August 24

The Shapiro Consulting Group Approach

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The idea for the Boardwalk Rain project was inspired during a family vacation in Amelia Island, Florida several years ago. Imagine the scene: Very late at night, I was sitting on a hill overlooking a pier jutting into the calm water, strumming on my nylon stringed folk guitar, forming open and expanded f and C chords, while thinking deeply about life’s powerful moments. The song Boardwalk Rain expresses the serene moments in the twilight illuminating the mist rising in the air. It set the tone and momentum for the reminder of the album. What follows are some reflections about the songs on the album.

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The song, Out for a Ride, was inspired by the sense of freedom riding a motorcycle with a loved one in the beautiful springtime in Colorado, where the air is fresh and smells of wet hay. It reflects the joy that follows movement, focus and play. I love the Motown influence from the arrangement by Dave DiMichaels. The song, My Friend, was written in one sitting, while parked in my car in the Cherry Creek neighborhood in Denver.

I pulled over to the side of the road, so flooded by negative emotion about a close friend’s betrayal and disappointment, I had to get the feelings down on paper. The high-end neighborhood with it’s sparkling shops and restaurants paled in comparison to my dark feelings, the tension from the contrast helped me compose the song.

The Song, Lyin’ in Wait, reflects the painful stagnation before finally making a decision to leave a relationship. I’m so glad I moved forward in life so I could get to where I was meant to be; with my loving wife and two (bring tears to my eyes) daughters. The song, Pullin’ Back the Reins, was written in a beautiful historic hotel in midtown, Atlanta Georgia, while I had the flu and was holed up in my room. I was sweating while I wrote the song about my yearning for an unavailable, out of reach relationship. The sentiment felt like a blues song, but came out as country. You can never tell how a song will express itself.

You only have so much control! Bonjour, Merci, Au Revoir was written in front of a fountain in a town square on a rainy day in Avignon, France. I wrote it so many years ago, riffing on lyrics with my colleague, while on a business trip. It needed to simmer and it finally got some air like the wine we drank in that beautiful land. Overseas is a raunchy re-count of my earlier life traveling across Europe. 75% of the lyrics are true.

I invite you to guess which lines are straight out of my life and which are my use of creative license…The song, Even the Cars (have hard lives in the city), was born in New York City during a sabbatical in which I wrote a book about corporate Facilitation during the day and played music in the clubs in Greenwich Village at night. If you let it, New York City will come crashing down on you, one gritty experience at a time.

 I examined my own beaten down emotions and then looked at the weathered cars and thought, Even the Cars have hard lives in the city. The song, Midnight Dance in Barcelona, was written in Chicago. A melodic non-sequitur into the world of instrumental Mariachi Music. The chords fit my hand like a glove and the butterfly wrist of Richie havens overtook my body, while playing it.

The song, El Dia De La Muerte, was ripped from the newspaper headlines of the day. An innocent, Peruvian missionary on a trip to help others, forgot to take his medications for his mental health condition while on a plane bound for another country. He freaked out, ran down the jet-way. The Sky Marshall mistook the gentleman, based on his erratic behavior, for a guilty terrorist. The Marshall shot and kill him, while “protecting the public.”

Devastating case of mistaken identity. The song, Love Sleeps Next to Me, expresses my personal evolution to face love square in the eye and not run this time. The back beat added by my Drummer Steve Gaskin has a surprising and mesmerizing impact. The song, Pieces of US, is my homage to the thousands of innocent lives lost in 911. Fueled by the driving rhythms of a Daniel Lanois production, it is my call to brothers and sisters in arms to stop the madness and get back to a more civilized and loving world order.

Finally, the song Omnia Vincent Amor was written for my wife Lydia. The night I met her, she wore a silver bracelet with the words, Omnia, Vincent Amor engraved. The sentiment was so powerful to me, and I was so warmed by Lydia’s choice of what she conveyed to the world. I wrote it over a period of three days while on vacation with my friend in Mexico.

Lydia’s (Love Conquers All) message with which she lives her life, the deep love that developed between us, led me to propose to her in front of the orangutans in the Denver Zoo. In additional to love, she is passionate about the world’s animals.

We added videos of current and previous live music on the album, so fans could see as well as hear the spirt of what I tried to convey to the world with my music. I hope you enjoy the songs and find some inspiration along the way.

About the author 

Barry Shapiro

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The Shapiro Consulting Group Approach

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