This song ‘s about a country boy who’s a songwriter. He writes a song for his momma which eventually gets picked up by radio all over the country. He tells his momma he’s going on tour. He lives the life of a star for a while and kinda falls apart. He realizes that life on the road is not working for him any more. And he goes home to his momma. You can download it for free by clicking on the down arrow on the player. Read More
This songs has been a long time evolving. It started out as an instrumental blues ballad. I gave the chords to Deserie Valloreo to work on the top line and she came up with the original title and lyrics. I had another song that was similar but fast like this version. Just for the heck of it, I played the fast one slow and the slow one fast one night at a gig. Both went over really well. So I wrote another verse (the hurricane verse) and nudged some lyrics here and there and “viola!” Thanks, Des!
This Southern rock instrumental is a tribute to The Allman Brothers who disbanded last year. 🙁 One of the most magical bands I’ve ever seen perform live. This is the title track for my instrumental EP. Thanks to Pablo for letting me use his Texas Strat and Martin acoustic for a couple of the tracks! A lot of work went into this. I hope you enjoy it.
This song started out as a groovy chord progression, as many of the songs I’ve written so far have. For some reason I felt it needed a slow, dreamy intro. I generally improvise and mumble a melody along with the chords until some words start coming out. Kinda like channeling. “Only In My Mind” came to me pretty quickly. I was thinking the song would be about a guy who’s secretly in love with a woman he desires, but it turned into more than that. If you check out the lyrics you’ll see that he’s delusional and bipolar. During the verses he’s talking like she’s in love with him but he’s not in love with her. He says, “I can see right through your girly flirty smile when you give me the time of day.” And then on the choruses he’s realizing that her affection for him is only is his mind and the girl wouldn’t give him the time of day. And he’s imagining that she’s giving his signals when in fact she’s “a million miles away” – it’s only in his mind.
A lullaby I’ve been working on. Actually, it was written for a female to sing, but people convinced me to record it. It was inspired by a picture of a spectacular metallic blue butterfly. I had the idea of writing a song about a sad butterfly on a rainy day. It became a metaphor for a little girl stuck in doors on a rainy day. I imagine an animated video that’s painterly stop motion of a little girl dressed something like Alice In Wonderland. It’s raining outside her window, but her room slowly turns into a magical hidden garden playground. She wakes up and it’s a bright sunny morning and it was all a dream. Read More
Yet another Connors & Schettino collaboration. The Jimmy Connors original was called, “Priestess, Prudence, & Love.” It came out of 3 tarot cards that were dealt to him on a reading by a friend named Amber who could say is somewhat of a “hippie chick.” I fiddled around with the arrangement and lyrics a little here and there and changed the title to “Prudence, Priestess of Love” and put my own spin on it.
This song is a Christmas adaptation of my friend Jimmy Connor’s original song “It Takes a Lot Of Love.” I produced this in my bedroom in Key West two years ago. I borrowed the rhythm tracks from a previous recording of the non-Christmas version and added my own guitars and vocals as well as a pinch of jingly bells. The song is dedicated to our men and women overseas and their families here at home who can’t be together at the holidays. Read More
Back in the early days of Kid Conch (2012), I started recording a track that would end up launching my foray into the singer/songwriter world. It started out as a groove inspired by a particular classic hit which I can’t recall now, and ended up being 60 tracks of vocal samples and instruments from around the world, plus sound effects like boat horns, fireworks, etc. I knew very little about high-quality music production when I started. I was also not a very good singer. It took me something like 250 hours to track and mix. I love the song, and now that I’m using professional producers to help me get broadcast quality I decided to rerecord it. I thought it was a good task for my friend Sven-Eric Seaholm at Kitch and Sync Productions in San Diego, since he’s known for his groovy, retro style. Since I no longer have the production files for the original song (which I lost in a hard drive crash), I had to spend hours digging through sample libraries to find some of the sounds and samples that were used on the original. Long story short, we got it down to about 30 tracks. Here she is. I hope you enjoy!
