I’ve completed the first phase of resurrecting the Erickson & Graham Collection of songs. Steve Graham was a friend and a songwriting partner of a dozen years. He died of brain cancer a few years ago, so I decided to revisit the nearly three dozen songs we wrote together.
The first phase of the project was simply to rework the songs, some of which are 30 years old. Unfortunately, I did not have recordings or even chord progressions written down for more than half the pieces. This means I had to take some liberties in rewriting. That actually made the project more fun. Taking existing lyrics and creating new chord progessions and melody is like solving a puzzle.
In the end, I think some of the rewritten songs will be better than the originals. I’ve grown as a musician over the last 20 years. I pushed myself to use newly-learned musical techniques throughout the rewriting project. I think Steve would approve.
So what’s next?
Mike Schenck, another friend, has a small recording studio about two hours north of me. My own setup is not best for vocals. That’s why I mostly release electronic and experimental music as Anderhill. Sometime this spring I hope to work with Mike to record rough demo cuts of all of the Erickson & Graham songs. Mike and I will then choose some of the stronger pieces to produce. In the meantime, it’s practice, practice, practice. – dse
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