Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Don’t Let Us Get Sick

April 21, 2011

(In this “column” anything goes as long as it has to do with a song.)

[Excerpted from our Once and Future Songs column in newsletter.]

When I played for my three-year-old grandson recently, he definitely liked the few cover songs I have been learning best, though the Warren Zevon song, Don’t Let Us Get Sick, had a bad word—“stupid.” In spite of this faux pas, afterward he said, “That’s a good song.”

My version of Lyle Lovett’s, “She’s No Lady” also has been well received (not only by my grandson, but by my audiences.) Another very “audience-friendly” song. I guess that’s why restaurant performers do well with covers, though I will not do any of the mainstay standards (if I can help it.) Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in covers and plan to add more—as a former choir teacher once said to us, “There is more great music out there than any of us could sing in a lifetime.” And she was speaking strictly of classical church music. Boggles the mind.



Bringing Out the Elvis

October 2, 2009

[Excerpted from our newsletter.]

A “former relative” used to forbid his children to rewind their cassette tapes until they had listened all the way through, so the cassettes would last longer. (Fast-forward was also verboten.) Very sad.  Not just because for some children it would be torture, but because there are always stoppers on albums.  How many albums have you ever listened to that you could truly say you did not need to skip at least one song every time?

For instance, Faith Hill’s album “Breathe.”  Track #9 “Bringing Out the Elvis” was a stopper.  I never could hit the skip or FF fast enough—one note from that song wrecked the album for me.

I strangely loved that album, other than the one song.  Track #9 simply did not seem to fit with the others.  I am curious what the producer (who probably won a Grammy or something) was thinking.

Food for thought as we tackle the next project- which I will discuss in the next newsletter.  BTW, I have some fantastic news… but out of time now.


When You Fall Out of the Boat

August 6, 2009

(This is a feature article from our website.)

When Emily was eight-years-old, we traveled to Colorado for a family reunion. (Incidentally, during that trip I finished the song, Listen to Me Breathe, which is on The 15th Floor’s album, From the Dining Room.) My father was undergoing chemotherapy for advanced colon cancer and this was his last hurrah. One of the highlights of the reunion was a river rafting trip.


Because of the chemo, my father was not feeling particularly well, but stoically managed to participate fully and enjoy himself—I am sure well entertained by our bumbling rafting expertise. Emily, by far the youngest to participate, was a bit afraid and on the drive to Fort Collins from Estes Park took a lot of convincing it would be fun and very safe. At the rafting company headquarters, all decked out in wet suits and ready to go, we congregated outside for the final set of instructions. The speaker, one of the guides, started with these words: “When you fall out of the boat…” Emily heard no more. Totally freaked, she headed toward the changing rooms, feeling tricked and betrayed.

At a point, when I had resolved to stay behind with her, our friendly neighborhood river rafting guide took over and performed a miracle. He made an eight-year-old distraught girl trust him and willingly go where no one in her family thought she would ever go—into the boat. She did not fall out of the boat. As a matter of fact (and pride), ours was the only boat that did not capsize, i.e. tip over, dumping everyone into the raging river! So it goes. She trusted the right guy.

This became a song, but has since been forgotten. Oh well.