I've been a songwriter for years and I'm still amazed
that I still have any hearing left after playing in bands in high school
and college. Anyway, I finally got around to recording some of my
original stuff at home (I have a Yamaha AW16G recorder and
lay down all of the tracks individually in a
spare room) and I posted the songs here (mp3
they became "listenable." As a group, they make up two
virtual CD/albums: "Dad's a Dork"
(my first album) and "Love and Other Matters (my most recent)."
You may download these without charge for your
listening pleasure (or to torture enemies, depending upon one's
perspective - I am a songwriter and not a singer). However, if you want to make money off of them, then we
want a cut! (Contact me for more info on the latter.) Note: all of these
will sound better when burned to a CD and played through either your
home or car stereo system. (Computers speakers don't always cut the
Love and Other Matters
All of My Heart (for Laurie) (by jpearson; copyright 2012). These are the wedding vows that I wrote for Laurie. I've not recorded it as mp3 yet. This link is to YouTube video of me playing the song for Laurie 6 months later. Will record it soon... [BTW - if you'd like to view my original performance i.e. at our wedding, go to "15 Minutes of Love, Fun, and Magic " here on YouTube. And - yes - I truly do look like the most eager dork on the planet. Fortunately, Laurie makes it all worth watching!] Lyrics are here.
Featured instruments: Taylor 814 BCE acoustic guitar and 55 year old vocal cords.
And Now You're There (by jpearson; copyright 2011). For Laurie, my "Folgers" i.e. the best part of waking up! Lyrics and chords are here.
Featured instruments: Taylor 814BCE acoustic guitar part; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for strings; 54 year old vocal cords.
Dearest Friend (by jpearson; copyright 2011) Another song
written while hiking with Apollo. I value all of my friends. This is a quiet, poignant piece
dedicated to them all. Lyrics are
Featured instruments: Taylor 814
BCE acoustic guitar parts; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for strings; 54 year
old vocal cords.
I Taught My
Son to Curse (by jpearson; copyright 2011). My friends, Mike and
Abby, jokingly made a comment that I should write a country song
with this title after seeing a picture of my son indicating to me that I
- obviously - am #1 in his book. Next morning, I decided to write the
song - took about 25 minutes while hiking with Apollo. A fun song!
Obviously dedicated to my son, Michael. Lyrics are
Taylor 814 BCE acoustic guitar; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for piano and
bass; Harmonica and 54 year old vocal cords.
When You're Not
Wanted (by jpearson; copyright 2011). Wrote this in 5 minutes
while hiking with Apollo one morning. I had written quite a few love
songs and poems of late - I was due for the antithesis. Lyrics are
Featured instruments: Taylor
655CE 12 string guitar; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for piano, bass, and
strings; Taylor 814 BCE for lead; 54 year old vocal cords.
Much Longer? (by jpearson; copyright 2011). Found a
riff that I liked on my 12 string and built a love song on it. Lyrics can be
Featured instruments: Taylor 655CE 12
string guitar; Fender Stratocaster ('72 with Lace pick-ups) for rhythm
and lead bits; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for piano and bass lines; Hohner
Marine Band Harmonica;
In Her Eyes
(by jpearson; copyright 2011). I
wrote this song about 10 years ago and just felt like recording it
tonight as a simple basic piece. A song about betrayal and divorce. Not
sure where this came from inside, but I stress that THIS IS NOT AN AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL PIECE!
Lyrics are here.
Baden "D" Style acoustic guitar with Fishman Electronics;
54 year old vocal cords.
(I'm Not Me) (by jpearson; copyright 2011). I was on a
high while returning from a recent trip to L.A. and wrote this quickly
on the night of my return. The
reflect on how one's life can be changed by love. As I laid down the
individual tracks, though, it changed from a sweet love song to
something darker (and louder). My normal voice timbre was not right so I
tried "channeling" the likes of Joe Cocker, Louis Armstrong, Bruce
Springsteen, and a bucket of mud interspersed with gravel.
Featured instruments: Fender
Stratocaster ('72 with Lace pick-ups) for rhythm and lead; Taylor 655CE
12 string guitar; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for piano and bass lines; 54
year old bucket of mud for vocal cords.
