SOFA Week 4

Great session this week at SOFA!  Now that we’ve settled down a bit with new students, we’re off and running.  Make sure to grab your recital audio files and PDFs so that you can practice.

Also, you’ll want to review the notes on the treble clef so that you’re prepared for your quiz on Monday night.  We’ll use the Rainbow Music Notes iOS app for testing, so grab a copy if you want to get used to using it.  It’s only $2 and a great way to encourage note recognition if you have a young music learner in your house.

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Shine Out Bright for You

Notes

My father was a Quaker pacifist who worked in the defense industry and once went to jail for beating up a guy.  I was taught from an early age that true power meant never having to fight, but I was also never to come home bloodied without putting up a defense.  I am very serious about my pacifism, but I’m also not an idiot.

This song isn’t exactly about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It’s really about love and wanting life more than death.  It’s about naive hope, the kind that soldiers and their families hold on to in the middle of the worst tours of duty.

Lyrics

Verse 1
It seems like yesterday
You left for far away
And I’m still here, all alone

I know you’re doing good
You’re working like you should
But I’m tired of loving through the phone

And May can’t come too fast
My broken heart can’t last
You’ve got find your way back home

Chorus
My love will shine out bright for you, babe
Until you come back to my arms
My song is calling out to you, babe
And love will keep you safe from harm

Verse 2
I feel the months slip by
Every day I want to cry
There’s something missing with you gone

This smile is just a mask
I know it’s ain’t right to ask
But why is coming home so wrong?

And just when I’m going numb
You sweet, sweet letter comes
And I can take it one more day

Chorus

Bridge
The months turn into years
I’ve no fight left, I fear
This is a war that can’t be won

Key Change to Chorus

Versions

Shine Out Bright for You – Full Band

Shine Out Bright for You – Practice Track

Shine Out Bright for You – iPhone

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Los Caballeros

Notes

I’ve always thought it odd that so many 60s soul groups did latin and western style songs.  I guess you play what your audience wants to hear.  This is an attempt to capture some of the lounge and western style from that era.

The “Spanish” is intentionally incomprehensible.  I think I used Google translation to come up with something that no native speaker could understand.

Lyrics

Way out west, in the shadow of the mountains
There’s a river that flows under miles of sand
And the people who live beside it
Know the way to bind the hearts of horse and man

And the water flows beneath their toes
And the horse runs with him where he goes
Caballeros

There’s a circle between the manzanita
There’s a line of leather resting in his hand
And their walk goes on forever
Or at least until the rains wash out the land

And the people rushing by don’t know
The magic down beneath the road
Caballeros

There’s a band playing on a platform
There’s a old man fishing con barra de pan
There’s a boy trying to be a soldier
There’s a piece of steel he thinks makes him a man

But the river calls to other souls
And takes the horses where it rolls
Caballeros

This world of good intentions lies
Between the water and the skies
Caballeros

Versions

Los Caballeros – Full Band

Los Caballeros – Practice Track

Los Caballeros – iPhone

Video

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Walk on By

Notes

I love when Rebecca sings this song.  It’s a pretty simple little break-up song with lyrics I know I’ve stolen from other places, but the way Rebecca sings it makes the song very fresh and very real to me.

There are quite a few versions of this song.  They’re all fairly similar, but it’s interesting to hear how little tweaks work their way into the mix.

Lyrics

Verse 1
Well I pray for rain
Just to hide these tears
And I pray that the pain
Will go away with the years

And I know that this hurt means nothing
To your wicked heart my dear
So just walk on by, my love
Just walk on by

Verse 2
When you walked away
You said it’s cause I couldn’t change
But ever since that day
My whole life’s been rearranged

But I guess I just can’t keep trying
To be more than what I am
So walk on by, oh baby
Just walk on by

Interlude

Walk on by, oh baby
Walk on by

Verse 3
So when you see my on the street
And I turn away
It’s not because I’m weak
But I learned the hard way

That a girl once bitten, baby
Is bound to be twice shy
So I’ll walk on by, oh baby
I’ll walk on by, my love
I’ll walk on by, bye, bye
I’ll walk on by…

When you walk on by
Won’t let you see me crying
When you walk on by
Cause my heart is dying

Versions

Walk on By – Full Band

Walk on By – Practice Track

Walk on By – Early Studio Mix

Walk on By – iPhone

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Second Street Blues

Notes

The lyrics are taken directly from a walk I took one day near my work.  As I walked, I hummed tunes into my phone and came up with stanzas based on what I saw and heard.  It’s interesting to me that the lines about the church with the closed doors and the woman digging in the trash are in the same verse.  These events happened literally a block from each other.

