Walkersville Sessions: Demos of Significance
The New Era band's brand name and concept was dreamed up by mainly two musicians, myself and another close friend, who I grew up and went to school with some years ago... The name of the band itself was inspired by an idea from my uncle, who was a major influence in my life back then, and who was turned on at the time to several political, social, economic, and culturally oriented and significant books, while especially being influenced by one particular futuristic writer by the name of, Alvin Toffler-who inspired the work: 'Future Shock!', and who also wrote a book called: 'The Third Wave'; My uncle, influenced by these things and a music lover himself, suggested that I form a band and call it: 'The New Era'! I had already decided to put a positive spin on the things that he told me were written in these books when he suggested the name for the band-before running the idea by this very same close musician friend of mine that I mention above, (and who is somewhat brilliant in his own sort of way), when we had decided to take off with the idea by creating and developing our own brand of high energy rock 'n' roll and power/pop, and by forming a band-mostly around the two of us, and another very good musician friend, who I also grew up and went to school with-playing in bands together from when we were both kids... We gained allot of experience performing mostly in the bars and clubs around Long Island, playing with different people and coming up with these great, new and innovative ideas; Starting out doing mostly cover material, and eventually developing, performing and perfecting our own style of original music, within the framework of: 'The New Era' band concept. Which eventually sort of took on a life of it's own; While always learning, growing and evolving as individuals. Musically and otherwise... This 'theme' album is sort of a cumulative musical review of some of my experiences and influences during and after the time period revolving around 'The New Era' band, if you will. Including, some of my introspective memories and inspirations, reflections and hopes, dreams and aspirations; My lyrical comments on the state of affairs, and how I believe that effects things, etc.; As well as, some of my own bizarre experiences, after having to relocate to a very unusual area-that reminded me of a place, that much to my astonishment, was not unlike something right out of a Steven King Movie, or 'The Blair Witch Project'! As the listener can especially hear reflected in certain songs, such as: 'Oh No!' and 'It's A Feeling'. Both lyrically unique, as songs go. As the situation I was attempting to describe in song, was unique. The former, being a tune that I sort of turned into something that you might hear as part of a sound track to a Stephen King-like movie on the Sci-Fi channel, for instance. The latter, well, was especially challeging. Much of the song is based on fact. However, I had to take some liberties with certain wording, in order to finish the song. For example, only so many words rhyme with 'together.' eg. 'Together, forever', etc. I mention this, so as to prevent any mis-understanding, when one comes to that particular passage in the tune, which sort of like needed a fill-in word to match the melody. Such is the dilema of the songwriter, fully aware that there are going to be those individuals who may (even deliberately, want to) read something into the song that the songwriter never intended to convey. And which, may ironically, prove my point about what the song was sort of initially about, in the first place; Is why I thought this was important to note, as far as in relation to how I am as a person, and what I was really attempting to convey in the song, by sort of like creating an abstract story-line based on a real life experience, that was pretty weird to begin with... In other words, being a songwriter and musician, who knows what it is like to work in the secular world for some time, in order to try to make a decent living, I also know what it is like to 'pay one's dues', as they say in the music business. And, as is the case with the scenario that I describe above, in taking a chance and relocating to a completely different and unfamiliar place, when the company I worked for closed their operations on Long Island, and made me an offer to relocate to a completely different state. And, which influenced much of the album. Hence, the title... With that said however, some of the songs on this C.D. I had also composed while I was still working with The New Era band back in New York. And other tunes were written while living in this mostly rural community, here in western Maryland. Performing and recording all the songs myself. So, it definitely has that homemade ('demo') feel to it, if you will. My musical influences running the gamut, from: The Beatles, Motown, Deep Purple, The Moody Blues, Stephen Bishop, Christopher Cross, Swing Out Sister, Ambrosia, Yes, Kansas, Toto, Genesis, Foreigner, Seal, etc. To New Age, Jazz and Classical... This C.D. is sort of a compilation of those musical influences, and (which, as I stated before) a collection (or kind of like a musical collage, if you will) of some of my other influences; Including, some of my own personal experiences, emotions of the heart, (as well as, a couple of silly love songs, like the simple tune: 'Deep Inside' and the rock and roll number called: 'All The Time'), some musical stories, a few insightful lyrics, messages of hope, and some of my lyrical views on certain issues and events (such as my obvious and satirical comment about the war in Iraq reflected in the song: 'Oh, My Love-There's Something Wrong!'). Many of these songs being written within the framework of what has been happening in my life, mostly in the last nine years or so, at the time of this release. The Maiden In The Meadow track however, is the only song that is actually a cover track, (that I felt would make an excellent intro to the 'Joan' track) from a beautiful melody I borrowed from a Steve Hackett piece from the 80's, called: The Toast. I had painstakenly obtained a compulsary license for the priveledge to borrow this composition thru the Harry Fox agency. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr. Hackett for his understanding, (that I am just a novice) as I worked out the details regarding using this melody. He is not only a fantastic musician and artist himself, but a fantastic human being, as well... But at any rate, will my uncle's words prove to be, one way or the other, strangely, mysteriously, eerily and prophetically true? In light of all the incredibly unprecedented things and events that have already taken place within the last nine years? Did he fully realize (being much more aware of the things of the world then I was at the time) all the possible implications of what he was saying, or predicting when he came up with this brainstorm of an idea for the name of the band, all those years ago?! I could not have fully imagined at the time, what I now fully realize, regarding some of the deep things we had discussed, and all the things that have already taken place, at the time of the release of this album... However, the positive spin on these things and the good news, (if you consider it good), is that it doesn't necessarily have to end that way. Especially, if enough decent, just, and like-minded individuals are willing to pool their resources and talent together, to bring about change for the better. Hence, the Joan of Arc track. In which her very life exemplified what I myself had learned in my own quest for the meaning of life, over time. That God himself, may very well be on the side of those who are truly of a sincere heart, who reason rightly, and who at least try to do the right thing, whether one believes in a personal God, or not! Which is in direct contradiction to some of the strangely hypocritical teachings of the Religous Right, for instance. That it doesn't matter whether or not you are a good person. And that all you have to do to get to heaven, is to accept Jesus as your personal saviour. (And that is not to denounce Jesus). I believe Joan's very life proved that teaching to be blatantly false, in more ways then one. (That it doesn't matter if you are a good person or not, that is). Joan, a very gifted young girl, (who I remembered from my Catholic School days) used the great gifts that she was given, to do what she in her own heart knew was the right thing to do. And inspired others to bring about the dream, of France being delivered from her enemies; And breaking the yoke of those who held them bound. That dream eventually becoming a reality, when France did eventually manage to break off the yoke of her oppressors, and became it's own sovereign nation, for the benefit of her people. All because of the great faith, and inspiration, of a 17 year old girl, who believed that doing what is right and just, and compassion, is what is really at the heart of God. And that everything else, is a lie. The inspiration for this song, was a personal one, and based on a biographical book on her life that I had come across in a bookstore, and had finally got around to reading... In a somewhat similar manner, the structure, essence, and wisdom written and reflected within the very framework of our own Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence, that considers certain 'truths to be self-evident', definately seems to imply that all good people, being 'endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights', are provided the freedom and the right, as those same good people and empowered citizens, to 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness'- to truly make a difference... Hence, the title: 'Demos of Significance'! One may not fully realise, (or maybe you do know) just how 'significant' some of these things may really be. Take a journey in time with me therefore, will you? By listening to the songs on this C.D. And maybe, just maybe, you will be able to relate; In some way...