The Things You Said – cover of Depeche Mode

Little music Monday idea I just went with. Lots of very special memories of this song.  If you want to hear more and are near Victoria, I’m playing Wednesday, March 6th at Gorge-ous Coffee 8pm so come along, say hi and grab a new copy of my CD The Goldblacks!


March 6th Gorge-ous Coffee 8pm

My first solo show just before my band Cookeilidh kicks in with St. Patricks week! Come out and groove to a variety of original and covers from myself, Cameron Lorenzo and the Mechanical Botanicals!



Songwriter’s journey

In the early days the very idea of making a melody that went with guitar chords seemed like something only people could do if they were raised by Andrew Lloyd Webber and they were descendent of Jean Sibelius.

So my first attempts were only after I had seen other people playing their songs as a bassist…a long time after that. I had also already played lots of other songs on my mom’s old classical guitar. Eventually my first attempts started. And they never used much more than four chords.

This song I released today was actually one of those. I was at a friend’s place and couldn’t sleep even though she and her baby daughter were. The guitar was there and I just started doing this “E minor” and “A minor” riff back and forth.

I was making music with a mod player called Scream Tracker which played sampled sounds in order and I tried putting the song there, ending up on my first 3 song demo CD.

Now twenty years later and hundreds of songs later I decided to try it out. That’s really my favorite thing. Give a song a real try and see the reaction.

My new album “The Goldblacks” was made up of mostly media favorites.

But yeah, if you have wanted to write just have pen, paper, instrument and maybe something to eventually record your ideas (way easier today with what devices can now do). Social media is a fun way to share your ideas and from the start you can grow your ideas by learning from the masters and just experimenting. I still do. Each one is me trying things out. It’s exciting, which you get swept up in.

Anyways here is my lastest as of literally this morning, Tattered Sails based on how my friend and I had gone through so much in our recent years.


And if you want to write then find time you know you will be productive and go to it. As I said previously…just show up to the page. And again. You will be surprised!





Belief – The Great Gift

This is a simple little thought I have wanted to post for quite some time. Even though it’s almost obvious, the idea of having someone who believes in you can’t be overstated.

There’s also the great bonus to this. This is something we can all get involved in.

Michael Jordan didn’t make his varsity basketball team. But he had a coach who told him to meet him every morning and they’d work on it…and that’s it. That’s all it took. Having someone who did not dismiss him but gave his dreams a place set in motion the beginnings of a career of absolute mastery.

I write lots about creativity and one of my main themes is knocking back against anyone who told you that you couldn’t do something. It’s all nonsense. I have people now who say I’m talented at what I do and how lucky that is. Twenty years back pretty much nobody said that.

I’m the same guy.

The difference was lots of practice, push and a few people who helped me believe that I was moving forward. It wasn’t massive stuff. It wasn’t gushing but it was a little belief that “don’t give this up” and that’s huge.

To me any creativity is just beautiful, contrasting the harsher sides of life and making something from nothing. As Sting said “We’re not building cathedrals, we’re building sheds.”

And like the photo, or Michael’s coach, sure, if you can directly help someone that’s amazing. But never underestimate the power that positivity towards someone’s first steps can have.

And of course, you can’t miss the global metaphors that can come from this outside the world of violin bows, watercolors and ink. In work, in life and in relationships having someone who makes you feel like you’re doing it right is amazing.

How we treat each other ripples out and ripples back.

We are a communal creatures, even ones off in there own world, working on that thing that some told them they should keep doing.




The Potential for Magic

One of the biggest mistakes ever has certainly got to do with dreams.

We tell people to follow their dreams but that is it, which inevitably has them either fail and think not for me or they actually move forward. The second case is sadly more rare.

But the point here is how are you learning something?

To me the classic has got to be when I was in scouts as a kid. We had to learn knots, as in all the different kind of ways of tying two ropes together (or one in the examples) like the bowline, reef knot and so on. It’s been a while since this all happened. I will also admit it is not super magical but bear with me.

I couldn’t do it at all. I could tie my shoes but even then only just barely. I remembered left over right, right over left, but that’s it. (Or was it the other way around? Anyways)

Years later I wanted to help fix up my dad’s boat and have everything perfect and for some reason I decided to learn the same knots by myself. In one hour I could flip through the same knots, the exact same ones, over and over.

What happened? Well, it’s the same as with music. I did take guitar lessons once as a kid and got bored. Years later I’m studying bass, then guitar, then keyboard and I have an album coming out.

What happened was the way I learned. The person is the same. The material is the same. The difficulty is the same. But now as a Adhd person who deep dives into subjects, my self teaching makes it actually work.

That’s the magic here. It isn’t limited to guitars and reef knots. Our approach to anything including how people learn can be opened up. You can become literally what ever you imagine.

If you have the dream you have what’s in you to succeed.



The upside of 1%

It is really easy to feel like to have plateaued in what you are doing and creative endeavors are no different for this. I don’t have lots of time as I’m writing this between gigs and I have the release for the single She Lives There literally in under 24 hours but I wanted to pass this along.

Any regular time spent working on something does have a positive effect, in fact anything you focus on regularly will become refined. I’ve noticed this over the month with, of all things, music production.

I don’t consider myself a music producer or engineer by any stretch, but I’ve sort of had to play that role while recording The Goldblacks CD and onwards since I still have the same gear. In doing that there’s little nuances that have improved or approaches I learned in the blur that was the album recording, like how to give myself plenty of virtual tracks of a take to lessen the stress, or my trick of singing backup to a temporary instrument track for guidance.

The point is you may only improve what you’re working on like 1% each day. But truth is that is actually huge because if keep doing that the difference in a year isn’t 365% because you will adding that percent to the day before. Your learning method will also become refined too, like in my recording example. I wasn’t trying to become an engineer, I was trying to make some songs, but the engineering advances came as a by product. Sometimes you can blow through plateaus through consistency, sometimes it comes thanks to an outside source but as long as you keep that focus and show up to the page each day like I said before, you will get there.

Some stuff isn’t easy or fun, but it can lead to more fun if you hold on. I like my new philosophy for being at the gym which works in creativity too. If you’ve shown up and you’re doing it you’ve succeeded. The effort takes you immediately past where you would have been, and anything you actually do is just a bonus.

Enjoy the journey!