Positive About The Blues

May 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

Lately, it seems I’ve been too busy writing to write. That is, I’ve been too busy writing lyrics to write posts for this blog. My apologies. Now, on with today’s installment.

I don’t usually set out to write a song in any particular style. An opening line or two comes to me, along with a sense of the melody, and I take it from there. My writing process (if I have one) tends to be a bit organic.

However, every once in a while, I do want to write in a particular genre. That’s especially true when it comes to the blues. I love writing in that style, so I sometimes make a conscious decision to try to write a blues song.

For this entry, I decided to take things a bit further and write something that marries a blues sound with an uptempo, rock-like rhythm. I think it’s pretty good, but then, I am kind of partial to what I write, at least most of it.

About To Lose Control

Oh, I know what I want
And baby, it’s you
You’ve got the kind of love
That could save a dead man’s soul
Won’t you take my heart in hand
Need your help to make it through
But you got to hurry
‘Cause I’m about to lose control

Oh, I know what I need
It’s there in your touch
There’s something about you
That could make half a man whole
Won’t you take my hand in yours
These eyes have seen so much
Please, won’t you hurry
‘Cause I’m about to lose control

I swear you could make the lame to walk
And bring sight to the blind
Raise the dead and cause the sun to shine
Like a drink of cool, cool water
Only you can quench my thirst
It’s your love that brings me peace of mind

Oh, I know what I feel
It’s more than an urge
Though my heart’s on the line
I feel that magnetic pull
Girl, you hold my sanity
And I’m standing on the verge
Now, you’d better hurry
‘Cause I’m about to lose control

(Instrumental:)

I swear you could make the lame to walk
And bring sight to the blind
Raise the dead and cause the sun to shine
Like a drink of cool, cool water
Only you can quench my thirst
It’s your love that brings me peace of mind

Oh, I know what I see
It looks mighty fine
I swear that your love
Could make a starving man feel full
Won’t you take my words to heart
Give you everything that’s mine
But baby, let’s hurry
‘Cause I’m about to lose control

It’s time to hurry
‘Cause I’m about to lose control

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Taking Liberties With The Past

May 6, 2016 § 2 Comments

I am in the midst of another prolific writing spell. This one is in many ways different from any I’ve ever experienced.

The key difference is that I am making a conscious effort to draw upon my own life and experiences for inspiration. Usually, I get my ideas from the things I see and/or hear around me. Lately, I’ve been getting inspiration from the memories and experiences inside me.

For a few years, I was lucky enough to live and work in Lafayette, Louisiana, at the time primarily an oil town located about three hours west of New Orleans. All these years later, I still have found memories of the food, the music, and of course the people there with whom I worked.

At the time, I was what you might call painfully shy and had a hard time making friends or even having fun. Because of that, my experiences in Lafayette were not as many or as robust as they might otherwise have been.

Still, it was a wonderful place to live and work, and I do have a few special memories from my time there, memories which inspired me to write the following – with the usual writer’s license to embellish and even invent where my own actual memories did not exist or fell short. (Grant Street refers to Grant Street Dance Hall, a place where mostly zydeco bands would come to play and where I once had the thrill and privilege of hearing The Neville Brothers.)

Lafayette

Friday nights on my front porch with an ice-cold beer
Off in the distance, I could hear the sounds of Zydeco
Grant Street bursting at the seams

Every now and then, I think about those nights
Replaying them here in my dreams
After all these years, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

We’d hop in the car and drive to New Orleans
Dance the night away with the drag queens to the sound of jazz
Echoing ‘cross Jackson Square

Once in a while, I think about those days
And the time that I spent there
All these years later, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

Living and dying with the price of oil
One week a boom, the next a bust
But I could always smell the crawfish boil
And knew my neighbors were people I could trust

We’d all let the good times roll when the weekend came
Didn’t matter if we knew each other’s name, everyone a friend
Helping hands in times of need

I look back through the years and for a while
Something deep inside is freed
And even now, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette
All these years later, still something I can’t forget
‘Bout Lafayette

© 2017 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Voices From The Past

May 2, 2016 § Leave a comment

I have spent the better part of this afternoon trying to bring some semblance of order to the room I laughingly call my office. It is certainly “off,” I’ll admit.

