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As with poetry, my music is organized into units, CDs. I realize that exceptionally small music players such as the iPod are working on making the CD obsolete much more quickly than the CD rendered the cassette obsolete and much, much more quickly than the cassette put away vinyl (eight track cassettes hardly stopped by for a visit).

I’ve created ten CDs, the last of which is 10.

I've listed the CD titles on this page with a link to each CD page and, on the CD index page, thanks to my distributor, CD Baby, you can hear all of the songs on all of the albums in the order in which they appear on the album.

On my Home page I wrote, “I've not written any symphonies. I write what might be called classic rock, folk rock or indie rock.”

In reality, I've dabbled in what used to be called folk music (is folk music still around?) and also some country music.

The CDs, like the books of poetry, are registered with The Library of Congress and likewise copyrighted. It is my sincere hope that I should never have to engage anyone in a court of law to defend my songs or my right to use the songs of others. (Wow, that really seemed uppity, didn’t it? It wasn’t meant that way.)

I provide all of the sounds on each song except for six.

On my CD War And Other Love Songs, the late Clay January , a good friend I met through the Studio 8 message board and who sadly left us in February of 2013, lent his expertise as a flautist to the song If It Was Blue.

On From The Heart, my lovely wife honors me by lending her voice to “Don’t You Wish Today Would Never End?”. Thanks, Tina. .

Also on From The Heart, the song I Can't Be Owned is sung in the beginning of the album by Doreen Peri and at the end of the album by Kim Chong. . They offer two distinctly different presentations of the song, but both are wonderful.

On 10, Halley Crast lends her beautifully powerful voice to the spoken word piece “I Long For A Better World”.

Recording Process

I don’t believe that the following resource providers would mind a little unsolicited promotion.

I play an amplified Takamine acoustic guitar. I used to say, “That is, by far, the most expensive piece of equipment that I use.” I've since acquired a Gibson L-150 hallow body electric guitar and that, by far, is the most expensive piece of equipment that I use.

Next, there’s my inexpensive Fender Stratocaster model MZ4142558 electric guitar. I use it for electric guitar solos, obviously. I also use it for electric rhythm guitar and slide guitar.

My Fender Jazz bass is a decent bass for the price, which could be high or low, depending on whether or not one is employed.

I sing through two Shure microphones, a 56A and a 57A.

I utilize two sound cards. They are both external sound cards. In some cases, I use a Fast Track C400 . At other times, I use a Focusrite 2i4 sound card. I'm not sure what critia I use to decide between the two interfaces at any given time. They’re both fine sound cards.

There rest of my instruments evolve from my Casio WK-3700 keyboard. It is this to which I refer when I credit the “Casio WK-3700 Orchestra conducted by Michael Bonanno” at the bottom of the pages of songs which have advanced orchestration.

I play keyboard instruments such as harpsichord, piano, organ and others directly on the keyboard as any pianist would play them.

Brass sections, string sections, reed instruments, solo horn instruments, banjos and others are played using the keys on the keyboard. They are not played automatically. I do not program anything to play the music for me.

The closest I come to cheating is in the area of percussion. The keyboard includes a number of drum rhythms and tempos from which I can choose. I don’t settle for just one rhythm for an entire song. I switch among several rhythms and fill-ins. Anyone who’s ever produced percussion in this way should appreciate what I mean by that.

I use an excellent mixing software, Sony Acid Pro 7.0. Not only does Acid allow me to infinitely reproduce my instruments, but also I can reproduce my voice in such a way that I could conceivably compete with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

In the song “Disguise”, which is on my CD “War And Other Love Songs”, I dub my voice over 11 times. So far that’s the record.

Thus far, I've actually produced my own discs with Creative's CD Architect. It's user friendly, for sure. I write the words "thus far" at the beginning of this sentence because I'm still waiting to be “discovered” and hope that I can have my CDs made by a professional CD producer. It might be a long wait but, then, who knows?

