If you are wondering why I went with this blurry picture, well its because it is the epitome of how my 35 year writing partnership has been with Alan Kerbey. CHEERS! I’ve told the story here in my archive about how we met and got started on the road to now, but it didn’t really tell my collaboration story.
I’ve been asked on many occasions why I didn’t pursue a “solo”career, quite frankly, I thought it would be boring.I learned early on being in a band with other players making contributions and enjoying the process of making music together was a blast. When I was in 7th grade, I started singing with the groups that all of my musician guy friends were putting together for school functions and parties. I was in love with rock and roll and in awe with the process.
A few of those musician friends were having a hand at songwriting and I got to sit in on many of those sessions and learned the creative freedom of jamming around to stumble upon something that could work. Thank you John Callahan and Steve Tussey. “Sittin out back spend a little time trying to get high oh yeah…call up my old girlfriend Jacque Jones oh no” Not sure I ever told my Mother that I contributed her name to a “stoned” tune. Fast forward 2020, I have had the privilege of several songwriting collaborations in my body of work, but it is with silly gushing enthusiasm that I still submit song ideas and wait for a “first round” demo take from Alan. 2019 was a big writing year for me. Several tunes made it in and out of the studio and there are a few new tunes in the works as I write.
Collaborating can be a very vulnerable place. When you work with new peeps you have to negotiate their catalogue and whether they can, and are willing to, explore yours. Songwriting is a craft that is crafted by the songwriters, meaning there is no set way to do it. And songs like Elton John and Bernie Taupin’s “A Song for You” come from a poet/lyricist handing off words on a page to a pianist who sits down at the piano and puts melody to that page, as if it was just sitting there waiting to burst out through the hands onto the keys.
When Alan and I began our partnership we set up a weekly writing session to pound out rough ideas and see where that proverbial muse would take us. Those sessions went on for about a year until life changes stepped in. We were soon working as long distance partners, in that original time period we cranked out what was the equivalent of 2 albums worth of solid material. I often wonder what we would have accomplished if we had kept that pace up all these years. Despite the distances – off and on – for the balance of those 32 years, Alan and I have an extensive body of work consisting of finished productions, recorded demos and “roughs” in the queue. At this point, I still have vulnerability at times, as I am always hoping that he will like what I’m bringing to him, but there has never been a time when I have had to wax on the “soul of a woman” music and lyrics, sweetly romantic or dark and stormy, to Alan in defense of my idea in song.
THANK YOU TO ALL OF MY COLLABORATORS AND SONGWRITERS, THEN AND NOW. CHEERS TO ALAN AND THE ART OF COLLABORATION