This song is actually a true story about a homeless veteran. Back in 2008 I had moved back to Oceanside, CA after bouncing around the country for 9 months and reunited with co-performer and songwriting partner, Jimmy Connors. (Jimmy started his career as a singer/songwriter at the age of 50 ~ I did the same a decade later.) We met at an open mic one night and we became best friends, put together a band, released a CD, and made a lot of original music together. One day Jimmy was waiting for a commuter train and “Rodney” showed up. Some of his antics are recorded in the song. When the train arrived, Rodney sat down in the seat next to Jimmy in an empty car and told Jim his life story in 10 minutes and then popped a Percodan. Here’s Rodney’s story…
I have a Facebook friend named Suzie whom I can only describe as The Groupie Godess. She has long silky blonde hair, beautiful brown eyes, and a big, gorgeous smile that makes me smile every single time I see it. And she always dresses to kill ~ sexy with rock star class and a touch of creativity. So, anyway, one day I was on Facebook and scrolling past news feed photos of Suzie hanging out with rock stars, and the thought came to me, “You make me wanna be a rock star.” Boom! Song idea! And a year later, here it is, my entry into the Win-Suzie’s-Heart Songwriting Contest… 😉 There are a few inside jokes in this song that only Suzie and her friends will get, but otherwise, it’s a universal theme and probably the main driving factor in why a lot of guys become musicians ~ girls! It’s been happening for a million years. Enjoy!
I came up with the idea for this song recently when I was explaining to someone why I moved out of New England to San Diego back in 1999. People would ask me why I was leaving my friends and family behind and starting over in a place where I had no friends and no job. Not being a winter wonderland kinda guy, I used to say, “Some people want a big house, some people want fast cars, some people want exotic vacations… I just wanna go outside.”
I don’t get out much these days. Living on a tropical island is making me too content. For instance, I could easily go walk or take photos anywhere I want, but I don’t because I can just walk out my back door and walk on a gorgeous, 10-mile long beach with some of the most amazing sunsets on the planet. Most people work half their waking hours to be able to get here for a short vacation, and when they do, most play on the beach all day and then pull up a chair and watch the sun set every night. Why go anywhere else?
Aside from some occasional social activity due to the fact that I live at a house concert venue with some good friends, I don’t have much of a social life at the moment. And there’s plenty of culture off this island, but I’ve lived so many places and done so many things, I get this “been there, done that,” feeling about almost everything these days. The good news is, A) it’s giving me time to be introspective and decide what really matters, and B) I’m still growing because I’m studying and practicing a craft.
I tend to vacillate between hermit and socialite. In 2012 I decided to do music full time. I locked myself in my cottage in St. Petersburg for 9 months to write and record my first solo releases and to work up 3 hours worth of cover songs. Then in 2013 I spent 6 months “out in the world” on the road. Then I spent 6 months in Key West. While I was there I was learning about video production and producing a video series called “Trop Rock Odyssey.” Spring of 2014 I came to Anna Maria Island to relax in peace and quiet for a few months so I could write some songs before going on another summer-long performing and recording tour. But some mysterious dizzy spells put the kibosh on that.
So I finagled a way to stay here on the Island. It turned out to be the best decision of my life. After spending 6 months writing and recording full time, I knew I had found my calling – not as a performer per se, but as a writer/composer/producer of recordings. The bare minimum of freelance creative work that I still do pays my bills and affords me the opportunity to spend my days creating something worthy of my self-respect, which I don’t feel I’ve truly done in the past. I’ve done some big things, but always to make money for someone else so I could do something else. Now I’m doing that something else full time – creating music.
The music I create is arguably still rookie league, but what I’m doing today is not about today. It’s about 3 to 5 years from now when I’m no longer a rookie. This is all just study and practice and training time. The idea is to just keep pumping out music and building up a catalog of songs. Every day I pitch songs to music libraries who list opportunities to get them placed in commercials, TV shows, and movies. If I get a bite, I would earn an up-front licensing fee which can be anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars, plus some royalties, which, depending on the show or movie, could be anywhere from zilch to megabucks. Usually closer to zilch for a rookie. But the idea is to eventually be able to make a living through a combination of frequent licensing fees and on-going residual income from royalties, supplemented by selling my own music directly to fans or through an indie label and doing occasional performances.
The plan is, after a few more years of writing, composing, arranging, and recording, to be producing drop-dead gorgeous music and to be in demand as a writer/composer. I don’t care if I become rich and famous for this. In fact I would prefer not to be. I truly love my sometimes quiet, sometimes adventurous, little pond life. The goal, instead of working a job or building a business to make money so I can do the things I want to do, is to just take a shortcut directly to spending my time doing the things I like to do, which are, in no particular order, write songs, produce recordings, perform, enjoy nature, make beautiful pictures and videos, go on adventures and be with good music-and-art-loving people, and to not have to answer to anyone for anything. That’s what today is about.
And now for something COMPLETELY different… Again… SUPER BOAT! This powerful and exciting rock instrumental was inspired by the Super Boat International races in Key West and here in Sarasota, Florida. I think of this song a cross between influences such as The Who and Stone Temple Pilots. This is the first project with producer and keyboardist, Chris Novak. Many more to come!