My first CD is called:

Michael Bonanno: Life: The Musical

The second CD is:
Left Where I Write On

Michael Bonanno: Left Where I Write On

CD number three is entitled:
War And Other Love Songs

Michael Bonanno: War And Other Love Songs

Um, still waitin' for them mushroom clouds from Iraq. Why do I get this feeling that, if any country launches cloudy mushrooms, it'll be the only country that's ever done it, the Formerly United States of America? Was the so called “Bush Regime”disingenuous? Criminally so.

Has the so called “Obama Regime” learned anything from its predecessor? Yes, it learned it can do what its predecessor did and get away with it. Is the so called “Obama Regime” the most disappointing “administration” to ever pretend to govern? Also, criminally so.

Oh, yeah, this is the third in a series of what are five reasons which validate the “informed” opinion of the the penultimate, oh, I mean ultimate literary and music critic with whom I lived for far too many years of my life that I, indeed, possess no talent. For, if he doesn't know, who on earth could? Hope he sticks around long enough to gain that satisfaction.

On the very, very positive side, the album art for this CD was done by Leyna Bonanno, the youngest daughter of Michael Bonanno, who happens to be me. Thanks, kid! Not that I've really done any "art" for my previous CDs. I mostly used photos taken by my wife Tina. This is the first time someone else worked on the appearance of any of my CDs.

CD number four is entitled:
From The Heart

Michael Bonanno & Friends: From The Heart

The original version of “From The Heart” contained two songs which spoke to social justice/injustice and the American way. I removed those two songs and they now appear on my CD “Flameland”.

As I added songs to “From The Heart”, I realized that they dealt more with lovers' kinds of love, with romance or love lost. The two songs, “The Worlds' Condemnation” and “Make One More Person Cry”, didn't fit in with that theme.

I realize that “LIFE; THE MUSICAL”, “Left Where I Write On” and “War And Other Love Songs” contain a variety of genres and subject matter. The songs on those three CDs don't emphasize one particular aspect of life.

However, what inspired me to name the fourth collection “From The Heart” was that it has a kind of “romance” theme and all but the two songs which I named above line up perfectly with that theme.

Other than having a theme, “From The Heart” is unique for me in three other ways.

First, it's the first collection in which I'm not the only singer. In the first song , my wonderful wife Tina shares the lead vocal with me.

In songs number two and ten my good friends Doreen Peri and Kim Chong sing the solo. In fact, I don't sing at all in songs two and ten although I provide all of the instrumentation.

The second and tenth songs are really the second and tenth song. Repeating the same song twice on an album is the second first for me. Other artists have done it. Steve Earle begins and ends his powerful collection of songs called The Revolution Starts Now with the title track. I highly recommend not only The Revolution Starts Now, but all of Steve Earle's work.

Even Earles's early stuff, which is almost exclusively Country & Western, is great, IMHO. But The Revolution Starts Now and another of his albums, “Jerusalem”, speak to the world as it is under The Regime and offers poignant and powerful explanations for said condition.

The song which is repeated twice on “From The Heart” is a song that I wrote a while back with the intention of having a friend, Jean Trescott, sing it. Jean, in fact, did sing it when we were briefly in a band together and she sang it magnificently, as she rendered all songs. I would have loved to still have been in contact with her before I released From The Heart so that she could have sung “I Can't Be Owned” for the CD, but, alas, as with other people I've known in my life, we went our separate ways and I haven't been in contact with her for well over twenty years.

Jean, if you're out there, get in touch with me. I'd love to hear your voice again. It was a beautiful voice!

The third first is that I actually cover a song. I cover The Ronettes' “Be My Baby”, a song that was very big in the early sixties. Baby boomers will love it, I'm sure. I owe a debt of gratitude to ABKCO Records and Mother Bertha Productions for allowing me to cover one of my favorite all time rock n' roll songs.

“Be My Baby” was written by Ellie Greenwhich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spector and is still, for me, one of the great all time rock n' roll songs.

CD number five is:

Michael Bonanno: Flameland

I decided to call my sixth CD:
Lights Over The Bar

Michael Bonanno: Lights Over The Bar

Lights Over The Bar Was Released on March 22, 2010 and is for sale at CD Baby, iTunes, Rhapsody, Napster and other digital music outlets.

There’s a metaphorical reason as well as a literal reason for the album title.

