Welcome to this tiny corner of cyberspace! Please allow me to introduce myself:
Drawing on my literary background as an English student & ex-university teacher, I specialize in booksmart/streetwise songs that tell the truth but tell it slant, all of them starting in the "foul rag and bone shop of the heart" (Yeats).
Like countless others, I'm a child of Bob Dylan, who made it possible to sing to the mind and the soul, not just the feet--with poetry no less! In fact, the first concert I ever attended was Dylan's in 1965 at the Minneapolis Auditorium, just months after he electrified his sound, Newport, and the music world. Here's the review:
However, I'm equally a child of literature, not just the great writers from across the pond & on this side of it who speak to the human condition, some famous, some not, but the aesthetics that characterize it, such as making every word count & connecting the parts to the whole, yadda, yadda, yadda.
My former career in the rear view mirror, I have several albums-in-progress, am hosting and performing monthly in the Themefests I originated, and come 2023 will be doing CD-release events not only for the nearly completed Dubliners Sung, which sets Jame's Joyce's short stories to Celtic-flavored music & original lyrics, but also for The Dwindling Road, performances of which were derailed by the Covid pandemic--as they say, the best of well-laid plans . . . .
J. B This is my family tree.
DESCRIPTION: Born in Land of a 10,000 lakes, now alive and well in City of Big Shoulders, where by day I've taught college writing and literature for many a year while devoting off hours to crafting songs rooted in literary poetics and works. Well, mostly anyway.
MODUS OPERANDI: Guitar, harmonica, some keyboards and bass. Solo or with accomplices now and then. Credo: The truth told slant, sound echoes sense, every word counts (except when it doesn't)... And all songs begin in what Yeats' described as the "rag and bone shop of the heart,"
MUSICAL INFLUENCES: Hard-scrabble folk/rock tradition of Guthrie, Dylan, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Kinks, Doors, Lou Reed, Springsteen, Patti Smith, Costello, & Tom Waits + touches of Celtic, blues, cabaret, and classical.
LITERARY INFLUENCES: From Shakespeare, Shelley, Keats, & Dickinson to T..S. Eliot, Yeats, Joyce, ee cummings, Richard Wilbur, J.D. Salinger, Flannery O'Connor, and assorted other classic and contemporary writers and poets.
WHEREABOUTS: Last seen at Mrs. Murphy & Sons, the Atlantic Bar & Grill, and the streets and parks around Lincoln Square but has played at No Exit, Chopin Theater, Heartland Cafe, The Bean Counter, Lunar Cabaret, and other venues.