Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bittersweet Update

The new album "Bittersweet" will officially be released on August 4. MP3 versions of the record are now available for download at Hard copies of the CD will be available online and through various outlets both her in the US and with our European distributors.

I'm excited to hit the road next month. It's always a thrill to see how your music is received by an audience. Let's cross our fingers! ;-)


Sunday, June 28, 2009

Final album tweaks and Vermont

Greetings from the hot city of Charlotte,

It's been high 90's every day here for the past week. Thanks to air conditioning, we are surviving just fine. Carol and I are looking forward to our trip to Vermont this week. Flying in to Burlington on 6/30, we have a pretty tight schedule until we leave town on 7/5. I am really looking forward to performing for 20,000 people as 8084 with Andre, Frank, and Gary. I'm also excited to perform some of the songs from the new album live for the first time.

With the album release only weeks away, final prep work is being done. The album will initially be available online at You'll be able to purchase both the entire CD package or individual MP3 tracks to download. More details to follow.

Time to get out the door for my morning run before it gets too hot and sticky... :-)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Studio update

I'm sitting in the Charlotte airport waiting to board a plane to visit my daughter, so I thought that I would take a moment to make a quick post.

This week we tracked "Broken", a mid-tempo rocker. Because of the solid production skills of Andre, the song has become quite interesting. I'm really excited to perform this song live.

Carol and I are looking forward to our July and August trips to New England. It will be fun to be back on stage, see old friends, and share the new music.

Too tired to think right now... need more java. :-)


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Bittersweet release date: 7/14

Hello again,

The official release date of Bittersweet is scheduled for Tuesday, July 14. This is a little over two months away. We still have two more tracks to complete, but we are very close to being ready for the final mixes and mastering process.

The album will contain 12 songs that have been written over the past 3 years. Although I have penned them all, hats off must go to both Andre Maquera and Hirsh Gardner for their superb production and arrangement skills. Because of them, the songs come to life with each having it's own individual treatment. You guys rock.

The song titles are (not listed in the order they will appear):

1. Bittersweet
2. All My Life
3. Shelter me
4. Yesterday
5. Cowboys
6. Learning 2 Live
7. Bleed
8. Cold
9. Broken
10. Somebody
11. Bus Stop
12. You and I

Today I'm working on the final verses for "You and I". This is a song that I've written for my daughter Savannah. I could easily write a tear-jerker regarding our relationship since her mother decided to move 1500 miles away from me when she was nine. ( do I sound "bitter"?..) Savannah and I have always been close, and the limitations of seeing her only 4 times per year has been both a blessing and a curse. That said, I've decided to focus on the positives.... as she has turned out wonderfully. I couldn't be more proud...she is beautiful, a wonderful human, caring, intelligent, and driven. She and I are still very close, although at 18, she has pulled away to find her own path. Guess that's a good thing....everyone keeps telling me that she'll be back. So I'll just... "count the days go by by two, till' I find the road, back to you". :-)

Off to the studio!


Saturday, May 9, 2009

More "Bittersweet" notes

I'm about to begin laying tracks for two of the tracks for the called " Cold", the other titled "Broken". Before I do, I thought that I would share something to anyone that takes the time to read my ramblings... :-)

One of the approaches that we are taking to the making of this record is to not make it perfect. In other words, mistakes are not necessarily a bad thing. A few glitches here and there are human and real. In the old days, everything needed to be tracked perfectly...or at least the very best you could at that time. With this CD, I am just trying to present the songs as organically and real as possible. So when you listen closely on the final product, you will hear imperfections. This is intentional, and I feel, much more real.

I also want to mention that Andre Maquera is doing an incredible job producing this project. He has keen sense as to where each song is going, and then taking that direction and making it fit in with the rest of the songs. Just thought that I would mention that! :-)


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Why Bittersweet? Glad you asked... :-)

Bittersweet defined: "refers to a combination of the standard tastes of sweetness and bitterness, and is often used as a metaphor for experiences which have elements of both happiness and sadness."

As with any solo project, it often becomes personal. The music on this CD is just that, however it is both fiction and non-fiction in nature, depending upon the song. The overall theme is one of growth, maturation, and love. We all grow, sometimes forward, sometime back. It's common, at least to me, to be attracted to pain and negativity in some bizarre fashion. That's why reality shows or Nancy Grace is so popular...we can't look away from pain. (or maybe it's just her bad helmet hair-doo... ) To me, pain and loss, whether in a relationship, friendship, or the death of a loved one, is often hard to let go as it feels like if you do, you might forget that person or situation. It also reminds us of growing older. As bad as things may have been, letting go of the thoughts and memories is itself a form of death. So in a positive manner, I believe that one needs to learn to let go of the past and move forward. There really is no other choice. And moving with lighter baggage is so much easier, whether spiritually or in a literal example such as flying ... It's just sad sometimes to leave people, emotions, anger, and feelings behind.

