Timeless

After we had performed “To Belong” for the final time last year, Alycia Tierney, a rising senior (and Vocal Ensemble president-elect) came to me and declared, “I’M writing next year’s graduation song”. My answer was something like, “yah, ok, can we talk about it in six months or so?” As it turned out, we sat down with only a title at the beginning of April, and by the beginning of May we had this beautiful song finished, with a studio-quality demo and choral arrangement. It’s so wonderfully personal, with great details about her life, while being just wistful enough to make you miss high school and your friends, even if you’re not the one graduating. It’s one of my all-time favorite co-writes.
The 70s Fleetwood Mac vibe was entirely intentional, and stands as a pretty significant contrast to last year’s pop-oriented arrangement. There are great background vocals from Colby, Jacob P., Jenna, and Sam, and, of course, that’s Jacob Lauria on drums. We were severely pressed for time the day we did the tracking, so I cut the lead guitar track in one take. Sometimes we make our own pressure for fun, I suppose.
Released as an online single in June, 2019.

Buy/listen online
iTunes   Amazon   Spotify   YouTube
The SATB arrangement is available through JW Pepper and SheetMusicPlus.

Part Of The Gift

This was a fun piece to write, and it’s one of my favorite choral works, so far. It’s dedicated to Fr. Robert Hawkins, the former pastor at St. Luke’s, and was originally performed at his retirement mass in June of 2018. The title is taken from one of his best-loved homilies. It wasn’t easy to record, since we were so scattered (Caroline literally ‘phoned’ her part in from Maryland), but as always, the vocalists of Listen Above brought the words to life. It has also been performed by the Mt. Hope Vocal Ensemble, who featured it at the Providence College Choral Festival in February, 2019.
Released as an online single in October, 2018. Please check our website for tour dates and more information about the band.

Buy/listen online
iTunes   Amazon   Spotify   YouTube
The SATB arrangement is available through JW Pepper and SheetMusicPlus.

To Belong (Graduation Song)

I originally wrote this for my own high school graduation, but was never totally satisfied with it, so it’s been rewritten countless times over the years. Someday I’ll grab all of the demos and make one (unlistenable) EP out of them. We had an amazing audition choir at Mt. Hope High School in 2018, and they inspired me to finally finish the song and write an SATB arrangement, which we then recorded and performed for graduation. It was the first official release by Mt. Hope Music, and due to the terrible events of that year, it was also used as part of a fundraiser to benefit the Stoneman Douglas High School victims fund.
Released as an online single in May, 2018.

Buy/listen online
iTunes   Amazon   Spotify   YouTube
The SATB arrangement is available through JW Pepper and SheetMusicPlus.

Listen Above

The idea behind Listen Above is very simple: write songs with a universal, positive, message, and put a band behind them that sounds like the best of all the 70s hard rock bands wrapped up in one. By far, our favorite review referred to the song “Your Love Prevails” as sounding like ‘Linda Ronstadt fronting Deep Purple’. That was the idea, exactly. This album (and band) turned out to be very popular, and features some incredibly talented musicians, including Luke Imbusch of The Rare Occasions on drums.
Album (CD and digital) originally released in August, 2016. Please check our website for tour dates and more information about the band.

Buy/listen online
iTunes   Amazon   Spotify   YouTube

Speechless. She was just speechless.

Patricia leaned in to me and whispered, “I can’t sing.”
“Sure you can,” I crooned (into the mic.) Really, all you have to do is yell ‘doo, doo, doo, or dah, dah dah,’ or any old nonsense, really. Can we get someone with a camera over here?”

What’s the easiest way to get the crowd back up for the final set at a wedding reception (at least in New England)?  We rely on our old friend Neil Diamond, and his “Sweet Caroline” symphony.  Last Saturday was no exception, and as we neared the last chorus I did what I frequently do: went to the bride and groom to cajole them into singing with me.  It makes for great pictures, especially if they’re horrified by the idea.
“Ladies and Gentlemen,” I shouted, “everyone gather around for our big finale. Let’s get Richard and Patricia to sing it for us!”
Patricia leaned in to me and whispered, “I can’t sing.”
“Sure you can,” I crooned (into the mic.)   Really, all you have to do is yell ‘doo, doo, doo, or dah, dah dah,’ or any old nonsense, really.  Can we get someone with a camera over here?”
She looked at me again and mouthed, “I CAN’T SING.”
“I think Pat might need some help here!”  Let’s get everyone in the room singing along, too! DC, kick it in!”
Pat grabbed me by the shoulder and whispered, “I can’t sing because I LOST MY VOICE.  Aren’t you wondering why I’m whispering in a room full of people?”