Showing posts with label americana music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label americana music. Show all posts

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Looking For Music Recommendations

I remember the exact moment I decided I was done with country music. I was in my car going to work, and once again K102 blasted out Faith Hill's "Breathe". I moaned something like, "Country music is gone!" and I never looked back. To this day, I maintain that song is a horrible facsimile of country music.  But it wasn't all Faith's fault. 2001 was a mediocre-to-bad year for Nashville artists. Even the old standbys like The Dixie Chicks, Brooks & Dunn, and even George Strait released forgettable singles. If I couldn't count on George, I couldn't count on anybody. Who remembers "Ain't Nothing 'bout You"? Or "Where I Come From"? I rest my case.

So I simply re-listened to my Dwight and Diamond Rio and Restless Heart albums until I got sick of listening and gave up on music all together. Now I only listen in the car (on short trips) and only to the oldies station.

I would like to listen to country music but I don't know where to begin. As an experiment I switched the channel in the car to the country station today, and while I only heard parts of two songs, I didn't like them. I think one was by Carrie Underwood, who is a great singer, but I don't care for the bombastic songs she chooses. And they're all mixed hot. The guitars don't even sound like actual guitars; they sound like a swarm of angry bees. I'm not sure who sang the second song - it was a guy, that's all I know. I'm completely out of the loop with regard to the popular artists of the day.

So I'm looking for recommendations. Who are the good artists of today?

Here is what I like:

  • a nice melody
  • nice harmonies
  • instruments that I can pick out of a lineup

Here's what I don't like:

  • in-your-face instrumentation
  • bragging
  • cutesy and/or cringe-worthy wordplay

Please let me know who I should be listening to. I promise to give every suggestion a fair chance.

Oh, and I also am looking for Americana recommendations - you know, what they used to call country music.

Thank you!

Saturday, June 30, 2012


I was looking at some of our old videos tonight, and I realized that I'm partial to this one.  It's the only song that my husband and I sang on together (at least, so far). 

This was from a time when I actually had something to write about.  A bit of Americana.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Categorizing Music

Everybody will tell you....if you're trying to sell your music, you need to tell people what it is.

Because apparently, people will not click on that little ">" sign and listen to a 15-second preview.

I'm being needlessly sarcastic here, because I, too, kind of like to know what I'm getting into before I bother to check out someone's music.  Frankly, and no offense, if the description contains the words "hip" and "hop", I'm really not interested, for example.

But the whole "genre" discussion is very difficult for me.

Somebody on one of those songwriter message boards posted a link to some place where one can upload their music for (paid) download.  Yes, there are a million of these sites, and my problem with them is, the only people who seem to be aware of them are the songwriters/artists; not the general public.

I wasn't particularly interested; just curious.  So, I clicked on the link, and I saw the usual genres listed.  Here is the list:

1.  "Country" music
2.  Pop
3.  Rock
4.  Rhythm & Blues
5.  Blues (just plain, without the "rhythm")
6.  Hip Hop and Rap
7.  Kids music
8.  Modern folk (what is that?)
9.  Easy Listening
10. Electronic
11. Jazz
12. Latin & Calypso
13. Gospel
14. "Other"

If I was actually interested in utilizing this site's services, I wouldn't know which genre to choose!  I can easily rule out 9 of the 14.  And the other 5 are questionable.  I can't ever, ever choose "country", because you know what that is, nowadays.  It's something that assaults one's ears, so I am afraid to even click on anything that says it's "country".

An example of "country" (and I don't mean to pick on Carrie, but I'm not really up on the latest "country" stars):

Pop?  Well, no, because "pop" is something like Michael Jackson or someone, right?

Here's some pop.  I really, honestly, had never heard this song before, but she's in the entertainment rags a lot, so I picked on her.  But seriously, do you find much difference between this song by Katy Perry and the Carrie Underwood song?  I have pretty good ears, I think, and I can discern very little difference:


Rock?  Yes, my husband does rock, but again, rock, to him, is apparently different from the rock that is titled, "rock".  It does get confusing, and I think it's a generational issue.

Here is rock:

I don't know what modern folk is, but isn't "modern folk" an oxymoron?  Isn't the whole concept of folk music naturally regressive?  I don't know about you, but when I hear the term, "folk", I think of Peter, Paul and Mary singing, "Michael Row The Boat Ashore" (hallelujah).


Easy listening could fit the bill, because our music is, not to brag, easy to listen to.  But "easy listening", to me, conjures up something like this:

So, really, that just leaves "other".  And who's going to buy music labeled, "other"?  Nobody.

I tend to label, when I am forced to, our music as "Americana".  But a lot of sites, obviously, do not recognize Americana as a genre.  What is more Americana than two Minnesotans and one Hawaiian, doing their slice of life, or slice of emotions, music?

I really hate labels.  Labels force everyone into a box.  Labels prohibit people from experiencing a range of music.  They think, well, I like Fall Out Boy (yea, seriously, I had to do a Wikipedia search for adult contemporary to even find that name), so I want to hear ONLY songs that sound JUST LIKE THAT.

In my day (as the geezers are wont to say),  we heard everything on the radio.  Everything was played on the same channel.  We heard Dean Martin, and we heard Bobby Gentry, and we heard the Seekers, and we heard the Monkees.  And we made up our own minds.

I am glad (glad!) that I was exposed to a bunch of different music.  I know Frank Sinatra, and I know Count Basie.  I know Buck Owens, and I know the Four Tops.

Music, after all, is music.  One can dissect it, or one can enjoy it.

In everybody's focus on commerce, they forget the basic fact that music, from the first time someone hummed something, or somebody played three notes on a lute, is here to bring joy into our lives.

If music was just here to bore us, or to lull us to dreamland, we could read dull prose.  Something by Al Gore, for instance.

We should stop trying to put it all into neat little boxes, and just experience the joy of music.

And we, in the 1960's, or the 2010's, didn't invent music, you know.  People the world over have loved music since the beginning of time.  I hear that Stephen Foster was quite the dude.  Very prolific.  For example:

And I obviously missed it, but my parents knew good music, too.  

So, categorizations?  I will pass.  I might even like Fall Out Boy if I ever heard them on the radio.

I think I might, just for fun, tune my work radio to some new channel.  Because I would like to practice what I preach.  I bet I will find some stuff that I like, and I otherwise never would have known.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

I Just Completed A Songwriter Survey

I'd completely forgotten that I had completed a songwriter's survey back in 2009.  It was called a "songwriting, health and well-being" survey, conducted by somebody with a "Dr." in front of his name in Hertfordshire, UK.

