I have a couple of acoustic gigs coming up in the next couple of weeks and so spent some time today revisiting Sparse – it was released two years ago this week and, while I’ve played the songs a lot

[a LOT]

I find that there are certain cuts I go back to live and others that don’t get aired very often

[I’m talking to you, Looking Down…]

so it’s good thing to remind myself what I’ve recorded every now and then!

One thing that you need to know about Sparse: nearly every song had been recorded at some point as a more full band-type demo – rough, of course

[that’s why they’re called demos]

but with some great raw melodic accompaniment. Stripping them back for Sparse was an exercise in minimalism

[is it any wonder the lead-off track, Be Still, mentions two clasic buddhist koans in the first verse?]

and song-focused performance.

As I listened to Sparse, I was struck by the performance on Blaze

This song of betrayal was written during my corporate years, in response to a specific situation; a little back-stabbing, nothing more out of the ordinary than typical corporate BS, yet it was the peak of a pattern of behavior that pushed me completely over the edge.

In the weeks leading up to the events, I’d recorded the song, and written the lyrics, though had yet to capture vocals. When the shit went down, I left work, came home and immediately recorded the lead vocals.

Once again, I found I’d already written the song I needed in that exact moment.

On the original demo, I know exactly where my voice is breaking from the burgeoning anger; frustrated tears fighting to break forth. Once the recording was done, the catharsis was complete – I’d completely washed out the toxins, letting them infuse the song and find solace in music.

One day, I’d love to revisit the demo, polish it and release it in full band-mode

[there are some LOVELY guitar lines dancing in and around the lead vocals]

Listening today to the Sparse version, so quiet, so confessional, sung from the body I am now, with little of the angst, I heard Blaze as more of a conversation, a quiet revisiting of the emotional weight of the original, almost like I was meeting the people again, and whispering gently in their ears

“I’m past this, but let me tell you how I got here”

I love singing Blaze live, have heard several people say it’s their favorite from the record. For me, it’s strength lies in the simple fact that it is me speaking my truth, owning my place in a difficult cocktail of emotions.

I am blessed to make music, to have that music heard, and to have that music heal myself and others. It may seem odd to thank a song, but every writer out there knows that the muse has the power to rescue.

Thank you Blaze, for healing one little corner of this fractured soul.

Love-peace-trust,

Vince Sig 131x89

BLAZE – VINCENT TUCKWOOD

This was on a plate for you
All of this and my heart too
Now I blaze up to the brim
And I’m too tired of askingI’ve had all that I can take
Of cleaning up after your mistakes
I’ve taken the shit off your plate
For you to throw it back in my faceI’m embracing this feeling
My sense and my meaning has changed
I’m setting the memories ablaze

I’m bloodied and reeling
But finally I am awake
I’m setting the memories ablaze

Just look me in the eye
As I cut you down to size
Just read it in my smile
Just look me in the eye

Copyright 2013, Vincent Tuckwood