The Music of Nick and Jeff
I've generated a page at MySpace.com dedicated to Nick's songs and the other music Nick and I recorded since we started playing together around 1990. It can only show a maximum of 4 tracks at a time, but over the coming months I hope to put many more up for people to hear.
Click here to go there
As I rotate the MySpace tracks, I'll transfer the removed ones on to this page, so that it will gradually fill up with all the recordings I can find.
Songbuilder was in many ways our signature tune! As you'll read elsewhere on this site, Nick and I had a small publishing company called Heartland, and it was our original intention to publish a series of brief music biographies of the singer/songwriters that most interested us. The long story is on other pages, but cutting it short here, we started off with two titles: Nanci Griffith's Other Voices, written by NG herself with Irish journalist Joe Jackson, and our own take on the life and music of Guy Clark, Songbuilder.
The song of the same name was written by Nick, with a little help from me, around 1999. It's basically a 'thankyou' to Guy for being so inspirational, and includes an outro instrumental passage (think the second half of Layla!) based on two of Guy's own songs, The Randall Knife and Let Him Roll. It first saw the public light of day on a CD called "We Ain't Goin' Nowhere" (WAGN) produced by the more musical members of the Guy Clark Friends Group on the web.
Children of Freedom is a much older song, written by Nick in 1980. It was inspired by the story of Odette Churchill, a wartime heroine, which Nick heard on a television programme. Please click here to see Nick's explanation of how the song came to be written as his tribute to a remarkable woman, and here to read the story of her exploits.
An Old Arrangement was our second song on the WAGN CD, and the signature song of our last private compilation CD, "Old Arrangements". Written in 2000, I think it's in some ways Nick's most complete song; it was certainly one of the songs he was most content with, in the way it said exactly what he wanted to say about its subject but in a slightly oblique way. The subject - family and other relationships and how they are accepted (or not) and can affect the people involved even over generations - was something Nick struggled to make sense of for most of his life.
It was also an unusual song for Nick in its rolling rhythm and attractively narrow chord structure; sometimes the chord changes were so slight - but so important to the song - that it was difficult for me to find a complementary accompaniment. Nick showed a rare patience at times!