I’ve literally sat at many bars in my life, too many to name. I’ve had some of my most intense discussions, political and otherwise, in those places. I think if sane people sat at a bar and discussed their problems over a couple of cold brews (not too many), problems may be able to be solved.

The metaphor is the bar, the standard to which we hold ourselves. We are still at war. Young men and women are still killing and dying because of phantom weapons of mass destruction and meetings not held between Al Qaeda operatives and Iraqi government officials, all in a country that never did a thing to The Formerly United States of America.

We need to set the bar higher, obviously, and when we’ve got it set just right, we’ll see that there is light over that bar.

I once wrote that Lights Over The Bar does have far reaching potential and I’ve been happy with the response.

I’ve hoped, since I first wrote the song, that “Peace Is Possible” would potentially become the mantra for those of us who want to see legally ordered hits on “our enemies” come to an end. Maybe it's a reach, but I still hope that it can become to peace activists of today what Lennon’s “Give Peace A Chance” was for those who pursued that very same goal when this nation and North Vietnam were hurling death at one another. Musically, the song has gone through many metamorphoses ranging from an attempt at RAP to its present presentation as a reggae piece.

The expression “Peace Is Possible” is the email signature of one of the members of The Mount Diablo Peace Center. So the title belongs to Mary Alice O’Connor who, along with the other members of the MtDPC, works 24/7 to make peace possible.

I wouldn’t presume to possess even a fraction of John Lennon’s talent. I do think that “Peace Is Possible”, if taken, propagated and broadcast seriously, can clearly elucidate just how easily peace can be effectuated. It’s a powerful and even hope filled message.

I collaborated on two of the songs on Lights Over The Bar. I wrote the music for the song “Crossroad Bridge #3” while Jim Bush, a very good poet and regular contributor to OpEdNews, wrote the lyrics.

I also wrote the music which accompanies the poignant lyrics in the song “Streets Of Eden”. Those lyrics were written by a very talented English poet named Alan Hodgson. I fervently hope that “Streets Of Eden” can be a classic. It reads like a classic and even sounds like a classic, if I may say so myself.

More importantly, “Streets Of Eden” is a song with which many of us who lived during the “good old days” can identify. Those were the days that people like Franklin Delano Roosevelt made possible by reminding us that America is supposed to be, as brilliant radio host Thom Hartmann likes to say, a “we” society, not a “me” society. I know that many of us share Alan’s desire for a time when disagreement will merely consist of deciding on the most socially effective way for us to take care of society’s denizens and earth’s dwindling resources.

“Why Don’t We Go” is war as perceived by a soldier written by me, a person who never was a soldier. Yet, I hope that, for those military personnel who don’t already embrace them, the lyrics to this song will cause a pause and serious introspection about the actions they take and if it really makes sense to be following through on those actions.

Lights Over The Bar is not a theme CD. Not all of the songs are about society and its relationship to greed, war and apathy. There are four songs on the CD which deal with more personal experiences. People should be able to relate to the situations which “Ellen”, “Open Up To Colors”, “Glad To Be Home” and “The Same Way” address.

Of course, I hope that you enjoy all of the music on Lights Over The Bar. I hope that you’ll tell friends and family alike about the CD so that they can get themselves a copy and enjoy the music as well. I’d like you, though, while you’re enjoying the music, to listen clearly not only to the social messages contained in the album, but to the passion with which they’re expressed.

After I recorded and distributed Lights Over The Bar, I became a bit more prolific. The muse, as well as some friends, have been very good to me.

After playing with numerous possible titles for album number seven, I finally decided to rip-off Neil Young and call it Young Man (look at my life).

Michael Bonanno & Friends: Young Man (look at my life)

Neil Young is 64 years old. In 2006, he saw what Cheney’s Regime was doing to America and its Constitution and, although he is Canadian, he needed to speak out. That’s when he released his CD Living With War.

It’s also when he became involved in setting up the web site Living With War Today.

There was a concern at the time that no one was writing music to address the crimes that were being committed by The Regime. Young’s Living With War Today web site put that concern to rest as over 3,000 songs protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were published on that site. Two songs from my album Flameland, “Casey’s Song” and “Soldiers Of Peace”, were part of that list.

