Music: Up Close & Personal

I was literally immersed in music from the time I was just a few days old, accountable to my Christian grandmothers. Classical composers were their offering of choice; honestly, by the time I was three, I may have memorized most of the works of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart - you know, the usual crowd of longhairs. And there were others, of course. I'm told that when asked, I could identify the composer and the title of the piece being played. My dad used to say that pleased him greatly.

As the years have passed, I've since enjoyed nearly everything from big bands to bluegrass, Western swing & Country (the old, REAL Country music), 50's do-wop, beat generation poet-songsters, Pete Seegar & folk, honest soul & British rock, psychedelia, reggae, "new age" and similar genre. There may be sounds I could truly say I totally dislike, but I haven't found them yet. There's probably something to like in all kinds of music.

Naturally, there are hundreds of songs I've performed over the years by myself and/or in various bands, written by other artists. Two in particular that I liked because of their message and style are "Yesterday, When I Was Young" released in 1964 and written by Charles Aznavour and Georges Garvarentz and recorded by Eddie Arnold, Hee-Haw's Roy Clark and many other international stars; and "I Knew I'd Want You" written by Gene Clark of The Byrds and recorded for release on their "Tambourine Man" album about 1965.

I had begun writing my own music prior to my teen years. I played bass guitar in several high school-era rock groups, and since then have occasionally performed as a soloist on & off for several decades. Most of the music I now write and play is a kind of folk/semi-Country/Christian blend that I think is fairly easy on the ears. I always preferred to write and perform my own compositions, to tell my own stories, to be able to offer listeners something new - or that hopefully sounded at least a bit different.

It often seemed to me that everyone was playing someone else's music. Sad to think of all the stories and great songs that haven't been heard because someone didn't see the value in their own life, and vicariously lived another's life instead.

My songwriting is far less frequent now, and performing live is even less frequent than that, as a general rule. As always, I continue to write tunes mostly for friends and my own pleasure, but still enjoy sharing my better compositions with others.

That's about all I want to say about me & my music. I offer amateur cuts of a few roughly performed originals below; listen to them if you want and make your own conclusions about my work, though it would be nice to hear your opinion whether positive or negative. Song inspirations come from everywhere, and one can never get too much good musical feedback from all sources.

A few of my original solo compositions & renditions were recorded in August, 2008 and preserved in mp3 format, some with backup vocals and instruments provided by Howie Campbell of Wisdom and Truth Music, Charlottesville VA. They have been misplaced but I hope to find and repost them here in the near future.

  • Begin Us Again
  • Praise and Prayer
  • Warmth of the Sun

If you want to discuss music, songwriting and/or performing sometime, drop me an email and let's see what develops.

All portions of and related websites © Leonard L. Hamilton Jr. Background image taken at dawn on Lake Bonaparte, NY, October 2008.