Thursday, May 20, 2010

How many songs you got?

So if you write songs, that doesn't make you a songwriter. Thats the truth. If you microwave a hotpocket, does that make you a chef? See what I'm saying. I've never written songs, I've only written tunes. This tunes about this, and this tunes about that.

After touring with Alejandro Escovedo I'm finding out about writing songs. Let me try and explain this. Lets see, Frankie Valli singing "To good to be True" is a great tune. The Band doing "King Harvest (has surely come)" is a great song. One is about the sounds and a basic tune, the other is a story and a performance.

Watching Alejandro dig into a seemingly never ending catalog of songs was impressive. I got to thinking, "How do I write songs?" "What does that even mean?" Alejandro is gonna be 60 soon, and he's done a lot of living. Each song is about real things, real people, real places. they can be anyone to you and me, but they are someone real to him. So, I think I'm cracking it. A good musician can write some good tunes, but you got to really live life to write real songs. thats the new goal. Real songs, mixed in with good tunes.

And meanwhile, all I've been doing is writing tunes about girls. Go figure. I'm working on on some songs here in Laredo all week. Looking for something to write about.

I'll leave this post with a video from a daytrotter session Hacienda did on that tour with Alejandro. Its a tune called "Here Today", that has seen many incarnations. Hacienda will release this tune this summer. Until then check out an acoustic rendition with Jaime on the cardboard box.

And a clip of the studio version being cut, using a 1972 cherry red Gibson Es 355. I loved that guitar and recorded a lot of the Big Red album with it. It sucks live though. I pretty much hated it live. Too fragile. I beat up guitars and I that one would get out of tune the way I play. Great sound. Joe Bonnamassa of all people bought that guitar from me. I'm having second thoughts about having gotten rid of it, actually, as I am writing this post, I think I need to get a big red Gibson again. Maybe for the next tour.


  1. True that. Writing great songs is tough.

  2. "Here Today" is a great tune by the way!