#13 - Owl Hoots the Plum Blossom Moon

This is a little ditty I wrote in response to a sweet poem title prompt from Ian Taylor, "Owl Hoots the Plum Blossom Moon."  It seems very timely for spring and whatnot, though it still feels like work in progress…

#12 - When I Get Angry, I Get Country

I only had the chance to play this song twice on stage, before the quarantine hit.  It's a song I'd been threatening to write since I published For the Ride, on For Real (2018).  It's become apparent to me, at…

#11 - Word Patterns in Songwriting

Just as music can be seen as a series of patterns, so can songwriting.  In fact, pre-conceived patterns are a great way to shape lyrics, and give you a template to ease the challenge of creative writing. They also lend…

#10 - The Blue-Eyed Son

I'd meant to post this last night, and was thrown by John Prine's passing.  But, I think Mr. Prine would agree that unlike cars, roads and buildings, the world can't have too many songs.  So, in this time of magnified…

#9 - Two Trees 

A poem written for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary, almost 4 years ago (around the time of Frankie and the No-Go Road -- you see connections in the art.) Scroll down for the reading. 

Two Trees

Two trees, joined at…

#8 - Show vs. Tell in Songwriting + Poems

For songwriting, poetry, and really for all creative writers, it's a good habit to ask yourself if you could "show" rather than "tell."  

Here are some examples:

Basic: It was hot outside. 
Descriptive: My shoe soles melted into the blacktop.

#7 - Free Stuff

New song, just "finished" today. Ya never know, though. 

Free Stuff 

Stack of bibles, kids’ snow boots, 
Upright piano, bent pool cue 
Pick-up tires, adult diapers, 
A GE electric dryer, 
Pink chair and a plaid sofa, 
A basket shaped like…

#6 - How I Made the Frankie Masks 

We've all seen a lot of news about N95 masks lately, how about we talk about a fun kind of mask?  

When I finished recording Frankie and the No-Go Road, I knew I wanted masks to be involved in my…

#5 - 5 Minute Song Start

I don’t read music, and I know hardly anything about music theory.  But, I understand music, and I bet you do, too. 

So, if you’re wondering if or how you can write a song, I invite you first to just…

#4 - Creature Comfort 

Here's an example of writing a poem from a title prompt. I hope it inspires you to think of one. 

A sweet friend once suggested to me the title "Creature Comfort."  I knew that she had some experience with horses…

#3 - Songwriting Background

How to commence a series of articles on songwriting and performing? I think I’ll start it out with a little background. 

     I grew up in the mountains of eastern Shasta County CA — a remote community where neighbors were spread…

#2 - Quarantine

Here's a new song, Quarantine. I think it's not quite done, so maybe after I do more work on it, like sort out my singing, arranging, and a possible bridge, I'll repost an improved version.  For now, here you go…