Thursday, December 13, 2018

Tribute to Inspiration


Personal Inspirations...

I love music. DUH!

Growing up, I was never very good at expressing myself. I always had a fear of saying things in the wrong way. I also grew up with adults that believed that children should be seen and not heard. I always found that to be a stupid saying - you never know what you can learn from children. This is the type of thing that made me believe that the word 'adult' was the most commonly misspelled word in the world. It should be spelled A DOLT. That's been my experience.

I found that the best way to express myself was through the music I grew up with. It's no surprise that I would turn to making music as a way to continue that expression. Throughout my life, there have been several artists that have inspired me to create my own sound. You can't help but to hear some of them in what I do. 

One of my biggest influences of all time is a little known band called Pink Floyd. I can remember hearing songs like "Learning to Fly", "Keep Talking", and "Money" when I was a kid. I dug a bit deeper into Pink Floyd when I was in high school. Exploring the music that wasn't always on the radio brought me great joy. I also began to realize that much of what I was hearing from them wasn't exactly the norm in terms of your typical, everyday music. It struck a chord with me and made me want to try telling my own story through song.

There was so much emotional content in every note. That particular characteristic was most evident in the David Gilmour days. Something about that frontman connected with me in ways most other music never could. His guitar was just as expressive of a singer as the man himself. He's one of the reasons the guitar became my main instrument. 

There is something about the sound of a Floyd tune that makes me want to sit up and listen. There is so much life - and so much about life - that run in parallel with my own existence. It would be a dream come true to play one of my own tunes with Dave. Maybe we can convince Roger Waters and Nick Mason to join in. We'll do it for Rick Wright.

When you listen to some of my vocals, you can't help but notice one of my other great influences. Michael Jackson truly earned his nickname as the King of Pop. Right up to this very day, I can listen to just about anything from Michael and be totally immersed in a world made entirely of feeling. There's nothing "Bad" about that at all.

There are too many MJ songs I love to list here. Michael peppered my childhood with amazing musical memories. A lot of what I do vocally comes from trying to emulate his powerful, emotion-filled sound. I'm no Michael. I'm just me. That's just fine. I found myself  deeply infatuated with the MJ sound even before I found Floyd in my life. I just hadn't thought seriously about making my own music at the time. Once I found that I could possibly do my own thing, Michael was one of my first targets for emulation. 

While I never try to copy any other artist with my writing or performance, I realized that my shy nature needed a bit of a buffer if I was ever going to do anything on a stage. I learned a lot from watching, listening to, and absorbing Michael. He helped me through a lot of my fears while I grew as a musician, and as a person. "Blame it on the Boogie".

A big reason I'm so moved by the soulful side of music has a lot to do with this lady. Anita Baker has a voice and style that I consider to be nothing less than ethereal. I'm caught up in the "Rapture" of Anita.

I've loved so many styles of music throughout my life. I play and write mostly in the rock genre. But so much of what I do has a touch of jazz in it for a little extra flavor. Much of that came from her.

I could listen to "Fairy Tales" a thousand times over and never get tired of it. I'm pretty sure I've gotten close. When I listen to her today, I do so with the "Same Ole Love" I had from day one. I doubt that will ever change.

I've written a few songs that I had to scrap because I realized that they were copies of Anita Baker songs that I just hadn't listened to in a while. I wondered why they sounded so familiar. 

It's funny to think that that the vast majority of music that I create sounds nothing like the people that inspire it. There are the exceptions. But, more often than not, my music goes in a very different direction that 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

I am But a Simple Melody


There! I said it. I'm sure a good number of us have dealt with the feeling of being down. It's not like it's the mysterious, elusive chupacabra of emotions. It's pretty typical in life. We have our up days. We have the obligatory opposite. It's (sorry to use the "N" word) normal. (Yuck. I said it.)

Many of us, however, deal with a much stronger version of the doldrums. "They" call it depression. It's depressing. Get it? Good. Let's move on.

I'm not one for meds. I know many would say that they're essential for survival. I just don't do well with pills. I'll take an injection over a pill any day of the millennium. I still won't do those unnecessarily. Pills do more to destroy my stomach than fix whatever problem for which they were prescribed. You also have to consider all the chemical components involved. There is no appeal to me. So... that's out. My brain is wacky enough as it is. I don't need anything messing with it even more.

That, dear friends, is where music comes in.

I'll never claim to be the greatest musician there is. I'm not going to say that I'm the most amazing songwriter there ever was. Nor will I infer, or imply that I am the most epic singer there ever will be. That's not what I'm about. I just love to make music. Is it easy? NOPE! Nor should it be. It's my pill. It's my Advil when life is weighing heavy upon my head. It's my salve. It's my IcyHot when the everyday has me feeling sore and broken. It's the cure for what sickens me to death.

