talks about "Burn This" (LIB Recordings)
There is a great playwright named Lanford Wilson who wrote an amazing play called "Burn This". From my viewpoint, the play captured all of the difficulties on trying to keep a relationship -any kind of relationship- from falling apart. I highly recommend the play to anyone who can get a copy of it to read -or, if you're lucky enough- go see it performed. For me, after seeing the play performed live, I went home and started writing.
I based the title track of the CD on the play and I even copped a few lines from the play. After that, the rest of the songs on the CD just seemed to fall in place.
Lyrically, this CD tries to tackle the good, the bad and the ugly of relationships. All types of relationships. As for the band, I brought in the usual cast of characters to play on this record. Rusty Crowe on drums, Chris Erikson on guitar, Scott Yoder on bass, Leslie Campos and Rebecca Weiner both played fiddle, Randy Bulpin on dobro, Hans Liebert on keys, Jeannine Liebert on the vocals. We also added Pat Tucker on sax and Nancy Polstien on percussion and vocals. And, as expected, the band took my basic ideas and transformed them into the fine songs we now have.
Like I stated, this track was influenced by the power of the play. Out of all the songs on the CD, this is the one that I really hoped would capture the sentiment of the play. "Why does love have to be so tragic?" Also, great 12 string guitar part by Chris.
Anytime that you can slip "Tilt-A-Whirl" into a song, you're doing OK! A relationship song - on so many levels. Looking back on any relationship - even the good ones, can bring up unresolved issues. Musically the track was a lot of guitar fun!
DON'T BE MAD
This track used to be a piano ballad. But as such, it felt to cliche. So I picked up the pace, added those great backing vocals [thank you H&J] and let the song take on a new life. Doing a "social commentary" song is always a tough road to walk. There' s a fine line between a good song and sounding soap boxy. But I feel that a man who can't find work is still one of life harshest moments. Bills need to be paid - food needs to be put on the table.
COME ACROSS THE RIVER
There's a great Native American story about a male "spirit" who falls in love with a human woman. The only way that they can be together is for the woman to "cross the river" - to be in his spirit world. To do this, she must leave her family behind. I've always found that to be a beautiful image. And the guitar and vocals that Chris added are as good as tracks get.
TAKE A WALK WITH ME
In the middle of NYC, there's a statue that stands in tribute to the firemen who died on September 11th. I was walking through town one day - turned a corner - and there it was. Again, my basic tracks on this song are kind of simple - but I think the harmony vocals really bring this one home. Also, Rusty [our drummer] who can bang & smash with the best of them, found this quiet track to be one of his favorites. I guess you never know!
Fun, fun, fun. Yeah, I know - the lyrics are about heartbreak - but man-o-man did we have a great time recording this one!! Randy on dobro, Leslie's fiddle and Chris taking the lead vocals for a verse: sometimes keeping things simple is the best way to go.
There's a great Shakespearean line, when Marc Anthony comes back to Cleopatra after the wars. He tells her that she gives him "Soft Hours". Romantics around the world unite!
JUST ONE KISS
Time to turn the amps up and cut Rusty and Leslie loose! I always love to have at least one, over-the-top, rave up on my records, and this song certainly fits the bill. Great sax part by Pat Tucker keeping pace with Leslie's fiddle parts.
TREMBLE AND SHAKE
I love the atmosphere of this track. Hans' keyboard and Pat's sax are set off nicely by the subtle guitar [Chris] and bass [Scott Yoder] lines.
Doesn't every rock record need a waltz that uses a harpsichord? For those "ghost like" vocals on the last chorus we had Jeannine right up on top the mic - and I think it worked out really well.
WRITTEN IN STONE
After reading the Marc Anthony & Cleopatra story [played out here in the second verse], I brought in Moses - I mean - why not? I like how the band swings on this track and it's loads of fun to play live.
ONE FOR BUD
By now, everyone knows that this is a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "No Surrender". Bud Sons was the "big man" that I started LIB Recordings with. Sadly, he passed away just as things were getting good. Bud was a huge Springsteen fan - so, on this CD, I wanted to do one for Bud.