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Reviews Compare David Lockwood To Tom Waits & Leonard Cohen, As Unique ‘Modern Love’ CD Finds Inspiration In Newspaper Column Of The Same Name
Reviews Compare David Lockwood to Tom Waits & Leonard Cohen, as Unique ‘Modern Love’ CD Finds Inspiration in Newspaper Column of the Same Name
New Hampshire-based singer-songwriter David Lockwood evokes Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen on his distinctive new CD, ‘Modern Love’. In a lengthy feature in his hometown paper, The Union Leader, Lockwood’s unique project was described as follows: ‘Modern Love’ "was inspired by the Sunday New York Times column of the same name. Taking on the perspective of the column's various authors, who write on topics ranging from contemporary relationships and marriage to dating and parenthood, (Lockwood) said his intent was "to transfer the emotional core of their respective essays into words and music.””
The result is a collection of hypnotic, dark, compelling stories – grounded by a restrained, mature approach that gives each track gravitas and resonance, and a musician’s confidence that lets each song breathe.
Watch Lockwood’s music video for the track ‘Come Back Here’:
Read the full Union Leader interview, here:
BY ROB LEVEY 1/1/14
NH singer, songwriter uses newspaper column as inspiration
MUSICAL NOTES: Plymouth singer and songwriter David Lockwood has written tunes for and performed as Little Davey and the Aberrations, and recorded three albums of original pieces for solo piano: “Music From a Fall Afternoon,” “Diamonds in the Snow” and “Blue Distance.” He also wrote music and lyrics for the offbeat musicals “Awesome at the Academy,” “A Rash Act” and “Free 2 Ride.” (Photo courtesy of Liz Linder)
New Hampshire-based singer and songwriter David Lockwood loves magic— not the-sleight-of-hand variety, but the kind he felt as a child in the 1950s when he taught himself to play the patriotic "My Country, 'Tis of Thee" on the harmonica.
"Even after all these years of playing, writing and recording, the creation of music still seems like magic," said Lockwood. It is the kind of magic he hopes he captured in his latest album, "Modern Love," which was inspired by the Sunday New York Times column of the same name. Taking on the perspective of the column's various authors, who write on topics ranging from contemporary relationships and marriage to dating and parenthood, he said his intent was "to transfer the emotional core of their respective essays into words and music."
As for how the Plymouth musician arrived at the album's rather unique concept, he said he found himself particularly moved in late summer 2011 by several "Modern Love" columns. "At some point that fall, I had the idea of writing a series of songs inspired by the stories, maybe even making an album," he explained.
Citing his previous album, "Lucky Me," which was predominantly autobiographical, he acknowledged he struggled somewhat in writing songs for "Modern Love." "I had to figure out how to frame the story — whether to tell it from the author's point of view, someone else's, or in the case of "Tula," alternating between the two," he said.
For songs like "Love Like This," "Come Back Here" and "Gone," Lockwood tells the stories from the perspective of an ex-boyfriend, a husband in waiting, and a spouse, respectively. For other songs, he decided to write from a female perspective.
"The songs had a way of taking on lives of their own, and I took any number of artistic liberties for the sake of form, flow, rhythm and the almighty rhyme scheme," he said. In each song, however, he said he attempted to honor the central emotional truth of each author's work. A year and a half later, he said he had written 12 songs he felt were ready to be recorded, eight of which were inspired by individual "Modern Love" columns. Before recording them, though, he decided to share lead vocals on some tracks to accommodate the female voices in a more meaningful way.
"That also meant casting the right singers for the recording sessions and wrestling with the possibility that listeners might find it odd to have lead vocals other than mine on a 'David Lockwood' album," he added.
Upon recording each song, he sent a rough mix to the author whose words inspired the musical version. "I was pretty nervous about this part," he acknowledged. "What if she hates the song? What if he wants me to re-write the last verse? What if a team of lawyers shows up at my door?"
On the whole, he said the authors, including the column's editor, were "wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic." With the album now released, he said his hope now is that people can share in the sentiments he attempted to convey in each song.
"I hope the central emotion of each song rings true, so that when people listen to this album, they might say, 'Yeah, that was me when I was going through that breakup,' or 'Yeah, I'm that single mom who's doing just fine, thank you,'" he said.
He said he also hopes people get a sense for the inspiration behind all his work. "For me, making music is the search for beauty, meaning, and joy, a way of shaking off the dust of everyday life." For more information, visit www.davidlockwoodmusic.com.
MEDLEYVILLE – YEAR-END Q&A
By Chris Junior, 12/2013 – Featuring DAVID LOCKWOOD
Favorite album of 2013: John Mayer, Paradise Valley — well-crafted lyrics, great playing and production.
Favorite song of 2013: Lorde, “Royals” — clever lyrics and sweet, tight harmonies. I’m a sucker for finger snaps, too.
Biggest hype of 2013: “Roar” by Katy Perry — a brazen rip-off of “Brave” by Sara Bareilles.
Prediction for 2014: [My latest album] Modern Love goes triple-zinc.
THE RECORD JOURNAL (CT) - CD review
By Jim Pasinski, 11/13
The latest release from David Lockwood entitled "Modern Love" was inspired by a column in the New York Times. His smoky, aged voice draws similarities to a younger version of Tom Waits. Each of the songs was influenced by a different article about love that he had read leading up to the recording of this album.