Here’s another song conceived of by my good friend and collaborator Jimmy Connors in Carlsbad, CA, way back in 2008. I’ve been tinkering with it ever since. I think this is an amazingly beautiful melody that deserved to be recorded. This track was co-produced by another friend, Sven Erik Seaholm at Kytch and Sync Productions in San Diego. Sven also produced “It’s Your Birthday” and is working on a remake of “Take Me To Paradise.”
A birthday song! I started this song as an exercise to write a song in the key of Db because I had never heard a song in that key. Ironically, I now tune down a half step, so it’s back in C. The chorus just came out of me while working on the song. The verses talk about getting out having a great time, while the pre-chorus is basically saying every day is your birthday and you have to get out there and live life to the fullest while you can. Ironically, the song I released yesterday is in memory of a friend, and today is her birthday. An amazing coincidence.
“Sweet Adeline” is a memorial to my #1 Fan and my all-time biggest and most encouraging supporter who, sadly, left those of us who loved her behind and moved on to the next world. The song starts with sunrise on a winter’s day and ends on a tragic stormy night. The rising sun, the moon, the stars, fireflies, candle light, and a warm fire on a cold dark night are all metaphors for various phases of our friendship. I think this is my finest work of art to date.
This song was written in July of 2014. The song was demo-ed and re-demo-ed and then recorded and re-recorded several times for the past 11 months until I was totally happy with it. Ended up tuning the guitar down a whole step to D to get that chunky guitar riff that I was going for. The song was inspired by a viral video on YouTube of a crazy chick smashing her boyfriend’s X-Box. It’s a fun poke at the timeless and epic battle of the sexes ~ and it goes both ways… Although the character complains about his girlfriend’s constant nagging and controlling ways, you get a hint in the second verse that he’s kind of a useless mook who sits around playing video games and watching sports all day.
This is about raging teenage lust, essentially. Boy meets girl, asks her out. Song starts when he picks her up for the date. She looks amazingly hawt in a sun dress! The go out on a day trip. The entire time all this guy can think about is making out with her, and he’s wondering whether or not she’s as hot for him as he is for her. And of course being a teenager, he confuses the raging hormones of lust for love. Before the interlude, he finally looks in her eyes, touches her hair, she takes his hand, and the rest if history. Funny thing is the next song I release will be a breakup song. Same couple 2 years later. 😉
I have to admit up front that I stole the title of this post from a TEDx Talk by Brian Little at Oxford. Professor Little taught me that I’m a “passionate introvert.” That means that I snap from introvert to extrovert when I’m doing, or talking about, or sharing things that I’m passionate about. Read More
Being so new to the field of songwriting – only a few years into it, and a little over a year taking it seriously – I’m finding that, like any serious career choice, there’s a huge learning curve. I educate myself on both the craft and the business of songwriting by watching discussions with the pros on YouTube for the most part, but I’ve also hired not one, but two mentors that I talk with on the phone once a month. I’ve had one meeting with each so far. One of them specializes in writing radio hits, the other specializes in film and TV licensing. Both are highly successful in their respective fields. Read More
For most of June, 2015 I made a little trip up to the North Coast of Ohio doing a few gigs along the way there and the way back. I decided to stick to playing my original music for the house concerts. It was a good choice. I gave some of my best performances in my life, and got a ton of positive feedback and compliments from people at the shows. I also spent a few days in Maryland working on some new music with my producer, Kevin Johnston, at Orca Sound. Read More
This is one of my favorite songs to sing. “Only In My Mind” is about a guy who likes to imagine that the girl he desires is secretly in love with him and constantly “checking him out.” In the bridge he says, I want to receive your love, but the silly things you say push me away. Of course, the silly things she says are things like, “I’m not that into you.”
This song was released on Valentines Day. It’s about a guy who wakes his girlfriend up in the middle of the night and surprises her with tickets to St. Tropez. They wing on over to France and have a romantic vacation. In the end, they go back and retire there play music in a sidewalk cafe. My favorite part of this song is the nifty guitar licks in the outro.
When I was in 7th grade, I think 12 years old, I lived in Nottingham NH. Essentially the town consists of woods, farms, ranches, and a nice lake called Pawtuckaway. Nearest neighbors were 1/2 a mile down the road.
One day a kid moved in a few houses down named David Wagner. He played the drums and had been playing since he was 7, so he was actually really good. He used to play along to songs like “Fly Like an Eagle.” I was really impressed. I’d sit there banging out the rhythm on his BB gun. I decided I wanted to play guitar. Read More