I just turned 60. I was in my twenties when four students were needlessly and, without provocation, gunned down at Kent State University, simply because they were protesting the fact that Americans were being forced to go to Vietnam to fight a war that made no sense and was also illegal. I saw the same things that Young saw, but Young was fortunate enough to have his music played throughout the world. Although I was writing music and poetry which pointed to the zeitgeist of the time; the continuous slaughter in Vietnam; those who attempted to keep the Jim Crowe laws in place, thus stopping people of color from enjoying all of the freedoms that America has to offer; lies told by Presidents Johnson and Nixon; the assassinations of prominent people who spoke out against these injustices such as Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., I wasn’t fortunate enough to receive the support needed for my words to be heard.

I write here about age to demonstrate that, like Young’s passion for peace and justice, my passion has followed me throughout my life and has never diminished. This is why I took Young’s song “Old Man” and turned it around in titling my latest CD.

In Young’s original recording of “Old Man”, Young tells the old man that “I’m a lot like you were.” Young noted in the song that he was 24, but knew that there would be “so much more” happening in his future.

He was right and he’s still writing about it. However, although I never gained Young’s stature or prominence, I’ve never stopped writing about the injustices in the world.

When I was a young man, I hoped that people would hear my words and I hoped that I could add my voice, in a way in which it would be heard, to the voices speaking out against social injustice.

It’s no longer about gaining the kind of fame that Neil Young gained and especially not about making money. I’ve always had an innate need to write about what I see and how I feel about it. I do this as a contributing editor at OpEdNews, as a published poet and as a songwriter.

Young Man is an invitation to the crowd that’s been intercepted by consumerism to become activists for peace and justice while the world becomes the possession of its wealthiest inhabitants. There’s a so-called activist movement today, but the world needs one that actually stands for something, something positive and something that will help humanity, not just human beings.

Young Man isn’t only about social injustice. I’ve always liked writing songs about romantic relationships as well. I’m especially excited that my youngest daughter, Leyna, shares this CD with her father. Leyna Bonanno wrote “my lost love” and performs it beautifully on this album. If you remember, Leyna did the artwork for my album War And Other Love Songs.

Another song of romance and hope is ““today”, a song I wrote for my oldest daughter, Jessica, and performed at her wedding.

“eyes” is dedicated to my wife, Tina, who's the main reason for Young Man’s outstanding album art.

The rest of the CD deals with issues that concern all of us. “in the land of the free” is a song about the gung-ho outlook that many young members of the military seem to carry with them into war. There’s reference to torture in “in the land of the free”, but there’s more than merely a reference to reality in the song as well.

“denial” might be as close as I’ll ever get to RAP or spoken songs. It is, in fact, a spoken song. Deny is also what the government of what I refer to as the Formerly United States of America seems to do best.

There are some songs that have been recorded throughout the years that I’ve always loved to sing, for one reason or another. One of the songs was covered on my album “From The Heart. It’s the Ronettes song “Be My Baby”.

Another song that I love to sing is “joe hill”, a song written in 1936 in support of the American labor movement. Joan Baez sang it at Woodstock and it has stuck with me since 1969. There’s not only no labor movement in America today, there seems to be an almost aggressive anti-labor movement. Even workers make excuses for the Corporatists in America. Those who work for the private sector complain that those who work for the government are overcompensated. Many non-union workers complain that union workers, even in the private sector, such as the automobile industry, are overcompensated.

“joe hill” barely touches on what the early labor movement in The United States had to go through to get such luxuries as the eight hour day, but it does touch on it. I’ve included “joe hill” in Young Man in the hopes that those who are complaining that the multimillionaires are paying union workers too much will see the real problem, that Corporatists and multimillionaires pay private sector workers too little. That is, of course, if the multimillionaires are kind enough to Americans to keep their jobs in America. Hopefully, a light will shine upon American workers and those workers, instead of defending the Corporatists who are keeping them down, will rise up once again and demand what is rightfully theirs.

