Videos

Every Day She’s Gone

In one episode of Lost, after Claire has been lost in the woods for days, Charlie says, “Every day she’s gone, it’s like a little of me crumbles away …”. Well that was all it took to set these lyrics to writing themselves in my head.

When I first recorded Every Day She’s Gone in 2013, I ended up rushing it a bit. As I came close to finishing and releasing Keeping the Dream Alive in 2014, I knew I had to revisit it and improve some of the weak spots. I re-recorded the backing vocals, cut out a few parts, and had it re-mixed by Stephen Sherrard of DBAR Productions. Much better! And much thanks again to my friend Steve Pidel for his excellent guitar work throughout – it was a real privilege to “produce” Steve as we worked on this together.

Over the last few weeks I revisited the original video and tweaked it to match the remix, and to improve it. This video was fun – I purposely used mostly original images of nature that my wife and son and I had taken in recent years. I focused on images that reflected a feeling of isolation, and being “cold and alone”. I hope you find it interesting!

Lotto Dust – The Video!

Kicking off 2015 with the release of this sweet new video for Lotto Dust …

My philosophy when it comes to my music, as well as other areas of my life, is to strive for continuous improvement. Just try and be a bit better today than you were yesterday, and you’ll keep moving forward.

Of course, that means you have to find/make the time for it, which is pretty challenging when you have a pretty intense ‘career and a half’ (as so many of us do these days), and you’re a Dad and a husband to boot. Thankfully, I do manage to find some time to play, write and create – I have to – it’s part of what I am, but I never feel it’s quite enough.

As a little bit of a late bloomer to music who has found it challenging to find the time required to keep improving, I’ve often felt it’s been a struggle to earn some, well … musical respect, I guess. Lotto Dust is a really satisfying moment because I feel like I kind of hit my stride here. I wrote and recorded all of the parts, except the amazing backing vocals … thanks so much to Rachel at Studio Pros for those! Of all of the songs on KTDA, I think Lotto Dust best represents the catalog of songs I have written but have not yet recorded.

I think this video also marks a nice step forward. I used the comic strip application Pixton to create Willy and to illustrate much of the story that is Lotto Dust. I also used only Creative Commons licensed images that have been published with the intent to permit sharing and re-use.

I hope you’ll go ahead and scroll up and click now if you haven’t already, and check out the story of Willy and Lotto Dust …

If you don’t own Lotto Dust or your other favorites from Keeping the Dream Alive, well then you’re sure to want to click here and buy them. Go ahead. I’ll wait. :).

THANK YOU!

K. Walsh Live! Days Gone By (Original)

This song goes out to all of the awesome friends that I used to hang out with in the late 70’s and early 80’s, playing frisbee at the Croton Dam, camping out on top of “Anthony’s Nose”, chilling around the fire in the pine woods, and just having an amazing time.

“Time was when we’d carry on all night long, howl at the moon ’til the dawn of day …”. Man, its been a long time. You guys are always right here in my heart, head, and soul.

I think this live version (with the end arranged on-the-fly) came out pretty good!

I’m really looking forward to recording this song. I wrote the lyrics decades ago, came up with the melody many years later, and then gradually worked on the arrangement, which is still taking shape.

Reaching New Heights With ALOFT

After completing Hurtin’ Up My Heart, I knew I was on my way …

Having managed to produce a professional sounding track with Hurtin’ Up My Heart, I was ready to push forward and finish more record-quality songs. It wasn’t a conscious move, but in the end I was glad that the next song I finished showcased a very different side of my writing and playing.

Aloft is based on one of the first chord progressions I ever wrote, way back in the 80’s. What really moved me to finally record it was when I learned how to program the built in drums on my Korg D3200 studio workstation. When I found this Brazilian Percussion kit and started messing around with it, I just found myself jamming the Aloft chord progression over it and I was off and running.

Writing the bass track for this was a blast too. I love putting together a creative, unusual bass line that adds a whole new dimension to a composition, and I think that happened here. Once I recorded the leads (which was such a blast), the last thing that bought it all together was working with StudioPros.com to have one of their pros record a flute track.

I’ll never forget when I first listened to the completed track, and then listened again, and again and again! I wish I knew who played the flute because I would really like the thank them (StudioPros players are faceless and nameless, for various reasons, but they are very talented, real deal studio professionals).

I’m really proud of this track. I’ll remember when my wife Christine first listened to it and pronounced it “Amazing!” I have to agree – this is a real highlight of my musical undertakings so far. I look forward to producing more tracks of this quality in the future, but this song is always going to be a beautiful, soaring, slowly building moment in time that I can relive over and over each time I hear it. I hope it moves you too.

The video is a simple one, consisting of pictures of birds in flight that I assembled using the ‘timeline’ style tool Vuvox, which is now no longer available on the Internet (image sources are all identified in the video).

