Down on the Farm

You may notice a few of the same titles as The Apple. These would be the originals and The Apple has the more polished versions. I also included a few songs that can only be heard here along with liner notes.

Recorded in 2006 & 2007 on a small Tascam digital 8-track recorder, 2 tracks at a time, on a horse farm in Oviedo, Florida. The recordings are rough but that’s life on the farm. All instruments are played by me without any click tracks.

My Process:
I would typically lay down a guitar track while humming the tune in my head. Then using my cheap bongos I bought in Mexico when I was a kid, I laid down a drum track. Sometimes I’d play several drum tracks on top of each other. Keep in mind, once I saved a take I could not delete it and had to move on to whatever else I wanted to add. And, I had to record each part from start to finish and could not overdub mistakes. That’s why they sound so rough. Although a few of the cleaner tracks were recorded by Steve Hall.

Songs from Down on the Farm and a few more

Nice to Know

Original cut - That's a $5 set of bongo drums you're hearing. I made several drum tracks, all using the bongos and layered on top of each other. Each one had to be played from start to finish in one take. And, it was recorded by micing my Crate amp with a SM 57 in my living room. Kinda nasty. But, this is kind of a cool story. I sent Brian Ray, Paul McCartney's guitar player, my entire Down on the Farm tracks online soon after I recorded it. He actually responded and said he liked this song! I never heard from him again and that's ok with me. He made my day and I'm still mentioning it today! Thanks Brian!

Lyrics - Nice to Know
It’s nice to know
That you are with me
It’s nice to know
That you were there
And all the time you’re thinking of me
It’s nice to know that you still care
It’s nice to know when the chips are down
It’s nice to know…you’re always around
And now you know when you see me
Count on me…I’ll be around
It’s nice to know
That you are with me
It’s nice to know
You were there
And all the time you’re thinking of me
It’s nice to know that you still care

A New Day Dawning

Collaboration - Lyrics by Brenda Moons. She had a ton of pieces she'd written over the years and this one appealed to me. So, I made a song out of it. I actually used the same melody/chords on another song on The Apple. Yep, that's me bashing away on my electric drums. Pay no attention to the bad timing with some of my takes. Remember, I had to do everything from beginning to end in one take for each track.

Lyrics - A New Day Dawning
A new day’s dawning
Layers of light
There’s fresh beginnings
Within our sight
Cast together for these roles
Brought together by our souls

Chorus??

How much closer can we get
As I glance and see your silhouette
I capture this moment
A snapshot for my mind
A new day’s dawning
Let’s leave the past behind

Nothing is said but all is heard
Understood without a spoken word
Wherever we’re going – it’s meant to be
Wherever we’re going – its destiny

We’ve shared out secrets
Nothing left to reveal
We’ve shared our dreams
Nothing left to conceal

There are no barriers in our way
Past sins have been forgivin’
Take my hand the journey begins
Life is to be livin’

So anyone who is down
The power is in your hands
Take possession of this life
And alter all your plans

Don’t leave your dreams to unnoticed (unattended, fate)
They never go away
Make a conscious effort
Each and every day

A new day’s dawning
Layers of light
There’s fresh beginnings
Within your sight
Get cast together for these roles
Brought together by your souls

I Gave It A Try

Original cut - This is the original cut with mostly the piano which is what I wrote the song on. Of course Steve Hall added some great guitar parts and that's Shelly and Steve doing harmonies.

Lyrics/Chords - I Gave it a Try
C Dm
Rollin down the lonely road
C Dm
Searchin for a sign
C Dm
That will lead me to
C Dm
Something to satisfy
——— CHORUS ————
Em
Can’t stand still
F
I’ll make it I will
G F
At least I know
Em Dm
I’ll sleep well tonight Because I
C
Gave it a try
——————————
C Dm
C Dm
C Dm
With your memory on my mind
C Dm
I know sometimes it doesn’t show
C Dm
I’ll take this road to the end of the line
C Dm
Then again…I know you know
C Dm
Takin time to listen to
C Dm
The rythm of the lonely road
C Dm
The path that leads me to you
C Dm
Is one I’ll always know

The Secret

Original - Yes, that's me playing an electric drum kit from start to finish in one take. No overdubs. Listening to this years later and I'm impressed with myself being able to play drums that fast and (almost) keep good time!

