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The Stories Behind The Songs

Rock and Roll Loser is the first album written, recorded and produced by Joe Burns, Ph.D. That's me. The album was finished by master audio wizard, David Perricone. In all, 14 songs were written for the album but in the end, only 12 were chosen to make to the cut.

This album was recorded, almost completely, while sitting at the kitchen table after setting up a Yamaha audio board and a single Shure SM58 microphone. The tracks were laid down by simply moving the microphone around to record the different instruments and vocal tracks needed at the time.

The audio was captured on a Toshiba laptop running the Reaper audio mixer and mixed/finished running JBL speakers through the same Yamaha audio board noted above. It's all I had at the time.

Since the recoding of "Rock and Roll Loser," a full audio studio has been installed in the house so my second album should sound just a bit better. Check it out: One Hell of a

In fact, I'm thinking seriously of re-recording this entire album and offering it as "Rock and Roll Loser Redoux." Like the misspelling? It's a Louisiana thing. Enjoy the stories.

Rock and Roll Loser
If you've ever been in a band, this song will make perfect sense to you. I had just come out of a band when I wrote this one and I decided to write the story of a young guy who wants to be in a band but is working the counter selling shoes. His fantasy would be the story. Everything I've experienced went into the song telling the story of a band going from creation through first recordings through failure through resurgence. My favorite line is about getting a photo where no one will smile. Why must every band always look like they want your lunch money? It's all a fantasy but even though it is, he still doesn't want to be the Rock and Roll Loser.
Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

Another Song of Mine
Have you ever grabbed a song online without paying? Have you ever streamed a song without paying? Sure. I have too. It's also the problem that's affecting music artists today. People aren't paying for music and it's making it harder to make a living in the industry. You'd think the labels would be trying to help but they aren't. This is my commentary on the subject using many of the phrases I saw online when researching the topic. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

This is a song for my children. You learn pretty quickly that your kids are people unto themselves with thoughts and opinions and beliefs. This song is my way of sitting my kids down and asking them, "What do you believe?" The song tackles the topics of religion, sex, drugs and alcohol and race and asks them to please use me as a model because at my ripe old age of 51, I've already seen everything that's coming their way. They won't, but I can ask can't I? Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

I was in a band and we were discussing what song to open our set with. So - I decided to go home and write an opening song. There's no hidden message or no political hope here. It's a stright forward scream fest that's meant to open a rock show. You may notice the lyrics are taken from the titles of other rock songs and a David Lee Roth quote. The piece is written so the audience can sing along and all they have to know is one word - Hey! Easy enough. Please also grab the Hey! Remix by Dave Perricone. He took some time to edit, remix and EQ a fattened version of the song. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)
Hey! (Dave Perricone Remix): (MP3) | (WAV)

Yep. The song curses. But be honest...haven't you met that person, or know that person who you don't really dislike but sometimes rubs you the wrong way or can really just make you angry sometimes? Yeah? Then you know exactly what I'm getting at here. And before you ask - no. The song is not about anyone in particular. (Except the one time I mention a name.) It's just a general set of lyrics so the listeners can enter their own people into it. Notice the song is sung as if you're at a party after a few drinks. That is when the word does come out now doesn't it?
Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

I Got Kids
I love my kids. I mean, I truly love my kids but as any parent will tell you, adults still have fantasies. This is a song about someone having just such a fantasy. I want to go out and tie one on but...I got kids. I want to go on a trip and do stupid things but...I got a job. I want to workout and have big muscles but...I like food. My guess is that most people can relate.
Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

The internet is great but all too often it's populated by people who believe their opinions are fact. They know the truth. What is created by the news media is immaterial. They are the fonts of knowledge. Maybe they are...but I doubt it. As the song states, "We might all be getting warm...but then we might be misinformed." You might also note that the first verse is made up of nursery rhymes. The second verse is built basing words on the first lines of famous novels. The third verse is a couple of phrases I like to use in my lectures. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

Something Good
Two things came together to make this song. First, I was in a band that had a keyboardist and I wanted to write something that featured him so that's where the music came from. Second, my wife told me that my songs usually had too many words. So, I wrote something will just a few words. I want it to sound like a a blues bar at midnight with a lot of smoke in the air and a little five-piece band just hitting their groove. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

Pandora's Box
My wife and I wrote this one together. That's her singing with me in the bluegrass section at the front. This is the celebration of a band or a person writing something new. Too often music is packaged and created as a product but still there are people sitting an a basement writing great stuff. We just have to have the guts to release that music rather than something that's been test marketed to death. The bluegrass band is reminder of a time when music wasn't a product but rather a joy. We need to get back to that. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

China Blue
This song is about a failed adoption my wife and I had. We were almost a year into the process when everything was shut down for a year because of the Olympics. There was a rule that one could not adopt if the combined age of the parents equaled 92. If the shutdown hadn't occurred, we would have come in a year under that mark. Because of the shut down, we had to drop out and our little girl went back into the system. The title is simply "China" because of the country and "Blue" because of our general feeling of sadness. Nothing more. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

(One Less Thing) I Gotta Worry About
So, I'm sitting in a campsite in New Mexico around 10pm and this weird line hits me, "You're one less thing I gotta worry about." I tried to write it as a love song but it just didn't work. Thirty minutes later I had the four lines of the chorus written out and a general guitar part. The next day I see a woman with a shirt that reads, "Another Day - and I Didn't Use Algebra." That became the line, "They told me take a math class I would use it every day but I haven't" and the song fell together from there. Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

(Ain't Nobody Got it) Better Than Me
My cathertic song. I was really angry and hurt over an event that would take too long to explain here so I decided to get it all out and write a song about it. At first I wrote this nasty name-calling piece of junk that only made me feel worse. Then I decided to write about how good I actually had it. They say, the simply act of forcing yourself to smile can make you happy. Well, this song makes me happy. That second voice is me talking to me. Sometimes you need to give yourself a good talking to and that's what this song is all about. Everyone should try it.
Get it: (MP3) | (WAV)

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All songs and web design by Joe Burns, Ph.D. (Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved) | Photos by Max Burns (Copyright 2015 - All Rights Reserved)