Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Session Complete

The first studio session for my new album has been completed! Whoo, a huge accomplishment as I have been working on these tunes for what seems like forever. Jeff Bass and Justin Campbell did a great job helping me out I wish I got more pictures in general. Good thing Julie Schatz and TJ Hansen of GingerAttack Productions were on board to get some video footage. We tracked 6 songs at 3 Elliot Studios with Josh Antonuccio working the knobs. Everything was recorded to tape and the drums especially just sounded amazing. Justin broke two...count 'em TWO sticks during recording. Not sure how he does it, but that man hits those drums I get it. He sounded awesome and I'm really excited about this stuff coming together. Stay tuned for more! 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Lots Goin' On....and of course I have been horrible about posting

So isn't this how blogs work? You're too busy doing stuff to actually write about it..then when ya have time it's like, oh yeah by the way this happened. Life is what happens when you're busy making plans, eh?

Well, the songs are certainly coming along and have come along way since the last time I posted. I have tons of recorded versions from rehearsals with Jeff Bass (on bass) and Justin Campbell (on drums) but SoundCloud is being a bitch so I'm not sure where to post them, any ideas? Apparently you are only allowed a certain amount of minutes before you have to start paying monthly, ugh..story of every awesome internet thing that figures out they should probably start making money on their thing that used to be free..oh well, can't blame 'em I guess. November 25th we hop into the studio in Athens with Josh Antonuccio and I'm pumped! Josh came by the rehearsal space we've been practicing in and listened to the tunes, it was fun playing them for him. Besides the barrage of people that come in and out of the studio from time to time we have not played these songs for really any audience so it's nice to have some feedback. Set list for upcoming session includdes:

Ones We Hate (title to be changed ASAP as it sounds like a death metal opus or something)
Just Maybe
People In The Streets
New Home
Don't Waste Your Time

I'd like to talk a little bit about each song too so here goes.
Crazy - This is a song about working with people that just drive you crazy. Bad communicators and just people that don't do business right...they set themselves up for failure. I never really write a lot of hateful tunes (ones we hate, is not a hateful song by the way, ha) but I guess I needed somewhere for this frustration so it's wrapped up in this funky groove. I think it's a little bit interesting structure wise, I hope people like it it's been sounding great in rehearsal though at first I was not sure if I wanted to record it at all.
Ones We Hate (working title) - I forget if it was Justin or Jeff that told me this song reminds them of "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" that Lenny Kravitz song, hey I'm ok with that. This is a super simple groove that I gotta give Jimmy Castoe some credit for helping out with. He played this really easy sixteenth note groove to the song and it really worked out well. I was imagining it a little bit different but I stuck with that beat cuz I thought it really complimented the music well.
Just Maybe - The ever popular break up song..this one was when I was listening to Adele like non-stop and was trying to write a melody like her. The groove was inspired by oddly enough Dr. Dre 2001 (check out the track Still D.R.E.) at least that's how I imagine it.
People In The Streets - I think a lot about people and what leads them to a certain point. I try to understand them rather than say oh they're just a waste of space or something. When people are asking me for change, I wonder if they really really need it, and why do they need it? I also was inspired by watching Intervention and just the horrible situations people get into and why they get into them. Bad family situations, abuse, boredom, and then what they do to each other and how those things can tear families apart. I still can hear a rap in this song, it's already pretty rhythmic they way I sing it but I'd love to maybe do a remix with an actual m.c. on it, we'll see...
New Home - Another Adele inspired break up song..this song is slowed down even slower than I originally planned and I think it sounds great. I'm going for an old school almost Motown soul type feel. The end really brings it home and will have multiple vocals over top of each other laid over a soulful 6/8 groove.
Don't Waste Your Time - Ok, ok, so I have been obsessed with Raphael Saadiq for like..ever now. This is my attempt at capturing some of that magic when I hear his tracks. I like the simple bridge that just says "Sometimes runnin' away aint no thing" and then I use the guitar to harmonize with the vocals, The chorus is going to be three part harmony stabs of "Don't waste your time", a simple song with a nice groove I'm really excited about maybe adding some horns to this one or even strings?

That's it for now I'll try to post some audio soon.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Two New Tracks

Here are two more tracks from practice sessions for my upcoming album release. We will have a pre-production session with Josh Antonuccio from Three Elliot Studios here in the next couple weeks. It looks like the recording (originally scheduled Otober 7th) is going to have to be pushed back which will give us some more time to flesh these songs out and get some well deserved pre-production. All good things, songs are coming along. Please let me know what you think!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lots of News!

