The Title Songs…

Future-2-If I Could Leave This Place

If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow (Electric)

If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow (Acoustic)

So I had this opportunity to submit a song to some Nashville studio, where musicians would record it.  Joe Gilder is the man who organized this – he does a ton of tutorials on home recording, mixing, mastering, etc.  An all around good guy, great teacher and musician, funny as all get out (Watch some of his Gilder Cam videos, they are great!).

So I had about a month, maybe less, to get a song together and submitted for this recording session.  What am I going to write about???

I started to formulate the idea of writing songs in different locations – sorta like the Foo Fighters did for their HBO special and record Sonic Highways.  I knew we were going to be going to Seattle, and hopefully Memphis during the year.  And this song would be recorded in Nashville (even if I wasn’t AT those recording sessions).

But I wasn’t a fan of trying to make something, that was cool for the foos, into something really not so cool for me.  So I scrapped that, and wrote about – the fact that I’d never really BEEN anywhere.  And more notable – haven’t yet been where I want to be, home with my Father…

I wrote this song, intending to do two version from the get-go.  One with the Nashville backing band, one solo acoustic.  I recorded a scrap demo version to send to Joe and team, on February 7.  Recording in Nashville was slated for March 9.

The March 9 date went well, but apparently the disk failed that had all the files.  So they had to reschedule.

So March 21st, all but Joe’s acoustic parts were recorded.  I got the raw tracks, and thought, “Wow!  This sounds NOTHING like I intended – and I love it!”  It has a sort of Tom Petty vibe.  I LOVE Tom Petty, and have tried without success to write like him.  These guys nailed it – and how did they know???

But what should I do with Joe’s acoustic part, which I don’t even think I need?

So I used his part (recorded on March 28) for the acoustic version.

I laid my vocal tracks to each version, and had my friend Kate Stiglicz come in and play cello on the acoustic version – sounds amazing.  I trust you will agree.

So – after this song was done, I started to think maybe I should put a record together…

If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow
If I could leave this place tomorrow
With suitcase under my arm
I’ve never really been
But really, what’s the harm?

I’ve got no place to run to
No place I’m running from
But life keeps moving on

I’ve got my roots planted firmly
But I’ve a runaway heart
If I’d only started early
Now it seems much too late to start…

But you tell me that You’re for me
And You’ve known me all along
And we’ll keep moving on
Life keeps moving on

Now I know where I’m heading
This place is not my own
So I’ll keep moving on

And never will You leave me
And I’ll be Yours forever
Life keeps moving on

Song written:  January 27, 30, February 7, 2017
Song recorded (Nashville):  March 9, 21, 28
Song recorded (MN):  February 7, March 30, July 19, 2017
Song first released:  February 7, 2017
Single released:  March 31, 2017

Musicians (Electric Version):
Jason Roller – lead and rhythm guitars
Matt McGee – bass guitar
Steve Peffer – Hammond B3, Wurlitzer
Tim Horsley – drums

Musicians (Acoustic Version):
Joe Gilder – acoustic guitar
Steve Peffer – Wurlitzer
Kate Stiglicz – cello

If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow (Electric)

If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow (Acoustic)

You can pre-order my new record here!


For Devon…

Future-2-If I Could Leave This Place

God Be With Me

This is the first song I wrote for this collection.  The story goes like this:

Some time in December, our nephew Devon, stationed in San Diego CA, asked my wife, “Tell Ted I’d like him to write me a song.  Make it a country song”.

At first, I was a bit intimidated.  I have never written a song on demand.  And a country song?

Then I thought, why not?

I quickly tossed the country song idea – would love to write country songs, but I don’t think I can intentionally write one.  This made it easier to just put something down – the result being “God Be With Me”, or the working title, “For Devon”.

I wrote the song in one sitting, and recorded and mixed over three days.  The song was finished and delivered to Devon on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2017.  I made his mom and my wife cry.  I too write the songs that make the young girls cry…

I really like this song, and I really really like Devon.  He’s a good egg.  A bit wild, a bit rebellious.  But good people all the same.

A note:  Devon was discharged from the Marines, due to back issues.  Total bummer.  But he’ll always be a Marine to me.  Semper Fi, young man!