Interestingly, one of my very first "fake CD's: was this:

So, I apparently have a kinship with this doctor ~ doctor of psychology, I might add.

This week, I received a follow-up email, asking for my participation once again.

So, I said, okay, I'm bored.  Let's take a look at this.

The survey began by asking if I'd had any life-changing events in the past couple of years.


Then it went on to list a bunch of medical conditions, and asked how severely I suffered from any of them (in the past month).

I'm not entirely sure what that has to do with songwriting, but I did tell him about my allergies.

One of the questions was in regard to "irritability".  Well, who doesn't have that??  I have that at least once a day!  I don't necessarily think that's a medical condition.  I just think it's a byproduct of living in this world.

For example, I had a severe bout of irritability on Friday, when our system went down for three freakin' hours at work.

In fact, I was so irritable, I made a video cartoon of the whole situation:

The IS Guy
by: MichelleAnd

So, Dr. Mindbender, don't blame me for my irritability.  But take it for what it's worth.  I don't think I've written any irritable songs, ever, because that would just irritate me, and why would I want to irritate myself?  That would take all the fun out of writing (which isn't all that much fun to begin with).

But, it's all hocus-pocus, I'm sure.  I'm sure that the good doctor can somehow connect the dots of my song lyrics with some sort of malady that I am apparently suffering from.  Although, again, an allergic rash cannot really account for any of the songs I've written.  That I know of.

The survey also asked questions about "how I feel about myself".  Am I hyper-critical?  Well, yea!  Do I call myself names?  If "idiot" and "imbecile" are names, yes.  Doesn't everybody do that?  At least when they completely screw something up?  That seems normal to me.

Not that I want to "cut myself", as one of the questions asked.  I'm not insane.  I'm just your normal, average, insecure person.  And being the practical gal that I am, I wouldn't want to have to clean up the mess, frankly.

Do I "crave close relationships, but not trust that people will be there for me?"  Oh, blah blah blah.  I'm not nineteen.  I think I can pretty much handle whatever happens to come my way, at this point in my life.  If not, I think I need to go back and start over.

Do I "like myself"?  Well, sure.  I like myself okay.  I'm used to myself.  I don't really have any other frame of reference.  I've lived with myself for fifty-six-and-three-fourths years, so, yes, I'm comfortable.  I'm really kind of over that whole "examine one's life" sort of thing, for the most part.  I strive to be a better person, yes, but I've had a long time to get used to myself, and changes, if any miraculously occur, will be minimal.

The last part of the survey, however, was sort of fun.  It asked me to paste 10 song lyrics that I'd written since I'd completed the survey in 2009.

I honestly don't keep track anymore, so I had to exclude some of my better lyrics, because I had apparently written them before the cutoff, although they seem relatively new to me, so I'm either in a time warp or I'm suffering from some sort of song amnesia.

And, to make matters worse, the songs I wrote for FAWM in 2010, I never transferred to a word doc.  They're all handwritten in a spiral notebook.

The survey asked how many songs I'd written since 2009, and I guesstimated 40, which is pretty good, considering that I haven't written a song in over a year.

So, I kind of scanned my song lyrics, to narrow my choices down to 10, and I found that I had a bunch of good ones.  Too bad the actual songs aren't that good.  But the lyrics are grand-ish.

Being mindful of that fact that this was a psychologist asking the questions, I looked for some kind of hidden motivation or my lyrics.

Granted, the majority of my lyrics are either wistful or sad, but aren't most songs??  I mean, how many happy songs does one hear anyway?  Other than "Walkin' On Sunshine"?

But it was still kind of fun to look back, and, it's not an MMPI test, but I get what the guy (sorry, doctor) is looking for.  Some sort of window into the soul, or the psyche.

I ended up including about eight sad songs, and two happy ones.  That seems about right.

Here's a sad one:


There's an ice storm
Gettin' close, they say
You better get on in
This cold don't look
Like it will subside

Lock your windows
Latch the door behind
It creeps in silently
It gets into your bones
Into your mind

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

You can see it
Through the window panes
When they leave their shades undrawn
They didn't see the chill
'Til it came on

As he sits there
Starin' silently
While she hides away upstairs
They wonder if they ever even cared

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

Pull the covers over, babe
We're gonna keep us warm
Stay inside and we'll be fine
We can fight the storm
We can fight the storm

Ice storms, quiet storms
Crackin' hearts in two
Ice storms don't warn
Look out for me and you

Look out for me and you


Here's a happy one:


Tall lemonade
In the shade of the tree
No one around
‘Cept the birds and me
It’s a cool, cool day
Wastin’ my time away

Puffy white clouds
On a pallet of blue
Conspire with me
For a daydream or two
It’s a cool, cool day
Wastin’ my time away

Everybody says
You gotta do somethin’
I know that’s not true
If somethin’ means nothin’
I’m on board
Cuz that’s what I’m gonna do

The bees go about
Their work silently
I don’t bother them
They don’t bother with me
We’re sharin’ the flowers
While I’m wasting my time away

Everybody says
You must do somethin’
I know that’s not true
If somethin’ means nothin’
Then I’m on board
And that’s what I’m gonna do

The sun’s wavin’’ goodbye
On an orange halo
I think I’ll linger awhile
I’m not ready to go
It’s been a perfect day
Wastin’ my time away


I think the motivation, oftentimes, for a songwriter, is to write in the present.   And if I am sad, wistful, or if I am irritable, what better way to vent than in a song?  It's not that I don't write some happy songs, but, frankly, those are written out of either boredom or desperation, or out of the effects of a couple of drinks.

For the record, I was feeling sort of lazy, so I didn't do an in-depth analysis of the best all-time lyrics that I ever wrote.  I tend to go by "feel", because you know those artistic folks.  They don't actually "think".  They just "feel".  But these felt right.

NOTE:  Feel free to stop reading here.  I'm mainly including these other eight songs, because I never actually transcribed the lyrics anywhere, and I kinda would like to have access to them.

Here are the other eight.  The recordings are horrible.  One must possess the patience of a saint to actually listen to them. 


