Monday, April 14, 2014

HOW WOULD I FEEL?

When I ask the question "How Would I Feel?", I'm not asking how I would feel about something.  I mean it literally.  How could I possibly feel anything if I'm not moved or touched by something?
 
There are just some things that let me know that I'm very much alive, such as the moon in the sky or the gaze in her eyes or a song that emerges from my heart.
 
These are the things that tell me How Would I Feel? 
 
 


Song Title: HOW WOULD I FEEL?
Track Number: 8
Album Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 436365
Released 01 June 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Saturday, November 23, 2013

LAUGHING BLUE

This song may be hard to explain.

Imagine yourself in the moment, writing about unknown events and circumstances which will take place deep into the future.  I think that is the best way to describe the origin of this song.

With the release of my video IT DOESN'T MATTER MUCH TO ME, it got me thinking about another song I wrote during my tour in Vietnam.  I was writing about the trust and friendship which had developed among the men around me who shared this unbelievable experience.  I was wondering what would become of us and what kind of people would we ultimately become.   And even though we shared many good times along with the bad, I wondered if we would ever be able to laugh again without a dark cloud hanging over our lives.

Would we be - LAUGHING BLUE












Listen to:
LAUGHING BLUE

Song Title: LAUGHING BLUE
Track Number: 6
Album Title: TRUE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 473612
Released 01 June 2009
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/

All rights reserved

Monday, September 2, 2013

THE MAN CAN DANCE

Several years ago, a dear family member was stricken with the terrible ALS or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

He was coming upon his 64th birthday so the family prepared a huge surprise birthday party for him.  By now, the disease had already taken a toll on his body, but the way in which he handled his situation, with grace and dignity, was inspiring to us all.

When I returned home from the celebration, I picked up my guitar and his song was waiting for me.
 
This was to be his last birthday.





Listen to:

Song Title: THE MAN CAN DANCE
Track Number: 9
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI


All rights reserved

Monday, January 28, 2013

IMMERSE YOURSELF

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to go on safari in South Africa.  While there I shot hours of film capturing the abundance of wildlife both large and small.  It was amazing for me to be able to roam freely among the animals in "their" environment without borders or fences.

When I returned home I started work on THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME.  I knew that there would be a song which would immerge from my African experience but to my surprise, what immerged was less of a structured song and more of a series of rhythms and sounds which best captured my feelings.  This recording along with some of the footage I shot has became the first video from THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME.

For me, when it comes to the intensity of nature's wonders, it's easy to IMMERSE YOURSELF.




Song Title: IMMERSE YOURSELF
Track Number: 7
Album Title: THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 887516 144509
Released 01 January 2013
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Friday, January 4, 2013

TOO COOL

Music has many different meanings to many different people.  For some, it’s about rhythm and dance.  To others it’s about lyrics and poetry.  And still to others it’s about melodies, progressions and hooks.

You see, music stirs the emotions in many different ways.  A song can trigger a memory or a mood.  Or you can be inspired and left in awe by a performance which demonstrates the mastery of an instrument.  The possibilities are as endless as the people who listen.

As a musician, sometimes it just plain feels good to physically play a certain song.  That is my experience when I play TOO COOL.



Listen to:
TOO COOL

Song Title: TOO COOL
Track Number: 2
Album Title: THE OTHER SIDE OF TIME
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code:  887516 144509
Released 01 January 2013
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Friday, July 13, 2012

ESPLANADE

Some songs just write themselves.

There was this summer a few years back when I would eat my lunch on a street named Esplanade. It overlooked the beach and this area was also the birthplace of the Beach Boys. I would sit up there and enjoy my lunch as I watched the world go by.

As I said, some songs just write themselves.










 
 
Listen to:

Song Title: ESPLANADE
Track Number: 1
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Friday, March 23, 2012

CARE FREE DAYS

If I don’t live it, feel it, dream it, or eat it … I don’t write about it.

