Color Me, Heaven, & You Get to Me (originals)

Carla, Katie & Casey

It was much easier when I was doing a song every day for a year to keep up.  Now that I’m delivering one original song every Sunday, well let’s just say it hasn’t been every Sunday! I’ve been AWOL, so here are 3 songs to make up for the last 2 weeks I’ve missed.  It’s August, it’s been hot, I’ve been busy and to tell you the truth last Sunday i just forgot!

These 3 songs were written music first. Actually, groove first, then melody and then lyrics.

My son Casey is back in NYC and we have been working on his recordings, and he sang at my gig Friday night in the Hamptons.  I am not exaggerating when I tell you that Katie Couric ran up and hugged him as he sang and Paul McCartney gave him a thumbs up!

Pretty great night.  Sir Paul grabbed the mic from one of my singers and sang Let the Good Times Roll with us!

More next week!  Summer’s coming to a quick close and we got big plans for September!


Crack the Nut (original)

dingmans ferry, pa

Claudia wrote Crack the Nut back in the 80’s and I recorded a demo with her before we were even married I think. We spent the week in the Poconos and in the closet Claudia has boxes of of all her old songs and journals and I had been thinking of this song for a while and thought it would be a good New Orleans Piano jam, so we found the old demo which had a calypso groove.  Then I went back and listened to old Professor Longhair songs like Tipitina and Big Chief and put that New Orleans flavor on Crack the Nut!

I’ll be playing this song in every Willie & the Swagga performance.  The problem with this style of piano playing is that you need 88 keys or a real piano — it doesn’t read so well on the portable keyboards. But i will make a jam out it nonetheless.

We’re back in the city.  Already missing our week in the country.  A week that saw us buy 4 rocking chairs, white christmas lights for our screened in porch, a new deadbolt and a few screen repair kits.  Yes, I repaired screens, thank you very much!  We also swam in our lake, visited a couple of waterfalls, went to a rodeo, ate pizza a few times, went to our favorite restaurant (the one with the 70’s decor that depresses Casey so we never go there with him), picked blueberries, took walks, danced, read, wrote, practiced, napped and rocked in our new chairs.

business as usual tomorrow but we’ll be back in Pennsylvania just as soon as we can.

more next week!

Perfect (original) and Goodbye (original)


Sorry I missed my original song a week last week!  (didja miss me?)  Life got in the way so this week I did 2 songs to catch up!!

Sometimes I wait for inspiration  to write a song but sometimes I need a reason to write.

The song PERFECT started off as an idea for my — at the time —  10 year old artist Elle Winter!  She needed a song that she could learn on piano so I came up with a simple piano part and gave it to Claudia who created the most beautiful melody and lyric! Just listened to Elle’s original recording and she sang it wonderfully!  She should re-record it in her “older” voice.  She’s become a really relaxed and sophisticated singer and I’m so proud of her.

Now the song GOODBYE came about when I wanted to wrote a pop melody using common tone modulation — if anyone wants to know what that is, it’s when you use the same melody note then change the key!

So I wrote the melody first then I had some lyrics that sucked so of course gave it over Claudia and she fixed a bunch and there it was!

Tomorrow we’re off to the beach and then Tuesday or Wednesday we’re heading to PA for some lake time!  Is it hot enough for ya?

more next week!  (ps – my piano clinic for Monday 7/22 is cancelled.  I will reschedule shortly!)



Leap of Faith (original)


I wrote this song years ago — it was a fluffy love song at the time with some meaningless words as a placeholder for my melody  which i liked, and I had all intention of coming back to it to clean up the lyric.

But that might have taken me another 3 months so once again I turned to my prolific wife Claudia and 2 hours later she delivered this great lyric.

I was at the doctor’s today for a checkup and these days i have Claudia come with me into the exam room and the office just in case the doc asks a hard question (actually any question) or starts talking medical mumbo jumbo talk.  Claudia introduced herself as my wingman and that she is!

The only thing i remember from my doc visit today is that I gained 8 pounds and  that bummed me out until Claudia told me the scale must have been messed up. Now that’s a good wingman!

I’m a couple days late this week with my blog.  I know you are all so upset!!!  We spent the weekend in Pennsylvania swimming, going to the movies, eating a LOT, hanging with family and finding baby deer and wild turkeys in the woods — all this without a laptop, so the blog had to wait!

more next week and Happy July 4th!