Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Very Private Person

My new song, "A Very Private Person" was a long time coming!  That is to say the least!  I never imagined it would turn into an Internet hit, but everyone seems to really like it!  Here is an interview I did about the song as featured artist on Studio Pros.  You can listen to the song on Soundcloud... or YouTube.  Here are the lyrics, for you modern blues aficionados out there:

I'll be on The Fix in Charleston on Aug. 3, 2014 - 10:00pm ET

I’m going down to the corner store.
I always remember to lock and bolt my door.

’cause I’m a very private person
and I don’t want anyone.
I make a cold, hard living
and I work from sun to sun. Oh, yeah.

Don’t want anyone in, no one to call.
It’s my artificial personality, my brick wall.

Insincere visitors have so much to hide.
They want so to come on the inside.
They know that I’m paying a hard hard price.
But never want to offer any good advice, oh, no!

’cause I’m a very private person
and I don’t want anyone.
I make a cold, hard living
and I work from sun to sun
and I ain’t got no time to mess with anyone, oh, no!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Devilish Women: The Tramp, The Flapper and the Naughty Vamp

I was watching Mae West recently in several of her clever films where she is the take-charge woman - in the movie AND behind the scenes - and marveled at her flair, her self-confidence, her forward ways and most of all, her charismatic yet cheeky approach to having her own way with everyone in her midst all the while making them all fall in love with her - from her maids to her men.  She was decades ahead of her time (a scene from "My Cousin Vinny" was lifted right out of "I'm No Angel").  I remembered my good friend George Putnam telling me in our many conversations about the way she wrapped him around her little finger more times than he could recall.

I have a friend who loves Madonna (who many sometimes thought of as the modern day Mae West).  I admire my friend for her marvelous way of charming everyone in HER midst, much in the same way Mae West did back in the early part of the 20th century.  But why has society through the generations been so intimidated by women who make their own rules as they live their lives unapologetically?

"A vampire is a good woman with a bad reputation, or rather a good woman who has had possibilities and wasted them." --Florenz Ziegfeld

Liberated women were clearly so frightening one hundred years ago that equating them to undead, bloodthirsty creatures borne of Satan didn't seem so unusual.

In the late 1910s, women were on the verge of winning the right for equal representation in the voting booth. Women were asserting power in unions, and, in the wake of disasters like the Triangle Factory Fire, those unions were influencing government policy. They were taking control of their destinies, their fortunes, even their sexuality (Margaret Sanger's first birth control clinic opened in 1916).

This surging independence came just as the entertainment industry heralded the female form as one of its primary attractions. Ziegfeld's sassy, flesh-filled Follies -- and its many imitators -- defined the Broadway stage, mixing  music, sex and glamour with a morality-shattering frankness.

But it was the birth of motion pictures that gave the allure of female bodies an unearthly, flickering glow, as nickelodeon shorts became feature-length films, and the first era of the movie siren was born.

Combine the power of liberation with the erotic potential of cinema, and in the late 1910s, you got the vampire (or as we would come to know, the 'vamp'). [more...]