I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Hard as I knock
The doors hold their locks
And it keeps getting’ colder every day

I said your sign says friendly town
They said, that means to each other
The shades are drawn, I don’t belong
I guess I’ll move along

It’s time to right what’s turned out to be wrong

I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Hard as I knock
The doors hold their locks
It’s time to start all over again

My bag never was unpacked
That simplifies the goin’
I’d say my goodbyes
But no one’s here to tell
I won’t forget this little slice of hell

I feel like I’m lost
In a thousand towns
Where nobody wants to know my name
Don’t change your locks
I’m not gonna knock
You won’t have to see me again

©  Michelle Anderson  2010


It’s two o’clock
And I’m still awake
And I don’t know why
I’m up so late
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

I’m gonna hate myself
When it’s five a.m.
And I’m blurrin’ the lines
Between live and dead
Sure hate those wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ around blues

I blame you
It’s almost three
You don’t what
What you’re doin’ to me

It’s time for me
To go to bed
I gotta get you
Outta my head
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

I blame you
Cuz now it’s four
I just can take
This anymore

Nighty night
It’ll be a short night’s sleep
It’s not even worth
Botherin’ the sheep
I got the wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues

Wanderin’ around
Head spinnin’ ‘round blues



Broken hearts
Missing parts
Feels undone

Muddy skies
Empty eyes
See no one

Never sung
Never begun
When you’re only one

Turn away from hope
It’s fadin’
Can’t go on like this
Much more

Tell yourself lies
Say it’s all right
To be on your own

Cold dark hurts
Dreams desert
And you’re all alone


RUNDOWN TOWN (Yes, I like "towns")

Things never change
In this rundown town
Except it gets more
Run down

People disappear
And they never come back
And the store windows
Are black

They say why you don’t you go
I say hell if I know
Is it any better someplace else

The devil that you know
Might not give a real good show
But I’ve determined life
Is just like that

I walk down the streets
Of this rundown town
I can close my eyes
And know the way

From time to time somebody goes
Leaves little curios behind
I pick them up  
And haul them away

They say why don’t you go
I say hell if I know
It don’t feel like this is my day  

The cracks are getting deeper
And my bones startin’ to moan
But I’ve determined life
Is just that way

©  Michelle Anderson  08-19-11


Words can hurt
Silence costs
You’re lost in anger
I'm just lost

Another day
Another ride
Too lonely, too hurt
To even cry

Can’t say
I’ve stopped trying
I still need to understand
Doesn’t matter
To an unclasped hand

You just might
Say that you love me
But tonight

Chalk up the day
I’ll be a stone
You don’t want me
I’ll leave you alone

Can’t say
I’ve stopped trying
I still need to understand
Doesn’t matter
To an unclasped hand

I’ve done something
I don’t know
Does it matter
I’ll fall asleep alone

Words hurt
Silence costs
I’m feeling
Feeling so lost

© Michelle Anderson 02-18-11


There’s a place I want to take you
Tonight, somewhere so quiet
Away from the house, past the windbreak trees
Nobody knows this place but me

Hold my hand, I’ll guide you
Through the low-hanging branches
That long ago stepped back, a path
They made for nights like this

Stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

The breeze brushes across your face
Enough to blow the stars in
In the fields lying fallow
Our bare feet kiss the ground

Nestled by this cottonwood
Is a clutch of red wildflowers
Would you mind if I picked
This one for you

As the stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

No one has ever seen it
Quite like this
All I'm needin’ now
Is your soft kiss

Stars tumble from an envelope of sky
A blackbird tilts across the moon
I can be anything at all here
Somehow I always knew
What I’d choose to be is
Alone with you

© Michelle Anderson 02-19-11


 My best friend has gone away
I wonder where she is
I wonder if she’s singin’ out
Like she always did

Road tales, imposed travails
Intersecting lines
But now she left with no farewell
And I’m cryin’ why

Yesterday I saw
Somethin’ that made me laugh
Then I looked around and realized
Nobody else would understand

My best friend’s still dancin’ ‘round
It’s just with someone else
She’s prob’ly laughin’ at me now
Knowin’ she’ll see me again

But I miss her



I rolled with you down that road
A hundred miles ago
As we grazed that prairie sky

Songs would fade to static there
The sky it was so dark
And we traced the midnight line

All those years I was your biggest fan
But maybe now it’s time to say goodnight
It hurts to hold on endlessly
Even after all these years I still can’t smile

You left your guitar just lying there
No one dared pick it up
So I thought maybe I would

No stones, no thrones, just flesh and bone
And livin’ for a song
Capturing time when it was good

All those years I was your biggest fan
But the pain, it never goes away
I can’t go on like this endlessly
Maybe we should decide to say goodbye

They can say they knew you well, all right
But you and I both know
How the stars glowed on those dark prairie nights

©  Michelle Anderson  2010

It was fun, I admit, to look back.  It almost makes me want to write again.  Almost.

And if I was to psychoanalyze myself, I would say, well, she's a syrupy sentimentalist, with underlying feelings of rejection,  She tends to dwell on the dark side of relationships; yet, she has an optimist's eye for the healing power of nature.

And she's lazy.


Saturday, May 14, 2011


NoiseTrade is another of those sites that one hopes will help their band gain new fans.

Downloaders can leave a tip from $1.00 to $100.00 per song. I'm hoping for the $100.00! hahahaha

What's in it for a band? (other than the non-existent $100.00?) Well, if somebody downloads your song, you at least get their email address, and thus, you can spam notify them anytime you have a new release.

Win win, right? Or just "win"?

Face it, it's all about getting heard. I'm open to new opportunities. And if someone chooses to pay $0.00 to download one of our songs, hey, at least somebody downloaded one!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Last Video - DUST

This is not our last video; there are others. It's just the last video I'll be posting here.

Slideshows are fine for what they are, but it's time to move on. I won't be creating any more videos until I gain some expertise in finding and integrating real video footage. I guess I have some research to do.

It was a fun diversion, and I actually did learn a lot about editing, so learning is good!

If anybody has any tips to share regarding "real" video creation, I'm all ears!

So, with that said, this is the only song that my husband and I recorded together (so far). It's called "Dust".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

April Days Video

I played around a bit this weekend with creating a "video" for one of our songs. It's actually pictures set to music, but I'll just call it a video.

Here's April Days:

Saturday, October 25, 2008

It Was Fun While It Lasted

So, here we are, the 25th of the month, and our song, "Ghost Town" has dropped from the number one position on OurStage to number sixty-two. Oh well. It was too good to last.

Still, out of 382 entries, it's not bad. Nothng to shout about, such as:

Ghost Town, by Red River on OurStage

How much of a dork do you have to be to post a banner that shouts, "We're Number Sixty-Two!"

OurStage is but one of the sites where we've slapped up some songs. It's sort of a fun diversion, but I don't take it too seriously.

So no, I'm not crying about our steep drop in the standings. Cuz, hey! We're Number Sixty-Two!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

We're Number One!

I don't go to OurStage very often anymore, because we've kind of tanked there in recent months. But we had a few friend requests, so I logged on to approve them.

I was surprised to find that we are sitting at #1 in Americana/Alt Country, with "Ghost Town"! Out of 332 entries! Yay!

