To Tune a Guitar

May 16, 2015

The way to tune a guitar: hold it loose and easily Every flat or sharp tells you where it needs to be Strings should sing like stars, serenade us like the moon and that’s the way a guitar is tuned   To listen to a song: come inside, be right here So soon we will … Read More


May 12, 2015

I was in the high school marching band back in Iowa and every Memorial Day we would march a few miles to a cemetery that lay among cornfields, lonesome willows and elms. The town and the farmers would come out and listen to us play Sousa marches that always seemed too rousing for the occasion. … Read More

Leave the Gun. Take the Cannoli.

May 9, 2015

A rat! I had heard my whole life to insulate myself from them, that they are everywhere and so to remain on guard. A RAT!! In my own home! My home! Under the same roof as my wife and family. Where I ate and slept (though uneasily). There had been hints of course. Evidence willfully … Read More

What Would the World Be Like?

May 6, 2015

For Mother’s Day! When my daughter was four, she asked me a question. This song was my (eventual) answer. This slideshow is a selection of photos I have found and set to a song from my CD “Radio Boy“. John Dillard put this slide show together. Many thanks. And thanks to the following photographers for … Read More

In the Beginning

May 1, 2015

In a few weeks, I will make my yearly pilgrimage to Charlottesville, Virginia to spend some time with a wonderful group of songwriters. We  try out new material, write new songs, co-write, play, and live and breathe music for a week. Last year, there was a discussion about favorite first lines of songs. I recently … Read More

The Poet and the Pig Farmer

April 27, 2015

As a boy, every meal with my family began with Bless us Oh Lord for these thy Gifts We prayed together, heads bowed, and after through Christ Our Lord. Amen we blessed ourselves, opened our eyes and looked to our father who remained in silent darkness for…seconds? minutes? I have no idea I felt nor … Read More

Roast Beef, Well done (State Song of Iowa)

April 21, 2015

Every Sunday throughout my childhood, my mother made roast beef. It was always well done. Well done. My mother was, by any standards, a great cook. Her pies were the envy of our neighbors. Her bread and biscuits were light, airy and addictive. Her mashed potatoes and gravy hit the high peaks of sacred succulence. … Read More

Supergroups and Pancakes

April 20, 2015

Ever since the early output of the Wayne Newton/Leonard Cohen/Iggy Pop supergroup, songwriters have seldom ventured into the realm of pancake songs. A few years ago, my friend Charlie Braun and I were asked to come to a nearby restaurant out here in western Massachusetts and see if we could write a song while we were … Read More