Author Archive

All Summer Long

Do you have a favorite summer song? It’s easy these days to like a song and instantly hear it again (thank you Internet). In pre-internet days if you loved a song you WAITED a lot to hear the song again. It was sweet torture until you heard the opening notes over the radio. Then all the planets came into perfect and complete alignment.

Last week I was thinking of the BEACH BOYS tune ALL SUMMER LONG. In that song is this lyric: “Every now and then we hear our song. We’ve been having fun all summer long.” No one has to wait until every now and then to hear a song anymore. That has a value, but I would argue it robs some of the sweetness created by the longing/waiting to hear it again. I would really like to know if couples even have a song they call “our” song anymore. There’s still more summer left and maybe more time to find out. Happy listening.


Bowling & Elvis

“Tis the season” I hope your holidays are merry and bright. The new year takes a bit longer getting started since BOWL GAMES now extend into January past New Years Day. Getting back to work/in a regular rhythm is an imperfect process. Generally, I have noted “work” doesn’t start until after Jan. 8. Mostly that’s due to the bowl games, but that also happens to be Elvis’ birthday. An LA pal of mine puts on his best southern drawl and says, “Ah don’t work on Jan. 8 ‘cuz Ah nevah work on Elvis’ birthday.”

I learned to remember Elvis’ birthday because of some LA musicians and singers. Back in the 80s,the local musician crowd began doing Elvis Birthday shows at some well-known club on Jan. 8. There was a house band ready to back up every lead singer/artist. Each performer sang an Elvis tune. Someone kept track of each song. Since there were no repeats, someone organized the set list. If Dwight Yoakum wanted to do ALL SHOOK UP and John Doe already declared he was doing it, Dwight would have to pick a different tune from Elvis’ catalog. I went to this 3 or 4 yrs. in a row before being sidetracked by things I’ve completely forgotten.
jdh


Good Songs This Year

As a teenager, I went to different hamburger joints or cafes based on the jukebox there. Before internet and smart phones, you had to work harder to hear songs you liked. Today I still know restaurants where the music on the sound system tips the scale when it’s time for something to eat or drink.

I’m in one of those spots right now. They’re playing Otis Redding. Otis is singing a Sam Cooke song. Where are you going to hear music like that these days?

Any day is a good day to hear Jimi Hendrix guitar riffs again. His version of “All Along the Watchtower” played here earlier. He’s been gone 43 yrs. now, but his music (we know now) will always be around. Time may serve to prove that what’s really true will remain true.

Hope you have a chance to hear some good songs as we head toward the holidays. There should still be room for a surprise or two in 2013. Cheers, jdh


Long Live The Doors

One reason I loved my paper route is that I had to drive it. It took an hour every afternoon. My car radio was blasting all the time. KLIF in Dallas played The Doors “Break on Through” before any of the local Waco radio stations did. I am not sure any Waco stations played it. In the summer of ’67, “Light My Fire” was released (edited form) as their next single. The Waco stations played it. The world began to confirm my love for this sound and these songs. For my first show on W-A-C-O I wanted to play a song I’d always be thrilled to remember choosing. I played “Light My Fire.”

News of Ray Manzarek’s death silenced all my other thoughts. I know we don’t live forever, but somehow I think all my music heroes are going to die in some vague and very distant future. No way was I expecting this. The story came on the news station while I was driving an LA freeway and my “NO!” surprised me. If Jim Morrison was the voice. Ray Manzarek was the conscience. RIP Ray Manzarek


Pieces of April

Maybe this all began when I read the record labels on Elvis or Coasters records. I kept seeing Lieber and Stoller’s names under the title of the song. I saw Chuck Berry’s name was on the label as the singer, and it was there a second time under the title of the song. No one was around to explain it to me, but I figured out they wrote the songs I played over and over. My older cousin had all these records and a record player in his room. That’s where I camped out every visit. I had launched my music journey. Somebody say: Wop-Bop-a-Loo-Bop

Then came albums and album covers. The pictures helped get you “backstage” where you could hope to see what it was like to be around the artists. The printing continued identifying the songwriter. I was an immediate fan of Simon & Garfunkel. Paul Simon’s songs/music inspired (instigated?) my beginnings as a songwriter. I loved what was in Paul Simon’s songs and saw a way for my imagination to take shape. To this day, when I see – hear the name April, I start to hum Paul Simon’s song “April, Come She Will.”

