Behind The Sessions - Guy Randall
Guy Randall has one of the silkiest smooth voices that I know of in our area! His genuine lyrics and sincere delivery catches the attention of a listening crowd in a heartbeat.
He was at Gage House Sessions for the 4th iteration and shared his song "Shattered". We got to chat about what goes into his songs and him as a songwriter, read on and find out more!
About the Artist
Where do you call home?
I live in the City of Green with my wife and three daughters. I’m a firefighter/paramedic for Akron, Copley and Bath Fire Depts
What first got you into music?
It started about six years ago, I started noticing signs of chronic PTSD from 16 years of working as a firefighter/paramedic, and learned that one of the best ways to find healing and balance is through a hobby/distraction to focus on. I had always wanted to learn to play guitar, so I started teaching myself. I didn’t anticipate what an impact this decision would make on my life, with an unexpected twist - I had never pictured myself as either a singer or songwriter, but by the time I had barely learned a few chords on guitar, I started writing my own songs and singing them, and soon this became my main focus. I have been writing songs and sharing songs with whoever will listen ever since. Music has profoundly changed my life, allowing me to find a voice and an outlet for venting a lot of the psychological stuff I had kept suppressed for so long. Most importantly, though, music has provided a way to connect with people, listeners as well as other artists, in a way that nothing else can.
How do you start writing a song?
Songwriting for me is heavily rooted in emotion. I think of the melody as a language that is just as important as the lyrics in expressing those emotions. I start with a melody that expresses a mood while I’m in that mindset, which is usually while I’m driving, so I have an ever-expanding bank of song ideas recorded on my cell phone. Only a fraction get developed into a song - usually the ones that get stuck in my head the most. Then I wrestle with the lyrics, which is a love/hate process of writing and rewriting, this is where I usually get stuck so I have a lot of unfinished songs waiting for the right words. It is not an easy process but when it works, and the song actually speaks and emotes as intended, there is no better feeling.
What’s one of your favorite regional venues?
I love playing intimate venues that create a good listening environment, because it gives the opportunity to connect with the audience. I play regularly at Speak Easy Coffee in Canal Fulton for this reason - it is a comfortable, inviting atmosphere where people come and hang out, taking the time to really listen to and engage with the artists. On the other hand, I have also enjoyed opportunities to play to larger crowds at special events - the best being the Cuyahoga Falls Riverfront Amphitheater, it was an amazing experience to perform on a stage and sound system of that magnitude and feel so free to really belt it out!
Best breakfast in the area?
I have always loved going out to breakfast, but the older I get, the more particular I get - it’s gotta be truly made from scratch, with good ingredients, with an artist’s creative touch. My go-to’s are The Blue Door for the Akron area (Cuyahoga Falls), and Lucky’s Cafe for the Cleveland area (Tremont)
About the Song
What’s the title of this song?
What was the inspiration behind this song?
I was driving to Chicago and thought it would be cool to write a blues song on the way, since I was in that state of mind - at the time I was “mourning” a chapter of my life that had come to an end while I was too preoccupied to notice, a chapter that would never return and time that I would never get back. So I used the allegory of a man mourning his love who had betrayed and left him, leaving him shattered.
Music or lyrics first?
Melody first, then lyrics
Do you have a favorite lyric/line in this song?
The first lines, “Waiting on the sunrise, maybe that sunrise will ease my mind,“ came to me first and I knew I had something. It sets the stage for the rest of the song about someone who is really hurting and looking for any small bit of hope for relief. I repeated these 2 lines for about an hour before I could figure out what should come next, then the rest just flowed out.
Around the Corner
What's an upcoming show?
I will be at Regency Wine Sellers in Fairlawn on April 25th 8-11pm
What’s an upcoming project you would like to promote?
I will be posting a studio version of both “Shattered” and “Sacred Lullaby” to a site called Play it Forward, where you can download them by making a donation to the Safety Forces Support Center (they get 100% of any donations). I chose them because they provide counseling and peer support to assist 1st responders like myself who may be struggling with PTSD and other mental health issues.
What message do you want to share with your fans?
I’m just overwhelmed with gratitude for all the support and encouragement I have received on this amazing journey. I am truly blessed. I haven’t played out much lately and I’m really hearing about it, so thank you for seeking opportunities to come and listen. I will be getting out more often in 2020, so I look forward to seeing you
You can find more about the artist here
Gage House Sessions are recorded in Akron, OH by Ben Gage (and friends).
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