Highwire By Badlands

badlandsAs a guitar player, one that is into bands and players of yore that were considered guitar gods, I delved into all kinds of bands and players. One such player that I loved while learning to play guitar was Jake E. Lee. Jake came into guitar god fame by getting that coveted guitar slinger spot for Ozzy Ozbourne. He recorded two albums with the Oz master then went on to start a band called Badlands. Still rockin, but in a very bluesy sense compared to the metal stylings he had with Ozzy. All this leads me into the opening cut of the debut release of Badlands self titled disc, Highwire. Super energetic and bluesy in the vein of Led Zeppelin with a flair of metal = something that still rocks years later after it came out.

Why am I even thinking about this tune? Well last weekend was NAMM and a bunch of my friends happened to catch Jake E. Lee’s new band performing at a NAMM event. I was at a separate event so I missed the performance but I heard about it and that Jake was still rockin’ hard.

Highwire

Standin’ here, I got my eye on you
Your story bleeds, but there’s no review
Honey drip and set my soul on fire
Stealin’ hearts got me walkin’ the wire
You’re gonna lose control
All night long
When I find my love, love, love
High wire

Flash a smile, like a shiny blade
Everyone there thinks ya got it made
Sorry, child, can you take me higher
But you keep me hangin’ on your lonely wire
You’re gonna lose control
All night long
When I find my love, love, love
High wire

(Solo)

Oh, feels so good
You give me lovin’ like no one could
You turn me child, inside out
Still you leave me drownin’ in a sea of doubt

You’re gonna lose control
All night long
You’re gonna steal my soul, mama
You can’t go wrong
When I find my love, love, love
High wire

Love, love, love
Oh, sweet child, I know where you come from now
High wire, baby
Oh, oh, oh

Enjoy and rock on!

Touch In The Studio

Come in the studio with me as I work with George Leger III at his Utopia Parkway studio to record the final vocals on my upcoming new single “Touch”. Get a sneak peek of what it’s like in the studio and working with a good friend from Canada who helps create some awesome magic.

Find out who I got one of the guitars used on the song from. Figure out a particular guitar riff I play while waiting for George. Hint, it’s from an amazing guitarist out of Texas.

Enjoy the video:

Transcript:
We’re in Los Angeles. Taking off in a moment in the car. To get over to the studio. Time to start recording some vocals.
Ok, here’s the humor. I’ve just rolled up to the parking lot of the studio where I’m recording with George Leger, over here, the third. He’s got sore feet. So, we’re walking in. About to get started with doing some recording and having some fun. Of course I’ve got to have some tea before I start yodeling out of my mouth. [yodel yodel] But it will be an awesome day of having fun in the studio. Enjoy. See you soon.
Currently we’re working through some issues that George has with playing the mix back, before we get into the concept of me actually opening my mouth and making some more vocals. That are not just demo vocals.
Bonus points to YouTubers who can figure out where that riff comes from.
We got the mics all set up and what we’re gonna do is we’re gonna test out this particular setup to make sure it sounds, fucking brilliant. [fucking brilliant].
Turn back the click on?
Don’t you love that? That’s George’s dyslexia in action, right there.
That’s Canadian speak isn’t it?
Canadian speak, ha ha ha.
Eh?
Just for those out in YouTube land. This is a Parker Fly guitar.
Yes, very nice guitar. Wish I had one actually.
It was given to me by somebody that is very big in the independent music world. Or at least was at one point in time. He’s now kind of retired. His name is Mr. Derek Sivers.
Derek Sivers, thank you very much for your contribution to this song. That we’re using with your Parker Fly, that is, well apparently it’s now my Parker Fly.
We’re doing a little production work at this point. We’ve decided to nix the pre chorus, which you’ve already found out. And we’ve decided to nix some vocals in the chorus there were, uh, filling too many holes. After we do a bit more production work, we’re going to ad some ad libbers. Ad libbies. No? We’re not, we’re not doing any? Oh, cause there’s not enough holes. Not enough room. So much for ad libs.
You know what they say about ad libs? Fuck ad libs.
You say you want to try another octave higher. I’m not sure that’ll be overkill, but I’m certainly willing to try.
Well then, shall I double the other choruses first?
Ah, no. I’m just going to use this part for all of them.
No, no, no.
Yes, yes, yes.
No, no, no.
Yes, yes, yes.
I don’t like cut and paste.
Dude. I don’t care. This is not really that important.
It is.
fuckin prima donnas.
I don’t feel like a prima donna, but thank you.
You’re a fucking leo, what are you talking about.
That doesn’t make me a prima donna.
Yes it does.
No, it just makes me king of the jungle. Or my jungle anyway.
It has been an awesome trip. The vocals are done. It’s time to do the mix. Back to the studio. So long LA, it’s been fun being back. It feels like a slice of home. See ya on the flip side.
Rise Today By Alter Bridge