Good songs will take you to good songwriters. That’s how I found another “April” song. The other is “Pieces of April” by Dave Loggins. In music, great things happen and then head for the sidelines in the ebb and flow of popularity. “Pieces of April” is a tune I first heard on a Dave Loggins album (Vanguard) that never hit the charts. THREE DOG NIGHT had a hit with it in the early 70s. If you can find either version online, give it a listen.

HAPPY APRIL
jdh


I Have to Dream

What lies before me – What stands between
No one can tell me what I have seen
Some see the tarnish I see the gleam
I have to wonder I have to dream

One dream can change you – One dream can make
All the difference one heart can take
I dream of flying I’m in mid-air
I have to wonder what’s out there

The sky’s the limit today’s the day
Heavens are still there when skies are gray
Some days are better than they seem
Some days are better because you dream

On rainbows to rainbows On starlight to star
To Dream isn’t that what tomorrow’s for
Only a dreamer knows what I know
What it’s like to wonder and then let go

On rainbows to rainbows I know what I seem
I have to wonder I have to dream

I HAVE TO DREAM ©2001 Hinton/Solem/Vannelli Wide Brim Music,Go Deep Music,Rockwood Music, BMI


I Have To Dream

It took a lifetime to write this song one afternoon. As August was becoming September, I looked out the back of my house. The hillside was in full summer bloom. I thought about all the times I’d been at this window. And I wondered about tomorrow. I made some notes on a yellow pad, and then it was time to find the music.

“I Have to Dream” was originally conceived around a piano in a Baptist church in Glendale, California. I am sure that has a lot to do with its feel and the sound of it. Rick Solem understood immediately what the song needed and worked with me on the music. Ross Vannelli weaved the theme through the score of Children On Their Birthdays.

It almost didn’t happen. The scene in Children On Their Birthdays where this song appears was not in the original script. After seeing early edits of the film, director Mark Medoff got the cast and crew back together to shoot a new scene. He called me in because he needed a song for this new moment in the film. I will always thank him for that.


One by One (Day by Day)

Day by Day Sun to Sun
Be with me One by One
Side by side In Unison
You and me One by One

You are the colors I see when I’m dreaming
You are the name on my lips when I’m cold
You are the island that keeps me from drowning
You are the only tomorrow I hold

Day by Day Sun to Sun
Be with me One by One
Let’s hide away when day is done
We’ve got to get away – steal away
We’ll only find our way One by One

You are the colors I see when I’m dreaming
You are the name on my lips when I’m cold
You are my rose in the snows of December
You are the only tomorrow I hold

Let ’em talk and say
When it’s said and done
That Day by Day you were mine
And we were One by One

ONE BY ONE(Day by Day) w/m JD Hinton, Rick Solem ©2000 Wide Brim Music, Go Deep Music BMI


Long Way From Home

Some places airplanes don’t fly
Some places roads don’t go by
I needed you to remind me
Everything I want’s behind me

I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way I’m on my way home

Up here the stars every night
Get lost in the shower of light
I let the big city blind me
What I came to find is behind me

I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way I’m on my way home

I know a door that won’t lock
It’s open I don’t have to knock
And I know where you can find me
Standing with this all behind me

I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way from home
I’m a long way I’m on my way home

LONG WAY FROM HOME w/m JD Hinton, Mike Turner ©1997 Wide Brim Music, Treble Hook Music BMI


My Time Has Come

The rumors in the street
Are taking aim at me
Whispers of defeat are out there humming
Night will hide its face
The sun will take its place
In a moment’s grace my morning’s coming