I don’t (and probably can’t) just sit down and write a song.  It doesn’t work that way for me.  My songs come to me from my life’s experiences.  Now having said all that, it doesn’t mean I don’t bend my reality just a bit for the sake of a song.

For example, there was a period in my life when I was taking lots of road trips.  My buddies and I would pile into a car and drive down to New Orleans, or I would visit a friend’s family in Georgia, or I would worship the sun in the Florida Keys.  These and many other trips were all separate excursions but when these experiences started to show up in my music, I decided to squeeze them all together into one song.

This represents a period when I was as free as a bird and without a care in this world.  These were my CARE FREE DAYS.


Listen to:

Song Title: CARE FREE DAYS
Track Number: 1
Album Title: THE OLD MAN IN THE CORNER
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 574098
Released 01 June 2010
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

MYSTIFIED

I was early for my appointment, so while I was waiting in his 93rd floor Manhattan office, I stared out at the magnificent view.  The sun was streaming down and I was lost in the beauty of the moment when suddenly I heard a voice behind me say, “Can I help you?”  As I turned around I was stunned.  There before me stood an angel.  As the light poured in and washed over her, her beauty literally took my breath away.  THAT WAS A MAGIC MOMENT.

Years later, I was waiting for a young lady for our lunch date.  As she poked her head around the corner to greet me, I was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of her.   I was blinded by her beauty and captured by her spell.  We were soon married.

With guitar in hand, when I reflect upon these magic moments, the song MYSTIFIED emerges.












 
 
Listen to:

Song Title: MYSTIFIED
Track Number: 5
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Sunday, November 20, 2011

JODY SWEET JODY and LIVE TODAY

In this post, I'm going to talk about two songs.  Even though they were written a couple of years apart, they both share many things in common.  For example, they both exemplify my writing style at the time, they both appear on my album TRUE BLUE, and most importantly, they both deal with the subjects of life and death - but not in the way that you may think.

The first song was written while I was a young Marine serving in Vietnam.  Even though death was all around me, this song was written about life.  You see, one of my best friends in the platoon had just learned that his wife was pregnant with their first child. 

Personally, I couldn't imagine being a father at our young age and how terrible it was that he had to be away from her at a time like this.  I wrote the song as I imagined how I would feel to be in his shoes (or boots as it may be).  And now, many decades later, JODY SWEET JODY still lives on in song.

Listen to:
JODY SWEET JODY


The next song I wrote while attending university just a year or so later.  I had befriended a girl who was perhaps the most beautiful person I had ever met.  We were very close but when it came time for our springs breaks, we took off in separate directions.  I went south to chase the sun while she went west to seek adventure.  When I returned, I was eager to share our stories and experiences with one another but I soon learned - that she would never return.  The bus that she had been traveling in had lost control while in the Rocky Mountains and went off the side of the road. 

I was devastated.  I thought I was done with death and destruction.  She was so young … so pure … why?  I wandered around campus aimlessly daze and confessed and in disbelief until I found myself sitting in front of a piano in the Student Union.  As my tears soaked the piano keys, I wrote LIVE TODAY.

Listen to:
LIVE TODAY


Song Title: JODY SWEET JODY
Track Number: 5

Song Title: LIVE TODAY
Track Number: 7

Album Title: TRUE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 473612
Released 01 June 2009
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Sunday, September 18, 2011

RAINDROPS

There was a time when I called New York City my home. As with many other New Yorkers, I would spend a good portion of my Sundays relaxing and reflecting in Central Park.  It’s a wonderful sanctuary.

On this one particular Sunday, my usual routine was interrupted by the weather as it became dark, cold and rainy.  I found myself confined to my apartment where I attempted to befriend a good book.  But even this was not to be because while the rain kept hitting my window, I found myself growing more restless, uneasy and alone.

So as often the case, I picked up my guitar to deal with the problem - and those pesky RAINDROPS.

