Some folks aren’t aware of the recording process so I thought it would be fun to share a very brief and quick description of what I had to do in order to record “Edge Of A Dream”.
“Edge Of A Dream” was recorded at Hook Studios Los Angeles, CA. This was my first recording as lead vocalist. I have recorded many different projects as guitarist and backing vocalist but never lead vocals so this was a little unnerving. I had three weeks to complete this recording due to Hook Studios being booked by Michael Bolton. He had reserved the studio for 6 months after my time was up so I had to work quickly. I nearly worked around the clock for 21 straight days and nights. My first engineer quit after a few days and nights due to the pressure I was putting on him so the assistant engineer had to step in. When he was too tired to continue, I stepped in and engineered. The recording of all instruments and vocals were completed in 21 days but the project still needed to be mixed and mastered. Since the studio had already been booked after my 21 days were up, I had no choice but to find another studio to mix and master the recording. No other studios were available in Los Angeles at that time so I called a studio I had previously recorded at in Memphis, TN., Ardent Studios. I spoke with a brilliant engineer I have known for years “Paul Ebersold” and he was able to schedule me studio time to mix “Edge Of A Dream”. I flew to Memphis where Paul picked me up and we went straight to Ardent to mix. After a few days “Edge Of A Dream was mixed. I flew back to Los Angeles where I hired Bernie Grundman Mastering Studios to master my final mixes. Now all that was left was a photo shoot for the album cover, graphic work and packaging.
Although it was a grueling month, I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world. Also I didn’t mention all the preparation in writing and arranging the songs before going to the studio which took months as well. This leads to the question I get asked most when doing interviews: What inspired you to write a particular song? So I’d like to share a brief description of each song on “Edge Of A Dream”.
“Long Way From Home” This songs about being on the road, broken relationships and eventually finding my way back home to my home town of Hendersonville, TN. I sing about fist fights at Sidney’s Tavern which was a dive bar my step father owned at the time and swimming in the tanks at Jack Daniels Distillery. Cheers!
“Texas Twister” This song originated after hearing the news of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s death on August 27th, 1990. I was walking down the side walk on Rodeo Drive Beverly Hills, CA. when I asked a person I saw crying if she was ok? She told me Stevie had been killed and that she was a huge fan of his. At that time I wasn’t a blues player at all but I highly respected Stevie’s talents. So one night at a show my band was performing, I asked my band members to play something bluesy so we could dedicate it to Stevie. I made up the words and the guitar parts on the spot in front on an audience and we were recording that night so the song was born. The lyrics aren’t about Stevie because at the time I didn’t know enough about him to make up words on the fly, but the title Texas Twister is what came to mind when thinking about him. He was like a tornado on guitar, powerful, dangerous, ferocious and unpredictable. So when I made a dedication to Stevie, that’s what came out of my mouth…Texas Twister. The lyrics I blurted out of the top of my head that night actually ended up being about a woman who was powerful, dangerous, ferocious and unpredictable.
“Goodbye” I remember my last night in Tennessee. The following morning my 80’s rock band was leaving for California for that BIG Record Deal. My girlfriend at the time came over to spend the night and I wrote this song for her after she had fallen a sleep. It was my way of saying goodbye.
“Misty Blue” This song is about the last time I ever saw my brother Tommy alive. After he left home that misty blue morning he never returned. He was with a couple buddies when their car broke down on the side of I-40 just outside of Nashville. Tommy decided to walk to the nearest exit to find help and while he was walking on the side of the freeway his body was struck by multiple vehicles, he was killed instantly. Some vehicles fled the scene so this was considered a hit and run. This made headlines stating a 21 year old man was killed. I was only thirteen at the time and had no idea that later in life I would be writing songs about him. Here’s to you brother with all my love.