 

Bringing in the Pros and Hurtin’ Up My Heart

Hurtin’ Up My Heart was a watershed moment for me. With the backing of LA studio professionals on drums and bass, and a strong chorus that featured Christine joining me on backing vocals again I had, after years of learning and upping my game, produced a professional sounding rock song! Cranking this baby up in my car, when that break comes in the middle with the trade off between voice and guitar and the drums and bass pounding underneath slightly reminiscent of a Van Halen tune (to my ears at least) … wow, I just get a tear in my eye.

The song is sort of a middle-aged version of the “teen angst” songs that have been standard rock and roll fodder for decades. When having a family gets challenging and you just want to go hide in your basement and play a bluesy rock song, you can find yourself thinking, “This day is never gonna end … and when she stops, just gonna start up again!“. Which feels a bit similar to being a teenager trapped in your house with no where to go, being bored and frustrated and just wanting to do as you please. This in turn reminded me of various incidents from my youth, and it all kind melded together into the lyrics in the song.

Had a ton of fun making this video too, using a bunch of cool tech tools. The coolest part is where my son Ian makes me rise up out of the iPad, and then later I’m jamming on the moon (with the help of Adobe After Effects)!

Hurtin’ Up My Heart turned out to be the first song I completed that ultimately made the cut for Keeping The Dream Alive.

 

My Blue Eyed Girl (and Continuous Improvement)

So, the years rolled by, and our third child was born – a daughter! My little girl Jordan was the inspiration for the song I am sharing here.

In 2007 we were in the fortunate position of being able to build an extension on our house, and in the process I built a studio in what used to be our garage. After a decade on hiatus from recording, I was back in action! I bought a Korg D3200 recording console and got busy.

The key to getting to the point where the recordings I was making would become professional quality was continuous improvement – a mantra I try to live by. With the new recording equipment and a dedicated space for working, I was off to a good start, but there was plenty more to learn. A coworker helped me get smarter about mics and I bought a good quality Shure Condenser mic.

The next big step was to try professional mixing, which was now more affordable than ever thanks to evolving Internet technology and the advent of services like StudioPros.com – a full service professional recording studio that was online! For very affordable prices, musicians can get instrument tracks, professional mixing and mastering, and other services, transferring files digitally as needed. This was pretty amazing – a decade prior it took a lot of money and a lot of time to do what you could now do in practically no time from the comfort of your home for a few hundred bucks.

My Blue Eyed Girl was inspired by the joyous wonder of my little girl, and the hope that her future would be as bright as the twinkle in her eye! This was the first song that I used StudioPros for – I had them mix the track. I’ve never been thrilled with the vocals on this track and the instrumentation could be improved on, but the mix sounded pretty good … I was definitely getting closer to a more professional sound. My wife sings backup on this with me. My favorite part of this song is the video. I had a lot of fun using a variety of digital tools, and the cool photo effects available at Photofunia.com, to make it.

Next … Bringing in the Pros and Hurtin’ Up My Heart

Introducing … The Sizzling Mice Kwartet and “Pass It On”

Way back in 1986 – 1987, I was a student at SUNY New Paltz, where I met guitarist Peter Forsythe, artist Christopher Walker, and bassist Warren ___? (I can’t remember his last name). We jammed a bit, goofing around and never getting too serious, but it was fun. I nicknamed the pseudo-band “The Sizzling Mice Quartet” (or ‘Kwartet’ when we felt like it), as a fun twist on one of my favorite home town local bands, Rat Race Choir. Chris made an album-sized drawing to go along with imagined band. I wish I still had the original artwork, but I don’t know what happened to it. What I do have is a black and white reduced photocopy. Here’s a scan of it. Click on it to see it larger – it’s a pretty cool detailed drawing!

K Walsh and the Sizzling Mice Quartet pic

Pass It On

Years later, in the mid 90’s, I started using one of the first hard disk recording systems – SAW (Software Audio Workshop) and recorded more original music. This was also when burnable CD drives first came out. I had access to one of these at The Mearl Corporation where I worked, but I had found a new gig and was leaving and decided to rush and burn a bunch of copies of a collection of music. And so “Pass It On” by K. Walsh & the Sizzling Mice Kwartet was born! I used Christopher’s artwork as a cover for my totally self-produced recording (the CDs were even burned and labelled by me). Of course, I was the Kwartet in this purely solo effort.

Pass It On as an overall recording effort left plenty to be desired (I still had a lot to learn!), but there are some good songs on it. The cut “Forest Rain” was a solid composition and I still get compliments on it to this day. I recall sticking the mic out the window to capture the sound of the thunderstorm that starts that song. My son Dylan and I jam on that one pretty often and I look forward to re-recording it song for my first full length record.

Another song that generated a fair amount of interest is the title song Pass It On. The blues-jazz instrumental was based on an idea I derived from the work of famous jazz guitarist Joe Pass. I made this video to accompany it years later and people seem to have enjoyed it as it is just shy of 10,000 views as I write this:

Next … And Then There Were Three (Kids, That is!)