Viewing: Sucker In The Promised Land - View all posts

New song up soon, and Trembles on the (Internet) Radio 

I hope everyone's enjoying Turn Out The Lights, the first single from the new album...though if you're not, no need to fret, because you're on the Internet and there are probably fifty million other artists and musical works to check out. Some of them are pretty good! But seriously, thanks for listening - I always appreciate when anyone takes the time to listen to Trembles music.

Speaking of which, another song from Sucker In The Promised Land is going up next Wednesday, February 12. It's called You Don't Even Know Her At All, and the first chord of the song is a Bb major ninth. There are other chords in the song as well! I think you'll dig it...

A happy recent development is that some Internet radio stations have started to play some Trembles. (Well, at least *I'm* happy about it...)  I mentioned before about Late Night Dream's podcast called the Border, which can be found here:

The Border is a great place to hear both classic and new artists in Westcoast and other nearby styles - you might hear anything from neosoul to sophisticated jazzy pop to bluesy horn-driven funk to old-school soft rock to driving AOR, and every time a new episode comes out I discover a number of new artists and songs to enjoy. I'm not at all biased because they've played songs from the new Trembles of Fortune on the last three episodes, of course. Anyway, it's fantastic.

Another excellent Westcoast online radio station, which like Late Night Dream is based in France, is WCGR:

They play an absolute ton of classic jams from the heyday of the 70s and 80s, and they also have Powerplay segments that feature newer artists working in Westcoast and related styles. Some new Trembles should be playing there soon as well...

And from the other side of the globe, in Chile, we have Radio Definitiva 90.5, spreading the Westcoast gospel:

Radio Definitiva

70s, 80s and Westcoast: ahhh, heaven...and yep, some Trembles coming here too so yay!

Many thanks to everyone at these stations!

Also, some folks have asked about the possibility of getting physical CDs of Trembles of Fortune. The answer to this is yes, there will be some! I'm working on it now, and I'm guessing CDs should be available sometime in the next couple of months.


Peace and smooth music to all,






Groundhog Eve (and more about Turn Out The Lights) 

Well, it is, right? February 1st. Therefore, Groundhog Eve. I hope you remembered to hang your stockings up and gather with friends and family to sing those classic, heartwarming groundhog carols on this fine winter evening. "Shall We Gather By The Burrow" is one of my favorites!

Ahem. So I thought I'd use this week's post to share a little more about the new single that came out the other day, Turn Out The Lights. (You can hear it on the Music page, and I'll be putting up a couple more songs from the new album there soon.) Turn Out The Lights was the first song written specifically for the new album. A thought I had in mind at the time was that the first album didn't have anything with a 6/8 kind of groove, and I like a lot of songs with that groove (think "Black Friday" by Steely Dan, or "Everybody Wants To Rule The World" by Tears for Fears, or...well, many others), so I should write a tune that uses it. I'm not usually that calculating when I start on a song idea, but anyway...I had the main riff and the chorus together on piano fairly quickly, nothing too complicated yet. Maybe a week or two later, I was playing around with a few lyric lines for a different song idea and decided to try them on this one - those became the chorus ("So you don't have to tell me twice/I think I'll call it an early night/would the last one to leave the party turn out the lights"). 

Really, though, I didn't have a strong idea of what those lyrics would mean within the song yet - they could be describing a lot of different situations. Why does this person want to leave? I'm often fascinated by characters who find themselves trapped one way or another, and I started thinking about conspiracy theorists locking themselves away and going further and further down rabbit holes on the Internet, pursuing their pet theories. Each day getting more isolated, becoming more convinced that everyone's crazy and only they see the truth...well, this guy COULD be a cockamamie conspiracy buff. But I'm also fascinated by stories where someone actually stumbled on an amazing breakthrough, only to have everyone disbelieve it. (Alfred Wegener, who came up with what we now know as tectonic plate theory, had this happen to him - it wasn't until well after his death that scientists could verify he had been right all along.) Maybe THAT's this guy.

The song never tells you which one it is, but the paranoia is steadily closing in either way. Someone who heard the song and read the lyrics early on wondered if it was about suicide. I wouldn't say I had that in mind, though I'll leave it open for interpretation - I wasn't going for anything that specific, just more of a vibe, someone's misshapen world closing in on them too fast. 



The Latest 

Just three more days until Turn Out The Lights, the first single from Sucker in the Promised Land, is available!

Plenty of T of F news to catch up on here...the latest episode of The Border podcast is up from Late Night Dream now, and the Trembles are along for the ride again, with a different song from the album this time:

Late Night Dream was also kind enough to interview me about the new album here:

Trembles of Fortune Late Night Dream Interview

Blue Desert, another excellent Westcoast site, has also included the album in New Releases:

Blue Desert

Many thanks to Late Night Dream and Blue Desert!


