Liner Notes (extracts from email I sent)

 Dream On

Well I found some time over the holidays and did manage to record a complete song. It’s a classic Aerosmith song, Dream On. I just found it in a fake book a few weeks ago and for some reason it hit for me. I’d always thought it was a good song, but I’d never really listened closely. It is a truly great song, I now believe, after learning it in every detail and recreating it. I played and sang every part, mixed it down and amazed myself at the result.

I recently upgraded my gear and finally got the time and focus to do a complete song. I did it as an exercise to learn the new software, SonarXL, but it turned out well enough to be presentable. It is a cover of an old Aerosmith tune that I found in a fake book a few weeks ago and started messing around with, and discovered that I really like. Since I’d already learned it pretty well, I used it as a starting point. I was amazed at just what I could actually do. I did a version of every part in the original recording, using midi for drums, bass and keyboard parts and of course the guitar and singing are real. Brian came over did the gong hit at the end, I didn’t have a synth for that. Sonar is really good, much better than the old Cakewalk. And I really enjoy doing this stuff, but it takes incredible amounts of time. I spent 7 full days on this 4:27 piece of audio.

I used the GR-30 for the strings, piano, organ and bass parts. I have a Boss DR-5 for the drums. The guitar was all recorded direct and then processed with Sonar.

Yes, that is me singing, that seems to surprise a lot of people. That was the easy part of doing the song, it is much harder to learn and play all of the parts and record and mix, but people seem to appreciate the singing the most

One guys wife said my voice didn’t sound as “rich” as Tyler’s. I can live with that. In fact, I welcome criticism, it will help me to improve. I know it is a good recording, it came out better than I thought it would. But you know it is more than just sound, more than just notes on instruments. I think I got some real expression in there, some of what I felt came through in the performance


My next effort, 3AM, is in the final mix stage and sounding pretty good. I’ll upload it when it’s done. I enjoyed doing harmony with myself on the backup vocals. That’s something I always wanted to try, and now I have. It takes a lot of time to do a song, I’ve put four full days into this one.

I didn’t pick this song for its meaning, I just noticed it is popular in the bars and it is a catchy tune. I thought it would be easy but it took five whole days to record.

My Sacrifice

This one is a very different style, maybe too hard for some of your tender ears. A “power ballad.” But it is now #4 on the Billboard Top 100, there must be a reason. I’m getting into current music, I’ve gone from 1973 to 1996 to 2002 in my first three songs. But I’ll continue to explore as I find my range. And this one only took a little more than two days of work, it’s getting easier.

Hands Clean

This one is really new, it’s the single from the soon to be released album by Alanis Morissette – Under Rug Swept. Another different direction for me. I couldn’t sing these notes a few weeks ago, but I’m practicing!

What It’s Like

This one makes me cry, I think it is a very powerful song. And I’ve added a Martin acoustic guitar to my collection so the sound is different again.


I played Mandolin in this one, thanks to Brian, who loaned it to me. It once belonged to Michael Coleman, a high school friend that we lost to AIDS a few years ago. The song took a little longer to do, it has a lot of detail and a complex structure, something I didn’t really appreciate until I got started on it.