A couple of years ago, when I first moved to Sacramento and got married, I started recording new verses to previous hip hop instrumentals, at the pace of roughly one new one a week. This was at the advice and tutelage of my good buddy Martin Lavendar aka Lord Lav, a hip hop expert and a great teacher who helped me hone my craft. I wrote and recorded dozens of verses, and at some point Martin suggested that I put them out as a mixtape. Below is said mixtape, which I decided to collect together and put up in two videos on Youtube. I called it “Solitary Mixtape” because I wrote all of these while working by myself out in my “office” in the garage of the house we used to live in. The topic of the lyrics is mostly me reflecting on my inner life, the good, the bad, and the ugly…. because no one is more solitary than when they are in their own mind.
The source of the music is attributed in each track. I used a variety of instrumentals ranging from ODB and Necro to drum n bass (and a few that I made, some with the help of drummer Robert Kennedy). The recording is not of great production quality, nor is it mixed, but this is more about writing and rapping. Maybe I will make highly quality recordings of some of these and release them to the world. In the meantime, I wanted to share this. Consider it a “Work in (and of my) Progress:”
SOLITARY MIXTAPE (part 1) Continue reading
A little over six years ago, I met a sweet and lovely woman who also happened to be artistically brilliant. I quickly realized that in her I had found just about the most wonderful person I had ever met! We barely started dating and already there was a feeling about our togetherness that I could not remember having experienced before. It was lovely, it was satisfying, and I had a complete sense of peace and contentment that was new to me.
Several weeks ago I performed for the second time at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Sacramento. For this “Music at Noon” concert I played classical, originals, and standards but had the additional twist of a singer, my good friend Danielle Wachowski, singing several popular standards. Danielle also sang my original song “Fearless Heart,” with me accompanying at the piano.
I originally recorded “Fearless Heart” for my album “I Love You” with Beth Duncan, and for this live performance the result was delightful. I was greatly honored to have Danielle sing my song. Enjoy the video!
“Fearless Heart” by Chris Goslow
A few years ago I completed a collection of piano pieces called “Waterfall: Original Piano Music.” The front runner of the collection was a piece called “Winter Glass,” which people repeatedly noticed and talked about, and which I also performed frequently at my shows. In fact, the piece almost made it into an independent movie, and though that never came through I still see the potential for this little piece to do more things. Last year a band I was playing with offered to play this song as a piano rock performance (or “rockified”), which up until then had only been done as a solo piano piece. I was excited by the idea, and we did one performance of it which fortunately I recorded.
A couple of weeks ago I debuted a new song dedicated to my wife. I was at a voice recital put on by my voice teacher Larisa Bryski, and I surprised my wife with this love song right in front of everyone gathered at the Shine Cafe in Sacramento, CA. My wife had no idea what was coming, had never heard the song, didn’t know I wrote it much less was planning to present it… and fortunately, without me even asking her to, she got out her phone and filmed this recording (before she even knew what it was!). I also happened to record the audio of my performance, which I spliced together to share with you here so you can share in this moment of loving trickery.
So I keep realizing how important it is to just keep creating and sharing what I got going on. Today I made this quick video (with a little camera work from my wife) of me performing a verse I wrote called “Punchline King.” This is actually one verse of a 3 verse song that I have been working on, which is intended to be about the lyrics and the piano playing, plus ultimately probably drums/bass. This is it in its current form. Hope you like:
Several years back I first met Allan Samson aka “The Next Level” at Chabot College in Hayward, CA. We hit it off right away, Continue reading
Here it is! The official “Snuggle Bunny” music video, directed by Matt Baker and featuring the vocal stylings of myself and Lord Lav, the talented UK-based hop hop artist who here has been transformed into a 3-d animated puppet rabbit! Perfect for the occasion, I’d say. The video also features Continue reading
©Charr Crail, www.charrcrail.com
Last weekend I had the fortune and privilege of spending three evenings at the Sacramento Film and Music Festival at the Crest Theater in downtown Sacramento.
This was incredibly fun for me for several reasons. First of all, I love film, and I love going to film festivals. I have been to film festivals in San Francisco and Nevada City in the past, and loved the immersive experience of being saturated in watching new films for a day or two or three.
This is a verse I performed for my good buddy Allan Samson aka “The Next Level” at my interview with him last month. I think this is a powerful verse with a positive message. Note: I did not do the beat, it was on at the radio station. If you know what it is, please let me know and I will amend this post. 😉
(performed on the Next Level TV in Hayward, CA 8/4/13)
“Life is Beautiful”
by Chris Goslow