I’m so excited to announce the release of my brand new album, “Up Higher.”
Featuring eight vocal and instrumental tracks, most of which were written and recorded during the past year, I feel that this collection represents the best, most personal, and most ambitious music I’ve ever produced.
“Up Higher” is titled to reflect the positive feel and messages I tried to evoke in the songs. It’s also a play on words, since two of the songs were originally written as soundtracks to aerial photography videos I made while flying high above the mountains in my little yellow Cessna, as seen on the cover photo.
Heavily influenced by the events of the past year, and the realization that I’m not getting any younger, I dedicated myself to spending much of this past winter and spring writing, recording and mixing. I gave myself a deadline of May to finish the album, and so I’m so really pleased to finally have it completed!
Even though I’ve been playing and recording for years, I definitely challenged myself, learned a great deal and saw vast improvement with my musical and production skills. That alone was extremely gratifying.
Being a rock album, it’s filled with lots of crunchy electric guitars, juicy solos and catchy choruses, just the kind of music I love to listen to. I’m really proud of how it turned out, so I hope you enjoy it. If you decide to purchase the album, or any of the songs, then I’d just like to thank you very much for your support!
You can listen to or purchase the music here, or you can visit and follow me at at my Bandcamp Page.
1. Can’t Look Past Ourselves
My commentary on the relevant challenges that we always seem to face in our society and the never ending plea of “why can’t we be better?” This song began as a spontaneous demo a number of years ago. I felt it had a lot of potential, so let it gestate in my mind, and revisited it every few months, often working on the lyrics during long bike rides.
A straight ahead rock and roll love song with loud guitars and race car metaphors. I came up with the basic idea for this while riding my snow bike and would often sing the choruses in the shower. The “Ahhhs” in the chorus sections are my nod to the awesome Van Halen backing vocals of Eddie and bassist Michael Anthony.
3. Dr. Fauci Say
An original song, first released last year as a music video, I wrote this right at the beginning of the pandemic. It reflected my mindset during what was a very scary and uncertain time for all of us. Now that many of us are vaccinated and society is beginning to crawl back toward the light, we can look back and remember what it was like in those first few weeks after COVID hit.
4. Soaring in the Ravens’ Playground
A guitar instrumental track, inspired by and composed to aerial footage shot while flying during sunset over the majestic Chugach Mountains of Alaska. This was first released as a video on my YouTube channel last month.
5. What Will Remain
This is the most ambitious song I’ve ever written and it took the longest to record and mix. The lead vocals and the stack of 18 backing vocal tracks took all afternoon to do, and being at the very top of my singing range, the session left me pretty exhausted. I’m really proud of this one, and I think it has a lot of relevance, not only as we start to emerge from the pandemic, but for any time when we live through a transformative event.
6. Get Off Your Ass
Simple with a laid back groove, this is one of two older songs on the album. Written while playing through a tiny practice amp and recorded in 2005, I’ve always loved how this one came out. Now it finally gets to see the light of day!
7. Angel Oak Rag
Recorded back in 2007 after visiting the impressive Angel Oak Tree near Charleston, SC., this is a solo acoustic fingerstyle guitar piece I wrote and played on my Martin HD-28V. I love picking ragtime tunes on my acoustic, and this was my first original piece done in that style.
8. Aerial Adventure
This song was originally written and recorded as the soundtrack to a short film I made last year. The video documented my experiences flying around the mountains and shooting aerial photos out the open window of my 1947 Cessna 120 in the middle of winter.
I’d wanted to make a video like this for years so that I can share the magic of what it’s like to soar around this magnificent scenery at sunset and see the pink light bathe these mountains and glaciers from up close. The album version has been slightly edited from the longer video, which you can see here.