Decisions decisions! 

So many things go into making an album. From the purely conceptual to the little details, it can be a daunting task. Sometimes I feel like I’m standing in the middle of field, ready willing and able to run with the ball, and I’m left standing there looking around wondering which direction I’m supposed to go. It seems so easy, and for some it is. Having a clearly defined direction, with well-defined and practiced tunes makes it easy because the bulk of the creative decisions have been made. And for most of my album, that was the case. But there are a few tunes with which I find myself struggling with picking a direction and it leaves me feeling a little overwhelmed.
To be, or not to be, that is the question. Traditional or modern, simple or complex, blues or funk, funny or sweet, there are so many avenues one can take in creative ventures like this that the hardest part is always settling on just one idea instead of trying to incorporate them all. We all want to be a little bit of everything. A “Jack of all trades”, but the reality is that if you don’t pick a side and go with it you’ll have nobody on your team. You can’t be everything to everyone, any more than you can write a song that everyone will love. Certainly, not everyone will see what you want them to see, or hear what you want them to hear, so at the end of the day you can only strive to make yourself happy. And what the heck does that mean anyway? I’m happy if people like it! That said, I’m not a slave to other people’s opinions, I’m just… Sensitive?
Look, I’ve got some funky tunes on this record, with loads of groove thanks to a killer bunch of musicians. Do I have enough blues? Probably not for some people (sorry dad!), but R&B is just a stone’s throw away. What I’m really excited for is performing this record. It’s going to take a BIG band. I’ll be introducing an organ player in the mix, lead guitar, trombone, some back up singers and maybe even a percussionist! The CD release will be one heck of a show, I promise. ☺I’m hoping you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you hear, so keep in touch.
Check in, and see what’s in store here over the next two months as we wrap it up.

4 Comments

  • Bacon and Craiggers

    Bacon and Craiggers

    Well Jeffrey, for my 2 cents I'd go with the following: - Be - Being you is what has gotten you this far and (more importantly) what makes you stand out from all the rest. In the end, this is the what it's all about. "To be a man, and to do my best.. To stand alone is my only quest" (Evil Kneivel, Why) - Modern - Traditional is so last week. With the rise of indie music, the resurgence of the funk scene, and the mixing and matching of genres and styles that musicians are upto these days, let's face it - what new music listener even knows/recognizes what "traditional" sounds like anyways? - Complex - Embracing the complexities of our experience is what great art is all about. Trying to fit your circle of experience into a square pigeonhole of societal expectations can leave us feeling frustrated and demoralized. Sure, sometimes keeping it simple with the music will allow you to tell a more profound story (a la Jack Johnson), and a simple story can leave room for a very complex musical arrangements (a lot of metal), but perhaps the most interesting art, and music in particular is when a complex story is woven together with complex music (From DMB to Jay Z). Everyone loves surprises, and when you embrace and convey life's complexities you'll often find at least a fraction of listeners thinking "Whoa! That's it! He get's it!" - Funk - The songs that you'll listen to over and over again (and look back fondly on) are the ones that make you feel happy. The ones that make you strut down the street, bop your head, dance around, smile and laugh. A good buddy o mine Tommy Green Junior seems to have this notion pretty dialed. Even his ballads or slower songs are somehow wickedly sexy and uplifting. - Funny - Hmm, I'm trying to picture two people chatting about some "sweet" lyrics they heard and go "awwwww, that was so awesome!" I can't. However, I have funny lyrics (i.e., rap/hip hop) in my head for years and repeat them and stuff to friends all the time... "This ain't yo grandaddy music, it's hip hop!" (Method Man). Anyway, in the same way that funk often trumps blues for me, funny often trumps sweet. Anyway, 1st post on your blog! WOO. Cheers bro, stoked for the record.. Remember, in among all of the considerations and decision making, let yourself do what got you into all this in the first place. Have FUN! It's surprising how much I've had to remind students, clients, and athletes through out my life how important it is to have fun! I sense that in your excitement to play the record live, so try and hold on to that mindset throughout the experience. You're blessed with a pretty cool job pal, make the most of it for those of us who live vicariously through you;) Cheers, C.
    Well Jeffrey, for my 2 cents I'd go with the following:

    - Be - Being you is what has gotten you this far and (more importantly) what makes you stand out from all the rest. In the end, this is the what it's all about. "To be a man, and to do my best.. To stand alone is my only quest" (Evil Kneivel, Why)
    - Modern - Traditional is so last week. With the rise of indie music, the resurgence of the funk scene, and the mixing and matching of genres and styles that musicians are upto these days, let's face it - what new music listener even knows/recognizes what "traditional" sounds like anyways?
    - Complex - Embracing the complexities of our experience is what great art is all about. Trying to fit your circle of experience into a square pigeonhole of societal expectations can leave us feeling frustrated and demoralized. Sure, sometimes keeping it simple with the music will allow you to tell a more profound story (a la Jack Johnson), and a simple story can leave room for a very complex musical arrangements (a lot of metal), but perhaps the most interesting art, and music in particular is when a complex story is woven together with complex music (From DMB to Jay Z). Everyone loves surprises, and when you embrace and convey life's complexities you'll often find at least a fraction of listeners thinking "Whoa! That's it! He get's it!"
    - Funk - The songs that you'll listen to over and over again (and look back fondly on) are the ones that make you feel happy. The ones that make you strut down the street, bop your head, dance around, smile and laugh. A good buddy o mine Tommy Green Junior seems to have this notion pretty dialed. Even his ballads or slower songs are somehow wickedly sexy and uplifting.
    - Funny - Hmm, I'm trying to picture two people chatting about some "sweet" lyrics they heard and go "awwwww, that was so awesome!" I can't. However, I have funny lyrics (i.e., rap/hip hop) in my head for years and repeat them and stuff to friends all the time... "This ain't yo grandaddy music, it's hip hop!" (Method Man). Anyway, in the same way that funk often trumps blues for me, funny often trumps sweet.

    Anyway, 1st post on your blog! WOO.

    Cheers bro, stoked for the record.. Remember, in among all of the considerations and decision making, let yourself do what got you into all this in the first place. Have FUN! It's surprising how much I've had to remind students, clients, and athletes through out my life how important it is to have fun! I sense that in your excitement to play the record live, so try and hold on to that mindset throughout the experience. You're blessed with a pretty cool job pal, make the most of it for those of us who live vicariously through youwink

    Cheers,
    C.
  • Brigitte St Jean

    Brigitte St Jean

    I love your song You'll all I know.
    I love your song You'll all I know.
  • Sensei

    Sensei

    Follow your own path, Grasshoppa.
    Follow your own path, Grasshoppa.
  • KB

    KB

    Saw you perform on Sunday night at Fat Tuesdays in Ottawa. Was up there with a large group for the NHL All Star Weekend. You and your band were fantastic and made the weekend for us! Saw you look up and play Piano Man off your iphone (just learn the song, will ya?), and really enjoyed the groove you laid down. Your drummer/producer said to look out for your upcoming album and I will. Good luck with it all!
    Saw you perform on Sunday night at Fat Tuesdays in Ottawa. Was up there with a large group for the NHL All Star Weekend. You and your band were fantastic and made the weekend for us! Saw you look up and play Piano Man off your iphone (just learn the song, will ya?), and really enjoyed the groove you laid down. Your drummer/producer said to look out for your upcoming album and I will. Good luck with it all!