voice of a songwriter

How Much Suck is Too Much?

This blog is more than just a plug for my next show, promise. But let’s just get it out there. I’m playing at La Dolce Vita Coffee House in Olde Town Arvada, Saturday, August 27, 7:00pm. Free and kid-friendly. Links below. Self-promo out of the way, this blog IS about doing my best to enjoy the best parts of performing and dealing with the parts that suck. This summer, and.. Read More

Songs, Quarks, Anger, and Jim Carey

Cynical is in my DNA. Yours too. We are hard-wired to make instantaneous judgments about our surroundings, seeking out any possible threats to our safety. Our brains, advanced as they are, haven’t changed much since the inception of the human race. We’re still working with mostly fight or flight. If you don’t believe me, recall the last time someone cut you off or your teenager ate the last of Auntie.. Read More

Screw Being Positive

I have a questioning mind. It usually kicks in a goodly amount of time after I wholeheartedly sign up for the latest trend, about when my arm gets tired of waving the flag of the day. Case in point: the Law of Attraction. It was so simple. It made so much sense. Be a positive person, and good things will happen to you. Be a grump, and the world’s a.. Read More

Drowning in Overwhelm

At a recent party, I met an oil painter. On the outside, she seemed like any ordinary backyard party-goer; comfy T-shirt, outdoorsy skirt with sandals, no make-up. When we got to the tell-tale “so what do you do?” I was so happy she didn’t come back with the show-stopping “I’m in sales.” Side note: What the heck kind of job is that?  “I’m in sales.” How come people don’t just.. Read More

Money, Money, Money

In fifth grade, I was invited to the home of the prettiest girl in my class. She came from money. Her Sergio Valentes proved it. But stepping into her house was more proof than I could handle. The furniture matched. There were paintings, real paintings, on the walls – walls painted COLORS, not just beige. There were rugs…on TOP of carpets. There was a deck with more than one level… Read More

Writing to the Rhythm

Ever heard of Dalcroze? I’m guessing, no. I went to a Dalcroze workshop a few years ago, knowing just about nothing about it. I attended because some teachers I very much respect are really into it. I found out why. Dalcroze, or Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is an approach to music education founded on rhythmic movement, aural training, and improvisation. As the Dalcroze Society of America elegantly describes it, “based on the philosophy.. Read More

Trust No One

I’ve heard, and sometimes believe, the adage, “trust no one.” When I’m in a particularly protective mood, this saying comes wrapped in a gray cloak, hood up, shrouded in mist.  At times like this, “trust no one” means I’ve been hurt.  It comes to usher me back to my safe little tent where I can lick my little bumps and scrapes piteously. When I’m feeling self-righteous, “trust no one” shows.. Read More

Ten Year Gestation. 32 Minute Birth.

How long does it take to write a song?  Sometimes a day, sometimes an hour.  My latest song took ten years and 32 minutes. In fact, maybe longer.  I don’t know exactly when I scribbled down the hook, and only the hook, of my latest song, “Don’t Let Me Let Down My Man.”  My best guess, it was about ten years ago, during my “La Dolce Vita Period.” From about.. Read More

Hard Sales

Last week, I spent five hours of my precious tropical vacation saying no.  Over and over. My mom, Queen of the Free Deal, invited me to meet her in Ft. Lauderdale to join her on a two-day cruise to the Bahamas. Little did I know I’d be sitting through a day of time share presentations.  Oh well, I thought.  I’m with mom.  How bad could it be? Truthfully, we lucked.. Read More

Circle Up

Last Friday night, I walked into a garage full of eight guys with mostly gray hair and one soft-spoken women with purple hair.  Each of them held a guitar in their lap, except for Ms. Purple who cradled a ukulele.  The only music in the air was the chatter of conversations as everyone settled into their spot in the circle of mismatched chairs. The warm, cozy garage, the local headquarters.. Read More