Viewing: Collaboration - View all posts

New Single: AFRICA 

Wilson Fifer Rose’s cover of Africa (Featuring Philhelmon and Alessandro Bertoni) is live on streaming services. This is a re-imagined version of our version of Toto’s classic song. We added so many harmonies and really over-hauled the rhythm section. It also has new Queen-like guitar harmonies. I’m quite proud of this mi!

Here is the music video as well.

Thanks for checking it out!

Rolling Down Hill 

I had the great pleasure of collaborating with John Walker on the latest Sigh Figh album "Rolling Up Hill". It's a delightful distraction that I recommend everyone imbibe in. I appreciate John's writing and propsensity for dense arrangements. He's always got a lot going on in in his tracks and I love that. All the songs are worthy of a listen, but here are the ones I contributed to:

Time to Move Along

I played bari sax on this one. Basically followed the bass-line. Such a great opening track. I mean, sometimes you just gotta get the hell outta there, amiright?

I Won't Look

I played guitars. My direction was to play something "psychedelic". I ended up going more Dear Prudence than Strawberry Fields, but I am pretty happy with the outcome. To me the sitar player and the tasteful lady backing vocals really add to the vibe.

Showing

Ah, that 60's brit-pop shuffle. This is like a Monkees Davy Jones song with lyrics that aren't vapid. I had a great time arranging and playing bari and alto sax on this one. I was thrilled that John kept my ending. I tend to just throw a bunch of stuff at an arrangement. I thought it was super cool that he used that horn bit I wrote to close his album.

LIsten to it here: https://sighfigh.bandcamp.com/album/rolling-downhill

Slug Sax: Ky Fy Mix 

So - John Walker asked me to do some specific sax parts as part of his latest album. I did what he wanted the first night, but then... well I got inspired and did a TON of sax overdubs a week later. Unfortunately I got them to him a bit too late to make the actual album since he already had mixed it. BUT he liked what did a lot! So I was super pleased to hear he wanted to do a separate mix that incorporates more of the sax parts I composed for his latest single! Hear it here:

https://open.spotify.com/album/0uIqOTKO4PtcIDWJhzYp7o?si=Mv7A5kTiQHy2pZT1NskUPQ

Sigh Figh Collab: Slugs & Sax 

I was invited to play and arrange sax on Sigh Figh's exquisite new album "Horrific". Specifically, you can hear me on the track "Toxic Mollusk Entity" which is track 11. I recommend checking out the entire album if you like new wave and They Might be Giants. It appears to be a concept album about horror which is just the kind of thing I like.

Get it here!

TMBP Compilation! 

I was invited to collaborate with a bunch of fabulous people to create a high quality compilation of one of my favorite band's music! Right now I am not 100% sure what will make it on the compilation album, but I have already contributed bass and drums to 2 covers (Mr. Me and Spiraling Shape), bass and guitar on a cover of Welcome To the Jungle (gym), will be contributing the music and vocals for a Latin version of Birdhouse in Your Soul, and also a 100% all me cover of Destination Moon. This will be available in limited supply for physical release as well as on streaming services!

The most important aspect of this is that it is a benefit compilation to help a young boy with cancer. All proceeds go to his family to cover healthcare costs. Here is the kiddo - Garett is on chemo and has been feeling pretty sick lately, but was still game to get this picture with

PreOrder to support Garrett here

And here is a preview of some of the more famous bands involved in the compilation:

Roman Songs: Cover EP 

I was invited to contribute to an extremely cool project! John Linnell of They Might Be Giants fame (you may or may not know that they are one of my favorite bands of all time) has released a four song EP - and all the songs are in LATIN. I know,... I heard an interview he gave and he said it was purely for fun. He basically didn't want to inadvertantly appropriate someone else's langauge, but wanted to stretch himself as a songwriter, so he chose to write in a dead language. Very funny and exactly what the kind of surprise that isn't surprising if you know what I mean.

As soon as we learned about it, we started recording the songs and they are done! I am very happy with how mine turned out. To change it up, I decided to sing mine in English. All of the covers turned out amazing.