My Time Has Come My Time is Here
This is the hour I hoped would appear
No running from No time for fear
This is My Time My Time Has Come

The city doesn’t give
This town never did
They hit you where you live like drummers drumming
The waters never part
But this is from the heart
This is where I start and keep on coming

My Time Has Come My Time is Here
This is the hour I hoped would appear
No running from No time for fear
This is My Time My Time Has Come

I just believed a little more
Than all the ones who always swore I’d fall
I just believed a little more
Than all the ones who always swore I’d fall
I can’t control what people think
But those who blink Always miss it all

My Time Has Come My Time is Here
This is the hour I hoped would appear
No running from No time for fear
This is My Time My Time Has Come

MY TIME HAS COME w/m JD Hinton, Mike Turner ©2008 Wide Brim Music, Treble Hook Music BMI


Beautiful Joe

THrow me a lifeline Throw me a smile
Call me to just say hello
My one in a million everyday hero
You are my Beautiful Joe

One cup of water One extra mile
For those days when kindness is slow
My once in a lifetime everyday hero
You are my Beautiful Joe

When I needed yes You told me yes
When I needed no You didn’t go

Well…

Here’s to the teardrops in the champagne
You’re the one I came to know
My once and for always everyday hero
You are my Beautiful Joe

Beautiful Joe w/m JD Hinton ©2013 Wide Brim Music BMI


If There Was a Next Time

Carousel was turning Dreams began to spread
Music was for dancing and nights that lay ahead
I remember yearning things I left unsaid
Take a look around Take a Good Look Around

Drove down San Vicente to the ocean bluffs again
You know where to find me I know where we’ve been
Ocean waves are breaking Tide is rolling in
Take a look around Take a Good Look Around

If there was a NEXT TIME If it could be spring —
My Eyes would tell you everything
If what really matters Is waiting to be found
I promise you NEXT TIME The real time Around

Every sunset’s different Every kiss is too
I don’t need a witness No one else is you
I stared across the water A hundred shades of blue
Take a look around Take a Good Look Around

If there was a NEXT TIME If it could be spring —
My Eyes would tell you everything
If what really matters Is waiting to be found
I promise you NEXT TIME The real time Around

NEXT TIME (Good Look Around) w/m JD Hinton ©2012 Wide Brim Music BMI


Mulholland Drive

You should have been here The fog burned away
And left me most of the day
I stopped for lunch and Stayed for dessert
It’s June and this is LA

What I was waiting for wouldn’t arrive
But I like to hope for the best
Wish we could head Up to Mulholland Drive
Put down the top and go west
Wish we could head Up to Mulholland Drive
And let the road do the rest

Red bougainvillea covers the hill
Beauty leaves nothing until
Winters are warm and Summers are blonde
Out here where time can stand still

I thought if you Would just somehow arrive
But I like to hope for the best
Wish we could head Up to Mulholland Drive
Put down the top and go west
Wish we could head Up to Mulholland Drive
And let the road do the rest

Little by little the shadows arrive
And I’m still alive with the best
I guess I’ll head up to Mulholland Drive
Put down the top and go west
Wish we could head up to Mulholland Drive
And let the moon do the rest

MULHOLLAND DRIVE w/m JD Hinton ©2012 Wide Brim Music BMI


Nobody Knows But Me

I was busy when the future came
Looking darkly through a glass
We were introduced I loved your name
And the future came to pass

Nobody knows but me Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows what you open and close
Nobody knows but me

You’re a shadow in the south of France
I’m a painter seeking light
We are passengers of circumstance
We are travelers tonight

Nobody knows but me Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows what you open and close
Nobody knows but me

Hold me Let me go No Hold Me Hold me Let me go No Hold Me
You turn me around and back around
Kiss me Let me go No kiss Me Kiss me NO NO NO No Kiss Me
Am I lost or found – Is up the ground

In the alleys where the truth is told
Where the liars never sleep
You were really only mine to hold
You were never mine to keep

I surrendered for a hotel kiss
Gladly traded all my dreams
I’m a prisoner no one will miss
For the sounds a lover screams

