Baring My “Soul” on a Saturday Night

Sinclair SoulIt has been five years since I’d done this and I had sworn it off many times before. I tried doing it during several fits and starts in the early 1990s, but none of those worked. Through the years I was convinced to do it for various causes, once even in a chemotherapy unit to cheer up the patients, but none of those times worked out as planned. But this past Saturday night (08/24/13) I gave it one more shot.

I performed my music solo, without support, without a net, at the Cornerstone Coffeehouse in Camp Hill, PA. Now, for most this may not seem like a big deal, after all the Cornerstone always has solo performers playing on the weekends. But for me this was truly an event. It was a sort of mission and redemption wrapped in one. Long ago, I concluded that my musical talents lie in composing and not performing, although I have been involved in scores of rock bands and have played every major position on the field – lead vocal, guitar, bass, keyboards, drums. However, being a bit of a control freak, bands have always felt limiting and the urge to do it alone has persisted despite the consistent disasters when attempted.

What brought me out this time was the fact that I have composed a whole bunch of new songs but have not had the time nor resources to record it. I had spent five years on my previous recording project, a 33-song double CD international release called Imaginary Lines 33 , in 2009. I was also involved with a band and we recorded an album in 2010 that never got released because of internal disagreements. At that time I was pretty sure I was retired from all things music. But that pesky muse kept bothering me, and soon new song ideas started to form. I came up with the idea of “One More Rock to Roll” as an upfront declaration that this would be my last go-round. I also brought back the fictional “Sinclair Soul”, an alias I had used for years when writing articles as well as on some music projects.

The music was written on piano but had rich arrangements for several guitars and other rock instruments. I was eager to enlist many of the fine musicians I had worked with over the years as well as find a “front man” to handle the dynamic vocals, but as of mid 2013 I had not had any luck getting the recording process started. So I inquired about playing my songs solo on piano at the Cornerstone, a website client of mine and a much better alternative to performing at a bar room or any other “noisy” situation.

So, after all this background, how did the gig itself go?

In one sense it was quite a disappointment. Many of the folks I invited did not show up and I didn’t quite get the capacity crowd I had hoped for. Also, I made some really air-headed mistakes on some of the cover songs I performed (the songs which I , ironically, walked into the gig without performance worries).

However, in a larger sense Saturday’s gig was a tremendous success. I performed 14 brand new “Sinclair Soul” songs (including one so new that it doesn’t yet have a name) and each went off without a hitch. None of these songs had every been performed live for anyone except my dog and these were obviously my main focal point on Saturday’s gig. The dozen or so cover songs and three old Imaginary Lines tunes were really just there to fill up the two hour commitment.

Also, the crowd that was there was tremendous in quality if not quantity. For the first time ever, I performed music with my wife, all three sons, and mother in the audience. The rest of the audience gave me a warm reception, even if many only sat in for a song or two while they enjoyed a coffee, beverage, or ice cream cone. There was a woman in the audience who knitted throughout the first set and gave me the resultant winter hat when she was completed. There was also a tremendously talented musician in the audience named Suzi Brown who stayed for the whole gig and gave a compliment at the end and, of course, the Cornerstone staff was gracious and helpful.

Although I was hoping to perform everything perfectly and fill the place up, it didn’t quite work that way. But getting the new songs out there after all this time kind of made them real entities and not just figments of my imagination, which makes this past Saturday a very special occasion indeed.

~

Ric Albano
aka “Sinclair Soul”
SinclairSoul.com

Fear

Bonus Track By  Wahray and Soul

Written by Ric Albano Song Length: 3:05
Listen to the Song:

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1992
Lyrics
Tuesday afternoon on the road, I thought of something extreme
Where will I be in a year from now if I don’t go and change something
I guess in a year from now when I hear this song I’ll know for sure
But one thing I must overcome, for sure
This deep, defeating fear…
Yes that’s the deadly thing that tears us all apart
It pulls us down and brutally stops us
From doing what we believe in our hearts
But someday soon something’s gotta give, this conflict just can’t stay
All I need is courage and guts and will to chase this fear away…

Don’t want it here no more
Go away, find another fish to lure

Far away, where it won’t be seen or heard from ever again
A swift clean break, forever destroyed, won’t compromise on “bend”
Forever expelled from down inside my soul, way down south
Way down there, deep down inside my soul…

Don’t want it here no more
Go away, find another fish to lure

Be excellent to each other!

Composition © 1992 Ric Albano
Publication © 2011 Cygnus Wave Music

Song Info
Produced & Engineered by Ric Albano
Composed on February 8, 1992
Recorded February 1992
at Rathole Studios, Hazleton, PA
Mixed in 2003 & Mastered in 2011
at Cygnus Wave Studios

Performers
Ric Albano
Harpsichord, Bass Guitar, Drums, Vocals
Sinclair Soul
Vocals

Listener Guide
Grade

Analysis: The very last song to use the old harpsichord, an instrument which pre-dated even the earliest songs that I wrote (I believe I purchased it when I was 16 in 1984). The song itself has a decent vibe due to the strong bass line, but some weaker vocals that kind of fall off late in the second verse, indicating that the song was never properly finished.

