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Story Behind The Song - MY HAPPY PLACE 

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

Episode 2 : MY HAPPY PLACE

The seed of this tune came firstly not from artistic inspiration - "Oh, I must capture this song immediately while the muse flows freely through my ever-sensitive creative soul!!" - Oh no, my friends.

There's a song that I really like by Christ Stapleton called, "Whisky and Me". I decided one day to take the form of the song, rhyme scheme, etc and just write something in the same pattern. As an exercise and a way to "jump start" the writing process. First thing I did was search for a title with the same syllables as "whisky and me" from list of title ideas I'm constantly adding to. I decided on "My Happy Place". I then flipped the sentiment - the former song was sad, mine would be happy.

Click play:

I just started my usual "just writing anything until something sticks" (if anything even would that day). I remember sitting on the floor, "reaching" for the possible song that might be floating around "in the room". Stuff started appearing on my yellow pad:

"Fridge is humming" ?- We have an older fridge thta keeps chuggin along!
 "Browning onions smell like heaven in a pan"? True story. Love it.
"Pillow laying on the floor" - There it was to my left, the couch throw pillow
"That Christmas present that never made it out the door"? There it was, over to my right. 
"Puppy paws" - 2 dogs, 8 paws in the household!

The "tie comes off" bit is a bit of a fabrication. I don't wear a tie and come home from the office every day. (Although I've been know to wear one onstage)

In many songs, the "hook" comes right at the beginning of the chorus. I let "My Happy Place" close out every verse.

The stuff about Disney and New York City in the bridge? That's me. My happy places. But the bridge closes out with very best kind of "happy place"

And of course, the ultimate "happy place" in Verse 3.

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It was suggested in a songwriting critique session to rewrite the bridge. But I left it as is to move to another song. Someone else may not want to recorded it, but it has a whole not of "me" in it, so I figured I'd keep it for myself.

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There you have it! A song that might never have been born that day if I hadn't practiced a little pro-writer discipline and shown up to the solo "writing session"! 

Check out the photo below. I was surprised to be reminded in my scribblings that "My Happy Place" started at the beach but ended up in the living room! 

I love songwriting! How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the song pattern inspiration for "My Happy Place":

Get the album "III" HERE

Story Behind The Song - I LOVE YOU MORE 

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

Episode 1 : I LOVE YOU MORE

At the time I wrote this fun little song, ukuleles were still prevalent in popular music. So I purchased a nice-sounding, small, Hawaiian ukulele and started getting busy on a "uke" song of my own. I wrote two actually, but this one made it to the finish first. It's one of my personal favorites on this album. All vocals and instruments performed and recorded by yours truly. 

Click on the Play button.

Get the album "III" HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Public Domain Christmas Songs 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film person that will hear it next." 

And just like that, another forward to follow the previous "Urban Dramedy" track. This one has been around for a while. You may have heard it. After it was written for a previous pitch, I never heard back, so I released it as a Christmas single. There's even a video!

PUBLIC DOMAIN CHRISTMAS SONGS (In Various Genres) with Male or Female Vocals are needed by a growing Music Library that’s actively pitching to a number of high-end Films and TV shows. Send them great, Mid-to-Up-Tempo Songs that you’d expect to hear on playlists with artist/songs like (but not limited to): “Jingle Bells” by Tiffany Alvord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDMmJ6u0R3w “Silent Night” Justin Bieber: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WZI4g7qKrg “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Hannah Kerr: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_TdWsWPD6E Jingle Bells (Rock Version): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JTuXPUP06H0 Do you have a Rockin’ version of Jingle Bells? How about a stripped-down acoustic Singer/Songwriter-style version of Silent Night, or a Jazz version of Joy To the World? If so, this Music Library wants to hear it! Please submit well-crafted Public Domain Covers that capture the true essence of the holiday season, with a great overall performance that sounds really fresh and current. Please stick to the original melody and lyric of the song(s) you choose to cover and submit. You’d be wise not to send something that’s too whacky or outside-of-the-box for this pitch.

 

An "Evening" At Notre Dame - Paris 

On the last day of our trip to Paris, as I had just exited a gift shop (somewhere around where this crooked window photo on the left was taken) ......I get a message from our Airbnb host,

 "Hi Steve, I heard about the terrorist attack in front of Notre Dame. I hope you are fine. Any way I heard that only the terrorist was injured. Just try to avoid Notre Dame area because around that area I heard that everything is blocked..."

