Tag Archives: guitar

A Brown Road Campfire

Hi gang, sorry I haven’t been around much the last couple months. I’ve been busy displaying my awesomeness in ways other than being a world-famous blogger. I promise there are some things in the works and that I will be back soon. Until then, in the spirit of Summer which is finally here and warm campfires on crisp, clear, starry nights, here’s a pretty epic old post from Summer of 2011 when this blog was a younger version of itself and which many of you have probably never had the privilege of experiencing.

So that you can vicariously enjoy the whole Brown Road experience and since I can’t think of anything to write about, here’s me singing a campfire song, including all of the outside bird and peeper sounds from the swamp behind us! One of the critters got so loud towards the end, I think maybe it was sitting right underneath me. Maybe it was singing along. I laughed because I thought it sounded like one of those combination music and nature sounds CD’s you can buy.

Sweet Baby James is one of my favorite songs.  My Mom sang it to me to help me fall asleep when I was a baby. I don’t really remember that, but I imagine that’s where it all started. My parents had a copy of the James Taylor album that this song was originally recorded on and I would listen to it all the time.

If you’d like, here’s a video I found on youtube of a crackling campfire, that you can look at as well!

You should play them both at the same time to really get the full effect! You may have to adjust the volume settings on the videos to watch them together, the crackling fire is pretty loud.

Have fun at the Brown Road campfire!


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The Grass Ain’t Always Greener

This is the latest from the Brown Road recording studio. I’ve been working on this song the last few days after a conversation Kim and I had recently about how people are always looking for something better, when in reality they have something really great right in front of them.

I’ve always been a “grass is greener” guy.  So yeah, this song is pretty much about me. Probably about a lot of you too. In my case, I’m not talking about the basic measurable things in my life. I’m not talking about my relationships or my material possessions or my lifestyle. I just have this tendency to always be looking for some kind of fictional, transcendental level of satisfaction with my life, no matter how good it is.  And it really is.  I think it’s why a lot of us write or draw or sing or create or do whatever we do to feed that monster that lives inside of us.

So Kim and I were talking about this the other night.  A few nights later I picked up my guitar and I had to write a song about it.  Having now written a few songs, I find it interesting how overwhelmingly obsessing it can be once you have it in your mind to write about a certain subject. I can only imagine what it must be like to be a professional musician with a constant flow of lyrics and melodies swirling through your head.

So here’s The Grass Ain’t Always Greener. The lyrics are below.

The Grass Ain’t Always Greener

Spending your whole life
Trying to find what’s better
Chasing dreams you can barely see on the other side

Looking for a life
Deep with inspiration
Full of schemes that will always seem to build your pride

Building castles in the air
Impractical ambitions
Planting seeds that may never grow to see the light

Keeping track of time
Your clock is always ticking
You just need to always know you’ll be alright

‘Cause the grass may seem much greener when you look at the other side
If you glanced into a mirror, are you trying to run and hide?
There’s so much good around you, it’s just hidden in plain sight
And the grass ain’t always greener, when you get to the other side

Like brush strokes on a canvas
Vivid imagination
Painted dreams of chasing rainbows in your mind

Pacing through your days
Your mind is always racing
Romantic flights of fancy fill your time

Searching down a road
Forks at every juncture
No signs to guide you safely on your ride

Trying to find your way
Transcendent aspirations
If you could only see you’ve found your perfect life

‘Cause the grass may seem much greener when you look at the other side
If you glanced into a mirror, are you trying to run and hide?
There’s so much good around you, it’s just hidden in plain sight
And the grass ain’t always greener, when you get to the other side

Soooo…. is this song about you? Are you a “grass is greener” type of person?


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Baby Can I Hold You

“Baby Can I Hold You” by Tracy Chapman

This was the very first “real” song I learned on the guitar. This song was released in 1988, while I was a junior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine.  For my Christmas present that year, my middle brother had traded in an old classical guitar that had sat around our house our entire childhood, for the Yamaha acoustic guitar (and probably lots of extra cash) that I still play. The guitar he bought me is nothing fancy, not a world class instrument by any means, but a piece of wood and metal and strings that I have fallen in love with over the years.  I will be indebted to him forever for the foresight in buying me an instrument that although will never be used in a professional environment (thankfully!), really changed my life in an indescribable way.

I remember sitting in my dorm room trying to figure out the chords to this song, at the time barely knowing how to hold the guitar in the correct position and the tips of my uncalloused fingers burning from trying to hold down chords. Of course, 1988 was long before we were able to go onto the internet and search for the chords to a song, which are now readily available. So I listened to the cassette tape (yes, cassette tape, I’m that old!) and picked and strummed and picked and strummed until I figured out what I thought were the correct chords. Honestly I still don’t know if they are the correct chords and I figure at this point, it doesn’t really matter.

Look, I’ll never be a professional musician, I accepted that long ago. But I do believe that learning an instrument and being musically inclined is a “hobby” that is more important and can provide a more profound, lifelong impact than many others, including sports. Both of my kids are currently involved in music programs and I hope they will continue.

So… if you’ve ever considered picking up a guitar, banjo, mandolin, flute, clarinet, saxophone…

Well, what’s stopping you?

So, here’s my version of “Baby Can I Hold You”. Okay, it’s tough to compete with the amazing voice of Tracy Chapman… whatever…


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A Girl and a Horse

Madeline and Jack

What is it about a girl and a horse?

What brings them together, what powerful force?

Not the beautiful tack,

Nor the ride on his back,

But the unconditional love, of course!


Here’s my favorite song about horses. Written by the daughter of folk singer Peter Rowan and featured on a CD called “Daddy’s Sing Goodnight” which I’d encourage you to get a copy of if you have little ones!


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