Of the seven CDs I’ve produced thus far, Young Man contains the fewest number of songs which I wrote alone. “joe hill” and “my lost love” have already been mentioned. I also worked with two extremely talented lyricists on the CD.

Jamie Redhead, from Manchester in the UK, wrote some outrageous lyrics for “no man’s land”, “shock and awe” and “storm front”. These lyrics are filled with passion and putting music to them was a labor of love

I worked with Jim Bush on my CD “Lights Over The Bar in putting music to Bush’s “Crossroad Bridge #3” lyrics and I’ve had the same honor to write the music for Jim’s song “blackwater bullies” on Young Man. “Crossroad Bridge #3” was poetry written in free verse and it was a challenge for me, one that I think was successful. “blackwater bullies”, which tries to explain the psyche of people who would work for mercenary corporations such as the corporation formerly known as Blackwater, lends itself to country rock and I really had fun filling out that song.

Whether or not Young Man sells a lot of copies or songs from the CD are prolifically downloaded, I hope that someone - anyone - who listens to it will act.

I extend my sincerest thanks to Rights Flow, Inc. for helping me obtain mechanical licenses for “Old Man” and “Joe Hill”.

I think the muse was just waiting for me to come up with the very last song for my eighth CD. Well, whatever was blocking that process was removed and voila, Haven't We Met? has now been published.

Michael Bonanno: Haven

Haven’t We Met? is my eighth CD. I hope that those who’ve purchased copies of my previous seven discs have discovered a new voice from a “mature” rocker. I try to bring the music of the baby boomers into the 21st century. However, another goal is to wed the sounds of the sixties, seventies and eighties with the music of today. Athough many can see that I was most inspired by The Beatles, I've also been inspired by Counting Crows, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young (or no Young), Foo Fighters, Cat Stevens, Green Day, Billy Joel, Lifehouse and others. Sometimes I wonder if being eclectic interferes with the sale of albums; then I come to the conclusion that I don't and can't write any other way. I like all genres of music, therefore, I play and record all genres of music.

For example, on Havent' We Met?, I inculde some Country-Rock with “The Thought Of Bobbi” and “The Love We Shared (When We Cared)”.

I add some easy listening with “Someone Else”, “Love You My Life Through” and “It’s Not Clear To Me”, a song for which I was honored to add music to Doreen Peri’s great lyrics. It's really worth going back to From The Heart to again hear Doreen’s outstanding rendition of track number two, “I Can’t Be Owned”.

Of course, there are the political statements. “Dumpster Baby” reinforces my stand on a woman’s right to choose and the responsibilities of parents who decide to have a child. I waited to write “I Soon Shall Find My Ki” until the outcome of California’s 2011 referendum was known. This referendum would have finally legalized anyone’s right to choose whether or not to smoke pot. It failed because people watch TV and TV is bought and paid for by those with more money than most of us will ever see in our life time. The ads against the referendum were as stupid as ever and, well, Americans fell for the senseless arguments in those ads.

Finally, I go back to my rock n' roll roots with “Live My Life Without You”, “Tina”, a song which actually contains my beautiful wife's name, and “Misery”, in which I once again team up with the UK’s Jamie Redhead.

I hope that you find something to enjoy in Haven't We Met?.

A lot of time passed between my announcement that Haven’t We Met? had been published and the release of the album which followed it. To understate it, I haven’t been keeping this web site up to date. So, today you get a twofer. I’ve finally published the liner notes for Haven’t We Met?. However, I was still working on making music during my hiatus from this site and my ninth CD, Unholy Trinity, was completed.

Michael Bonanno: Unholy Trinity

Unholy Trinity is my most personal album to date. I've been told that it's my darkest album, as well. If you want to know more about the real “unholy trinity”, visit the About page on this web site. It’ll become clear.

I twice call on what I had originally written as poetry for Unholy Trinity.

The first poem to which I put music is “Lies”, the first song on the album. The metaphors in “Lies” are my way of saying that I'm familiar with the damage they can do and that I've seen that damage from all angles.

The second poetic work is the last song on the album entitled “Crying Heart”. This, as most of the songs on Unholy Trinity, is based upon a true event in my life. I wrote “Crying Heart” in order to stop a friend from offing himself. I never found out if it helped.

