As a kid growing up in Modesto, CA, a destination resort for Steinbeck's Dustbowl Okies, I often snuck into "The Uptown Ballroom in Downtown Modesto" to hear country luminaries like the Maddux Brothers and Rose. Nothing seemed so magical to me as a steel guitar. As I grew older, my country musical tastes changed faster than a dog chasing a meat wagon--from Nashville Country (e.g. Lefty Frizzell, George Jones)to Austin Country (e.g.,Willy Nelson and Waylin) to L.A. Country (e.g.,The Eagles and Jackson Browne). My musical schizophrenia was best revealed when, in 1975, I performed many of these original country songs at the Palomino in North Hollywood and a week later played my pop/rock tunes at the Troubadour. Go figure. I've also published four best-selling novels, so I'm heavy into story-telling and lyrics. It could be said that this is a somewhat dark collection, however, with short stories about a triangle of romantic despair (Old Friends); a physically and emotionally shattered W.W.I soldier (Corporal Steve), about being alone (Stoned and Alone, Handwriting On The Wall, etc.), adultery and murder (I Should Have Taken My Time), and the inevitable black train (The Devil Takes His Time). There are chuckles, too (Country Dance, Careful, Quick and Kind), so don't swallow your gun or turn to drink before you've heard 'em all.