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Maple Room Melodies Vol 2: Album Notes

  1. Remember the Room
    I composed this song in the early 1980s. It was originally titled “D Major #4”. I always liked the melody (and especially the intro); but, for some reason, never considered the song finished (mostly because of the bridge). Soon after writing the melody, I recorded a simple rendition on 4-track cassette tape that only included verses — using, as I recall, a Roland drum machine. There was also a MIDI-only version recorded using the old Atari KCS software app in 1987. Again, just the verses. I revived and fleshed-out this tune in May 2021 for my ongoing solo-piano project. For some reason, in 2021 I felt very good about the bridge. I did write some sappy words long ago (3 verses)… but no chorus.

  2. Farewell West Branch
    This tune was initially called “Idea in G.” In the early 1980s I had recorded bits of this piece on solo piano (my Chickering baby grand). I never wrote a lead-sheet for it. It was revived in December 2020 and it was the first tune I worked on when I began to develop a new solo-piano project. “Farewell West Branch” was a title I derived from a text message I got a long time ago from my college professor, life-long friend, and mentor Larry Lebin. The “West Branch of the Susquehanna” is the name of the river/branch that flowed by his home, outside of Lock Haven PA. This one is dedicated to the fond memories of Larry and Shirley Lebin.

  3. All Goes By
    This was originally written in the early 1980s, in the key of Ab major. When composed, it was titled “Ab major#1.” Then, in 1985, I renamed and recorded it on my first cassette album “Silently” where it was titled “I Got Love.” On that version, I played an electric guitar solo with some VanHalen-inspired licks. In 2021, this little ditty was arranged for solo-piano, moved to the key of E major, and renamed.

  4. You Dear Friend
    I wrote this melody in the early 1980s. It did have lyrics; in fact, my wife, June, helped with some of the words. I remember my mentor Larry Lebin liking her lyric contributions. My contributions to the words were created while thinking about my unique friendship with Mark Armstrong, my college and life-long pal. In 1983, I recorded a version of this song with me playing the Chickering grand piano and Cheryl Jordan on vocal. It was revived for solo-piano in April 2021.

  5. Every Sign
    I had no previous recordings of this tune. Fortunately, I scribbled down a lead sheet, which was dated Nov 30 1983. I pulled it out of the archives in May 2021 and created a piano arrangement — which I like!

  6. Tumble Down
    This is a very early composition, originally titled “F major #1”. Written in the early 1980s. (Like many other tunes in this collection, “F major # 1” means it was the first tune in the key of F major that I composed in a collection of original tunes from that period.) I rearranged and recorded this tune for solo piano in 2021. Also, gave it a proper title: “Tumble Down” which seemed to fit the melody.

  7. So Fine The Stars
    This tune was initially called “A major #6” - composed in the early 1980s but never released. During my 2021 solo-piano recording work it was revived and renamed to “So Fine The Stars.” It has no words.

  8. You Are Free
    I wrote this song (music and lyrics) in 1983. It was originally in the key of A. There are two versions of this song recorded in 1983, one with Dale Carroll singing lead and one with Cheryl Jordan singing lead. In each case, I accompanied the singer on my Chickering grand piano in my “living room studio” (at our home on South Market St, in Mechanicsburg PA). In 1987, I did an instrumental version of this song for my Time Machine cassette album, recorded on my Commodore 64 computer using the Sonus “Super Sequencer” app. (That version was too techno funky.) In early 2021, I recorded a solo piano version of the song. Then moved it to the key of Bb.

  9. Dance With Me Slow
    In 2021 I rescued this old tune which was composed on July 1, 1980. It was written in Eb-minor. I had sketched it on score paper, but never recorded any version of the tune. In March 2021. I moved it to E minor and renamed the tune for solo-piano.

  10. Merry Go Round
    This song first appeared on my instrumental 1984 cassette album, Silently. I did write lyrics for the song and recorded a version with Cheryl Jordan on vocals in 1985. I also recorded an instrumental version for a senior exercise music project in 1988/1989 (for a company called Creative Fitness). 'tis a cute little song; but brief. A solo-piano arrangement was finished in January 2021.

  11. Taken By Storm
    This one has an interesting history…
    In the early 1980s, I met Leslie Dietz at a Keystone Songwriters Association meeting. She was a good songwriter and a particularly good lyricist. She wrote the words to one of my melodies (Like Your Love) which is on my Hourglass album.
    In 1983, she gave me the words to a song called “Taken By Storm” (just the words) and then asked me to compose music to the words (from scratch). She gave me no direction, in terms of the feel/style of the song.
    So I composed music for her words (and this was the first and ONLY time I’d ever done that — taken my words or somebody else’s words, and composed music to the existing words).
    Subsequently, I recall, when she visited my little studio on South Market St., and I played her my musical interpretation on the piano, she was very surprised, and not in a good way. As it turns out, she had an entirely different "feel" in mind for the song. She played acoustic guitar and showed me what she envisioned… which was a bouncy, upbeat bluesy-shuffling groove.
    We never did anything with the song, as we were on completely different wavelengths.
    I don’t recall working with her collaboratively on any more music (ala writing together). However, she did sing a couple songs that we recorded — songs written by a mutual friend named Mary Mohnal, also a member of the KSA. I played acoustic guitar on one song, and piano on another (as I recall).
    Fortunately, I recorded a solo-piano arrangement of my music for the song in 1983 and then revived the tune in 2021 for solo piano. It took considerable work, as the song was originally a little long and complex, due to the demands of all the lyrics.
    I chose to keep the original title.

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