 

Song Title: RAINDROPS
Track Number: 7
Album Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 436365
Released 01 June 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Friday, July 8, 2011

IT'S ABOUT TIME

When I think about the origins of songs, sometimes they come to me from the simplest of things.  In this case, it was a little guitar lick I liked to play.  Whenever I would sit down to fiddle on my guitar, this lick would inevitably show up and over the years it developed into a song.  Sometimes a song develops quickly and sometime it takes years for it to expose itself to me.  Because this song came from the latter, I knew what it was about: 

IT’S ABOUT TIME
 
 
Song Title: IT'S ABOUT TIME
Track Number: 4
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Friday, June 17, 2011

THE FINALE - GATES OF HEAVEN

On Tuesday May 10, 2011 I posted here on The Old Blue Blog, “GATES OF HEAVEN – Part of a much larger body of work” and hinted that maybe someday I would post some of the “unheard” songs from those sessions.  Well I dug deep into the vaults and came up with THE FINALE to the complete works of GATES OF HEAVEN. 

To my Old Blue friends, this will really be different because I never released any of these songs (except the title song) on any Old Blue album.  But I always wanted to score and record a classical record and this was my shot at it.

I hope you enjoy the FINALE.


Song Title: FINALE
Track Number: 7
Album Title: GATES OF HEAVEN
Artist: RB Smith
Record Label: Namesake Music
Released 15 January 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/

All rights reserved

Monday, May 23, 2011

SANTA BARBARA

I had just arrived after driving cross country to attend a friend’s wedding.  It was my first time in Santa Barbara and I was taken by its sheer beauty.  Yet there was this underlining tension in the air (perhaps the result of 3 days of driving).  As I unwound with my guitar on the beach overlooking the Pacific, the sunset gifted me this song.  Many years later I recorded SANTA BARBARA.

 
Song Title: SANTA BARBARA
Track Number: 9
Album Title: TRUE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 473612
Released 01 June 2009
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/
All rights reserved

Sunday, May 22, 2011

SEE ME THROUGH

I almost never “write" a song.  I usually just let it happen to me.  My songs are almost always deeply personal and are triggered by some sort of event, or a person, or place which somehow had the ability to move me.  The music always comes first and then I try to write down what I think the song is about.  Buried within those words - are the lyrics.

There has been one exception to the above.  When I was performing as a solo artist, I woke up one morning and said, "Today I'm going to "write" a new opening number."  So I sat down, picked up my guitar and within a couple of hours, I wrote SEE ME THROUGH.

It seems fitting that I should perform it for you now in The Old Blue Theater.


                                                          











Song Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Track Number: 1
Album Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 436365
Released 01 June 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SUMMER IN THE CITY

I was sitting on a park bench in the early evening after a very long day - just me and my guitar.  I was lamenting the fact that summer had almost expired and I never got a chance to get away.
And then this song came to me and took me where my body couldn’t go.




Song Title: SUMMER IN THE CITY
Track Number: 7
Album Title: THE OLD MAN IN THE CORNER
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 574098
Released 01 June 2010
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI
http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

GATES OF HEAVEN – Part of a much larger body of work.

Most people that know me are familiar with my song Gates of Heaven.  What most people don’t know is that the song is part of a much larger body of work.  Several years ago I wanted to do a “classical” style record with full orchestration.  I wrote the songs and when it came time to record them instead of using my usual guitar, bass, keyboards and drums, I scored the songs for a full 32 piece orchestra with an Overture and a Finale and everything in between.  I never release the recordings as an Old Blue album but I did release the title song Gates Of Heaven on my album SEE ME THROUGH.

So maybe someday I’ll post some of the “unheard” songs from those sessions here on The Old Blue Blog.  In the meantime, here’s the video of Gates Of Heaven.


 
 
Song Title: GATES OF HEAVEN
Track Number: 3
Album Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 436365
Released 01 June 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI


All rights reserved

Monday, May 9, 2011

SEASONS

Many years ago, my best friend at the time was a fellow musician. It just so happened that his girl friend was my next-door neighbor who I also knew very well. It was inevitable that whenever their relationship ran into trouble, I found myself in the position of being “Mr. In-Between”.

Their rocky relationship was the genesis of my song SEASONS.


