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The peculiarity and variety of peoples’ perspective on America interests me. This song represents one of a few different snapshots of my own impressions, originally penned in the 1990s. It plays with the idea of what one does with the responsibility of carrying a message about your nation. I delicately tweaked two lyrical lines to more closely resemble my current thoughts. I recorded this song several times until arriving back to the basics of folk rock instrumentation (including the two chords I know on the mandolin!). There is a Phil Lesh-inspired emphasis on bass guitar celebrating the awesome Ampeg rig I recently acquired.
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Saying goodbye to something can be difficult, even if the thing you’re leaving is damaging you. This song was inspired by 7 months’ alcohol free. The instrumentation is particularly sparse, which left room for some detailed production work. It also features a melodica solo. This reedy instrument can impart melancholy better than no other in my own repertoire of musicianship.
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Being the enforcer of speech codes can be lonely in my not-yet-fully-imagined futuristic Orwellian musical. In this song, I assume the role of a police officer charged with finding and eradicating non-state-sponsored materials littering the landscape of communication. Enthusiasm in the first half turns to gripes about the daily grind of destroying samizdat. Thanks to my daughter for lending her voice talent by uttering on of her favorite phrases, “Shut up!”