On the realistic side, it's only the 11th of the month, so we'll probably end up at #332 by the time the month's over, but hey! It's still cool!

Ghost Town, by Red River on OurStage

Friday, March 28, 2008

I Do Write Music Sometimes

Yea, I like to write about music and make fun of stuff. Cuz that's just what I do. That's how I roll. (Ooh, there are no smiley faces to insert here!)

I don't claim to be a Don Henley or a Rodney Crowell. You see, what they've got that I don't have is a good grasp of melody writing.

And I'll let you in on a little secret about my writing:

I'm extremely limited, in that I am a terrible guitar "strummer", and I don't know very many chords. What this means is, I tend to write melodies around the few chords that I do know. This tends to make my songs boring and unimaginative.
I'm just not of a mind to start suddenly taking guitar lessons, at this point in my life. So, I work with what I have.

But, on the plus side, I can write those Americana songs! Because they basically only use three chords, so I've got that mastered!

So, I'm debuting a new song here, and I welcome your feedback (as if anyone is even reading this, which, of course, I know that no one is. So I guess I'll just give feedback to myself.)

I posted an earlier version of this song on And I got some amazing responses. I was a bit taken aback, frankly, by the words of praise I received. So, I thought, well, hey! Maybe I'd better actually work on this one a bit.

And, by the by, I have a LOT of unfinished lyrics, so if anyone out there (as if anyone is out there) wants to collab and write a melody to my lyrics, give me a holler.

This song was inspired by an article that was written in National Geographic Magazine, about my home state of North Dakota, and how the towns are turning into, basically, ghost towns. (Oh, "Ghost Town"! That's another song I wrote!)

It's all malarkey, really. I guess no one knows North Dakota except the people who actually live there. But let me tell you, it's a great place to live, and I would move back there in a heartbeat, given the opportunity.

But, again, I have wandered off, far away from the topic at hand.

Anyway, here are the words I wrote, and an admittedly bad rendition of "The Wind Wasted Plain":

She clutched her mama’s old suitcase
As she stepped from the train
Into the ramshackle sunlight
Of the wind wasted plain

For three sleepless days and nights
Her world slipped away
And she closed her eyes to it
The wind wasted plain

With strong lines on paper
He’d asked for her hand
He was a hard worker
And a clean, honest man

Now she looked like a stranger
In the cold window pane
No roses were blooming
On the wind wasted plain

The storm took the barn
Didn’t even leave rain
The hail took the barley
The bank took his name

The time came to pack up
What little remained
And start life away from
The wind wasted plain

On this warm July Sunday
The kids loaded up
Her chair in the back of
Her grandson’s new truck

And they drove down that
Old road where dreams had been lain
To the dusty reminders
On the wind wasted plain

In the sun-casted shadow
Of the goldenrod stain
The years fell as tears on
The wind wasted plain

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Progress Update

Well, I haven't given up on my new song yet! Still working on "The Road To Ruin". I came up with some chords, but I haven't actually recorded the song on my wonderful free recording software yet, so I don't know how it will sound. That is always the test. If it sounds boring, then it gets filed away, never to be heard from again.

I'm also not sure that the song is finished. It seems like it's missing something, so another weekend gone by, more progress made, but still more work to do, obviously.

My husband relayed a comment that was made about me by one of his musician friends. It went something like, "It's surprising that she can come up with so many different melodies.....considering that she is so limited in the number of chords she can play."

Ha! So true! So, I guess that's sort of a compliment. "
"Well, she's not too bright, so it's a wonder she accomplishes anything at all."

All I can say is, out of adversity comes "something". It might not be something good, but kudos for the effort. (ha ha)

You gotta keep trying. If it was easy, everyone would do it. Or some sort of cliche like that.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Writing Again - And A Resource For Writers

Now that the summer is almost past, I feel the creative juices flowing once again. (I was worried there for awhile). I'm working on a couple of songs at the same time, which is the way I prefer it, actually.

A new resource I found that has helped me, is called Chord Studio. What it does is add instrumentation to your songs, and you can also set the BPM (beats per minute) and add whatever instruments you'd like. It helps me to actualize a song.

So, the new songs I'm currently working on are, "The Late Great Me" and "Road To Ruin". I like the title, "Road To Ruin", so I'm hoping I can do it justice.
Just finding an interesting title is really half the battle.

I'm still feeling positive about "The Late Great Me". I've actually had the song going through my head all week, so I take that as a good sign. What with all the other stuff that's been going on this week, it's a wonder my brain has the capacity to hold anything other than (boredom alert!) insurance claim stuff.

On another note, we've gotten some great responses from people on our mailing list at Number One Music Dale's song, "Heaven Knows", elicited a very positive response. I am always thrilled to read positive feedback, and this song definitely deserves it. Click the link above to hear what's up with Red River.

I've got a few things on my mind this week that I want to talk about, but I'll put them in another post. Funny how something you read strikes a nerve, and you think about it long after the fact. I've got a couple of those things going on this week.

So, stay tuned......

Friday, August 10, 2007


(originally posted 07-14-07)

I’ve been on a mission lately………to clear out the needless clutter in my life.

The impetus for this was all the Nigerian emails and others that I’ve been receiving lately (what is WRONG with Yahoo, anyway? I used to be a Yahoo fan, but lately…..geez, they have really been falling down on the job.)

It’s gotten to the point that I’ve been ignoring my friends, because it’s so daunting to weed through all the junk emails to find the legitimate ones.

But, aside from the spam, I only have myself to blame for subscribing to certain sites, thinking the newsletters would be interesting, only to find that they’re either NOT interesting, or I just don’t have time to read the stuff anyway (I need to click on that “unsubscribe” button.) Or, once you subscribe to them, they ask for money for the “real inside scoop”. I think maybe that’s the outlet I’ve been looking for……I need to ask for money to have people read my stuff…….then I could become rich and I’d have LOTS of time to spend browsing the internet.

Funny how the world-wide web was supposed to make our lives easier, but in actuality, it’s just caused more aggravation in our lives. Am I right? Yes, I am. And, really, isn’t there enough aggravation to begin with, without asking for more? I mean, after spending countless hours on the internet, you find that you have adware and spyware and all kinds of “ware”, so you have to purchase programs that get rid of all of that for you, or your computer will go up in flames. It’s created a whole new industry.

But I’m on a mission to de-clutter my life. There are currently three sites that I pay for the privilege of being a part of. One of them I will be ditching quite soon. Another, I have mixed feelings about. It’s not that it does me any good; it’s just that I like the look of the paid site, as opposed to the free one. Ah, vanity. The third, I believe I will hang onto for awhile. That is the only one that has reaped any benefits/rewards for Red River.

