02 April 2007
I’m open, you’re closed, I follow, you’ll go…
It might be one of the more over-used promo songs of the last two years, but “Collide” from Howie Day’s major –label debut, Stop The World Now (2005), is not just some junky overwrought sappy tune. If you listen to more than the catchy ‘doo doo do do do” part they use in those ads you’ll find a song that at it’s heart is about how opposites attract, and despite conventional wisdom, don’t always stick. It’s a clever song and probably one of my personal favourites of the last couple of years. In fact, the whole CD is pretty cool, while not earth shatteringly different in it’s production values the way Mat Kearney’s CD, Nothing Left To Loose, is, he definitely sings some good material and gets to the heart of things.
This Bangor, Maine native started playing music at the age of five and by the time he was fifteen was already playing in bars and working towards performing on the college circuit. He basically landed on the map by playing any gig he could, and allowing his shows to be taped and thusly shared – in fact he encouraged it. He got where he is because of hard work and word of mouth. This technique helped him to sell over 30,000 copies of his self -financed first full length CD, Australia (2001, produced by the incomparable Boston legend Mike Denneen), over the internet, or at his shows. It’s an impressive feat and one that should be looked upon as a lesson to any up and coming singer - songwriter. Hard work, talent, and a desire to get your word out there despite not having a label to back you can get you pretty far.
This year we can expect a new full length CD to be released. In the meantime, I encourage you to look a little deeper into Stop All The World Now. It’s more than just one good, over-used promo song. Have a listen to “She Says”, “Perfect Time Of Day”, “End Of Our Days”, or “Sunday Morning Days”. Wow. Ok – I just caught myself – lots of “days” mentioned in those songs, the irony not being lost on me at this moment, but still – you get the point. Sometimes you have to dig deeper to really appreciate an artist, and just because a record label releases a song as a single doesn’t make it the best tune that the artist wrote. www.myspace.com/howieday or www.howieday.com
Speaking of writing some good work, I want to take this time to tell you about a blog that I think is really cool. One of my oldest, dearest friends in the world and a good friend to my family, Henry Beecher Stowe (yes, that Stowe family), writes a politically minded blog called Henry’s Corner http://www.freewebs.com/swamprat73/index.htm.
At times it’s a hilarious view on the world of local and national politics and at other times it’s a serious and meaningful commentary on the world around him. He’s a reformed Republican (both of our families are rolling in their graves at that thought) who currently resides in Florida, which alone has its many rib-tickling quirks. It’s interesting to read his blog because like me he’s a die hard New Englander who loves his Martini’s and loves to talk politics while drinking them. It also happens to be very well written, well spoken and thoughtful. He’s a very cool guy who has some fascinating paradoxes and for those who don’t know him, can be a hard man to figure out. But that’s what makes him and his blog so interesting. I am eternally grateful to him, and his family, for their love and support currently and during some very formative years of my youth. So do yourself a favour – check out a new perspective and check him out!
Thanks for tuning in….Until next Monday…CHEERS!!!