Have you been alright? Good!
Well, some of you might be thinking...'what the hell happened to this so-called terrific-tremendous, shiny and new Tiny Volcano album?' Huh? Where is it then?
I know, I know..... we are taking our sweet time, no doubt. But I promise you that it will be released in 2018.
Other projects have popped up and blocked this one, most of them have been work related (I gottah pay them bills). But, much work has been accomplished in the past month or so. Shall I tell you about it? Ok, you twisted my arm.
First off, since so much time as passed since the start of this "project" - it has afforded me a more intimate relationship with inspiration, so, that means better songs are written as the days pass by. And since better songs crop up, that means the old ones get the boot! And as this will be the last Tiny Volcano album (as if two albums in 15 years isn't exhausting enough), I want it to be the best it can be.
Also, I found that as the new songs moved in and the old and somewhat depressing songs moved out (too many waltz's), the album took on a new life of it's own. A new direction for sure, a "fun" direction. And so... the album has conceptualized itself - it seems. In short, this will be a very fun album to listen to. Nostalgia will be brimming over your iPhone's, car stereos. PC speakers and any other form of music projection you might use.
My influences will be unashamed and unabashed as they parade around naked for all to see while waving a big ol' banner that reads 'oh yes I did'. It will be like an episode of Twilight Zone. Just like turning on your old AM clock radio from the mid 70's and hearing strange new songs that seem oddly familiar, yet brand new to your ears. Nilsson, ELO, Paul McCartney & Wings, Klaatu, Beatles, Queen and Todd Rundgren but to name a few.
And speaking of ELO, earlier today I sent off a new song called "Mr. Songwriter Dude" - to the lovely and talented Karla Kane (Corner Laughers, Agony Aunts and solo artist) for some groovy vocals. This song is chock full of ELO-ish strings, phrasings and melody twists and turns.
Also, other guest musicians have recently joined in on a few songs -such as drummer extraordinaire -Mr. Chuck Sabo. Chuck played on the bulk of the XTC Wasp Star album. And, another drummer extraordinaire -Mr. Michael Carpenter. Yes, several drummer/percussionists will be involved with this album.
Fun is on the way, all 22 songs of it.
Hang in there, it will be worth it.
Last summer Pop 4 was asked to contribute a cover song to the WFMU released album "Super Hits of the Seventies". So we set our sites on ELO's "Telephone Line" and went to work. Even tho the song was completed last August, it could not be shared until WFMU.org ran their pledge drive -which started on March 5th (running for two weeks).
Well...I can finally share that lil gem with you now.
A lot has been happening in the Tiny world as of late. Original TV drummer 'Dana Sims' came by last week and beat the skins to 8 new songs! I must say, he kicks some major ass. And as this album grows bigger and bigger, I find that the current song count is now at 19. Yikes!
Originally I had planned for an easy 12 song album, but then something happened that I just can't seem to turn off. Creative inspiration.
So, I've been writing more and more as of late... and each song seemingly better than the last. What's a guy to do? He's suppose to embrace the magic when it comes his way, that's what!
With all these songs on board now (and I'm stopping at 19...I promise), it's looking like the recording will spill over into 2017 fairly easy, but I think it will be worth the wait. I quite like the direction and I feel that this album is on par with -or probably better than the debut album. The songs are stronger in my opinion. Loads of piano pop, some acoustic pop and of course electric guitar based stuff.
And although I am not a huge fan of sharing songs before the album is finished, I find that I now have the perfect platform to do so, what with my own radio show on Pure Pop Radio (every Wednesday at 1pm EST). So...in the coming weeks I will indeed be sharing songs and demos from the new album. I'll keep y'all posted.
In addition, and this is kinda related...
Besides Tiny Volcano, I've been working just as hard on yet another project with my pal Jamie Grant. We call ourselvesMcPherson/Grant . Jamie and I have a slew of songs for this album as well (20 total). Some songs will surely remind you of Tiny Volcano, but I'd say that this album is much more experimental in general. We take liberties every where we can, we don't hold back and we don't restrict ideas. It's a really solid album... and it to will see a 2017 release. Here's a sample ....
And if 39 songs between two albums weren't enough, I've been writing for the new Pop 4 album as well. Andrea Perry, Kirk Adams, KC Bowman and I are writing and recording songs fast and furious for yet another 2017 release. It's going to be a very busy year indeed.
If you have not yet heard Pop 4's debut album from last summer, here is a sample from "Summer". Thanks, Scott
It's true, it's true! Alan Haber - the owner/operator of Pure Pop Radio has given me (Scott) a weekly radio show, and boy will we have some fun!
Every Wednesday at 1pm EST you can tune in to find me spinning my favorite tracks. I will of course be playing a variety of superb indie artists, deep cuts, rare tracks and the occasional debut songs from projects in the works- such as Pop 4, McPherson/Grant...and of course Tiny Volcano. I'll even play a demo or two from the new Tiny Volcano album. My new show is called "Scott McPherson's -The Weird and The Wonderful" and it will debut tomorrow, October 5th at 1pm EST. Just visit Pure Pop Radio via this link for more info.