The problem (one of many) is that I have hundred of albums (you remember vinyl, don’t you?) that I no longer play. (Actually, I can no longer play it.) That, and sheets of paper with notes, lyrics, etc., on them.

In weeding through the various detritus on my desk, I came across a couple of poems I wrote years ago. One of the poems is from 2004; the other has no date.

Although I normally post lyrics on this blog, I thought I would share these poems here, starting with the dated poem from 2004. (Although I finished the poem, I never gave it a title, something I will remedy here.)

Coffee Club

In the corner, a small girl cries
Mommy said no again
To the left, a young man stares at nothing
His girlfriend said goodbye
And the conversations fly like
Random shots – a verbal drive-by
“Well, Molly said, ‘Did you hear what Ted did . . .’ ”
“I can’t believe she would . . . ”
“He couldn’t, could he?”

At the door, an overage woman
In an under-aged shirt
Shows off what is no longer there
For the men who no longer look
The willingness written for all to see
Like pages in an open book
“Oh, I never . . . Well, maybe just this once”
“Will you think any less of me?”
“Will you think of me at all?”

And the face behind the counter,
Jaded beyond her years,
Takes it all it, business as usual
Courtesy, but nothing more for $8.00 an hour
And the orders flow like water underneath a bridge
“Latte, half-caf, skim . . .”
“Cappuccino, double shot.”
“Large coffee and a biscotti”
“Could you make that to go?”

Old man, head buried in the paper
Young man, head glued to his cell
“Oh, he takes everything so seriously”
“But she’s so high-maintenance, I heard”
Meanwhile, the machine-gun noises of
The register scatters its financial fire
The whoosh of steaming milk
Marks the climax to some caffeinated orgasm
For the happy family of strangers in the coffee club

 

8 A.M.

Like lemmings to the sea we rush
To make our eight
To get our 40
To get that paper slip
To verify our worth
Is it pink?

Daily, we lie prostrate
Before the corporate gods
Supplicants to the “greater good”
In service to the almighty green
The bottom line –
Is it red?

Day in, day out
No different drum to march to,
Here, we rank low and file away our dreams
In circular recesses
Only one dream counts
With $ and zeroes attached

Few respites from the daily toil
Nose to the grindstone
Back to the grind; back to the wall
Inside four walls, need rats in a maze
In search of cheese, we take the bait
Becoming cogs in the corporate machine

Wearing down
Bit by bit, interchangeable
Replaceable, erasable
Forgettable
And one day,
Gone

© 2016 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

Inspiration From Others

May 1, 2016 § 2 Comments

Yesterday, as a family, we took part in the annual Run/Walk for Autism benefiting the Autism Society of the Treasure Valley (ASTV). Although it was a little cool and a little breezy, and my allergies/cold did their best to knock me down, it was still a nice day and a nice event.

Before we’d even left the parking lot to head home after the event, I began to get ideas for some new lyrics, inspired by the event and the generosity of those taking part. When I got home, cold/allergies and all, I starting writing those lyrics down as fast as they popped into my head. A little while and a few minor changes later, I had the following, which goes out to all of us who are a little “different” from others:

Shine (for ASTV)

Don’t turn your back on me; I’m not the same as you
I still have feelings your words can cut right through
I may be chasing my dream in a crooked line
I’ll get there in the end, but I need you to help me shine, shine, shine
Won’t you help me shine, shine, shine
Together we can shine

I see you standing there; you’re not the same as me
But that’s no reason for you to treat me differently
I’ve got a lot to give if you’ll just give me time
With a little help from you I know that I can shine, shine, shine
Won’t you help me shine, shine, shine
Together we can shine

Shine like a precious stone or like the brightest star
I just need somebody to believe
And with a helping hand, I know that I’ll go far
I’ve got lots of tricks still up my sleeve

Just listen to your heart, and take a chance on me
Look beneath the surface, and I think you will see
I’ve got a lot to give, so read between the lines
With a little patience I know you can help me shine, shine, shine
Need you to help me shine, shine, shine
Together we can shine, shine, shine
It’s my time now to shine

© 2016 Walt Huntsman. All rights reserved.

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