SHELLS is Fred’s newest recording! Released September 5, 2019


Today, I have a fresh, new, and exciting energy with my song “Shells”. I wrote it back in 1972, shortly after leaving Blood, Sweat and Tears, but I had no singer/band to record it at that time. This song has been in my head for almost 50 years now... I’ve always wanted to record it. “To me, it’s my most creative tune, quite different than any other music I’ve heard. “Shells” is a simple, child-like song in 6/8 time with a bit of a ‘sea chantey’ flavor to it. It was inspired by a book of beautiful colored seashells photos I bought while living in Mill Valley, California. The melody and lyrics flowed out from me very quickly one afternoon as I looked through the book in wonderment.

This past summer (2019), for some reason, I got the idea/nudge to record all or most of the 180 tunes (in various musical categories) I’ve written in my life. I simply wanted to document these tunes (just the melodies) as a ‘memory’ for myself. I chose 133 of my strongest melodies to record and spent a number of days in the studio recording my tunes. “Shells” happened to be one of the last tunes I recorded, and was one of the few songs I had ever written lyrics for. I had never before recorded myself singing one of my tunes in the studio. I was very surprised to find that I actually enjoyed listening to my voice!

I then mentioned to a musician friend that I was thinking about putting “Shells” online. He suggested that I add some of my digital art pictures along with my song. Since 2004, I’ve been creating digital art on my laptop computer, using Adobe Photoshop. I have over 5,000 pieces. While listening to the audio version of “Shells”, I looked through all of my art and found a number of pieces I felt could support or resonate nicely with my song.

This presentation came together very quickly with the help and good advice from a few good friends - experts with audio and visuals. I’m most thankful for their help, which has enabled me to share this with you and the rest of the world.



Here’s a little “Shells" story:

My close friend, Jack Scarangella, called me on the phone some years ago to share an experience he had visiting his singer friend in the hospital, who just had a cancer operation. She was very tired and afraid. Jack spent some time with her at her bedside. It was getting dark outside and he was going to leave soon. She asked him to sing a song - something ‘simple’ to ease her mind and make her feel better. Not being a singer at all, Jack didn’t know what to sing. But, to his amazement, he started singing “Shells” – one of my songs that he and I used to play at my house in Katonah, New York, (with him on drums and me on piano). It was the first of a number of songs I began writing after leaving BS&T in 1971.

The first verse goes like this:

Shells all kinds ‘a shells in the ocean
Multitudes of shells to see
And people drawing from the sea
The beauty that shells have shown to me

As Jack sang this song to his friend, as a kind of lullaby, she had a heavenly smile on her face. It soothed her and took her to a nice place… Before falling asleep, she said, “It’s all about love, isn’t it!”