John Vento – Baby Blues


Listen to John Vento’s “Baby Blues” 

Baby Blues was the very first song that we worked on for “Love, Lust & Other Wreckage,” and it ended up being a sort of theme song for the album.

It all began after my cancer surgery and the struggles that followed, when my dear friend and co-writer Bert Lauble came to visit me, and we had a real heart-to-heart discussion. We talked about regrets, and about taking responsibility for damaging or ending relationships that had potential to be fulfilling. We decided to write songs that approached relationships from that perspective.

When Bert presented the first draft of our first song, Baby Blues, it was really a completely different melody, which he had written over the music from another song that we had started months earlier. It was just frankly kind of boring, but the lyrics and the bones were there.

Then when producer David Granati suggested we bring singer/songwriter Cherylann Hawk into the project, she added life to the chorus, so we decided to revisit the main melody of the verses. We re-wrote a lot of the lyrics, and even much of the melody several times until we stuck with what you hear now. You can hear some of the previous lyrics and melodies in the second verse if you listen to what Cherylann sings. She was singing a harmony to what I had sung. When we changed my part, we kept hers as a counter melody. We tried to do so for the other verses as well, but decided it worked best only on the 2nd verse.

Well, I’m so glad we were persistent in creating and completing Baby Blues, because I think it’s the song that captures the whole message of “Love, Lust & Other Wreckage” the most. Because of this, it will be featured prominently in the stage play, which is a collaborative multi-media experience written by playwright Amy Hartman, which tells the story of one man’s struggle to understand the fractured mess his life has become. He recalls his crooked journey of heartbreak, his own cruelty, and his insatiable lust for the stage. After losing all, he must climb out from under the wreckage he’s created, which sends him through a dark journey of chaos and despair, eventually leading him to love, discovery and forgiveness… and it’s mostly all true.

The video for Baby Blues that will be featured during the stage play was directed by Nicole W. Ross, who stars in the video, and is also the model on the front cover and throughout the artwork of the CD. Nicole will also appear in multiple film vignettes throughout the stage play.

It’s amazing to think of all the wonderfully talented artists involved in creating songs, videos, and even a stage play based on part of my life story, and it all began with Baby Blues.

#CherylannHawk #DavidGranati #AmyHartman #NicoleWRoss #BertLauble


LISA BRIGANTINO – I’ll Waltz Before I Go

I’ll Waltz Before I Go

by Jason Blalock

I’ll be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of singer-songwriters. Nothing against them, I just tend to prefer a bit more production and variety. However, Lisa Brigantino doesn’t need excessive production – her voice is a wall of sound all by itself.


Liz Parker – For Facundo Cabral

On the afternoon of Tuesday, July 4, 2011, a group of us were gathered to celebrate and play music in a friend’s backyard here in Marfa, Texas. One of my friends played a song called No Soy De Aqui, by Facundo Cabral, and it moved me so much I asked her to play it again. When I got home I looked up his song and music on the internet and found he was a beloved folk singer from Argentina and an icon in all of Latin America, much like Bob Dylan. He was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1996, the same award given to Mother Theresa and the Dalai Lama. 

I was immediately inspired and I began hearing the music to a song and picked out the melody and chords within two days, but the words would not form within me. That following Thursday Facundo Cabral was mistakenly and brutally murdered in a drive by shooting in Guatemala on his way to the airport. I felt like I had lost a newly found friend.

That night I struggled with the words and music. I sat outside beneath a black, star-filled sky at about 3:00 a.m. The words began to form within me. I said aloud to the night, “this song will be called For Facundo Cabral, and the first words are the dance goes on, the song goes on”. Immediately after I spoke the words a shooting star sailed across the sky above me, from north to south almost to the horizon, leaving a green trail of light. The next instant, another shooting star split the night from over my right shoulder, traveling east to west leaving a golden trail and almost seemed to skip out of the atmosphere. I laughed aloud. I felt like Facundo Cabral was telling me, thanks, see ya.

The words formed easily after that and the song was finished the next day. It is a tribute to him and his vision of a beautiful world that sings to us, if we only take the time to hear it.


Blood Brothers – Etherial

This song, which is also the title song of our debut album, started with a small idea which I had when I was messing around with the guitar. Like most great ideas, the discovery of this one too was accidental. I was practicing my slides when out of nowhere, I came up with this amazing four note melody, which ended up as the intro to the song. I tried putting a vocal melody in but it just didn’t fit anywhere. It was then that I thought, why not make this a guitar driven, instrumental track. As a guitarist, I always wanted to do something like that. And this song gave me the chance. 

The notes just started flowing and it was as if the music made itself. Then our bass player came up with another great descending scale melody, which fit right into the web of the song. And before we knew it, we had created a kickass instrumental. Then it was time to think about the name. With a song with vocals, that shouldn’t be too hard but how do you name an instrumental ? We tried to gauge the feel of the song. To me, it felt other worldly. It was just so beautiful. It took you to another realm altogether. And fortunately, we came up with just the right word  to describe the feeling. Ethereal. 

It also gave us the idea of naming the album the same way. Music which took you to another world. That was our idea. And we tried to recreate the same feeling when producing the track. There was a heavy use of synths to create that mystic and other worldly feel. The guitars were heavy on delay and reverb. Even the bass lines were clean and full of descending slides which again replicated the emotion we were trying to convey. The whole process just felt right. And you know a good song when you’ve made one. And the satisfaction and pleasure we derived from the whole thing was certainly ethereal.


Vaporpop Playlist