The album begins with the gentle folk-storytelling of "Love Like This" as you are introduced to Lockwood's smooth vocals that feel like they lived through each tale he tells. His music gets a little bluesy on "He's Not Right For You" as Lockwood plays a younger Leonard Cohen with his vocal delivery. Guest singer Jennifer Kimball takes over the lead vocal duties on the ballad "Not Your Way," while singer Amy Coreia lends her voice to the smooth motion of "The Two Of Us." David Lockwood shows his talents on the piano during the instrumental "Modern Love," before again turning the spotlight over to Erica Leigh on the soft sound of "Keeping Me." Lockwood returns to close the album with the meaningful lyrics of "The 9:49" and the acoustic appeal of "Gone."
More about the project:
Eight of the thirteen tracks on Lockwood’s album (released 10/19) were inspired by actual NYT Modern Love columns, with additional tracks rounding out the collection in a thematically and musically consistent way. Many of the columns were written by women, and Lockwood found himself in the unique position of writing songs from their perspective, ultimately deciding to share lead vocal duties on multiple tracks to accommodate the female voice in a meaningful way.
Highlights abound on the album, from the powerful declaration of “Come Back Here” to the memorable, uptempo “Love Like This” to the beautiful, hypnotic “Not Your Way” to the female/male give-and-take vocals of “Tula” – Lockwood, who cites influences ranging from Randy Newman, The Band, and the hymn tunes of youth to Bon Iver, Joe Henry, & T-Bone Burnett, has a smoky voice that provides the perfect template for this storyteller’s journey.
Lockwood provides details:
In late summer of 2011, I was having my second cup of coffee and reading the Modern Love column in the Sunday New York Times as I had for a number of years. I found this particular story, “Once A Husband,” so compelling that I couldn’t get it of out of my head for weeks afterward. The next two essays had a similar effect. At some point that fall, I had the idea of writing a series of songs inspired by the stories, maybe even making an album. After contacting the Times and getting the green light from a legal standpoint, I started working on the music, mulling over more columns along the way. A year and a half later, I had a dozen songs reasonably ready for recording. Three of them were not inspired by a specific Modern Love story, but could have been.
Although my previous album, Lucky Me, was predominantly autobiographical, I’ve written a number of songs from different perspectives over the years. In writing the songs for Modern Love, I had to figure out how to frame the story, whether to tell it from the author’s point of view, someone else’s, or in the case of “Tula,” alternating between the two. Of the eight Modern Love columns I chose to work with, only one was written by a man. It was sometimes a bit of a struggle to find the right voice, the right key to unlock the lyrics. For “Love Like This,” “Come Back Here,” and “Gone” I found I could tell the story from the perspective of the ex-boyfriend, the husband in waiting, the spouse; for “He’s Not Right For You,” the mom could just as easily be the dad so that was a pretty a easy switch. Some other stories proved to be resistant to a change of narrators, and I wound up writing from a female perspective. That also meant casting the right singers for the recording sessions and wrestling with the possibility that listeners might find it odd to have lead vocals other than mine on a “David Lockwood” album.
I hewed closer to the facts in some songs more than others. The songs had a way of taking on lives of their own, and I took any number of artistic liberties for the sake of form, flow, rhythm, and the almighty rhyme scheme. In all of them, I tried to honor the central emotional truth of each author’s work and if the factual details didn’t cooperate, I’d tweak them or take another approach.
After I’d recorded the songs, I contacted the authors and sent each a rough mix. I was pretty nervous about this part. What if she hates the song? What if he wants me to re-write the last verse? What if a team of lawyers shows up at my door? On the whole, the authors have been wonderfully supportive and enthusiastic; the editor of the column has been as well.
Special thanks to the writers who shared their stories in the New York Times: Jennifer Baumgardner, Diane Daniel, Damian Van Denburgh, Teresa DiFalco, Deanna Fei, Sarah Healy, Aspen Matis, & Liza Monroy.
David Lockwood. Singer-Songwriter. Musician. "I was born in '51. My mom said I was picking out tunes on the piano when I was three or so, but I don't remember that. She had a flair for storytelling and tended to mythologize my childhood. I do remember figuring out 'My Country 'Tis of Thee' on the harmonica when I was five or so. It seemed like magic. And even after all these years of playing, writing, and recording, the creation of music still seems like magic." After high school and knocking around in New York City and DC in the1970's, Lockwood enrolled at Berklee College of Music in Boston and graduated in 1980. "I wrote and recorded a bunch of songs while I was at Berklee, sent out demos to publishers, got some songs signed, got some rejections. One of my favorite lines was 'You write interesting songs. That's a liability in this business.' " In the 1980's and early 90's, he wrote "interesting" songs for and performed as Little Davey and the Aberrations, and recorded three albums of original pieces for solo piano: Music From A Fall Afternoon, Diamonds In The Snow, and Blue Distance. "I recently retrieved the last two and converted to digital. I think they've held up pretty well, all things considered." He also wrote music and lyrics for two decidedly offbeat musicals: Awesome At The Academy and A Rash Act. A third musical, Free 2 Ride followed in 2007. Lockwood joined the NH band Straight No Chaser in the late 80's and wrote most of the material for their well-received debut album Raccoon Beach, released in 1992. "We had some quality gigs in support of that album... Newport Jazz Festival in Saratoga Springs, the Blue Note, White Mountain Jazz and Blues, and a bunch of others." In 1995, Lockwood got the opportunity to spend two weeks with his songwriting hero Randy Newman as he was recording vocals for his album Faust and beginning to write the score for Toy Story. "He was really generous, and even more wickedly funny than I thought possible. He was also very direct. When I told him I'd been struggling to write lyrics, his response was 'You got anything to say?' " Well, yes... Lockwood had and still has something to say. Through the 1990’s, the aughts, and into the present, he has continued to write, record, and perform in and around New England while also serving as music director, baseball coach, and Dean of Pranks for Holderness School in Plymouth, NH.