 
 
Song Title: SEASONS
Track Number: 8
Album Title: THE OLD MAN IN THE CORNER
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 574098
Released 01 June 2010
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Saturday, August 14, 2010

PLACES OF DREAMS

My father was already in the hospital when I received the call. I lived 1,500 miles away but I had to get back to him. Back to the city I grew up in. He was dying.

Shortly after I arrived, we realize how fortunate we were to have this time together. We told stories, shared memories and gave thanks for this opportunity.

Each evening I would leave his bedside and drive to his house where I would spend the night. And each time I made this trip, I would take a different route to visit my old neighborhoods and experience places that were once important to me.

One morning when I arrived at the hospital, I was told my father had been moved to a different room. After we greeted each other, I notice he had this terrific view out his window of Gesu Church down the street. I asked him if he was able to see the church and he told me he was and then proceeded to tell me this story.

When my father was a small boy, his father owned a roofing business and his dad had won the contract to re-roof Gesu Church. He would stand on the street below, holding his mother’s hand, while gazing up at his father high above swinging from steeple to steeple making his repairs.

What makes this story so remarkable is that my father only lived in this city a very short time while as a young boy. He grew up in a different state entirely. He only came back many years later and married my mother. And now, after all these years, he was once again in the exact same spot where he once stood with his mother gazing at this church.

My father passed away.

When I arrived back to my home, I picked up my guitar and this song was waiting for me. It’s about places we remember. It’s about PLACES OF DREAMS.












Listen to:
PLACES OF DREAMS

Song Title: PLACES OF DREAMS
Track Number: 2
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved

Sunday, August 1, 2010

LONELY ONE

Have you ever had one of those days when you’re just in a funk and you don’t know why?

I think everyone has had a few of those days. For me when this happens, I usually just pick up my guitar or sit at the piano to put myself in another place – a better place.

There was this one time in particular when I was feeling a bit low and while playing my guitar, this song started to expose itself to me. I worked on it and worked on it until it was done. And before I knew it, instead of me feeling down, I felt uplifted with a great sense of accomplishment.

I called my friend so that I could play the song for her. And after I played it, there was this uncomfortable silence - and then she started to cry.

You see, she thought the song was about her. Nothing could have been further from the truth. I was working out my own problems.

(Which brings me to another point. Different people will interpret a song or any other piece of creation differently. That’s the power and beauty of art. But I’ll save that discussion for another time.)

It’s enough to say, that at that moment, both my friend and myself felt like we were the LONELY ONE.






Listen to:
Song Title: LONELY ONE
Track Number: 5
Album Title: SEE ME THROUGH
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 436365
Released 01 June 2007
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI
 
All rights reserved

Thursday, July 29, 2010

THE STORY OF BLACKIE AND LITTLE ONE

When I was a young child, one of our family members was a beautiful cat we called Blackie. (You’ll never guess what color she was.)

Blackie was instrumental in me learning about the birds and the bees because while still at a very young age we discovered that Blackie was about to deliver kittens. My mother found herself in the untenable position of having to answer all my never-ending questions on the subject.

Soon we had a house full of playful kittens and we needed to find good homes for them. But there was this one kitten – the little one – that I had grown particularly found of. So I started my successful campaign to convince my parents that he needed to stay.

This is the origin of the names Blackie and Little One. I always liked those names and I thought one day they might make a good song title.

And then it happened. The music fell out of the sky and the words fell out of my head and many decades later I experienced the second birth of THE STORY OF BLACKIE AND LITTLE ONE.












Listen to:
THE STORY OF BLACKIE AND LITTLE ONE

Song Title: THE STORY OF BLACKIE AND LITTLE ONE
Track Number: 10
Album Title: OUT OF THE BLUE
Artist: Old Blue
Record Label: Namesake Music
UPC/EAN Code: 884502 466836
Released 01 June 2008
Composed and Produced by: RB Smith
Copyright (c) Namesake Music, BMI

http://NamesakeMusic.info/
http://OldBlue.info/

All rights reserved