Monday, April 14, 2014

Servant Of The Song

For a song to be a work of art that is revelatory in nature, it needs to have written "you". In other words, the writer must humbly get out of the way, to be used only as a channel by the spirit of the idea, so that it's hidden truth can be exposed to the light. Mumbo jumbo…??…!! After all these years of doing this day in and out, this is the mystery key I’ve been given to this spectacular art form. We hear a lot of songs out there, but how many of them tear you down and build you up in the three or so minutes, so when it's finished, you've been changed forever. That song had the power to do that. How did it get that power..?? It got that power because the person involved humbled him or herself as a bearer of a message instead of only being the writer of a song. – Chris Gantry 

I started writin’ this song about Chris Gantry...

Today songwriters are terrified to be alone with their thoughts. They huddle together and keep writing the same song over and over. I had an epiphany at a very young age that Songwriting is a Godly gift, and if rightly viewed as something He did instead of something I did, then the two of us could form a co-writing partnership as long as I let Him be the captain of the ship and I the first mate. The world’s best songwriters know not to tinker with lyrics or melodies whispered into their ears by angels. To me, the first line of the song should be as close of a transcription to whatever it was the angel delivered to you at that first moment of heightened inspiration. Songwriting is a ‘Divine experience’. 


Chris Gantry won’t tell you how to write a hit. It's the idea that you're in the 'music business' that screws everything up. Take care of the song and the rest will take care of itself. Recognizing inspiration, and respecting "that you're only the conduit," is what separates shallow songs from meaningful ones with lyrics that pry open the human condition. 

The Muse doesn't say a damn thing about pickup trucks, river banks, or drinking moonshine/whiskey/beer with your bros on a Saturday night. - Servant of  The Song

YOUTUBE LINK: Chris Gantry performs "Allegheny"
Guest appearance on The Johnny Cash Show 1971


Kris Kristofferson   Chris Gantry    Dolly Parton

Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Haunted Palace


    In the greenest of our valleys
    By good angels tenanted,
    Once a fair and stately palace—
    Radiant palace—reared its head.
    In the monarch Song’s dominion,
    Holding forth beyond compare
    House of Quill Repute and Vision 
    Muse and Poets mingled there

Kris Kristofferson & Bob Beckham - Combine Music

Banners rippling, glorious, golden,
    On its roof did float and flow
    (This—all this—was in the olden
    Time of craftsmen long ago)
    And every gentle air that dallied,
    In that sweet and tuneful day,
    Grew in spirit those who gathered,
    Guitars twanged for servant’s pay.

Frank Trainor signs publishing deal with Combine Music
Group of Nashville, home of the Kris Kristofferson
and Larry Gatlin catalogs. – Music Scene

   Wanderers in that happy valley,
   Through two luminous windows, saw

   Spirits moving musically
   To each guitar’s well-tuned law,
   And round about a throne there, sitting,
   Well befitting, 
   The ruler of the realm was seen.

   LINK: The Tennessean 

“I don’t sign someone just to sign them. I have to
believe in their long-lasting talents.” – Bob Beckham
    All with gold and platinum glowing 
Was the open palace door,
Through which came flowing, flowing, flowing
And sparkling brightly evermore,
Troops of Echoes, whose sweet duty
Was but to sing,
In voices of surpassing beauty,
The wit and wisdom of their king. 


    But evil things, in robes of sorrow,
    Assailed the monarch’s high estate;
    (Ah, let us mourn!—for never morrow
    Shall dawn upon him, desolate!)
    And round about his home the glory
    That blushed and bloomed,
    Is but a dim-remembered story
    Of that old time now entombed.

    LINK: Desperados Waiting For A Train 

Combine Music songwriters Frank Trainor & Mel McDaniel

And travelers, now, within that valley, 
Through the stain glassed windows see
Vast forms that move fantastically
To a discordant melody;
While, like a ghastly rapid river,
Through the pale paneled door
A hideous throng rush out forever,
And laugh—but smile no more.

Bob Beckham (July 8, 1927 - Nov 11, 2013)

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Hurdy Gurdy Man

Peter Pringle. Singer-songwriter, composer, actor, thereminist.

In the early 80’s, I managed a small music store on north Yonge Street in Toronto where I got to meet many musicians who bought and rented musical equipment from my shop. Jazz guitarist, Ed Bickert, pianist, John Arpin, among others, were customers. Another talented musician I met back then was singer/songwriter, composer, actor, Peter Pringle.