Lyrics/Chords - The Secret
Am Em
I took a look at my life tonight
Am Em
Stripped away all those dirty ol’ lies
Am Em G F
Then I saw the sunshine in your eyes
I saw the secret tonight
Am Em
I was walkin down the street tonight
Am Em
Wonderin what I’m gonna do with my life
Am Em G F
Then the phone rings and I feel your smile
I saw the secret tonight
Bridge:
Bm D
Your kind words of honesty
A E
Renews my faith in you n me
Bm D
If only you could see
A E
Inside what you do to me
Am Em
Never thought someone so young could see
Am Em
Right thru to the soul of me
Am Em G F
In the end, I don’t know anything…But I…
I saw the secret tonight
Am Em
The angels smile when they hear you sing
Am Em
I don’t know what tomorrow may bring
Am Em
Mona Lisa don’t have anything
G F Am Em
On you….I saw the secret tonight
End on Am

The Apple

Original - This was written while thinking of my now beautiful wife Ausra. I hate my vocal but had lots of fun playing the drums and the lead guitar part, even though that kinda sucks too. LOL I'm playing all instruments on this one too and again each in one full take. NOTE: The song begins about 15 seconds in.

Lyrics/Chords - The Apple
G
Would you give me the apple?
C G
Would you give me the sunshine of your smile?
Am
Take me to that mountain stream.
C
While we’re dreaming our dreams.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.
G
Would you give me tomorrow?
C G
Would you tell me that everything is alright?
Am
You know it’s funny it seems.
C
My life is shattered with dreams.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.
————————-
Bm Em
Somewhere along the way.
Bm Em
Cloudy days seem to fade away.
Am C
Life goes fast we gotta make it last.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.
————————-
G
Would you give me the answer?
C G
Would you tell me that everything is alright?
Am
You know it’s funny it seems.
C
My life’s now shattered with dreams.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.
————————-
Bm Em
Somewhere along the way.
Bm Em
Cloudy days seem to fade away.
Am C
Life goes fast we gotta make it last.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.
————————-
Am C
Life goes fast we gotta make it last.
Cm G
Even if it’s just for a little while.

I Don't Know Why

Original - This one has more of a country feel than the version on The Apple. Each time I hear this song I can't stand how my voice sounds whiny. Actualy, I think my voice sounds whiny all the time. I don't know why.

Lyrics/Chords - I Don’t Know Why
G
Understand that I can sometimes
F
Break the golden rule
G
Then I find myself and realize
F
I’ve been such a fool
G
To think that you would come back
F
After you said we were thru
G
I gotta try just one more time
F
It’s all I can do
——————————
CHORUS
Am C
Raindrops fall the wind may blow
Em
I don’t know why
Am C
I’ll always be here with you
Em
I don’t know why
——————————
G
Taking my time drinking my wine
F
I’m losing my mind
G
But the voice inside my head
F
It’s working overtime
G
One more chance is all I ask of you
F
One last time
G
I have no place left to go
F
Please give me another try
CHORUS

If You Insist

Original - I can't remember how many guitar tracks are layered in this but there's at least 4. And another for my attempt at playing bass. Since I don't have a bass, I EQ'd my guitar as low as possible and played just the top 3 strings. I think I played a harmonica on this too. And, no drums! What the? I think this was an attempt at sounding like an old blues guy like Lightning Hopkins. In my mind that is.

Lyrics/Chords - If You Insist
E A
Sometimes I don’t know how or where or why
E
If you insist
E A
Desires that I try to satisfy
E
If you insist
E A
My lust for you I’ll tell ya I can’t hide
E
If you insist
E A
You take my money I don’t care or ask why
E
If you insist
——— CHORUS ————
B
Your blue eyes…
A
caught me…
E
by surprise
——————————-
Take a look at me baby look deep inside
If you insist
Tell me have you ever been so goddam high
If you insist
You say I have to cook for you clean for you why
If you insist
You say wanna take the wildest ride of your life?
If you insist
You say it’s time for me to look you in the eye
If you insist
And tell you that it’s me and you for life
If you insist
Been there done that honey no reason why
If you insist
To take a good thing and then make it a lie
If you insist
——— CHORUS ————
Your blue eyes…
caught me…
by surprise
——————————-
Maybe it’s time for me to look inside
If you insist
My life is one short roller coaster ride
If you insist
I wonder how or what or where or why?
If you insist
You stay inside me all the days of my life
If you insist
That’s how I know that that everything is alright
——— CHORUS ————
Your blue eyes…
caught me…
by surprise

Semper Fi/Uncle Tom

Original - This recording was actually played inside the DIA offices the day my Uncle Tom died. I had recorded this on my own about a month before he passed. He listened to it in his hospital bed and forwarded it to his colleagues. He was a 20 year Marine Corp Vietnam Veteran and retired with honors. He continued to serve his country for almost 30 years after that working for many different agencies. When I heard he was dying of cancer I was inspired to write this song and pay tribute to him, his Marine brothers and sisters, and everyone that has served our country with honor and dignity. I play all the instruments on this one including the military style drum stuff I was trying to pull off. I got the call that he died while we were recording the updated version on The Apple at Steve's house in Tampa. The energy immediately changed and everyone gave it their all in such a positive way. Even the recording the session was a tribute and it's too bad we didn't video that. My Uncle Tom is still my hero. Semper fi.