I recently found myself touching on a song that I hadn't touched in years. I wrote it on a train ride to a gig, performed it that night, played it (maybe) once more, and that was that. People liked it. But it just felt a little forced to me. I write from my life. I write from what I have lived. It has to be personal. It has to be real to me. This song was almost that. There was just a bunch of filler involved. It had a good start. It had a good "hook". It just didn't sit right with me.

Fast forward. It's something close to eight years later. I found a friend to whom I instantly felt close. That's hard for me. Then, out of the blue, he was gone. Suicide. I've been down this road before. I had to travel it again. I've lost too many people to this. I need two hands to count the number of people I knew that have fallen to this hateful word. One of them happened to be an amazing woman with whom I had plans to wed. Even I have come pretty close. It eats at me from the inside like so many ravenous parasites. I immediately turned to music to keep from losing my... well.. you know. It was that song.

This song is one of my most profound truths. Music is my THERAPY. The Guitar is my DOCTOR. Lyrics are my HISTORY. Without them I would SHATTER. Notes I sing are FAMILY, important in all matters. And I am but a SIMPLY MELODY.

I'm working hard on this song. I just wish it would stop crashing my DAW. There is just so much to it. There are more tracks in this song than I have ever put into any other song. It has to feel like I feel. I do that because I know someone out there feels that same way or similar. If it's you, you never need to feel like you're alone. THAT is why I make music. With this song, I will be strong. I hope it helps you find the strength to carry on.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Sludge & Sanity

There is a blank page ahead of me. 

It's always so hard to figure out what to say when I actually sit down to say all the things that have been roiling around in that brain cave of mine. It stirs up there, kicking up a furious storm of cognition, just waiting to escape into the universe. It's relentless. It wants out.

Then, upon being shown the way to the egress, its stalls and flickers like a tiny candle in the path of a fart. This is the way my mind works. If I simply run through stream of consciousness, everything can flow freely. That free flow is a torrent of blab that would make the most terrifying of raging rivers - at the height of its tide - seem like a leaky garden hose.

The problem is that civilized society would hardly allow such a deluge of mental and verbal sludge to freely pass through its gossamer curtain of sanity. Yup. That's how my mind works.

Then come the distractions. I'm so easily distracted by tangents of my own mind's creation. A sentence about editing a song could lead me to wonder how a moose could possibly ever use a screwdriver. I'm not kidding. Let's examine.
  • (Original thought) I need to rerecord my guitar track.
  • Maybe I can polish up the tone a bit.
  • I don't think the EQ will fix it.
  • Too much to fix.
  • I still need to fix the rear windshield wiper on the car.
  • The blade on that wiper is brand new.
  • Did I leave my knife at home?
  • I like the one I saw with dear antler handle.
  • I wonder if there's moose antler handles.
  • It might make it easier to grip with my huge hands.
  • Maybe I could make one for that long skinny screwdriver I hate.
  • I need that one for the rear wiper
  • I wish I could get the moose to do it.
  • How would a moose hold a screwdriver? That's just silly.
No joke. I had this thought train derail in my cranium one day. And, I've finally fixed that stupid rear windshield wiper on the car. Sans moose.

Now... Imagine this brain trying to write songs. Scary thought. Right? Yet I'm no good at musical comedy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Back After EIGHT YEARS!!!

What's Up With That?!?

Determined Look Photo

It's been forever. I know it has. I've felt it. Like an ever twisting knife in my soul, the days passed and passed away. The scars remained as proof that it takes more than time to heal all the wounds.

I'm in a new town, in a new city, in a new state, and a new state of mind. I haven't blogged since 2010. It's been slightly less time since I've been away from the music. But it was more than enough to know that I can't live without it.

Being in such a new place - physically, mentally, and emotionally - I feel it's time to do all the things I've dreamt of doing for so many years.

I've started picking up the guitar again. I'm sitting in front of the piano again. I'm putting pen to paper again. I've even made my way out to the open mics again. I'm not hosting these like I used to. I'm simply mingling with a whole new set of talent. I'm being inspired by a whole new set of people. I'm working to overcome a whole new set of challenges. I am I.

I've been asked to write lyrics and do the vocal work for an amazing Funk/Jazz Fusion band. The talent I'm working with is exceptional. It's intimidating and inspiring at the same time. Those seem to be the perfect conditions for me. If only I could pull it all off without the 9to5. There's the rub.

That being said, the website (Bobby Kane Music) is up and running. I've got my "Really Cool" business cards. I've got my determined face on. Let's Do This!

More to come.


Guess who got to be on the radio.