My Music

2WEbCover800documnt 48bit  dust145Of all the methods to express,  music is most immediate and satisfying. My inability to read music made it frustrating, but tunes kept pouring into my head and I learned to manipulate my way around the piano and guitar fairly well. For thirty years, through instinct and playing by ear, I explored the beauty, power and satisfaction derived from composing and playing music. Although a challenge, perhaps the ultimate thrill came in playing with others. Suddenly, music, like no other form I’d found, was the collaborative art I was craving.

There are ten songs below to sample:


Catchy Tune
  /  acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105For years, my personal recording studio was in the bedroom, complete with a chair, tape recorder, one microphone, and guitar – my 6-string acoustic. “Catchy Tune” was recorded sometime in the late 70’s in Gaithersburg, Maryland.


Duet  / 
acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust10512strg 48bit 800 color  dust105Imagine a geodesic dome that encased a hard cement floor. What great acoustics for guitars. The dome was a vacated YMCA dining hall that my fellow camp counselor, Tim Swann, and I used to parlay this tune into a duet during the summer of 1978.


Pick-ups
  /  acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105Again, recorded in my bedroom “studio,” this tune was one of my hardest to play in one take without error (although I nearly stopped once). As a result, Dexterity:  B+;  Originality:  A;  Rhythm:  C-.

 


Harmonica Song
  /  acoustic guitar, harmonica
ForbertPorch800documnt 48bit  dust151Inspired by Bob Dylan and Steve Forbert’s harmonica styles, playing the guitar and harmonica on this tune proved I could do two things at once, promoting my dreams of playing in a band one day (i.e. playing, singing, even shaking on stage in sync).


Fuzz Buster 
/  acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105Another bedroom recording, only now with harder rock acoustic sounds. I sacrificed a smooth rhythm for crashing, electric-sounding chords, reminiscent of songs created during my upcoming band days.

 


Anthem 
/  acoustic guitar 
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105A Who-infused piece written in 1979 for the garage group I played with, Willie and the Poor Boys Band, but it never wound up in our set of songs.

 


Get Rhythm
  /  electric guitar with band backup
ForbertSlant800documnt 48bit  dust153This is a Johnny Cash song I found great joy in turning into an instrumental with The Poor Boys. Recorded live at a party in 1980, we were just beginning to come together as a group, and I was having fun and feeling my musical oats.


Rain Song
  /  acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105The band had broken up and it was back to the bedroom. Inspired by a thunderstorm one afternoon, I set up my mic just before the storm passed and recorded this spontaneous response to my heavy surroundings.

 


Dad’s Song
  /  acoustic guitar
12strg 48bit 800 color  dust105Recorded through an amp in a sad DC apartment in 1993, this composition just seemed to allow me freedom to ramble and explore feelings about my father who’d just passed away.

 


Piano Solo 
/  piano
2WEbCover800documnt 48bit  dust145I didn’t own a piano. But I knew where the grand pianos were in the music department at the University of Maryland. I snuck in after midnight one night and set up shop to record this improvisation before the tape ran out.

 

MeAtPiano75documnt 48bit  dust161

 

 

 

WendyAt20onPorch800documnt 48bit  dust150Piano photo credit above: Wendy Frank

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