The Inspiration for the songs from Steppin Up



1. The Night Shines Through – I wrote this song on piano while in a contemplative mood. My father decided on the title and I really feel as though it fits the way I was feeling at the time. In a way, it implies that there is light at the end of the tunnel, things get better.

2. Old Town Coffee House – is a little coffee house in old town Temecula that I played at for a long time. I started playing there when I was sixteen or seventeen and really enjoyed playing there with my trio on Friday nights. It isn’t there any more, but I’ll always have this song to remember it by.

3. Steppin Up – I came up with this song while practicing one day. I knew I was going to call the album Steppin Up before I wrote this song, so the album didn’t have a title track initially. Oddly enough, that was how Behind Your Eyes came about as well. But as soon as I wrote this song, I new that it would definitely be the one I called Steppin Up.

4. Simple Secrets – is a song about the simple, silly little secrets that you share with someone those that you love (friends and significant others alike). It is about the times when you are with someone and you just can’t stop laughing, and all the inside jokes that you have with your friends.

5. Double Shot – So those of you who were thinking it, this song is not about alcohol, it is about coffee. Yes, I am a coffee-holic (a trait I caught from my father). In fact, one of my friends wrote a song about me called Bossa for Coffee, referring to our late night studio work and the amount of coffee I would consume. This song was written and re-written about half a million times. I initially wrote the song and it sounded like an eighties rock piece. I hated it, so I gave it to someone else to write a new melody. Dan Reckard, my then keyboard player, then came in and changed the groove to be more a la Steely Dan. When we got into the studio, the band wanted to play it faster. I was pretty upset because it meant that the melody would not work. We fought over it, they won, so I rewrote the melody for the third time. Hence why I called it Double Shot; I had an awful lot of those to get through writing the song! And well… What can I say? I like coffee…

6. What If I’m In Love With You – this song is fully defined by the title – a secret crush! Another song that I wrote on this topic is called You Don’t Know I Love You. It will be on my debut vocal album which will be released at the end of 2012.

7. A Purpose – A Purpose is about how each of us has a purpose in life. The song has a gospel feel to it which I feel is appropriate

8. Whatcha Gonna Do – my friend Michael Blanchard named this song. I am horrible at picking names for songs so I have tried a variety of methods. I did the spin in circles with my eyes closed and named after the first thing I saw when I opened my eyes. Based on my front yard, I should have a lot of songs named Hibiscus. I’ve also done the “what was I doing at the time that I wrote this song method.” But that also didn’t work for me. So finally, I decided to let my friends and fans name my songs for me. I wrote the song, brought it to a show and my band performed it for the audience. At the end, I announced that it didn’t have a name and asked everyone to write their suggestions on a piece of paper, a napkin or a coaster, and pass them up to the stage. Of course, no one wanted to write suggestions down and instead, at the end of the song everyone was shouting their titles at me. Whatcha Gonna Do was the one that I heard at this particular show. I’ve done this more than once – it’s fun and I love doing it. The song has a lot of influence from the group, The Crusaders.

9. Do You Remember – this song is a bit hard to describe. I suppose it developed out of the frustration of feeling like something I said wasn’t important because no one remembered it.

10. Mosaics – I just love Latin music, and it always finds a way to sneak into my writing. Latin music is very complex harmonically and rhythmically, so this is most certainly a pop tune influenced by Latin music. Mosaics is one of my favorite songs on the record.

11. Just A Sketch – On my first record, I recorded Horace Silver’s “Song for my Father”. I felt that I could do a better job on the song, so I decided to record it again and make it my own. I used a similar chord structure, and wrote a new melody. I was in my practice room one day, and a piano student was having a lesson in the room next to me. The walls were thin, so I could hear everything that was going on in their lesson. They were working on Song for My Father. While the piano player was working on the changes to the song, I improvised a melody over what they were playing which is how I came up with a melody for this song.
Read more about the album Steppin Up



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