Blind Pathos is a lyricist/poet with a flair for the cryptic. “Monkey Chow”, the second song on Unholy Trinity, isn’t nearly as cryptic as it may seem at first. Listen closely. Putting music to “Monkey Chow” was a challenge. However, after trying to get the dark message across with dark music, I chose the irony of using an upbeat tune. We’ll be seeing more of Blind’s lyrics in the future.

I collaborate again with one of my favorite lyricists, Jamie Redhead, on the third track. The song is called “Peace”. Despite appearances, “Peace” is a song about lost love and, yes, again, Jamie comes through with outstanding lyrics.

“The Life Song” and “The Power of Now” might not belong on Unholy Trinity as they are anything but dark. They’re full of hope. Maybe the rest of the album was so heavy and personally hard hitting that I just took a break with these two songs.

The music of Cat Stevens is the inspiration for “The Life Song”.

I fully admit that Eckhart Tolle’s book, THE POWER OF NOW, was the absolute inspiration for the premise of the song with the same title. I do something in “The Power Of Now” that I've always wanted to do; record some part of one of my songs in reverse. I loved the sound from the time The Beatles first used the effect in their 1966 song “I’m Only Sleeping” up until Billy Joel did it in his Nylon Curtain song “Scandinavian Skies”.

John Lennon took it to the next level in his song “Strawberry Fields Forever”.

The music, although somewhat more complex in Unholy Trinity than in previous CDs, is still the music of the Baby Boomer generation. Music has evolved since the 1960s and 70s. There may never have been a time when musical talent was as diverse as it is today. That being true, some contemporary artists like Counting Crowes and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have perpetuated rock’s original sound. I was there, however, playing and singing it in what today is known as “real time”.

“You” is simply another song about lost love. It is by far the most orchestrated song on the album.

“Jo Ann” and “Ghost Writer” share the same object. They may very well be the darkest songs on Unholy Trinity, although they may be a bit difficult for listeners to identify with as they are the most personal of my songs. As you’ll hear, “Jo Ann” is none too complimentary and contains what we call “adult language”. These two songs are the most emotionally difficult songs I’ve ever written.

“Dark Man” is the second song on Unholy Trinity that deals with drug addiction. Drug addiction has played far too large of a role in my life. But, I guess you write what you know. That's what I've always tried to do and I let you in on some of the secrets in Unholy Trinity.

For me, having performed, produced, arranged and published my tenth album is special. I'm not sure why, but it seems that 10 is a number that should be a benchmark. If it seems that way to me, I guess I'll go with it. In any case, I've cleverly entitled this, my tenth album, 10

Michael Bonanno: 10

Like my first nine albums, 10 is an eclectic mix of music. Like my last album, Unholy Trinity, 10 contains some very personal autobiographical material, mostly about my six grandkids.

In fact, the first song, “Adelyn”, is a didactic but hopeful welcome to the world tribute to my newest grandchild, a very little girl at the time of this writing, of course, after which this song is named.

There’s been some sadness in the relationships I’ve had with some of my grandchildren. At the time of this writing, I, for reasons still unknown to me, am not allowed to see my young grandson, Ryan, and my even younger granddaughter, Lucy. I’ve sadly never even met them. I try to express the intensity of my pain in both the lyrics and the music in “Young Ones”. If the song reminds you of a John Lennon song it’s because I had Lennon’s voice and some of the Lennonesque reverb in mind when I recorded “Young Ones”. I have finally uploaded a music video to YouTube and it’s for the song “Young Ones”. I don’t know if this will be the only music video I’ll ever produce, but my hope is that Ryan and Lucy will see it someday and they’ll be able to decide if they want to meet their grandfather. It won’t be decided for them based upon some non-existent excuse.

Another sad tribute to a granddaughter is the eighth track, “Catherine’s Song (It’s Not Your Fault)”. I can understand a six year old’s tendency to believe that she is the reason her parents have split up. I want to ensure “Little C” that she is not responsible for the behavior of other people, even her own parents.