Funny how musicians get sucked into joining these organizations. It’s the promise of rewards that never come. But we always grasp onto that sliver of hope. Oh, this one will be the one. I think we’ve got Red River music all over the web; most of it on free sites (thankfully), and most of it uploaded on a promise of riches that never materialize.

There are probably websites out there for every inclination and aspiration. I don’t think musicians are the only ones targeted. I suppose if you write short stories, there are most likely HUNDREDS of sites out there, promising you that they are the ones who will deliver fame and fortune to your doorstep. It’s a racket, but yet we choose to believe them (at least for a day). Then we move on to the next new one that pops up. It’s an endless graph of highs and lows, and lower-than-lows. But without hope, what do we have?

But the advice I would give to aspiring musicians is, tread lightly. There are a lot of people who are circling like sharks, waiting to chomp onto your money and your dignity. Promising you those riches that you so rightly deserve.

I say, create a MySpace page. It’s free, and you can upload four songs. You can gain lots of friends who surf the net looking for the latest “add”. It won’t make you rich, but neither will any of those paid sites, and you’ll feel good, knowing that you have a lot of “friends” (not that they actually listen to your music, but still…..)

If you are truly serious about making any money in the music biz, search out a song plugger, and see if he or she will agree to shop your songs around. Be forewarned, however, with the state of music nowadays, you’d better have something that’s generic, preferably three-part harmony (ala Rascal Flatts), or don’t even waste your time. If you’re an artist, well, good luck! Nobody is signing new artists. Heck, they can’t even clear their shelves of the product that they have, and it’s pretty damn good. I mean, c’mon, Prince is actually GIVING his stuff away. So, how the heck do you think YOU are going to make any money?

But, hang in there! Maybe YOU are the one. You could be. Who knows? If you’ve written something that has a modicum of intelligence and heart, you COULD just hit the jackpot! Hey, it happens! (occasionally).

Just don’t waste your money. I implore you. If you’re poor like Red River, then you will just dig yourself further and further into debt, and all you will have to show for it is a comment on your MySpace page, saying how much they like your music; but yet, they won’t put themselves out enough to actually buy anything.

Don’t waste your time on websites that ask you for money. Log off of the internet, pick up your guitar, and write something. If you don’t please anyone but yourself, you’ve still pleased someone important.

(I leave you with an image to clear your palate….my songwriting hero, Kris Kristofferson.)

Those Lazy, Hazy Days

(originally posted 07-01-07)

Wow, I just realized that I haven’t written anything since April! Well, that just goes along with my songwriting output, since I don’t even remember the last song I wrote.

I think it’s those lazy, hazy days of summer that lull me into a kind of slumber (ooh, I made a rhyme, sort of!), and make me forget that I’m not being productive.

I always considered myself a “summer kind of gal”, but lately, the hot weather just seems to bog me down and makes me pine for an oscillating fan and a thermostat set at 68 degrees, as I congeal into a pool of mush.

Funny how we long for summer during those long (yet short) winter days, and then when summer finally arrives, we bitch about it. Well, that’s humans for ya. Always bitching about something.

I moved my guitar, so that it’s sitting right here in my line of sight, hoping that this would nudge me into picking it up once in awhile and trying to write something. Alas, the old girl is standing here looking at me, and it’s got a nice coating of dust on it. “Why don’t you want me anymore?”, it asks, pleadingly. “It’s not you, it’s me”, I say. (Luckily, no one else is here in the room to observe me talking to my guitar.) “But, since we’re talking, why don’t you learn to play some new chords…..stupid slacker guitar…..”

And then the accusations start flying: “Well, why don’t you come up with some new ideas, hotshot?” (I hate a backtalking guitar.)

“Well, it’s summer”, I reply, defensively.

I actually tried writing a couple of songs lately. It didn’t work out well. I took advantage of a 10-day trial subscription to SongU. You can submit songs for critiques there (for an extra charge), so I submitted my first song and got a really scathing critique. I laugh about it now (sob!) The guy basically said (and I’m paraphrasing here), “What the hell?”

So, for my next critique, I chose a different “critique-er” (I’m no fool!). This submission was just lyrics; no melody. This guy was WAY better! He said something to the effect that I had “an obvious grasp of lyric writing”, or something like that. Then he said a bunch of negative stuff, but I only remember the good parts of his response.

I’m being somewhat flippant, but in actuality, I did benefit from both critiques. I know what I have to do to improve both songs; however, do I want to even work on them anymore? Hmmmm………

The other thing I’ve been exploring (since I’m not writing songs or anything) is music licensing. You know, licensing songs for movies and TV. It’s an interesting diversion. I found a website that lets you upload your songs for consideration in movies and TV shows, but, geez, is that process boring! It takes forever to upload a song; then you have to go through this whole check-off list to describe what type of situation the song would work best in. Hey, I don’t know! How about you listen to it and tell me! I’m not holding my breath on that thing, but you know, you have to keep a bunch of irons in the fire.

In more productive news, we have a couple of new members who have joined Red River. Mike is a great drummer, and just a fun and interesting guy to be around. Dale is an old band member of Dave’s from back in the ’70’s, and he lives in Hawaii now. Ah, the internet is a great thing. We can still work together, even with those many, many miles of distance between us. We’re going to see Dale in a couple of weeks, since he and his wife will be in Iowa, and we’ll be motoring there to meet up with them.

Right now, we’re actually re-recording some of our older stuff (stuff that frankly wasn’t recorded right the first time). As you can imagine, it’s not the most interesting task. You know, once you’ve heard a song for the 1,000th time, it pretty much tests the limits of your patience to have to listen to it again.

But, some of these songs are what we consider to be our best, so this is something that we really need to do, if we want to present ourselves as professionals to music industry people. I will say that Mike has made a WORLD of difference on these songs. So, in that respect, I am delighted.

So, that’s my update from, I guess, two months ago! Am I old or what? The time just seems to FLY by!

I have to look for a good CD cover to attach to this post; something that reflects my state of mind right now. Hmmm….what to choose?

Nat King Cole - Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days Of Summer

The True Story Of April Days

(originally posted 03-18-07)

Click Picture To Listen

I’ve had a few jobs in my life. I’ve been the lowest-level peon (cleaning motel rooms for my parents’ business) and I’ve been a manager of a 150-person department, and everything in between. Doesn’t really matter. Work is not fun.

Oh, I remember back when I was just out of school. I was so excited to get my first job and to be out in the REAL WORLD.

I got a job as a clerk-typist for the State Health Department. And you actually had to take a test to even be considered for an interview!