Not to sound too Zen or anything, but I now believe that we attract what we breath, act, and think. If you focus on positive thoughts and deeds, you will attract just that into your life. The same applies to negativity. I personally have always been challenged to stay positive, let bad things go, and accept everyone and everything for what they are. I now make a conscious effort to do so. Face it, we only have a limited amount of time to make an impact so why spend that precious time judging others or being angry?


Sunday, April 26, 2009

Summer Tour Dates 2009

This summer looks like it will be one to remember for me. I have the pleasure of sharing the stage with the original members of 8084 and friend Hirsh Gardner.

Andre, Frank, and Gary from 8084 are family to me. Although we do not stay in touch all of the time, we have been through the trenches together. From Sydney, Nova Scotia to Panama City Beach, FL, we have experienced things together that have formed a solid lifetime bond. I've learned much from them, both as a musician and a human being. Andre Maquera is the most talented musician that I know. He simply amazes me with both his guitar playing and production skills. There are times that he plays a solo that bring goosebumps to me. He's simply that good. And as a friend, he has been there for through thick and thin for 27 years.

Frank Barnes has amazing sense of musicality. I haven't performed with him since 2000, so this will be a treat for me. A great bass player, Frank also has a bluesy powerful voice that needs no microphone. I remember the first time I heard him cover Toto's "Hold the Line". It was that moment that I realized that he had the vocal tools that I wanted. He's been great inspiration to me to become a better musician.

Gary Spaulding is solid. And for a drummer, that's what you want most. He is a true professional in his approach to his music and provided the foundation with which 8084 was able to soar for many years. He also makes me laugh, which keeps things light when you need it most. I can't wait to turn around to face Gary on stage and see that smile as he does what he loves most: play drums.

I've known Hirsh Gardner since 1986. But before that, I remember hearing "Don't Ever Wanna Lose Ya' from New England on WAAF back in 1979 while driving back and forth to visit an old girlfriend in Orange, MA. I loved that song then as I still do today. We met Hirsh in Boston in 1986 and proceeded to work with him on the first 8084 record. I was in awe of his talent as a musican and producer as I am today. I look forward to touring with him.

Last but not least, Gary Borress from GB Music in NYC. Gary and I have become close over the past 10 years. He has been extremely supportive and instrumental in helping me get my new album and this tour together. Gary will be attending the Vermont and Mass. tour dates with us, so you'll have the chance to meet one of the nicest guys I know.

We've kept the tour dates at a minimum for now. The first date on August 14 will be a smaller venue called The Lincoln Inn located in Essex Junction, VT. This will be the perfect place to launch. The second show on August 15 will be in White River Junction. VT at a large club called Shenanigans. We chose this location over others as the folks at the club have always supported 8084. We also have a great following in that area.

August 21 brings us to my hometown and birthplace, Shelburne Falls, MA. Memorial Hall is the very first place that I performed in public with my first band. (talk about full circle!) This show will also be a benefit for both the Doug Turner Scholarship Fund and Hilltown Food Pantry. Doug was one of my best friends in high school and passed away unexpectedly in 2003. I've dedicated the song "Alright" from the last 8084 release, The Last Great Train, to him. The song exemplfies how I feel about Doug's untimely death and void left because of it. The song really is not a negative, rather it points out the positive of what Doug would want everyone to feel. With regards to Hilltown, we are asking that each person that attends the show ( seating 425 people) to bring along with them at least 1 non-perishable food item for donation. You can learn more about Hilltown here:

I've been communicating and coordinating with my childhood friend, actress Elizabeth Perkins, to appear and be the master of ceremonies for the show. Liz also attended Mohawk High School with me, so it would be a homecoming experience for both of us. Although 100% commited to the benefit, because of her rigid filming schedule, we won't know for certain for a few months if she will be able to attend. However she and I are working hard to make it happen. She has been wonderful and has offered much input to help me to organize this benefit. Hopefully it will all work out! Thanks Liz!!!

The last show is scheduled to be in the Boston area. We're still looking for the perfect venue. I'll keep you posted.

That's it for now. Looking forward to performing live songs from the new CD Bittersweet, 8084, and New England/Hirsh Gardner on the tour. It should be a rocking August to say the least!