SONG MAN > A Melodic Adventure, or My Single-Minded Approach To Songwriting by Will Hodgkinson
Label: DA CAPO
Will Hodgkinson has the self-effacing British charm that makes Hugh Grant such a reserve melting-romantic hero-and with that ability to ingratiate without sliming, he follows up his quest-to-play-guitar bestseller Guitarman with this freewheeling odyssey through the creative processes of some of pop’s most telling songwriters/artists. And part of Hodgkinson’s appeal is his willingness to wade into something he has no real working knowledge of, surrender, ask questions, bob two or three times in an apparent drowning and then tread water as he begins to float. The bobber approach of exploration yields some insights that a more studied journalist or writer would miss by virtue of taking it as a given… and that is where this book, aptly subtitled A Melodic Adventure, or My Single-Minded Approach To Songwriting, finds its wings. Given that he’s a regular name in Mojo, this is a case of “those who can’t write” tackling the elusive beast-and seeing what truly goes into “a song.” With expert insight from the Stones’ Keith Richards, the Kinks’ Ray Davies, XTC’s Andy Partridge and even power-punk sex kitten Cat Power, a.k.a. Chan Marshall. This is a quest-humorously told, and yet driven by what the power of songs to haunt others can mean. Along the way, Hodgkinson learns much about himself, journeys to the center of what emotional, visceral and sonic connections are forged of-and lifts the veil, just a bit, on one of the most speculated about, yet unknowable processes of them all. Like dancing about architecture, and yet, using the planes, cranes and foundation to create something utterly Martha Graham, Song Man is the common man’s trip to a mystical place with some of the shamans of song.