 

TECVM CIRCVMABVLARE NOLO - Greg Simpson

NVNC AVT NVMQVAM - Ky Fifer

HAEC QVOQVE EST RES - Cari and Carli Hearn

CATENAS MEAS AMISI - Darrell Till

Cover art by Abi Bash

 

Here is a link to the full EP on youtube - my song is track 2, but all of them turned out great!

ROMAN SONGS Tribute EP

Here's John Linnell's original:

 

Scarborough Fair (Pop-Punk Version) 

A group of people I met on reddit have been doing cover songs to get us through the pandemic. Here is our latest:

The arrangement of this took some time. Those time and feel changes were tricky. Lots of Bad Religion influence in there. The harmony and backing vocals are a variation on the Simon and Garfunkel original. It turned out peachy.

Always Come Home - Original Christmas song 

I wrote and recorded an original song with strangers I met on the internet. It was supposed to be a total throwaway - an exercise in songwriting - but it turned out extremely awesome so I'm sharing it with you all! 

One guy had a short chord progression and we thought it sounded like a Doo-Wop song. Another guy said we should write a Doo-Wop Christmas song, so I took those 4 chords and wrote a chorus. Then I wrote chords and verses. Then I wrote a bridge. Then another guy came in and co-wrote the lyrics. Then a bunch of other people wanted to play on it. Crazy right? This is the result. It's way better than it has any right to be!

Merry Christmas!

Wings of Eternity with Heylel 

I was asked to contribute vocals to Heylel’s re-imagining of their song “Wings of Eternity.” Such a lovely folk ballad with beautiful violin. Heylel is a progressive rock band from Portugal. I met them through my prog band Philhelmon and sang on their album Shades of Time a few years ago. I love how this song turned out too. I very rarely get to sing pretty stuff. What do you think? Should folk prog be my new genre of choice?

One Love - International Collaboration 

Here is a very special project in this time of seperation due to Covid and racial tension. I’ve been contributing to this in the last two months… sax, vocals, composition, lyrics, guitar, video editing. I met these folks online and we wanted to do something together and collaborate. The result exceeded my expectations!

Here is the documentary too:

Come Together - Beatles Cover by Philhelmon 

I have a confession to make... I actually started this recording in 2016! That’s when the footage is from. I’ve got a huge backlog LOL. Lots of great things started that I need to dig into and finish.

For those of you who don’t know, my progressive rock band is called Philhelmon. We have two albums out. The last one is called Perpetual Immobile and I think it’s my favorite thing I’ve ever put out. I’m very proud of it. It’s very much a collaboration with the gentleman in this video - Henk Bol. Henk lives in the Netherlands and we met online years ago. We then started collaborating. When he came to visit in 2016 we did quite a few video projects. This is the last one’s that hasn’t seen a release until now. We recorded the vocals and rhythm guitar parts to a really bad karaoke track in 2016. Then he and I finished out the instrumentation ourselves (really, the karaoke track was bad!). I added some guitars, harmony vocals, and played the drums. He played the bass guitar and that extremely cool keyboard solo. Then I mixed it and had it mastered and… I think it sounds really great!

I love that he used the living room footage where I was restringing my guitar as we played along to a karaoke track version! Too funny. A great visit. We are working on new original music currently. Hit me up if you’re interested in hearing our last album. Fair warning - it’s pretty deep stuff. Progressive Rock isn’t for everyone :) And what can be said about the song? It’s the Beatles. It’s John Lennon painting an abstract picture using wild imagery. I love the song. ‘Nuff said.

Can You Forgive Her - Pet Shop Boys Cover 

A great song in 12/8 time originally done by the genius techno band The Pet Shop Boys. Really, these guys are criminally underrated in my opinion. Check out their melodic and quirky album “Very.” Great song craftsmanship. Any of their songs on this album can be redone in almost any style, and they would still translate. Surely a testament to their ability to write great hooks, melodies, and lyrics! 

I saw my version as a great excuse for a Redtop Medusa reunion! Redtop Medusa was my college band with my now wife (then girlfriend) Margie, sister Tiger and friend Greg West. Look for our album on streaming services!