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The Miracle of Surprise

Bonus Track By  Wahray and Soul

Written by Ric Albano & Jim Morrison Song Length: 1:54
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1989
Lyrics
And in her eyes
The fresh miracle of surprise…

Composition © 1989, 2003 Ric Albano
Publication © 2011 Cygnus Wave Music

Song Info
Produced & Engineered by Ric Albano
Composed on September 28, 1989
Recorded September 1989 / Fall 2003
at Rathole Studios, Hazleton, PA
and Cygnus Wave Studios
Mixed in 2003 & Mastered in 2011
at Cygnus Wave Studios

Performers
Ric Albano
Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, Drums
Sinclair Soul
Vocals

Listener Guide
Grade

Analysis: Always intended as an introductory piece for “The Telephone”, this is the first of many to use a passage from a collection of poerty by Jim Morrison called Wilderness. Some synthesizers were added to the original piece in 2003.

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Dark Side Suite

Track 9  On  The Evolution of Noise  By  Wahray and Soul

Written by Ric Albano Song Length: 8:35
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1989
Lyrics
OVERTURE

Unfortunately for some, yet profitable for others
There reaps a bitter dark side which roams about and smothers
The souls of our brothers

THE DARK SIDE

Northeast in Penn’s land where mountains touch the sky
It’s shadow glooms this man, it feasts on tears he cries
It moves about and grins
It is the face within the bitter taste of sin
With deception, fear, and lies
While most are unaware and hardly even care
They’re just trying to have some fun
They’re the trigger for it’s gun
I guess I shalln’t complain, but it’s hard to bear this pain
On the eve of going insane do I have something to gain?

Yet through these tragic years
With disappointment, sorrow, and tears
I’ve come a long, long way to reach that special day
And if I do survive, I’ll scream and praise “alive”
Although the battle is lost for sure, we can still win the war

Yet through these tragic years
With disappointment, sorrow, and tears
I’ve come a long, long way to reach that special day
And if I do survive, I’ll scream and praise “alive”
Although the battle is lost for sure, we can still win the war

But for right now the sadness glooms
The happiness is gone
And not a soul around me will listen to my song
I guess I shalln’t complain, but it’s hard to bear this pain
On the edge of going insane do I have something to gain

Loneliness haunts my night, questions haunt my day
No answers ever seem right, so much has been thrown away
Discouragement is all I get, no matter what I try to say
Don’t want to hear my words but yet so much can be gained if they
Listen to what I have to say
Give me just a little time of day
Listen to what I say, give me the time of day
Together we can destroy the dark side now!

TEARS

A stranger a long, long way from home
A life of love replaced by chrome
A finding of your deepest fears
A wasted time in magical years

A massacre of all want, torn up and thrown in a fire
A good intention shot right down to fulfill a cold desire
A loss of love, a loss of hope, a steel cage with iron beams
A storm of such excruciating pain, suffering, and screams
Guess they’re not tears of love

Didn’t want to end up this way
Didn’t want to speak the words I say
Didn’t want to cry alone
Didn’t want to be the dog
That went and bit the poison bone

Didn’t want to be the one left out in the rainy cold
Didn’t want to sit around and pray to God I don’t get old

But this time you’ve gone too far
Need to know just where you are
Know somehow you could hear me
Need to know just what you see
Pray somehow the end is near
End of all these painful tears

But this time you’ve gone too far
Need to know just where you are
Then maybe I’ll have tears of love

Composition © 1989, 2003 Ric Albano
Publication © 2011 Cygnus Wave Music

Song Info
Produced & Engineered by Ric Albano
Composed on February 11, 1989
Recorded February-March 1989
at Rathole Studios, Hazleton, PA
Mixed in 2003 & Mastered in 2011
at Cygnus Wave Studios

Performers
Ric Albano
Electric Guitars, Ricter Synth, Keyboards, Bass, Harmonica, Drums, Vocals
Sinclair Soul
Vocals

Listener Guide
Grade

Analysis: This is the only true multi-song medley in the collection. It consists of the original songs “The Dark Side” and “Tears”, as well as a new intro section which was constructed in 2003. The new minute-plus intro drew samples from several songs which were part of The Dark Side project in Spring 1989 with a doomy, Ricter backing in a loop. This leads to the eerie beginning of “The DarK Side”, which eventually builds to a heavy rock song with frenzied movement and lyrics. After building to a crescendo, this collapses into the mellow and moody “Tears”, with its dreamy guitars and dualing vocals. All told, this is the longest “song” in the collection.

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Free

Track 6  On  The Evolution of Noise  By  Wahray and Soul

Written by Ric Albano Song Length: 3:25
Listen to the Song:

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1988
Lyrics
Free, free, off to the sea
World’s apart, yet together forever
It’s driving me crazy

I can’t believe such a worldly land has such a simple heart
But judging from here I think its clear that rattlesnakes never fart
I can’t conceive a journey, man, or at least a weekend trip
But far beyond the Silicon we’ll mingle lip-to-lip

Now free, free, off to the sea
World’s apart, yet together forever

A purple tree in daisy land once told me secret horrors
But if I could, I surely would take sides with the flowers
I’d like to ski on blue-green snow and catch an evening rain
But afterall I still won’t fall, ’cause I am now insane

And free, free, off to the sea
World’s apart, yet together forever
It’s driving me crazy

Composition © 1988 Ric Albano
Publication © 2011 Cygnus Wave Music

Song Info
Produced & Engineered by Ric Albano
Composed on December 13, 1988
Recorded December 1988
at Rathole Studios, Hazleton, PA
Mixed in 2003 & Mastered in 2011
at Cygnus Wave Studios

Performers
Ric Albano
Electric Guitars, Harpsichord, Bass, Harmonica, Drums, Vocals

Listener Guide
Grade

Analysis: This is the very first recording I made with drums. I literally took them out of their boxes, set them up, turned on the recorder and played the beats. All other instruments were dubbed in later to make a proper “song” of it, complete with pysechedelic lyrics.

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