You don't want to miss the first show, as I will have a very special guest from beyond the grave. Yes, Mr. Sammy Davis Jr. will give his first earthly interview since crossing over in 1990. Sammy will share his thoughts on today's pop superstars and the future of popular music. He even describes heaven in great detail, and it will blow your mind.
The show will vary each week -from 30 to 60 minutes, so please do join in if you can. I hope to post each show exactly one week after their air date...and most likely they will be posted here...to a page on the Tiny site. I'll keep you posted on that.
Lots of great music, good clean fun (mostly clean) and off the wall humor will be on tap. And special guests will come and go as they please. Kinda like the Rat Pack on a drunken version of Match Game PM. We can only assume Charles Nelson Reilly will be there too.
I hope to see you all in radio land.
If I am sitting at a piano, which is usually every other hour of the day....I will find myself picking away at a new song idea or practicing something recently written to be recorded later. And I find that 9 out of 10 times my mind will wander into George Gershwin territory.
I can't seem to help myself, I'll start with "Our Love is Here to Stay" and then move on to "The Man I Love" and usually end with the first 5 minutes of "Rhapsody in Blue" (And in case you're wondering, no, I can in no way play that entire piece).
It makes me wonder if in 80 years someone will be sitting at a piano and perhaps be casually writing a song and then stop to play something from the Justin Bieber catalog. I'd like to say "no, that's absurd", but really I have no idea where the standards for great standards will be measured in the future. I think it's reasonably safe to assume that all Gershwin works will forever be considered as classic and brilliant to any generation.
There are those rare times when you come across a song or a piece of music (new music) that you hear for the very first time and you realize that you are listening to something great. Something worthy of Gershwin. It doesn't happen too often, but when it does happen it is really special.
And many times it's quite subjective, it's simply your opinion that it is an extraordinary piece of work. And perhaps it isn't a popular piece yet, simply because the masses have not yet deemed it worthy until it has been mass circulated and played constantly on the radio for many years and then scrutinized by critics until the stars burn out.
A few writers come to mind, those I hold as high as the Gershwin's. Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout) is certainly at the top of that list. Paul McCartney is a natural shoe-in, and arguably one of the greatest (living or dead) popular song writers of all time. And I have heard remarkable pieces written by some of my friends, songs that I feel are surely in that 'special category'. I feel very fortunate to know and work with these people.
I believe that I have a couple of songs slated for the new album - songs that are somewhat influenced by Gershwin, melodically speaking. Well, you be the judge of that. Back to work I go.
I'll leave you with some Gershwin that has been lovingly worked into this old episode of that great George Lucas produced TV show:
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, and sung by the remarkable Linda Ronstadt. - Scott
Sway: synonym - "influence".
When you are young and starry-eyed and you grab a guitar for the first time.....and then aspire to write songs, you naturally end up using your favorite songs/bands as your template, or your teacher. Then as you get a little older you try hard to not sound like your musical hero's as much (if possible).
And now that I am much older, I have come to embrace my influences and the finer side of pastiche. Why? Who knows, maybe it's just for the fun of it, or just to see if I can write something in the style of vintage Paul McCartney for no reason other than I wish more folks were writing stuff that sounded like vintage Wings. Yes, I do tend to pine for days of old when there is isn't too much happening in the days of now.
But as (some) songwriters get older... they generally want to have fun with song writing- rather than trying super hard to reinvent the music-wheel and to sound as original as humanly possible. Don't get me wrong, I love new and fresh original music when written well. And I do come across it on occasion (esp. this past year).
The new TV album that is currently in progress is chock full of "influences". Many songs will sound very inspired by our favorite bands growing up during the 70's. For example: "The Continental" has Queen written all over it, Killer Queen to be exact. "Ghostwriter" pays homage to the great Harry Nilsson, "She Can't Say No" and "Let it Go" to that of Abbey Road (side two), and other songs like "Starlight Mystery" will explore the vibes of Gilbert O'Sullivan and Jellyfish. Cheap Trick, Brian Wilson, ELO, Klaatu and many more influences can be found here. And of course a 9 minute McCartney and Wings like medley has been written for the album (Think Venus & Mars, Red Rose Speedway and Uncle Albert).
In addition - there will be a variety of guest performers, including KC Bowman, Zak Nilsson, and Andrea Perry who handles most of the bass guitar. And Yohei from The Recreations - who also co-wrote Starlight Mystery with me (he also plays and sings on the track). A handful of other guests will join in too, but I'll keep them a secret for now.
I'll add to the blog weekly and discuss new songs and perhaps share some sound bytes as well. And I'll share the music of my friends, those very fine writer/musicians who are lending their time and talent to our album.
Here is the first friend to be introduced, and speaking of that fresh, new and well written material I stumbled upon earlier this year. Please check out this great song from Yohei and The Recreations...with Swing Together!
Scott and the TV crew