Lyrics

Verse 1
Old men sitting on the porch now
Swings are blowing in the breeze
In the air, there’s sweet, sweet music
Playing up among the trees

Interlude

A million tiny little crosses
Shatter with the smallest stone
Another day, another dollar
Another way to lose your home

Chorus
It’s the way we walk
It’s the way we talk
It’s the way we pray for more than what we got

And we bury the bones
Of the things that we own
Until we find ourselves back home…
On 2nd Street

Verse 2
Church’s doors are locked and bolted
And no one’s praying in the halls
No one’s drinking, no one’s smoking
But no one’s caring much at all

Woman digging in the trash now
Just can’t look me in the eye
The devil’s lips are painted red, child
Wonder when I’m gonna die

Chorus

Instrumental Interlude

Verse 3
Old men sitting on the porch now
Swings are blowing in the breeze
In the air, there’s sweet, sweet music
Playing up among the trees

Versions

Second Street Blues – Full Band

Second Street Blues – iPhone

Buy it on iTunes!

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A Little Wine

Notes

Midway through February Album Writing Month (FAWM) we ended up with a deluge of rain.  It was Friday night, just before the rain really broke loose, and Amy and I had been enjoying a wonderful evening of dinner and wine that lead directly to this song.  Beyond that, it’s not autobiographical, but I like to think that it leads well into “Oh My Goodness,” a song about infidelity and floods.

I wrote this for Rebecca to sing.  I wonder how it would change with a male vocal.

Lyrics

Firelight, makes me feel so warm
With you tonight, we’ll weather any storm
We’ll take what’s here and not ask why
Forget the pain of years gone by

Just take my hand and know that I love you

A little wine. I’ll say, “I love you.”
All we’ve got is time, so try remembering
The days that passed like falling leaves
I’m begging, baby, on my knees

Just take my hand and know that I love you
Just take my hand and know that I love you

Interlude

You hold me tight, never let me go
This feels so right, but I want you to know that
I can’t go on just waiting for
The day you’ll walk out through the door

Please take my hand and know that I love you
Just take my hand and know that I love you
Hold my hand and know that I love you…

Versions

A Little Wine – Full Band

A Little Wine – iPhone

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Little Bird

Notes

The first song written and the first song on the album, Little Bird is an homage to our dog, Sarah, who has this funny little bird call she does when she wants to go out for a walk.  One morning, when I was shaving and singing the tune to the song, I heard her make that funny little noise and the words just came.

Rebecca and I performed this over at Steve Guile’s house for the songwriter showcase and it was a blast.  This song is all about the live performance.

Lyrics

Little Bird
I hear you singing through my window
I hear you singing out the song I’m feeling in my heart now
Sing it, Little Bird

Little Bird
You got a melody so sweet
You know you got me moving to the rhythm of the street now
Sing it, Little Bird

And it’s the same song speaking to the sinners
And the same song calling to the saints, so
Sing it, Little Bird

Everyone I meet
Seems to know that something’s changing
Seems to know there’s something moving deep inside my heart now
Sing it, Little Bird

Interlude

Every time I hear you singing
Hear you singing through my window
You know I gotta sing the song I’m feeling in my heart now
I’m singing, Little Bird

And it’s the same song speaking to the sinners
And the same song calling to the saints, so

So sing it, everybody
So sing it, everybody

So sing it, all you children
So sing it, you sinners
So sing it, all you people

Versions

Little Bird – Full Band

Little Bird – Early Studio Mix

Little Bird – iPhone

Video

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New Music Week!

Get ready for it!  You’ve waited months for some new material, and finally, it’s coming this week.  Each day this week – Monday through Saturday – we’re releasing full-band versions of songs from our album “28 Days” for free.  That’s right – free!  Download them.  Share them with friends.  Burn them on CDs.  Whatever you’d like.  We just want to get some of these tunes out into the world because that’s where they belong.

I’m excited to hear what people have to say about the songs, so please take a moment to comment when you get the chance.  Thanks!

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New Single. New Site.

Rebecca Best at Honolulu Harry's. Photo by Amy Veen Frazier.

It’s finally arrived!  The new single from Rebecca Best and Christopher Frazier, “Second Street Blues,” is now available for download on iTunes.  We’re excited about the sound and energy in the song, a soulful track that harkens back to some of Stevie Wonder’s greatest hits from the late 60s.  If you’re wondering what the rest of the album will sound like, this is just the tip of the iceberg.

To coincide with the release of the single, I’ve also updated the website’s look with some of the artwork we’re planning to use in the upcoming album.  Most of all, the site should work better on some computers that it has in the past.

We want to thank everyone who has supported us this far with encouragement and kind words.  We can’t wait for you to hear the song, so grab your copy (it’s only $.99!) and head back over here to let us know what you think.

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Thanks for Coming!

Thanks so much to everyone who came tonight.  It was a blast to get to sing through our album for a group that was so into it and willing to be part of what was happening.  Rebecca did a fantastic job in spite of the fact that I left our lyrics at home (she used Evernote on my iPhone to get them).  The kids had a blast too, dancing up at the front of the room.

I think we’re just about ready to take this show out.  There’s still a lot to do to get the whole show tightened up, but I think we might have something worth sharing.  More to come!


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