Stories Behind the Songs

Granddad's Face - on My Album "A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay"
The lyrics pretty much tell the story of this song. My grandfather was an irish immigrant who was killed in a coal mining accident in Pennsylvania. My family and I visited the site of the Irish farm in County Mayo where he and my Grandmother had lived. As I walked the ruins of the farm and gazed out on the same countryside they had known, I imagined them walking side by side on the narrow dirt road leading to their old farm house. It was a very moving experience for me. When I returned home to Florida, I knew I had to write a song that helped capture some of my thoughts. The most poignant aspect of the experience was not being able to envision my Granddad's face when I imagined my grandparents on the farm in County Mayo. There are no photographs of him. As the song lyrics say "They say you thought a camera would steal part of your soul", and that was what I was told by my father, aunt and uncles when I was growing up to explain why there are no photographs of him.

You’re Driving Me Crazy - on My Album "My Mojo’s Just To Weak "
This song is not about my wife. If it were, I would now be single. I think we all know someone whom we wish would simply leave us alone. However this song is about our cat who has since passed away. He was very much loved by the family, but he had a mean streak, like an attack cat. My wife and kids have the scars to prove it. He cried relentlessly when he wanted anything. Once we went on vacation and put Boots in a boarding house for cats. He was in a cage while he was there and cried so much that he lost his voice. When we returned home, things were actually quiet for a few days. As luck would have it, Boots lived to an old age. We now have another cat, but that is a different song.

I Need To Get Home - on the Album "Just A Minute" I have had people ask me if this song was about being on road gigging too long. But it is actually about how powerless I felt on September 11, 2001 being away from my family. I was in New Orleans, getting ready to leave for the airport when I learned all flights had been grounded. As most of you probably know, there were no rental cars to be had or bus tickets available either. I did manage to bum a ride to Florida. I did not write the song until 2006 and didn’t want it to be another song about 9/11. Perhaps the only give away in the song is the line “I don’t know what’s happening, there’s no planes in the sky”. That has only happened once.

It's A Hurricane - on the Album "Just A Minute" The hurricane season of 2004 was very active in central Florida. We had to evacuate our home on the barrier island for the second time in three weeks. My nephew and his family gave us shelter in their house on the mainland to ride out Hurricane Jeanne. As I watched the winds batter the trees outside the window, I began writing It's A Hurricane. I usually avoid playing the song in my shows during hurricane season. This was my second attempt at writing a song about hurricanes. I went to Biloxi, Mississippi soon after Hurricane Camille. I tried writing a song about Camille, but never finished it. The line in this song "l'm telling you Honey I've seen the damage these things can do", is referring to Camille, a Category 5 hurricane.

Price To Pay - on the Album "Just A Minute"Originally this song was recorded by the Bourke Brothers Band. You can hear the original recording on the Free Downloads page of this website. When I released my first solo album “A Redhead From Chesapeake Bay”, I reworked the song and the lyrics. I thought my brother Stoney’s powerful performance was nothing I could match with my style of vocals. I think both versions work well, but my brother’s performance on this song is a real piece of work. It is in the WOW category.  

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