Epitaph - King Crimson Cover (Acoustic) 

A stripped down version of King Crimson’s Epitaph. The acoustic guitars were played by Poor Li who I believe is from France. When I recorded Philhelmon’s version of this song, one of my youtube subscribers directed me to Poor Li’s version. I reached out to Poor Li via his youtube channel and asked him if he minded my adding vocals to his classical styled version of the song, and he said yes. 

As for the video itself, I wanted to try something different and went with Rotorvideos.com - honestly, the experience left me with a lot to be desired. Their interface was frustrating and buggy. I had a tricky time demoing their clips. I went this route to save time, but ultimately it took longer than if I had just filmed and done my own. That said - it is nice to have some more atmospheric clips as opposed to the usual footage of me playing the instruments. 

Anyway, special thanks to Poor Li for his super cool and vibey version of the song. Lots of fun to collaborate with people this way! We live in an amazing time!

No Matter What - Badfinger Cover 

I finally had a chance to record my own version of the one of the greatest pop-rock songs ever written. Bad Finger’s No Matter What came out in the late sixties and has everything I look for a in a good melodic rock song: Harmony, a cool riff, and a great beat. What many people don’t know is that The Beatles are the ones who discovered this band and signed them to their label, Apple. 

Special thanks to Alex Arrowsmith and Justin Radford for joining me on this one! I met Justin Radford when I answered an add he posted on craigslist looking for vocalists for a musical he had written himself! He still writes musicals and plays out in bands, not the least of which is his band Rock GaGa. His band covers Lady GaGa songs with a rock asthetic. 

Alex and I have have been friends since 6th grade where I sat at the same table as him in math class. We were in a couple bands together in and after highschool too. He was a better guitarist then than I’ll ever be, and graciously agreed to play bass and sing some tasty harmony on this cover. He puts out solo music regularly which, if you like melodic and quirky pop, I highly recommend.

Snow - From White Christmas 

Every year I try to do a christmas song. I do this in place of a christmas card! I’m a little late finishing our Christmas song this year. That’s because this song is more complex than it sounds. Margie and I spent a lot of time arranging the vocals, and I spent a lot of time recording the instruments… I’m not typically a jazzy chord kind of guy but I feel like I did ok making this one my own! This song is from teh 50s so the progression isn’t as obvious. 

That said - super fun video to make! We all went up to government camp on Mt. Hood last weekend and then shot some additional footage out our house. Malcolm had a great time! Special kudos go to Emily who helped keep the kid under control all the while helping out with some technology issues! Thanks Em! Enjoy and… Merry Christmas!

Time After Time - Cyndi Lauper Cover (With Luis Ventura) 

A long over-due collaboration with my friend Luis Ventura. He played the doctor in the musical Next to Normal at our local theatre. I’ve always liked this song. Cyndi Lauper’s performance was so melodramatic and so is the original music video. We tried to infuse that into our video, but I think our version of the song itself is more Beatle-y pop and obviously less 80s. Super fun to take a crack at this classic song. Enjoy!

Marvelous Things - Eisley Cover 

A song by one of my favorite “modern” bands - Eisley. Funny story, I actually started recording this song years and years ago. My acoustic guitar is in the shop and I thought I might as well finish this one since the guitars were already recorded. Fortunately Tiger was in town to add to the vocal parts she recorded 6 years ago and film the video! I like the lyrics to this song because it’s about finding beauty in the odd or grotesque of the world or your own imagination.

I Want to Break Free - Queen cover 

I met Kate Barret this past year in production of Jesus Christ SuperStar that we were in together. We became fast friends and promptly decided we needed to collaborate on a Queen song. Now, you don’t just cover Queen - nobody does Queen better than Queen. Besides, I personally hate covers that are identifcal to the orginal. I mean… what’s the point of re-doing exactly what’s already been done?!? 

So here you have our own unique rendition done as a duet. I had a great time working with Kate who was game for any harmony or over-dub that I threw at her. She brought some hilarious props and a mini lazer light show which really set the tone for the video. I’m also especially proud of the bari sax solo which - let me tell you - that keyboard solo in the original is impossibly fast. Especially for a guy whose saxophone skills topped out in highschool band. Still, I always have a fun time playing horn parts. This is my first foray into playing an actual solo on the bari sax!