Check this out! The Harmony People’s first full-out studio recording. It’s Anjalisa’s song, All the Way Home. We basically downloaded it from Anjalisa’s musical imagination. I’m especially grateful for the guitar part which is out of her head and into my fingers, and took me to another level of playing.
The basic track was laid down live ,with Joe Barry on bass, and we overdubbed the harmonies.
A swinging version of Golden Years by Bowie. Anjalisa and I are working it up and this is a harmony study — turned out cool in its own right.
Here’s the best recording yet of Real Girl.
In the late 90’s and early 00’s, I recorded a number of song demos for promotion to music publishers. Around ’02, I compiled the recordings into a CD, Flying Dream.
I’ve burned, sold and given away hundreds of these CDs over the years. In 2012, I decided it was time to give my poor CD burner a break and release Flying Dream for real. I asked my friend Cher Odum if she would do the cover art. Cher has known and loved my music for a long time (I gave her one of the first ones ten years ago). She was inspired, and spent two days painting a beautiful cover in her unique style.
Flying Dream is now available in physical form from CD Baby, and as a digital download from iTunes, Amazon, and the rest of the usual suspects. All the sites have previews so you can hear before you buy. The 13 songs are available separately too.
A few highlights:
- Flying Dream is four part a cappella harmony, with me singing all the parts.
- Driving is inspired by my many beautiful trips to Whidbey Island in Washington State and has a rare electric guitar solo.
- The Cove is my love song for the beaches of California’s Central Coast, and for one beach in particular, and for my dear friends who love it too.
Snooze Alarm, It’s Your Fault, I Could Fall In Love With You … each song has its own flavor and personality. I recorded all the instruments and parts, mostly in my little guest house in San Luis Obispo.
Songs are bookmarks that open our memories to particular pages, as effectively as the scent of a madeleine cookie. Many times, over the years, someone has told me of their experience with one of these songs, how they cried or were influenced, how it marked a page. Every once in a while someone asks me if I’ll burn another one because they wore the old one out. Mighty gratifying. I hope you get a chance to hear it too, and that it brings you joy.
This one was written at white heat. I took it as far as I possibly could without picking up the guitar. My ear knows more than my fingers do, so I taught myself some new tricks.
Here’s a different version of my song, The Cove. The original recording is on the Flying Dream CD. I sang this one in a lower key, to leave room for two harmonies above. I found some adventurous harmonies, especially ninth intervals. I’d like to make a movie of this one; it lives deep in the southeast, minor/dominant quadrant of the lattice.
Demos of Flying Dream and Breakup Songs for the shows with Jody Mulgrew. Why is it that demos so often come out cooler than more formal recordings?
A brand new song. I consciously used the lattice as a tool when writing it.
And here is another version, in just intonation. This is an interesting comparison. The acoustic guitar is an equal-tempered instrument. In the previous demo, I’m fudging both the voice and bass toward purer notes, but the basic framework is still ET. In this next one, there’s no guitar, so I can play and sing in strict untempered tuning.
Jody Mulgrew and me singing my song The Cove at Paul and Laurie Greco’s house concert, December 4, 2009.
The Cove (live)
At another house concert, he invited me up on stage for one of my favorite Jody songs.
Jack of Hearts (live)
Here is a beautiful song, Lord Krishna, by Jody Mulgrew, from his Rocket Ship CD. I overdubbed harmonies.
I’ve always loved this song. Apparently Nat King Cole heard it, wanted to cut it, hunted all over and finally found the writer, eden ahbez, living under the first “L” of the Hollywood sign. For some reason every time I’ve heard this story, the teller is careful to point out that he was living under the first L. I guess if you know which L you live under, you’re not actually homeless, right? Actually eden and his crowd were way more than L campers. They had a vegan restaurant in LA in the 40’s, and called themselves the Nature Boys. Way ahead of their time.
I’ve harmonized this version from scratch, using the lattice.
A cool version of Premature Nostalgia, with the definitive mouth trumpet solo so far. Anjalisa scats in tandem when we sing it together!
Love the new songs, Gary!