My name is Alan Thornton. I’ve been in an Americana-ish band in recent years but my wife Terri Thornton and I decided to strike out on our own to perform a wider range of music as a duo. Our goal is to become more like what Robert Fripp called a “small, mobile, intelligent unit”. So we play 4 hour long outdoor gigs at farmers markets, do house concerts, host and play open mics and generally hope to please the folks who happen to hear us.
My first songwriting and public performance was in College, sometime prior to 1976. Overly complex songs which were likely to confuse the listener at some point were my metier. Friends and family were the most likely audiences. I was lucky that they liked me for other reasons.
I enjoy Johnathon Coulton’s well constructed comic/satirical songs. He follows on, I think from They Might Be Giants and Loudon Wainwright III. Otherwise, I appreciate Hunter/Garcia compositions, Leonard Cohen and a fellow named Stew (See his excellent album the Naked Dutch Painter or his Broadway soundtrack “Passing Strange”.)
My current goal is to become nearly half a clever and musical as these folks.
I happen to think that the uke can play any song that any other instrument can or at least it can accompany one or more singers singing versions of our songs. It is simpler to play that the guitar and, coming from 30+ years of guitar playing, I can say that it is less intrusive to the writing process and more attuned to accompaning a simple melody and lyric. And, I think that is roughly where most songs should start. (Think of two people and a piano in Tin Pan Alley and you’ll have something of that idea in mind.)
Although I’m a computer guy by trade, I don’t do a lot with websites these days. I used to build them by hand when html was the only game in town.