So I apologize for not posting for a bit. A lot has happened since last post. For one I have decided to record in Athens, Ohio with Josh Antonuccio out of Three Elliot Studios. Funny quick story about this place. I was at a Halloween party in Athens and if you have ever been to Athens during Halloween you know what that entails. Drunk, drunk, drunk...pretty much sums it up. Our good friends from Columbus MoJoFlo were playing at this party and it was raging. The show was great, G. Finesse also played in the backyard of this house in front of what I thought was an unassuming garage. The house inside was just trashed of course and when I went to use the bathroom I thought it was a bit odd. The bathroom was an outside door like attached to the back of the house. The walls were covered in record albums and I just thought, "cool". So flash forward to like two years later I am recording with Joey Hebdo down in Athens. I take a break to go to the bathroom from Three Elliot Studios and I'm in the bathroom...attached to the outside of this house..and the studio looks like a garage outside of this campus house...wait a minute! Have you ever been standing (well, guys) taking a pee thinking...I feel like I've been in this bathroom before but when!? Ok so kind of a long story, anyway after recording with Joey I talked to him about his process and ideas on this recording. I had been working on these tunes for so long, well this blog lays out some of the time but even before the blog and I was like I'm gonna just throw caution to the wind and work with this guy. I only met Josh briefly recording with Joey but I liked the idea of getting away for the album to a place outside of CBus and outside of my comfort zone. I also had heard great things about Josh who has worked with some amazing artists.

So October 7th is the recording date to lay basic tracks for my (as of now EP). Originally I was thinking I would lay the songs down and then bring in other artists to fill the stuff in but Josh recommended getting players, at least a core rhythm section, to lay the foundation. I have been playing with a bunch of people with this music and I think I finally found the right guys. Justin Campbell on drums and Jeff Bass (like the fish...unfortunately for him..though sometimes he goes with the obvious pronunciation) on bass.

I'll post some tracks we've recorded (just basic) on the Mac and see what you think. I'm having a blast trying out some different grooves on these songs I've been demoing out myself for so long. It's nice to give them to people and give them a basic guideline and see where they go with it. If I don't like what they do I can always refer them to the demos. Ok, audio posted soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Side Note

This is a side note to my new album as a solo project. Andy and I have been playing together as a duo for about 8 years or so (somewhere along that line) and this is our first full length as the duo so please check it out! Thanks for your support!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

New Home with Band

Here is a pretty rough version with the live sounds great though even this rough probably the 4th time we played through it. It may be a little fast but I don't know, I think it's still trying to find it's groove, maybe it's not up to me. How do ya like it? I welcome your comments!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Watch Your Money

Everyone's got money problems right? Well, sometimes when you feel like you are doing well something comes up and then you got money problems again..that's kinda what happened to me recently, though luckily I had some saved so I'm good. Anyway, I wanted to do a call and response type of chorus with back up singers where the main vocal kind of improvises over their refrain so in this case it's "Watch your money". Each verse will have kind of a different story that all comes back to that common phrase. These verses will be specific times where I should have been more careful. Going for an old school feel for this clearly, I'm liking it so far. Any suggestions?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

New Cover

Here is me acting like a fool and if you will see thats me playing an F chord but not an F chord like I used to play. This is due to my lessons I do every Monday with Kraig Phillips. He is a great teacher and has really helped me along with my guitar skills. Playing F this way allows me to not jump so much around the guitar while learning this new cover song "Mama Hold My Hand" by Aloe Blacc. I stumbled across a youtube video of him playing with a string quintet, it's pretty bad ass. Check out the other tunes to..oh and his bad ass (crushed velvet?) suit!

