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The Sound of Reinvention

Perhaps like you, music has always been a part of my life.

A BIG part of my life.

An "I can't imagine going much more than an hour without turning on the stereo, or picking up a guitar, or humming to myself, or beating on a table" part of my life... much to the annoyance of those around me.

Early on, it was the MOST important part of my life. For over a decade, with various bands, I played in bars, clubs, and schools as often as we could; practiced in the basement during most other waking moments; and tried to turn my passion into something sustainable.

Then - fortunately, but somewhat sadly - I discovered that I had other skills that paid me much better than music could or would.

I'm really lucky. I love my day job. It takes me around the world. I work with some of the smartest people on the planet. In fact, it leverages many of the same skills I learned from playing in a band (a subject for another post!).

Still, music was never far away. I kept searching out new bands and new music. I've been able to take taiko lessons in Japan, janggu lessons in Korea, and gamelan lessons in Bali. I've jammed with djembe players in South Africa, marimba players in Zimbabwe, jegog players in Java, and guitarists in Japan.

Jamming on Marimba in Zimbabwe, 2000

Jamming on Marimba in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, 2000

And I kept writing. To the point that I've got over 400 songs. Some are captured on poorly recorded tapes from the 70's and 80's. Some are recorded on an iPhone. Some are multi-track demos recorded in Logic Pro. Some are just words and chords typed into my computer.

For all of these years, I've been writing and recording rough demos, with a secret plan to 'get a new band together'. But, over the last few months, I came to a realization that 'getting a band together' will never happen. That's not the way my life is set up. And I'm cool with that.

Fortunately, the world of music today isn't the world I started in. Accepting that I won't have a band drove a tremendous mental shift to become a solo artist. Which is what I've been for 20 years, but would never call myself... I don't really know why.

This site will be the home for my new solo career.

I'll be - slowly, no doubt - working through 40 years of music here. I'll be re-writing, re-arranging, re-recording and - finally - releasing a lifetime of songs and words.

I will be blogging the entire experience. Writing is writing. I have always written because there have always been words, thoughts, phrases and sounds fighting to get out of me. So, I'll use this blog to share the process of picking, arranging, and recording my music. I'll talk about the songwriting process that went into these songs. I'll share some (mostly embarrassing) early recordings and discuss the thoughts that went into changing some songs after all these years. And I'll be sharing stories (and photos) of great times with great people.

Like all my writing, it's mostly for me. That said, I'd love to hear your comments, questions, and experiences. I'm sure that there are a lot of people with a story like mine.

What 'reinventions' have you gone through in your musical life?

Let's hear about them!