I picked up the guitar when I was 14 or so. Part of the reason was because of my brother Tom. The other reason was Robert Zimmerman -- Bob Dylan that is. He, above any other artist, was probably most influenced my musical life.
Dylan’s songwriting style was unlike anyone else. The first time I listened to “Highway 61 Revisited,” I knew I wanted to write songs just like Dylan. I know this is not an overly original idea, but when you’re 14 you believe you can...and I tried!
Each Friday night, my buddy Gary and I would get together and record our latest creations on his 8 track player (and I don’t mean being able to lay down 8 different tracks on one tape). “Concussions are Contagious” was the first song I wrote. If you haven’t heard it, you weren’t listening outside Gary’s bedroom window. That’s your loss.
So when I hear the Counting Crows sing “I wanna be Bob Dylan,” I still smile inside cause I, like every other “wanna be” can relate. Because there are tens of thousands of us out there ready to pick up the mantle. Sadly, I was just a little too young to be world weary enough to write like Mr. Dylan.
Which brings me to this week’s artist, “Jim’s Big Ego," the trio out of Boston have put together a very solid effort. The songs on “Free” are full of irony and quirky lyrical musings.
Jim Infantino, the predominate songwriter in the group brings a diversity of ideas to the disc; and pulls off each with an effortless ease.
“International” is one of the most joyful protest songs I’ve ever heard. And I never thought a song about death could make me smile as much as “Everything Must Go”. “Depravity” is laced with just the kind of songwriting I enjoy. Sarcasm drips from every line.
But there are serious moments on the disc. “Just Like Me” sings about kindness; and “Free (and on our own)”, about a young boy forced to leave home is one of the true gems on this album.
I’ve picked my favorite for you to download:
- LISTEN & DOWNLOAD: "International" by Jim's Big Ego
(To download: right click on the link above and choose "Save Target As..." or "Save Target to Download")
Now that you’ve listened to “International”, you can head over to their website www.bigego.com and download the entire album for free. All they want is your email address and a promise to pass it on. A pretty good exchange if you ask me.
I am still writing songs. Like I said, I wanna be Bob Dylan.