I was eighteen and answering phones, basically. Then, as a special bonus and a nod to my superior abilities, I was asked to become part of a “special project” for the department. All the birth, death, marriage, and divorce records were going to be microfilmed. (Before that, they were just bound in big books).

What was this special perk that I was chosen for? I got to go through all the records (starting back in the 1800’s) and trace over any printing that was too faint to be read by the microfilm machine! What an honor!

So, I was holed up in this back room with one window, with one other person my age and a supervisor. We spent our days with our pencils, tracing over letters, and alternating using the microfilm machine to film the records. It was fascinating work!

I was eighteen! Who could ask for more??

The one saving grace in that dank, smoky room (yea, all three of us smoked) was the AM radio. At least we could listen to tunes as an alternative to blowing our brains out.

Gordon Lightfoot had a hit song at that time, “Sundown”. Just to amuse myself and to break up the monotony, I would sing along with the radio whenever that song came on, in an effort to supremely annoy my co-worker friend. And it worked! She shot me some really evil looks whenever I would sing that song. Ah, good times.

We were on the 17th floor of the State Capitol building, and we had one tiny little window that we would sometimes walk over to, to see if there really was any actual life going on outside our little oxygen-starved room. You could hear birds singing! Well, sure, they were singing! They weren’t PRISONERS.

It was pretty much my worst job ever. At least when I was cleaning motel rooms in high school, I got to go out into the sunlight once in awhile.

My friend lived about a block and a half from the capitol building, so sometimes we’d walk down to her place for lunch — Spaghettios — because we were quite poor. But we did at least get to bask in the sun as we made our trek from the gates of hell down to her apartment. It was a welcome diversion, as we walked in our short dresses and platform shoes. (had to dress up for work, you know.)

I lasted there about a year. I had to either quit or commit myself to an institution for the mentally deranged. I actually went back to work for my parents (in the office this time, thank God).

It just occurred to me that I rarely left any job because I wanted to pursue a better opportunity. Usually I was just really bored or ticked off about something. I always told them, though, “It’s not you; it’s me.” But it really was them.

But anyway, that’s the TRUE story of April Days. Yes, it all happened the way I wrote it. Lo, those many years ago.

It's That Time Of Year Again

(originally posted 12-28-06)

Click on picture to listen.

No, not Christmas. Let the masses celebrate Christmas as their favorite all-time-mass-consumption holiday. Let’s face it; not too many people think of Christmas as anything but visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads. I mean, really.

I’m talking about New Year’s Eve.

I like New Year’s Eve, and not because I go out “celebrating”. Heavens no. I like it because it’s a time of reflection; a little pause before the new year kicks in and everything just picks up where it left off; the only change being that you have to get used to writing a different number.

More people should become friends with New Year’s Eve. Of course, it’s not a commercial holiday, unless you are a bar-owner, so it probably won’t catch on like Halloween or Christmas. My feeling, though, is that while Christmas has lost its spiritual meaning, New Year’s Eve has taken up the slack…….well, for me anyway. And it can for you, too.

Let’s face it; Christmas is depressing for most people, for a variety of reasons. Oh, c’mon, you know it is. Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but it’s true.

New Year’s Eve, however, gives one permission to be sad and wistful and sentimental. You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling that way.

You can think about people you don’t see anymore, for whatever reason. People who were important in your life for a moment, or for a lifetime. You can have a glass of wine and put on a song that reminds you of a memory that you shared with that person. You can play Perry Como, singing “Catch A Falling Star”, and remember your dad singing that song to you when you were just a tyke (as an example). And maybe you’ll shed a tear, but you’ll smile, too. You can play a song from 1973, and remember feeling carefree and independent, and singing along to the car radio at the top of your lungs with your best friend.

You can celebrate any moment that you darn well choose to celebrate. There are no expectations, no obligations that you have to meet. You can be alone with your thoughts.

Maybe I’m wrong, but I think people don’t have enough “quiet time” anymore. Everything is “have to’s”. I have to do this; I need to get this done. Just stop for one day out of the year. Take some time and think about what really matters to you. I mean what truly matters. Set aside one day from the meaningless tasks. Isn’t there enough of that going on every day? How much do you really do in your life that matters one way or the other? Seriously.

When all is said and done, there are a finite number of people who make our lives worth living. Maybe it’s your dad, maybe your mom, your kids, your spouse, your best friend.

So, give it a try. Stay home on New Year’s Eve. If you feel the need to dance, put on a song that really makes you WANT to dance. I don’t care if it’s “Old Time Rock & Roll” or if it’s some stupid song that you’d only play in the privacy of your own home, like “Achy Breaky Heart”. (Oh you know you’ve got one of those songs; admit it.) But try to dance to one that brings back fond memories, and just dance and be stupid

Trust me; you’ll feel better for having done it. Make a sentimental toast to those people who maybe can only hear you from heaven. They’ll enjoy your dancing. They’re no fools. They know what matters.

Triple Service

(originally posted 11-18-06)

Click Picture To Listen

Red River aficionados are familiar with our song, Triple Service.

Well, Triple Service is an autobiographical song, and it is (was) a real place.

In 1964, my Uncle Howard (everyone called him Uncle Howard, even people who were unrelated to him; I’m not sure why) bought a place in Lisbon, North Dakota (a tiny town in the southeast corner of the state) that consisted of a bar, a restaurant, and a service station; thus, Triple Service.

Being only one person, he couldn’t simultaneously run all three parts of the business by himself. He didn’t have a wife, so he needed a good cook to run the restaurant part. This is where my mom and my Aunt Barbara came in. My mom and Aunt Barbara were both farm wives and both excellent cooks, so an arrangement was made with them to alternate weeks running the restaurant for my uncle. Logistically, this required some arrangements to be made. Aunt Barbara only had two kids, Paul and Karen, but my mom still had two tiny ones at home (Jay and Lissa), so my older sister was commissioned to take care of the toddlers, while Paul, Karen, and I moved to Lisbon for the school year.

Well, what could be more of an adventure for a kid? Overall, the setup was great. Uncle Howard’s bar had a dance floor and live music, so the three of us would hide in the liquor room at night and watch the goings-on. My cousin Paul, being the adventurous sort, let a frog lose on the dance floor one night. We watched in fascination as it hopped toward the dancers. Needless to say, it did not turn out well. Being the intellectuals that we were, we also slid ice cubes across the dance floor. Not a real bright idea, in hindsight.

In the restaurant area, either Mom or Aunt Barbara was doing the cooking, depending on the week, and Karen and I were commissioned to wait tables on Saturday nights, when it got very, very busy. I found out quickly that waitressing was not one of my talents. “I’ll have a pepperoni pizza.” “What would you like on that?” “Uh, pepperoni.” “Okay”. (slinking away in embarrassment).

