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Story Behind The Song - THE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 11 : THE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU

This song signifies my adventurous attempt at bringing electronic beats and instruments into the mix. I wrote it very organically on an acoustic guitar with four simple chords. It's still there, but there's so many things happening in this song, you have to listen really closely to hear it! 

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

 

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - PURE WATER 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 11 : PURE WATER

This was written back in 2014 specifically for a music pitch/documentary looking for songs about water. 

Here's part of the info I had to go on to see what I could come up with:

SONGS about DRINKING WATER are needed by an A-List Hollywood Music Supervisor working on a Documentary Film. He’s thirsty (pardon the pun) for Songs with Male or Female Vocals with lyric themes relating to fresh, clean, DRINKING WATER. He’s interested in hearing Songs in ALL TEMPOS and ALL GENRES, as long as they have lyrics about water, pure water, cold water, water is life, etc. Quoting the Music Supervisor: “It’s okay for the lyrics to be literal and right on the nose for this pitch. That’s what I’m looking for! Clean drinking water is a huge issue that this film is dealing with, and I need a song with lyrics that will help us bring this issue into the light.” The right lyric theme and message are more important than the genre or style for this pitch. Please avoid anything that’s too somber or dark. On the other hand, don’t be silly either! They need the perfect song to play during a montage of people receiving fresh drinking water in an environment where it’s typically very hard to come by. This is definitely one of those situations where the Supervisor will know the right song when he hears it, and plays it against the scene.

Well, after all that, it wasn't chosen - so now what am I going to do with it? Put it on a CD!

All instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - SERENGETI STOMP 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 10 : SERENGETI STOMP

The setting where I started writing this track it is brightly etched in my mind.  

I found myself peering out a large window in Las Vegas over looking the golf course of the Suncoast Resort and Casino. It was another Hotel California road trip with 2 nights performing in the showroom. 

This was me creating my first "loop". Recording a short guitar passage, editing it, and then copying/cutting and pasting just like you would with a word or sentence in any computer document. It's only actually played once, but I can make copies of it and manually place anywhere I want in the song. I think there are two of these in "Serengeti..." all throughout the tune.

This is the second and the last of guitar instrumentals I've done. These days, I'm more interested in songs: melody w/lyrics. Any other instrumentals I've been working on are shorter and less "busy" in hopes of TV placement. 

Why titled "Serengeti" Stomp? Oh, I used an African drum loop or two in it that seemed to give it a tribal feel.  

I found a photo of said window from 2012!:

All instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - HERE'S OUR BLUE SKY 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 9 : HERE'S OUR BLUE SKY

It occurred to me that this song is apropos for the kind of crazy weather we've been seeing of late.

"Skies" may be dark but it's the blessing of those we love that can help bring us through to the blue skies. And if there isn't a cloudless one at the moment, create your own together. And with that, I guess that would be the "story of the song" - about the important things in life.

The bird you hear is real. Recorded at my own house. It's the annual mockingbird (or ?) that's shows up in the spring/summer and continues it's song just like this, sometimes through late night, early morning! There's nothing in the song about birds, but I guess I thought it sort of fit - a reminder of blue skies.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 8 : SAY HELLO TO MY LITTLE FRIEND

I have never seen the famous Al Pacino movie, "Scarface". But I've certainly heard the phrase, "say hello to my little friend". And I know where it came from. And couldn't resist fitting it in a song somehow. I hunted down the clip on YouTube for reference. This is kind of like my version of the Eagles "Get Over It" I guess. Ha ha.

I thought of the quirkiness of songwriters like Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson when it came time to record this little gem.

All instruments performed by little, old me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a "little" MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - NORDSTRANTANA 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 7 : NORDSTRANTANA

Unlike a most of the instrumental tracks I write which are meant to be just background music for a TV show, this is a true instrumental consisting of a lot of guitar as the feature instrument. It was mean to be listened to! 

The name is a bit strange, but I had to come up with something!. It reminded of a hipster "beat" I would hear while roaming the aisles of certain sections of Nordstrom. Also, there was something about it that reminded me of Carlos Santana. I had fun experimenting with pre-recorded instrument and drum loops.

Anyway, it was sitting around inside the "vault" for a while so I finally released it officially. It has been playing in businesses around the world through an online publisher, but now it's on CD and Spotify and all the rest of the streaming locations.

All instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on an MacBook Pro.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE

Story Behind The Song - CAN'T STAY HERE 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 6 : CAN'T STAY HERE

I set out from the start to write a moody song. Mission accomplished, I think! Ha ha.

This character hopefully is right on the edge of changing his ways and turning his life around. In my younger days, or wait..... or as a working musician, you are at the gig till the end - closing time. I guess I've heard this phrase more than once- "Don't gotta go home, but you can't stay here!!"

Probably been written before, but silly me said, "Hey, let's write another!" 

On the technical side, the "virtual" drums inside the Logic software gave me a realistic palette of drum kits and fills for me to work with. This is the first song I've put out with the new "gear".

A professional critique i got on this was "classic rock". I suppose the electric guitar lent itself to this. I loved the "Brian May" (Queen) guitar tone I discovered and I couldn't resist not using it!. There was no guitar amp in the room. It's all computer software doing it's magic. My Elton John roots did cross my mind as well as I was working on this one.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic X on an iMac.

Get the album "III" HERE

To see past song stories, CLICK HERE


***** LYRICS *****

CAN'T STAY HERE

The spark of a tongue
Saying you're done
Then you slam the door

Look at you now
Closing it down
Watching the whiskey pour

The barmaid's barking like a buccaneer
Don't gotta go home
But you can't stay here

A flood of regret
Muddles your head
Like an empty glass

Love on the line
Losing your mind
Used to hurt so bad

All you wanted was to disappear
Don't gotta go home
But you can't stay here

And as you're spilling off that barstool
Empty hand around your phone
You reach out for some blonde to break your fall

Hit with the lights
Nothing to hide
Nothing to feel at all

Except for the hole
Shaking your soul
Like an altar call

The spirit's willing, but the flesh can't steer
Don't gotta go home, but you can't stay here

© 2018 Steve Probst

Story Behind The Song - A GIRL AND HER DOG 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

 Episode 5 : A GIRL AND HER DOG

One summer day at a New Jersey park for load-in and soundcheck, I spied, across a wide open green expanse, a girl and her....dog...interacting under a tree.

Purely on thinking it was a good title, I went from there with any kind of story line this song might take. At the time of writing this I remember thinking this one as breaking out of the normal type of song I would write. It was fun coming up with the soft brass and woodwind lines in the chorus. (All sampled instruments -  meaning, not played by real players, at my house, in front of a microphone - all from the computer). I'm really happy with the outcome.

All vocals and instruments performed by me. Recorded and mixed with Logic Pro on a MacBookPro.

Get the album "III" HERE

***** LYRICS *****

A GIRL AND HER DOG

Looking out across the green
Not a soul to be seen
Just a girl and her dog

Just like any other day
Till my thoughts began to stray
Toward the girl and her dog

We spend our lives tugging on the leash
Whatever's out of reach looks so inviting
We wag our tails until the bitter end
Every now and then we think get our way

I turned away to watch the clouds
Dancing shadows all around
The girl and her dog

CHORUS

Like a bulldog with a bone
I can't leave well enough alone
And so this song
About a girl and her dog

© 2012 Steve Probst

Story Behind The Song - MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

Episode 4 : MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU

There isn't any long, inspirational story to this song. My good friend and one-time traveling buddy, Kevin, with Hotel California, told me how his mom used to say "Mama's gonna whoop you" or something to that effect. Naturally, heard a song title right off the bat, wrote it down for later. 

Later arrived and so did the song in all it's uncomplicated blues/rock mischievousness.

Anyway, MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU has been released to the masses! 

Get the album "III" HERE

Story Behind The Song - PHOENIX HOTEL 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"  

Episode 3 : PHOENIX HOTEL

I believe this tune of mine is the oldest on the album, as far as the writing part is concerned. It's from my personal experience of staying at an actual hotel in San Francisco called the Phoenix Hotel. Hotel California was in town for a corporate show and they put us up in this "boutique" establishment. 

I’m singing real life here: hearing happy couples, sipping free coffee in one of those always-too-small throwaway cups; slippers from home; cozy wall heater, lonely heart…. I think caffeine refills were at the breakfast bar outside under an overhang overlooking the pool. 

Oh, and this is song 1 of 2 set in picturesque San Francisco. 

[“Let’s Take The Stairs” from my album “Window Seat” is also a "San Francisco song" thanks to the “City by the Bay”. Which brings a thought that I haven’t done song stories about the previous album.] Hmmm...

Get the album "III" HERE