This is the artwork for the recently released Collidoscope album. The songs on this album run from the real to the ridiculous and display Michael’s talents in ways that can make you sigh or cry
Here’s the inside cover with all the artists listed.
It was engineered, mastered and generally mid-wifed by Bob Matros of Hooker St Studios and I can’t thank him enough for his patience and expertise
To listen to the pieces click on the name. If there’s video, that will be shown next. There’s a single buy link for all albums and individual tracks. That one takes you to the Reverbnation shop – it’s secure and is another site that gives you information on what’s going on.
Please listen ( and of course buy ) to your heart’s content. Comments and feedback are always welcome too.
BUY – reroutes you to our secure store.
The initial inspiration for this song was an article I read about Chet Atkins that started with describing how a group of engineers had decided that the wingspan of the bumblebee was not long enough to sustain flight, but NOBODY TOLD THE BEES. The author of the article went on to say that Chet Atkins could do things on a guitar that should not be humanly possible, but nobody had told Chet. The title phrase came to me while driving one night. Later, Pony and I were spending a weekend in Breckenridge, CO, when I woke one morning and wrote down the first verse and the chorus, The other two verses and the bridge came along later that day. It took one day to write the song about the working poor, who try to somehow make ends meet.
The songwriter, Doc Pomus, wrote the song, “Save The Last Dance For Me”. I think he also wrote “Up On The Boardwalk” (although I am less sure about that). Anyway, I wanted to write a song somewhat in the spirit of Doc Pomus’work. Again, this is a song about learning to enjoy life and the moment.
I had the idea for this song rolling around in the back of my brain for some years, and finally sat down to work it out. It is a story song, and a somewhat elaborate build-up to the pun at the end.
Almost an anti-blues song, in that it’s about being in love and being nothing but totally jazzed about it.
This is another song where the title came to me while driving. I was walking Rufus around Lake Arbor one morning, thinking about an article I’d read in Rolling Stone about Lena Dunham (star and chief writer for the HBO series, “Girls”). I got to thinking about celebrity culture, tabloid culture, and how some folks achieve notoriety from their faults and foibles as much as (or in lieu of) any talent or artistic endeavors. It took a couple of days of Rufus and I walking around the lake to get all the verses.
There actually was a woman named Mrs. Shaley, who lived in the neighbourhood where I grew up, in Burlington, IA. She was an ill-tempered, curmudgeonly sort of character, and the prime source of speculation of all sorts of imaginative stories by the neighbourhood kids. This is considered something of a kid song, albeit a somewhat twisted one.
My friend, Gary, is one of my oldest and closest friends (we have known each other since the fifth grade). And introducing him to his wife Rita is my one and only successful attempt at match-making, and a half-accidental one, at that. When they were married, I promised to write them a song as a wedding present. A couple of years back, Gary posted on Facebook that he and Rita were celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary. I posted a response that, now that I am fairly sure the marriage is likely to last, I’d best get to writing that song. So I did. It is an allegory meant to capture the spirit of their union (also they have the pet names: Gary calls Rita his Rabbit, and Rita calls Gary her Bear). Gary plays guitar and Rita plays a bit of flute, so I was pleased to incorporate both of those instruments into the recording.
This is another song that came from walking with Rufus around Lake Arbor. It’s a song about doing something positive for the world, even if it is just a small gesture, here and there. One of my friends suggested that, with all these songs that have come from walking Rufus, the dog may be due some co-writing credits. Fortunately, he is very happy to be compensated with various dog treats (and more walks!).