Triple Service had its name in big red wooden letters on the roof over the service station area. Karen and I thought we were very clever and cute, climbing up on the roof and suddenly serenading unsuspecting customers who just wanted to fill their tank and get the hell out of there, as they eyed us suspiciously. (“Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” was our big rooftop number.)

Well, it was a great experience……..except……….THE SCHOOL. I was a public school girl, but here I was, suddenly attending a Catholic school, St. Aloysius (and by the way, it should sound like it’s spelled, so I decided I would call it St. Allo-SI-us.) Paul and Karen came from a Catholic school background, so the nuns LOVED them. They HATED, HATED me. Apparently, I was a down-fallen woman at the age of 9, and I was most certainly going to hell. Overall, their attitude didn’t bother me. Cuz if hell was Triple Service, then all was good. Every time one of them would speak to me, they’d say, “Oh, that’s right. You live at THE PLACE.” Well, Uncle Howard had a sign posted in his bar that said, “There’s no place anywhere near this place, just like this place, so this must be THE PLACE.” Every time I read that sign, I’d laugh and think of the St. Allo-SI-us nuns.

Academically, I did well….well enough that they wanted me to skip a grade. Well, I was having none of that. First of all, I knew that I would be going back to my real school eventually, and I wanted to be in the same grade as my friends. Secondly, the stupid school was way behind. No wonder I seemed so smart. I’d already learned all the stuff they were teaching. My mom thought it was some kind of big honor to skip a grade, but I put my foot down about that.

But, aside from SCHOOL, it was a fun time. I remember at night when we’d sit in the dark, watching Lloyd Thaxton on TV. I can’t believe I actually recall the name of that guy. That’s where I remember seeing Roy Orbison with his sunglasses, singing “Oh, Pretty Woman”. I also remember Manfred Mann for some reason. The rest is a blank.

Then there was the MONEY. We made HUGE amounts of money (for kids). See, we had our little trio…..Paul on accordion, Karen on guitar, and me on drum. I don’t know how I got assigned the drum, cuz I could play accordion, too (all three of us took lessons together). So, I stood behind my drum with my brushes, and Karen and I sang our repertoire, which pretty much consisted of “Bye Bye Love”. We made the drunken patrons swoon with that song. We’d set up just outside the bar, where the customers would have to pass as they were leaving. They threw money at us like crazy. We had our black skirts with white fringe, the boots, the western shirts and the hats. Oh, we were a hit, but very jaded. We loved scooping up the money, sticking it in our piggy banks, and heading off to Woolworth’s the next day to buy all manner of shiny objects. (In addition to bars, we also played nursing homes, and we killed there…..probably not a good choice of words.)

Additionally, Karen and I decided that we’d write an illustrated book of music. The premise was, what artists would say when they got old. We spent hours on that. I think I pretty much did the majority of the work, now that I think back. I did all the drawings and the funny sayings. I’m sure she must have contributed something. This was all good practice for my current occupation as a fool. Uncle Howard’s tippling friends all wanted to buy our book – again, money! It wasn’t exactly easy reproducing it by hand, however. I don’t think we came out ahead on that venture.

My dad would come down on some weekends, and he enjoyed himself immensely in Uncle Howard’s bar. But I also remember watching my mom and dad out on the dance floor once in a great while, which was an extremely foreign site to me.

Eventually, the good times ended and we all went back to our real lives. Uncle Howard owned a lot of bars throughout his life, but none of them ever compared to Triple Service.

I thought maybe it’d be a good idea to put my memories down on paper, before they were gone, like Triple Service is gone now. Like Mom, Dad, Uncle Howard, and Aunt Barbara are gone now. I haven’t seen Paul and Karen in years. I wonder if they ever think about Triple Service.


(originally posted 09-23-06)

Click On Picture To Listen

So, I flipped my calendar over before I left work today, and noticed that Monday is September 25th. That’s Alice’s birthday.

Alice would have been 51 on Monday. Wow, a lot of time has passed!

I met Alice when I was 11. Our family had just moved from the farm in Minnesota, since my mom and dad had decided to get the hell out of farming and buy a business. At first I was excited to move, until I realized that I was leaving behind all my friends, and would be thrust into a new school situation, where I would be the “new kid”. Yikes! Bad age for that, too. You’re all self-conscious about yourself anyway at that age.

It was creepy that first day - and of course, it was in the middle of the school year, so all the friendship ties, if they weren’t already established years ago, were at least established by the time I got there in December. It was sixth grade, so we still had recess. So, I sort of tagged along behind some people who seemed semi-friendly, but it was really excruciating, especially for a shy girl like me. That kind of went on for a couple of weeks, and it didn’t get any better. I just sort of hung around on the perimeter of whatever group would let me stand there with them, while they gossiped about people I didn’t know.

As I became a bit more comfortable in my class, or at least at the point where I felt like people weren’t staring at me when I walked in, I noticed this girl who seemed to react to stupid things the teacher said with the same sense of amusement that I did. It was sort of like Jim and Pam on “The Office”, where no one else got it, except for the two of us. And I guess she noticed that, too. So, we struck up a conversation, and she was really nice and really funny. We both shared that observational type of humor that was a little bit off-kilter, so we’d always be cracking each other up, pointing out other people’s actions or things that they said and sharing an inside joke about it.

I soon found out that she was really out of the mainstream as far as music was concerned (for our peer group, that is.) She told me in no uncertain terms that she liked country music, and in fact, she was in a band with her brother and her uncle. Well, that was cool! I liked music and singing and stuff like that. I was still listening to The Rascals and The Monkees, etc., etc., but there had been a time in my life when I’d listened to the music that my mom and dad liked - which was country. So at least I didn’t come across as a complete moron when she talked about music (and one did NOT want to be a moron at age 11.) So, I quickly switched my loyalties to country music - ha ha. You know the song, “I Was Country When Country Wasn’t Cool”? Well, it was NOT cool to like country music at that time! But I had a friend!! So there!

So, things quickly became better for me. We entered junior high together, and continued on our merry way. I would go over to her house a lot, and I liked watching band practice. I liked her family, too. They always had lots of people over and there would always be lots of music and fun. So, I decided I would save up my money and buy a guitar. I cajoled her into teaching me some chords, and she’d come over every Saturday for awhile and show me stuff, and I practiced a lot, ’til I got to where I could play along with the songs on my…….oh, I guess they were “albums” then.

And yea, this part from “To Talk To You Today” is totally autobiographical:

1967 you taught me how to play

All those Merle Haggard songs

Man, he had a way

And the intro to “Detroit City”

I remember it today

(etc., etc.)

