“I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I’m free.” I like those lines from the famous gospel song “His Eye Is on the Sparrow,” especially as sung by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, who convey in both their instruments and voices all the hardship and pain that often precede or surround the moments of happiness and freedom that singing can create, the way one really depends on the other to achieve its full impact.
I create a lot of different kinds of things. Singing is the one among them that always gives me more back than I put into it, leaves me feeling happy and free. Whether it’s dark or light in my life at that moment those sounds are being made, I always feel that a good eye is still on the sparrow.
Well, this is my 3rd time writing this, my second try at writing this on a computer. I have to put a disclaimer out; this might get dark and depressing. Don’t know, but, yeah, I just wanted to put that out here.
I write this not coming from a place of hate, but from a place of time, and exhaustion. Also, I do this so I can try to explain the songs I have released thus far as part of an upcoming album I’m working at the moment.
It was March in Seattle, and I’d just had all four wisdom teeth removed while listening to Megadeth. I was lying in bed – – healing and reading Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” – – when I got a text from a fellow singer/songwriter (we’ll call him Drew), asking if I’d like to join him for a road trip to Austin, Texas. We would leave in a few days. After arriving we’d stay with a traveling musician named DB Rouse who lived and worked on a horse ranch just outside of the city. DB had set up a makeshift recording studio in a shack on the property and had invited Drew to come down and record some songs.
My need for adventure greatly outweighed my need for rest, so I agreed to tag along.
Middle age –
Some buy a motorbike or go skydiving, some swim with sharks or hunt for ancient treasures…. me I started to record all the songs I’d scribbled on little bits of paper over many years! As the technology made it infinitely easier to set up a studio at home… that’s what I did, and here am 😉 7 albums, two e.p.’s and a couple of compilation albums in 4 years, and many more still to come!!
My name is Danny M. Cohen, and I’m one half of the Chicago-based gay folk-rock duo They Won’t Win. My “music husband” is Greg Lanier and we wrote and co-produced our debut album over a few years of life’s ups and downs. For me, parts of ‘Lost At Sea’ reflect what it was like to witness a dear friend fall into a dark, frightening place, but, ultimately, our album is about finding your way out.
I live in a small house. High on a forested mountain. It rarely snows during the winter. I drive long distances to see the entire country sometimes. I eat alone in vast naturistic scenarios. However, I have a deeply loving partnership. I can only live openly as sex is a constant and powerful urge in my life.
I hear music in my head; it writes itself for me. It feels as if I have been dialed into a radio frequency of sounds, words, images and stories, and my body is just the antenna. My life from that moment on became who I was before and who I am now.
I grew up in a small town in Minnesota called Elbow Lake. There wasn’t a whole lot to do in the “sticks” of MN, so I found love in rock ‘n’ roll at an early age through my older brother’s music collection. He moved out when I was young, joined the Air Force and was stationed in England when I was in middle school, so our family took a trip overseas to see him. When I got there, he showed me his electric guitar. I picked it up, and he showed me a couple of licks. I played that damn thing the rest of the time I was there. My parents heard me playing it the whole weekend and later that year, for Xmas, I got my first guitar. I was obsessed. I quit all sports and just focused on that.