Also if you want to learn the tune yourself, these chords seem to be accurate. I am learning it on guitar but the original is on piano, great melody great chords, simple yet just awesome. (when I pasted it in from Google Docs it did this weird highlight thing and now I can't get rid of it so excuse that)

Mama Hold My Hand
Aloe Blacc

MamaF   Am   Bb   Bb Am Gm (3x)
                   cross this road...
F                 Am
When I was just a little boy
Bb                          Bb Am Gm
Well I would go out to play
And I would wander so far from home
That I would lose
my way
And I'd call on
my momma to help me
and she'd come right away
To help me get back home where I wanna be
And here's what I say

F             C
hold my hand
Bb                  Bb    Am   Gm        F
I don't think I can cross this road by myself
hold my hand
I don't think I can cross this road by myself
F                Am
And when I was a young man
Bb              Bb    Am   Gm
I would go astray
Didn't want nobody to
hold my hand
Wanted to make
my own wayDm                 Am       
my momma would come out to help meDm                 Am
But I pushed her away
Dm                     Am
Cause I just wanted to be on
my ownBb                Bb    C
And here's what I say

F              C
Momma leave
my hand
Bb                   Bb    Am   Gm        F
I've been waiting to cross this road by myself
Am         Bb          Bb     Am    Gm
Cross this road by myself
F                   Am
Well now that I'm a grown man
Bb           Bb    Am    Gm
And I've moved away
I got a house a 9  to 5
my wife we got a kid on the way
Momma told me that life's gonna get rough
Take it day by day
But every once in awhile I get scared
And I wish I could say

F             C
hold my hand
Bb                  Bb    Am   Gm        F
I don't think I can cross this road by myself
hold my hand
I don't think I can cross this road by myself
F               Am                     Bb
my momma is near the end of her years
Bb   Am   Gm

And her hair is grey
Sometimes I call her
To ask her if she would like to spend the day
Dm               Am
Momma used to be strong but she aint now
Dm                      Am
And she can't make her way
Dm                           Am
That's why I'm always around when she needs help
Bb                 Bb   C
And here's what I say

F             C
hold my hand
Bb                    Bb    Am   Gm          F
I don't think you can cross this road by yourself
hold my hand
I don't think you can cross this road by yourself
F Am Bb Bb Am Gm F (2x)

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

First Practice Sesssion with Band

So I finally got some REAL people to get together to work on these songs I have been slaving over forever. This song is one I really wanted to go over because I really thought the feel was there from my demos and I wanted to see what flavor they brought, especially since I had not recorded a bass part. Chad Flanagan is playing drums, I met him at the church I play like every other Sunday, really nice guy and he's got a solid pocket. Really excited to get these tracks going! What do you think with the live band?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

This Illusion

Just a short snippet of a chorus I am working on for this new song. The song was inspired when taking a walk in Gahanna where I am currently living. I was actually at a mall today and seeing all these crazy stores like Louis Vitton coming into the mall is just insane to me. I feel like it's this illusion of wealth that people feel they have to keep up and it's so false. Who can afford a Louis Vitton purse? Why would anyone spend that much money on a purse in the first person but what soccer mom can afford that from the suburbs? I also feel like these corporations flaunt this wealth and dangle the prize so everyone wants a piece of it. Ohh look how fancy you can be, look how important you are with that necklace..etc. I've been thinking a lot about the suburbs as I am living here now and how interesting and different the culture is. I hate to hate on the suburbs as I am from here. I just want something different with my life. I don't mind the quiet and the feeling of safety but it's just so vanilla. Annnyway..I digress.

This is the motown/pop feel and there will be at least one other version that has a more modern feel to it. I've been listening to a lot of Mayer Hawthorne so this song is definitely in the same vein. I love his stuff and I have been working on getting more 3 and 4 part vocal harmony stuff going like this one I think it turned out nice. I will expand on this idea. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Three More Songs

This is a song I've been working on a while and I think the arrangement is there at least as far as order is concerned and such. I plan to record a lot of these songs incorporating background singers (hopefully not just me overdubbing) so you'll hear those in here.

Here is an old song actually I wrote this a long time ago and I still play it live but it's needed something for a while. I am working on a bridge and an outro that flips the heavily minor chorded song to major for a bit. It is mainly made up vocals so far but it will be an uplifting type bridge probably as the song leans toward the dark side in many ways. One time a man came up to me with his story about vietnam or that he was trying to get bus fair for his brother that was in the hospital or something..I can't remember. Anyway, he asked for change and I pulled out what I thought was a dollar and ended up being a 5, I couldn't put it back so I gave it to him. He then offered me the jacket off of his back to pay me back. I tend to write about topics that I am intrigued by and the issue of homelessness is one of them. Are they hustling you? Are they really trying to find bus fair to help their sick brother? If we really did all have more trust would we all be better off?

