I Make Music.
I make all kinds of music. And I do music-related stuff: I teach songwriting, and I create music for television and film. But the main thing I do, the thing I love the best? I write songs for myself.
I write songs for me, to sing and play. I use my songwriting for self-expression, which I guess seems obvious, but so many songwriters become a character, with personas or voices not like their own, write for other people, or write to have hits. I write to be heard, and to make sense of the world around me.
So far, I have four solo (post-Jitters) albums to my name. My latest, “The Impossible Dream,” is being slow-released in the spring of 2023. And I’m already working on my fifth (co-writes with an interesting list of other artists) right now.
I get asked about my influences, and the list is so long, I usually stick to the obvious: The Beatles, Elvis Costello…you know: clever fellows with a knack for catchy melodies. But I also listened avidly to Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, John Prine, Steve Goodman, and other folkies, at the same time I was listening to early-70s pre-disco funk (Ohio Players, Kool & the Gang, Sly & the Family Stone, Gil Scott-Heron). And an influence whose depth surprises even me at times: B.B. King. I saw him in concert maybe ten times over the years, and he never failed to move me with his gracious musicality. And later, I loved “new wave” artists like Squeeze, Pretenders, The Records, the English Beat, Nick Lowe, and Graham Parker. As a songwriter, I continue to be influenced by Craig Northey and his band Odds, who I have great admiration for; likewise Ron Sexsmith (who shares my mild obsession with the songwriting of The Kinks‘ Ray Davies). But my biggest songwriting influence is probably Jules Shear, whose skill at writing a lyric that will pierce your heart in a fresh, new way is unparalleled.
You might also want to check out a few of my songs here: