Featured Post

What's On My Mind is HERE!

And you have choices on where to get it (each choice has a clickable link) 1) Come to a show 2) CD Baby is selling both digital ...

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Keep the Channel Open

Last night, I wrote a song. Ok, this week, I wrote a song. One night I did words, and then last night, I found the melody. Hidden right there in the words. The best place to find a melody, you know.

That was a new process for me. I generally write in a weird way, with the music and the words, a little bit there, a little bit here, sort of all at once. And it often FEELS like I am giving birth... a slow painful birth.

But this was different. I woke up with a phrase that I thought may be a good title, going around my head. I put it into a note on my phone, and that stared at me for a couple weeks. Finally, the other night, sitting here in Screendale, I decided to see what happens. What did that little phrase want to say?

You know, when you don't write for a while, starting to write is a very scary business. Maybe it won't happen again. Maybe, and most likely, it won't be any good. But the advice from those before me has been, don't listen to the fears. That is resistance and that is your enemy. It is your enemy because it prevents you from starting. Or finishing. Resistance prevents starting and finishing. After all, I have far more half-written songs in my computer than finished ones.

So I wrote. I worked in that title phrase. I rhymed every line in the verse.... and you are not 'supposed' to do that, but the song 'called for it'. I wrote half a chorus.... which ended up being THE chorus. It pretty much was an easy exercise. I didn't struggle too much with the ideas, they were just right THERE, and most of the work was just finding rhymes. I put it away because it had to be shit, right? It didn't hurt too much to do it. It didn't feel like I was baring my soul or anything. I was just writing words. Words that rhyme.

This week, I found something on the internet. An advertisement for Spotify for Artists. Cyndi Lauper talking about the best advice she was ever given. She was told, as an artist, you will never ever be satisfied with your work. But that is not your job. Your job is to KEEP THE CHANNEL OPEN.


Now, that was a wow moment for me. My job as an artist is not to create the best I can... my JOB is only to answer the call, just do the work, create, and keep the channel open. Wow, that makes songwriting sound like, well, what it is. An expression of something that comes through. Yeah. A capture of the moment, the thought, an idea, a feeling that is going to float on by you if you don't just STOP and put it down on paper, and sing it to the trees.

So last night, I wrote the notes. Sometimes (most times, actually) I find melodies by just reciting the words until the patterns reveal themselves, and something sticks. This time, being 'rusty', I had the recorder on, to capture that certain phrase that would make it. It seemed like every time I sang the verse and chorus, it was different. It did not seem like there was a real melody there.  Nothing that jumped out at me and was memorable. I recorded 4 or 5 'versions' and then went to listen to them.

You know.... Every one of those versions, I was singing the same melody, a little different note here and there, but basically, I guess, the song was saying, hey dummy, you already got this!!!

And so I sang it though. I got those chills that you (I?) get when a song strikes true to something inside you. And then, following that sort of elation was, of course, the nearly overwhelming fear that this is just shit. Waste of my time writing, and yours for listening.

So, sing it again. Yeah, there is something here that is scary to say, some truth for me that maybe I don't want to say out loud. Something that maybe needs saying.

Tweak the words a little bit, hopefully, to bring that thing I don't want to say, a little more to the front. (Advice given in the past.... find the thing that is the deep truth and let it ring out....)

But... it fits. I think the song is truly saying what it wants to say. It is what it is, it is ringing true to what it wants to be. I think I did my job.

The channel was open.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Valatie Community Theater gig!

On May 4, 2019, The Rick and Marilyn Band, consisting of Marilyn Miller, Rick Warren, Mike Pagnani, Peter Tenerowicz and Jon B. Woodin will be hosting a show called 'An Evening with Marilyn Miller and Friends!

The Friends will be leading the line up with Betsi Krisniski, Jon B. Woodin and County Panic (Mike Pagnani, Scott Mahoney, Tim Farley and Tommy Sharp). 