A Love Song (of sorts)
(by jpearson; copyright 2011). So here's the deal; have you ever
felt really close to somebody and they disappeared from your life. They
stop responding to your e-mails/texts/FaceBook messages, change their
phone numbers, etc. - you get the idea. You take the hints and no longer
pursue because if you did, you might be considered a stalker. But,
stalkers have feelings, too, right? This was a Valentines Day present to
my friends. I wanted to write a Michael Feinstein -style romantic song,
but with a plot twist. Enjoy! Lyrics and the real title of the song can be found
Featured instruments: Alesis QS8
Synthesizer for piano and strings; 53 year old vocal cords.
Come Home To (by jpearson; copyright 2009); A very
close friend has had some tough times of late and I wrote this for
her. Being alone is tough at times.
I created a video "For My Friends" that used this song as background music for my photography. You can watch it here.
instruments: Taylor 655CE 12 string guitar; Taylor 814BCE
6-string guitar; Alesis QS8
Synthesizer for piano, 52 year old somewhat hoarse tired vocal cords...
(I might re-do vocals when voice is stronger)
Storybook (by jpearson;
copyright 2009); My old friend, Nita, is a professional singer
who is always looking for new songs. She's been wanting something
along the lines of Celine Dion. Inspired by the same muse as "A Dose
of You," I wrote this for Nita last week while walking across the
Lake Hodges trail bridge.
Featured instruments: Taylor
655CE 12 string guitar; Alesis QS8 Synthesizer for the piano,
strings, and bassoon parts (Special thanks go to TJ Baden for
lending this to me); 52 year old vocal cords (I think that I may
have strained myself hitting some of the notes. Is that TMI?)
A Dose of You
(by jpearson; copyright 2009); There comes a time when you meet a
kindred spirit that ignites a spark. This song was recently written in under
24 hours after just such a meeting. Laid down 6 tracks really quick
over weekend and did simple mix. (Sorry - don't have a drum kit or
keyboard yet) [lyrics]
Featured instruments: Taylor 814 BCE
6 string, Fender Stratocaster (bass, rhythm lines, lead) 52 year old vocal cords.
Dad's a Dork
Angel in the
Garden (by jpearson; copyright 2004); My friends,
Jeff, recently landscaped their property. A very spiritual couple,
they had placed a small statue of an angel in their garden that
glows in the dark. They used to own a music store and we often get
together to play acoustic guitar and sing. Deb's been running around
a lot lately, playing nurse to friends and family members (no
specifics here - that would be a major
violation). This song essentially wrote itself.
instruments: Taylor 655 CE 12 string with ES (Expression
System) pickup; Taylor 814 BCE with ES system (lead guitar); Fender
Stratocaster (for the bass line), and (now) 47 year old vocal cords
attempting some 3 part harmony. [Interesting note: it's difficult to sing the word
"God" and not have it come out sounding like "cod."
jpearson; copyright 2004) - I wrote this song for Brenda, my
receptionist. Her son was stationed in the Gulf for a while and he kept
us abreast of what was going on via his e-mails.
Featured instruments: Taylor 655CE 12 string, Fender Stratocaster
(lead and bass lines),
a $2 rhythm egg, a box of Trivial Pursuit (makeshift drum set) and 46 year old vocal cords!
Tonight (by jpearson; copyright 2004) - I wrote this for Elaine. The story of how we met...
Featured instruments: Taylor 814BCE 6
string (rhythm); Taylor 655CE 12 string(rhythm); Fender Stratocaster
(additional rhythm, lead and bass lines); Same old $2 rhythm egg,
Trivial Pursuit Boxes (poor man's drum set) and vocal cords...
Tipper Doesn't Like Jello
(by jpearson; copyright 2005) -
Jello Biafra was
the leader of The Dead Kennedys, a punk rock group that was singled out
by Tipper Gore and her Parents Music Resource Center (PMRC). They were
placed on trial because of the content of a record album back in 1986.
He has since given many "spoken word" tours pleading the case for free
speech. I listened to an interview with Jello on NPR about 10 years ago
and this song was the result. Alas, our society still has a long way to
go as evidenced by the massive overreaction to Janet Jackson's
"wardrobe malfunction" and numerous other examples of censorship
(courtesy of now ex-FCC Chairman Michael Powell among others).
Featured instruments: Fender
Stratocaster 1972 [ I recently replaced the original pick-ups with
Sensor Gold pick-ups and they sound awesome] (bass line, 2
rhythm and 2 lead tracks);
Fender G-DEC amplifier provided the drum track; 48 year old vocal
Gangs (by jpearson; copyright
2005) - Written in the mid-90's after reading increased reports about
gang violence and it's effect on local communities.
instruments: Taylor 814BCE 6 string w/ ES system
(rhythm and lead guitar), Fender Stratocaster (bass line and back up
rhythm), 48 year old vocal cords.