Nobody knows but me Nobody knows but me
Nobody knows what you open and close
Nobody knows but me

NOBODY KNOWS BUT ME w/m JD Hinton ©2013 Wide Brim Music BMI


Angels Are Here

When all is said and done You’ll know what I mean
They even took the sun The moon and the stars away from me
I couldn’t buy a spark But in the dark I see

I know about the wall If everywhere you look’s a wall
I know what it’s like To call and call and call
That’s when I turned and saw I hadn’t seen it all

ANGELS ARE HERE ANGELS ARE HERE AGAIN
ANGELS ARE HERE I THINK THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN

The road I want to find The bridges are there
Every road of mine Just vanished in air
You have a face so kind I’ve seen you somewhere

ANGELS ARE HERE ANGELS ARE HERE AGAIN
ANGELS ARE HERE I THINK THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN

ANGELS ARE HERE ANGELS ARE HERE AGAIN
ANGELS ARE HERE I THINK THEY’VE ALWAYS BEEN

I know I know I know I know I know I know
I know I know I know I know I know I know
I know I know I know I know I know I know

ANGELS ARE HERE w/m JD Hinton ©2008 Wide Brim Music BMI


Tryin’ to Get It Right

Some women are comfortable Some women are lean
Some women are wonderful Some women are mean
Some women invisible Some women are seen
I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right

Some women are givers Delighted to bring
For one who delivers There’s one who will sting
Some give you the shivers Some leave you to sing
I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right

Some women are crossable And cross every line
Some women impossible Impossibly fine
No shortage of women Hold on to your spine
I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right

The riches I’d have from The bridges I’ve burned
If I had a buck for Each lesson I learned
Some women will gitchoo I always returned
I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right

Some tens – an eleven An answer to prayer
Some women are heaven If you can get there
All over the world (are) Women who care
I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right I’m Just Tryin’ to Get it Right

There’s all sorts of women I know a few kinds
There’s lots of good women Beautiful minds
There’s lots of good reasons To pull down the blinds

I’m just tryin’ to get it right I’m just dyin’ to get it right
More right than wrong With women along I’m just tryin’ to get it right

©2009 Wide Brim Music BMI w/m JD Hinton


The Music, The Music

The Caroler sings: “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” Thoughtfulness and joy intertwine. May the hope of Christmas carry us all into joyous days that we will call 2013. May we all hear the music. Blessings and Cheers!


Cheebo Day

Howdy y’all.

20111115-131215.jpg


Mulholland Drive

When I was new to Los Angeles, a record producer told me about this road that stretches across the crest of the Hollywood Hills. You know those hills. They separate L.A. and Hollywood from the San Fernando Valley. One afternoon, we finished in the studio, and I aimed my Oldsmobile with Texas plates up one of the canyon roads until I got to Mulholland Drive. I turned west.

It was magic then, and it’s never lost its magic for me. Los Angeles spreads out below you on one side.  On the other side, around the next turn, the Valley is everywhere you look. An extraordinary view. It touches something inside you. At night it gets better. The lights below you are a sight to behold. Like diamonds on black velvet.

One day over lunch at one of the sidewalk cafes on Sunset Blvd., I could see the Hollywood Hills. Thoughts came. Words. I started writing in a small notebook. That’s how my song “Mulholland Drive” began. June 2003.

When I was finally able to get to work on chords and a melody to make this a song it was June 2005. The time lapse was horrendous, but what emerged was still part of that first afternoon.

“Mulholland Drive” was recorded in early June 2011. Every song has a journey before you can hear it. The road will wait for you.


Scotland: Songs & Poets

The first time I performed outside the U.S. was in Scotland at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. Just before going onstage with my band the first time, I wondered how my original songs would go over. Would nuances in the lyrics translate well outside “American” culture? Thankfully, they did. Week after week we had good audiences and solid reviews. I’m still grateful for the friendship and musicianship that grew there with:  Rick Solem, piano   Tim Burlingame, guitar   Kathrin Shorr, guitar/vocals.