“Edge Of A Dream” This song is me pleading to the “Creator of All” to take my life if he has no plans for me. When I wrote this song I was frustrated with my musical career. I felt everything I was doing was falling on deaf ears. Being in such an emotional whirlwind I felt “Edge Of A Dream” was perfect for the title track. I constantly envisioned standing on the edge of the world shouting at God, toss me of this earth, what am I here for? I even took it a step further and did a photo shoot on the very edge of the highest cliff you will see on this album cover. The photo shoot was taken at Vasquez Rocks Agua Dulce, CA. where I literally stood on that very edge in 50 mile an hour winds while photographer Michael Lovin snapped shots for over an hour. This was Gods chance to end my life but I was spared for reasons I didn’t understand. A few years later, I now have two incredibly beautiful daughters…thank you Lord.
“Mother Nature” This song is about the cruelty of mankind as we continuously abuse Mother Earth…Wake up people, we all need to beware!
“Hot Summer Nights” This is one of two songs I wrote for Eddie Money. I was asked to be a staff song writer for A & M records where my friend Lenny who was an A & R Rep at the company invited me to a meeting that was being held for Eddie. Eddie was in need of new songs for a new album release and he described the kind of vibe he was looking for and I ended up writing a couple songs for him, “Hot Summer Nights” & “That’s Why”. I never did release these songs to A & M Records or to Eddie. I felt like both songs where not suited for Eddie’s style. In hindsight, maybe I should have let him decide.
“Borderline Of Mexico” This song was my first radio single release. First and foremost, this song is NOT intended to be racist. Listen for yourself. If you understand what it is I’m saying you will find absolutely no racism whatsoever.
“Heaven High” This is about a girlfriend leaving me high and dry with no reason, no warning, nothing…just gone with the wind.
“Love Prevails” This is another girlfriend song. After being gone on the road for a long time, I come back home to an empty house.
“Sunday Morning” This is probably the most personal song I’ve ever written. It takes you inside my childhood and reveals the truth about my father through the eyes of an innocent child, brother and mother. When my mother heard this song for the first time, she said to me with tears in her eyes: “some songs should never be written, don’t ever play that for me again”, and I haven’t. However, I did feel the need to performed this song to my father. He flew out to visit us at our studio in California. He was sitting in the corner of my studio and he had no idea what he was about to hear. This was the second time I ever saw him cry. The first time was when my brother was killed, I think he truly felt a little bit of loss. Crying in my studio, I think he felt a little bit of shame…maybe.
“I Think We Can Make It” This song is about a high school girlfriend I was madly in love with, at least as much as a ninth grader could be, right? This was the first time I had encountered hatred for no other reason than the way I looked and who I was. I’m talking about her parents. They despised me because of my long hair and the fact of being a rock guitarist. They made it impossible for us. They made it impossible for her. They made her life impossible. She later committed suicide. You will never be forgotten.
“Edge Of A Dream” was a huge change for me. My rock band that I had formed in the mid 80’s had finally fizzled out during the early 90’s when grunge took over. Musically, I had to reinvent myself. I approached this album with a different mindset than my previous recordings. First of all, becoming lead vocalist was never anything I’d would have considered years ago. The main reason I became a vocalist was to sing about my life stories. It would be strange to hear someone else sing about my brother or my life experiences when they didn’t experience it themselves. I have always considered myself a guitarist and still to this day when a stranger ask what I do for a living, I reply: I’m a guitarist. However, on “Edge Of A Dream” and “Cherokee Passion”, I changed my approach on the guitar as well. Previously, I was labeled as one of those 80’s hairband guitar shredders. I grew up playing guitar in the 80’s and still to this day I love 80’s rock. But times changed and I put the crazy whammy bar dives, finger tapping and fretboard acrobats aside. I went out and bought my first 6 string and 12 string acoustic guitars and started writing songs for the first time without a wall of Marshall Amps cranked to 11! Hence the birth of “Edge Of A Dream” followed by “Cherokee Passion”.
I truly hope you will enjoy my music and for all those awaiting the crazy guitar style of my past…it’s in the making!