Well, we went through junior high together, then high school, and we had a blast. We laughed a lot in the school library, and got a few dirty looks. We were supposed to be studying or researching or something, but it was all too boring, so we just had fun.

On Friday nights in our little town, all anyone did was “drag Main”. There really wasn’t anything else for a teenager to do, so we’d put a dollar’s worth of gas in her car and drive up and down Main Street, me smoking, her tolerating it. And we’d meet up with people in the Big Boy parking lot, sometimes jump in their cars and drive up and down Main again, get out, get back in Alice’s car and repeat the same procedure over and over.

We didn’t even care, because we were out of our parents’ houses and off on our own. We met some boys, had some dates (usually double dates). Usually, either I’d like the one I was with and she hated her date, or vice versa, so it never really worked out too well - ha ha.

We sang along with “Drift Away” by Dobie Gray, and I’d laugh whenever an extra person joined us in the car, because I’d always end up in the middle, and whenever “Stuck In The Middle With You” came on the radio, I’d get to sing, “Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right; here I am, stuck in the middle with you.”

When we graduated, we thought, oh, time for an adventure. So, the best place we could come up with was Winnipeg, Canada. What a lousy trip that turned out to be - ha ha. We had very little money, so we drove up there, found a real fleabag motel, got some Molson Beer, and basically just drank and watched TV, because we were in a seedy part of town and were too afraid to go out after dark. We found this diner nearby that was frequented by bums and other undesirables, and we ate really, really fast. It was so pathetic, I’m laughing about it now. So, that was our big GRADUATION TRIP. The part I remember the best, though, was just driving down the highway and singing along with the radio and laughing, having a good time.

After that last summer, things started to change. We got jobs and I ended up getting engaged, so our lives went in different directions. She continued singing with the band, so her weekends were full. Once I was married and had my first child, we really were on different life paths. So, we never really reconnected after that.

We’d go out to see her band once in awhile, and we’d talk a bit, but it wasn’t like the old times.

So, a big part of my life ended really, and a whole new chapter began.

Flash forward to a phone call I got in December of 2002. Alice had suddenly taken ill and had died.

Hmmm……….tough even thinking about that now.

So, I just wanted to write something about her, but I didn’t want to make it maudlin. I wanted to remember all the fun we had.

My husband says if it wasn’t for Alice, I wouldn’t even be doing music now. I’m not sure. But “To Talk To You Today” was the first song I ever wrote, in December of 2002. It’s still my sentimental favorite. We recorded that song on September 25, by the way.

She was a really cool person, and she really got a kick out of life. It’s nice to say I had a friend like her.


Back To Music

(originally posted 09-02-06)

(Click Picture To Listen)

Boy, long weekends are great. I’m such a prolific house cleaner that I have lots of spare time. (Okay, I didn’t clean very much. I like to pace myself.)

I’m actually writing two posts in two days. That is a weird, wild thing for me.

Been sitting here (a lot!) thinking that I’ve really been distracted by a lot of other stuff lately, and I haven’t worked on any Red River music. It’s been a long time since I’ve written a song! But unlike some people who want to write 50 songs in 50 days, or some such nonsense (yes, that is a real person), I need to actually have something to say before I write.

The good news is, we are working on a Red River song this weekend! I wrote this one (after checking my handy Excel file) on May 26th of this year (another long holiday weekend!) It’s called “Lovely Day”, and it’s sort of a Paul McCartney-ish happy, happy song, with a bit of English flavour (and per David, it will have a “paisley” feel to it - whatever that means). I’m supposed to play a track of my own on it, but I’m not really a player, so I don’t know if that will come to pass, or if Mr. Producer will just get impatient and do the track himself (I hope!!)

Our next album will be quite different from Sparrow. We are moving a little further from the alt country thing to more pop. That said, I really, really want us to do one of David’s old songs (from the early ’70’s) that is a perfect alt country song. I don’t know if he wants to revisit it, though. He can be kind of weird about stuff like that. I also have a blues song in the wings that I really like. I’m probably the only one who likes it, but I don’t care. After that, I’m empty. I have to write more songs.

I also set up a page on Soundclick to feature David’s older songs. I like setting up stuff. I spiffed up our website, too. It looks a lot better, I think.

Gotta run now. It’s almost time for me to record my second vocal for Lovely Day. My friends who actually read my blog (JK!!) will be the first to hear the finished product!

We Really Need To Sell These Babies

(originally posted 09-02-06)

My friend at work tells me I’m too easygoing, and I never say “no” to anyone (which is true, so don’t ask me for anything!)

The other thing is, I don’t like asking for help. I will waste countless hours trying to figure something out, because I don’t want to “bother” anyone.

So, I’m surprised at myself because I am now shamelessly asking friends and family to help us sell our CD’s (ha ha). Just emailed my sister and two friends and asked them to please post a CD review on CD Baby. Barb, who is the friend who stated the obvious about my work habits (see above) responded to my email request and said, “Well, since I don’t really listen to country music, how does this sound….?” Hey, great!! I don’t care. Just say, “It’s good.” My sister is going to list our website in her office newsletter (all right, Lissa!) Julie’s on vacation, but I know she’ll come through when she reads my email. I’ll probably have to pay her, though….just kidding (?)

Yesterday, Michele in the department was soliciting ideas for a United Way basket. We have a stupid auction thing every year for the United Way - departments are supposed to donate stuff - or individuals can donate, too. The reason I call it “stupid” is because I never win anything. I’ve spent way too much money on tickets, and I’ve never won, so the hell with the United Way - ha ha ha. I even put a line in a song I wrote last year: “I searched inside my pocket for some change; found an IOU written out to United Way.” That was right after I didn’t win anything AGAIN. But I digress.

So, back to Michele (Michele L, as opposed to me, Michelle A, or the other Michele in our department, Michele T - we’ve got way too many Michelles, in my opinion. Just lost Michelle B. Don’t know what happened to her - she’s just lost.

Michele (L) sent an email asking for suggestions for our (stupid) United Way basket. The ideas she had all revolved around food (naturally). Food is very important in our workplace. I emailed back and said, “What about an entertainment basket - we could put in CD’s, games, that kind of stuff”….heh heh heh……So, they LOVED the idea (because I was the only one who responded, apparently). She told me I needed to come up with a catchy name, so I said, what about “Let Us Entertain You” - or does that sound too much like a stripper song? She and her cubicle buddies thought it did sound too much like a stripper song, so they changed it to “That’s Entertainment”.

So anyway, I have my donation for the basket - didn’t cost me a dime!! Plus, I get free publicity. I rock!

Buy “Sparrow”