Betsi is a singer-songwriter who has played with Marilyn as a duo as well as a lead part of Hudson Busk and is an amazing solo artist. Her unique guitar playing and wonderful singing will surely light up the night!!

Jon B. Woodin is known for his solo work as a singer-songwriter, as well as support for Ryder Cooleys 'Dust Bowl Faries' and the duo 'Hudson Dusters'. He has a voice and manner that brings to mind James Taylor, and is a real joy to hear.

Mike Pagnani will be bringing a new band to the show called County Panic. He plays with Hudson Busk, Beer-Stained Fiddle and is a key player on the record, 'What's on my Mind', as well as leading 'Pub Sings' at various venues in the area. 

I hope you can see that this is a night NOT TO BE MISSED!!

Valatie Community Theater

3031 Main Street

Valatie, NY

May 4, 8pm, $10 Suggested Donation

---------------------------------------------------

Rick and Marilyn will also be playing at the new venue, Hudson Underground Gallery next Friday at 8pm (April 19, 134 Warren Street, Hudson). Please join us there as well!!!


Sunday, March 24, 2019

The Songs: Something We Can Do

Something we can do

This song came out of my questioning the great divisions now apparent in this country, the USA.

Seriously.

Everything is so messed up right now, what can any one of us do? This idea that the poor are somehow responsible for the economic problems of blue collar and white collar workers is a big thing. And then, of course, the Republicans and Democrats are also hating on each other.

You’ve heard the joke, right? A rich man, a working man, and a poor man are seated at a table with 100 cookies. The rich man takes 99 cookies and says to the working guy, you better watch out, that poor man is going to steal your cookie.

I mean, really, that is, in my opinion, the absolute BEST analogy of the current situation. We are *taught* that idea on purpose. The ultra-rich, the people who own everything, they work hard to divide us. And they can. They own the means of mass communication. They have to make sure that none of us trust the ‘other’, whoever that is- poor, immigrants, gay folk. Anyone that they can get you to hate.

And the further they can break up communication among us common folk (yeah, I absolutely include professional folks in that label), the better for them. Our ONLY salvation is when we, the rest of us, the 98% of the population, understand that if we worked together, ‘they can’t stop’ us. That is the *SOME* *THING* that we can do.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

What's On My Mind is HERE!

And you have choices on where to get it (each choice has a clickable link)

1) Come to a show

2) CD Baby is selling both digital and CDs

3) Amazon Music (digital)

4) iTunes/Apple Music (digital)

5) Bandcamp name your own price


ENJOY IT!! I think you will!

And- to help me, after you give listen, give a review... on ANY of the sites above... OR, spread a link on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram with your personal thoughts about the record. THAT is so immensely helpful. Tag me, but also tag your favorite support person... Rick Warren, Peter Tenerowicz, Mike Pagnani, Aaron Martin. They all worked so hard and they ALL sound so GOOD!

Thank you, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!


Sunday, February 3, 2019

CD Release Party and Digital Album Presale

CD Release Party


February 17, 2019, 6 pm

35 South 3rd Street
Hudson, NY  12534

We are gonna have FUN!! Rick Warren, Peter Tenerowicz, Mike Pagnani and Aaron Martin will be IN HOUSE, and we will be playing the complete album straight through, as well as other originals and covers, followed by a jam (bring your instruments and voices). OR Gallery and Tavern boasts excellent beer and a good, light menu, a fire and lots of friendly people (especially when we are playing!!)

I am so excited by this record, and I can't wait to let you hear it! Come CELEBRATE with us!!!

Buy from the Digital CD Presale on Apple Music or Amazon, get an extra song download NOW

To get your copy, you have choices- 1) buy digital now and get an extra song and delivery automatically on the 17th, release day, 2) buy a physical copy from CD Baby on February 17th (I'll remind you) or 3) COME TO OUR PARTY in Hudson NY!!!

Here are the links, with song previews:


AND PLEASE, if you like what you hear SHARE with your friends and family. I appreciate it SO MUCH!!!