"Jane on Jane St." is complete! Yes, you heard it, after taking far longer than I should have, I am officially out of the studio and finished with the album. Overall, I feel as though I accomplished most of what I set out to with this piece. We rescored/updated a few of my old favorites and put several new ones that made "the cut." It starts off with “Anymore” which has always been one of my favorites to perform since I wrote it in 2011. I like the raw approach the lead guitar takes, and how it goes through a range of emotions, chords and progressions that really make me feel as though I got out a complete story in one single song. As an artist, I think that is one of the biggest challenges we face - how do you complete a full story in 3 minutes? I also got approval/permission to get two solid covers on this album, starting with track 2, “Bette Davis Eyes.” I have always thought that lyrically, this song was more suited for a male lead, but who can argue with Kim Carnes voice on the original? She simply rocked it out, but I like the version we came up with, thanks Scott. This version is a bit more driven and has a contemporary twist. On the antithesis, we stripped down the cover “Your Love” even more - I think you will like how simplistic it came out compared to the original.
So “Jane on Jane St.” I like this title, like most of the songs on it, it brings the album home and completes this chapter for me. “Jane” is referred to on several tracks, and while she was/is real, she serves as a metaphor, where in the first song “Lady Jane” they are experiencing all the wild emotions that come with a powerful and resilient relationship, whereas later in the album in “Chasing Jane,” the relationship is lost, and she is no more than a distant dream and desire - isn’t that the story of life? I could go on and on, but really, who wants to hear that? So let me share a few of my favorite things off this album:
“Anymore,” because I feel as though it reveals vulnerable and real emotions of loss
“Lady Jane,” because she is so deep, passionate and represents so much
From “Lady Jane” - “And though the nights, they may grow long and cold. And though the memories they may grow faint and old, if there’s one thing I gotta hold, it would be Lady Jane laying here with me....”
Favorite experience during the making:
There is no singular one; it was about being with friends and making music. I can’t say great, these will not go on to make gold records, but they captured my life, and I got to capture it with friends. We slept in hotels all along the east coast; Jason Sparks traveled hundreds of miles with me, sleeping in cars and studio couches to make this happen. I have recorded and played along with some great artists, those were the times and some of my best life memories.
Ha! I finally wrote and recorded song that cracked the top iTunes sales, if ONLY for a few moments (haha). “Florida Coast” or "Evonne's Song" as was the last track to hit the album, and I felt as though I finally found my comfort in both the lyrics and vocals. As the song reveals, the girl is moving south to Florida. I wanted to cover and connect with each state she would pass through, “But Virginia’s not for lovers (play off the state slogan), ‘Hello Carolina!’ And ‘Lady Jane’ started playing on a cold November rain.” This was my first song completely written for piano, which was a goal for sometime. Ironically, though I write most of my music at the piano, it is typically transposed to a rock version once in the studio - so this was an exciting exercise for me.
In the end, the song concludes with her dying of old age and her ashes “carried by the waves.” I didn’t mean this to be cruel, but seemed apropos—I honestly wish her well!
"These Walls" was one of the last tracks to make the album; I had actually been in a bad relationship and suffering from "writer's block" for a long time. When the relationship was finally at an end, I sat down at the piano to write for the first time in nearly 2 years. This song simply flowed, both in melody and lyrics. I wrote the song within an hour while she was upstairs packing to move out. I am sure that many of us feel as though we were in a relationship where the other portrayed us out to be something we were not - this relationship was no exception. I felt as though there were so many lies out there, that the truth would never be known, and only the "walls" knew the truth. Ultimately, this is all that matters in life, right? That we know the truth, regardless of what others may say about us. I believe that deep down we all want the opportunity or platform by which to get our "side" of the story out. While I never got my "side" out to those I wanted, I felt like this song was almost therapeutic, and provided the closure I needed; I can only hope she found the same.
This song means a great deal to me, and really brings the album home; without this track, I feel as though I would not have come full circle, or had a complete album. I think it is only apropos that the album concludes with the ending of a relationship, and hope for the next chapter. This song was originally submitted as "These Walls," but in the end, I felt this title was more revealing and better captured the essence of the song.
This song is about an exotic dancer who finds herself on stage facing her lover. He is struggling not only with the loss of her, but also the environment that surrounds the two of them, as "men pay their praise." In the end, he comes to peace with the break up, and takes his pride "beyond the neon lights." As with all of my songs, this is based on a true story, but I did change the circumstances of the breakup to better suit the song. I wanted a song to capture the time I spent in a relationship with a particular girl, but I did not want to "gloss" over her profession or the sorrow in the loss of the relationship - I feel as though this one ended up being one of my most complete songs on the album. I met this lady after a concert in Baltimore, where she worked near the Power Power Plant; while it was both short lived and a doomed relationship, I remain grateful for the time we spent, as well as the song that came from it.
Originally recorded in Virginia Beach, the tracks were "lost," so it was re-recorded out of Maryland with Scott Ensign. This was one of the more "raw" feeling songs I wrote for the album - I accidentally came across the intro chord riff while fooling around one evening; immediately falling in love.