September 19, 2013
Songs have a journey, too
Our print piece with estimable singer-songwriter Jeff Black focused on the idea of "journeys" and the ways in which he used it in out interview to describe a variety of processes or timelines.
One example was the idea that having someone already-famous record one of your songs or having someone have a hit with one of your songs "helps your songs travel further."
But songs undergo another journey as well, Black said.
"I've changed lines in songs," he said.
"You've got all these little clouds of ideas, and your point of view on them changes. It makes it more tolerable. Imagine the idea of takiNG a picture of a person and that's how they always looked."
We did spend some time in non-journey discussion as well. Of course you're going to ask a songwriter about songwriting.
"Like a painter, you have to comfortable looking at a blank canvas. You start with words, melody and emotion, and the rest just falls in there."
(A comment which, intentionally or otherwise, harkens back to Black's hit song, That's Just About Right, as recorded by country band Blackhawk. And, for your listening pleasure, here's the song done by its composer.)
And briefly, on the notion of making recordings with full instrumentation, then playing them live the way they started, just Black and his instrument.
"I love the experimentation of playing different instruments, even I never really master them. I've always been drawn to natural, organic instruments."