Peter Pringle enjoyed songwriting success and wide recognition as a recording artist and television performer in those years. I had recently stumbled upon
a YouTube clip of his, while searching out some 80's pop content, so I thought I'd do a search on him. His website features several links related to the history and demonstration of an instrument known as the Theremin.  The website also features a video wherein Peter Pringle sings the ancient BeoWulf while playing another unusual and obscure instrument; the Hurdy Gurdy.

Many will remember Donovan's 60's hit Hurdy Gurdy Man which is most likely all that anyone might know about this haunting instrument
. Hurdy Gurdy Wikipedia

That which is oldest is most young and most new. Ancient tones. Fresh musical language. It speaks to us of earliest beginnings. Theremin Wikipedia

And speaking of the Hurdy Gurdy Man, Donovan had some interesting session musicians


The brand new Howard Stern interview with Donovan, taped just last week in New York City, reveals so much more on all of that stuff and indeed encompasses Donovan’s entire career. Well worth the listen.


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bag Of Gold

I want to live
I want to give
I’ve been a miner for a bag of gold
My inspiration, The Tides Foundation
Keeps me shilling for a bag of gold
And I’m getting old

I've been to Hollywood
I've been to Redwood
I crossed the border for a bag of gold
I spin some green lies, nobody’s surprised
Keeps me shilling for a bag of gold
And I'm getting old

Just a miner for a bag of gold
5 buses running and it’s freezing cold
Just a miner for a bag of gold
And I’m getting old

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Everly Brothers 1983 Reunion Concert

Monday, June 3, 2013


My latest new songs collection [Transfigured] is still only being introduced post-production and already there are reasons to be very pleased and excited by the early response. Old friends and new have offered glowing reviews of the new work and Expecting Rain [the #1 Bob Dylan website in the world],  honored me and my new album on March 26 with a link to my new record between links for Gordon Lightfoot and Bob Dylan. Pretty cool and I was totally surprised and amazed to discover that, but thrilled of course, especially since it introduced me and my songs to music lovers all over the civilized world. My thanks to them and to all of you who may be newcomers to In Touch With The Mystery and to me and my music. I'm an obscure and private professional songwriter. An artist, not an act. Picasso, not paint-by-number songs, as one appreciative music business friend put it recently in reference to my latest album. Without a doubt, these 12 new songs represent my best work to date as a songwriter/artist and so it is my hope that everyone who visits here to peruse the mysterious contents, will also give a listen and enjoy my songs and music. All my best.  FRANK TRAINOR TRANSFIGURED


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Smokestack Lightning

I worked for a time in 1973 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and while living there I had opportunities to experience some great live music including Mitch Ryder and The Detroit Wheels whose 1966 smash Devil With The Blue Dress On /Good Golly Miss Molly was the record that fully ignited my fevered soul and made me wanna rock for real. I also managed one time to snag a '5th row center' ticket for a Jeff Beck concert at Cobo Hall in Detroit. I was a fan and Beck, Bogert & Appice [bassist/vocalist Tim Bogert and drummer/vocalist Carmen Appice, both former Cactus and Vanilla Fudge alums] did not disappoint. So I was thrilled to be seated so close to the stage and excited for the music to begin. Soon enough and without any fanfare, a bunch of scruffy guys, who appeared to be weary roadies, casually sauntered out from the wings and began to play the instruments that were waiting just for them. Who were these guys? Song after song they literally blew us away. I couldn’t believe how an unknown and unbilled opening act could be this damn good and not be the headliner. They were absolutely great and they made me almost not care if Beck, Bogert & Appice even showed up. The music they played were the songs from their debut album Can’t Buy A Thrill. The band was Steely Dan. And oh yeah, Beck, Bogert & Appice tore the roof off the place too. Perhaps the most satisfying concert I’ve ever experienced. Also noteworthy from my time in the Wolverine State, was a top drawer blues revue in Ypsilanti, a town not far from Ann Arbor. The headliner was B.B. King and featuring the legendary Howlin’ Wolf, so I made my way down the highway to catch the show which was held at an event venue called Bowen Field House which resembled a gymnasium with a stage and man was it hot in that hall that night. Maybe the music had raised the temperature because the joint was absolutely smokin’…as were the many other "joints" filling the air throughout the auditorium…and Howlin’ Wolf, who’d just gotten out of the hospital, began his set wearing a sheepskin coat…literally a wolf in sheep’s clothing…Howlin' Wolf died not long after that show which took place March 23, 1973. 39 long years ago. I was there. And now…I’m here.