I've been feeling the need to write some new songs recently. This usually happens after I've written and produced a new recording project and played a few gigs around the new release. Those songs along with my older hits start to get a little old news for me so I find myself exploring new chord changes or banging out beats on my lap or drums or trying to get my limited keyboard fingers rolling and searching for some new key to the door of my music muse.
I'm always looking for events in the world that hit my creative nerves and observing people in love or lust or conflict. One way I find to write is through reading. Currently I'm reading a book called Pope Joan a novel of historic fiction written by Donna Woolfolk Cross about a controversial subject. Did a women in the 9th century hide her sex and become the head of the catholic church? There is information that seems to support this premise. I've always been interested in this kind of intrigue and this could make for a great story song.
I live in my home town now and it is my base of operation. I've been visiting some of my old haunts where I played before I left to seek my musical fame and fortune. I've been thinking about the musical characters who influenced my growth as a musician here in Saint John.
Some real Local Legends like Dutch Mason, Bill Bran, Norm Calp who I worked with on several projects in the early days of my musical career.
I remember Pete And The Blue Shadows playing blues and rock n roll or the Rhythmares band or Brian 'Bongo' Walsh rockin' out with his Elvis pompadour or David Kindred's outstanding guitar playing. These guys and some of the local shrines like, Lilly Lake or Belmont we all played in, could make for a great song.
Songwriting is difficult for me at the best of times and I know I'm not alone. The great songwriter Gordon Lightfoot once told me he had some difficulty in writing a new album because he had to face the conflicts in his life. I feel the same way sometimes except it's the lack of conflicts or love relationships that make me sweat blood.
A few of my thoughts on songwriting.
"Thank you for sharing Ken. I know when I write poetry it is either there or not. Generally it is something that I see and feel that makes the creative juices run. I am very shy so I never show my work but I did recently put one on my blog which I had never done before. If your interested in reading it your welcome to. It would be nice to have your in put. You are a fantastic writer and muscian. I can't wait until you perform again so I can go see you. Take Care" -- Mylene Somers
Ken Tobias has recorded a podcast series for Broadcaster Magazine. David Bray, industry analyst and Senior, Vice President of Hennessy & Bray Communications conducts the exclusive conversation with Tobias.
The two part podcast is an exclusive Broadcaster interview with whom David Bray says "is one of Canada's most accomplished singer/songwriters. Many of you will be familiar with his hits that have been a mainstay of Canadian radio for decades: I Just Want to Make Music, Dream No. 2, Every Bit of Love, New York City, Stay Awhile and many more. Ken is here to talk about his new album From A Distance, his first in 15 years, which will be released shortly."
The podcasts are a weekly feature of Broadcaster Magazine and are offered to the subscribers of its online newsletter comprised of Canadian radio and television Broadcasters and members of related industries. Subscribers and the public can listen to the podcasts via streaming or download from the Broadcaster website.
(Editors Note: you can listen to the entire 2 part "David Bray in Conversation with Ken Tobias" via the music player on the home page of this site. Scroll down to the bottom of the audio list.)
Toronto: The Pangaea Music House has announced that multi-award singer-songwriter Ken Tobias has been working on his first new studio recording in over a decade. Ken who is now based in New Brunswick decided to record the album at Fluid Audio Studios in his home town of Saint John. Ken comments: "It is all pretty exciting. I used musicians and background singers from my home town and the sessions were great. In recording here in Saint John, Canada's oldest city, I am trying to do my bit to help grow the local music scene. It is my hope that we will encourage others to gain confidence in the local studios and musicians and invest their money in the local music community."
Although Ken has accumulated enough new material for at least three albums he elected at this time to record ten new works. Ken's new songs continue to reinforce the fact that he is still one of the best songwriters in Canada. The writer of such classics and radio mainstays as the million selling "Stay Awhile", "I Just Want To Make Music", "Every Bit of Love", "Give A Little Love" and "Dream No. 2" does not disappoint with this new batch of songs. Tony Tobias, Ken's brother and publisher comments: "Ken's writing is as strong as ever displaying all of the lyric sensibility and hooks that he is known for. His voice while more mature delivers the songs in spades. And he can still make those high notes. Radio and Ken's fans are going to love this new album."
Ken's songs are published by The Pangaea Music House. The new album is intended for release early in 2008 with a strategy of "digital-first". More about Ken at: MySpace and KenTobias.ca
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Hi again. As I finish the last remix of a song called "From A Distance" on my new album CD it reminded me of how I felt at the end of all my record projects. So.... tired but an anticipation of a new musical journey.
When I listen to these new songs I see my life going before my eyes. Songwriters are fortunate to be able to document there lives in song.
A bit sad a little bit joyful a little bit Rock and Roll. This is life experience set down in story and song. I'm sure I'm not the only songwriter who feels this way. I feel like a parent who is sending the kids out into the world to make there own way. Each song story will have to stand on its own and hopefully connect with the hearts of others.
I certainly am grateful for this opportunity to present my new musical journey to all of you who like my music.
Well its been about fifteen years since my last studio album but better late then never as they say. I just got that rush again which inspired me to want to put out some new music. I've recorded all over the world Los Angeles, New York, London, England, Rome, Toronto and other places, but as one of my songs says "sooner or later the road leads you back home". And in this case home is Saint John, New Brunswick on the east coast of Canada where I just recorded my new set of songs. It is all pretty exciting. I used musicians and background singers from my home town and the sessions were great.
In recording here in Saint John, Canada's oldest city, I am trying to do my bit to help grow the local music scene. By recording here it is my hope that we will encourage others to gain confidence in the local studios and musicians and invest their money in the local music community. We recorded and mixed live tracks at Fluid Audio Studios in a special all wood room and sweetened them with some overdubs. The studio is located on Charlotte Street in the heart of the city. I've been doing remixes at my home studio, putting in long hours but I want the music to be just right. Once it goes through the final mastering process maybe we'll post a song teaser for you to hear. Later - Ken.