This is the fifth of 7 blog posts about the songs on my new CD “Big Texas Sky”. As part of this posting, ‘What About Love’ will be available as a FREE download for a limited time.
It’s interesting to try to determine whether a song is sad or uplifting. What is it that makes a piece of poetry happier than another? Unless we’re dealing with Hallmark Cards, there is usually some aspect of a verse that has some underlying bite of mortality to it. Things change and it’s hard to accept. Change and regret, love and release.
I originally thought this song was about divorce when I was singing it as a solo. And, from the point of view of the singer, it sounded to me like the main character wanted out of the marriage.
Was I everything to you? Was I your ‘Rock of Gibraltar? Well it’s time to try something else – stop the newspaper and call the kids.
But then I had the idea to try it as a duet where these lines are being sung as a statement and a response. Now, when sung as a duet, the lyrics take on a whole different aspect of a waning point in the arc of a relationship.
Well the kids are out of the house. We need to move to a smaller place. Are we OK? Do we still love each other? And the answer is yes, but differently – just breathe… wake up every morning and just breathe…
I wrote this song using an alternate tuning on the guitar called DADGAD where the strings are tuned to those notes instead of the regular EADGBE. The tuning gives the songs a spaciousness and haunting vibe probably because of all the open 4ths and 5ths that occur naturally over the course of the chord progression. The lap steel guitar drenched in reverb also gives the song a loneliness with that far-off wail that often sounds like it’s slipping off a cliff into oblivion.
My duet partner on this recording is Francine Wheeler. I really like how she doesn’t always harmonize above my voice, but is sometimes below it. I also like that her voice is not girl-ish and that it adds a maturity to the duet that supports the lyric content. It’s really a joy to work with someone that gets it. The “it” being how to relay a lyric and a melody/harmony without losing the vibe or the concept because the ego got in the way.
It’s interesting to look at songs or books or paintings that are created at certain times in an artist’s life. I look at this song and think that I would never have written this when I was in my 20’s or even 30’s for that matter. This is a song that comes from years of observation and experience and an acceptance of what love eventually becomes.
Take a listen and let me know what you think. This will be a FREE download until April 25, 2012.
p.s. In my live performances I often refer to a picture I found on the web that clearly illustrates the type of couple that I sing about. I try to describe it , but seeing it for one’s self is best. So I’m going to post it here. This is a photo by Ian Gonzaga and you can check out his photo blog at www.flickr.com/photos/ianpgonzaga lots of great stuff there!