Hello to all! Have you been wondering where I've been?
So Have I!!!! I figured I had better get something out there to you before you start thinking I've quit writing. . . .
Back a few years ago I used to tour with a Latin band based out of Texas named "Del Castillo" and if you have been around me much, you know how much this band meant to me. They were (before their breakup two years past) an incredible combination of catchy songwriting, intoxicating rhythms, stellar vocals and some of the most amazing guitar playing that will hear anywhere. . .ever.
You no doubt already know that my relationship with Rick Del Castillo also continues to this day as a very hands-on work in progress- he mastered all of my releases and co-produced the first two with me, and we are currently collaborating on a joint CD project.
The singer, Alex and I became very close during these years and we sang together all over the US & Canada. We hung out together after hours when the shows were over and did lots of backyard BBQing at the house where the recording studio was located. When we weren't on the road, I lived in this recording studio/house with Uncle Wayne (or "Tio" as he is named in the first line of the song) on a street named Crownspoint.
Every evening I was there in Austin (when I wasn't working) I would spend sitting on the porch at the house on Crownspoint. It was located directly next to a large drainage pond, where any rainwater would gather. There was always water in this pond, and it was absolutely alive with frogs, who would begin to croak and call when the sun started to set. I would always sit there on the porch with my guitar and practice, and compose when the fancy struck me. After the first summer there, lots of folks knew me casually and would stop by to listen to me play for a few minutes and chit-chat. Just like the frogs in the pond, when the sun went over the horizon and the heat cooled off, this little street just started buzzing with people milling around, mowing lawns, jogging, BBQing, etc.
On this one particular evening I had been composing the music that would become the main theme of "Crownspoint" for a couple of hours and watching all the people come & go. Alex came over to hang around with me for awhile and asked what I had been up to all day. I ran down the list of everything that had gone on in the neighborhood and then said that I had also been composing. He asked to hear the music, and so I sat there and played him the music, very much like you hear it in the recording. . . it pretty much all came together in the one sitting. While I was playing this guitar piece, Alex began regurgitating back at me- melodically -all the stories and events that I had just been telling him about. The howling dogs, the girl that had come up on the porch and took all the stubbed out cigarette butts from my ashtray, either smoking or stashing them, the frogs' chorus, sharing a cup of coffee with ‘Tio’ and hearing his stories of performing at the Filmore with Jimi Hendrix, etc.
As I tweaked out the guitar a little bit, Alex grabbed a sheet of paper and scribbled down his refined lyrics- direct from my narration- in a little bit more orderly manner. We rehearsed it a couple of times, and then made a short video of us playing it so we would not forget how it went. It would be many years later that the version that you hear would be put together.
So there you have it. Every word of the song is an actual observation of a real event in my day sitting on the porch at the recording studio on Crownspoint in Austin, Texas.
Big kudos to my dear friend Alejandro (Alex) Ruiz for being such a melodious and descriptive lyricist. He is also an electrifying live performer and singer. . . a dynamic ball of musical skill and energy. It is sooooo much fun to collaborate with other artists. He still plays around Texas, but I believe right now that he is in Brazil.