Twelve guitars, nine months and a pair of boots –
the Songs

Cecil’s Bench

My neighbourhood was the Beach area of Toronto for over 20 years. People who’ve lost loved ones sometimes dedicate city benches to them, and so it was with Cecil’s Bench, where I wrote many a tune on it while watching the crowds go by.

 

My Marie

My buddy Nelson Milley and I played this off the top of our heads pretty much as you hear it, into a reel-to-reel recorder (remember those?). How musicians gel with each other is a mystery, but it’s rare, and when it happens
it’s very cool.

 

Beethoven’s Hair

A demo I knocked off around 1999, I rediscovered going through tape transfers for this album.
I wanted to try my hand at scoring so I did five string parts and assorted extras to fill it out. The LSO will have to wait.

 

Lindy

A tuning I was in while learning a Don Ross song resulted in this melody, amongst others.
Why it’s called Lindy is anyone’s guess. Pat Perez on sax.

 

Ring That Bell

I must have composed twenty or thirty songs in DADGAD tuning. This was one of the first, from 1994.
Keith Sutcliffe does all the percussion.

Winter Ride

I got up early one morning around Christmas time, and did my obligatory Yuletide tune. DADGAD.

 

Hayden Cadence

I named this after a friend’s first son, a fairly recent effort from 2007. Drop D tuning all the way.

 

Morning Prize

Another instant song with Nelson. I played the chord changes and he made up lyrics.
Morning prize is a great phrase, and the main reason I finished it for this album. Pat on sax here too.

 

Simon Says Dance

What started out as a finger exercise became a vaguely Celtic workout on my classical guitar.

 

Lonely Parade

A blues fragment led to this tune which expanded geometrically to include the tale of a serial dater
who’s always looking but never finding what she wants. Sometimes you gotta make a decision.

 

Absent Friends (for lmv)

Being an air force brat means you move a lot, so you say goodbye to many people growing up. After a while
it’s rendered in your bones that nothing lasts – neither good or bad, just the way things are. Still, once in a while
you feel like this. Tuning is EGCGBD. Beautiful sax solo by Pat Perez.

 

A Springbreak

Written in the spring of course, in DADEAD tuning. This one was tough to play because I felt the way I had played it before I actually recorded it turned out to be too slow. A better player could have done it a lot sooner than I did.

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