Excuse the vocals on this some of them are a bit "sick" sounding as I have had some throat trouble recently. I just wanted to capture the ideas that were flowing as they came. Let me know what ya think of these tunes!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

People Got Nothing

I hear people say "you are just playing the sterotype", or "just because your _____ doesn't mean I have to treat you any differently" or "it's still lazy, it's still incompetent, even though you are this color or that color". Yes, we should never judge someone by the color of their skin, but that's the problem. Skin color has nothing to do with's just outer appearance. Culture, circumstance, patterns of behavior, are all things to consider when dealing with people. If someone is mentally handicapped you would not talk to them like you would someone that is a Harvard scholar, you treat them the same yes but the fact is they come from different backgrounds, they have lived very very different lives. It's ok to have sympathy for someone that is mentally handicapped and try to understand where they are coming from though it may be very difficult to do so. It does not mean you are feeling sorry for them but it just takes that much more to be able to understand them as they are from a completely different background than you are. I feel this goes the same way for someone from a different country or different area of town even. Everyone is different but deep down we are all exactly the same. We all want the same thing. This song is partly different stories that people I know have told me about their lives. The things that they went through, the places they come from, are very different from where I come from. I come from a middle class family and have lived in the suburbs up until I was 18-19. I knew only my surroundings and never saw really any crime at all. I went to school, I played violin, I ate dinner with my family, I played sports, I had good friends, I had a pretty good life. My upbringing has led me to be able to do really great things. My college was paid for by my parents, I have a bachelors degree, no debt, and play music for a living. I work very very hard to do so but I have always had really great support for the most part from my parents. I try to look at other people that may not have been so fortunate. Check out the song, let me know what ya think it's a work in progress.

People In The Streets

This song came to me when thinking about passing homeless people in the street, ignoring them, basically trying to feel some kind of empathy or at least sympathy for them. People tend to ignore these people or just pass them off like they don't matter and even treat them as just or something to just totally leave out of mind. I am guilty of this and I often think about what their story is, what they did to get where they are. It might be drugs, it might be a mental illness, it could be abuse, and it could just be poor choices or even laziness. I tend to think most people that are homeless are probably not just lazy they have had a hard hand given to them. I am a total proponent of getting up and seizing the day, getting shit done, but sometimes if you have only been given horrible horrible circumstances and that lead you to do drugs, and then you are broke, and then on the's not as easy as "get a job". If you have never been to that rock bottom or seen that side of life it's very hard to understand and I try really hard to understand everyone because we are all people in the end. Anyway, off my soap that's kinda the idea of this song. Also watching intervention and what not kinda gave me some ideas on this.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sinking Teeth new version!

Added a bridge and some crazy goofy vocals at the end which will be horns eventually, it's supposed to be a New Orleans sound I forget what it's called with all the horns playing at the same time. Hoodoo Soul Band at Rumba every Sunday does a great song with this in it and they march around the venue, good times. This song is really shaping up, getting it done..feels good today!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Side Note

Sorry I've been a little absent. I've been working on this with my team of awesome people, Please check it out and stay tuned for more posts!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Not Worth Fighting Anymore

Not Worth Fighting Anymore by efilsitra
 This is a song that the chorus has been floating around in my head for a while. Today I sat down at the keyboard and the chords and verse and lyrics just flowed out naturally, I love when that happens. The words really just laid right out, they may not be perfect yet but they feel good that's a start. Here are the words so far and the audio does not reflect all the words yet it's just really to get the feel. Here are essentially my working notes:

The very first time I saw you I was intriqued
F                                 Am   Dm
Following you around like some kind of creep
F                                 Am   Dm
You looked like someone I knew I had to meet
F A Bb
As the sun went down we talked and laughed and bathed our feet
F                                 Am   Dm

The fact that we met again I felt it must be fate
Darkness covered all of the park and I knew I was too late
With all these tangled wires insanity can   b break
But this time I knew it was the screen that saved

lead in with C ?
When it isn't worth fighting anymore
When it isn't worth the time that it was before
When it takes everything in you not to bleed
Gm         C
That's when you know
That it's time to go
              C(7)            F

The years went by and I dove much further in
I became a master of disguise a pro at disconnection
Every time I'd cry I'd let that water roll down the drain
I knew there was something better but I could not break free

But you didn't come up to bed that fateful night
You had no fight left in you
I knew right then then it was over I had to make things right
I care too much I was done with what you put me through (something like that)