God Be With Me
Out on a mission
From boy to man
Family I’m missing
In this foreign land

God before me
My brothers behind me
God be with me

My father, he worries
My mother, she cries
But the world is a dark place
And my oath is right

God before me
My brothers behind me
God be with me

Tell my mama she don’t have to cry
I’ll be home soon
And you say, “Semper Fi”

God before me
God behind me
God be with me

Song written:  December 23, 2016
Song recorded:  December 29, 30, 31, 2016
Song first released:  January 1, 2017

God Be With Me

You can pre-order my new record here!

Shout Out To All Y’all Who Helped

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If I Could Leave This Place

I want to spend a moment thanking so many who helped make this record with me.  I was blessed to work with musicians and songwriters spanning the globe, from New Hope to Nashville; from Bloomington to India; from St. Anthony to the UK.

I’ll delve into each of them in future posts, but thank you to the following:

Derek Kosch
Jason Roller
Matt McGee
Steve Peffer
Tim Horsley
Paul McCartney
John Lennon
Tony Preston
Toby Wilson
Katianna Carlon
Spencer Bernard
Kate Stiglicz
Courtney Jayd
John Newton
Jeromy Darling

THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

You can now order my new record, and even get three songs RIGHT NOW!  Just go to my Bandcamp Page and pre-order.  AND – more songs coming very soon, as we lead up to September 29!

Pre-Order? Why Yes…

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I’m glad you asked!  Yes, of course you can pre-order my new record!  I’ll be more than happy to pre-give it to you.  Look on itunes, Amazon, etc. for the pre-orders, and you can get a few songs NOW by going to my Bandcamp Page !

I’ll be making more songs available on said Bandcamp Page as we near the actual release date.  So buy early, buy often, as they say.

I’m not sure who “they” are, or why they say that.  I don’t get it.  But ah well, do as they say…

With Suitcase Under My Arm…

Future-2-If I Could Leave This Place

I wrote a total of 11 songs for this new record.  I did not intend to make this record at first – I was already working on my big opus, double-double album (still working on it – hopefully out some time in 2018, God-willing), plus a smattering of EPs and cover recordings.

My nephew asked me to write a song for him (He was in boot camp for the Marines at the time).  So I did.

Then I got an opportunity to write a song for some folks in Nashville to record.  So I wrote it.

Then my friend challenged me a cover song recording – challenge thingie…  So I did a Beatles cover (His pick, not mine.  I would have chosen someone less intimidating – anyone less intimidating…).

Then I started to think about ideas for a record.  Maybe I travel around the country (had a couple trips planned), and write and record, like the Foos did?  Maybe I write about the locations I’m going?

I ended up writing a few songs for loved ones, friends, family.  And the thing just started to blossom.  And how exciting it’s been!

I intended to write a song a month, all year long, and hopefully have this out by end of 2017.  I ended up having all but one song done by the end of June (wrote one more while in Seattle, recorded it a week ago).

All in all,this has been a super fun record to make!  I can’t wait to tell you more about it, and to share it with you.  Soon, very soon!



If I Could Leave This Place Tomorrow…

Future-2-If I Could Leave This Place

As I’m wrapping up mixing my new record, I wanted to share a bit with you on this thing.  I plan to release this thing on September 29, if all goes well.  I plan to get you songs before then, and hopefully some sort of “pre-release” thingie, where you can get some or all of the record in advance (which is silly for someone like me, since I am not measured in record sales, so there is no real reason to do a “pre-release”.  but hey, YOLO right?).

A bit on the record cover.  The artwork is actually from a reproduction of the book, “A Pilgrim’s Progress”.  A version made easier to read for people like me (vs the old English, as it was originally written).  An artist named Ron Mazellan did the cover.  I’ve always loved it, and saw this guy as I read about the pilgrim’s adventures.  As I was putting this record together, and specifically the song, there was much inspiration from the pilgrim in this book, and the cover itself.  So – I wanted to use this artwork for my record cover, if I could get permission.

So I emailed the publisher.  They put me in touch with the right folks at Moody, who then told me, “We don’t own the rights, but you can reach the artist directly.  His name is Ron Mazellan”.  So – I did.

And he was so gracious to let me use his artwork, in any way I chose, for FREE!  What a sweet man.  And very gifted.  You can see the original here.  And you can visit Ron’s page to see more of his incredible work here.

I’m super excited for this record.  It is one full of sweet stories, tributes, love letters if you will, to and for so many people I care about.  It’s probably one of the most personal of my records, this coming from a guy who only knows how to write personal songs.  I hope you like it as much I did making it.

More to come!