The Other Other Side



A few years ago, a little while after graduating from Berklee, I moved to NYC to check out the music scene with the hopes of collaborating with new and exciting musicians. I figured I’ll go to jam sessions, check out various shows, connect with other Berklee grads who moved down to New York, and that way I’ll find some great instrumentalists for my band. What I didn’t expect was finding a fantastic writing partner/lyricist and multi-instrumentalist like Danny Abowd. 

One day, I came across a Facebook post by a local band called “The Weeping Willards.” The band was founded by Danny and bassist/trumpeter Jesse Gottlieb. Their original guitarist had just left, and they were looking for a new one. I met Danny and Jesse for a rehearsal, and we clicked immediately. 

Around the same time, I began working on some new tracks. Up to that point most of my compositions were instrumental, kind of in a late ‘60s early ‘70s vibe. My influences included prog and fusion artists such as; Zappa, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Gong and Mahavishnu Orchestra just to name a few. The new tracks I was working on were slightly different from my previous compositions, and I thought they could work much better as songs rather than instrumental pieces, so I asked Danny if he would want to collaborate since I really liked his writing.

Danny’s style of writing had some ‘60s vibes as well, but his main influences were great songwriters such as; Lennon and McCartney, Brian Wilson, Robbie Robertson, Stevie Wonder and many more. I played him the sketches, and we started working on five of them. I would play the chord progression, and Danny would improvise a melody. I would incorporate a piece of that melody into another guitar part, and Danny would sing something else on top of that.

Danny is the kind of guy who can ask you to play a guitar part that sounds like a cross between Duke Ellington and John Lennon, or Van Halen and Weezer, and it somehow makes sense. The ideas just flowed and flowed, and in no time at all we had five new songs! The process was so fresh and exciting, and we were both invigorated!

One of the songs we wrote together is called “The Other Other Side.” From the moment I came up with the chord progression, I felt it had a dreamlike quality, and Danny wrote lyrics that captured that wonderfully. The lyrics describe a girl going into a dream state, and the border between reality and the dream world gets blurred. This imagery was captured perfectly by animator Dom Bionik, who had previously worked with the “Weeping Willards” on a few videos, and when I told Danny I want to have an animated video for this song, he immediately recommended her. I couldn’t have been happier with how everything turned out, and I am happy to share it with you.

If you like what you heard and want to hear more of the songs Danny and I wrote, you might want to check out my latest album Morning Sun. 

Stay tuned for more music