Never Be Another Next Time
I guess I never thought I’d make an album with the theme lyrically being ‘love’, but I new going in as a solo artist, there had to be a common thread both lyrically & as well as a common instrument(s), (fender rhodes/real drums etc). ‘Love’ just seemed to make sense but it can be misconceived that writing a love song is easy. It ain’t! There needs to be essential elements in a love song that the listener can instantly identifying with & grab hold of & that’s not always easy to achieve. Written by my great friend & fellow musician Steve Clisby, this song sort of tells it how it is… You go head first into ‘the’ relationship of a lifetime & it ends sour. Something I’m sure we’ve all felt @ some time or another. I love the aggression that we managed to get for the bed of this track too. It features also my good friend Chris Kamzelas on guitar.
More Than You Know
This song reminds me of that classic ‘West Coast’ groove idea where the guitar & bass play the same line throughout the verses, (like on ‘Josie’ by Steely Dan) & it just seems to float along making a perfect foundation for the vocalist/soloist to do their thing. We, (Glenn Bidmead) & I wrote this together during the writing sessions for the album. Glenn & I are very fortunate, as we like to write quite quickly without thinking too much about things. Sing something/find a lyric & move on, (as long as it works of course). I remember Michelle, (Martinez) saying that she hadn’t had a lot of time to learn this track, & then virtually sang it down once… She sang it like she could feel the pain in the lyric. The classic ‘man can’t quite commit, but the girl needs to know if she’s going to try she won’t get burnt’.
Waiting For Love
I love duets, period!! I grew up listening to Randy (Crawford) sing with Al (Jarreau), Patti (Austin) singing with James (Ingram), Joe (Cocker) singing with Jennifer (Warnes) etc & so I really wanted to have a vibe like that on the album. I thought a more up-tempo thing would work best, & I’ve had this song lying around since around 2001, & whilst making the record, a track fell over which can quite often happen & so I dug this out, & I’m so glad I did. Michelle (Martinez) & Kimi (Tupaea) really connected well on this track having not ever sung together. Lyrically it’s that normal thing, if you’re looking for love it won’t come, but as soon as you stop looking for it, it somehow seems to miraculously step forward. Life’s funny like that.
This track nearly didn’t make it on the album, as it is a slight departure compared to the rest of it, but as the mix came together I began to really like it. It has a more swampy, blues approach compared to the rest of the album, but it seems to fit. I had in mind a female to sing this, but after listening to the demo that Glenn & I did some years back, I loved his approach to it. Glenn’s one of those great vocalists that you can listen too & really hear the pain in the delivery/lyric. This features one of my favourite guitarists here, Mark Punch.
This song is the first collaboration between Steve (Clisby) & myself & I remember having most of the chord changes already, but I left this with Steve & he pretty much constructed the rest of it. I really wanted that real spacious ballad that records used to have & I think I achieved that. It’s so easy to keep layering on ballads & you then start to lose the whole lyric & mood of the piece. The lyric I think speaks for itself… @ the end of the day, ‘Love’s Stronger Than All Of Us’.
I initially had the title ‘Starting All Over’ but during the writing session for this song, Glenn suggested ‘Starting Over’ which made complete sense. The title/song was supposed to have more to do with someone making a departure from the norm & moving forward with their own things, but again ‘love’ became the focus. We all know that feeling of big changes or shit going on in our lives & it looks like it’ll never be the same or better, but after time it does just seems to heal itself. Geoff Robertson features vocally on this track, & again is another vocalist who really digs deep to make you feel like you’re actually living inside the song.
This is another great Steve Clisby composition. What got me hooked on this song was the lyric, ‘Gotta have trust in the healin’ Faith in the feelin’ Gotta have ‘trust’. It’s tough these days to drop your guard and just ‘Trust’, but if you don’t nothing will ever get done. I really wanted to go a little gospel on this hence the hammond organ, the half time groove in the choruses & the choir/handclaps etc toward the end. This features Steve on lead vocals, as well as James Muller on guitar… One of Australia’s finest jazz/rock guitarists.
Easy Does It
This track I wasn’t so sure of but once we started playing it @ the tracking dates it just fell together. Another composition by Steve & myself, I really wanted that shuffle groove like on Anita Bakers, ‘Been So Long’ off her big album ‘Rapture’. I had initially put the feelers out for David Sanborn to play sax on this, but I never heard back so I thought maybe harmonica. Bill (Fender Rhodes) bought along a melodica the next day, & it fit just great.
Through The Tears (Truth In Her Eyes)
This track came out quite quick @ Glenns just before I started recording. I had the chords and needed some lyrics & a few melody parts. I wanted that real sleazy sexy shuffle groove that bands like Toto used to do & I think I got it. This track is dedicated to my drum teacher & hero, Jeff Porcaro, (I never met him, but have listened to & admired so much music he contributed to in his life) as well as Jay Graydon & Jerry Hey. True giants of musicians! This song deals with the harsh reality of depression/drugs & booze etc that can take over people’s lives & it being hard to have a meaningful relationship or friendship when they’re constantly distorted with their demons & substances. You have to see through it all & the truth is in there somewhere.
Prelude/Hymn For Anders
My all time favourite record producer is Quincy Jones, & I absolutely loved the way he constructed albums with songs/arrangements & performances etc. He made each and every album a journey for the listener & I tried really hard to do the same. Sort of like a normal weekday for adults with kids/school/work/shopping/dinner/bed. You know the drill! Q had a track called Prelude/The Secret Garden @ the end of one of his latter solo albums called ‘Back On The Block’ that I absolutely loved, and it always reminded me of the end of the day… A sip of your favourite drink to chill & then lights out. I really wanted that vibe on my record, & I asked Bill (Risby) to compose the Prelude for the final Hymn. I’ve had this Hymn lying around for sometime now as I’d written it for a dear friend & guitarist/composer from Sweden, Anders Karlen who passed away way too early in life back in ’96. As a composer I can’t always say it flows out easily but I wrote this in no time @ all… My heart was aching for my friend, & I guess it sort of shows on this track. This track features James Muller again on guitars & my fellow ex-pat New Zealander, Craig Walters on tenor saxophone.