A couple of songs we did still stand out in my memory. “Real World” had some unusual patterns in the lyric. It was a new song I’d co-written for Last Chance, a Bryan Cranston film. After seeing my shows, folks along the Royal Mile would come up and sing back lines from this song to me as a way of saying hello. I liked “Real World” from the beginning, but in Scotland I began to believe it was a song I’d always sing.

“One by One (Day by Day)” is the other song I brought from California and discovered in Scotland. Before performing it, I mentioned this song took shape after reading my favorite American poet, e.e. cummings. Then, I let the lyric rest in Rick’s piano and the Tim – Kate harmonies. With “One by One” I discovered this show meant something to our audiences. It wasn’t from the applause. Or the CDs they bought. It happened the next day. Some people who’d seen the show came back and left notes for me at the box office. In each envelope, along with their lovely note, they included their poems. Poems they wrote and poems they liked. Poems they wanted me to read because… I believe “one by one” they knew I’d understand.  Cheers!

 

 


New Mexico Coffee

Growing up, I learned to keep my mouth shut. I learned that’s how people tell you things. That’s why people tell you things.

On any given morning in Las Cruces I am happy to be in The Bean for coffee.  Same across town at Milagro. I like the scene there, too, and oooh the espresso! With every cup there’s a view…  of New Mexico friendships and perhaps tourists like me. We are all travelers anyway. I get to watch coffee folks laugh and lean across tables to share the secrets they would never tell another soul.


Caves and Tunnels

Hope! It’s 2011. This could be a cave or a tunnel. Hope!

Around here 2010 ended with an exclamation point. My band’s LA concert last October hit a real (no pun intended here) high note with me. Sometimes you can just feel like a new level of work – a much better one – has been reached. I recognized it at the time and mentioned it to my brothers in kind on that project. Then, Dec. brought the chance to act in the lead role for an indie film in New Mexico. “Hatching Max” was a complete surprise. And joy. Again, a recognition. Something in the experience was at a deeper level than any I can remember. Truer. I’m ready for the next mile. The next step.

Hope is its own exclamation point, but hope also carries an asterisk. Taking steps where results are uncertain is Hope* at street level. It is the DNA of show business.  I think it is also the journey we’re all on in life. Hope. For me it takes faith to do that.  So, I keep walking forward. I keep my eyes open. I’m looking for a tiny dot of light, a sunrise,  for God’s angels to appear.

Happy 2011 to all.   — and yes, Happy New Year… Y’all.


Magnificat!

As ’99 turned toward 2000, everyone I knew walked with a sense of awe. We were ending a century and a millenium. Well, we didn’t end it, but we were witnesses. Y2K was also full of ominous anticipation, too. Here we sailed into uncharted waters and new dimension.

That Christmas 1999 I joined several singers from the U.S. and Europe to sing  for the Pope and Jubilee ceremonies at the Vatican on Christmas Day . We sang a piece commissioned for the occasion from composer Beppe Cantarelli. “Magnificat” was magnificent and every Christmas since then, I’ve known I’m not alone in remembering it. We had a wonderful time of music.

 Friendships that began there are still strong. There will never be another Christmas dinner like the one we had at the small restaurant off of Piazza Navonna. I threw 3 coins in the Trevi Fountain.  I’m waiting. I believe. Merry Christmas! Joy to the World!


Beatles Blast

Great fun hearing Fab Four play on Firenze Ristorante system this LA autumn night. All early ’63-’65 tunes. Fun to hear in 2010 and a good 1450 miles west of Hwy. 84. Fun to remember when KBGO or WACO radio raced to play the latest cut first. Fun to recall how good it felt to have one of those tunes play during a car date while cruising down Austin Ave. Fun to think back and realize I bought English Leather cologne, hip-huggers, and paisley shirts in hopes that something British, rock, and Beatle-esque would be infused in my cell structure and add stride to my high school walk.  “Help!” Indeed.