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New album, songwriting and finding inspiration

Yamaha CP33 Keyboard

It’s never a perfect science as to what makes a hit song. Some say the key to good songwriting is the melody. Some say good songwriting is the combination of a catchy melody with the right lyrics. Some say songwriting has little to do with it – it all depends on the artist… some artists will sell plenty of copies of a new album no matter how poor the songwriting is.

For me, Continue reading New album, songwriting and finding inspiration

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Behind the Song: Wide Open World

It was inevitable that the engineer who mastered the album – Brent Quintin – would pick out the E9 chord at the beginning of Wide Open World.

“Hey Earle, what does this sound like?” he asks his fellow Sesalos engineer.

“Welcome to the real world!” Earle bursts out, reciting the John Mayer classic. Continue reading Behind the Song: Wide Open World

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Behind the Song: More Beautiful Tonight

I’ve long been a fan of Eric Clapton.

Now I know what you’re thinking, and you’re wrong. This is not a lyrical derivative of Wonderful Tonight, although I sometimes wonder if those kind of songs just lie dormant in our sub-conscience and make their way to the surface in subtle ways. As the band tells me, everything we listen to influences the music we create, some of it is just more dominant.

In actual fact, it was the Continue reading Behind the Song: More Beautiful Tonight

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Behind the Song: Loving Every Day

This song was the first one penned for the new album, about four years ago. It was one of those songs which very quickly had a structure, but developed slowly lyrically… so much so that it was only completed last year.

So for those who don’t know, my beautiful wife Tamlyn Mary is the inspiration behind this tune. Without boring you with too many details, Tam and I met at a time when I was fairly rogue. Continue reading Behind the Song: Loving Every Day

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Behind the Song: Leave It Behind

This was a song which was birthed out of the music. The songwriting process is a strange one, because there’s never any true way of knowing when and where inspiration will come from. I’ve resolved to follow Bob Dylan’s advice and make a conscientious effort to hang around the ink well.

When I penned this song, it came out of a Continue reading Behind the Song: Leave It Behind

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Behind the song: Feels Like Home

RCB at the House of Grace, Cape Town.

My good mate Brad and I were sitting on the patio outside at my in-laws’ farm near Albert Falls, jamming and fiddling around on our acoustic guitars. It was one of those real lazy afternoons, where kids and adults were all over the place doing their own thing in the afternoon winter sunshine. Continue reading Behind the song: Feels Like Home

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Behind the Song: On The Edge

The last song to be written ended up as the first song on the album.

I enjoy some of the chords in Jim Croche songs, and for this song the inspiration was the same sequence from the chorus of Time In A Bottle, which runs down the D scale. Except for On The Edge, the rhythm is more upbeat.

I remember it so clearly, sitting on my bed in my room with pen and paper on my lap, trying to finish the song by putting words that matched the mood of the rhythm and the chords. I knew what I wanted the song to be about, but just couldn’t find an opening line. Continue reading Behind the Song: On The Edge