rise-today-alter-bridgeHot damn it’s that awesome time of the year. Today is the opening day of NAMM. Wanna find me right now – I’m somewhere in the annals of the Anaheim Convention Center mingling with my endorsers (hint, they’re listed at the bottom my website here), and meeting fellow musicians that I don’t get to see all that often. One such musician that I’ve only met in passing is Myles Kennedy. He is hands down one of my favorite rock singers of all time. The dude has awesome clean tones, amazing grit, and serious emotion as he sings. It doesn’t hurt that he’s got a great charisma as well. I’m a fan. It would be a dream come true to craft a song with Myles, however, I don’t know him well enough to get him on the phone to make it happen. Not yet anyway.

Here’s one of their songs where you get the roller coaster of clean to grit and high rises on the melody along with cool and smashing guitar tones. Enjoy Rise Today by Alter Bridge as vocalized by Myles Kennedy. If you want to get some instant visual updates of my adventures at NAMM then follow me on Instagram.

Rise Today

The wind is blowing cold
Have we lost our way tonight?
Have we lost our hope to sorrow?

Feels like we’re all alone
Running further from what’s right
And there are no more heroes to follow

So what are we becoming?
Where did we go wrong?

[Chorus:]
Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
Oh, won’t you rise today
And change this world?

The sun is beating down
Are we ever gonna change
Can we stop the blood from running?

Our time is running out
Hope we find a better way
Before we find we’re left with nothing

For every life that’s taken
So much love is wasted

[Chorus:]
Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
So won’t you rise today
And change

This world
Only love can set it right
This world
If only peace would never die

Seems to me that we’ve got each other wrong
Was the enemy just your brother all along?

[Chorus:]
Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
Oh won’t you rise today
And change this world?

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Yeah, oh yeah
I want to rise today
And change this world

Road Trip To LA For Recording Touch

A couple of months ago I forged ahead with getting a slew of new music recorded. Instead of doing it all at once in an album format, I’ve shifted gears and opted to go single by single. This way I’m able to concentrate on a steady stream of new music, plus do videos for each one.

Join me in this video as I hop in the car and head to Los Angeles through Utah, Arizona, Nevada and finally California.

Getting To LA For Recording Touch

http://youtu.be/lGXF6q1FS2k

Transcript:

“I am in the process of finishing up a first single called Touch. Today, I am on my way to Los Angeles to work with George Leger my co-producer to finish up that song. So it’s road trip time people. See ya in LA.
So I’m winding down one of the major arteries of America, interstate 15, about to pass Nephi Utah. Eighty mile an hour speed limit, gotta love it.
Off goes the trucker. Probably going to the flying J right there. I used to drive my bus there. There’s Nephi one direction. Nephi the other direction.
Taste Beaver. Lovely.
One thing that a traveler must have, as they’re traveling in their car, Juanita chips. These are the best corn chips in the world. Bar none. In addition to that, you also need to have fresh homemade guacamole. Chips and guacamole in the car and some awesome lemonade. You’ve got a good road trip way ahead.
And the most odd thing I think I’ve ever seen in my life, is that the driver in front of me is from California and driving really slow.
I’m about to cross over into Nevada and that point I’m going to make a rest stop. Stay with my father. Play some golf tomorrow and go on to LA the next day. Have a good one!
Zzyzx road right there, exit 239. Right off I-15. Heading in to LA, almost there.
This is your captain Jody Whitesides speaking. We’ve just made it across the high desert and we are now about to descend into the Los Angeles valley. LA, here we come.
Dropping down into the Los Angeles valley on the long descent down. Big windy road. One of my favorite places. Easy to coast. Just got to watch the downhill speed with the brakes.
Just landed right down in the Los Angeles valley and wholly cow look at the traffic heading out of town. It looks like they’re doing a bunch of construction to widen the freeway.
Excited to be back! Ready to record baby! Ready to record.
Two helicopters chasing people down the street next to the party I’m at in Hollywood!”
Maybe I'm Amazed By Wings

wings-paul-mccartneyMy parents were big time fans of classic rock. What that means is that while I was wee little lad running around the house, really cool melodic oriented rock music was the sound du jour. One of the bands that got a lot of rotation was Wings. Sometimes known as Paul McCartney and Wings. One of my favorite songs he’s written is his ode to Linda his wife, Maybe I’m Amazed. I really love the music, the melody and the flow. It’s one of the most perfect love songs of all time. Period.