My final grandchild tribute is for my twin grandsons, Nate and Sam. The tenth song is called “Brothers” and, a bit like “Adelyn”, there’s a didactic tone to it. These two boys are two of the most precocious five year olds that I've ever seen. “Brothers” is filled with hope and what I ask of Sam and Nate is that they always be there for each other.

“I Hope You Understand” is a full out '60s type folk song. The only orchestration I use in “I Hope You Understand” is my acoustic guitar and my harmonica. It’s also an autobiographical song about a very happy time in my life.

I had so much fun putting music to Blind Pathos’s lyrics in the song “Monkey Chow”, the second track on Unholy Trinity, that I just couldn't turn down the challenge of putting music to his lyrics in the song “Yarn Of Truth”, a song that attacks Wall Street and its lack of conscience.

The other song which I co-wrote on 10 is “Dead Man Walking”. “Dead Man Walking” is the sixth song which I've co-written with Jamie Redhead. The others include “no man’s land”, “shock and awe” and “storm front” from Young Man (look at my life), “Misery” from Haven’t We Met? and “Peace” from Unholy Trinity. Jamie once again provides me with some wonderful “love hopelessly lost” lyrics in “Dead Man Walking”. I’ve tried to arrange “Dead Man Walking” as a hybrid between shuffle rock and jazz.

I brought “Reach Out (With Love In Your Heart)” to the present from the ‘60s. It’s a message so many young people were sending in those turbulent years of Vietnam and Martin Luther King’s struggle for equal rights for all Americans, especially those with dark skin. Unfortunately, this message is strongly needed and needs to be heeded at this time, in this year of 2013. It’s rock but utilizes a subtle Reggae rhythm.

“Deep Into The Night” is, yet, another poem to which I decided to put music. I hope that you‘ll find the music unusual and unique, both in rhythm and tune. I really hope this song is as eerie for the listener as I intend for it to be.

My intention is that “And Music” is received as a plain old happy song and I hope that it expresses how I feel about making music.

Finally, I’ve done something on 10 that I’ve never done before. On Young Man (look at my life), I speak words rhythmically in the song “denial”. I realize that I’m not a rapper or a hip-hop artist and don’t try to be in “denial”. However, the words I speak are in rhythm to the music and rhythm of the song.

In “Misery” on the album Haven’t We Met?, I come about as close to rapping as I ever have and probably ever will. However, I only use the spoken word in a small part of “Misery”.

In 2007, I wrote an OpEd piece inspired very strongly by Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The piece was first published by OpEd News. Wanting to do something special for my tenth album, I turn that OpEd piece into a spoken word song I call “I Long For A Better World”. Although I realize that Dr. King’s speech will never be matched, I hope to stir peoples’ social consciences and emotions in “I Long For A Better World”. Even if “I Long For A Better World” can’t match Dr. King’s speech, I hope it can have the same effect on people.

I use some special effects in “I Long For A Better World”. The most special effect in that piece is the beautiful voice of Halley Crast. Halley belts out improvised gospel singing in “I Long For A Better World”. Keep your eyes and ears open because there’s a good chance you'll be hearing of Halley Crast in the future.

As I’ve already mentioned, 10 is special to me. I started writing music a very long time ago and I've written over 110 songs, mostly on my own, but some in collaboration with some very talented writers. Even though I consider 10 a benchmark, I don’t believe that I’m finished writing, producing and publishing music. It’s my love for music and poetry that keeps me producing both.

I, naturally, appreciate it when anyone buys my music. However, one regret you may have if you don’t buy the physical 10 CD is that you’ll miss some outstanding album artwork, which was provided by Tina, my wonderful wife of 19 years and my youngest daughter, Leyna, who also did the artwork for War And Other Love Songs. I couldn’t be prouder of Leyna and her artistic talent nor could I be more appreciative of the time and effort that went into the album artwork that she provided.

The songs from 10, as the songs from my previous nine albums, will be available on iTunes, Napster, Rhapsody and other digital music download sites.

Thinking of the messages of my music is fairly easy as I’m familiar with the themes of the messages, either directly or indirectly. Politically or socially, I see the way this so called nation is manipulated and it saddens me. Writing about that is fairly easy, albeit psychologically tortuous.

