Song Choice: A Primer

Ruthless is what you must be.

Including all of my new songs (18 or so) on a 12-track CD is impossible, but more important, unwise.

Quite simply, they’re not all that good. And many are too similar sounding.

Learning how to edit yourself is key.

As Ron Gletherow of Maggie’s Guitar and I embark on this third compilation, I am exercising tough love.

First to go are the goofy songs I wrote for fun, and the serious intellectual crap that just isn’t working.

Then I group the songs into categories: acoustic, rock, downbeat and upbeat.

Still, songs remain that are well-written, different than the others, yet exceed the 12-track maximum. So I am considering theme: camping with a lover, upbeat with a nice bass line: check. Waxing sorrowful but philosophical about lost love: been there, done that: cross it off the list. Deceptively simple ode to Mom, about the depth of her understanding, which fits my voice and is a sentimental favorite: Got to find room for that.

And so it goes. I’m also reprising three originals from the two past CDs because they are worth some extra attention. That forces down the number of new ones, necessarily. And of course as we begin recording and adding instruments and vocals, a couple might have to be killed off mercifully to spare the listener. We’ll only know once we’re in full swing.

Ruthless. That’s what it’s about. I’m lucky to have such a generous and willing producer, so I’m not cutting myself any slack. It serves no one to waste our time together. In the end, a year from now, I’m hoping what we produce will be worth more than a passing glance from strangers as well as my small, loyal following. Tough decisions now, rewards later.

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