We've got a few new subscribers to our e-newsletter, as we are entering the final stages of finishing the "Livin' Like Kings" album, which is now available for digital pre-order on bandcamp.
"Can't Go Back" : first "solo" release, and was recorded over the course of several years in several studios. I put the word "solo" in quotes because it took a lot of people to help bring it to life. It is a true labor of love, recorded in the "old school" tradition - live in the studio, with minimal overdubs.
Each link will lead you to bandcamp, and deliver it to you with all its imperfections - because a performance is a performance - none is ever the same.
"Can't Go Back," the title cut, is, like most of my tunes, autobiographical.
I was inspired to write it after getting a speeding ticket in Fairfax.
Yes, I was driving too fast because I was arguing with my then (now ex) husband. Lesson learned there - don't argue when you drive, and when you are driving through Fairfax, watch your speedometer. Basically, I was in the midst of a painful breakup of a relationship that I tried really hard to keep together - until I woke up and asked myself "why?"
The advice in the chorus is a statement that we are all moving forward, and even if you do go back to a place you've been before, it is a different time, or a different state of mind, so you really aren't going "back."
Unless you've been around in this world, you won't become a straight shooter. Anyway, I was really thrilled to have the Garaj Mahal rhythm section on this tune - the super funky groove they laid down gives the song a light playfulness to a subject that was pretty heavy for me.
Eric Levy's solo is top notch.
The cut was recorded in Sausalito, at the former location of The Plant Studios.
It almost broke my heart to have to leave that place, until I realized that when I left, I took the reason I was there with me (Arne.)
I chose the second cut, "Birthday Suit," because it is FUN.
Some friends hosted a birthday party for me and our friend Freddy Clarke was there. Freddy is a really funny guy and he writes these songs that usually have sexy, humorous themes.
Here's how I became aware of this tune - as the party was winding down, he picked up his acoustic guitar and said "I have a song for you - and he started singing "I wanna see you in your birthday suit..." Well, we all started cracking up and I told Arne "Let's record that song for the album."
On this tune, I'm backed by Livin' Like Kings, which is a band Arne and I put together after we were forced out of the studio and he expressed to he that he wanted to get back to playing bass.
I love the feel of this tune - very New Orleans vibe trombone work by Mike Rinta and a soulful saxophone solo by Doug Rowan.
"Georgie" - was written while George Bush was president. We recorded it in 2005, but it didn't get released until 2010. Kind of frustrating, because, in this music business, timing is important, but on the bright side, the experience helped me grow as a songwriter.
When I sing it live, I sometimes replace "Georgie" with "Mister" because things have gotten worse and the people who are running our government still appear to be spending money on wars and killing people for oil.
The Garaj Mahal guys backed me up on this one too.
"Sometime" was written at a time when I felt as if I had been ripped from my life as I had known it and was suddenly placed in someone else's life - and the only person who seemed to want me in that life was my man.
During the time I wrote it, I felt very much out of place and alone.
It's basically a song that represents a mood and doesn't tell a story - so I hope that if you are feeling depressed, you can put that song on, cry a little bit and then be able to get on with your day.
"Can't Get Next to You" was recorded while Sonia Dada was in Sausalito recording their album "Test Pattern" - these are the "scratch" vocals.
Arne wanted to keep them because we cut it in one take and he liked the interplay between me and Michael and Sam and Paris. It's almost as if I'm listening to someone else - because I'm a different person now.
I'm so in awe of that band and those singers and was still in "I'm not worthy" mode when we cut these tunes. But, you "can't go back," right?
I'm very grateful to have had that experience and hope to sing with them again someday. Or at least hang out - because they are great people.
"Crosscut Saw" also has an element of humor - I have fun singing that song because I think its sassy for a woman to sing it. We cut that in one or two takes, live in the studio as well. Hambone actually toured with Albert King, and Phil Miller plays the blues in Chicago. They just nailed it.
"You Got Me Hummin'" and "When Something is Wrong with My Baby" - are two Sam and Dave tunes that I have always loved - Dan P. from Sonia Dada came in and added the solo.
"My Brother's Smile" is the song that took over 30 years to finish - I started it in 1979 and every time I sat down to write it, I would just break down crying - it was really depressing. I was fortunate to have the help of a very profound and prolific songwriter named Fred Thomas to help me finish the song. That never would have happened if I hadn't been working at the studio, when Arne's cousin Marty Marmor introduced us to Fred. Fred is a soulful individual, and I adore him, but it's a bit tricky hanging out with him because he keeps trying to give me a Bible. I will be forever grateful to him for helping me to finish that song.
OK - Thanks for your kind support!
Buy Can't Go Back on iTunes : CLICK HERE