So, we've made #1 twice with the same song thanks to you guys. Amazing! Making music is never a sure thing. You just have to do it and hope that someone else likes it. OR just do it and not give a crap. In my case as much as I want to communicate I've learned over the years that the best approach for me is to serve my inner voice and create from that very personal place. And thats how this New York Story happened.
When I accompanied my honey to NYC, who had moved there to work on Broadway, I booked myself into a writing room off Time Square and started composing the songs that would become New York Stories. I was inspired by the energy of the city around me, especially the musical history of the place which seemed to vibrate right up from the floorboards.. but more than anything I was caught up in the insecurities and anxieties of a new relationship. When I am experiencing inner drama the writing and composing of songs is the most alive for me, I can write very fast and instinctively ..hence the "song cycle" nature of the material that makes up New York Stories.
The tunes act like chapters describing different parts of developing relationships, both with my honey and with New York City itself. But before finishing the "book" I knew I needed a "first chapter" that would bring the listener into story right off the top. Most of the album was already written when the title song New York Story started to come, the idea forming during a memorable long walk down from Harlem through Central Park and into lower Manhattan. You can feel the romance of the city all around us in the lyric, but I will admit the words and the shape of the melody took hard work and crafting before I felt it was right
Like the other songs on the record I brought New York Story to my trio (Daniel Barnes on drums, Russ Boswell on bass and Michael Shand on keyboard) and tested them with the audiences at the Jazz Bistro in Toronto and across Canada on tour dates before recording them, mostly live off the floor at The Drive Shed studio with engineer John Beetle Bailey. Bringing the legendary Jackie Richardson in to work out a duet version was the most logical and organic process imaginable, we have been singing together for many years now and I always learn and grow as an artist when I work with this amazing lady. Jackie helped me understand and plot through the emotional journey of the song, as it was still very "hot off the press" when we took it to the studio!
The fact that this music is finding an audience is no surprise to me, (although I am very grateful and happy about it), after all these songs come from a very deep and private place and something Ive learned as Ive grown as an artist is the if you write it "true" to your experience then a whole bunch of the rest of the human beings will know exactly what you are talking about!
Who Knows Where This New York Story Ends…..