Dave Shiflett: Home
This is the songwriting/journalism site for Dave Shiflett - writer, musician, and practicing bon vivant.
A SIMPLE THING -- A new collection of five songs, sung by Buttafly Vazquez. Buttafly was offered a vocal scholarship to Julliard at age 15 and went to the professional performing arts high school in New York with Alicia Keys. We're hoping 'A Simple Thing' makes her famous throughout the universe. The songs include "My Beautiful Friend," a jazz ballad featured by the New York Times in a standing feature on the Great Depression; "A Simple Thing," a majestic rumination on enduring love; "Autumn Love," a latin-flavored meditation on romantic dissolution, and "Darlin' -- a murder/suicide song you can dance to. If you're looking for a song about patching up a shaky romance, there's "Somehow," which starts out grim but develops a smile halfway through. Here's the musician lineup: Buffafly Vazquez, vocals; Matt Boon, bass; Jim Mohr, mandolin; Giustino Riccio, percussion; Jonathan Greenberg, trumpet and flugelhorn; Dave Shiflett, guitar. I wrote all the music. CD cover design, Evan Davies; technical support, John Girimont.
In an unprecedented move, I'm trying to recoup the recording expenses for this collection, so you can listen to the songs here and if you want to download, please follow the buttons (CD price: $4.99 -- the price of a pint; singles are $.99).
The rest of the songs on the site are available for free download. To find all the music, just go to the top of this page and click on MUSIC. If you want to read the lyrics and the 'story behind the song' click on the song title.
INSTRUMENTALS: Below the five songs in the 'Simple Thing' collection are eight instrumentals (solo guitar) in a collection called 'Down The Road.' All in the Music section (hit Music above pic); click on title for song info. Many thanks to Mike Cashwell for allowing me to record in Watts Chapel at Union Presbyterian Seminary, Evan Davies for doing the cover and Brad Bangel for the photo. Download free and please send link to friends.
NEW BOOK: Well, sorta. I've just released a collection of my journalism that originally appeared in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, National Review, The American Spectator, Salon.com, The Los Angeles Times and other places. The title: "Workingman's Ink." Subjects include alcohol hysteria, celebrities (Elvis, Fred Astaire, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Stevie Wonder, Van Morrison, King Farouk, Hugh Hefner and many others), a son's military deployment, remembering a family slave, trial lawyers, gambling, scapegoating, health mania, sex, marriage among the very rich, deer hunting, the demise of country music, bluegrass festivals, old time festivals, Apollo 11 and the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. All for the price of a pint of ale (non happy hour prices). You can find it here:
NEW NOVEL: It's called "In The Matter of J. Van Pelt." It's about a Washington political operative who goes sane and leaves town, only to be pursued and destroyed by his enemies. It includes characters based on Marcella Dunn and my uncle Malcolm, whose relationship was detailed in a recent Wall Street Journal article, 'My Family's Bones' (the original version of that article, which is much longer than the published piece, can be found in the News section). Many hot-button topics: terrorism, cloning, sex changes, religion, UFOs, grave robbing, cannibalism, slavery, racism -- and True Love! All for $2.99 -- the price of a happy hour pint. You can find it here:
ON SALE: If you want to buy a downloadable copy of the seven-song "From the First Time,' ($4.99), here are the links to iTunes and CD Baby:
NOW, ONWARD: You can find lots of songs on the Music page (Go to top of this page and click on Music) plus columns and reviews on the NEWS page. MOST RECENT POSTS: Wall Street Journal review of 'Follow The Money'; Article about the Poor Farm Festival in Williamsburg, West Virginia; Wall Street Journal reviews of 'Hit Lit' and 'Scapegoat'; Profile of Tara Nevins, frontwoman for Donna The Buffalo and a terrific old time musician, from 'Alive Without Permission'; Wall Street Journal review of several new humor books (before the editors chopped it up); PBS film 'Where Soldiers Come From'; Washington Post review of 'The Three Us,' Georgette Jones' memoir (she's the daughter of George Jones and Tammy Wynette); Wall Street Journal review of 'Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy and a story from Merlefest featuring Peter Rowan, Del McCoury, Tara Nevins, Jerry Douglas, Rory Block and more.
ROOTS BOOK AFOOT: I'm also posting chapters from a book on that includes profiles of people who play and produce traditional/roots music. You can find it here: http://alivewithoutpermission.wordpress.com/
THANKS BLOGGERHYTHMS for the nice review of the 'From the First Time,' which you can read in PRESS/REVIEWS
THANKS Taylor Caffery for playing us on WRKF in Baton Rouge; Paul Rutter on WPSU Philadelphia; Peter van Zeijl on Dollard Radio in the Netherlands; Mike Flynn on his 'Folk Sampler' show; Rich Warren for spins on ''The Midnight Special"; Bill Hahn for playing us on WFDU in New Jersey; Dan Alloway for spins in Texas, Eric Walters for plays on WRIR in Richmond.
AND MANY THANKS TO K&K SOUND for the kind endorsement deal. I finally wired up the D-28 and the sound from K&K's Pure Mini is fantastic.
If you feel inspired to donate, there's a button below. Please take what interests you and pass along this link to your friends.
There are two videos just below: 'My Beautiful Friend' and 'All The Good Men', both sung by the incomparable Jeanine Guidry. The New York Times is featuring 'My Beautiful Friend' in a standing feature on the Depression: http://www.nytimes.com/packages/html/national/thenewhardtimes/index.html#/shiflett
If you want to buy physical or downloadable CDs -- the Karma Farmers' 'Songs for Aging Cynics' or Floor Creek's 'TIme Goes Rushing By' -- please select from the CD Baby options below the videos. The prices are low: $9 for CDs; $4 for downloadables (and THANKS!). If you prefer iTunes, both are also there.
I have a large number of songs that are not posted. If you are a music supervisor, director, etc. let me know what you're looking for -- I may have just the song for you. I also write to order.
Those looking for Harvey Laub's "Just Want to Know (That I've Been Known By You)" will find it on the music page. Harvey wrote the song for my sister after being dianosed with stage four lung cancer. The Karma Farmers recorded it the month before he died. "Lonely Train," which is also on the Music page, is dedicated to Harvey's memory.
LISTEN, download, and if you want to get in touch email DShifl@aol.com.
I play at Cary Street Cafe in Richmond every Saturday 2-5 p.m. Bring your instrument. And please feel free to join the email list. Would like to get out sometime to play some of these tunes. If there's a venue in your area you think would be a good match please let me know.