2010 International Songwriting Competition honorable mention for “Michele” from “The Butterfly”.
(Song descriptions in audio & visual format for tracks on The Butterfly.)
“A stream was welling up out of the earth and was watering all the surface of the ground”. Book of Genesis
The Wizard, himself!
Wilson’s actual smile!! From track #12 “WILSON’S SMILE”
This is John Fahey, composer of “Sunflower River Blues”.
He did a great service to American music by introducing American Folk songs and styles to concert level audiences.
St. Mary’s-Hardington. Somerset, England
St. Mary’s Hardington in Somerset England. This church dates back to the late 800’s (yes that EIGHT).
I recorded “You”, the last track on my CD “The Butterfly” in this church in 2007, during time off from the Soul Survivor Festivals Peter & I (Spoken Groove) played at in 2005-2007. The natural reverb within church is what you hear on the recording. This is one of my most favorite places on earth to spend time playing in. Many thank you’s to the Coates family who lived on this property at the time!
“Mary” is a Washburn DC 60 E, serial # 62304.
I purchased it new on September 6, 1991 for about $800 at The White House Of Music in my home town of Waukesha, Wisconsin.
This model was produced only for about 5 years. Aside from when they were first available, I’ve only seen a few ever since they came out in the early 1990’s. What sold me on the guitar is the unique 24 fret (2 octave) neck. Very rare for any guitar, and unheard of for an acoustic. What keeps me playing her is the incredible tone, it has SO improved with age.
Due to a drunk patron, Mary took an upside down dive off a 3 foot stage in New York City in 1993 and came out with only a tiny ding. By rights that should have broken the headstock off.
In Temple Texas, a metal footswitch dropped on it from several feet up when the guitar was lying on the stage floor without a guitar stand. Dumb idea.
Mary also survived Tropical Storm Alison, a flood in Houston on June 8, 2001. The car I was in got stalled in high water, was pushed to higher ground, but the water kept rising. Thankfully the water never got higher than the rear wheels after that. I had to leave the guitar in the trunk as my girlfriend and I waded thru chest high water to flee to a nearby hospital for shelter for the night.
Recent repairs & modifications have been done by Tom Oatley. Tom was Jimmie Vaughan’s guitar tech for 5 years, and was also a tech for the Dixie Chicks recently. Of special note is the beautiful hand made metal cross he himself made after receiving the idea for it in a dream! It’s purpose was to cover the hole in the side left from the original electronics panel.
The pick up system he installed is a Trance Audio Amulet System. This pickup system I was turned onto by Michael Hedges, who used a prototype model. It’s what captures all the body knocks and hand nuances on the guitar.
Other mods have been done by Luthier Del Langejans of Holland, Michigan. The man makes guitars that will make you melt; and has made guitars for guys like Phil Keaggy & John Michael Talbot.
Another important addition are brass bridge pins on the bass strings. Again, I got the idea from Hedges, but then was convinced to make the change after hearing for myself when I played Willy Porter’s guitar. Brass pins add a huge amount of volume and tone. Both very good things!
The neck & headstock is 1 piece of mahogany which I find amazing. Several pieces of wood at least are normally used for this step. And mahogany being a soft wood makes for easy neck vibrato when you shake the guitar with love.
It was an outer space experience the first time I played her at Strait Music in my now home of Austin, Texas. That same outer space experience continued the 2nd & 3rd times too before I purchased it. It is a writing tool extraordinaire!! Oceans of sound.
A HUGE sound!
Whoever invented the 12 string should get a medal for being extraordinarily cool.
A trick I often do w/Margie is capo at the 5th fret in the tuning of C#G#C#F#G#C#. This is a fantastic balance of bass, middle & treble. The melodies I often play on the middle 2 strings, the lower strings work the bass range, and the top strings work as drones or harmonies. 3 parts-that’s the key to a full sound.
There is a wonderful mix of instrumentation on this CD. Half of the pieces are solo guitar. The rest contain multiple instruments.
I still love this CD after all these years. Arrangements of multiple instruments is one my favorite parts of creating music. Having the guitar as the primary voice of course I’m fascinated with.
It means the world to me that so many people have received such joy listening to this CD.
In a shift of mood from the rest of the CD, listen for the ridiculously funny The Wolf Song … a hidden track.
14 Windows has unique vision. All songs are a single guitar, and each is prefaced with a monologue about the story of each piece, narrated by Paul.
Monologue locations range from studio, radio,live and field recordings. These reveal his personal experiences in a very tangible way. The music becomes each subject, hence a window, because you know exactly what the notes are describing/seeing.
The first-ever music CD to be commissioned by the Wizard, 14 Windows is a journey into the language of notes and rhythms, with guitarist Paul Finley serving as tour guide.
It was July 14, 2002. Pennie and I were among the milling crowd waiting for Dave and Amy Nevland to emerge from the clutches of the wedding photographer when marvelous music began to sparkle in the air above our heads. I went in search and found it coming from a nearly invisible fellow sitting at the edge of the crowd. The late Ray Charles once said, “The way I see it, we’re actors, but musical ones. We’re doing it with notes, and lyrics with notes, telling a story.” Ray Charles would have deeply loved the guitar of Paul Finley.
Like any other collection of instrumental music, 14 Windows is a series of poignant stories told in the language of notes and rhythms. But unlike any other collection, each of these 14 songs is preceded by a bonus track in which the artist shares with you the details of the moment that inspired the song.
You’ll hear, first in his own words and then through his guitar, this introverted young musician’s delighted surprise when a beautiful young woman, Ginger, agrees to go on a date with him. You’ll hear his thoughts and musical feelings about the little town in Wisconsin where he spent his childhood. And you’ll hear his joy at the 50th anniversary celebration of his parents. You’ll hear the colorful stories of 6 By The Pool, Valentine’s Day, Out Of Body, Stillhouse Hollow and several other life experiences.
A second breakthrough aspect of this CD is that Paul Finley pioneers in it a technique he calls “melody strumming” that produces the effect of several guitars playing across, over and through each other. You’ll find it hard to believe, but none of the songs on this CD were overdubbed with harmonies, melodies, or rhythmic accompaniment. Every bit of it is just one guy telling us fabulous stories through one amazing guitar.