The "naked" Concept

One voice and one guitar, that was the original plan. Thatís about as stripped-down a way to present a song as there is. Nothing to hide the words and the music behind; no huge drum sound, blazing guitar solo, big string section or rack of synths, just the melody, words and chord changes.

When I first came to Nashville I went to the Bluebird Café and heard songwriters performing their hit songs with just voice and guitar. It was easy to see which songs held up that way, and why they were so good. These songs had something special to say even without the glitter and rouge, without the giant arrangement, or the $150,000 music video.

When a writer sits down with a guitar and plays and sings a song, I think of that song as being "naked". It is shown in the form in which it was born, without its clothes.

I decided I wanted to make an album of songs presented in that way, one that would put the focus on the compositions and, hopefully, still sound good. Thatís what I set out to do with "naked". I recorded ten songs at Downstairs Sound, performed with just voice and guitar. I wanted it to feel like I was right in front of the listener, showing them the song and myself as the songwriter/singer.

Then, I have to admit, the concept stretched a little. Three fourths of an hour seemed like a long time to listen to just one voice and one guitar. I thought I might try adding bass. It sounded good, still pretty naked, but with the bottom filled in, I needed a bit of percussion on top, just for balance. OK, now a few sparse harmony vocals, maybe a little accordionÖ. and pedal steel, on one song. I stopped myself there.

The material, too, is revealing. These are some personal songs where I show myself openly. There is a lot of introspection, not really any love songs, unless a love song about a truck counts. So, on an emotional level too, I am naked, uncovered.

"At This Table", the previous CD, had a full band, electric guitars, pedal steel, fiddle and backup singers. When I went out to promote the record, I didnít have the band with me. When people bought the record, they were surprised at how different the songs sounded. They would say "we like the record, but we expected to hear you doing the songs like you did them live". Thatís another reason I decided to present he songs in this acoustic Ďnakedí form.

I hope you enjoy listening....

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