• Dave Monterey

Swirling Sea of Songs

Song Dog Music Blog by Dave Monterey


Heartwood Crossing is navigating new vistas with repertoire development. And it's natural as the tide rolling in. Hey, we've got a new band, uncharted territory to explore, and a happy co-conspirators' energy that propels us forward. What could be finer?


Magical, a bit. And reminds me of an old children's poem (Dutch lullaby) published in 1889:

Wynken, Blynken and Nod one night

Sailed off in a wooden shoe -

Sailed on a river of crystal light

Into a sea of dew...

Shut your eyes while Mother sings

Of wonderful sights that be,

And you shall see the beautiful things

As you rock in the misty sea.


Three singer-songwriters front Heartwood Crossing, Tim Sheehan, Emily Lois and Dave Monterey. Their song choices say much about their personal interests and philosophies. As these tunes come to be added to our performance set lists, they define who we are - an emerging band identity if you will. Know what I mean about mystical, magical stuff?


Tim is the elder statesman of the group, a populist and progressive he is, willing to take on any of the pundits as our political figurehead. And I think he's just in time as we strain to keep our collective heads above deep water.


Tim's new song "Borderline" echoes with urgency. "I'm just another running man running out of time," sings he. Tim's picked up another good old tune from Delaney and Bonnie called "Poor Elijah" which has a southern roadside 'chain gang' (but redemptive) tone to it. A rock crushing working-man's-blues if I've ever heard one. It's a blast to harmonize on:

Poor Elijah, workin' in the sun all day

Poor Elijah, workin' his life away


And how do we make forward sense of all the political trials? Tim offers up Green Day's "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life):"

Make the best of this test and don't ask why

It's not a question but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable and in the end it's right

I hope you had the time of your life


Then there's the full fishing net of our new musical colleague, Emily Lois. She might be the band's deep well of good karma. Her song choices bring new perspectives that some may find quite medicinal in their honest transparency. In her song "Three Lakes," Emily describes the journey, "It'll test your faith, fix what's broke, show you all your fears."


She embraces a poppin' tune from Bonnie Raitt called "Gypsy in Me:"

Look there in the palm of my hand

You won't find a line of longevity...

I don't know why but I'm like the wind

And I just keep blowin' free


Then in a nod of her cowboy hat to a western musical ride by Lyle Lovett, Emily sings:

Lord, I pray that I'm worth fightin' for,,,

Till earth and hell are satisfied

I'm subject to the natural forces

Home is where my horse is


I trust you are enjoying this mini preview of new repertoire to be showcased in upcoming shows of Heartwood Crossing. I'll bring this ship back to home port with a peak at third singer-songwriter Dave Monterey's new contributions to the band repertoire.


Dave may play the spaceship earth role in this group - somewhere in between rocketing to the sun (at night) and/or awaiting the red giant star's grand arrival, Dave still wants to save whales and redwoods as though they matter. The blend of trio voices inspired a reprise of his tune "Earth Song (Gaia):"

When the moon devours the sun

Leaving the night of space

I'll come to all like a firefall

To light your beautiful face


A new cover song that Dave sings "New Speedway Boogie" is borne of inspiration from none other than the Grateful Dead:

I don't know but I've been told

If the horse don't pull you've got to carry the load...

One way or another, this darkness got to give


Let this be a taste of things to come, knowing other songs are unfolding still. Look for new fare down the line from CSN, Indigo Girls, John Prine, Traveling Wilburys and more. Plus, new home grown Sonoma originals comin' all the time!


Rhythm and melody, or a closely held song lyric, like life itself, falls squarely under the unique lens of perception. You never know quite how your art and craft may be interpreted. But, hey, we do it anyway. Because it is in we three to set sail in our little wooden shoe and to sing for you! So, here's one more we've gotten ready for you, culled originally from Eric Burdon:

I'm just a soul whose intentions are good

Oh Lord, please don't let me be misunderstood.


See you at the shows!

Dave Monterey




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