After a 4-year run playing keys and writing songs for The Shakers in the 80s, I had such a strong desire to get back to the basics-that place where I started as a songwriter. This meant going back to acoustic guitars, piano and organ, bass and drums. So, in a sense, "Undiscovered Hearts" became a very retro album for me-some say reminiscent of early Crosby, Stills, & Nash or Jackson Browne. I composed all the tracks on guitar and then arranged them for a simple rhythm section. That rhythm section became bassist Dave Henderson and drummer Andy Poling, two of Albuquerque's best session players. Because I had stripped away the pop landscape of synthesizers and drum machines, I really focused on the content. "Madison Park" came to represent that specific place in all our lives that reminds us of the drama of growing up. "The Last Night On Earth," which has a stellar electric guitar performance courtesy of Mike Altomare, was one of those stories about couples deciding to live apart to test their love and commitment, and which seem (more often than not) to come to a sad end. "Sheila" is actually a song I wrote for The Shakers, and it's the one rocker on the album. The end chorus and rideout define for me all that is fun about rock 'n roll-stacked vocals, pounding electric guitar chords, and lots of attitude! The close for this 5-song CD is kind of like a short story, only with music. With a love for spare songs like Stills' "4 + 20" and Paul Simon's "Kathy's Song," I was really inspired to write this song for one voice and one guitar, although we did add some subtle embellishments. This song received a John Lennon Songwriting award in 2001, in the category of folk.
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