I virtually never participate in Facebook memes of any kind, but my sister-in-law nominated me for the one where you post covers of 10 albums that had a big effect on you. Very difficult to limit my choices to just ten albums - I could probably name 100 without stretching things too far...three days into it, I've chosen Steely Dan's Royal Scam, Stevie Wonder's Innervisions and Yes's Close to the Edge. All of which I got into retroactively, because I was a small child when those albums were released! Not all of my choices will be from the 70s, I'm sure. That's what's kind of good about being a music listener and musician now - so many eras and styles to dive into. I'm way behind on my music listening, actually - I could easily spend a year or two devouring all the music I'm interested in but haven't heard much , without coming anywhere close to exhausting what's out there. We have the same endless possibilities for making music of our own, too.


In the magical land of Sweden, where Westcoast is given much love and attention, they have Pages tribute shows. This really seems like a place I should go sometime:




New Trembles song on Late Night Dream! 

I'm happy to report that Trembles of Fortune was featured on Late Night Dream's The Border podcast this week! The link below will take you to this week's playlist, where you'll see that "Turn Out The Lights" made its debut. I highly recommend listening to this podcast (even when Trembles isn't on it!) - you're bound to discover some excellent songs and artists with each episode. Many thanks to David Lucarotti, Malone Di Mano and Late Night Dream for giving T of F a spin and being a great place to hear music in Westcoast and other related styles.

Late Night Dream - Border podcast



Is the album done yet? Yes, it is! 

It's true - and it feels good! A fine way to close out a year (and a decade). As the announcement on the home page says, the album is complete and ready to go. The project has taken about two years, so as you can imagine, I'm glad to finally be able to hear the finished product, and soon you will too! 

So with that and the holidays, I haven't posted here in a bit...I did do the Trembledecember thing, though I didn't end up scratch padding as many ideas as I'd planned. There's plenty of time for that, though, since a third Trembles release most likely won't happen until 2021. There should be plenty of new songs to choose from when it's time, and I do have a pretty good backlog of material to consider revisiting as well.

Things are about to get busy...



Song of the day, December 8, 2019 

Here's the first song I heard this morning. Not a bad soundtrack for doing the dishes:

Ozzy Osbourne - S.A.T.O.


Introspective lyrics with a vaguely nautical theme, from 1981 - hey! Well, no, it's not any kind of yacht rock. ("Saiing Across The Ocean" is the most straightforward explanation for what the initials mean, but there are plenty of other fan theories about it. I've known about the song since middle school and never knew what S.A.T.O. stood for.) This triumphant-sounding metal shuffle wasn't one of Ozzy's bigger songs, and it's not stick-in-your-head memorable, but it still shines brightly. Of course the guitar playing is otherworldly good, it's Randy Rhoads, and the rhythm section is intense and powerful throughout. What actually elevates the song for me, though, is that big sweeping filtery synth, both in the intro and especially when it comes back near the end. It creates a sort of epic feeling of closure that works well with the discovery in the lyrics. It's the second to last cut on Diary of a Madman (or at least it was on my cassette version back in the day), and that's the right slot for it - not a hit, not a finale, but something to lift you up before the big finish.

Oh yeah, speaking of finishing things: I'm approving the final mixes today for Sucker In The Promised Land! We should be able to send the album off for mastering later this week. Really thankful to John, the mix engineer I work with - these songs have a lot of layers, so they're time-consuming and challenging to mix, but I think you'll be very impressed with how they came out. I'm planning to post a song from it in late January/early February, with the full release available in early March.


Hello, everyone! I'm glad you're here, and thank you for listening.

I'm currently sprucing up this site in preparation for the release of Sucker In The Promised Land, the second Trembles of Fortune album. The long process of making the album is nearly finished now, and the debut self-titled release came out two years ago - so in a sense, you've arrived in the middle of a movie already in progress, but there's still much more to come. I hope my various posts here will give you a good glimpse into my evolving musical world.

The About page on this site gives you the basic scoop on Trembles of Fortune. The music is heavily influenced by the classic Westcoast style, which happily seems to have made a little comeback in recent years. It's ear candy to me, and I've got a sweet tooth. You'll hear flavors of rock, R&B, jazz, funk, 80s British pop...Trembles has a definite style, I think, but a range of colors and moods within that style. Trembles of Fortune is the name I've used for a long time for my solo work, and it is a solo project, though it wouldn't be near what it is today without the excellent contributions of outside musicians and engineers. I'm sure I'll introduce you to some of them here as we go.

The big news right now, obviously, is the forthcoming second album, to be released almost two years after the debut. The album-making process takes a lot of time for me - like a lot of music makers, I have a full-time day job and can't always devote the time I'd like. I do recognize there are benefits to that, though: You get more time to refine the music and make sure you really like it, and the final product is more likely to be something you've really thought through. I'm excited to finally get this baby out and into the world when it's time, and I'll be talking a lot here about the songs on the new album and the process of making it.

But that's certainly not all - it doesn't do much good to start a musical blog just to release an album every two years and have dead air for months at a time in between. I plan to write about lots of other music besides my own, and about music more generally too. And it'll be a place where I share some new music I'm working on. To this point, I haven't really put my ultimate vision of Trembles of Fortune in motion yet - the Trembles of Fortune music factory, where a steady flow of new music comes out and people have a window into the work in progress. But that's where I'd like to take it.

Until next time...