The Story Behind The Song: “Feel This Way”

“See The World” CD

This song started with the chord walk down of the bridge. I was fiddling around with my guitar and came up with a melody for that part of the song as well as the line about time not being on my side. That’s a pretty pessimistic view for the young guy I was when I wrote this. But, I know it fit how I was feeling at the time.

I have always lived with a very high level of anxiety. The endless “what ifs” and over-thinking of every perceived threat was taking its emotional toll and I was trying anything to relieve the anxiety, including meditation. It was also a time when I was letting go of organized religion and the judgement that I felt growing up gay. This song is about the frustration of the very slow progress I was making.

Even after all these years, I still deal with anxiety but I recognize the “triggers” better and I have better tools to deal with it and minimize its impact. It will always be with me but I no longer feel the despair that inspired this song.


Feel This Way

Feel this way
Feel this way
Feel this way

I was alone
But I never thought I’d feel this way again
When the floorboards underfoot were caving in
And the walls were filled with foam
And the chemicals were gone
I never thought I’d ever feel this way again

Let’s start the show
Now the Sunday Matinee is on again
But the people in the play are paper thin
Is the ending all you know?
Is the Spirit good to go?
I never thought I’d ever feel this way again

And it’s a strange day
Trying to heal from these thoughts gone wrong
And it’s a strange day
Time doesn’t feel likes it’s on my side at all

And so we go
Does a Big Bang mean the race will now begin?
Can a man with tiny footsteps ever win?
Is it safe to be alone?
Will the demons soon be gone?
I never thought I’d ever feel this way again

And it’s a strange day
Trying to heal from these thoughts gone wrong
And it’s a strange day
Time doesn’t feel likes it’s on my side at all

And so we go
Does a Big Bang mean the race will now begin?
Can a man with tiny footsteps ever win?
Is it safe to be alone?
Will the demons soon be gone?
I never thought I’d ever feel this way again
I never thought I’d ever feel this way again
I never thought I’d ever feel this way

Feel this way
Feel this way
Feel this way

Austin Songwriter’s Symposium

Me with Grammy nominated singer/songwriter James Slater

Me with Grammy nominated singer/songwriter James Slater

Jan 14th – Jan 18th, 2015 was the Annual Austin Songwriters Group symposium held at the Holiday Inn Midtown. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun and how inspiring the weekend was! I met or reconnected with some great songwriters and performers. I learned so many great creative and promotional tips. I especially enjoyed the songwriting master class led by Grammy nominated singer/songwriter James Slater. He written some amazing songs for Tim McGraw, Martina McBride among many others. He also performed a full show and brought down the house. He had the entire audience dancing, including yours truly.

I also stayed late into the night in song circles all weekend. It was like a free concert every night! I share this town with some great singer/songwriters. I was lucky enough to hear so much great music all weekend long!

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This Day In History: My Parents Anniversary

L-R Antonio Dutra, Filomena Dutra, Maria Lacerda, Jose Lacerda, Albertina Dutra, Felisberto Dutra

L-R Antonio Dutra, Filomena Dutra, Maria Lacerda, Jose Lacerda, Albertina Dutra, Felisberto Dutra

Today is my parents 57th Anniversary. They were both born on the Island of Faial, in the Azores Archipelago, which is a part of Portugal. They grew up in the same small village of Cedros and my mother Albertina (pictured above on the right) moved to Brooklyn with her family in 1947.

Felisberto and Albertina Dutra in Brooklyn, NY

Felisberto and Albertina Dutra in Brooklyn, NY

When she was 21, she went back for an extended visit and fell in love with my father Felisberto (pictured above on the right). At the same time, her sister Filomena fell in love with my father’s brother Antonio (both pictured above left). They had a double wedding and moved back to the Brooklyn, NY.

At the time of their wedding, the island of Faial was experiencing a volcanic eruption, which created an new section of the island. You can see and Newsday article about their wedding and pictures of the two couples at the site of the eruption from 1957 and again in 2007, their 50th Anniversary, below.

Since then, my uncle Tony has passed and my mom has been fighting cancer, and winning! My husband Steve and I are planning to go back to Faial with my parents and my sister Tina this August. I just called to wish them a very happy Anniversary with many more to come!

Several years ago, I wrote a song for my parents and did a quick recording on my laptop. It’s a bit syrupy but I hope you enjoy it. It’s called “Mother and Father”.

Mom and Dad enjoying Portuguese food for their 57th Anniversary

Mom and Dad enjoying Portuguese food for their 57th Anniversary

Click on the photo to see the full size.

Click on the photo to see the full size version

Recording update

I have been in the studio recording some new songs. I’ve started with “Lucky” and “Sycamore”. I will release them digitally and, eventually, I will release a 4-5 song EP. I’m recording at Cedar Fever Studios just outside of Austin, TX. It’s located on a farm and has the best energy. Guitarist extraordinaire Daniel David is co-producing with me, as well as playing guitar and bass. The great Kevin hall is playing some of the best drum tracks I’ve heard and I am singing lead and background vocals. Rich Maus is also doing a great job engineering the project. Plus, we’ve have Keyboardist Jamie Hilboldt sending  us some great Keyboard and synth sounds.

I will send out an announcement when they are released.

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Cedar Fever Studios

 

recording at cedar fever studios

Guitarist Daniel David (Left) and Drummer Kevin Hall

Selfie at Cedar Fever Studios

(L-R) Daniel David, Phil Dutra, Rich Maus

 

Recording Lead Vocals

Recording Vocals for “Lucky”

 

Engineer Rich Maus mixing "Lucky"

Engineer Rich Maus mixing “Lucky”

Here are a few Video clips in the Studio:

Daniel David recording acoustic guitar

Yes, this is a video “Selfie” :-)

Mixing down “Lucky”

New Demo “I Wish I Could Save Her” By Phil Dutra

This song is about 20 years old. I wrote it when I lived in Atlanta and never performed or recorded it. Here it is for the first time.

After my Macbook crashed and I was dumb enough to have not backed it up since October of 2013, I lost lots of information. Among that lost data was the first version of this song. I got to record it twice, which actually allowed more time to think about the arrangement and, hopefully, improve it. I will let you be the judge.