In mid-2019, Doug and Wayne started talking about producing a full-length CD. Interrupted only briefly by the COVID-19 pandemic, they slowly and carefully began to experiment with chord progressions, arrangements and lyrics. The result, released in February of 2021, appears below: ten original songs recorded using both traditional techniques and new technology. Remarkably, the sounds you hear in this collection were created by just four individuals. Adam Thiel brought a terrific mandolin lick to a jam session with Doug; together, they built the instrumental track for Verde Canyon Train. Finally, we asked Paul Folwell to sing vocal backup on I Don’t Think About Love.
All songs © Doug Millaway and Wayne Hamilton, 2021. All Rights Reserved.
Notes from the Songwriters
Verde Canyon Train
Wayne and his family went to the Grand Canyon years ago, and the trip included visits to other Arizona attractions. After a ride on the Verde Canyon Train, Wayne wrote a story about the history of the short line, the open-air ride and the impressive desert scenery, but never got around to developing a song. More recently, Doug got together with mandolin expert Adam Theil for a guitar/mando jam and recorded their session. At some point in the last 24 months, Wayne mentioned to Doug that he had a story about a train, but no music. Doug found his recording of the session with Adam and emailed it to Wayne with a note: “Will this do?” The answer was “YES!”
Another example of music looking for a lyric. As happens so often, Doug worked up an arrangement and sent it to Wayne. Wayne studied the structure and wrote a lyric that fits the story, in this case a celebration of being footloose and fancy-free with the time and money to daydream about where to go and what to do. In keeping with the ocean idea, the protagonist goes hunting for lighthouses and at least considers a trip on the full length of the East Coast’s shallow Intracoastal Waterway.
This song is a loving tribute to Doug’s mother-in-law, who was an avid gardener and lover of nature. At her funeral, he recited a version of the lyric he wrote, which you hear on our recording. Together, Doug and I melodized and tweaked the lyric; then Doug developed a beautiful arrangement around the story.
I Been Thinkin’
A gender-neutral song about at least one broken heart in a relationship. Nothin’ like a shuffle-beat, Blues-leaning tune to take some of the weight out of heartbreak.
Before I Know Your Name
Another gender-neutral song, this one with a Pop feel. The title could suggest that Cupid’s arrow has struck one party before an introduction could even be arranged. Instead, we learn that self-protection is the motive, perhaps from having lost in love way too often.
The haunting, uncomplicated guitar/cello instrumentation here does not impose itself on the philosophical musings of the lyrics, as if quiet introspection could somehow heal the abandoned heart. Another song available to singers of either gender.
This is Doug’s concept, and we developed the song from his idea that, although love CAN be a natural disaster, there are always some ways to avoid turning romantic problems into total catastrophes.
I Don’t Think About Love
We wrote this tune shortly after releasing our first EP, Smallest Sign. Like most of our originals, this tune has an upbeat tempo, designed to guide listeners toward a positive take on a challenging relationship. Thanks to Paul Folwell for his fine backup vocal arrangement!
Never Go Anywhere
It’s probably obvious that we wrote this song in what must’ve been the entire world’s nightmare year: 2020. With it, we took a tongue-in-cheek look at our individual “locked in” lifestyles to help us (and others) cope with isolation.
Back at the Ocean Again
In my teenage years, I spent a fair portion of each summer at one or another Atlantic town in the Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland, Virginia) peninsula. When Doug sent me this arrangement, seaside memories flooded in and we pulled together the title track for this collection!