Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category:

Speak To Me, Vol. 4

For Vol. 4,. I chose one of my all time favorite songs, “The Laundromat Song (Imagine That)” by my friend Chris Rosser.   As I search all around for great songs that inspire me, it’s important to remember that some of the finest songwriters I know are my friends and peers. I have been fortunate enough to work with Chris on three of my albums, and I like to refer to him as my Obi Wan Kenobe. 🙂 This song is simple, poignant, and it sweeps you away on a journey, turning an ordinary day into a dreamy scene…love it!

I love how Chris invites you into the scene by describing it and then stating, “imagine that”.  It’s like he is daring you to enter this world.  Funny thing is you close your eyes and find yourself right there in the laundromat beside the girl, maybe even dancing with her.   What is she dreaming of?  Only your imagination can tell you…

The chordal landscape suddenly changes on the chorus.  Suddenly we find ourselves in the minor 6 walking down, and it creates a mysterious mood that draws us in while illustrating the very dance it is describing.

Speak To Me, Vol. 3

Tom Petty, thank you for writing “You Got Lucky.” I have always loved this song. It takes a melancholy emotion and turns it on its head. Instead of being a sad woe-is-me break-up song, it tells the lover off without really being rude. “Good love is hard to find” is both a warning and a cool observation.

The first time I heard this song, I loved it because of its keyboard part that sounds like chopsticks. It sounds funny, but what he is doing by playing those close intervals against a chord and then resolving them is creating tension. This song has a classic pop/rock form of verses in a minor key and chorus in the relative major. The verse builds with dark tension and by the time he gets to the chorus to repeat “good love is hard to find”, you find yourself cheering him on. Genius.

I wondered what it would sound like to slow this song WAY down and it turns out it’s pretty creepy.

Recorded live at Artichoke Music in Portand…

Speak To Me Vol. 1

Ok, so I started this project this year where I set out to learn 25 new songs by other people.  I called it “Speak To Me” because I am learning songs that speak to me, because I want your feedback about song suggestions, and because every song has something to teach me.  Fun stuff!

For Volume 1 I chose “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Ashford and Simpson, originally recorded as a duet by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell.  I developed an interest in Tammi Terrell after hearing a piece about her on NPR…she was so young when she recorded this song with Marvin Gaye!  Her life was tragically cut short at the age of 25.

I love this song because it is soulful and it has a positive message, it’s a toe-tapper, and an easy one to get folks singing along.  This song taught me some cool new chordal changes.  I had never explored walking down chromatically over the 4 chord… I had only tried that on the 1.  Super funky!