Lyrics/Chords - Semper Fi
B Flat F
Secrets and unspoken words
B Flat F
Only few will know…his voice they heard
E flat Gm
He went to war…he flew so high
E flat Gm F
He found his place…he found his pride
——————————
B Flat F
Our lives have changed in so many ways
B Flat F
When I look back on my younger days
E flat Gm
Admiration Adulation our flag is high
E flat Gm F
Because of you… we’ll never die
——————————
CHORUS (twice)
——————————
G F
Semper Fi … you fighted for change
C G Am(first time) F(2nd time)
A Legacy Remains … (gunny) you’re my hero
B Flat F
My country my tis of thee
B Flat F
This country bows unto thee
E flat Gm
Pride, honor and dignity
E flat Gm F
A marine, a man, Uncle Tom to me
——————————
E flat Gm
It’s sad to think that some may never see
E flat Gm F
A marine, a man, Uncle Tom to me
——————————
E flat Gm
You were, you are, you’ll always be
E flat Gm F
A marine, a man, Uncle Tom to me

What Will It Take

Original - This is kind of my anthem song where I'm observing the crazy shit happening in the world and it still holds true today. This is a drum track but I would have loved to have played drums on this. I would have loved to have been able to do this one in the style of a The Who or Bad Company type of anthem with the chorus and drums crashing in each time. At least in my mind that is.

Lyrics - What Will it Take
Looking out my window
As far as the eye can see
I see meadow to cross, mountains to climb
To claim my fortune from sea to sea
My power and money
Is all I crave and need
Irrisistable deals
That will bring you to your knees
—– CHORUS —–
What will it take
To change the world
What will it take
Till we understand we’re all the same
What will it take
To say enough
What will it take
Till we understand it’s all just a crazy game
—————-
It’s hard for me to think
Taking over the world is still a goal
To those of you that want to
You should crawl back into your hole
Feed your children
Take care of their needs
And in the end
All our eyes will finally see
—– CHORUS —–
My god told me to
Kill my brother in his name
He must be right
Cause we don’t look the same
And then I woke up
And realized it’s all a lie
Created by men
With the look of fear in their eyes
—– CHORUS —–

The Seeker

Original - Inspiration and some lyrics by my nephew Jeff while we were living together on a farm outside Orlando, FL. Steve Hall lends his guitar skills playing slide. When I wrote this I thought it might be cool to have a Led Zeppelin (Whole Lotta Love) inspired middle/end with a lot of weird guitar stuff. Steve made some of his guitar parts sound like a sitar and worked his magic which was awesome!

Lyrics/Chords - The Seeker
Capo 2nd fret – drop D tuning – key of E
Do I wanna live
my life over
Do I wanna live
my life sober
Or do I wanna live
like a soldier
No love in my heart
A chip on my shoulder
—– CHORUS ——
D
I am the Seeker
C G
Let me come inside
D
I am the Seeker
C G
I wanna know why
D
Looking for answers
C G
You know what to say
D
I am the Seeker
C G
Let me take you away
———————-
D riff
And to live for myself
does it make me bolder
I wanna live
as if im older
But you make me feel
as if im younger
Thru your eyes I see
My deep and burning hunger
CHORUS
Now im gonna soar
like wind and fire
So I can live
a little bite higher
Now im gonna ride
like earth and water
Take me to the stars
Make me wonder, why
CHORUS

Song 86

Slow rock jam session with myself playing all instruments one at a time all the way thru in a single take.

There You Are

Lyrics by Brenda Moons - Another piece that Brenda wrote most of and I changed up a few areas and put some music to it. It's fun putting music to someone else's lyrics especially if they allow you to chop them up.

Lyrics/Chords - There You Are
Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit
Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit

F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
———————————–
G
I’m breathless
Am
And I’m alone
G
Feel the need to be near you
Am
But I’m alone
G
Thoughts fade away
Am
But not for long
———————————–

Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit
Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit

F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
———————————–

G Am
Souls searching on…another plane
G Am
While life continued on…in oblivion
Dm Em F G
Co-existing…not knowing…anything is missing
Am
And there you are
———————————–

Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit
Am Em
There you are…The lone spirit

F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
F
Rising up thru the morning sun
G Am
You come and show me what you’ve done
———————————–

Am Em
There we are…Two lone spirits
Am Em
There we are…Two lone spirits
F
Becoming one with ourselves
G Am
Can you see where this can go?
F
Becoming one with ourselves
G Am
Can you see where we can go?
Am
There you are…