I can't say I was surprise. Alarmed, but not surprised. A lone, hammer-wielding man attacks police and is very quickly brought down. 

Okay, so when returning to our rented place, we'll go around the area.

Then we realized, "What about the concert we had tickets for that same evening being held inside the gargoyle protected cathedral?"

On our way back to our "home" area across Point de Sully and over the tiny island of île Saint-Louis, back to the Latin Quarter, we passed police directed traffic jams. (Below)

Somber, overcast sky hangs over Notre Dame just hours after the incident. (Below)

Stopping at our favorite, La Methode Restaurant, we pondered our next adventure. Will the concert go on? Would the performers bow out? Our waitress, as well as an employee who just arrived, said they'd probably have the square in front of Notre Dame closed. I called Shakespeare & Company book store near the river Seine (a prior visit told me they spoke English) to have them tell me it looks like the area is open. 

We decided to see for ourselves. 

We were rewarded with an amazing experience. Under heavy security, the likes of which I have never seen before in person, all patrons were ushered into a side door. The concert, Ordo Virtutum by Hildegarde Von Bingen, would go on! (see below) (I filmed a short video excerpt of concert at very bottom of this post)
[Ordo Virtutum is about the struggle for a human soul, or Anima, between the Virtues and the Devil...] *Wikipedia . 

With the cathedral's outside perimeter bathed in a halo of armed police, the vocalists on the altar, and vocalists entering from behind, it was as though angels were all around us! 

Still trying to put this night into words, but I'll just say that I felt part of a world of peace-loving citizens who aren't about to let the evil in the world win out, because in the end, it doesn't! 

Heading back to dessert (and a beer for me), we passed a welcomed line of vehicles manned by the men and women who deal with this on the front lines every day. (see below)

We were safe and I was so deeply moved by this, our last evening in the City of Light.

ThrowBackThursday - Adventures in NYC 2009 

ThrowBackThursday Post- Looking back on a blog post of recent yesteryear (and bringing it over from the old website for further reference). 
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A fast-paced slide show of my visit to NYC in the Summer of 2009. I've already been again (2010) so guess I'm a little behind! This may be boring to you. unless you're a family member, but I'll post it anyway for posterity! If you like Wicked, Sinatra, Disney, you'll like the music!

As is my habit all photos were taken with my simple phone camera. I shot numerous angles of some of the same shots and ended up putting them all in, to make it even more boring for you!  Some are blurry, dark, and even backwards, but there ya have it.

I really, really "heart" NYC!

Blue Sky Riders, Kenny Loggins, Idina Menzel 

Within the space of a week a got a chance to witness on stage two of my favorites (three actually).

Kenny Loggins with his new band Blue Sky Riders at Coach House, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Kenny and I "go way back" (Definition: He was a musical inspiration - an idol as they say - in my formative, unformal musical studies) Some real good music happening with Blue Sky Riders. Here's a video, the only one, from the very show I was at:



Idina Menzel at Hollywood Bowl, Los Angeles, CA

I've been a fan since, a number of years ago while on the road, I found a used CD of the Wicked Musical in a Goodwill store in downtown Bakersfield for 25 cents! I loved her voice, but had know idea who she was. I was like, "Who is this voice?"

Very cool finding videos  of the concerts you were at on YouTube. :)


 

A 'slightly' bad-composition shot I took from the 4th row



 

"LET'S TAKE THE STAIRS" - SteveProbst.net Track of the Month 


All tracks (except guitars) played on my now since replaced Korg Triton Keyboard. All vocals/instruments recorded and mixed on a Korg D1600MKII 16-Track digital recorder. (Replaced that as well!)

Inspiration: Started with the title stemming from my desire for exercise when on the road as in: "Forget the elevator, take the stairs and give the heart a little jolt". Then I built the song's setting around a trip to San Francisco. I've actually been there a couple times. And there's bonus! It's a ThrowBackThursday post.

"Let's Take The Stairs" is included on my album "Window Seat" available at:

"Let's Take The Stairs" on CD Baby: http://tinyurl.com/cwtz7rq

"Let's Take The Stairs" on iTunes: http://tinyurl.com/c3uayeh

"Let's Take The Stairs" on GooglePlay: http://tinyurl.com/ckpf3pj

"Let's Take The Stairs" on Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/dy9y2vu

"Let's Take The Stairs" on Bandcamp: http://tinyurl.com/c8s59ru