I “wrote” my first song at about age 9. I still remember how it went. I had a toy guitar and would strum the strings and sing, pretending I was a real rocker. I got my first guitar at 16 and am still trying to figure that out. I played with some guys in college and wrote a song for the band to play, but the guys rejected it. All along, I was glued to the sublime inspiration of radio. Awed by how a listener—me—could be transported into the world of a song for 3-4 minutes, it made me want to be able to create that experience too. So, I kept on writing. At first, bashing three-chord anthems channeling all my heroes for clues to what makes a song, well, a song.
There’s been more than a few notebooks filled up, years of writer’s nights, gigs to crowded rooms and empty ones, a couple hundred co-writes, some guitar pulls, sing-a-longs, and long nights out in beer joints in DC, NY, LA, and, for the past 15 years, Nashville. There was the real purpose behind all this (most of it, anyway), and, finally, you get to a place where you can define yourself with and through a song; Create that three minutes for someone else to get lost in. Some people climb Kilimanjaro. I’ve climbed the mountain that is songcraft. The result is my new album ‘Coyote.’
Are we powerless? Everybody needs a cause, saving African elephants is mine. These sentient, magnificent creatures are literally being gunned down daily by poachers for the ivory. This is an obscene and deplorable reality.
In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post, former Secretary of State James Baker wrote: “Since the dawn of human civilization, these magnificent, awe-inspiring creatures have been with us. Let us not be the ones who let them disappear forever on our watch.”
To answer the question are we powerless? We can’t be.