Good Music Transcends Genre
Bottom line upfront: “Cool! Another Band is finally going to cover my music!”
I’m sitting here looking at the nearly 80K Spotify streams of the “Presque Vu” mini EP since its release 28 days ago and reflecting on just how little that actually means in one respect but how cool it is in another. We’re looking at producing a video for the EP’s second track “October Skies” and I’m still pursuing other opportunities for the songs on the EP but I have to admit a large part of my mind is already fully engaged in thinking about the next album project. Still…
My official job description for most of my twenty three years in the US Army was Guitar Player. Sure, I did a lot more than that (I could tell you stories) but at the core of things my job was Guitar Player. I was a fair enough hand with it but I wasn’t comfortable in describing my own playing as anything beyond “adequate” or “competent”; it wasn’t false humility on my part because I worked directly with a lot of people that were better at it than I on almost every appreciable level. (I still do, in fact.) My strength – my passion, actually – lay in my ability to compose and to arrange music for ensemble work. I truly began to identify myself as a composer/arranger first and a guitar player second throughout the second half of my career even as I began slowly building a catalog of my original works.
I joined ASCAP as a publisher member in 2002, a few years after I signed up as a songwriter, and I began looking heavily into copyrights and royalties and things of that nature because I’d decided I was going to record my original music with the intention of shopping it around to other bands. Following deployment/re-deployment and a series of health issues I finally ended up recording nine songs in 2007 using local singers to record my lyrics over my music and it was satisfactory for its intended purpose as a demo recording. (You might be interested to note that this demo contained the song “Presque Vu” now part of my 2019 mini EP of the same name and “Invocation” from my 2018 CD “Symmetry” as well as a pair of others that will see new life on an upcoming album project of mine.)
I was unable to garner any interest in anyone recording my music at the time and quickly realized that I needed to do it myself and so, long story short, I began networking with guitarists and singers and slowly cobbling together a catalog as “Quicksilver Night” along the way. Remember MySpace? It seems quaint now but I managed to establish a few long-term musical relationships there. Milt Gore is one of several that immediately comes to mind with our collaborative “Mönster” in 2011; in a nutshell my message to him was basically “Hey I wrote this music and here’s the written melody and a demo recording; could you double and ornament the melody and then solo your ass off where I wrote virgules?” and his reply was essentially “Sure, why not?” There’s more that story and more similar stories but I think you get the gist of things.
Now here it is 2019 and I have currently have 29 songs commercially-available as Quicksilver Night plus twelve more with various other groups but I’d still yet to get another band to perform my original music … until now. I’ve said it often enough, “good songwriting transcends genre” and I have reached out to Paul Bidanset of local bluegrass favorites Brackish Water Jamboree. (Grab a look and a listen here http://brackishwaterjamboree.com) Paul and I are currently in talks about them performing and perhaps recording their own version of “October Skies”; he’s amenable to the idea and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I greatly look forward to hearing their treatment of the song sometime soon. I will provide additional updates as they become available.