I often think of the people who’ve asked me, “Who told you life was fair?” and wish that I’d had the presence of mind to answer with “Who told you that you had the right to make life unfair?” or, possibly, even, “Who told you that life has to be unfair?” Those themes and, consequently, those messages come to me far too easily.

I’ve had my heart broken by girls and/or women and I’ve callously broken the hearts of girls and/or women (if any of you are reading this, I sincerely apologize for hurting you). That theme comes far too easily for me as well.

When I express any of these messages in prose or essay form, I put time and effort into the task. Once the messages are written, I publish them to whichever venue is accessible to me.

When I write the messages in the form of poetic verse, I must spend a bit more time on the task. Even if I write free verse, there must be some semblance of logic for the separation of lines and, without such tools as metaphor, simile, onomatopoeia, alliteration, my favorite poetic tool, and other poetic tools, I would be merely writing another essay.

When I put my messages to music, I have to use the tools I use in the first two formats plus, with the help of music past, think of melodies, backgrounds and rhythms that, even without the lyrics, could possibly lead the listener/reader to feel the same feelings that she or he feels by reading the words of the message. It’s got to be symbiotic. That task is labor, although, for me, it is a labor of love. When I began doing it, I didn’t only have to work through the labor of accomplishing the task, but I had to try to ignore those who should have been encouraging me to develop my labor but were telling me that I was basically an ass-hole to even consider laboring in such a way. Those people were so important in my life that, even today, when I struggle to complete something for which I can be proud, I have to get past the metaphoric voices telling me that I’m “wasting my time”.

I love writing “songs”. I think Beethoven wrote music. John Lennon, Billy Joel and countless others write/wrote songs. I write songs and, to repeat, I love doing it.

However, I do it with the hope that others will receive something from my efforts. The message may be said in such a way that the listener/reader had not previously entertained. Or maybe the song will merely entertain someone. Possibly, someone will have something to whistle or hum while laboring through his or her day. Possibly the reader/listener will have used or heard almost the exact words used in one of my songs, but, when wed to the music, the meaning will become clearer. I want to, and have always wanted to share these messages in these ways.

I realize this is a bit of a stretch, but, when someone utilizes the talents of a psychotherapist, the psychotherapist charges money for that service. I really don’t want to look at my songs as psychotherapy. Nonetheless, they may be so unintentionally.

Whereas the psychotherapist is not only being compensated and even thanked for the help that was provided, the psychotherapist is also collecting the wages that will be used for nourishment, shelter and other necessities of life. I don’t need to be compensated for my music to afford the necessities of life. However, I would like to be thanked through some small compensation for whatever utility or pleasure my music gives to people.

Consequently, thanks to CD Baby, you will be able to hear my songs and, if you like one or more of them, you can make a purchase. Of course, you can purchase entire albums, either through this site or through CD Baby or some other digital music outlet. So, once again, I’m going to try to receive some compensation for my music.

I’m not doing this to become wealthy. I don’t think that will happen.

I’m not doing this to become a teen-age idol. Nature has taken care of one of the criterion that would enable me to reach such a goal and I’ve never been crazy about idolatry. In fact, the possibility of real fame scares me. I struggled with my life growing up in what looked to the outside world like a “normal” middle-class family. I can see why people can collapse under the pressure of renowned type fame. Of course, at my age, if I begin drinking heavily (again) or begin to get strung out on street type drugs, my music career will be shortened considerably.

I am going to start charging because, as any living being, I like to be rewarded if someone feels that’s appropriate. Also, in a world where computerization and its subsequent software makes what I do so much easier than it used to be and, consequently, makes what was already almost impossible “capitalist” competition even more intense, I’d like to know how my songs stack up against others to which people listen.

Any album will be able to be purchased in its entirety or any of the songs will be able to be purchased individually.

I guess, even at this late stage, I’m asking you for positive reinforcement where it is deserved.

Thanks for visiting. Enjoy my modest gifts.

To friendship,

“It is of interest to note that while some dolphins are reported to have learned English -- up to fifty words used in correct context -- no human being has been reported to have learned dolphinese.” - Carl Sagan

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