a long time on 14 songs. Long enough for me anyway. Recording, writing, mixing and mastering are all subjective anyway. What one person likes another does not. So, at the end of the day as long as I'm happy with the work that's all that matters. I kept this album simple. There's a lot of empty spaces intentionally. The important thing is that the vision of the song is in tact. You hear the song and either like it or don't. I can already tell you that Mike O'Neil will be on the next album and he has two songs at the moment that he will be playing on. One of the songs is 30 years old. I wrote it with a friend of mine live on the piano at his home. I kept it all these years hoping that one day I would be able to record it. I would have before now but I'm a terrible piano player. Mike is not. He play's beautifully. So, I've had this one recording of it on cassette for a long time. I made an mp3 out of it and gave it to Mike to learn. It's going to be great because we are going to play it live together. I'm going to also re-record 'Turned So Many Pages' with Mike playing a piano version. So, there's a couple of things to look forward to on the next album. Now, I release 14 new songs into the wild to become grown ups. I was always writing them to let them go. So, now they must live on their own for the first time. Be safe, it's a jungle out there. Note: I released 5 songs from the new album to reverbnation before I released it anywhere else. Go to reverbnation.com This album is a nice collection of folk songs. She Never Had Anyone - The lyrics in this song were written by my niece Malynda Larocque. I thought they were put together well and had so much feeling and heart. Nicely Done Malynda! A number of these songs had the pleasure of Michael O'Neil playing piano in the background. Mike played piano on 8 songs on this album. I'm hoping on the next album to have Mike back for a few more songs that can feature the piano with more clarity. Thank you Mike for all your hard work! I drew from a lot of influences on this album. If you listen you can hear 'No Reply' and 'I'm a loser' from The Beatles '65, a little Led Zep in 'There Was Only Today', a little 'Jimmy Buffet' in 'That's What vacation Is All About' and a little Bob Seger on 'Turn So Many Pages'. Just a fun album to make. I understood the software much better. Scaled back the workload with the number of tracks per song. The workload was still heavy but certainly not what the previous album was. This album covered a lot of subjects from a cup of coffee to the loss of a child, loss of a romance, people who judge others, being a child and taking risks, friends who disappoint you, taking a vacation, freedom, years gone by, southern comfort and drinking too much, dreaming and not being afraid. I hope you enjoy listening to the music as much as I enjoyed writing it. I plan to go down to 12 songs for the next album. 14 may be a bit too much. I remember on 'Follow the River' I wrote 21 songs and I thought I was going to turn to mush. It took too much of me. It still needs to be fun. Thanks again to everyone who helped on this album. Avis Crane for your production assistance, Malynda Larocque for the lyrics to 'She Never Had Anyone', Notorious Greg's music for the guitars on this album, Mike O'Neil for playing the piano on the album and anyone who played a part and helped to make this album a success. It's completion is a success in itself! Thank you all! The CD will be available soon on cdbaby. I hope you'll listen and the enjoy the songs. Thanks for tuning in! The original compositions you will listen to will provide you with a glimpse into the psyche of a philosopher at heart. An inquisitive person who goes through the levels of thought analytically like peeling away the layers of an onion to develop a perspective of the world around us. The songs discuss one individual's perspective of hope, angst, love, faith, reality, fantasy, change and stability or lack thereof at times. Al Soucy is an authentic spiritual man who believes in Karma and is always stretching his own knowledge and understanding of his own human experience. I do hope you enjoy listening to the compositions as much as I enjoyed writing, playing and recording them. I also hope that this music causes the listener to question their own human experience and seek the answers to the questions in their own lives. A great deal of work and care has gone into each and every song and I hope the songs reflect this. Most importantly: I would not be able to produce one note of music or invest this effort in my musical endeavors if it were not for my beautiful, loving, kind, compassionate wife, Connie Camber-Soucy. She is my muse, my inspiration and has provided me with an environment that is conducive to writing. I love you Connie and thank you for allowing me to be a witness to your life. Thank you all in advance for your time, for visiting and for listening to what I feel is some of my best work to date. Warmest Regards... Professionally, Al Soucy.