Passing Circumstancesthe Collected Original Songs
Passing Circumstances is a collection of the best takes of 39 of my best songs, the songs of my life, written and recorded over 30 years from when I was 22 to when I was 52, and recorded mostly as raw demos, half jazz-pop and half folk-acoustic, originally recorded on simple old reel to reels and cassette recorders, along with some studio cuts. Many are the only surviving recordings of the songs, rediscovered in a basement Coca-Cola box of old treasured tapes, with whatever audio imperfections of the originals preserved in these tracks. There's no auto-tune here, just surprisingly on-pitch living room live originals that have raw energy and immediacy. So they sound pretty much as they did the moment they were recorded. I hear echoes of influences from the jazz piano of Dave Brubeck and Ahmad Jamal, jazz guitarists Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Earl Klugh, and Lee Ritenour, the pop-jazz vocals of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, up to the modern sounds of Michael Buble, and the pop, rock, and country fusion of guitarists Leo Kottke, John Fahey, and Jorma Kaukonen, and the vocals and guitar of Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Garth Brooks, and Joni Mitchell, with some Steely Dan jazz rock and Asleep At The Wheel Texas Swing thrown in for good measure. For more contemporary reference, it sounds like something you might get if you blended an edgier John Mayer, John Mellancamp, Sheryl Crowe, Jack Johnson, and Elenowen. Passing Circumstances, the title song, is the first decent song I wrote, written and recorded in 1972, when I was 22 years old. It's decades later now, but when I listen, I time travel, getting younger, and get taken back to what it really did feel like back then. The years have made my voice get deeper, but across these songs, from whatever era of my life, there's still the same feelings of want, longing, passion, loss, resolve, happiness, disappointment, anger, and joy as when I was young. And remarkably, after all these years, I still like these songs...hope you will too. I've been a songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for 40 years. Musically I came of age in the '60s and '70s, and worked my way through college and graduate school at Syracuse University by doing clubs and festivals in upstate New York, including appearances at the New York State Fair. In my 40s, I was a finalist for the 'Be A Star' TV show on The Nashville Network, and in my 50s and 60s have been a sought-after vocal soloist for churches around the country. I've got two other CDs, one of other original songs ('20 Years Late', and the other, my covers of contemporary Christian hits ('I Will Be Here'). I'm a child psychologist, high school tennis coach, husband, father, and grandfather. Now approaching age 62, I've been thinking more and more about what it is I will eventually leave this world, so I decided it was high time to gather the best of my songs together, the songs of my life, about the passing circumstances of my life that might feel something like the passing circumstances of yours. I have been blessed to play with some great folks. Some are unknown, some have their own websites, and all were and are accomplished musicians. On the Passing Circumstances 2-disc set, special thanks to Linda Maich, harmony on 1981's At The End of the Tunnel, who is a sought-after jazz singer in Denver, and Napua Davoy, an unbelievable jazz singer and composer out of the Boston area who did the female co-lead on the 1977 take of Arouse Me When You Rouse Me. And most of all, my thanks to Irene Lallas, my pianist on several of my early songs, who took my composition of Waiting for Susan, in my mind meant for piano, but written by a guitar guy, and made it in the studio in 1974 into what I had envisioned, musically and emotionally. I don't know where Irene is these days, but I can never thank her enough, and all of these wonderful people, and so many others unheard on Passing Circumstances, and unnamed here, for turning my ideas into real music. When I listen to the music we made, I remember it all, us all, with a big smile. I hope you do too...