One time I decided to learn the song and translate it to acoustic guitar and vocal for a live show in Hollywood, CA. It went over extremely well. In fact, thinking about it now, I need to dig that song back out and put it back under my fingers and stuff the words into my mouth. I really don’t play enough cover tunes. Mmmm. Mmmm. Good, that’s the feeling I get when it comes to this song and now I want you to feel that same feeling. Especially if you’ve never really taken the time to enjoy the song. Enjoy it now!

Maybe I’m Amazed

Maybe I’m amazed at the way you love me all the time,
And maybe I’m afraid of the way I love you.

Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time,
You hung me on the line.
Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.

Baby, I’m a man, maybe I’m a lonely man
Who’s in the middle of something
That he doesn’t really understand.

Baby, I’m a man,
And maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me.
Baby, won’t you help me to understand?
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh.

Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
Oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh.

Baby, I’m a man, maybe I’m a lonely man
Who’s in the middle of something
That he doesn’t really understand.

Baby, I’m a man,
And maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me.
Baby, won’t you help me to understand?
Ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh-ooh.

Maybe I’m amazed at the way you’re with me all the time,
Maybe I’m afraid of the way I leave you.

Maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me sing my song,
Right me when I’m wrong-
Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.

Happy When I'm With You Lyric Video

Back in 2011 I had a song I had cowritten with Johnny Elkins appear in a movie starring Colin Hanks. That movie is called “Lucky”. Ever since it’s release I’ve had people contacting me about the song “Happy When I’m With You” which appears in the middle of the movie as the song playing over the montage sequence. People wanting to know what the words are can now do their own karaoke of it with the video below. The only place to purchase the song is here Buy Now.

Happy When I’m With You Lyric Video

http://youtu.be/J1h90GO9aUE

Transcript:

“Welcome. Thank you for stopping by in order to watch the official lyric video for Happy When I’m With You, the song that appears in the movie Lucky starring Colin Hanks.”

Doesn’t matter the time or the place
Only know there’s a smile taking over my face
Always seems to be here when you’re there
Just feel it inside and it’s in the air

I’m happy when I’m with you
I’m hap-a hap-a hap-a happy when I‘m with you
 Doesn’t really matter what we do
I’m hap-a hap-a hap-a happy when I‘m with
 Happy when I’m with you

Jumping over the sun dancing under the rain
Acting seriously or completely insane
Ain’t no place on earth that I’d rather be
Then with me next to you and you next me

Chorus:

When I’m with you there’s sunshine
In my heart the whole time
Everybody around us is catching the feelings
We’re feeling

Chorus Out:

Wanna know more about the song click here.

I Want To Break Free By Queen

i-want-to-break-freeA few years ago I was invited to dinner by one of my best friends Jeff Scott Soto. He prefaced it by saying, we’re going to dinner with Roger Taylor from Queen, don’t bring any music, don’t say you’re a musician, don’t ask about Queen. To which I asked Jeff when had I ever done something like that to anyone I’ve ever met through him [never was the answer]. I got to Koi near the Beverly Center in Los Angeles a few minutes late. They had already had some drinks and the moment I arrived we got seated.

First thing that comes out of Roger’s mouth as we sit is: “So what do you do?” I turn and look at Jeff thinking – what the hell do I say since he’s put it out there that I can’t say I’m a musician. I pause for a second and point at Jeff saying “I do what he does.” Roger responds with “Oh fantastic. Anything I’ve heard.” From there on out it was much easier conversing. The song “I Want To Break Free” comes on over the loud system. Mind you, I’m really curious about the solo in the song and I’m holding my tongue knowing I’m not supposed to ask. That is until Roger blurts out, what the hell is this doing on the loud system? It was never a hit for us. Boom, open game. Both Jeff and I express how cool of a song it is and I got in the question “Is that Brian on guitar or is that someone mimicking Brian on a synth for the solo?” Roger chuckles and proceeds to tell Jeff and I the inner workings of how and what Queen did when recording. I’ve written a book about my musical life and the story about this dinner, the song and what Roger told us is in it. You’ll have to wait to find out what he told us.

