I’ve always been challenged by the idea of writing lyrics that will tell a story, get a laugh or a tear or just connect with someone somewhere. While playing in bands I would get maybe one or two songs a set depending on the person fronting the band. I always did originals. I often joke that I don’t want to ruin someones else song with my voice. I used humor in songs as a way to connect and get the audience to listen. When I began playing solo I found that I could connect with serious lyrics. Communicating feelings with a few chords and words in 3 minutes is a task that I love.
My first rule of writing is to include “THINGS” that help paint a picture. Feelings and emotions come second. The third rule is EDIT, EDIT, EDIT. I never accept the first effort. I can always do better or make it more relatable. Finally I try to keep the songs simple. Clear images and solid hooks. Most people’s attention span is very short so try to hook them in the first verse. Long songs…4 minutes or more…risk losing the audience. I’ve seen it too many times. Keep the songs short and to the point. It’s a craft that I’m proud of and work hard at.
I always maintained a full time day job and career simply because making a living as a musician is a very long shot and no way to raise a family or keep a marriage together. While I cherish writing and performing I am a terrible self-promoter. Shy, insecure perhaps or just humble enough to realize that there are millions of talented singer songwriters that far better than me. I lack a competitive spirit but love the craft.
Writing songs as far back as I can remember. influences include John Prine, Harry Chapin, Guy Clark, Jimmy Buffet, Jerry Jeff Walker and Jimmy Webb. Played bass and guitar in rock and country bands. Worked with “The Last Rodeo Band”,” Blackhawk”, The Coyote Ugly Band” and “NightFolk. Performed several “Songwriter” shows playing solo.