She Was Dressed Like Rock 'n Roll (But She Had Country in Her Eyes)
(by jpearson; copyright 2004) - The
lovely Elizabeth and I were talking in the hallway one day and I
described someone as having "country in her eyes." It struck me that
this was a title just begging for a song and this is the result. (This
is only a 4 track cut - hopefully, I'll find some time to record this in
the studio with the addition of some drums, fiddle, etc.)
instruments: Taylor 814BCE 6 string (rhythm and
instrumental lead); Fender Stratocaster (bass line); $2 rhythm egg; 47 year old vocal
cords... [note: I will fix last chorus harmonies soon!]
jpearson; copyright 2004); Written during the George H. Bush
administration, I get to recycle this song every 4 years or so.
Featured instruments: Taylor 814BCE 6 string, Fender
Stratocaster (for bass line). Same ol' vocal cords, but alas, no rhythm egg...
Daniel (The Toast) (by jpearson; copyright 2004); When my
sister, Lori, married Daniel back in the mid-1980's, I surprised
them with this musical toast. Originally performed with just the
guitar, harmonica and kazoo. I had a chance to add some other
instruments to the mix here. [Incidentally, my old Fender
Shenandoah 12 string had become unplayable by the date of their
wedding so I had to run out and buy a new guitar that very day. My
friend, Steve Mandell (who won the Grammy Award for the guitar part
"Dueling Banjos" and also played with Judy Collins) took me out
to the Mandolin Bros.
store out in the sticks of Staten Island. Together, we played a lot
of vintage guitars for hours before finally selecting a Martin 1943
D-28 6-string (re-issue). The things that we do for family...]
Featured instruments: Taylor 814BCE 6 string (rhythm and
acoustic lead parts), Fender Stratocaster (for bass line), Hohner
Marine Band Harmonica, jawharp, and kazoo - you know, the
instruments typically heard in Jewish toasts!
.Top of the Scales (parody lyrics by jpearson; music by John Bettis and Richard
Carpenter). I've always enjoyed writing parodies - this is one of my
favorites. On a serious note, though, Karen Carpenter had one of the
most beautiful voices in music. She died in 1983 from complications
of her eating disorder (for you trivia junkies: Karen actually
succumbed to emetine poisoning (the active ingredient in Ipecac).
She used so much Ipecac in order to induce vomiting that it finally
affected her heart.) Eating disorders are among some of the most
difficult conditions to treat. You can learn more at: www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.
Featured instruments: Taylor 814BCE string,
Fender Stratocaster (for bass line, additional rhythm, and lead
guitar), anorectic vocal cords.
(by jpearson; copyright 2004); Shortly after moving to San Diego,
Samantha joined us and she was definitely not a happy camper
those first few months - cried bloody hell all night long. About the only thing
that would quiet her back down to sleep was for Elaine to drive her
around in the car at all hours of the night. These nightly jaunts
provided Elaine with seemingly boundless opportunities to learn all
of the intriguing facets of the San Diego infrastructure. She failed to
appreciate this fact, however, and soon started insisting that
I begin dealing with little Sam. I wrote this lullaby while carrying her
and - lo and behold - it worked like a charm. (Good thing, too, as
San Diego gasoline prices started to skyrocket!) A little dated, as
you can tell by the lyrical references to Johnny Carson, but still a
Featured instruments: Taylor 814 BCE 6
string, Fender Stratocaster (for the bass line), 46 year-old
whispering vocal cords.
Fly With Me (by jpearson;
copyright 2004) - My buddy, Craig Reider, turned me onto some great jazz
fusion groups in the 70's. Greenwich Village (NYC) had some great clubs
where we would watch master guitarists including
Carlos Santana and others. This
was my attempt at a fusion jazz piece in the 80's.[Warning: not my
best lead guitar work.]
instruments: Taylor 655CE 12 string guitar w/ ES system
(rhythm); Fender Stratocaster (rhythm, lead, bass line); $2 rhythm egg
(percussion); 47 year old vocal cords...
|The Acorn Doesn't Fall Far
from the Tree Dept:
My father had
written poetry and stories for years. Some friends put some of his
lyrics to music and recorded them for a CD entitled
Day at the Office." You can check them out here.
[NOTE: my sister, Wendy, sings on "Pitter Patter of Love" and
"Coffee." She's the one who inherited my mom's singing abilities.]