Indigenous Peoples Day  

Indeed.

How nice to bestow an honorary "day" upon a people. It's the least that could be offered, I suppose, to the original Americans. You remember them? It was they who were systematically removed from their country to make room for the Anglo-Saxon locust invasion. It was they who, when refusing to leave their Country, were slaughtered in their villages. And those who chose to "relocate" to the internment camps of their new "reservations" were gifted blankets infected with smallpox and suffered…

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Cross Pollination  

Last week I was asked by a friend of mine Jamal - a Hip Hop artist - to join him in the studio. What? Now, what in the WORLD could a Neo-folky-americana-ish-blues-infused-acoustic-string-twanger possibly do there?

Turns out, quite a bit.

We spent a few hours creating loops for him to use. I laid down a couple of lap steel grooves that he then cut and looped to create a sonic bed over which he'll add his lyrics and beats. I did several banjo tracks that he layered and looped. I added bass to some. It was…

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Cause And Effect  

There's been a lot of energy spent on examining the relationship between Cause and Effect. A scientist or doctor might opine that Cause is the result of the alignment and conjoining of neural pathways in a specific fashion and in a specific direction to a specific end, with the Effect the derivative result. A shaman or druid might have a distinctly different theory; one that involves Universal Energy, synchronicity and awareness and their relationship to each other. 

Likely the answer can be found in a…

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Cocoon  

As we fall into Autumn and the political rhetoric escalates, I am reminded of why I wrote this song - about a caterpillar who refuses to leave his cocoon. Here's the lyric:

Don't want to be no butterfly
Don't want to sprout no wings
Want to stay here in my cocoon
And think unhappy things
Don't want to flutter 'round no sunny fields
Don't want to ride no wind
Want to stay here where I'm safe and warm
You all do what you intend

Your sky's so big and blue and wide
Oh it scares the hell half out of me
I plan to stay

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I Cannot Write A Love Song. Really. Finally. 

So it goes. The long-promised much anticipated (right!) finished product. Here's a link to a facebook video of "I Cannot Write A Love Song" performed live at The B Side in Scottsdale, AZ last Friday night. Thanks to my friend Dawn for the video! I hope you enjoy it! 

I Cannot Write A Love Song

We here at the House Of Strays wish you a pleasant week. Please be kind to one another out there - we're all we've got....

Laboring on Labor Day (Of All Things)  

Yep. So it's Music Monday on a Tuesday, due to the fact that I was working - good, true, honest work this time - literally all day. My wife is moving into a new office, so yesterday was THE DAY to get things moved in, things hung on the wall, things plugged in and configured, things thrown away, things taken from storage, things taken TO storage ... you get the picture. Plus, we had earlier in the week declared that Monday evening would be Family Time (which in our case involves forcing the teenagers to…

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I Cannot Write A Love Song, Finis 

And to the bridge, and the final verse, and done. I've been playing this song now for a while, and as you kindred writers out there know songs don't become their full and glorious selves until they've been performed many times. At least that what happens to me and mine. New lyrical ideas, phrasing, melodic changes are suggested during this "birthing" period. And so it has gone. And so it goes:

Bridge

Oh you will know when it is time
Live navigates the profane and sublime

Satan caught me at the river
With

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I Cannot Write A Love Song, Pt. 2  

Work still in progress, but getting closer. Here's the second verse:

He said "Long ago I loved so fiercely
That current stripped me to the bone
Nothing left but mud and ruin
And sin that I could not atone

As the wall commenced to crumble
So the levee spilled its seed
Naked there against the deluge
Accursed now for oath and deed

I cannot find the proper words
Or a sympathetic melody
Everything suggests a dirge
When I try I find
That I cannot write a love song"

Yep. Songs, when given their head, sometimes take…

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I Cannot Write Love Song  

Snippets from a work in progress:

Satan caught me at the river
When the surge was running high
He said I could walk on water
We watched the world go washing by

He said "Pity not the wretched refuse
On their backs you will survive"
Gave to me a watch of silver
With no numbers there inscribed

We stood above the rising raging
This to me he did confide:
"I can make most any man do my bidding
But I cannot write a love song"

Stay tuned for more - if you're interested, that is.

We here at the House Of Strays wish you…

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Enough  

We here at the House Of Strays wish you a week bereft of violence and terror. Our hearts go out to the people of Dayton and El Paso. Enough.

Here's a tune from my second CD Up We Go. I hope you enjoy "Find My Way".