My good friend Edward Null, who is a wonderful songwriter and folksinger, took the time to read a draft of my new novel, UNDER LOW SKIES and claimed he enjoyed it. When I asked him if he liked it well enough to write some songs based on it, he said yes. I think he actually said "Hell yes" but then that is what I wanted to hear, and I think I'll stick to that version of the history.
Things never go exactly as intended, and of course, the album that got finished isn't exactly about the story I wrote. The story is a murder mystery/suspense story that takes place in Venezuela, where I lived for seven years. As things developed, we wound up with songs were inspired by the kind of life of the main character Martin Billings, who captains an inter-island freighter in the Caribbean, leads. As we worked on it, I decided that was probably a better result (more fun, more interesting), as it doesn't contain any spoilers or any contrived lyrics stuffed in to sell the book. It's just good music that relates to life on a boat in the Caribbean. Hey, what more could you want?
In putting together the material, Ed decided to re-rerecord a couple of my tunes that fit the theme, as well as write some new ones of his own, including the title song. I got to tweak the lyrics a bit, even enough to get a co-writing credit in one case, and play a harp fill on one song. I couldn't talk him into using another song of his that is excellent as he didn't think it fit.
It was a fun collaboration and seeing as Ed is in Missouri and I am in Cambodia, we were tickled with how well it came together. I am trying to get enough photos and video material to do a trailer for the book that will feature the song UNDER LOW SKIES. Don't hold your breath though. When it comes to visual stuff, I work kinda slow (and painfully).
I've posted the album cover below. The music should be available for download soon, if not already, at Edward Null's CD Baby site. If it isn't there yet, well Hurricane Rosie is a damn good listen too.
Now those of you with a nautical bent are going to notice that the boat in the graphic to port isn't an inter-island freighter, but a sailboat. Yes, sharp eyes there, mate. But then, as a I said, the songs are the right feeling for the book, not actually the story, and well, the sailboat wound up fitting the songs better than a freighter would.
Below is a little another graphic I did that pushes the album and book into one space. That is sort of an advertising gimmick--inserting gratuitously and then pointing it out provides a convenient excuse for me to stick a link to Amazon where you can buy the book (print or kindle) online. But it is also available from iTunes Bookstore, Kobo and Barnes & Noble.