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Song of the Month #29 - “Your Local Star”

(Track #7 on The Road Less Traveled CD)

 

RLT Album Cover                                  Lyrics:  If your web browser does not support the Flash Player* included with the Lyrics, or you are uncomfortable allowing/downloading the plug-in/add-on, you can still listen to this song while you read.  Just go to our Downloads Page and click on the link, “Buy The Road Less Traveled Songs from Napster”.  Then, click on "Your Local Star."  You can listen to it for free (not available outside the USA).

                                                         *Not being a techie, I use the term “Flash Player” loosely.

 

When you play music, as with most ventures, there are many important decisions you need to make.  Just to name a few, you need to decide what style of music appeals to you, what kind of audience you want to attract, what venues work for you, the number of shows you want to play, and how far you are willing to travel.  Regarding such decisions, I have followed my heart over the years, and it has brought me to a very comfortable place with music.

 

With an acoustic guitar, an acoustic bass, a harmonica, and vocals, Siobhan and I deliver a very basic presentation of folk, country, bluegrass, rock, blues, Caribbean, Irish, and original music.  We do not try to target any specific audience.  If you enjoy listening, we enjoy playing for you.  For us, the music is merely a mechanism we use to have fun with people.  While we enjoy playing a variety of venues, we are the most comfortable performing in a small bar or restaurant.  It is in these settings that we have our best results at establishing an intimacy with our audience.  Singing and bantering with the patrons of any local neighborhood pub is something we live for.  We play two or three times a week, and most of our gigs are within an hour of our home.  When we want to visit some friends who live in another area of the country, we will occasionally set up a gig in that area.  Now that you have the “Meyer and McGuire Music Game Plan,” you will be better able to understand the development of “Your Local Star.”

 

In the late 1980’s I started playing music for Bill and Robin Mallwitz at The Trolley, a little restaurant/bar in Shortsville, New York.  At the time Siobhan ran my sound, and we had many great nights with the patrons at this awesome little pub.  In 1990, Bill and Robin needed to expand because their dinners were getting too popular.  They left The Trolley and moved across the street to a bigger restaurant, The Whipple Tree, which they renamed Buffalo Bill’s Family Restaurant and Tap Room.  All the regulars followed them, and soon many new patrons were appearing at their door.

 

Buffalo Bill’s has a great little stage area for its musicians.  It’s a raised area in front of the windows at the front of the bar.  It faces both the bar and the dining area, and places the musicians about ten feet from the patrons, making it very easy to interact with them.  It is on this stage that “Your Local Star” was born.

 

One night, after an incredible time of having fun with the regulars, Siobhan and I were packing up our equipment, and I started thinking about the satisfaction I received from playing music for people.  I speculated that my music heroes must feel a similar contentment when they play their big shows.  While they were national and international stars, I was just a local one.  From here, my mind started playing around with the words guitar, bar, and star, and in a short time, I completed the chorus of the song.

 

When I got home, I tried to figure out where I could go with this chorus.  After analyzing my feelings, I identified three things that brought me pleasure from playing music for people.  Hearing people sing with me, bringing smiles to their faces, and shaking their hands or hugging them at the end of the night were the events that contributed to my great sense of fulfillment.  From these events, I carved out the verses of the song.

 

“Your Local Star,” pure Americana, is a slow country waltz.  It gives the listener a sense of how important the audience is to the performer by indicating several reasons why many people are driven to play music.  We first recorded this song on our Home Town CD with The Dady Brothers backing us up with their excellent musicianship.  On The Road Less Traveled CD, Siobhan and I recorded this song without the help of any studio musicians.  In addition to our basic sound of the guitar, harmonica, vocals, and bass, I gave the recording some depth by dubbing in some additional harmonies, an electric guitar, and blending harmonicas.  While this recording is a much simpler one, it reflects more accurately how Meyer and McGuire sound when they perform.  Pop this one in your CD player when you are trying to identify why you are driven to do what you do.  You just may find some connection with yourself and the narrator in the song.  Hope you have time to check out the song!  I like it, and I hope you do, too!

 

I dedicated this song to the patrons of Buffalo Bill’s and Bill and Robin Mallwitz and their daughter, Meredith.  In addition to stimulating the development of “Your Local Star,” it was these same patrons who encouraged Siobhan when she first started playing bass with me.  Yes, you guessed it.  Meyer and McGuire first took the stage as a duo at Buffalo Bill’s.

 

Bill and Robin Mallwitz are a class act when it comes to running a restaurant.  In addition to dedicating themselves to producing fine entrées, they cultivate an atmosphere that attracts a wide variety of patrons.  When you enter their front door, you will often see people from all walks of life engaged in what has come to be known by the regulars as “talking rubbish.”  Such events as music shows, art exhibits, wine tours, train rides, and “Crabby Saturday” are all designed to create a sense of community among the patrons.  It must be working, because this little mom and pop operation is holding its own against the onslaught of the chain restaurants that are driving the character out of this country.  Check out Buffalo Bill’s on the web at www.buffalobill.biz.

 

Merridith Mallwitz, Bill and Robin’s daughter, has been a friend of ours since she was ten years old.  Meredith, also known as “Devil Daughter,” is included in this dedication because she has been a major contributor to the success of Buffalo Bill’s, and she exemplifies, like her parents, a spirit of independence that is common amongst many of the patrons at Buffalo Bill’s.  For years, Meredith was a superb bartender at the restaurant, and now she is an up and coming talent in the world of art, as you can see at her website MMallwitz.com.  She has taken the baton from her parents, and she is definitely on her way to taking the Mallwitz name to a new level!  Go, Meredith!

 

This song was inspired by an evening at Buffalo Bill’s.  Since I have already described the event that triggered its writing, I encourage you to come to Buffalo Bill’s to check out the scene there.  I guarantee you will be impressed with the food, workers, and patrons.  You will most likely return to the restaurant again and again, and over a period of time, you will understand why this place has been the source for so many of my songs.  Thanks to everyone at Buffalo Bill’s for being such a great inspiration to my songwriting!

 

We recorded this song in 2008 at Rich Cooley Studios, a little studio in Canandaigua, New York.  Rich Cooley Studios is owned and operated by Rich Cooley, an excellent singer/songwriter, music teacher, and recording engineer.  When you record with Rich, you can always count on him for a relaxed recording session with a genuine and sincere effort to produce the best recording possible.  I highly recommend Rich if you are interested in doing some recording on a small scale level.  Rich is most comfortable when he is recording a solo artist or a duo.  Check him out if this is what you need!

 

Well, there you have it.  I’ll have another song of the month for you next month.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please pass them on to me.  This is a work in progress, and I am always looking for new ways to improve it.

 

(E-Mailed 8/18/09)

 

 

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