The story behind the song “For The Last Time”

 

This song is my best attempt at writing a Burt Bacharach/Hal David song. “Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head” has always been one of my favorite songs and that is what inspired “For The last Time”. It is about addictions. Specifically, being addicted to another person. Sure, the song mentions drinking but the true addiction comes in the opening lyrics of the bridge. “Standing alone by the window, waiting for you to get me high” shows how much the singer is hooked on the object of their affection. They become an affliction that needs to be abandoned in order to truly recover. I love the optimism of both the lyrics and the bouncy rhythm of the recording. It is a song of triumph over struggle. It can be about overcoming any addiction or adversity. 

When I originally wrote the song, it had a mellow “Raindrops” groove to it. Then, in the studio, my producer Scott Patton (Sugarland) had me punched up the rhythm guitar strumming and gave the song a much needed bounce. One of my favorite parts of the recording is Scott’s guitar solo, which comes across as both cheerful and melancholy. It’s my go to song to start a show because of the upbeat feel and singable melody.

Another “Artist” stole my music! And, what I did to get it back!

If you don’t know who I am, you’re not alone.  My name is Phil Dutra. I am an Austin, TX based Singer/Songwriter with 2 CDs and a digital single on all the music streaming services including Spotify, iTunes and Apple Music. I used a great DIY distributor named CD Baby to get them online. To be perfectly honest, my stats, both streaming and downloads, have been lame at best. Granted, 3 of my songs have been “watched” on youtube, where they have received over 20,000 views each. That’s due to them being played in Supermarkets and drugstores all over the country and people searching online to find them. But, that’s the most exposure my songs have received. People hearing my tunes, interrupted by “clean up on aisle 12”. Let’s just say my marketing degree from NYU has not been utilized to its full potential. In other words, I suck at self-promotion.

The Day Donald Trump Fired Me!

O.K. That may be a slight stretch but hear me out. 

Back in my days as an undergraduate at NYU, I started an A-Capella group with my buddies Brian, Greg, Chris and Wayne. We sang mostly in Washington Square Park under the arch. The acoustics there are amazing. We would sing doo-wop and modern songs, pass around the bucket on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and make a few hundred bucks. Not a bad take for five poor students. 

This was the late eighties in Manhattan. It was the decade of greed in the financial capital of the world. We were doing our best to get our piece of the pie with the vocal talents we possessed. 

The Story Behind The Song: “Feel This Way”

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.

Happy New Year!! Plans?

 

Are you generative or reactive to opportunities? I have, for the most part been reactive. I believe that I have been fairly successful in how I have reacted to those opportunities by saying yes or no. I trust my gut…

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New Song "Lucky" Now Available

I finally recorded the song “Lucky” with Roger Blevins from the band Mingo Fishtrap. I am really happy with how it turned out!