Released March 2, 2016 ~ the first anniversary of the passing of Kent Finlay.
Album release of the month for March of 2016 is this simple 13-track set of acoustic songs to honor my late songwriting mentor Kent Finlay. Kent loved simple songs that were simmered down, honed to a point, and presented with as little ornamentation as possible. He felt it did a great song the most justice to just sing it with a guitar. Music has many uses, but a songwriter's song should say something, not be a benign little well-aimed paint-by-numbers commercial tug on a familiar cultural shorthair. A collection of them should make you laugh, cry, and think. These days it seems not everyone knows how to laugh, wants to feel, or can think without a bumper sticker to prompt them... which is why the dumbest stuff far outshines anything of substance. You won't see many Dylans or Kristoffersons of ANY stripe playing many halftime shows, and some would even say the world as we know it is some sort of big halftime show. I don't know. I don't have any answers. I live in the woods, drive a '67 Plymouth, build guitars and write songs. Here's a baker's dozen ~ I hope you laugh, I hope you feel, and I hope you think.
Written, performed & completely unproduced by Scott Beckwith
Engineered by the unshakeable Russell Tanner, Cheatham Street Woodshed, San Marcos TX
All songs by S. Beckwith / Parking Lot Music BMI
1. Know You’re Not Forgotten
2. Summer Rain
4. Saturday Night To Me
5. Working With The Wood
6. And We Rolled
7. 200 lbs.
8. Lipton’s Cup Of Uncle John
9. Rolling Wheel
10. The Illegals
11. All Hat, No Cattle
12. Uncle Chester’s Pants
13. What a Dream I Had
Just over 45 minutes. As if we were putting it on vinyl!
But we're not.
To listen as a playlist (and download selected tracks) FREE:
To download as a whole album (the way I put it together!) FREE, tip optional:
HERE’S THE DEAL – download, share, enjoy. It’s free from my life to yours. PLEASE keep the publishing credit with it and if you’d like to broadcast or record it, list it & link here. If you do feel like contributing something to my world for it, send something as a friend payment (not a donation) through PayPal to vandweller1”at”yahoo.com, leave a tip on the noisetrade page, or send or something fun (a CD of yours, a book, something random of meaning) to:
PO Box 1745
Wimberley, TX 78676
Want to cover a song on your album? Go right ahead! I'm honored.
Just credit the songwriting to (S. Beckwith / Parking Lot Music BMI).
For commercial use (movie/ad/TV) please contact parkinglotmusicBMI@yahoo.com.
(I thank you)
MORE OF THE STORY
Read about Kent Finlay here: kentfinlaydreamer.com
I was the broke, homeless young songwriter on Kent's music room cot after Todd Snider in 1988. I moved 2100 miles in a '77 Dodge van to sit at his feet and learn the craft; get into the game; get on the stage. Well I didn't enjoy the stage all that much and I absolutely hated the game, but the craft and integrity of Kent stuck with me for life. This is where the music path I did have all really came together in San Marcos, TX. Kent is a legend, and I always looked at him in a special way - I don't know how to say it. But when he died, I found out he was 77. I knew the man for 27 years and not once did it even occur to me that he had an age. That he had numbers like the rest of us. Perhaps this is how monks and devotees view their transcendent spiritual teachers; you know he's old. But numbers? That's for the rest of us. You know he's sick... but death? No.
Sparse, raw singer-songwriter albums grabbed me around the time I was reading lines to Kent across a huge cypress desktop piled with yellow note pads – Steve Goodman, John Prine, Kris Kristofferson, Guy Clark – and what I heard Kent and his merry band of songwriters do every week at songwriter’s night. Kent saw something in me and was very real with me about the craft and the meaning and the devotion. This is an album I wanted to do but never did, so it happened by accident. In a more recent year I scheduled a session at the Cheatham Street Woodshed studio in San Marcos, TX (Kent’s, run by engineer Russell Tanner) to “Demo some songs…” Well, 50 songs later I was done. That’s just how I roll – balls out, all in. It was time to demo some songs… I’d been writing every day since Kent told me to at 19, these were some of my best, and time’s short and means something. He was thrilled, heard some of it. Then… he was gone.
Listening through it a bit later (I had other projects going on there), well some of the stuff went down alright and formed a little mixed batch; the kind that makes you laugh and cry and maybe one or two of these songs will be companions to you or a smile when needed… as others’ songs have been to me. Any of this that does any of that for any of you, that’s what’s left of Kent Finlay in this world other than a great beer joint in Texas, three grown kids all writing and involved in the scene, some hats and red bandanas… maybe a few yellow notepads of songs there just wasn’t time for.
I also hope it inspires some of you budding writers to just write a great song for its own sake, with no regard for which Nashville blackhat might cut it if it’s cute enough. BY ALL MEANS take that check if it's waved at you, but really take the time when writing a song to craft it. Be a wordsmith. Simmer it down into a couple of verses that say more than the five you started with, work that chorus ‘til it speaks its truth, and don’t be afraid to rewrite it again. Find the humanity in life and write from there. Make it strong - don't be afraid. Then find a circle and share it. It’s what we do. This one’s for Kent Finlay and all who devote their lives to their calling despite all opposition and reason.