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The links on the upper left side of this page are primarily concerned with my music and career.

It features a biography, music samples, a section on my Dad, "The Silver Fox". The road section features information about recent or upcoming shows. There's a merchandise section, where you can buy CDs, and photos. There's also a full length video section, a guestbook area, and finally a weblog, which I try to update frequently.

I will also be addressing some of the questions that I'm often asked during my travels. So, with that in mind, enjoy the site and carry on...
$CRjr

MY FAVORITE SONGS

She's Leaving Home
The Beatles: This is my favorite song by the Beatles, and even though it's not as universal as some of their themes, such as "All You Need Is Love", or "Let It Be", it's so beautifully constructed that it hold the top position in my book. It's a miniature movie with well defined characters. It's never ceased to amaze me how Paul McCartney, who is most responsible for this song, could take on a subject such as that of a discontented daughter who had been sheltered all her life, and now just wants to have "fun". It is also sympathetic to the parent's grief and disbelief that "our baby's gone". Each word is used to full effect. "Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly". My God, this is a powerful song. If you can listen to this without being moved, I pity you. John Lennon provides the perfect counterpoint to Paul's narration. Although it's not usually thought of as one of the Beatle's most popular songs, it is in my opinion their very best. Both John and Paul were at the top of their game on this one, as were the other Beatles. I spoke with George Martin, their producer, who told me that the main reason they were so good was that they worked so hard at it. That's always stuck with me. Genius 10 percent inspiration, 90 percent perspiration, eh?
Are The Good Times Really Over For Good
Merle Haggard: I saw him do this song at a show in Oxnard, California. The audience was spell bound as Merle really got into this one. It was very timely when he wrote it. America was taking a bit of a beating with regard to bad press from other countries, as well as our own. Foreign car markets were kicking our butt, there were oil shortages, unemployment was on the rise, and there was a general feeling of discontent in the country. Leave it to ole' Merle to set things straight. This song will give you chill bumps if you have any patriotism in you at all.
Betcha By Golly Wow
The Stylistics: recorded what I consider to be one of the most sophisticated melodies of the Pop era. This song was written by one of my favorite song writers, Thom Bell. Yes, the title is silly, but it's catchy as hell, and the music is brilliant. These are "heart" chords. The chords themselves, as well as the progression with it's interesting twists and turns are so complex, yet accessible that I consider this song an R&B masterpiece.
Sweet Baby James
James Taylor's: It says on his website that this song was written for his new born nephew. He wrote much of it while he was driving down to see him for the first time. It's a great song, and the "drive" part makes a lot of sense. It's almost a cowboy song, the inference is there. The lyrics are dreamy colorful, a perfect lullaby. The chord progression is vintage Taylor, heartwarming and kind. There's some existentialism provided with: "There's a song that they sing of their home in the sky, maybe you can believe it if it helps you to sleep, but singing does just fine for me." This is great stuff. This song definitely stands the test of time, as do most of Jame's Taylor's songs.
Into White
Cat Stevens: has written many great songs. When I first bought the album "Tea For The Tillerman", it was partly because I had heard "Wild World" and partly because the album cover which Cat painted was cool. I like the entire album, but this little song, Into White, was really unique. It painted a picture. It was like a classic fairy tale, and the imagery was very clear, mostly arrived by via the well crafted lyrics.
Have You Seen Her
The Chi-lites: Featuring one of my favorite vocalists, Eugene Record, this is a great old good feeling slow dance song. Vintage R&B Pop from the 70s. I recently saw a show on PBS where Eugene was reunited with the rest of the Chi-lites, and he sounds as good today as he ever has, possibly better than. His voice has matured with age. It's easy to spot the great ones, they just have the magic.
Penny Lane
The Beatles: The Beatles were at a musical peak when Penny Lane was released. Beatifully descriptive, great melody. Refreshing sound even today. Hey, it's The Beatles.
I Have Seen It All
Bjork: She may not be not everybody's cup of tea. From her earliest days as lead singer with the Icecubes, she has been considered eclectic at best, and just plain weird by some. She wrote this song for a movie called "Dancer In The Dark". With this, her first starring role in movie, she won the Canne Film Festival's Award for Best Actress. I've seen the movie, and it's interesting albeit a bit dark for my taste. The song is the thing. This shows why many fans love Bjork, and why some just don't get the joke. At her finest, she's a brilliant composer, not to mention she has one of the greatest pure voices of our day. Give this one a chance if you want something really special. Yes, I am a Bjork fan. I'm not weird, I just have good taste;)
Walk Between The Raindrops
Donald Fagen: Nightfly, Donald Fagen's 1982 solo debut shows us his influences in a slick jazzy package that while sophisticated, is not too far from the commercial accessability of the music he made with Steely Dan. "Walk Between The Raindrops" is a glimpse of a romantic Florida getaway. They fight, they kiss, all is well. There's a very Louie Prima influence throughout, which is very appropriate within the framework of this version of a 90s swing vibe.
Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman
Bryan Adams: Written by Bryan Adams and Mutt Lang, this song has one of the single best lines I've ever heard: "and when you can see your unborn children in her eyes". That's a wonderful line. The song has a great Spanish feel to it. It's melody and chord changes keep you moving right along via it's 3/4 waltz feel.

Still more stuff...

  1. Being taken seriously.
  2. How my father became a star.
  3. So, you wanna' be a country star?
  4. Who do you like better, Garth or Gershwin?
  5. You'll eat what you're served...
  6. The Media: Out with the old, in with the new.
  7. It's great exposure.

Thoughts on some of the people I've played with or known.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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