I Want To Break Free

I want to break free
I want to break free
I want to break free from your lies
You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you
I’ve got to break free
God knows, God knows I want to break free.

I’ve fallen in love
I’ve fallen in love for the first time

And this time I know it’s for real
I’ve fallen in love, yeah
God knows, God knows I’ve fallen in love.

It’s strange but it’s true
I can’t get over the way you love me like you do
But I have to be sure
When I walk out that door
Oh how I want to be free, baby
Oh how I want to be free,
Oh how I want to break free.

But life still goes on
I can’t get used to, living without, living without,
Living without you by my side
I don’t want to live alone, hey
God knows, got to make it on my own
So baby can’t you see
I’ve got to break free.

I’ve got to break free
I want to break free, yeah
I want, I want, I want, I want to break free.

How I Became The First Non-Signed Artist On iTunes

How I became the first non-signed artist on iTunesBelow is a video where I explain how I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes through CD Baby.

http://youtu.be/H82ddULOXyc

Transcript of what I said in the video:

This is the really condensed version of how I became the first non-signed artist on iTunes.

Derek Sivers started a little company called CD Baby a bunch of years ago in order to help independent musicians sell their music on the web. I didn’t want him to sell my music when he first contacted me. So he actually hounded me for four months before I finally relented and started selling CDs on his website.

CD Baby was originally more of a Windows, Linux, kind of a platform and I’ve always been an Apple guy. Any time there was an issue with the website I would contact Derek and have him try to fix it, so that it would work for Apple customers.

Over the course of a few years Derek and I got to be really good friends. One day a few years ago I was driving down to the NAMM show in LA and Derek called me while I was driving in my car. He calls up and he says “Guess where I am?” And I throw out a couple of random answers and Derek is like “No. It’s not there. No, it’s not there.” And eventually he tells me that it’s Cupertino and he’s about to meet Steve Jobs at Apple.

So I’m like “Fuck You.” (laughter). Because I’ve always wanted to meet Steve and unfortunately as we now know, Steve is no longer around. And the reason he was up there is because Apple wanted to bring in the CD Baby catalog to the iTunes catalog. So that they could pump up their numbers and make them sound really big. Because everyone wanted to have a million tracks and nobody had it with all the major label songs.

A couple of months later Derek calls me up again and he says “Are you in front of your computer?” And I say “Yes I am.” I type in the URL that he gives me and low and behold it is a little special place on CD Baby to find out how you can fill out all of your information to send your music to iTunes. I filled out the information. I hit send and Derek calls me back and says “Congratulations. You are the very first person in the database going to iTunes!” And I’m like yeah. Actually I didn’t actually do that, but it felt like I needed to say that just now.

The next step was to wait around until the music actually got uploaded to iTunes. Unfortunately Apple was dragging their feet and Derek was having problems with a guy by the name of Moses Avalon, who was creating all kinds of trouble.

Couple of months later, Derek calls me up again and he says “I’m thinking I want to dump the whole digital distribution thing. Because all I ever wanted to do was sell CDs.” And I’m like, “Derek, you don’t want to do that dude. Digital distribution is the future.”

The decision was made to stick with the digital distribution. Derek decided that it would be a wise idea to return everybody’s money. In the end, what ended up happening was, Derek returned everybody’s money and people still got to go to iTunes through CD Baby. And I ended up being the very first person in the database to go to iTunes.

And that is how you are now able to get on iTunes. Thanks to a guy like me.

Collective Soul Shine

shine by collective soulIf there is a band with a more interesting story of a comeback before hitting fame than Collective Soul, I’d like to know who it is. As the story goes, Collective Soul got signed after they had already broken up. All because one of their songs was starting to get a lot of airplay. Along comes a label who sees the song is doing well, contacts the former band’s leader and offers them a deal. The leader contacts the band and gets ’em back together. The rest could be called history. Collective Soul has a super string of amazing hits and if I’m not mistaken it started with this particular song Shine. I once crossed paths with Collective Soul backstage at one of their concerts in Los Angeles. Super cool guys who play really catchy tunes. Here it is Collective Soul Shine.

Shine

Give me a word
Give me a sign
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Lay me on the ground
Fly me in the sky
Show me where to look
Tell me what will I find
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

Love is in the water
Love is in the air
Show me where to look
Tell me will love be there
Teach me how to speak
Teach me how to share
Teach me where to go
Tell me will love be there
Oh, heaven let your light shine down

Enjoy!